The Forest Wiki

Cannibals, also called Mutants, are the main type of enemy in The Forest.

For more information on Cannibal types, see the following pages:


Types of cannibals refers to their behavior, movement, and abilities. They can be found across most tribes:

Type Tribes Weapons Description
Skinny Cannibals



Crafted Axe

Skinnies are the weakest and earliest encountered cannibal type in the game. They can sometimes be seen attacking others and occasionally consuming their fallen allies even in the midst of battle, causing themselves to become vulnerable to player attacks. They are the fastest tribe in all movements and thus are best faced with weapons that can match their quick speed.

Skinny cannibals cannot build cannibal effigies.

Note: Skinny cannibals include both female and male variants, but don't share the same behaviors as the Regular tribes of either gender.

Female Cannibals
None Female cannibals are faster and more aggressive than their male counterparts, usually engaging with the player before male cannibals do. They can attack without any weapons and instead use their long, claw-like nails.

If they witness or discover the death of another cannibal, they may halt in the midst of battle to weep over their fallen comrade.

Female cannibals can build cannibal effigies.

Note: Be warned: If a player kills a female cannibal in front of males, it will increase their aggression.

Male Cannibals



Crafted Axe

Crafted Club


Tennis Racket

Despite the significantly different appearances between tribes, male cannibals have behaviors that are almost indistinguishable, even down to a similar style of movement when fighting. They are slightly slower and less limber than skinny types, but make up for it in spades with increased hardiness and strength. If females are killed in front of these cannibals, they will become markedly more aggressive towards the player.

Regular and Painted tribes carry various weapons, while the Masked and Pales prefer to battle bare-handed.

Heavier, hard-hitting weapons are recommended to defeat these cannibals as opposed to weaker weapons (such as the Katana) which have the player running out of stamina mid-fight.

Male cannibals can build cannibal effigies.

Leader Cannibals
Crafted Axe

Crafted Club

Tennis Racket

Leader type cannibals are commonly found within groups of Regular and Painted tribes. They can be identified by having skull lamps above their heads, and occasionally a fan of severed limbs fastened to their backs.

Leaders are more likely to oversee fighting and sneak away to dismantle player structures rather than participate, but will engage in combat and howl for backup when needed.

If a Leader is killed among their group, the other cannibals may flee for a short while, but eventually return to avenge the death of their chief.

Leader cannibals can build cannibal effigies.

Fire Thrower Cannibals
Fire Stick

Molotov Tennis Balls

Fire Throwers are the only ranged cannibals in the game. Travelling along with Painted tribes, they will stand back and hurl flaming tennis balls at the player, setting all creatures on fire who are in its area of effect. It is common for them to accidentally set other cannibals on fire, which can be used to the player's advantage.

These cannibals aren't as tough as others, but even their melee attacks have the potential to burn the player to death, especially on Hard Survival.

Fire Thrower cannibals cannot build cannibal effigies.


Tribes refers to their appearance as well as their difficulty, listed from easiest to hardest:

Tribe Types Weapons Group Size Description
Starving Mutants
Skinny Stick

Crafted Axe

2 to 3 per group The weakest and earliest encountered tribe in the game. They are often seen attacking other tribes and have an emaciated, filthy, and almost necrotic appearance. They can also be found to occasionally eat other fallen mutants even in the middle of battle, causing them to become vulnerable to player attacks. They are the fastest tribe and can be seen running, laughing madly on all fours. They do not stay in the game for long, as they begin to be replaced after day 5 by pale mutants.
Regular Mutants

Fire Throwers

Crafted Axe

Crafted Club


Tennis Racket

3 to 4 per group The earliest form of mutants the player will find, aside from the Starving mutants. This is the most common tribe in the beginning and has the biggest type variation between genders. Males are often intricately decorated with bone jewelry, warpaint, and belts consisting of found materials, while females are left undecorated with a possible simple loincloth. Males can occasionally be seen carrying weapons, but female mutants cannot. After painted mutants start spawning, regular mutants become less common.
Pale Mutants
Crafted Axe


