Please explain assassin/hook rats/leechers to me

Why are they in the game? When you’re fighting a horde, there’s very little time to react and they’ll come out of nowhere to grab/pin you from full health until you’re dead if no one else is around. So we have these heroes, tried and true, battle-hardened warriors, and there’s NOTHING they can do when a 20-pound rat jumps them? Not even our class ability? If our team isn’t around, perhaps because they’re all dead, and one of these catches you- game over?

Will probably be flamed for this, but I don’t care. No amount of “get gud” can do anything, including preventing it from happening. It’s a really lame af way to impede progress.

Same thing in Darktide with those goddam Trappers. You can hear the hounds, the flamers, the mutants, but you can not hear the trappers whispering until you’re in their net. And from full health, I don’t see how the net can keep shocking you for that long.

All of these attacks should have a way out. You hold a button and, depending on one stat or another, and if you have enough health, you can eventually break free. It’s just too often the reason why missions fail to be fair.

In the first game the characters actually remarked on getting disabled by specials, both the victim and the rest of the team. I remember Saltzpyre and Sienna had a conversation to the effect of “Why didn’t you free yourself with your magic?” - “I need to be able to breathe for that, idiot” after she is freed from a Packmaster, and so on.

To answer your question, Vermintide is a part of a tough co-op game subgenre started by Left 4 Dead, and enforcing sticking together by means of harshly punishing strayers is a big part of that. As a group, enemies are almost trivial, as an individual, they’re a threat that makes you want to not be an individual member for long. Disabler specials (the ones you listed) are a force multiplier and an extreme manifestation of “stick together or else”, where the rest of your team is a hard necessity. If you could free yourself willy-nilly, that would make a huge dent in the genre’s identity. Even Deep Rock Galactic only lets you do this like twice a mission at the cost of a perk slot.
Think of sticking-together-ness as a resource that guards you against disabler specials. If you’re missing team members or if you strayed far enough away, that resource gets low, making you rely on fewer people instead of all 4, down to 1 if things get hairy.
Whether you decide to stick with the game or not for long enough to find enjoyment in this dynamic, that’s up to you. If you stay, you WILL get better with experience, there’s no escaping that at least.
(This is all discounting the part where you do eventually get good enough to juke and destroy on your lonesome, at least long enough to get your team rescued.)

1 Like

I appreciate your time and thoughtfulness in answering!

What I find happening 90% of the time is the randoms I’m with think nothing ever spawns/attacks from behind and just keep pushing forward, or they think they can outrun the mobs, which simply can’t happen. We’re slower than everything else on purpose (another “force multiplier” which I really dislike). So they attack, I’m the only one to turn and defend but normally pick a class good at just that so no one else gets hit and they just keep going. Now I’m knee-deep in mobs and have no chance when a disabler spawns to escape/dodge/etc.

Everyone needs to realize how important the sound/music is in these games. They tell you when hordes are coming, disablers are about to show up, gas rats, etc.

I use the ingame “Come here” message and/or yell into the microphone- nothing. Everyone else is just Leroyin their way through, F everyone else.

Now, the 10% of the time where everyone actually pays attention and gives a sh!t about their team mates- smooth af runs. Go figure!

I would GLADLY give up a talent on any class to allow for 1 or 2 escapes per map.

Well, see, from your words it’s clear that the issue is less with the game and more with the players. You’re playing at a low stick-together resource that I made up, so it’s making things that much harder, and when teams are together, it’s much easier, as you said. My two cents are, you should invest in a stable group or at least rope in one friend to play with on the regular. It’ll do your sanity good.

Until then, there is a talent to tide (heh) you over. Bardin’s Ironbreaker career has this level 20 talent, Gromril Curse, and in simple terms, it pushes enemies back upon taking damage every 20 seconds, including disabler specials. Yes, it’ll work even if you were pounced while it was still on cooldown - it’ll just push everything back the second it comes back online, provided you don’t die until then.
Probably don’t rely on it too much though.

It is true that some disablers can be anything from a minor problem to a major source of tilt when fighting a horde, like assassins jumping from weird places or spawning and jumping instantly. But it’s also true that there’s people who have/are solo’ing modded difficulties pretty far beyond cata.

So its also true that it´d be wrong to state that “No amount of git gud” does anything.

You can’t really put “running modded” and “get gud” in the same sentence without knowing what mods they’re running and their mission success rate. Perhaps they can run super hard maps but I’d bet real $ that a majority of their fails are because of disablers.

