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"Invaluable reservoirs of recombinant bacteria, but a little volatile. Even with Stasis observations, one can get too close..."
—Dr. Challus Mercer[1]

Exploders are a specialized Necromorph form that act as "suicide bombers," much like Crawlers. Their most prominent feature is the large, glowing pustule attached to their left arm, which is filled with a highly explosive chemical substance.



Dead Space Exploder Necromorph Sounds HD

DSR Exploder Concept

Concept art of the Exploder in Dead Space (2023).

Exploders appear to be created from a single human host. The cranium of the host is split open vertically, with the brain cavity being filled with connective tissue that allows the two halves of the head to serve as "jaws." The left arm of the creature has become stiff, no longer having any articulation points except for the shoulder. A large pustule, filled with a glowing yellow chemical, has developed at the arm's end, making it very heavy and unwieldy. This substance is extremely reactive to blunt force, resulting in a powerful explosion when the force applied on it surpasses a certain threshold.

To counter the weight of the left arm, the Exploder's right arm and legs have been transformed in a way that moves the creature's center of mass away from the massive pustule, thus allowing the Exploder to walk - albeit very clumsily.

The right forearm has been extensively modified, with the right hand and foot fused together and extended in order to act as a leg, while the original legs and left foot have become fused and twisted to form a single muscular limb. Although Exploders move sluggishly in general, they are capable of displaying surprising bursts of speed after they have closed the distance between themselves and their intended targets.

Once an Exploder is within striking range, it will swing its pustule into its victim or the ground, resulting in a deadly explosion for anything caught in the blast radius. The blast produces enough force to dismember a human victim, and usually results in the destruction of the Exploder itself.

Due to their suicidal attack and relatively slow movement, they often attack in large groups in an attempt to overwhelm their target. Their presence can be easily detected by the distinctive cackling sounds they make when they are in the vicinity.

In Dead Space 3, a slightly altered, more deadly form of the Exploder is encountered, where it appears to be crawling, moving much faster than its upright counterpart. The signature pustule is still present, and still quite deadly in close quarters. To make matters worse, it seems to be dragging behind the Exploder's body, making it tougher to shoot at. It may be wiser, if not ammo-conserving, to fire away at the body rather than risk it getting too close before one can make the shot.


  • It is imperative that Exploders be taken out at long range as their suicide attack is extremely dangerous, especially in Dead Space 2 as Exploders in that game have a much larger blast radius than in the original Dead Space.
    • Exploders make their signature sounds when they are spawned and their pustule glows from a long distance, making them easy to spot. Use this sound warning to get rid of them before they become a threat, since their voice is very distinctive from the other Necromorphs.
  • Don't be fooled by their frail appearance; a single Exploder can withstand a lot of damage to the body. In certain circumstances, they may even survive a direct hit from heavy tools such as the Contact Beam.
  • If at a distance, shooting the pustule attached to the Exploder's arm will instantly detonate it, killing the Exploder and any other Necromorphs caught within the blast radius.
    • If an Exploder gets too close to safely destroy its pustule, shoot it in the body to knock it backwards a considerable distance.
  • The arm that carries the pustule is very weak and can be easily cut. This deprives the Exploder from its powerful explosive attack and causes it to resort to a rather weak head-butt, drastically reducing the severity of the threat.
    • Accurate weapons, such as Plasma Cutter, Javelin Gun and the Ripper are best to dismember, or even kill an Exploder without destroying its pustule.
    • Kinesis can be used to throw the pustule at other enemies. An Exploder's pustule inflicts more damage than any of the weapons in the game, capable of killing even Brutes in one successful hit given the right circumstances.
  • In any area that spawns Exploders, the game can spawn an Exploder at an air vent right next to where Isaac is. When this happens, the Exploder will immediately use his suicide attack as soon as he exits the vent, with no time for reaction. Thus, when Exploders are spawning, pay special attention to the presence of vents and stay away.
  • As a last resort, use Stasis on an Exploder, and then run past it. This triggers its attack animation so that once the Stasis wears off, it'll destroy itself and anything close by.
    • It is possible to avoid the damage from the suicide attack even without Stasis, if there is a solid wall between Isaac and the Exploder - for example, if Isaac makes a sharp turn around a corner or a goes up a ramp. However, this is extremely hard to pull off and is not recommended unless the player has full confidence that they can take the damage of the explosive in case it does not work.
  • The Force Gun's primary fire does not detonate the pustule even if shot right on. This makes it useful to both back the Exploder away from Isaac and for killing one without detonating the pustule, allowing it to be used for other purposes.
  • In all three main games, an Exploder will commit suicide if it survives its hand and foot getting dismembered, leaving only the pustule attached. It will fall to the ground, look to the left and right, then ram its pustule into the ground.
  • In Dead Space 2, be wary of Exploders in rooms containing a decompression window; in these scenarios, it's best to sever the pustule and leave it be. It's easy enough to get dangerously close to a window during these moments, and detonation will often break the window and leave Isaac no time to close it.
  • In Dead Space 3, some Exploders instead crawl low on the ground in a fast sprint instead of limping slowly toward targets. This means that Exploders can pose much more of a threat than before, especially if approached from behind. Crawling Exploders also have a quick time event that is not shared with their normal variants, making them slightly more threatening without their pustule then their upright counterparts.
    • However, the pustule's range and damage seem to have been lowered in Dead Space 3, taking nearly 4 explosions to kill Isaac/Carver on Hard difficulty with RIG upgrades. This is in stark contrast with the Exploders in Dead Space 2, where having one blow up even a few meters away can be nearly fatal. However, if Isaac or Carver possess no suit upgrades, Exploders will instantly kill them on Impossible Difficulty.