2 to 5 per group These pale, bluish mutants can be found most commonly in caves, but will spawn above the surface after a few days of mutant contact. These mutants are stronger than Regular mutants and they have no Female, Leader, or Fire Thrower counterparts among their ranks. Above ground, they are mostly replaced by masked mutants after day 22, though the skinny variants can still occasionally appear.
Painted Mutants
Fire Throwers
Crafted Axe

Crafted Club


Tennis Racket

2 to 5 These mutants can be identified by the dozens of crosses on their bodies usually accompanied by white paint. The crosses are easily seen on Males, though more difficult to see on Females and Leaders. They are stronger than both Regular and Pale mutants, and are usually seen mid to late game.
Masked Mutants
Crafted Axe


2 to 5 Masked mutants are the strongest and most aggressive tier of mutants, having more health and giving more damage than other mutant types. They are a pale gray and wear the faces of the dead as masks. Though they rarely spawn before day 20, they are more commonly found late game.


Mutants are the primary enemies of The Forest. A scattering of primitive humans living in the Forest, mutants will seek out and attempt to kill any outsider that they can find on the Peninsula. They are not necessarily immediately hostile, as some may only spy on the player and will wait for the player to strike first like the Regular Mutants, while others will attack on sight due to sheer hunger such as Starving Mutants. Both sets of mutants will actively patrol the island both day and night and, after several days, can be joined by the monstrous creepy mutants. Once aware of the player's presence, patrols will get stronger and become more frequent. It is recommended that the player build defenses as larger groups of enemies can be difficult to defeat. As the game progresses, the stronger types of mutants will spawn. Listed from weakest to strongest are Skinny Mutants, Regular Mutants, Pale Mutants, Painted Mutants and Masked Mutants. Fire Mutants will often accompany a patrol after 5-7 days in a game.

First Contact[]

After the plane crash, the mutants will not immediately look for the player and the mutants may be unaware of the player's presence on the peninsula. It is possible, though difficult, to remain unnoticed by the mutants for an extended period of time, but it is essential that mutants are faced eventually in order to complete the story. Mutants will regularly patrol the land and, during this time, it is possible to kill a lone mutant and remain undiscovered. However, if the player is seen and a mutant has successfully run away, it is possible that aggression will increase. For the first few days, simple fortifications, walls, and traps will keep the mutants from attacking the player. However, the mutants will eventually send creepy mutants to the players camp, which are much more difficult to defeat than mutants.


Note that mutant behavior is heavily affected by the difficulty level. On hard mode and hard survival, all enemies are much more powerful and aggressive.

Initial Neutrality[]

Mutants (except Starving mutants) will be neutral to the player upon first interaction. If a player kills a lone Mutant, the rest of the tribe can remain unaware and therefore their stance remains unchanged.

Neutral behaviors include:

  • Watching the player from a safe distance.
  • Growling at the player.
  • False charging, where the mutant will rush into the player's face, but not swing.
  • Attempting to surround the player.
  • Backing away from an advancing player, but staying within sight.
  • Fleeing upon a charge from the player.


Red paint, burning Effigies and Fires, hand-thrown Flares and fighting back against cannibals during an attack can force neutrality and passive behavior between the player and mutants of every kind, except Creepy Mutants.

Passive/fearful behaviors include:

  • Backing away from an advancing player, but staying within sight
  • Kneeling before the player and bowing their head, briefly (2-4 seconds)
  • Kneeling before the player and starting a hum or chant (10-20 seconds, or until interrupted)
  • Note that a method of pacifying the Regular Mutants exists, but is tedious and requires a neutral stance (no tribe member can be aware of any mutant killing besides the Creepy Mutants). This can be found on the Regular Mutant page.
  • Running away entirely when enough cannibals are killed during an attack.


