Hunters, also known as Predators, their inspiration and old name, are alien warriors in the pursuit of honor. They were originally introduced as a launch feature for the then-new mixed game mode back when Mushroom Station was the sole map in rotation, and have since been demoted to gimmick status.
Hunters do not have their own game mode and are not part of any possible latejoin antag rotation. They appear exclusively from the Intruder Alert random event, as one of many possible antag spawns. Because of this, they are quite rare, though the chances of them appearing have increased in recent years, and people are often surprised to see them.
In addition to the unique gear described below, you also get an emergency oxygen tank (AKA a mini tank), in case your hunting ground lacks a breathable atmosphere. To ensure that you won't have to endure the dishonour of being captured alive by mere prey, you are also implanted with a microbomb implant, which will cause a small explosion upon death. It still works if you use *succumb.
If you didn't spawn with any of these, use the Order hunting gear ability to retrieve your items.
|Space Cowboy Boots||Fashionable. But also useful: they work like galoshes in that they prevent you from slipping on blood, gibs, and other wet surfaces. Ice, space lube, and organic super lubricant can still get you though. Cannot be melted by acid.|
|Trophy Belt||Stores the skulls (and other souvenirs) of your victims. The trophy belt works like any other belt and so can hold tiny and small items, not just skulls. Unlike other belts, however, this includes normal-sized items (e.g. guns) as well!|
|Hunter's Plasma Rifle||Similar to the plasma rifle in surplus crates and the like, except it also destroys itself if you die. The Hunter's plasma rifle does 35 BURN, before any damage reduction, and it recharges automatically, so you aren't dependent on rechargers.|
|Hunter Mask||While you can breathe the station/ship air just fine without a mask, this item still has a host of other benefits. It lets you spot people behind walls and expands your vision in the dark, and functions as a voice changer, though since you "snarl" every sentence, disguise capability is limited. It also counts for internals, so you can breathe using air tanks without sacrificing your mask's benefits. If you die, the mask (harmlessly) self-destructs. Finally, acids such as fluorosulfuric acid and sulfuric acid cannot melt this.|
|Hunter Suit||Just like in the 1989 Predator film. The plating and bandoleers are just aesthetic, but it is worth nothing that fluorosulfuric acid and sulfuric acid cannot melt this. That doesn't mean it'll protect you from those acids, just that they won't be destroyed by them. If you see a human wearing this, they probably picked it up from a Novelty Clothing Crate.|
|Hunting Spear||Potent melee weapon, good for throwing. Attacking with it in melee causes up to 28 BRUTE and some bleeding, but it's more impressive when thrown, where it does up to 35 BRUTE and weakens them for 6 seconds, on top of the same amount of bleeding. If you die, it destroys itself, preventing your prey from taking it as a trophy.|
|Hunter Cloaking Device||Similar to the cloaking device used by Traitors and their ilk, with the added function of self-destructing upon your death. Keep the restrictions of the cloaking device in mind. Interactions with adjacent tiles, e.g. firing your gun, trying to pry open a door, picking up stuff and throwing stuff (e.g. the spear) etc. all discrupt the cloak. Pulling people around doesn't. If you are on the same tile, you can attack somebody without decloaking. Be careful not to hit yourself!|
In addition to your gear, you also have some innate attributes that come with being a Hunter. It's worth noting that the ability to pry doors and boost to punching are tied specifically to your arms (but not the ability to rip apart cuffs), so if someone took one of them from you and replaced their own arm with it, they would also gain those attributes.
- Above-average stamina. Without any other stamina buffs or penalties, you have 250 Max Stamina and 20 Stamina Regeneration. For reference, a plain human has only 200 Max Stamina and 10 Stamina Regeneration. With all this extra stamina you can sprint longer, swing weapons more often, withstand stamina-draining weapons like tasers a little better, and generally be a more efficient fighter than regular people.
- More powerful punches than an ordinary crew member. They get +5 bonus damage, meaning punches do 7-14 BRUTE. For comparison, normal humans only do 2-9 BRUTE. Combined with your Stamina boosts, you can be pretty decent hand-to-hand.
- Handcuffs and shackles are not a problem, since if you are cuffed, you can rip them apart instantly. To do so, click the Resist button on your HUD or press either Z if you're using Goon WASD or C for /tg/-style WASD. This doesn't work with straight-jackets though.
