Sons of the Forest Cannibals [All Types & Behavior]

A deep dive into the complex minds and behaviors of all types of Cannibals in Sons of the Forest!

Sons of the Forest has too many different enemy types, such as hostile animals, creepy mutants, and even weird finger-looking creatures. But perhaps the Cannibals in Sons of the Forest are the most intriguing yet challenging enemy types that you’ll come across.

Cannibals were also the main enemy types in the Forest, but since then, they’ve been heavily improved on, especially in their behavior and the way they act towards each other. They’ve also been separated into different types of Cannibals, making each new variant seem quite distinct from the rest.

Important: Sons of the Forest is still in early access; there is a chance that many of the discussed behaviors for each Cannibal might change in the future. 
Key Takeaways
  • Cannibals are the primary enemy type in Sons of the Forest, and they have multiple variants.
  • Regular Cannibals are the most common Cannibals and can be found in Cannibal Camps, and they can also approach the player. They’re easily scared at the start of the game but eventually become more aggressive the more they learn from you, to the point where they’ll even attack your base and steal resources from you.
  • Cave Cannibals are essentially Blind Cannibals that only sense and react to your presence based on the sounds you make.
  • Masked Cannibals act as the leaders of the Cannibals and often bully the other Cannibals, tossing them to the side. If you also equip a mask using a 3-D Printer, the Cannibals will think you’re one of the Masked Cannibals.
  • Dirty Cannibals are small and agile cannibals that walk on all fours and try to creep up on you from different angles.
  • The Lone Cannibal is a type of Regular Cannibal that indicates the presence of more Cannibals in the area. They themselves are not that aggressive.
  • Brutes and Titans are rarely found, mostly in the larger camps, and are one of the strongest and hardest-hitting cannibals. 
  • You can eat Cannibals’ legs, or you can turn them off completely by creating a custom game with Enemies Off at the start of a new game.

All Cannibals In Sons Of The Forest

Considering the game is still in early access, there’s a slight chance that more types of cannibals might get added later on in the game. But as of now, we have around 4-5 different types of cannibal groups in the game. As mentioned, these all have their own unique role in the game and appear in certain areas, which we will discuss in detail, according to however much detail is available on them.

Regular Cannibals

sons of the forest cannibals
Combat encounter with a regular cannibal [image by eXputer]
The first and most basic type of cannibals in the game is the Regular cannibal. These are likely the most adaptive type of cannibals but also the easiest to deal with. They’re quite cautious and smart.

Interactions With The Player

If you hold such cannibals at gunpoint, they’ll be reluctant to attack you and even get scared off. If you do try to attack them, you can easily cut off their limbs. And as long as they’re alive, they’ll try to run away from you before being totally immobilized.

Interactions With Each Other

Cannibals are aware of their surroundings and of each other as well. They will try to collect items, interact with structures such as breaking them down or even steal resources from you. When crippled or generally injured and left alone for a bit, the regular cannibals will try to help each other out.

Furthermore, if you enter the camp of regular cannibals and shoot down one of their kind, they will react to the death of their fellow cannibals. Regardless of age, when they spot a single dead regular cannibal in their camp, they will mourn their death.

Attacking Your Base

Moreover, cannibals adapt to your existence and sometimes approach you in groups of 2-3. They’ll take note of your structures, and they will try to explore them by entering through the door. If given too much time to explore, they can steal items from you.

They’re considered to be extremely aggro while approaching your base and aren’t likely to back off by just pointing a gun at them; you’ll need to use other defensive methods. A great way to defend against cannibals that tend to approach your base is to use different types of traps, such as ground pikes. Or you can create walls to keep them away. But well-placed traps can usually lock the cannibals in place and scare the rest away.

Different Seasons

Seasons also affect the appearances and difficulty of the cannibals. In winter, they will start wearing different types of creepy armor, which will offer them protection during combat. These armors and not only affected by the weather but also by the faction that they might belong in. And in summer, they might be more vulnerable and less protected.

Cave Cannibals

sons of the forest cave cannibals
Blind Cannibals found in Caves [screenshot by eXputer]
Almost every survival horror game out there tends to have some sort of enemy that is either blind or heavily relies on sound to track and attack the enemy. In Sons of the Forest, that type of enemy is the Cave Cannibal. These cannibals are usually found in caves or villages, and for odd reasons, they can be found captured or tied up by the regular cannibals in their camps.

The cave cannibals also referred to as the Blind Cannibals at times, have a disfigured appearance with unnaturally grey skin. They’re hardly ever seen with clothing, and it’s quite rare to see them with a weapon. However, if you happen to skin them, you’ll obtain one piece of creepy armor from them.


