The Forest: Best Way to Kill Mutants

Learn the best way to kill mutants in The Forest

Having to deal with cannibals on the peninsula is complicated enough on its own, but after some exploration and surviving, you will inevitably encounter some terrifying entities. Most of these creatures appear after your first or second week and can catch you off guard if you aren’t prepared. If you’re looking for the best way to kill mutants, this guide is certainly for you.

Although terrifying, you can dispatch most of these mutants if you know what you are doing and provide resources to make the best armor in the game. Before taking on one of these mutants, you must be prepared with plenty of healing items, arrows, Molotov cocktails, etc. 

When you first encounter them, they usually roam alone, but as time goes on, you can fight multiple mutants at once, which often leads to a quick death and even severely damages your base. 

Before you go any further, there are spoilers for endgame enemies involved in this guide, so if it’s your first playthrough of The Forest, we recommend you play as much of the game as blind as you can for the best experience. 

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Armsy Mutant Guide

The Forest: Armsy Mutant

Properly named, more often than not, this may be the first mutant you encounter; however, the mutant spawns are a bit more random and hard to predict when they will appear. 

These mutants spawn after you discover them as you delve deeper into the caves and encounter them with fixed spawns but are known to spawn after day 7, and the blue variant may spawn after day 14. Up to three Armsy can spawn at one time but mostly roam in groups of two (up to six have been rumored to spawn, but the odds of this happening are extremely rare and lack enough evidence and testing). 

The Armsy mutant is known to damage player structures at random upon discovery and can knock down trees, making them a potent threat across the peninsula. You can usually hear the loud thumping of their steps and a bearlike roar they make in the distance. 

The Armsy can take down a player with 2-3 strikes, so fighting from a distance is best. Fire arrows or molotovs effectively deal some damage over time to one of these beasts. 

In some cases, you can use bombs; however, we don’t recommend them near structures or tight spaces for obvious reasons. Do not try to fight an armsy with melee combat if you can avoid it, as you will risk trading hits and burn through your healing items quickly. When fighting an Armsy in a cave, more often than not, you will have some way to fight them from a distance, so it’s always a good idea to carry Fire arrows or molotovs to fight them while being safe. 

For melee combat, if you are low on arrows or have decent armor, you can utilize the plane axe and upgrade it to deal fire damage as fire is extremely effective for dispatching mutants. Any weapons like the rusty axe, club, or turtle shell, can completely negate damage if you block an Armsy attack if you decide to use a melee weapon to take down an Armsy. 

Kiting an Armsy in melee is recommended as you deal fire damage with an upgraded weapon or utilizing melee and molotovs. We recommend that if fighting multiple Armsy, draw them away from any player-built structures as they will destroy anything in their path to get to you. 

If fighting multiple Armsy solo, using melee will be difficult and dangerous, so don’t hesitate to draw them away to an area where you can dispatch them more efficiently. 

Blue Armsy Mutant Guide

The blue armsy is a rare variant and can spawn after day 14. The Blue Armsy has 30% more health and damage than a regular Armsy and can wipe an unarmored player rather quickly if not careful. The attack patterns and behavior are the same; however, even with creepy armor, you can get wiped out rather quickly if not careful. 

Virginia Mutant Guide

The Forest: Virginia Mutant

The Virginia mutant is similar to the Armsy. However, it has slightly less health and damage but is faster and more erratic when attacking. Mutant babies or cannibals usually accompany Virginia, so it’s best to dispatch any others first to be able to handle this mutant more efficiently. 

A Virginia can be heard with its hissing or insect-like call while she roams, and more often than not, you’ll find the mutant babies before you find her, so that’s a big tell if you are being hunted by one. 

Virginia can spawn after day seven, and the blue variant spawns after day 14 and can be found in caves early game as well. Like all other mutants, utilizing fire arrows or molotovs at a distance is always recommended. 

When fighting a Virginia in a cave, it is much easier to dispatch one in closed spaces because her attack patterns have more range, therefore getting her stuck and vulnerable to attacks more frequently. The more space a Virginia has, the more effective it can take you down or rip into your armor. 

The Virginia mutant may be a little more melee friendly than the other mutants, as a spear has more range than her attack as long as you avoid her charging attacks. However, a melee weapon should only be used as a last resort, as she attacks much quicker than an Armsy and can stack damage on you in a very short time. 

Virginia usually attack structures on-site, but at a bit less damage than an Armsy mutant, but is known to attempt to tear through walls to get to the player, so we recommend drawing them from your base if possible.

Explosives aren’t recommended unless you find a Virginia locked in a tight space, as the mutant moves quickly, and explosives can’t be relied upon for consistent damage output if she dodges the blast range. 

If forced to use melee combat, using a fire upgrade for any melee weapon is effective, especially in caves, to keep a visual on her. Using a spear can help a tiny amount with specific attacks and scenarios, but the damage output is limited for taking one down quickly. Strafing around Virginia works well if you can effectively dodge her attacks, as blocking can get you stun locked and swiftly killed.

Blue Virginia Mutant Guide

The Blue Virginia variant is more deadly as it has more health and damage and is a bit faster. Using the same strategies with these is just as effective, but fighting a Blue Virginia with melee without experience or knowing their attack patterns can lead to a quick death. 

If facing a pack of Blue Virginia and other mutants, we recommend drawing them from your base and fleeing, as more than one Blue Virginia can take down structures quickly while tearing you apart at the same time.