- Almost every door can be pried open, with a delay, breaking it permanently as if emagged. To pry a door open, just click on it with an empty hand and hold still for a few seconds. You can do this even if one of your hands is full--you're just that strong!
- You can also use the same technique to pry open firelocks and sliding window-doors, and they'll be permanently opened too.
- It doesn't work on blast doors/shutters like the ones used in Pod Bays and Security though. You can still click on them to try to pry them open, but it won't succeed, and the game will tell you the door is too strong, essentially wasting your time.
- Wearing an ID card overrides this ability if you could open the door in question normally.
- Has a cool and unique skull , because it'd be kind of pathetic if an alien that collected skulls themselves had a pretty lame-looking one. When made into a skullbot, it shimmies side to side rather than bobbing up and down.
- Unlike in the Predator films, you can understand and speak English perfectly fine. You don't, say, extend m's or whatever like cows. You can understand the human and cyborg prey, and they can understand you.
- Also unlike the Predator films (or at least, the first two), you don't need a mask or special apparatus to be able to breathe the station's/ship's atmosphere. In fact, your respiration system works exactly like a human's, down to needing oxygen and all that. Of course, that also means hull breaches and harmful gases such as plasma can still hurt you, among other disadvantages. Speaking of...
- You don't have any special melee attacks (aside from the bonus damage) or stun resistance, and you're just as vulnerable to injuries, toxins and diseases as everybody else.
- Combined with the lack of health regeneration, you will probably want to avoid close combat unless you have the upper hand.
- Since you aren't immune to suffocation, don't forget to hook up internals to your mask when necessary.
- By default, Hunters count as non-human for the AI.
- You immediately set off security scanners just by being a Hunter (to say nothing of all the illegal gear you're hunting with), and GuardBuddies will try to arrest/attack you on sight for similar reasons. Securitrons won't do that, but they still consider you suspicious, so if you also whip a gun or some other contraband in their sights, they'll likely go after you. All these can inherently detect that you're a Hunter, so you can't just wear huge clothing or steal an ID to disguise yourself.
- When you speak, instead of "says" or variations of that, the chat messages have "snarls", even when you're imitating someone's voice through the hunter mask. This can make masquerading yourself as a crew member more difficult.
Finally, you have a handful of abilities. None of them have any cooldown, though since none of these are really combat-related, that's not exactly too useful. Handcuffs are not an issue since you instantly break out of them (click the Resist button on your HUD, Z for Goon WASD, C for /tg/-style WASD).
|Take trophy||0 seconds||No||Use it on a corpse or severed head adjacent to you (i.e. not in your inventory) to gib it and drop their skull, along all of their items and internal organs (if applicable), on the ground. Make sure you pick up the skull since this ability doesn't automatically put it in your hand. |
You can do this with both hands occupied, and while the ability itself has no cooldown, the process of mutilating their body to obtain the skull takes about six seconds, interrupting if you move or perform any action. Doesn't work on Cyborgs, AI cores, NPC Monkeys, meatcubes or creatures that are still alive. Successful use results in a message noting the trophy value of the skull taken; if your quarry had multiple skulls on them (e.g. in their pockets), it mentions that too.
|Check trophy value||0||Yes||Shows you the combined total trophy value of all the skulls across your entire inventory, not just your trophy belt. Primarily useful for keeping track of your progress towards the optional trophy-related objective. Obviously not so useful if you're not interested in pursuing it.|
|Order hunting gear||0 seconds||Yes||This ability appears if you are made a Hunter but spawn as a regular pathetic human (e.g. an Admin makes you a Hunter). Once successfully used, it goes away. As it says on the tin, it gives you all the gear listed above and automatically equips it onto you. If you had something in the relevant slots beforehand, it drops it on the ground. It also sets your "mutantrace" to Hunter so you can have the traits listed above.|
There is no cooldown, but it does take about five seconds to complete, and it interrupts if you move or interact with something. This clears away stuns, uncuffs and unbuckles you, removes any implants (including shrapnel), but it does not heal you.
|Recover gear||40 seconds||No||Teleports your plasma rifle, spear, and cloaking device to you. It'll try to put your gear in your hand if possible for convenience, but if it can't, it'll place on the floor below you. Process takes around 5 seconds, and you need to stand still during that time.|
The Most Dangerous Game: Playing Hunter
Hunter is a pretty straight-forward antagonist. There are no loadouts, no unlocks, no resources to manage, just good gear and a decent set of traits that boost your combat ability. It's a lot like playing Nuclear Operative with the Scout loadout or doing a murder rampage with a cloaking device as a Traitor.
