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Cannibals are the main type of enemy in The Forest

Types[edit | edit source]

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

Gameplay[edit | edit source]

Cannibals are the main antagonists of The Forest. A scattering of primitive humans living in the Forest, cannibals 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 at first like the Regular Cannibals, while others will attack on sight due to sheer hunger such as Starving Cannibals. Both sets of cannibals will actively patrol the island both day and night and can be joined by monstrous mutants. Once aware of the player's presence, patrols will get stronger and harder to defeat, along with being more frequent. It is recommended that the player build defences as larger groups of enemies can be difficult to defeat. As the game progresses, the stronger types of cannibals will spawn. Listed from weakest to strongest are Skinny Cannibals, Regular Cannibals, Pale Cannibals, Painted Cannibals and Masked Cannibals. There are unique cannibals such as Fire Thrower Cannibals which will often accompany a patrol after 5-7 days in a game, they are the only ranged enemy in the game.

Behavior[edit | edit source]

Note that cannibal and mutant behavior is heavily affected by the difficult level. On hard mode and hard survival, cannibals and mutants are much more likely to attack.

First Contact[edit | edit source]

After the plane crash, the cannibals will usually not look for you. It is believed that the cannibals don't know you're on the peninsula in the first place, and it is possible to remain unnoticed by the cannibals though this is difficult, and cannibals will need to be faced in order to complete the story. Cannibals will also regularly patrol the land day and night. It is possible for a player to kill a lone cannibal and the rest of cannibal tribe can remain unaware. However, once a cannibal has seen the player and has successfully run away, it is possible that aggression will increase. For the first few days simple fortifications, walls, and traps will keep the cannibals from attacking the player. However, eventually the cannibals will send mutants to the players camp, which are much more difficult to defeat than cannibals.

Hostility[edit | edit source]

Little is known about cannibal hostility. It is often speculated by the community that the following actions will increase hostilities:

  • Attacking cannibals
  • Killing female cannibals in front of male cannibals
  • Walking up close to the cannibals
  • Visiting specific parts of the map
  • Killing cannibals
  • Cutting down trees
  • Building large bases
  • Building fires, especially Bonfires
  • Building Defensive Walls
  • Building Traps

To decrease hostilities, it might be best to reduce the mentioned methods. Your build location will have a large effect on hostilities, if you are building on a patrol route, you will be more likely to encounter enemies. The developers have stated that have purposely put some ‘fuzziness’ into the AI to prevent players from figuring out the AI. The developers intend on keeping AI as much of a secret as possible.

Religion and Beliefs[edit | edit source]

In areas where there are Cannibal (not player) traps and totems, and possibly in other locations, the Cannibals can be seen in the early hours of day praying to/worshipping the sun or one of their effigies along the beach. These locations are close to large Cannibal villages, and the traps mark the outer limit of their camps. Cannibals encountered whilst in the process of worship are not hostile. However striking any of them will cause the one attacked to switch focus to the player.

When multiple cannibals approach the player while he is wearing red paint, one may kneel while the others attack or run. If the attacking cannibals are defeated, the kneeling one will stay there, no matter what the player does. If all are killed, it appears that the cannibals will leave the player alone for a period of time, possibly believing the player is some God-like figure (the Red Man).[confirmation needed] The kneeling cannibal is possibly acting as a sacrifice, or simply wishes to surrender.

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

Difficulty Differences[edit | edit source]

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

Mechanic Normal Hard Hard
Cannibal Structure Damage Ratio 1 2 2 Cannibals 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 cannibals will search out for the player
Fire Damage Cannibal Ratio 1 0.5 0.5 Fire damage amount cannibals receive
Heavy Attack Knock Down Chance 1 0.25 0.25 Chance of knocking down an cannibal with a heavy attack

Patrols[edit | edit source]

Patrol Map Done by Farket, current as of v0.71

Patrols will form most of the encounters the player has with cannibals and mutants. The following videos are research that has been done on cannibal patrol routes and their behavior. It is recommended that patrol routes are not built on if you are wishing to avoid conflict:

Patrol Route Video 1
Patrol Route Video 2

Day Patrols[edit | edit source]

Day time patrols often consist of 2-4 individuals, with one of them being the patrol leader. These patrols generally act cautious/guarded when initially encountering the player, and they will not always immediately charge into combat. It is possible to intimidate these patrols into fleeing, but the player can also aggravate the patrol and incite open aggression through various actions. These patrols usually follow the same paths daily, though this can and will deviate based on the behavior of the player.

