Zombie Hunter University, Fairview

Dr. Raglan's Scientific-Minimalist School of Dead Frontier Weapons, Builds & Boss-Hunting

Scientific-Minimalist Guide to Dead Frontier Boss Hunting: Using Explosives

Immolator Vs. Five Flaming Rumblers

Key Points:

  • In most instances, Explosives are contraindicated for boss hunting, because grenades cannot focus their firepower on a single target - i.e, the boss.
  • There are exceptions to this rule, as students move into Red, Black, and White Zones.


Grenade Launchers spread damage among the 15 zombies closest to the blast. When aiming for a specific target or targets, why use a weapon that expends much of its firepower on collateral damage? 

There are three reasons for using Explosives against boss zombies:

  1. Explosives help insure that bosses remain in pursuit.
  2. Explosives can inflict damage on bosses surrounded by hordes.
  3. Explosives can inflict damage simultaneously on multiple bosses.

These reasons are usually non-operative while hunting solo bosses in Blue, Green, Yellow, and Orange Zones. However, as students move farther east, they will encounter heavy agro and multiple bosses, which make Explosives more useful.

  • Note: In eastern zones, Familiar boss zombies (Titans, Mothers, Wraiths, Giant Spiders) appear in pairs. New mini-bosses (Flaming Long Arms, Flaming Rumblers, Flaming Flesh Hounds) appear in quintets. 


In western areas of Fairview, it is usually possible to separate a single boss from agro swarms by running around the perimeter of the area. After the student and the boss have outrun the horde, it is possible to focus attention on the boss.

The problem with using this strategy in Red, Black, and White is that agro swarms consist of faster zombies. Outrunning them sometimes leaves slower boss zombies behind (Mothers, Flaming Rumblers). Students may end up killing one Mother instead of two or three Flaming Rumblers instead of five.

Explosives help avoid his problem, because zombies tend to pursue students who are inflicting damage on them. Grenade Launchers can do this even when there is a multitude of zombies in between the student and the target. Firing grenades will keep the boss zombies in pursuit, preventing them from falling behind because they wander behind walls or bump into obstacles.

Because Explosives provide no knockback, it will be necessary to switch to another grinding weapon to fend off Spiders, Tendrils, and Flesh Hounds. Otherwise, keep firing grenades to lure the mini-bosses into a kill zone.

The best Grenade Launchers for this purpose have Average Firing Speed (2 shots per second) or at least Slow Firing Speed (1.5 shots per second). This will provide stun though not knockback. The limited-edition Corpse Erruptor is well suited to handling these situations.

  • Note: If bosses do fall behind, it is not necessary to circle back for them. Bosses spawn at intersections. Bosses that have fallen behind will teleport to intersections. (See illustration below*.)

Image & Caption by Mbey MK II


When dealing with slow bosses, such as Mothers, sometimes the easiest strategy is to trap them behind a wall or a fence along with the horde. The problem is that the other zombies, trying to attack the student, will bunch up in front of the Mothers, making it difficult to shoot them with firearms.

Lobbing Explosives offers an easy solution to this problem. This also works during group boss hunt when machine guns used by other hunters draw a continuous stream of agro, making it difficult to get a clear shot at the bosses. Circle the fight while tossing grenades into the middle. This will inflict damage upon the bosses and also clear the other zombies so that bullets from fellow hunters can hit the target.


  • Note: The following strategy was designed by Mbey MK II to be used against mini-bosses in eastern regions of Fairview. It can be also employed against groups of Flaming Zombies in the missions Flaming Stenches in Dogg's Stockade and Big Bang in Fort Pastor. 

Red, Black, and White Zones are home to three species of mini-bosses, which spawn in groups of five. We recommend using Explosives against two of them, Flaming Long Arms and Flaming Rumblers. Explosives are less effective against the third species, Flaming Flesh Hounds, which are too fast to outmaneuver easily; it is better to hunt these mini-bosses with help from other students.

When hunting "Black Zone Mini-Bosses" (our term because they are encountered most frequently in Black Zones), circling an area to thin agro often leads to a situation in which a wounded mini-boss drops behind, replaced by a healthier mini-boss. Even if a mini-boss can be shot to death before a healthy replacement shows up, there will probably not be time to collect loot.

Explosives avoid this problem by distributing damage almost equally among the multiple mini-bosses. This makes it possible to kill five nearly simultaneously, in the same place, and collect loot before another mini-boss shows up to interfere.

Instead of circling the area to elude agro, students should find a wall, a fence, or preferably an enclosed space where the mini-bosses can be isolated. As noted above, Explosives can be used to keep the group together until a kill-zone is found.

Students familiar with an area should head immediately to a known kill-zone and wait for the mini-bosses to spawn. Because Black Zone Mini-Bosses frequently spawn near Secronom Bunker, students residing there should know the local kill zones, such as the tennis court in the zone immediately east of the outpost, shown below:

Image & Caption by Mbey MK II

If there is no convenient tennis court, a wall or a fence will do. In the following illustration, the student deliberately follows an indirect path to a wall near the northeast intersection. The goal is to trap agro behind the wall, while the mini-bosses spawn at the intersection, on the same side of the wall as the student.

Image & Caption by Mbey MK II

After the mini-bosses have been isolated, fire continuously while circling the targets to keep them bunched together. A sustained volley from a grenade launcher can wipe out the entire group after several minutes. 

During this extended confrontation, students should prevent the agro horde from circumventing whatever obstacle is holding them back. The following two photographs illustrate what needs to be done.

The first depicts the situation inside a tennis court. Students should stay in the center area unless they deliberately wish to draw more zombies into the court (which may be the case if a mini-boss has spawned on the other side of the fence).

Image & Caption by Mbey MK II

The second illustrations shows what to do when a horde is on the opposite side of a wall. Basically, staying at a diagonal from the crowd will lessen the odds of zombies getting around the wall.

Image & Caption by Mbey MK II

Inevitably, some other zombies will intervene, but explosives will easily obliterate them as long as there are no more than five at a time. Grenade Launchers are designed to exterminate crowds - they have plenty of damage to spare.

  • Note: Explosives inflict 100% of their listed DPH on the five zombies closest to the epicenter. The next five zombies receive 50% of the official DPH. The next five receive 25% of the DPH. Mathematically, this works out so that 57% of the possible damage lands on the five mini-bosses being targeted, leaving 43% of the damage available to kill interlopers.

Kill time depends on the Grenade Launcher being used and the Mini-Boss being targeted. However long the extermination process takes, all five mini-bosses should drop dead within a minute or so of each other. When the number has dwindled to one or two, switch to single-shot weapons, Melee, or Chainsaws to finish off the stragglers. 

With five corpses within a few feet of each other, separated from the agro horde, gathering the loot should be easy.

If not all five drop loot, other mini-bosses will spawn. Mostly likely, the number will be too small to justify using Explosives. Especially if there is only one, Rifles, Pistols, Melee, or Chainsaws are preferable.

Recommended Weapons: The more DPS the better, but firing speed is not important when circling Flaming Long Arms or Flaming Rumblers, both of which are easy to outmaneuver. The Immolator is a solid choice: firing heavy grenades, each shot delivers 59 damage points to each mini-boss. 


*Zombie Hunter University is indebted to Mbey MK II for developing the grenade strategy and for providing the captioned illustrations.