Hunters excel in hit-and-run attacks. Hide in maintenance tunnels and other dark areas, with cloaking device active. When the time is right, throw your spear at them to down them, retrieve it, and follow up with some spear stabs or blasts from your plasma rifle. Pick off the crew one by one, and don't be afraid to retreat when the situation calls for it, for it is better to face the enemy later under favorable circumstances than to immediately lose your spear to an assistant and then die horribly to the first passing crew member with thermals. Pry open doors to various areas to gain access and prevent the AI from bolting you in. The mask improves your vision in the dark and lets you see people behind walls; use this to your advantage to spot new prey or evade pursuers.
If you're confident in your fighting abilities, a less stealthy approach may also do the trick for you. There is some room for gimmicks and the like. For example, try using only fisticuffs, or challenge people to segway jousting matches. And why restrict your trophies to just skulls? Why not butts or hearts?
The AI, Cyborg(s), and anybody with thermals are going to be your worst enemies. They can see through your invisibility cloak, so you need to rely on other means (e.g. darkness, lockers) to hide and ambush them.
- Disguises are worthwhile, but not exactly very honourable.
- Consider obtaining some combat drugs to enhance your ability in battle and counter stuns.
- It's a good idea to find some medical supplies to cover your lack of healing abilities.
- You can order your hunting gear when stunned and handcuffed, destroying the cuffs and cancelling out all stun effects to boot. Very situational, but it can be a nasty surprise for security if you haven't revealed your true nature yet.
Headhunting, Literally: Objectives
As a Hunter, you get an objective to collect trophies, described below. Only Hunters can get it, similar to how only a Vampire can get the "Accumulate at least X units of blood..." objective. As usual, you're free to ignore the objective if you don't think you can fulfill it or otherwise find it more fun/entertaining to do something else.
- Take at least [number] trophies. The skulls of worthy opponents are more valuable with regard to this objective.
You need to amass a collection of skulls of a certain total "trophy value", which is the number in the objective. That number scales to server population, but the minimum is 10. As hinted in the objective, some skulls are worth more than others. If it asks for 12 trophies for example, 12 skulls from Staff Assistants would count, but so would 6 skulls from Security Officers. See this section for the precise numbers. This objective counts skulls across your entire inventory, not just your trophy belt, so if you put your skulls in a bag or box, it'll still count for this objective.
Skulls from gibs and skulls removed via surgery count, but you might not need to bother with it, since you have a Take trophy ability that gibs someone (or their severed head) and extracts the skull for you. Make sure you pick up the skull, because the ability does not do it for you. You can Examine skulls to see their exact value, and there's also the Check trophy value ability that shows you the combined value of all skulls in your possession.
Completing this objective for the first time gives you the Dangerous Game medal. It doesn't unlock any unique skins or anything, but hey, bragging rights.
Some kills are more honorable than others, i.e. count more towards the objective, which means it can be rewarding to single out worthy opponents:
|Head of Personnel||2|
|Head of Security||3|
|Jobs on Space Station 13|
|Captain · Head of Security · Head of Personnel · Chief Engineer · Research Director · Medical Director · Security Officer · Detective · Security Assistant · Nanotrasen Security Operative|
|Geneticist · Roboticist · Scientist · Medical Doctor|
|Engineering||Quartermaster · Miner · Mechanic · Engineer|
|Civilian||Chef · Bartender · Botanist · Rancher · Janitor · Chaplain · Staff Assistant · Radio Host · Clown · Gimmick jobs|
|Jobs of the Day||Mime · Barber · Mailman · Lawyer · Tourist · Musician · Boxer|
|Antagonist Roles||With own mode||Arcfiend · Blob · Changeling · Conspirator · Gang Member · Flockmind · Nuclear Operative · Spy Thief · Traitor · Revolutionary · Vampire · Wizard|
|Others||Grinch · Hunter · Krampus · Werewolf · Wraith · Wrestler · Zombie · Gimmick antagonist roles|
|Special Roles||Artificial Intelligence · Battler · Cluwne · Critter · Cyborg · Ghost · Ghostdrone · Monkey · Santa Claus|