Bloaters are one of the most dangerous enemies you can face in The Last of Us Part 1. They are incredibly strong with thick scale-like armored skin that can absorb multiple hits from any weapon.
Getting caught by a Bloater is always going to result in instant death. Thankfully, they are a bit uncommon to encounter in the game. When you do come across one though, you will need to be extra cautious because killing these stage-four infected enemies is not easy.
You require some special weapons and items to go past their armored skin. You also need to understand how Bloaters behave and react in the environment.
The following guide will relay all there is to know about how to either avoid or kill a Bloater in The Last of Us Part 1.
How to kill Bloaters
Use fire to weaken their armor
Bloaters are incredibly vulnerable to fire. Setting them on fire is how you weaken their armor. Being immolated also stuns them for a brief period as they thrash around trying to put their flames out.
Hence, the most effective way to kill a Bloater is to use a Molotov Cocktail or a Flamethrower to set them on fire. Make sure to keep your distance because a burning Bloater can still kill you with a single grab.
Once the fire has done its job to weaken their armor, pick a good weapon to finish them off. Hunting Rifle and Hunting Pistol are good options in TLoU Part 1. A fully upgraded El Diablo is probably the best weapon you can have against Bloaters as you only require two shots to kill a Bloater in its vulnerable state.
Make sure to use armor-piercing ammo for maximum damage per shot.
Another way to kill Bloaters in the Last of Us Part 1 is by throwing a Molotov Cocktail and then using a Nail Bomb while they are on fire. This is an effective killing method but obviously requires you to have a Nail Bomb in your inventory.
Target their weak points
Every Bloater has three deformed patches on its body. There is one on its back, one on its chest, and one on its abdomen.
You can destroy these deformed patches with your weapons to reduce the damage required to kill a Bloater. Destroying all three weak points also disables a Bloater to perform any ranged attacks.
If you are using a low-level weapon without access to any way to set them on fire, you need to target the three deformed growths to make a Bloater melee-only. This will allow you to kite the Bloater all over the terrain without having to worry about any grabs.
How to avoid Bloaters
Bloaters are not a mandatory enemy to kill in The Last of Us Part 1. Since they can instantly kill you once they come in melee range, it is better to simply avoid them to save your skin and ammo.
Like the Clickers, Bloaters are also blind and use echolocation to locate your position. They are, however, slower in comparison which you can take advantage of.
Whenever you arrive at a new area, use the Listen Mode ability to check which enemies are in the surrounding area. If you spot a Bloater, make sure to be as stealthy as possible to not gain their attention.
If the Bloaters are standing in the path of your progress, you can use items such as bottles and bricks to lure them away.
In addition, make sure to use your surroundings as much as possible because Bloaters’ echolocation abilities are less refined than Clickers in TLoU Part 1. You can easily lose Bloaters in the environment if you play it safe.