A spitter patrols around its spawning point, which is commonly around resource nodes, Power Slugs, Mercer Spheres, Somersloops, and Crash Sites, but can also be anywhere in the World. It makes a snake-like hissing sound and sounds similar to Stingers. Spitters can be found in groups. Some are led by a larger version of these which is the Alpha Spitter.
It will become aggressive when approached. It will start attacking the nearest pioneer in this case. It triggers its attack by shooting out a yellow fireball in a straight line. Before its attack, its mouth glows and blinks in yellow. If the pioneer attacks a spitter, but the spitter is at a location where it cannot fight back, it will flee. After some time it will move back to its patrol location. A spitter ignores all vehicles, even if an pioneer is riding it. A spitter will still target an pioneer hiding behind a vehicle or standing on top of it.
When a spitter detects an pioneer is nearby, it will run towards the nearest pioneer, pause momentarily, then shoot out a yellow fireball from its mouth. The spitter's mouth will blink a few times in yellow before shooting as a warning sign. Its mouth will appear like it is chewing a piece of gum. It targets directly towards the pioneer if the pioneer does not move. If the pioneer moves, it predicts when the pioneer will be in the next few seconds and will shoot in the predicted direction.
A spitter will move a few steps towards you, then start shooting. It will try not to stay too close to the pioneer. After each shot, it will move another few steps, then repeat its attack. If the pioneer is in the melee range of the spitter, the spitter will then shoot out a melee-range fireball, dealing five damage with a knockback effect. Its mouth will also glow yellow before it starts a melee attack, but for a much shorter time. If the pioneer stands fully inside the spitter's hitbox, it will not be able to hit the pioneer directly with any attacks. Its attack can be completely dodged by getting out of its line of attack.
The spitters fireball travels in a straight line, but curves downwards after a certain distance. If it hits anything, a splash effect can be seen, and the fireball itself disappears. It deals 10 damage to the pioneer and wheeled vehicles if hit. A spitter has a few seconds of cooldown after each fireball attack. These fireballs can also be destroyed by a melee weapon.
The best tactics to killing a spitter involve getting in melee range as quickly as possible and dodging its melee fireballs. Getting close to the spitter is the first step. Make sure you are in running mode. Press ⇧ Shift to toggle run. Make sure the running mode is set to 'Toggle' in the Options->Control setting. Wait for the spitter to launch a fireball, then sprint and slide directly at the spitter. You can also run while it fires, and move in a zigzag pattern using the sideways buttons (A or D).
The Xeno-Basher is the most effective melee weapon for dealing with spitters. A spitter has a few seconds of cooldown after each fireball attack. After it shoots a fireball, run up as far as possible into it and use your Xeno-Basher to double-bash it (Double-click). It will start shooting a melee fireball, but its attack will spawn behind you and miss so long as there is no terrain right behind you for it to splash against. To avoid its melee fireball attack, simply move backward S.
As the double-bash deals 21 damage and a spitter only has 40 hit points, two hits with the double-bash will kill it. If you use a Xeno-Zapper, which deals only five damage, you may need to hit it a few more times to kill it. Once the spitter dies, pick up the Alien Organs dropped by it.
Try to handle only one spitter at a time. It is possible to lure a spitter away from its group. It is possible to kill a spitter without getting yourself injured, but if your health drops too low, consider fleeing or healing yourself. If you attempt to flee, do not run in a straight line. Try moving in a zigzag pattern and jump often. The spitter will eventually reset back to its spawn location once you are far enough away. Wait until your health slowly regenerates back to three segments (30 HP). Use a healing item such as a Beryl Nut to heal beyond that amount.
- It is possible to have a spitter get hit by a fireball launched by another spitter. Fireballs can also accidentally injure or kill other spitters by friendly fire.
- Particularly useful when Alpha spitters and normal spitters are in a group; when they shoot at you, they can hurt each other.
- If the fireball collides with a placed Nobelisk, the Nobelisk will explode.
- Its fireball is slightly explosive. If you trap a spitter in between four walls and look at it from outside, it will continually shoot the fireball at the wall, causing explosions, and will eventually kill itself.
- If a vehicle (such as a tractor) runs into a spitter, it will "ragdoll" and go completely limp. However, if an pioneer exits the vehicle while the spitter is in this state, it can still shoot fireballs at pioneers nearby even though it will be unable to move.
- Patch 2018-10-17: Introduced