Snatchers are large quadrupedal beasts found within the Swarm and known for "snatching" human victims by unzipping its stomach and pulling its victims inside, carrying them to Swarm Hives and enveloping them into Pods, where they are transformed into Juvies, who later grow into Imagos and then Drones for the Swarm Army. Pouncers are the juvenile form of the Snatchers.
Snatchers spot any vulnerable human targets they see in the open and immediately fire its quill from their tail. An impact from its pointy quill instantly incapacitates human victims, thus allowing Snatchers to quickly run up and drag the incapacitated human into its unzipped stomach. Once the Snatchers capture its victim, they would head back to the hives to deposit and incubate them in membranous pods, where humans would undergo the process of mutating into Juvies. Like most other hostile Swarm creatures such as Pouncers and Carriers, Snatchers are thickly armored and it makes them extremely difficult to kill; on the other hand, its glowing stomach remains unprotected, leaving it susceptible to gunfire.
The origins of the Snatchers currently remain shrouded in mystery and very little is known about how they are formed. It is most theoretically possible that Snatchers could have been spawned directly from the Locust burial sites. The birth of the Snatchers is not yet known as it is not known what exactly birthed them.
25 years following the Lambent Pandemic, Snatchers became responsible for the sudden disappearances of the human population from both Outsider villages and COG settlements. It remains unknown how long exactly Snatchers first began abducting humans and most certainly, it lies a deep question; on the other hand, it is presumably possible that Snatchers started kidnapping humans systematically before the Swarm Outbreak occurred.
When a commanding Scion, the Speaker raided an Outsider village led by Reyna Diaz, dozens of Snatchers were accompanied by the Scion where they immediately began abducting Oscar and the rest of the villagers, except JD, Del and Kait.
When Marcus, JD, Del and Kait arrived at the abandoned historic site of Fort Reval, they heard a strange howling sound that echoed in the night and they were being stalked by a Snatcher from above. A severe windflare was imminent and they push their way into the entrance site from the inside. Inside the abandoned library, they started discovering strange red glowing tendrils hanging in the ceiling. As they follow its lead, they stumbled upon two bursted pods. The team encountered more pods deposited in ground floors and walls where they were being followed by a Snatcher sneaking from above them. The team were compromised by a gathering pack of Snatchers where one of them abducted Marcus Fenix after one of them fired its quill, instantly wounding him before Marcus tried smoking the Snatcher out with a Bolo Grenade, but failed to notice another Snatcher sneak up on him. The Snatcher that had visibly followed them later snatched Marcus and carried him to its hive, where it was killed by JD Fenix and his squad.
Dozens of Snatchers appeared on the path to Tollen Dam to prevent Gears from destroying the heart of the hive, but were all killed by heavy mechs and airstrikes.
Behind the scenes
- Snatchers can appear in boss waves in Horde 3.0.
- If a player is caught by a Snatcher, they will be pulled into the creature and have a limited, blurry field of vision until allied fire releases them. In campaign, if allies take too long to free the player, the Snatcher will escape and the player will suffer an immediate game over. In Horde 3.0, the player will instead die inside the Snatcher.
- If a player is killed whilst being grabbed by a Snatcher and respawns, or if an ally uses the Team Revive ability whilst the player is still inside a Snatcher, they will have the same blurry field of vision on their HUD as if they were inside a Snatcher. This will remain until the player pauses the game.
- When a player is grabbed by a Snatcher in Horde 3.0 and killed inside its belly, when the player's remains are spit out, the camera's field of view will become extremely wide for several moments.
- If a player is revived before a Snatcher can grab them, the Snatcher will growl at its enemies. This allows players to do some damage to it without having it attack back for a brief moment.
- If a Snatcher walks by the Fabricator while carrying a player holding a teammate's COG tags, the tags will be deposited, assuming the Power cost can be met.
- Although not common, Snatchers will sometimes leap across incredible distances to a target of interest, especially a downed player.
- The Snatcher was the first of the Swarm to make an appearance.
- Realistically, due to the square-cube law, the pointed feet of the Snatcher would have made the beast sink to the ground.