Cowman Mutant Guide

The Forest: Cowman Mutant

Sometimes referred to as chargers or fatties, Cowmen begin spawning on the surface after day 7 and do not have a blue variant. They are detectable by their loud stomping and heavy breathing, similar to a bull. 

Cowmen spawn more frequently after day 14, either in pairs or tangent with other mutants. It is speculated that a Cowman is a fully grown mutant baby, but not enough evidence in the game exists to prove that theory. 

The Cowmen are often found patrolling alongside other mutants, and if the player is detected, it will charge at the player, even changing directions unexpectedly to knock down its prey. It is challenging to dodge a cowman once it has locked onto you as it can break through trees and structures with ease. 

A very effective method of dispatching a Cowman is to lure it near the ocean or a body of water and have it charge at you as you evade into the ocean. If done correctly, you can cause the cowman to drown instantly, but it may cost you from harvesting resources from its body.

If you do not want to use a cheese method like hiding in the ocean or using ranged fighting from a raft, we recommend fighting one from an elevated position like a cliff or a structure. 

If fighting in a cave, it is best to have armor ready as the attacks of a Cowman can be difficult to dodge effectively and can be a bit buggy at times, causing you to take damage when you least expect it. You can take advantage of the rocky environment to prevent a charge attack and utilize melee combat to dispatch them. Otherwise, using ranged attacks and fire at a distance works effectively. 

Fire is very effective to Cowmen, so utilizing molotovs, fire arrows, the flare gun, or an upgraded melee weapon is recommended. Cowmen have around the same health as Armsy mutants; however, they are much faster and more unpredictable. 

Mutant Baby Guide

The Forest: Mutant Baby

It is the easiest mutant to handle and has the least amount of health but still can pack a punch, especially in groups. 

Mutant Babies spawn on the surface with Virginia mutants and are found densely in packs in caves. Mutant Babies die in a single hit but can take up to %20 of your health if struck by them, so blocking is heavily advised. If fighting a group of mutant babies, using the hairspray flamethrower is very effective for taking them out quickly before they can launch at you. 

Ranged combat is effective, but we recommend saving your arrows as mutant babies have such a low health pool. Nearly any weapon in the game can one-shot a Mutant Baby. Therefore, it is best to fight strategically and block to avoid damage as these mutants can drain armor quickly and provide little resources in return. 

Worm Mutant Guide

The Forest: Mutant Worm Split Up


These mutants spawn after day 40 and are very late-game enemies. There are no blue variants of these enemies to be found.

These creatures are similar to Mutant Babies but have more health and damage and attack in a more ‘hive mind’ manner. 

Sometimes Worms can spawn in large forms and just a single unit at a time. These mutants are extremely rare to spawn on the surface and cannot be harvested for creepy flesh but can be used for bones. After completing the final boss, Worms have an increased spawn rate and multiply the longer you take to discover them. 

In combat, the Worm will begin to come together and attack as a single unit, giving it more health and damage. If disassembled from combat, the smaller variants can quickly overwhelm and stun lock you, quickly ending your life. 

The Worm has multiple attacks it can use, and all depend on your location and RNG. The rarest attack is when it forms a sizeable ladder-like form and will attempt to slam onto you for very serious damage. 

More commonly, the Worm links will form into a smaller being that is quick and deadly like a Virginia mutant but made up of Mutant Baby type links. In this form, it can traverse over traps and walls at times, so it’s best to fight the Worm where you have the best advantage if solo and have your entire team gang up on it in multiplayer to increase your survival rate. 

The Worm is known to crush and kill cannibals in its way as its aggression shows no discrimination. If you and your team decide to flee, the mutant will separate into many fast-moving units to catch up, making it the most deadly enemy in the game. 

The Forest: Worm Mutant

The Worm can also fly upwards if you are fighting it at a distance. Therefore all player-made structures are at risk as they will destroy what they can to defeat you. There is little information on how well the Worm can attack in water and if it can drown or not, so do take caution if you travel via raft. 

If you wish to fight from a distance,  the best way to kill these mutants is to slowly pick off parts of the Worm from a distance or with a melee weapon to break up individual pieces. Keep in mind that each segment of the Worm has about 4 times as much health as a mutant baby, so using fast weapons may be more effective for dispatching sections of the Worm at once. 

The hairspray flamethrower effectively deals large amounts of damage to multiple sections at once. Still, it is recommended that you attack at this close range when the units are separated. Once enough sections have been defeated, the Worm will struggle to form back together and get weaker the more units you defeat. 

Fire is most certainly the best way to kill mutants in The Forest.

When it comes to base defense, there are many different traps you can set up and utilize to defend your precious hard work, but you can’t pack up your base when exploring The Forest’s peninsula and deep cave systems. So, harnessing the various fire and upgraded weapons will help you to be prepared for the subsequent mutant encounters ahead. 

Knowing the best way to kill mutants in The Forest should help set your mind at ease and help keep that sanity level in check! If you’re looking for more tips and tricks to survive, be sure to check out The Forest Beginner’s Guide.

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About Greysyns

Starting his gaming journey with 1996’s Resident Evil, Greysyns has since played hundreds of titles across several platforms. You’ll often find him racking up hours of gameplay, hunting down rare achievements, or grinding out new content in MMORPGs. With a background in game development and QA testing, Greysyns is equipped with the knowledge and skills to quickly learn a game and uncover hidden secrets and useful strategies to share with other gamers.

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