World War Z Wiki

"Calm down, man. Count your breaths." Karim

The Lurker is a special zombie in World War Z.

The Lurker attacks unsuspecting players by pouncing on them, forcing others to come to their aid to free them as once he grabs hold of his victim, he will not let go.

Physical Appearance

The Lurker is a zeke dressed in tattered red track pants with white side stripes and red and white sneakers. A black fitness armband containing a damaged smart device with a broken earbud cord fastened into it is wrapped around his right upper arm. His right ear has a flesh tunnel piercing. A tattoo can be seen on the right side of his back.

His pants are covered in soot stains and have many little tears. They are somewhat loose-fitting as his striped green and white boxers can be partially seen around the waistband as well as through some of the tears.

The skin on the Lurker's head, torso, and left arm have been charred black and riddled with skin tears. The flesh from the skin tears around his left shoulder and the left side of his neck form a pattern and appear orange in color. The right side of his back and his right arm are much paler in comparison to the rest of his body. His right arm in particular is covered in countless open blisters. He lacks hair, presumably having been burnt off. His lips and most of his left nostril are gone. Portions of his flesh are gone too, exposing the bone underneath. These areas include both wrists, the lower right rib cage, the left shoulder blade, a strip across the right side of the top of his skull and a patch to the left side of it. The Lurker either completely lacks eyes or they are entirely black, leaving his eye sockets appearing very dark and empty.

Abilities & Behavior

The Lurker exhibits very unusual behavior when compared to most other zekes that are fought. In most cases, the Lurker can be found kneeling down low to the ground in some sort of resting position. Keeping to his low profile, he will constantly be observing his surroundings as though he is looking for something or someone. His posture seems almost human-like as it keeps one arm down to the ground while resting the other on his bent knee most of the time. The Lurker is extremely stealthy as he tends to appear in areas near the survivors from seemingly out of nowhere.

Despite the Lurker's best attempts to remain stealthy, his distinctively odd breathing noises give away his presence and general position. He also produces a peculiar rattling sound. Additionally, once he has been discovered or is carefully approached by the players, he will make much louder noises as he becomes more head-on with his approach. The Lurker's speed is slightly above average compared to regular zekes.

The Lurker has the ability to pounce on survivors. His pounce is always accompanied by a loud, raspy screech. Relying heavily on players not being aware of their surroundings or blindly rushing around a corner, the Lurker springs into action, knocking the player down on their back and laying an unforgiving mauling on them while they are helpless to defend themselves. While a pinned survivor will be hit with all manners of attacks ranging from scratching, clawing, tearing, and even a few chokeslams, the damage done will remain consistent over time shortly after getting pounced.

While the Lurker prefers to pounce unsuspecting or careless players, there are moments when it is forced to come out of hiding and leap headfirst to snag a victim. Despite this, his ability to get the jump on a player should not be underestimated while in the open. When forced out onto the open, the Lurker's agility shines as his pounces travel quite a distance, more than one may have expected.

Strategy & Tactics

"Lurkers hide in the shadows. Listen out for their distinctive wheezing to avoid being surprised." Tutorial Tips


The Lurker acts as a pinning enemy, holding a survivor down with the intent to kill without letting them fight back. He will pounce on survivors, lay on top of them so they cannot escape, and maul them until they are down. The Lurker mostly acts like a spring-loaded trap, hiding around a corner to pounce whoever walks by him. After incapacitating a survivor, he will go back into his resting position near them, waiting for another survivor to arrive to their rescue and pounce on them next.