For the most part, you’ll come across these cannibals in caves. But even when you encounter them, you’ll soon realize that they’re not as threatening as some of the other enemies due to their lack of smell or sight senses. They’ll usually be found moving around sluggishly; in fact, most of the time, they’ll be crawling around and not properly stand up unless you make too much noise to attract them.

They’ll only chase you based on the sounds that you make, so if you’re careful, you can completely avoid any type of interaction. However, if you’re faced with a situation that requires you to kill one, any type of weapon can be used against them.

Masked Cannibals

Masked Cannibal Asserting Dominance

Perhaps the most interesting but slightly rare type of Cannibal is the Masked Cannibals. They’re taller, stronger, and seem more resilient than the rest of the cannibals and wear golden masks to distinguish themselves from the rest.

The masked cannibals are always found wearing some type of mask; usually, it is a golden mask. They’re also found wearing torn leather and have tribal markings in red and white, similar to the regular cannibals. Many of the other cannibals tend to respect and fear the masked cannibals.


The masked cannibals tend to have more assertive and dominant behavior. They’re not as scared as some of the regular cannibals, and neither are they as sluggish as compared to the Cave Cannibals. In fact, they can be hostile towards the other cannibals if they spot something that they do not like. Many times, you might observe a masked Cannibal grabbing and choking a regular cannibal before tossing it away to the side.

In the game, players can come across a 3D printer. You can use it to print a mask. Equipping it can alter the way that the masked cannibals act toward you. Sometimes, they can even be friendly and now attack you at all. The mask can also alter the other cannibals’ behavior towards you by making them think that you’re one of the leaders if you wear a red 3D-printed mask.

Dirty Cannibal

dirty cannibal sons of the forest
Dirty Cannibals creeping in the dark [image by eXputer]
If you played the sequel to Sons of the Forest, the Forest, then you might remember the Starving Cannibal. It had creepy laughter and screams that could catch you off guard at any point in the game. The Dirty Cannibal seems to be the successor of that Cannibal as it has similar traits with its own unique twist.

The Dirty Cannibal is a relatively smaller yet more agile type of Cannibal. They walk around on all fours and can ambush you through various maneuvering tactics such as climbing on trees and rocks and remaining hidden in the bushes until an opportunity to strike arises.


In terms of their behavior, you won’t have to worry about Dirty Cannibals as soon as you spawn on your very first day. That is because they’re too busy studying your movements and how you interact with the world. However, as the days progress, the Dirty Cannibals will begin to become more aggressive and make more advancements toward you.

In fact, the first-ever attack can take place only 2-3 minutes after studying you. Their primary method of attacking is by leaping at you from behind. If you manage to attack them, they’ll try to hide and attack you again. Dirty Cannibals are capable of throwing small stones at you as well.

However, due to their size, they’re not as tough as some of the other cannibals and can be taken down with a lesser amount of strikes. A couple of strikes with a fast weapon will definitely cripple them. But if you want to eliminate them with a single strike, then your best option is to use a slow but heavy-hitting weapon such as the modern axe.

The Dirty Cannibals can interact with other types of cannibals as well, especially at their own camps. You can usually spot them being fed at the feeding troughs near the camps. They’re not as restricted in their movements as compared to the Cave Cannibals but aren’t moving around as freely or dominantly as compared to the Regular or the Masked Cannibals.

Lone Cannibal

These are a certain type of regular Cannibal that acts quite differently as compared to the ones that are moving in a group of two or three. The Lone Cannibal appears similar to the regular Cannibal and can be found praying at camp, mourning the dead, patrolling, or simply drinking water from any source, such as a lake or stream.

However, there’s usually a catch to a Lone Cannibal. If you come across one, it is quite likely that there might be more cannibals in the vicinity, which is why you might want to be cautious while approaching them. If you’re unequipped to deal with a proper group of cannibals, you should likely try to avoid the Cannibal overall, as you can soon get surrounded by more of them.


The behavior of a Lone Cannibal is quite passive compared to those that might approach you in groups. In general, the more cannibals are together, the higher their confidence is in approaching you and even attacking you, which is why the Lone Cannibal will hardly ever be aggressive and will just perform different actions from a distance. And if the Cannibal is a female, it will act even more passively as compared to a male cannibal.

However, despite their passiveness, they won’t completely be numb to the character’s existence. They will follow the player and study them from afar. They might also climb a tree or rocks to get a better angle toward the player. Often, they’ll scratch themselves while they tilt their head as well.

