The Waster uses a rather insidious disguise; they retain their hosts' clothing and overall silhouette, presumably allowing them to fool potential victims. The most immediately obvious change to their appearance is their foaming eyes and mouth that emanates a ghastly yellow light (similar to the hallucination Nicole from Dead Space 2).
When the Necromorph is destroyed, the glow stops. Unlike all other Necromorph strains, which rely on their mutated limbs and abilities to murder their prey, Wasters attack their victims using a variety of melee weapons, including ice axes, picks, hatchets, saws, wrenches, crowbars, and police batons.
While a Waster's body has almost no modifications to it, compared to a standard Necromorph, it possesses the unique ability to trigger further mutations on the fly; dismembering certain parts of their bodies can trigger horrifying transformations. When the upper body receives significant damage, the torso falls off, revealing three pronged tentacles growing out of the lower body. Upon dismembering their legs, projectile-shooting appendages will sprout from the abdominal area for defense and also help with locomotion.
Rarely will this ever happen, but if both the torso and the leg have been shot off, then instead of dying, the Waster will sprout one more tentacle and rapidly crawls towards Isaac like an arachnid.
- Due to the Waster's ability to split in half, it's recommended to aim for the legs first when equipped with a heavy damaging weapon, since this will kill the Waster within one or two shots.
- Blowing off a Waster's arm then severing a leg will kill it without much trouble.
- Wasters are extremely resilient to TK impalements from their own tools, so it's not recommended to throw a tool at one as it leaves the player open to other attackers while not being able to neutralize the Waster and may even cause it to split.
- A single Waster shouldn't really be an issue for the player, even after splitting, but when there are a group of them, one can go from a simple situation to a rather sticky one with them attacking you from close and distant ranges. Wasters can be very ruthless and brutal when attacking in numbers so stasis could be recommended when dealing with groups of them.
- If there are other types of Necromorph in an area, a weapon can be picked off a Waster and used as a TK projectile.
- Stasis and melee attacks are an effective combination when facing a weakened Waster.
- Use a Force Gun (Heavy frame + Plasma core + default tip/ Mk 2 conic dispersal) while they are sprinting at you to launch them backwards, and while they recover from their fall, shoot them with a chain lightning gun (heavy frame + tesla core + diffraction torus) upgraded with damage circuits. Normal Wasters die in one hit, even to the body, and enhanced Wasters die in one hit to the limbs or two hits to the body at impossible difficulty. The strategy works brilliantly when there are multiple wasters to kill; just make sure that the wasters are on the ground and not up and running while aiming with the chain lightning. It is recommended to use a stasis coating with the weapon, as this tremendously slows down wasters via the chain lightning gun should you fail to kill it in one hit , since the chain lightning weapon is very slow but extremely powerful.
- The Force Gun and Military Engine are great for mowing down large groups of them.
- Weapons with Acid or Fire installed can dismember one in seconds.
- Line Gun -type weapons will quickly finish them off if their tentacles are exposed.
- A Rip-Core, especially an upgraded one, usually defeats them with little difficulty.
- Slasher blades will cut them in half instantly on normal difficulty.
- A single shotgun blast will kill a Waster instantly without allowing it to mutate. Enhanced Wasters are much tougher and can withstand multiple Shotgun blasts even if the weapon has full damage, regardless of the difficulty level.
- A Military Engine with a Directed Suspension Field (a.k.a. Sub-Machine Gun tip) will make short work of any Waster coming your way (tested on Hard difficulty, 2-5 bursts with no upgraded parts and circuits). Add a Flame Glaze or Acid Bath attachment to amplify the effectiveness.
- The Anchored Bolas (Tesla Core + Directed Suspension Field) or the shock from an Electrocution Module will kill Wasters without causing them to transform. Similarly, any weapon that can remove both legs at the same time (e.g. Shotgun, Line Gun/Bolas Gun variants, Plasma Cutter variants) can also kill them without triggering their transformation.