  • Never stray too far from your teammates. It is made extremely clear that players that try to do things by themselves will only land in a tight spot that they may not be prepared to face on their own. Always have at least one teammate with you. While certain objectives or situations may lead to your team being separated, such as dividing the workload of completing mission tasks across teams of two or a horde battle that forces some players to move away to cover more ground, always stay within a visible line of sight of each other to quickly help the other in whatever situation they may find themselves in. In higher difficulties, a Lurker will be able to incapacitate a survivor in no time flat, making their punishing pounces even more unforgiving. Better safe than sorry.
  • Listen carefully. When the Lurker spawns in, he'll make a loud wheezing sound. This will transition into his more quieter yet audibly distinct wheezing noises which can be easily heard in stealth scenarios. During a fight, it may be more difficult to catch but listen to your character or the other survivors as they will chime in with a response related to hearing or sensing the presence of a Lurker.
  • Watch your fire. A Lurker does not have a lot of health. A quick shot to the head will prove effective at eradicating him quickly. Be careful when shooting at a Lurker who is currently on a survivor, however, especially if you are using a fully automatic weapon to do so. Friendly fire is less forgiving as the difficulty levels increase so while you should always act quickly, control your bursts or you may accidentally incapacitate (and even kill) your own teammate in the process of saving them. The same general principle also applies to explosives which can easily do as much, if not more, damage if it lands extremely close to a survivor. Due to this, explosives are ill-advised for saving pinned survivors.
  • Watch out for a little notification sign. It is the same one that appears when someone is incapacitated except the white circle will not drain counterclockwise. When it appears, it will lead toward the direction where the pinned survivor is located. The pinned survivor will also be outlined in yellow. Distressed audio cues should also notify others that someone is currently being pinned by a Lurker.
  • Always mark your targets. As with all special zombies, marking lets players know where a particular threatening zeke is and/or where it is about to go. The red outline can be seen through obstacles and is hard to miss, so press the key that marks them and make their appearance even less of a surprise. A Lurker that pins a survivor down will automatically mark both himself and his victim in yellow to others. If you are pinned, only the Lurker will be marked yellow.
  • Communicate. If you have a microphone, use it. Call out if you know have seen where a Lurker was. If you are pinned, call for assistance. Warn others that a Lurker is resting near where they incapacitated you and that they should watch out before coming to your position. Keep in mind that this, as well as team chat, only works across PC players only. Players of the Xbox and PlayStation versions of the game cannot communicate across different platforms. Groups containing players from different consoles will require third-party communication tools to communicate with each other.
  • Protect NPCs. Non-playable characters such as soldiers or escort characters can be at risk of being pinned down by a Lurker. While this tends to rarely happen, treat them like you would a fellow survivor and eliminate the Lurker off of them as quickly as possible.


  • Given that the pounce (and the mauling that ensues) is practically the Lurker's only form of attack, it is made to be most effective in the most compromising situations. Such examples include:
    1. Being separated from teammates.
    2. Being the only person left still standing.
    3. Going towards an incapacitated teammate to save them, not knowing that they were incapacitated by a Lurker, and said Lurker is waiting nearby or just out of sight to pounce whoever was blind enough to rush in without checking the area first.
      • In other ways to view it, the Lurker and his pounce are also meant to punish players that try to rush forward, those that do not take their time to check their surroundings, and anyone overconfident in playing the lone wolf.
      • While you may be preoccupied with several things during a zeke onslaught, there is almost little that can be done should you get pounced on. This is especially true once you become the last of your team as a pounce will likely spell defeat. Be aware of when you are at your most vulnerable and it could be the difference between giving you and your team a fighting chance or being swiftly incapacitated. Being prepared for when a Lurker is supposed to appear will render him little more than a nuisance rather than an actual threat.
      • The Lurker will hardly ever try to attack with a swipe since he normally only ever tries to pounce on survivors. However, the Lurker is still capable of attacking normally if a survivor frees themselves with a perk for escaping pins or if they are standing right against a closeable door and he isn't currently in an animation for attacking the door. Although it isn't always guaranteed and is not usually a big deal, this is more detrimental in higher difficulties as the damage of a normal swipe attack can deal a lot of damage. Since it is possible for the Lurker to attack a survivor after they unpin themselves with a perk, this could potentially lead to incapacitation or death if you happen to free yourself while at low health.
  • Knowing when and where Lurkers spawn is key to protecting yourself and your team from them. Much like idle zekes, Lurkers do not appear on the radar as a threat until they are agitated. Keeping a mental map of possible/frequent Lurker spawning locations will greatly sharpen the senses for knowing where they may come from. Map knowledge and familiarity of the environment is important, so replaying a stage multiple times can help determine some of the more frequent spots that Lurkers are likely to be found hiding in.
    • In general, always be wary of corners. In the heat of the moment, you may not get the chance to focus your hearing to hear the Lurker's distinct sounds so always approach the next hallway with caution or with your weapon pre-aimed. If there is a path with where a Lurker can possibly appear from two different directions, try to quickly peek at one side then the other.
    • The same also applies to obstacles such as cars, large boxes, furniture, or anything else that looks like it could be used to cover a crouching Lurker's body.
    • Sometimes a Lurker can appear in areas your team has already pass through, so backtracking can also become a risk. Never let your guard down just because you already cleared a previous area.
    • In certain chapters, there are areas where a Lurker can appear near your team from above. Even if you can hear him, you will likely be unable to spot him anywhere. Keep listening and watch out for when he finally decides to come out of hiding. He will come down from his elevated position and onto ground level, ready to pounce on anyone unwary or unobservant enough to notice.
  • There can only be one Lurker spawned at a time. If you happen to move forward past a Lurker's position, the Lurker will eventually be repositioned in another spot (the game will automatically teleport them). When a Lurker is killed, their next appearance takes into factor the current position of the survivors and how much time passed since the last Lurker's death. Due to this, it is possible for a Lurker to spawn very shortly after one has already been killed. However, it is impossible to encounter more than one Lurker at the same time.
    • If you spot a hiding Lurker and mark them, you can see where they will be repositioned once you move far enough from their last location. The transition of their relocation is subtle as they tend to be placed in area just outside of the survivors' field of view, making it possible for them to be moved in a place you quickly looked away from then face to look again.
    • A subtle hint of a new Lurker's respawn is the corpse of the previously eliminated Lurker disappearing. If you happen to notice the corpse of a dead Lurker has suddenly gone missing, it is a sign that a new Lurker has or is about to be spawned in a new spot.

