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Hosts are the skulls that occasionally raise themselves up to shoot at you. When they raise themselves, that is the only time you can damage them. I can't seem to find any sort of pattern and end up spending 10 minutes running around hoping this thing reveals itself. Is there anything I can do to make them raise up?

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move out of their shooting range and back in, that'll motivate them –  Zommuter Apr 1 '12 at 14:52
    
@Zommuter - I can run all around the room and they do not care. –  user9983 Apr 1 '12 at 14:52
    
strange, that shouldn't happen. Does this always happen or just with this one? In the latter case, put a bomb at the door to exit the room –  Zommuter Apr 1 '12 at 14:54
    
@Zommuter - It always happens. –  user9983 Apr 1 '12 at 14:55
    
oh, and stop shooting at them, that keeps them from leaving cover –  Zommuter Apr 1 '12 at 14:55

5 Answers 5

up vote 8 down vote accepted

Here's three things I noticed about their pattern:

  1. They react to your movement. If you stand perfectly still, they will stay down.

  2. They will pop up only to attack, which they generally will not do if they don't have a line of sight.

  3. Bombarding them with projectiles while they're down is useless. If you hit them in this state, they will stay down for a couple more seconds.

You want to goad the Host into attacking you so you in turn can hit it.

If it's just one Host, you can align yourself with it and wait for it to pop up. Move back and forth a bit to provoke it if necessary. Shoot it, and dodge its bullets.

If there's several Hosts, you might not want to stand still. Shooting them diagonally while running past is usually the safer option in this case.

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You'll occasionally encounter red Hosts, who aren't invulnerable when they're down. I think they do more damage to make up for it, but I'm not sure. –  Tacroy Apr 1 '12 at 14:35
    
@Tacroy I think they just shoot more bullets (5 at a time). –  lunboks Apr 1 '12 at 15:20
    
I can run around a Host without shooting them for minutes and they will do nothing. –  user9983 Apr 1 '12 at 17:41
    
@OrigamiRobot that's really weird, I just played a round to see whether an update broke something, but for me hosts start shooting again after I've moved about half a room's width away from them for a few second and return to them. Has this always been like that? Also note that if they look like this (usually from a bomb while defending) they take some time to recover –  Zommuter Apr 1 '12 at 18:40
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1 is wrong. Standing still for long enough (in range) is perhaps the best way to deal with hosts. –  badp Jul 1 '12 at 11:30

From my experience, it is not too difficult to "bait" hosts into shooting at you. Try standing directly above/below/to the side of the host (not necessarily close to it, just so that it can see you in a direct line in one of the four cardinal directions) and making small movements in various directions.

If the host is really ignoring you I also try shooting away from it. That usually did it for me (unless it's completely psychosomatic, and I only felt like it helped).

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I've found that they are vulnerable to spikes on the floor, even when down. Shooting at them while down pushes them around a bit; it is thus possible to maneuver them onto nearby spikes and eliminate them from a distance.

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While it's situational at best, I'd like to add that, even while down, hosts receive damage from The Virus, and they deal no damage via touch in return, so if you happen to have that item, you can shoot to keep them down after their initial attack, then kill them that way.

Based on their wiki page they are also vulnerable to Dead Bird while down.

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For lone hosts, the best thing you can do is stop shooting and stand still in range (a little more than half the screen's width). Eventually the host will attack, allowing you to attack first and dodging his own bullets later.

When you have a group of three hosts in a line, wait for one to attack and then unleash on all three. This will attack all hosts that open together and prevent closed hosts from opening themselves for a while. Repeat until they're all dead.

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