Dead Space: Complete Guide To Necromorphs

Isaac Clarke, the hero-mechanic of Dead Space new and old, has his work cut out for him aboard the USG Ishimura. Not only is it infested with Necromorphs, but – in true video game fashion – there are multiple sorts of monsters to contend with, each with their own distinct strengths and weaknesses.

Dead Space gives gamers every tool they'll need in order to overcome these abominations, but there's a difference between wielding a weapon and knowing how best to utilize it. The game will give you the weaponry; our guide, if it does its job, will be your how-to guide to victory.


Slashers are the first foes Isaac will face in Dead Space, but that hardly consigns them to the early stages. Rather, you will be battling Slashers from the beginning of the game on toward the end. Their frequency diminishes somewhat as a steady array of more powerful enemies are introduced, but Slashers' tendency to travel in concealed groups together means you'll still be seeing more than a few even in the final chapters.

If you see a Slasher, know that you're likely in a room with at least one more. Recognize that another may leap out at you from any potential infiltration spot, including barely-visible ceilings and seemingly busted doors. As their name implies, Slashers will generally slash at you with their serrated claws; they'll also attempt to gnash and grapple Isaac. Defeat Slashers with relative ease by blowing off their limbs before aiming for their heads.


It's easy – at first – to confuse Spitters with their Slasher brethren. Structurally speaking, they're largely the same, and Spitters are capable of much of the same combat that Slashers. The big difference is that Spitters have green sacs over their abdomen marking them as monsters more capable of long-range strikes.

Spitters 'spit' poisonous acidic compounds that can damage Isaac over time for several seconds. That can feel like an eternity in Dead Space. Do the same thing we recommend with Slashers, going for the limbs first and all, but do so from a safer distance and preferably from behind cover.


Lurkers can be a bit trickier than Slashers and Spitters. If you keep your distance, which you should, they'll attack you with long-range fare of their own – predominantly in the form of miniature missile-like projectiles. If you get closer, they'll stop doing that, but instead they'll leap on Isaac dealing surprisingly decent damage before you'll shake them off the poor guy.

The good news is that Lurkers not only telegraph their long-range attacks spectacularly – a couple of seconds' worth of holding their tentacles out in the air before shooting their strange ammo from their tips – but the tentacles are the weak spots you want to eliminate before going in for the kill.


Whereas Lurkers can do pretty OK damage if they leap on Isaac, Leapers – as their name implies – will cause serious hurting if they successfully hop. The damage will continue over time until you've gotten them off, and in later stages of the game, when there are several Lurkers coming at you at a time, the combined force can easily overwhelm.

Slow Leapers down with Stasis. This is the first of multiple times we'll be mentioning this tactic, and for good reason. Note that they are unable to leap more than a short distance if their tails are taken out.


Spitters are the first alternate Slasher form. Pregnants are the second. But they are, far and away, more dangerous than either of their peers. Never, ever shoot the massive sac over their torsos that marks them as Pregnants. Doing so will cause it to erupt – you're, uh, birthing a ton of Swarmers from them if you do so. It's gross, but more to the point, it's a recipe for disaster.

Instead, shoot the Pregnants pretty much anyplace else. When they die, their sacs will remain blissfully unopened. And that is a sentence we never thought this job would make us type.


Swarmers are not only the creepy crawlies that emerge from sac-blown Pregnants; you'll encounter them on their own at multiple points with or without your own aid in their arrival. The Swarmers themselves won't cause a ton of damage to Isaac, even if they work together and he has several on him. The real danger Swarmers present is that they'll cause him to be unable to fight back against anything else out there until they're off of him, meaning they're perfect 'companion pieces' to the more powerful Necromorph varieties.

We love to toast the Swarmers nice and crisp with the flamethrower. It not only destroys them rapidly in a wide arc (there's always more than one to handle at a time), but it sends a message.


Exploders look somewhat akin to the Slashers, Spitters, and Pregnants you'll get to know and hate, but their grotesquely split-open, oddly-vertical jaws set them apart well enough. They're also rather slow, and – oh yeah – they're carrying a big, yellow sac attached to one arm that explodes on impact.

Unlike with Pregnants, where the goal is to do anything but shoot the sac, Exploders are best dealt with by going right for the sac, albeit from a safe distance. An Exploder's end goal, you see, is to get as close to Isaac as possible before detonating their payload. At one point, you'll even need to prevent one from reaching a live nuke.


Don't be fooled by the fact that Guardians are immobile. Yes, they exist essentially as roadblocks to be bypassed – puzzles, more or less. But they're also quite powerful in their own right. Guardians will straight up one-shot Isaac if the player brings him way too close. The appropriate method for the disposal of a Guardian Necromorph is to target the colored portions of their tentacles. Whether that's reddish or orangeish to you may depend more on the lighting in a given area of a ship.

Guardians fire off single-tentacle protrusions called Pods. So long as there are only a handful on the field at a time, you can easily move past them with a few shots from a gun or a quick slice of the Plasma Cutter.


Brutes are massive Necromorphs, physically perilous with robust health pools. They'll swing their arms in tandem to bludgeon Isaac hard, or else kick him with equal pressure. Stasis is your best friend here. Without slowing one down, a Brute can and will overwhelm you before you can put it down. They simply have too much armor to take down in a single clip.

Oftentimes, Dead Space pits Isaac against a Brute in a room with multiple twisting paths. Take advantage of your surroundings to ditch the Brute whenever possible and sneak up behind it as possible.

Enhanceds And Phantoms

This last category of Necromorph is less a matter of additional species and more about upgraded versions of preexisting species. That is to say, Enhanced Necromorphs will appear toward the end of the game; Phantom Necromorphs appear throughout the full campaign, but only during New Game Plus.

Due to these conditions, you would be correct in presuming they are tougher than their regular counterparts. Enhanced Necromorphs' eyes glow. Phantom Necromorphs are never an issue on new files, because they're so challenging that you're not expected to survive them at all except with the perks of New Game Plus. Their eyes will also glow, but their skin will be a hideous shade of purple. Trust us, you'll quickly note the differences.

Defeating these beefed-up bad guys menas doing more of what we've mentioned above, and doing so that much more skillfully. The basic strategies remain identical, but your room for error is reduced substantially.

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