If you can stand then you can fight! Anyone that refuses to fight with us will be banished. Anyone that supports the army will be made an example of. Tonight we put an end to this tyranny and start a new life for ourselves.
— A rebel regarding the takeover of Pittsburgh, before they eventually became Hunters.
Hunters are hostile survivors in The Last of Us, so named due to their tendency to brutally kill anyone entering their territory (referred to by hunters as "tourists") in order to steal their clothes, supplies, and food. Joel and Ellie encounter them in Pittsburgh. The Hunters are generally comprised of former Quarantine Zone residents, typically remaining in the cities they overthrew from military control.
Events of The Last of UsEdit
Hunters seem to be distinguished from other hostile survivors (like Bandits) in that their ranks are made up of former citizens of Quarantine Zones that were abandoned by the military. In the case of Pittsburgh, a Hunter group formed from the remnants of civilian rebels that seized control of the zone after overthrowing the military and subsequently resisting Firefly influence. Supply shortages and failure to establish a better government eventually lead to the remaining people of the Zone degrading into murderous Hunters, who are forced to kill outsiders for supplies.
The Hunters encountered during the game used to be residents of Pittsburgh. After years of living in an oppressive Zone with frequent food shortages, the people of Pittsburgh gradually became impatient with FEDRA, accusing them of being corrupt liars when they ran short on rations, or simply did not distribute food regularly. Eventually, after a protest was violently put down with at least three people executed and branded as traitors, Fireflies helped the citizens rise up against the military/FEDRA regime. Large-scale fighting broke out, ending with FEDRA being overthrown and the military being driven out, with rebels executing any soldiers they captured, lynching and even burning some to death. The rioting citizens didn't want to be controlled by FEDRA, nor take orders from the Fireflies. Thus, it wasn't long before they killed the Firefly agitators as well.
Now, the citizens had complete control over the city. Despite having intentions to create a better government than FEDRA, their plans never reached fruition, as everyone was still desperate for supplies. In one instance, a couple of teenagers murdered a family passing through the Zone, but when put on trial the leader praised them, claiming they had gathered food and supplies, and commanded everyone to take turns hunting tourists in packs. Two people spoke out, only to be brutally murdered in front of everyone. Because of this, they are referred to as Hunters.
Joel and Ellie encounter Hunters when they drive into Pittsburgh in a Pick-up Truck. One pretends to be injured in an attempt to trick the pair into stopping to help, but Joel, knowing the ruse, simply drives through the group which begins to attack them. While fleeing the area, they crash after being rammed by a bus and are forced to escape and make their way through the city on foot. They head for a bridge leading out of the city, battling many Hunters patrolling the city along the way.
They watch as the Hunters discuss their present situation, dealing with other 'tourists' who entered the city sometime before Joel and Ellie. The pair learns that one group was brutally murdered apart from a single woman, who was chased through most of the night. She evaded capture, only to reveal herself in an effort to kill them, with the Hunters finally killing her. She caused enough trouble for the group that they failed to secure any supplies that day. Other hunters also lynched one member who had stolen food from the supply cache, while the Humvee unit found and murdered a man and woman they had been searching for.  While evading the Humvee crew, Joel and Ellie also meet two other survivors, Henry and Sam, who were separated from their group passing through the city after being attacked and scattered by the Hunters.
It is implied that at least some other Quarantine Zones ended up like Pittsburgh and became completely occupied by Hunters. The Hunters in Pittsburgh repeatedly mention that they are under the control of a leader, who is never seen or encountered by Joel or Ellie. It is also mentioned that they have had more than one leader over the course of time, suggesting that the previous leader or leaders died or were usurped by another Hunter. More than once has the leader of the group attempted to expand the perimeter beyond the city limits, such attempts ending with multiple Hunters getting killed, possibly by Infected or other survivors. Some even made it as far as Lincoln, but they turned back after encountering Infected, as observed by Bill. While they did manage to expand into parts of the suburbs outside Pittsburgh, they eventually lost the area to the Infected.