As we mentioned, the Lone Cannibals are not aggressive, nor will they ever attack. However, they can threaten you every now and then. They can threaten you with different gestures, such as waving any weapon that they might be carrying, or they’ll use their thumb and run it across their throat to perform the throat-slitting gesture.


Brutes don’t have much to them but are essentially like the powerhouses of the cannibals. They’re extremely large cannibals that appear rarely but can often be found in the larger cannibal camps.

If you ever come across a Brute, you’ll notice that they’re carrying something heavy such as a large club or an outboard engine. These weapons are strong enough to knock the player down with a single hit. Not only that, but the Brutes can harm you by charging toward you and kicking you down when they get too close.


Brutes are capable of reacting to and interacting with nearby cannibals. Their interactions are quite simple-minded; they’ll pick up any wounded or dead Cannibal and throw them to the side. This is similar to how the Masked Cannibals interact with other cannibals; however, the masked ones tend to throw even the alive cannibals, whereas the Brutes tend to be more inclined towards acting as a disposer of the useless cannibals.

Fortunately, you won’t have to deal with the Brutes if you’re unprepared or not ready to fight in general, as they’re usually not triggered unless you intentionally try to get their attention by attacking them first. But, if you really do want to take on a Brute, your best option is to use headshots. Each headshot causes the Brute to be stunned for around five seconds. That will give you enough time to land a few attacks to eliminate the threat completely.


Titans are quite similar to the Brutes but are more aggressive. They’re usually found fully painted in red and let out war cries while attacking you. Their primary method for attacking is by body-slamming you, which can pretty much lift you off the ground and create an entire shock wave.

General Behaviors Of Cannibals

Sons of the forest regular cannibals
Regular Cannibal fleeing after being hurt or held at gunpoint [screenshot by us]
Although we talked about the specific behavior of each type of Cannibal, there are certain general behaviors that apply to almost every Cannibal. For example, there are different tribes and factions in the game for the cannibals. These different tribes are identified by the color or type of armor that they wear.

The different factions or tribes have their own unique rituals and certain unique behaviors. For example, there is a type of tribe that wears bone armor, and they’re quite aggressive and do not run away when injured.

But the opposite can also exist. There can be tribes that are more passive or more tactful in their approach. They could be identified by leaf armor which helps them blend in with the trees and to catch you off guard.

However, cannibals are not completely mindless in the game. For example, if you attack a cannibal, it will attack you as well. If you choose to spare it, it will eventually come back for round two. But, if you decide not to attack a cannibal, there might be a chance that it’ll stop being aggressive toward you.

But, your actions can dictate exactly how aggressive the cannibals are towards you. If you decide to attack their camps, steal their resources, or actively engage in battle with them whenever given a chance, then they’ll be relatively more aggressive.

Eating Cannibals

If for some reason, you want to give the cannibals a taste of their own medicine by eating them, then you can totally do that! In the original game, The Forest, there was a penalty for eating cannibals in the form of a sanity effect. But it appears that there are no consequences for eating a cannibal in the game.

There are certain procedures that need to be followed if you want to eat a cannibal. The first step is to, of course, kill a cannibal. After you’ve got yourself a cannibal corpse, you need to use your axe to cut off its legs. If you look at the legs, you’ll notice that it is labeled as “Raw Leg.” You can eat that directly, or you can take it to a fire and cook it before eating it. It is worth noting that, as of right now, you can only eat the legs of the cannibals.

How To Turn Off Cannibals

If you just want to explore the island and build peace without constant attacks by cannibals, then there is an option for that in the game. The option will make it so that there are no more cannibals, or in fact, any other enemies, roaming around to disturb you.

While starting a custom game, you can choose the option to set Enemies to Off. However, the option is only available for a new game. So, if you’ve already started a game and are looking for a way to turn off enemies, then unfortunately, you don’t have that option.

Besides just dealing with Cannibals in the game, there’s much more for you to uncover. Dealing with trees regrowing or finding the Arm Door will be part of your adventures on the island. You can also learn to recruit Virginia or learn how to make a rope or a fishing trap

But in general, that is everything that there is to learn about the Cannibals in the Sons of the Forest! They’re a definite improvement from the original game, with new concepts and behaviors added to them, which are affected by the way you interact with them and the different seasons.

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Atik Younus

Atik is a Game Guides Writer at eXputer with plenty of experience under his belt. He has a knack for well-written stories and amazing combat mechanics. When not found going on adventures with Nathan Drake, he's usually found creating 3D artwork and writing code.

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