- "Come to mama! Yes... yes, that's it. Come to mama, oh, right up here!"
- —A woman's last words before getting blown up by a Crawler
Crawlers are a variant of Necromorph that are created from reanimated infants, much like the Lurker, but serve another function. The torso is grossly enlarged, with an organic explosive substance under its skin. The body and head are twisted backwards, so that the Crawler can move with the sac pointed upwards. The arms and shoulders are twisted backwards with the fingers mostly fused together on both hands with a hospital identification bracelet on the left wrist, the legs are almost twisted and fused together with only a visible left foot, giving the Crawler an almost caterpillar-like movement. Oddly the crawlers head and face appear like normal babies, with the exception of over swelled blood vessels around the eyes and forehead, they have visible teeth that look like regular baby teeth on the bottom jaw but the top of the jaw has peg like pointed teeth. crawlers eyes also a sickly gray color with no iris or pupil. Crawlers tend to slip while moving, tumbling about for a few seconds before resuming their attack on Isaac.
- "They're EXPLODING! Get away!"
- —A Circle soldier after encountering a swarm of Crawlers
- The Crawler's explosion has a very small radius, but is still dangerous. Remember to keep your distance.
- Crawlers are weak and cannot withstand much punishment, a single shot will make short work of one.
- A Crawler will occasionally stumble when moving, and others behind it will trip over it also, leaving them vulnerable for a few seconds. Take this opportunity to wipe out large groups.
- If Crawlers are spotted among a group of enemies, prioritize the Crawlers first as their explosions are highly damaging and can knock the player down, leaving them vulnerable. A smart tactic is to deliberately set off the Crawlers' explosive bodies, as the resulting explosions are very lethal even to other Necromorphs.
- As with the Exploder, being knocked over by the Crawler's explosion leaves Isaac vulnerable to other attacks.
- Crawlers usually die after being hit by a Kinesis-propelled object. This can be used to save ammunition when facing small groups, though keep in mind that objects that hit a Crawler's pustule would still set it off like bullets would.
- One shot from the Force Gun can kill an entire group of them at once, without setting off the bodies.
- The Crawler can be killed without being detonated by severing its head with a precision weapon like the Plasma Cutter or Seeker Rifle. The torso can then be thrown as an improvised explosive, which can be useful for saving ammo when fighting swarms of Crawlers.
- It is surprisingly easy to stomp a Crawler to death without setting off its explosive. If attempting to save ammo, do this for widely spaced Crawlers. Do not attempt when there are two of them close to each other as the other would attack you while you attack the first. Note that the sac does not explode when the Crawler is killed even if it is attempting to explode.
- The Rivet Gun (if available) is an ideal weapon against the Crawlers: its ammo is cheap and abundant.
- In Dead Space 3, Crawlers are noticeably more dangerous due to their speed. They can crawl at extreme speeds to approach the player.
- Killing thirty Crawlers without detonating them earns the achievement/trophy "The Nanny." It can be easily done with the Force Gun primary fire.
- If they are killed without hitting their explosive sac (for example, by cutting off the head), their bodies can be picked up using kinesis and used as a weapon against other Necromorphs, similar to the Exploder's explosive sacs. Live Crawlers cannot be picked up using kinesis, however.
- Unlike an Exploder's explosive pustule, stomping on a dead Crawler will not detonate it, the Necromorph will simply be squashed flat.
- The Crawlers aboard the Sprawl wear hospital identification bracelets on their wrists, emphasizing that they were all made inside the Nursery, rather than them traveling there. This is strange however, due to the sheer number of Necromorphs in that area yet no Infectors to be found.
- Crawlers will sometimes trip and stumble as they approach, then taking a second or two to regain their footing and resume the attack. This makes it easier to move to a safe distance and retaliate.
- During the Crawler's first appearance, if one listens closely (when it is hugged by the woman before exploding) you can hear it laugh. This may show that the Crawlers still have some functioning parts of the brain, perhaps due to the fact that they were "turned" shortly following birth. This may mean that similar brain activity may occur in Lurkers and even the Pack.
- The Crawler's first appearance is most likely a homage to the Lurker's first appearance in Dead Space, as they are both infant Necromorphs and they first appear behind a window while making a fatal example out of a survivor.
- Crawlers act very strangely in Chapter 13, lying on the floor while cooing and laughing as if they are luring Isaac to approach them. One could say they are "playing dead," much like a Slasher does after being shot at, but not fatally.
- Crawlers are much larger than normal infants, probably because of disfigurement and swelling caused by the Necromorph infection.
- If a Crawler explodes near Isaac while he is dangerously low on health, he will be blown backwards, usually missing a few limbs.