- "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 Hunter regarding the takeover of Pittsburgh
Hunters are hostile survivors 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.
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. Many Hunters are implied to be the remnants of the non-Firefly rebels that caused their zone to collapse in the first place. After overthrowing a zone, attempts by these survivors to establish a better government often fail in the long run, likely due to the populace being unprepared for a situation where there is no army to guard them from the Infected. Therefore, it all eventually leads to the remaining people of the zone degrading into murderous Hunters who are forced to kill outsiders for supplies.
On the other hand, Bandits are most likely made up of survivors that lacked the fortune to get into a zone at all, and have been living in anarchy since the beginning of the outbreak. Though Bandits may be more hardened survivalists, they often don't have access to much of the stolen military equipment that is typically used by Hunters.
The Hunters encountered during the game used to be residents of Pittsburgh. After the outbreak of cordyceps brain infection, 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 caused the citizens rise up against The Military and state of martial law. Large-scale fighting broke out, ending with FEDRA being overthrown and the military being driven out, with rebels executing any soldiers they captured. 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. According to a note, a couple of teenagers murdered a family, and when put on trial the leader praised them and claimed 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 helping him, 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 and towards Wyoming, battling many hunters patrolling the city along the way. They 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 most 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 got 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. However, they did manage to expand into parts of the suburbs outside Pittsburgh. Some even made it as far as Lincoln, but they turned back after encountering Infected. They were spotted by Bill, who left a note about the event.
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, therefore the that was 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 splits up, resulting in Joel and Ellie fleeing from the Humvee, forcing them to jump into the river beneath the bridge.
The Hunters were encounter again when the four escapees were pinned down by a sniper. Joel was forced to fight his way down the street of 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, 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 times 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.
The Hunters are fairly strong but appear to only to have strength in numbers as shown by how many were guarding the bridge. Despite defeating both Fireflies and the military, they only have basic weaponry such as melee weapons, revolvers, pistols, shotguns, hunting rifles, bombs and Molotovs. Some of the hunters wear body armor and helmets scavenged from dead military soldiers to temporarily protect themselves against bullets. They 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 that 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.
Some Hunters were shown to face Infected. Two of them managed to kill a Clicker, but only by taking it by surprise. A sniper was also able to kill several Clickers at a distance. 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. 
- Hunting Rifle
- Military Sniper
- 9mm Pistol
- Molotov Cocktail
- Smoke Bomb
- Nail Bomb
- Baseball Bat
- .50 Caliber Machine Gun
- Joel (formerly)
- Tommy (formerly)
- 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.
- In a Q&A with Naughty Dog, it was 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 color in Factions is baby blue.
- 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.
- ↑ Abandon Zone Note
- ↑ Final Attack Note
- ↑ 76 lookout guys attack strangers
- ↑ Graffiti seen on the old QZ walls.
- ↑ Note from Mom
- ↑ Mob Attack Note
- ↑ Fireflies Note
- ↑ Trial Note
- ↑ Alone and Forsaken
- ↑ A conversation between two hunters.
- ↑ The presense of several Hunters when Joel and company arrive
- ↑ Truck Note
- ↑ The Suburbs
- ↑ Factions MP
- ↑ The Suburbs
- ↑ Hunters Note
- ↑ http://community.us.playstation.com/t5/Naughty-Dog-General-Discussion/UPDATED-Q-amp-A-with-Naughty-Dog-July-Edition/td-p/45239680/page/4