  • The Exploder's head is very similar to the creature in John Carpenter's The Thing, where the first form of the Thing encountered has a split head. Though this may also be a coincidence, it is very possible that the Exploder was inspired by it given the film's heavy influence on the overall creature design of the Necromorphs.
  • There are three instances of Exploders that do not attack the player in the original Dead Space.
    • An inaccessible Exploder observes Isaac in combat from behind rubble in Chapter 9 of Dead Space on the USM Valor before wandering off to a corridor.
    • An Exploder observes Isaac behind a window in Chapter 10, although it fails to break through to get to him, instead retreating into a nearby vent. Curiously, it does not pursue Isaac afterwards.
      • If the player acts fast enough, it is possible to run all the way back and kill that Exploder before it retreats into the vent.
    • At the very beginning of Chapter 11, when you open the door to leave the tram station, an Exploder will jump into the ceiling's vent which was right behind the door.
  • A rare glitch can occur in Dead Space when an Exploder bursts near Isaac and tears off his top half and his head, leaving his bottom somewhat intact and still able to walk around holding a gun.
  • Enhanced versions are encountered in Dead Space (Mobile), appearing darker in color with a dark orange color pustule. It is not encountered in any other game however, even though it takes place on the Sprawl.
  • In Dead Space 3, hitting an Exploder with Stasis, running past it, and making it explode while still in Stasis will make the screen shake around the area until the Stasis wears off.
  • The Exploder has a blob of seemingly the same explosive yellow chemical in the shoulder; however, shooting it simply removes the arm without any explosion, and so it can be speculated to be a concentrated area of the explosive substance.

Death Scene[]


Dead Space - Exploder Death 2


Exploder Death Animation - Dead Space 3 (HD, 60 FPS)

  • There is no specific death scene animation for the Exploder in Dead Space and Dead Space 2, but Isaac is blown into pieces if a pustule's explosion kills him.
    • The Exploder will "bite" pieces of Isaac off using the flaps of its head if its pustule has been removed.
  • If a crawling Exploder pins Isaac or Carver in Dead Space 3, and the player fails the QTE following afterwards, it will disable his arm pushing it back by chewing on the shoulder (but not biting it off) and proceed to bite his head off. 
  • In Chapter 9 of Dead Space (2023), should Isaac blow up the Exploder's sack while in the room with the nuke, the whole room will go up in flames as Isaac burns alive and the screen fades to white.


Concept Art[]


Dead Space (2023)[]

Dead Space (2008)[]

Dead Space 2[]

Dead Space 3[]

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