Tashaun getting pounced by a startlingly quick Lurker from across the hallway

  • When the Lurker is forced to confront the survivors head-on due to his cover being blown, being agitated by a close but cautious survivor, or being attacked, his pounce ability becomes more pronounced. Lurkers can leap extremely far. Possessing unusual levels of athleticism, the Lurker can make some astonishingly huge pounces in both distance and height. This can usually only be seen while he is actively chasing down a survivor where there is more room for larger leaps. Just because you created a decent amount of space in between one another does not mean you are safe from being pounced.
    • When forced into attacking, the Lurker makes loud noises that give away his position even further. A Lurker that crouches low on all fours is his signal that he is about to pounce on someone. A Lurker's pounce can happen very quickly so even if you see spot him getting down to the ground, you may not be able to shoot him before he suddenly grabs you. Aim low to the ground if you see a Lurker crouch as he is facing you and his head will be a fairly easy target.
    • Another common scenario involving the Lurker taking a less stealthy approach involves swarms. During events where a massive horde of zekes is imminent, the Lurker may spawn nearby from an area that is less monitored and will try to blindside a survivor near him. Alternatively, he will try to blend in with the regular zeke crowd in order to close the distance between a survivor and ambush them.
  • After incapacitating a survivor, the Lurker will go back into his resting position until sufficiently agitated again. Assuming his victim is not killed, the Lurker will lie in wait for another survivor to arrive to their rescue.
  • A Lurker's pounce has a deceptively wide grab range. This is why it can be extremely difficult (and frustrating) to dodge a Lurker as even if you appear to have gotten out of the way, your character will still be grabbed. While it is not impossible to dodge a Lurker's pounce, you will be better off trying to shoot him as he leaps towards you rather than trying to get out of the way and catch his landing.
    • However, if a Lurker does happen to miss his target, either due to the environment blocking his pounce path, a successful dodge, or just simple luck, take advantage of his vulnerable landing state. He will not stay vulnerable for too long as he will soon be ready to pounce again, so act fast to kick him while he is down.
  • Meleeing a Lurker is not particularly effective. Immediately engaging a Lurker that you find with a melee strike will probably not take him down in one hit, resulting in the aggressor getting pounced after a single hit more often than not. If you know a Lurker is around, always use your gun. While melee is the safest option for getting a Lurker off his victim, it will not push him away from his target. Additionally, you cannot stumble a Lurker while he is in hiding or as he gets into pouncing position. Choosing to melee a Lurker off a teammate will take a few strikes assuming he did not take any or very little damage prior to pouncing on someone. Even if you possess more powerful melee attacks or happen to be carrying a Chainsaw around when someone gets pounced, a few bullets or a headshot will almost always get the job done quicker and from further distances.
  • Survivors that get in the way of a Lurker's intended target may become the new target. While Lurkers aim to pounce on the survivors that agitated him, it is possible for someone unfortunate enough to get in the way between the two to end up as the newly chosen target. Lurkers are not picky about who they pounce on, so they will immediately begin to maul their victim regardless if it was who they intended to attack or not. If you happen to be "saved" from a pounce by your unlucky teammate, react quickly to dispatch the Lurker off of them.
  • Staying in an area covered by an Automatic Turret or standing on a High Voltage Grid can save you from a Lurker. While very uncommon, if you happen to be pounced in the vicinity of a stocked Autoturret or while you are currently standing on a powered High Voltage Grid that was placed on the floor, they can eliminate the offending Lurker off of you. However, each does have its drawbacks: the Autoturret cannot lock on the Lurker if many other zekes are in the way as it will prioritize them instead, while the High Voltage Grid is a very small and specific area to be found standing on.
  • The Lurker cannot be stopped by Barbed Wire. He will consistently be able to climb over it. Do not expect it to do much against the Lurker apart from briefly slowing him down as he climbs over it. On top of being able to climb over Barbed Wire, he can easily pounce through or over it.
  • Sometimes, a Lurker can be killed by you at the exact same time he manages to pounce on you. Consider yourself fortunate if you manage to pull this off since you will not take damage from the pounce. However, you're still vulnerable for a moment afterwards, which may be a problem if you were nabbed while other zekes are around.
    • The moment a Lurker pounces on you, there is a very small delay for when he starts to deal damage. Even if you do not manage to kill the Lurker off, your teammates can. If they act lightning-quick, they can prevent him from dealing damage the moment he pounces you.
    • However, it should be noted that the Lurker's pounce still technically counts as a "hit." This technicality only comes into play when a survivor happens to be carrying a Virus Sample. If their sample has been heavily damaged already, it is possible for the non-damaging hit of the Lurker pouncing them to damage it and cause infection. However, this is very situational and you'll likely be able to disinfect yourself right after getting up.