Night Patrols[edit | edit source]

Night patrols are more aggressive than their day time counterparts, consisting often of 3-7 individuals. Night patrols rarely flee unless they sustain catastrophic casualties or are unable to find the player via camouflage or successfully fleeing. It is unknown if the effect of effigies is reduced at night. Due to the higher aggression, they may come closer to the player or more inclined to ignore the effigy completely and attack the player. Once the player has been discovered by a night patrol, the patrol will be more likely to chase down the player due to the higher aggression levels.

Cannibal Dwellings and Structures[edit | edit source]

The cannibals seem to be living together in smaller groups (possibly tribes or communities).

Caves[edit | edit source]

The Cannibals can always be found in the series of caves and tunnels that lie beneath the forest floor. These caves have the highest frequency of mutants, especially mutant babies, than the player will normally find on the surface. It is supposed that the Cannibals live here (and in the Sinkhole), as this is the only place that they can be found sleeping. Note that they can sleep on the ceiling and on the floor, so take care to look up when wandering through the caves.

Cannibal Camps[edit | edit source]

Other than the cave system, cannibals are also seen around the peninsula in camps of various size and location. The player may notice small scouting parties leaving them and single cannibals wandering through them. Other than finding cannibals 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 cannibal activity out of any camp, and it contains one cave entrance inside a hut. This cave is where the player will awaken if caught by the cannibals for the first time. Despite cannibal's notorious fear of fire, expecially the player's campfires, some camps appear to have one large campfire, which also appears to be recently used too.

Lookout Posts[edit | edit source]

Weirdly enough, the cannibals have never been seen interacting with the lookout posts, though they are almost assuredly cannibal in origin. The cannibals theoretically use the lookout posts as vantage points, from which to better see, though this behavior is not seen. They could also be used to hunt for fresh fish in the absence of fresh human, though this behavior is again not seen. However, the developers have called these posts "fishing stands" in past patch notes.

Combat[edit | edit source]

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

In addition to attacking the player, cannibals 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 cannibals 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 cannibals 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.

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

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

Attacking a cannibal 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 cannibal tol stumble backwards. Therefore, rapidly slashing can be a good multipurpose tactic when engaging a cannibal. 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 cannibals or while moving through territory with a cannibal settlement nearby, a cannibal may be seen sitting on the ground crying either in pain or mourning the death of others.

Infection[edit | edit source]

The death of a mutant, cannibal, or animal in "close" proximity to the player may result in the player becoming splashed with blood and acquiring the "bloodied" status. Theoretically, being "bloodied" for too long will result in the player acquiring the "infected" status condition as stated by the suggestion to avoid infection by washing yourself 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[edit | edit source]

  • If the player wishes to gather building materials, explore, or just play in peace, they can type "veganmode" (without quotations) for 0 cannibals. Typing "vegetarianmode" (again, without quotations) will set the game to have cannibals coming out at night only. To reset these, the player can type "meatmode" to activate cannibals.
  • Building and lighting the bonfire at night will cause a large amount of cannibals and occasionally mutants to be drawn to your location, and will be immediately hostile.

Gallery[edit | edit source]

Update History[edit | edit source]

Version Changes
v0.69 (performance) Optimized cpu usage on enemies that are far from the player

Fixed creepy female sometimes not attacking player when close

Improved fire on enemies and player texture resolution

Fixed masked enemies sometimes appearing with invisible bodies

Cannibals: Regular CannibalsSkinny CannibalsFire Thrower CannibalsMasked CannibalsMasked Skinny CannibalsPale CannibalsPainted CannibalsDynamite Thrower Cannibals
Mutants: ArmsyVirginiaCowmanMutant BabyBlue ArmsyBlue Virginia
Promotional Content