When talking modded difficulties the meaning is usually something that cranks the difficulty up beyond what the game allows by default.

People have uploaded vids of themselves solo’ng cata deathwish, that’s sufficiently brutal for me and it absolutely takes absolutely disrespecting the special population, like i mean kissing the assassins on the cheek as they fly by before ramming a sword up their behinds.

Or letting a packmaster grab you knowing full well its damaged enough that the incoming flameblast from a stormfiend will kill it. As for success rate, undeniably there is a learning curve to that as well, but after that these guys, at least from what i could tell, could fairly reliably repeat their feats.

In a manner of speaking, its not doing it that is the hard part, its learning to do it in the first place. Or in other words, getting good.

As for me? That stuff is defo not my cup of tea, i do not like hitting something that feels like an unfliching sandbag… but i can solo cata with bots reliably so i am content either way. I cant absolutely disrespect my assassins but i can still smack them.

That was Kruber Actually. Sadly it’s impossible to have Sienna and Victor at the same time for some stupid reason. Unless you co-op that is…but the game is dead.

It can be frustrating when the sound either bugs out or is drowned out by other stuff, but technically every disabler can be dodged and countered.

What DOES seriously suck though is the lack of an in-game training room to let players practice in a controlled environment just to get the timing and animations down. You have to take ages loading a level, and when you do, wait for a special you’re trying to learn to pop up, and hope your allies don’t kill it off right away so you can dance around with it and learn it’s moves etc.

There’s mods… but why the hell does something so basic need mods? Especially when consoles can’t use mods. :rage:

Well, the disablers are there to force coherency in the team.

I have hundredes of hours in Vermintide and if there is one enemy type that can still pull out a nasty surprise on me, it is the assassin due to his speed, omnipresence and unpredictability.

With proper set-up you can kite any (yes, any) number of standard enemies or elites across the map, but throw two disablers into that blob and you will see people with thousands of hours concentrating harder than Yoda on that X-Wing.

I can tell you that this is a matter of practice and target prioritization. My very generic tips:

  1. Leeches have the most obvious sound clue and are therefore easiest to dodge. Caveat: if they attack you while you are mid-air (f.e. jumping down the ledge) their grab will follow you and auto-grab you.

  2. Hookrats are nasty due to big HP pool and same stagger resistance like monsters. If you hear a hookrat, just try to echolocate him as soon as you can and take him down from distance. If that is not possible, tag him in the horde and focus just on him to dodge or eliminate him.

  3. Assassins are the most dangerous. If you hear an assassin, then first and foremost, locate him. Just block&kite the horde, if you lose the sight of him while he has a line of sight on you, then you’re in very bad spot. It is possible to dodge them by sound (they giggle as they fly towards you), but window for that is very, very small.

Also check steam/forums for some breakpoints, it is not an accident, that experienced players generally favour builds able to consistently one-shot disablers or other nasty specials. More often than not, your window to defend yourself will be extremely short, so make that shot count.

I agree with @GreenColoured, VT2 could absolutely use arena for some practice. Learning how to deal with disablers was major pain in the a**.

1 Like

They’re avoidable 95% of the time.

They can all noclip through Elites and Bosses.

Dropping off ledges is not dodging. They will catch you.

Gutter Runners:

  • Will spawn insta leap
  • Slide off walls and get you almost unavoidably, because of how unpredictable it is
  • Leap then insta leap again

But they have low health pools, and if you stack up when you hear them, you will be fine.


  • Can completely ruin matches on higher difficulties due to Horde/Elite density and being unable to see them as they noclip through all of it- they’re the reason stun Career Skills are considered the best
  • Have weird Boss armour type, making them difficult to build for
  • Can spawn soundlessly or really close

But they are kind of obvious outside of these scenarios.


  • Can noclip catch you through high density ruining matches in high density

But outside of that are stupidly easy to deal with if you have a single Ranged Weapon in the group.

Hopefully in newer updates they go more like Darktide in terms of how easy the disablers are to escape. Dying just because of some janky noclip is really boring.

1 Like

If you’re referring to the bot order, you can reorder your bot priority in the hero selection screen to include Sienna and exclude someone else. I don’t bring along kerillian in solo game because her ult isn’t impactful enough when used randomly imo. It also helps my mental state to not get ragged on every 2 seconds xdd

1 Like

So simply to state I am Blind, legally blind, 10% vision 6/60.
I can hear trappers all the time, and i hear VT2 audio q’s perfectly fine never missed one unless a friend in Discord was chatting loudly.