  • At level 10, the Gunslinger unlocks a core perk called Seek and Destroy. This perk's utility gives all teammates an advantage on any special zombies that come within range. Unlike most special zombies, the Lurker always appears in a unique idle position. In this position, a Lurker cannot be immediately marked since he is not an active threat. When a Lurker gets up from this position, however, they will be immediately marked. Use the information of the Lurker's position to your advantage to avoid being surprised and to be ready when he rears his head out from a corner.
  • At level 11, the Gunslinger can unlock a perk called Bounty Hunter. This perk's utility expands across every special zombie in the game. Against Lurker, in particular, it could help shoot him off his target slightly quicker.
  • At level 16, the Gunslinger can unlock a perk called Judo. This perk allows you to automatically free yourself from a Lurker if he has you pinned. The only downside to this perk is that it has a three-minute cooldown so do your best not to get pinned again for some time afterward.
  • At Level 20, the Gunslinger unlocks a core perk called My Bad. This perk alleviates half the damage done to teammates you accidentally shoot, making friendly fire less punishing. While you should never shoot at a teammate, accidents happen, especially when it comes to saving a pinned survivor from a Lurker. As a Gunslinger, you do not possess any equipment best suited for helping a pinned survivor, meaning your best options in most cases for helping them are your primary or secondary. Having the perk unlocked definitely helps to lessen the impact such accidents can have, especially in higher difficulties. But as always, and no matter the situation, watch your fire.


  • At level 11, the Hellraiser can also unlock the perk called Bounty Hunter. Without getting too destructive, the Hellraiser is usually limited to just his primary or secondary most of the time when it comes to fighting off Lurkers or saving a survivor pinned by one, so using this perk can allow you to kill him slightly quicker.