Little is known about Mutant hostility and may be based on each encounter. It has been speculated by the community that the following actions will increase hostilities:

  • Attacking mutants
  • Killing mutants, especially females in front of males
  • Walking too close to the mutants
  • Visiting specific parts of the map
  • Cutting down trees
  • Building large bases
  • Building fires, especially bonfires
  • Building Defensive Walls or Traps, especially on mutant patrol paths or bases
  • Destroying effigies

To decrease hostilities, it is perhaps best if players reduce the mentioned methods (e.g. killing female mutants last if they are still attacking, and letting them run away once they are scared by the player killing enough of them). However, the developers have stated they have purposely put some "fuzziness" into the AI to prevent players from fully understanding and predicting mutant behavior.

Religion and Beliefs[]

In areas where there are non-player traps and totems, mutants can be seen in the early hours of day praying to or worshiping the sun or one of their effigies along the beach. These locations are close to large villages, and appear to mark the outer limit of their camps. Mutants encountered whilst in the process of worship are non-hostile, however striking any of them will cause the one attacked to become hostile.

When multiple mutants approach a red-painted player, one may kneel while others attack or run. If the attacking mutants are defeated, the kneeling one will remain no matter what the player does. The kneeling mutant is possibly acting as a sacrifice, or simply wishes to surrender.

When not in combat, mutants may be seen burying their fallen soldiers. Currently, if the player kills a mutant and leaves the area, abandoning the corpse with other Regular mutants nearby to access it, the body will be gone if the player goes back to retrieve it, leading to the assumption that the mutants are removing the bodies. However, Skinny mutants will start to eat the body in front of the player.


Cannibals are known to occasionally steal players' food from a Drying Rack. Both animal meat and limbs may be stolen.

Difficulty Differences[]

There is a large difference in difficulty settings as to how mutants behave and attack:

Mechanic Normal Hard Hard
Mutant Structure Damage Ratio 1 2 2 Mutants building damage amount
AI Attack Chance Ratio 1 2.5 2.5 Chances of being attacked by enemies
AI Follow Up After Attack Ratio 1 2.5 2.5 Chances of being attacked again by enemies during a fight
Player Search Radius Ratio 1 1 1 Rate that mutants will search out for the player
Fire Damage Mutant Ratio 1 0.5 0.5 Fire damage amount mutants receive
Heavy Attack Knock Down Chance 1 0.25 0.25 Chance of knocking down an mutant with a heavy attack



Patrol Map Done by Farket, current as of v0.71 - Does not include ALL routes, only confirmed ones

Patrols will form most of the encounters the player has with mutants and creepy mutants. The following videos are research that has been done on mutant patrol routes and their behavior. It is recommended to not build on patrol routes if one wishes to avoid conflict:

Patrol Route Video 1
Patrol Route Video 2

Patrols, part of the general mutant presence on the peninsula, are groups of mutants and/or creepy mutants that roam mostly pre-set paths throughout the forest. They have set spawn locations, and they will watch over these areas day and night. Patrols can be found almost everywhere, with the exception of the barrier islands that surround the peninsula. The most dangerous places to build are where mutant routes cross over.

  • Mutants respawn at various spawn points and objects, thus there is no finite amount of mutants and it is impossible to wipe out all mutants on the peninsula.
  • The size of the patrol may vary. There are scouts that travel alone, pairs of mutants that travel together, and tribes that travel in groups of 3-7 mutants.
  • The behavior of the patrol may vary. Some are aggressive, others may be curious, and some may ignore players completely, but one should expect a fight if spotted.
  • Some mutants will climb trees and use them as observation platforms while traveling through the forest. Cutting down trees and underbrush around one's camp will make mutants more visible, at the cost of making players more visible as well.
  • Un-engaged patrol members will often step in to save incapacitated or knocked down allies.
  • There is no difference at day or night when it comes to patrols. It is speculated that mutants may be more hostile towards the player at night time.