The Hunters in Pittsburgh possessed a large arsenal of weaponry, including a modified military Humvee and, according to a note left by a military soldier, a stolen mortar launcher which is never seen being used in The Last of Us. They also guarded a bridge, the only other way out besides the highway. They were obsessed with the bridge, with many Hunters guarding it by day, so many that Henry and Sam had never dared to escape previously. However, there was merely a small skeleton crew left to guard the exit at night, making that the best time to escape.
The group had no choice but to face Hunters again when making their escape, watching briefly as the guards killed Clickers in the distance. The group split up, resulting in Joel and Ellie fleeing from the Humvee, forcing them to jump into the river beneath the bridge.
The Hunters were encountered again when the four escapees were pinned down by a sniper. Joel was forced to fight his way through the Suburbs to reach the sniper, where he brutally stabbed the Hunter to death. Joel then covered Henry, Sam and Ellie from the remaining Hunters. However, the Hunters from the city quickly arrived with the Humvee. Although Joel killed the advancing Hunters, he struggled to destroy the Humvee. He eventually succeeded in killing the gunner as they attempted to throw a Molotov, immolating the vehicle and causing it to crash. This is the last time the Hunters are seen.
Events of Factions MPEdit
In Factions MP, a group of Hunters arrive near a port and discover a group of Fireflies with several medical supplies which they are using to find a cure for the CBI. The Hunters plan to steal the supplies when the time is right. They stake out the camp over a period of 12 weeks, convincing as many survivors as possible to join them while fighting against increasingly stronger Fireflies. After 12 weeks, the Hunters either defeat the Fireflies, succeeding in securing the supplies and prolonging their survival or they find themselves overpowered and killed by the Fireflies, who are then one step closer to finding a cure.
Living within a fallen quarantine zone and suffering from a lack of supplies and rations, the Hunters' equipment is primarily scavenged and self-made. Most are equipped with basic weaponry, using melee weapons, handguns, shotguns, hunting rifles and Molotov cocktails. Some of the Hunters made use of body armor scavenged from dead military soldiers to better protect themselves against bullets. The Hunters don't use any assault rifles that could have been scavenged, suggesting that they ran out of ammunition for them by the time Joel arrived. It is possible that the uprising severely depleted both their numbers and available supplies.
They did, however, possess more effective weapons, such as a Humvee with a 50. caliber machine gun that they managed to repair, and a military sniper rifle with considerable amounts of ammunition. They also placed trip-wired Nail Bombs around the city in the hopes of catching people off guard or killing wandering Infected.
The Humvee was used to pursue Joel and Ellie and many other survivors, allowing for quick and easy kills. The sniper was used to kill any who tried to infiltrate the Suburbs and had the potential to kill people from at least 400 meters away. However, both of these were later lost thanks to Joel killing the sniper and using the rifle to shoot the Humvee gunner, causing it to crash from a Molotov that exploded in it. The sniper rifle was lost due to many infected swarming the suburbs, surrounding the house and requiring a hasty retreat.
It is unknown how the destruction of the Humvee and the loss of the sniper rifle affected the Pittsburgh Hunters. At this point, a large number of Hunters were killed by Joel and Henry. The loss of life and powerful weapons may have been a serious setback. Previously, some felt confident enough to expand beyond the city, though the success of such was mixed, judging from conversations Joel can listen in on throughout the city.
The Hunters are fairly strong, seasoned survivors. Years of living in the ruined Pittsburgh Quarantine Zone have enhanced their survival capabilities. Despite their general unkempt and somewhat disheveled appearance, most appear to be physically on par with Joel, evidenced by how he can be quickly overpowered by an average Hunter if he isn't careful; one notably managed to slam his head into a glass fridge, then nearly pierced his neck on the glass while another succeeded in holding him underwater and almost drowning him.
In terms of how they fare against other organized factions, they resemble the Bandits the most. Though the Hunters are not as hardened as these survivors due to not experiencing life outside the Zone, they possess superior numbers and equipment. Because of said inexperience and lack of military training, most Hunters can be outwitted and bested by said hardened survivors, notably Henry and Joel, despite their superior numbers. In many cases however, the Hunter's bigger numbers still makes them a considerable threat, allowing them to overwhelm a few lone survivors. The Hunters' victory over the Fireflies and the military also appears to have been based on numerical superiority, as most of them only have basic weaponry.