  • At level 11, the Medic can unlock a perk called Second Wind. This perk gives you a chance to get up if you find yourself incapacitated or pinned while everyone else is also in the same predicament. While it could save you in a pinch, know that it will only work a quarter of the time and that if you find yourself pinned/incapacitated again in the next sixty seconds, you will not be able to benefit from this perk. Additionally, the fact that only you can get up in a scenario where everyone else is in no fighting condition can make this perk seem as though it is only meant to delay the inevitable.
  • At level 20, the Medic unlocks a core perk called Fighting Chance. This perk allows you to easily save anyone who is pinned down by a Lurker using the Stim Pistol. It is extremely safe to use, and the survivor you shoot at will receive a much-needed temporary health boost. Not only that, but it also works on anyone who has been incapacitated as well.
  • At level 26, the Medic can unlock a perk called Secret Ingredient. This perk grants five seconds of the masking effect after firing a stim. The masking effect is great for allowing targeted teammates to disappear, preventing Lurkers from pouncing on them. Additionally, if a Lurker does grab them, firing a stim on them not only frees them from his grasp (thanks to having unlocked the Fighting Chance core perk) but also provides a measure of protection from other nearby zekes. Now masked, you can kill the Lurker and make an easy escape without losing any temporary health.


  • The Fixer starts with a core perk called Mule. This perk starts you off with the Supply Bag. While this powerful equipment should generally be saved for swarms or other threats, a Lurker can be easily killed if you happen to come across one while carrying some explosive ammunition.
  • At level 4, the Fixer can unlock a perk called Night Owl. This perk replaces your Supply Bag in exchange for the Masking Gas Grenade. Using a Masking Gas Grenade allows survivors that walk into the gas to become invisible to the zekes, including hiding Lurkers. Masking Gas Grenades can also be thrown at a pinned teammate to easily save their life since the Lurker will let go of their target and be unable to retarget them until the gas effect wears off. This will give them the opportunity to kill the Lurker and any other zekes nearby. Additionally, the gas will also grant a small amount of temporary health for when the gas eventually wears off.
  • At level 5, the Fixer can unlock a perk called Side Effects. Similar to the Night Owl perk, you gain the Masking Gas Grenade that you can use to save a pinned survivor from Lurkers. However, instead of granting some temporary health, the gas now does damage and can kill anything within its area of effect, including the Lurker should the pinned survivor choose to focus on escaping.
  • At level 10, the Fixer can unlock a core perk called Please Stand Up. Similar to the Medic's Second Wind perk, the Fixer will soon get up if everyone else is incapacitated or pinned as well. However, it is not tied to chance. Thus, apart from the usual 60-second cooldown in between uses, it will guarantee that the Fixer will get back up, even while pinned by a Lurker. However, you will still be placed in a less-than-ideal situation where everyone else is either down, pinned, or dead. So just as before, understand you are being placed in a scenario where the odds are against you.


  • The Slasher starts with a core perk called Shock Troops. This perk starts you off with the Stun Gun. Typically used for crowd control, it also has the ability to free a pinned survivor from the Lurker's grasp and leave him extremely vulnerable to retaliation by either you or your recently saved teammate.
  • At level 11, the Slasher can unlock a perk called Trophy Hunter. This perk behaves exactly the same as the Bounty Hunter perk.
  • At level 19, the Slasher can unlock a perk called Battle Cry. This perk allows you to free yourself from a Lurker if you have been pinned for five seconds. However, this benefit will see very little mileage in higher difficulties due to the increased damage from all enemies so only use it as a crutch for lower difficulties.


  • The Exterminator starts with a core perk called Firestarter. This perk makes you deal 25% more damage to all enemies during swarm events, Lurkers included.
  • At level 4, the Exterminator can unlock a perk called Rage Mode. Although this perk functions the exact same as the Gunslinger's Judo perk, it has a lengthier cooldown of 300 seconds.
  • At level 17, the Exterminator can also unlock the perk called Second Wind. Although the perk functions the exact same as the Medic's version, it has a cooldown of 120 seconds, twice as long as theirs.
  • At level 29, the Exterminator can unlock the perk called Ghost. This perk will periodically give you a few seconds of masking effect while everyone else on your team is either incapacitated or dead. The masking effect provides you with a temporary safeguard if you happen to spot or pass by a Lurker. However, since the perk functions in intervals, you may find yourself vulnerable before or just after masking has set in. Should you find yourself incapacitated or pinned down, most ironically so if done by a Lurker, it will not activate.


