Screamers are infected children whose screams disorient the player's vision and renders them unable to fight, as well as drawing in numerous other infected. The player will also continuously take low but progressive amounts of damage if within its screaming range. Presumably, Screamers will not wander out of the houses they're discovered in to join the general populace of infected.
They remain inside their former houses in one spot crying in a nearly identical fashion to that of an actual child. Speculation leads many to assume that their crying may be a technique used to lure Runners or Survivors into a trap.
A screamer can be found on the quest Health Potion, inside Alay's parent's House in the play area, among other locations. In the sewers leading to the Old Town building that is set to be detonated, a screamer can be found in a side cavern, lounging near the corpses of two dead children. Another screamer can be found in Rais's skyscraper in the slums, in one of the dark tunnels filled with bloody corpses and dozens of Volatiles.
It is recommended to quickly run up to it and push the action key to silence the Screamer. If possible, using camouflage before doing so will stop the screamer from screaming. One may also choose to grapple the screamer to stun it, although this will not kill the Screamer.
If the Screamer begins to screech, double back until the player regains control of Crane, then use throwing items or firearms to eliminate the Screamer. If none are in hand, one could possibly craft some via Blueprints. This is an extremely effective technique as Screamers tend to remain stationary and will not move under most circumstances.
Another method is only available if you have the camouflage ability. If you see a screamer dispatch it with a weapon and use it to camouflage yourself so biters or virals attracted will not attack you.
- The Screamer's actions and name are very similar to Dead Island's screamer. With Dead Island's screamer, it is rather a woman with an attached test subject head-brace instead of a young child, however both do function similar to the player.
- The Screamer is also a possible reference to Left 4 Dead's screamer, a type of Infected that was scrapped from the game for being too difficult for players to find.
- The Screamer's cry tends to be a classic zombie-horror trope.
- In The Following, in the mission 'We don't Go There Anymore' in a house near the post office, there is a Screamer that can be found laughing as it is watching cartoons, while another biter is in the room with it. This might indicate that screamers retain some humanity similar to the Virals. The fact that there was a biter there also indicates that the child was stuck in the room with his dad presumably, as he transformed into a Biter.
- you cannot search or use the camouflage on the screamer.