Patrol types[]

  1. Mutant Patrols - Consists of mutants only, they are fast moving and can often be seen running. They walk more often than they run. Will often stop to pray, sleep, build mutant effigies or investigate sounds, player buildings etc.
  2. Creepy Mutant Patrols - Consists of 2-3 armsies, Virginias and cowmen, (mutant babies too if a Virginia is present). They have more sight and detection of the player. Without the help from mutants scouting, they can be more easily avoided. Though if they spot the player, they will often attack.
  3. Mutant and Creepy Mutant Patrols - Possibly the most dangerous patrol to come across. Consists of 2-3 armsies, Virginias and cowmen, (mutant babies too if a Virginia is present), as well as 2-3 mutants, often pale skinny types. These patrols are slow moving, and the mutants will walk at the same speed as the slower moving mutants. The mutants act as scouts, as soon as a mutant sees the player, the mutants will almost always start charging at the player. The pale Skinnies will also attack. Due to variety in this patrol, it is often the most difficult patrol type to deal with.

Patrols vs Attacks[]

  • Patrols search for possible threats and they're identified if they run past the player, even with a base present.
  • Attacks are designated groups of mutants and/or creepy mutants that head directly to the player's base when discovered, and chances of this occurring increase if the base gets larger.


Other than the cave system, mutants are also seen around the peninsula in camps of various size and location. The player may notice small scouting parties leaving them and single mutants wandering through them. Other than finding mutants in such camps, there are also chances of finding loot such as baggage and other brought in objects. Bodies can also be found quite frequently.

There is one large, central camp with the most huts, in the southern portion of the map. This camp has the most mutant activity out of any camp, and it contains one cave entrance on the North side (Formerly inside a hut.). This cave is where the player will awaken if caught by the mutants for the first time. Despite mutant's notorious fear of fire, especially the player's campfires, some camps appear to have one large campfire, which also appears to be recently used, too.


Enemies might attack when alone or in groups, and if the player is not careful they might ambush from behind. The mutants can be knocked down though it is much more difficult in harder modes. Sometimes the enemies will take evasive action if they see the player as a threat; they might even fall back or run away completely if the player kills enough mutants and will come back later with more.

In addition to attacking the player, mutants have also been seen "intimidating" the player. It is possible that they are testing the player to see what actions they will take next. To intimidate the player mutants will hiss and lunge at the player while another will circle the player and attempt to make eye contact. After a short amount of time the mutants will either attack or retreat further into the forest. It is currently unknown at the time if this is a glitch or if this was added to the game on purpose.

During the start of an attack, solo mutants may howl and scream for backup. Leader cannibals also do this mid fight if the fight is against them.

If the player proves too much for the mutants, they might run away into the forest and not return for a period of time. During or after combat mutants can also be seen climbing trees, and jumping from one tree to another or at the player.

Incapacitated mutants will sometimes be dragged to safety by other mutants.

Attacking a mutant will arrest any attack they may be performing. If they are to lunge at the player, and the player swings their weapon, the attack will stop causing the mutant to stumble backwards. Therefore, rapidly slashing can be a good multipurpose tactic when engaging a mutant. It offers offensive and defensive benefits, though the drain on stamina should be considered as well as flanking enemies.

Occasionally after killing a large band of mutants or while moving through territory with a mutant settlement nearby, a mutant may be seen sitting on the ground crying either in pain or mourning the death of others.


The death of a mutant, mutant, or animal in close proximity to the player may result in becoming splashed with blood and acquiring the "bloodied" status. Theoretically, being "bloodied" for too long is stated to result in acquiring the "infected" status by the suggestion to "avoid infection by washing" when covered in blood. Being infected leads to negative effects on "athleticism" and can be seen in the "health tab" of the survival book. To cure an infection eat raw Aloe Vera.

Optional Forms of Encounters[]

  • If the player wishes to gather building materials, explore, or just play in peace, they can type veganmode for zero mutants except creepy mutants in caves for story progression. Typing vegetarianmode will set the game to have mutants only come out at night. To reset these, and return the game to its default state the player can type meatmode.
  • Building and lighting the bonfire at night will cause a large amount of mutants and sometimes creepy mutants to be drawn to the player's location, which will be immediately hostile.


Mutants: Regular MutantsSkinny MutantsPale MutantsPale Skinny MutantsMasked MutantsMasked Skinny MutantsPainted MutantsFire MutantsDynamite Mutants
Creepy Mutants: ArmsyVirginiaCowmanMutant BabyBlue ArmsyBlue VirginiaWormGirlEnd Boss