  • The Dronemaster starts with a core perk called Flying Start. This perk starts you off with a Quadrocopter armed with a Stun Gun. If a Lurker gets too close, the Quadrocopter will stun him for a slighter higher charge cost than normal.
  • At level 16, the Dronemaster can unlock a perk called Saving Grace. This perk can save you from incapacitation/death from a Lurker's mauling by covering you in masking gas moments before losing the last of your health. Now masked, you are freed from his grasp and free to kill him and flee to somewhere safer. Remember that there is a three-minute cooldown until it can work again so do not rely too heavily on it.
  • At level 23, the Dronemaster can unlock a perk called Eye In The Sky. This perk functions similarly to the Gunslinger's Seek and Destroy core perk but with slightly less range and only when the Quadrocopter is out. Similarly, use the information of where the Lurker is marked to alert yourself and/or your team when he comes out of hiding or is approaching to your location.




The nickname "Lurker" likely came from the Lurker's preferred method of attack where he lies in wait before ambushing the first survivor that crosses him. The word lurk means someone that is attempting to hide or conceal themselves to prepare or perform something mischievous or malicious, befitting the Lurker's description very well due to his desire to always remain hidden before or until it is time to strike. Given his behavior, he has also received a myriad of different nicknames from the survivors describing him as creepy and stalker-like, with some preferring to call the Lurker with other names exclusively rather than the established one.


The Lurker was likely a fit, avid runner pre-infection. This is suggested by his choice of attire (or what remains of it) which consists of track pants and sneakers. He also wears a fitness armband on his right arm which contains his now-damaged smart device and the remains of the earbud cord. Fitness armbands are a popular accessory for joggers, hikers, or anyone serious about fitness in general, and he was likely using it to monitor his progress via his smartphone. The Lurker also has an ear piercing and a partially-obscured tattoo on his back, suggesting he was a fairly young and outgoing adult. Running shirtless is a common practice in hotter weather, making it likely he wasn't wearing clothes on his upper body when he got infected. The Lurker is fairly lean in the upper areas of his body, suggesting he was more focused on strengthening his lower legs and improving his endurance.

The Lurker's appearance highly suggests he was a burn victim. He completely lacks hair and large portions of his skin have blackened and appear charred, coarse, and chalky. Other areas appear a more pale, leathery white. He is also covered with multiple bone-deep lacerations. These injuries greatly suggest he had suffered extensive 3rd and 4th degree burns. While most areas of his visible body with tears and open blisters show red flesh underneath, the portion of skin around his left shoulder and the left side of his neck has been burnt to the point that the flesh underneath has turned a noticeable orange. In spite of being left in a heavily and horribly damaged state, he still managed to succumb to the infection and turn into a zeke.


As with all special zombies, the Lurker produces unique sounds to differentiate himself from regular zekes. The Lurker makes distinct heavy breathing noises and rattling sounds. When agitated, he will make loud, raspy cries. These noises the Lurker produces are likely the result of both external and internal damage the Lurker has suffered up to this point. In particular, the Lurker's lungs and vocal cords could have been damaged during the fire that originally harmed him, causing him to sound far different from other zekes. Smoke inhalation, a danger caused by fires, could be a cause for his profusely hoarse wheezes. The rattling sounds the Lurker makes, being the most puzzling sound he is capable of producing, could be some kind of internal vibration which may also stem from this as well.

Intelligence & Physical Abilities

The Lurker demonstrates a high level of awareness. This has led to the Lurker becoming more passive and patient when it comes to attacking prey by hiding somewhere nearby in a crouched position and waiting for victims to walk past him rather than attacking them directly. However, in situations where it seems more than unlikely for a survivor to cross his path such as swarm events, he will revert to the more head-on approach employed by all other zekes in hopes of getting the chance to attack someone and spreading the infection.

The Lurker's tactic of hiding in wait before pouncing on people is, without a doubt, a startling contrast to what regular zekes would do. The decision to adapt to a more stealthy method of approach and attack could be the combination of a couple of factors.

One of these factors could be adaptation. It could be possible that as a result of the injuries and trauma that the Lurker has sustained, he has adapted to a new form of attack to harm and infect living beings. Due to the extensive damage his body suffered, the Lurker sought to employ a better attack strategy that would allow him to make better use of his strength which in turn has made him more powerful as he can overpower a single target by himself, something that would normally require multiple zekes to do. This also makes him slightly faster as he is observed to be a slightly better runner than a regular zeke, although this could be attributed to his lifestyle before becoming a zombie.