Regarding the Infected, the Hunters appear to have kept Infected presence low within the city through routine inspections in numerous buildings, with some claiming that the Infected's presence has not been felt in weeks. However, some Infected still roam the city, particularly in hotel basements and the sewers. In the few moments they have faced Infected directly, the Hunters did well: two of them managed to kill a Clicker, but only by taking it by surprise and a sniper was able to kill several Clickers at a distance. Regardless, their success wasn't always as consistent as other groups such as the Cannibals, since other Hunters fled in fear from a group of Infected when trying to get in to the town of Lincoln. 
- Molotov Cocktail
- Smoke Bomb (Found in a garage but not used against the player)
- Nail Bomb (On a trip wire, not actually thrown at the player)
- Hunters were the first hostile survivors revealed in gameplay demos.
- No female hunters are encountered as enemies in-game, but their existence is implied by their presence in the Factions MP multiplayer mode as well as numerous bits of concept art. Also, in-game, two hunters debated whether or not they should have let a dead female tourist live and become part of their group instead of killing her, though they decided against such since she would kill them if given the chance.
- In a Q&A with Naughty Dog, they explained that the lack of female human enemies was a matter of memory on the PlayStation 3's system with different models and animations being needed.
- The Hunters are shown to a have a sadistic nature, as their Humvee has a sign on the front that says "RUN" and a dead body tied on the hood. Also they taunt Joel in the neighborhood where the sniper and Humvee are fought for the last time.
- The Hunters appear to generally dislike each other and only work together out of necessity, judging by the dialogue heard between them:
- One Hunter said the other was a bad shot. The other Hunter then threatened to shoot him. Another Hunter offered to give him lessons, but was told to shut up.
- Another Hunter remarked on the possibility of expanding their territory only to be mocked by one of the older Hunters for his naivety.
- One Hunter professed that he didn't want to keep searching the hotel, his partner proceeding to make him keep searching.
- A group of Hunters hanged another Hunter for stealing supplies from their cache.
- A Hunter grumbled at another for remarking on how busy he has been after the latter killed a woman with a shotgun.
- In another instance, a Hunter bribed another into sharing some canned bacon he found, stating he would reveal to the others that he had to be saved from a Clicker.
- The trailers for The Last of Us depicted certain scenes within the game containing the Hunters. In the final product, several of the Hunter's models were changed. These included:
- ↑ Final Attack Note
- ↑ Abandon Zone Note
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 Pittsburgh (chapter)
- ↑ Graffiti seen on the old QZ walls.
- ↑ Traitors Flyer
- ↑ Note from Mom
- ↑ Mob Attack Note
- ↑ Fireflies Note
- ↑ Trial Note
- ↑ Tourists Manifest
- ↑ Conversations between numerous hunters throughout the city
- ↑ A conversation between two hunters.
- ↑ 13.0 13.1 Hunters Note
- ↑ The presense of several Hunters when Joel and company arrive
- ↑ Truck Note
- ↑ 16.0 16.1 The Suburbs
- ↑ Factions MP
- ↑ Henry and Joel are able to easily sneak up on two and choke them to death without detection. Another Hunter apparently lacked gun training, one Hunter remarking their aim was lacking.
- ↑ Joel and Ellie watch as a group of Hunters easily kill two survivors and other Hunters discuss how they surrounded a women and killed her.
- ↑ Mother's Letter
- ↑ A Hunter mentioned he found 25 cans of bacon
- ↑ Playstation Discussion
- ↑ The Last of Us trailer, August 2012, timestamp; 0:40
- ↑ The Last of Us trailer, September 2012 timestamp; 1:18
- ↑ The Last of Us trailer, June 2013 timestamp; 1:04
- ↑ The Last of Us trailer, December 2012, timestamp; 1:27
- ↑ The Last of Us trailer, August 2012, timestamp; 0:40