- A Seeker rifle (military engine with sniper rifle barrel) that is upgraded to max damage can easily kill most Wasters with a single torso shot: note: you should attach a secondary weapon to the Seeker rifle due to its low ammo capacity and fire rate.
- The most effective way for killing Enhanced wasters (or any other necromorph) is a MK V Seeker rifle on top with a MK V Force gun at the bottom on a S.C.A.F Frame and MK V Stasis coating with MK V stasis amplifier as attachments.While Force gun pushes back groups of them, it takes 2 shots to the body to take them down.Being fast is critical because after one high damaging shot, wasters can quickly mutate themselves into horrific forms.
- This Necromorph has the most physical transformations once the Necromorph gets dismembered
- The Waster is the first Necromorph encountered in Dead Space 3.
- When the corpse of a Circle member is reanimated into a Waster, it discards its former firearm (if any) and proceeds to pull out a pair of pickaxes.
- How and from where did the newly-formed Waster manages to procure said tools are unclear, as Circle members does not possess hand tools like the ones used by Wasters. This is likely a developer oversight.
- Wasters are the first Necromorphs seen to use human weapons and tools. This indicates that either they are evolving and becoming more intelligent, due to their ability to arm themselves or holster their weapons at any moment of need, or the ice tools froze in their hands when they died during rigor mortis. The latter might not be the case, however, as when they are introduced in Dead Space 3, one of them picks up a hatchet after it tosses the weapon into one of its victims.
- Wasters use a variety of weapons along with ice picks, including hatchets, crowbars, police batons, and large pipe wrenches, as seen in Chapter 1 of Dead Space 3.
- Earlier during production, developers referred to this Necromorph as "Fodder". They are still called so in the "Axes High" achievement description.
- While explicitly stated in the description, kills with ANY Fodder/Waster weapon (crowbar, wrenches, pickaxes, etc.) will count toward achievement progress.
- The Waster can be compared to the alien creature from John Carpenter's The Thing, due to the fact that it somewhat resembles a still living human, until it manifests inhuman appendages for offensive or defensive purposes, and the Waster is inhumanly resistant to damage. Additionally, its winter gear and clothing is very similar to the scientists from the film and its arctic setting.
- The Wasters encountered in the Prologue do not sprout tentacles from their abdomen or their legs when dismembered.
- Like the Slasher and some other Necromorphs, the Waster also has an Enhanced form which looks more muscular, has a green pus oozing out of its body and onto its clothes and is more resistant to damage than the regular form.
- The Waster's RIG has a small red bar at the bottom which is odd given all other infected RIGs are dead (same applies to some corpses).
- When Isaac ascends the cliffs of Tau Volantis, a Waster can be heard then seen using its ice axe to smash into the ice in a snow cavern in an effort to free itself after a boulder landed on its foot.
- This is the only Necromorph Isaac turns into should he fail the button sequence with a Swarm.
- The Waster will make an odd grunting sound that sounds closely to "You die!" and another sound that resembles "Sneaking!". A third can also be heard, which strangely sounds like they are yelling "Santos!"
- When Wasters lose their upper bodies, their legs walk backwards.
- The Enhanced Waster wears an altered Legionary RIG, the most notible difference is they wear a gas mask as opposed to the helmet.
- The Waster's glowing eyes and mouth is similar to the hallucination of Nicole in the previous games.
- The Waster will grab onto Isaac, at which point if he doesn't escape the Waster will slice off his arm and proceed to disembowel him.
- If Isaac succeeds, he will push the Waster down and decapitate it with his foot. This does not guarantee a kill, however.
- While the death scene does introduce a first person perspective of the Waster killing the player, should it occur with a wall or other obstruction directly behind them, the player's corpse will look as though the final blow has been dealt already.
- If Isaac is low on health, the Waster will sever Isaac's arm.
- If Isaac is low on health and is hit by the tentacles of the Waster, it will split him apart.