Another factor may have been the influence of the virus. The fast-acting virus in World War Z is highly speculated to bring a human it infects to a more primitive and animalistic state. The animalistic side of the virus has resulted in the turned humans exhibiting behavior more akin to creatures of the animal kingdom. In the case of the Lurker, his technique of pouncing on top of survivors and mauling them could stem from the behaviors of ambush predators as they prefer stealthily trapping their prey instead of chasing them. The way the Lurker gets down on all fours to spring himself off the floor is practically identical in execution to the way many of the species in the Felidae family (cats, cheetahs, lions, tigers, etc) stalk and pounce on their prey.

The Lurker has demonstrated the ability to bound record-breaking distances and heights. Despite the superhuman levels of athleticism the Lurker displays, the reason for this incredible power could also be attributed to the virus. The virus has shown that it hardly lets zekes rest and they are always ready to put every ounce of strength into chasing healthy survivors when alerted. This suggests that many limits imposed on the body by the brain have either disappeared or have been heavily suppressed after a person has turned. In the case of the Lurker, it has given him greater use of the strength dormant in both his legs and arms which he uses to perform such leaps, allowing him to jump far greater than a normal human, or even an athlete could. This strength may also contribute to him being able to overpower a survivor as once he manages to knock them down and get on top of them, many would have a difficult time fighting back from his vicious mauling once they have been pinned down.

Another point has to be made regarding the Lurker's ability to detect survivors. Among the many injuries the Lurker has suffered, one of the most notable but less visible ones is the damage done to his eyes. Generally, the Lurker's eyes appear to be deeply blackened or missing entirely. In either case, the damage has rendered the Lurker far less reliant on his eyes, if at all. Given the Lurker's main method of attack, it can be assumed he relies more on his other senses to detect survivors such as smelling and hearing. In particular, it is plausible that he relies more heavily on hearing and that the various noises he constantly makes, both the wheezing and the rattling, are some form of rudimentary echolocation for detecting humans. Looking closely at a hiding Lurker shows him turning himself to face towards the survivors' direction as though he is hearing where they are coming from, but refraining from acting on it until they get closer within an appropriate pouncing range. When pouncing survivors out of hiding, the Lurker can be seen turning towards the direction of his intended target just as he gets on all fours, as if he is using the sounds he makes to hear where the survivor is moving before leaping. The development of echolocation could be another form of adaptation brought on by the loss of vision requiring the Lurker to rely on sound to navigate. However, it could also be another effect brought on by the animalistic nature of the virus as some animals learn this ability as well. Despite all this, he is still able to locate survivors just as well as any regular zekes can, meaning the loss of vision was never a hindrance to begin with as zekes are naturally able to detect humans fairly quickly with sound stimulus too. While that is the case, the Lurker has been shown to be selective with what he chooses to react too. He remains unperturbed by passing gunfire or bullets that hit surfaces near him while he is hiding. He will not even react to nearby detonated explosives unless they actually hit him which may also probably end up killing him as well. His indifference in those sounds may reinforce the idea that he is specifically on the hunt for human-shaped targets and will only act on them upon detecting them walking past his hiding corner or when hearing them roam around somewhere very close.

Related Achievements

There are two achievements related to the Lurker that can be earned.

Icon & Name Description Gamerscore (XB) Trophy (PS)
Sport kills.jpg
Sport kills
Kill Lurker midair 35 Silver
Effective communication.jpg

Effective communication

Mark special zombies 50 times 20 Bronze


  • All of the survivors from New York and Moscow do not call the Lurker by his usual nickname to any capacity. They use other nicknames for him instead, Creeper and its variations being the most common. It is unclear as to why the Lurker has the most inconsistent nickname out of all the special zombies.
  • The Lurker's crouched position is actually a unique idle stance. Because of this, a Lurker can never be seen idling in a manner similar to other idle special zombies.


  • The Lurker wears brand name clothing and apparel as both his fitness armband and sneakers are made by a company called "Bridge." His track pants and boxers are also from a brand name called "Saber Interactive," though only the company logo is visible on the boxer's waistband. In the case of the pants and undergarments worn by the Lurker, the brand displayed on those articles of clothing is a company self-insert of the developers behind the World War Z game.
  • The Lurker appears as part of Hiroji's character select and menu animation, making him the only special zombie to make an appearance outside of regular gameplay.
    • Oddly, the Lurker is slowly walking towards Hiroji with one arm outstretched during the animation. This is highly contrasting compared to how he is shown to behave in-game.


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