I’ve completed every VT2 mission solo legendary on each career and on Cata on like 4 careers now. Disablers are what 90% of time ruin my runs yes. But I know each time I wipe I could have done something to not die. I could have dodged left and push attacked or ulted used the safe time and sniped it etc using a high pen range weapon.

The whole thing with disablers is its either a self skill check to not get caught when you can always spam tag in a horde to check if you have bad audio processing issues like 1 of my friends with ADHD has, or for your team to save you. Its that simple.
FYI most careers can move faster through maps that enemy mobs to the point in some cata runs me and my friends speed run faster than a sneak rat can jump any of us and the game either TP’s it ahead and we run past again or it just despawns it which i haven’t had happen for nearly a year now so i feel despawn is less likely unless it instantly spawns in a new one again. (which will happen if we cross spawn trigger marks on the map which are rando generated each time map loads)

Imma be honest the Sound in this game imho has been stellar since the 2nd patch post WoM update where beastmen broke most audio. But since then ive not had any issues on my end and as such am usually very happy to kill every special as soon as it reaches LoS.

Others here have stated ways to improve etc on dealing with disablers but i just had to point out as a blind guy ve not had the same issue as you so its either a you issue or who you play with issue re audio processing or just maybe even a hardware/software set up i dunno.


Oh and for this point there is!
Its called moded realm with the monster spawner mod. You can turn on AI and practice! I use it mostly for build testing because yes breakpoint calcs are nice but i like to see just how often i can land head shots on X enemy.

On the contrary, gitting gud opens up several means of preventing it from happening. Mostly dodging the attacks or killing them first. But short of having sufficient skill to deal with them solo, disablers are also bested by sticking close to your team. Teamwork is OP.


The guy I was responding to was talking about Vermintide 1, that line is very common in the first game

1 Like

Not if you’re on consoles though. Such a function should be default in the game.

I mean, the game has so many unused rooms and doors that can’t be opened atm…and Oleysia is a GREY Wizard.

It’s pretty simple it’s because it’s a game and the enemy’s are there to fight you head on and the disablers are there to pick you off and the specials are there to pin you or pull your uncoordinated ass apart so the disablers can stab you for more then 2 seconds.


i have to be blunt about it, you’re absolutely wrong.
and quite frankly you just claim the solutions aren’t the solutions…

  1. first off stay in group, your part of a team, and if you lack the skill to deal with these threats staying in team will prevent the worst from happening.

  2. next is audio cues, learn them, most specials have global audio cues and proximity cues, in most cases spawning triggers a global audio cue, and well all of them have proximity cues.
    if you think something came out of nowhere it tells me you don’t respect these, as soon as you hear an assassin spawning you should be in threat assessment mode, closing angles from where he can jump or look for special spawn locations, to outright kill or at least mark him.
    if you just continue to pummel at the horde without thought than its you not the game.

  3. “skill does nothing”, this is just a cropout, you literally can avoid them infinitely with the tools given, including a mass of enemies chasing you, and situations where a disabler is unavoidable are very few, like when a banner knocks you and get pounced mid air, sure but as long as you’re in control you have all the tools to avoid even multiple disablers,

there are videos explaining how these work,
assuming your alone:


  1. if you hear a leech spawn, avoid ladders and don’t plan your escape routes with drops in them, they can grab you out of the air.
  2. they have 2 important sounds, 1 teleport sound, 2 their projectile, shortly after teleporting they attempt to leech you, if you hear the teleport, wait just a moment and initiate a dodge, that should be enough to almost never be caught by them.


  1. very obvious sound cue
  2. always ping them its important for dealing with them.
  3. the grab can be dodged extremely consistently. if you struggle with that, just know that they will always full stop their movement to engage hooking animation.
    so if you struggle with the timing look at their feet, you will notice a very substantial difference in their hook animation, if you dodge (sideways 90° angle pref) as soon as you see change in their legs you will always dodge them. but this method only works in a real game if you pinged them so they aren’t obscured by trashmobs.


  1. assasins are dangerous because they can animation cancel, this happens if they fall the tiniest of ledges, or have to space to stand on (like a fence), create distance as soon as possible if you see that.
    they will try to get an angle to jump you from, if you dodge that he will try to get away and do it again, but sometimes they jump from their landing position, one of their most dangerous moves, as it usually very close giving you not much time to react to the second jump, you need to be aware that after landing their at their most dangerous, and attempt a second dodge as soon as he on takes his jumping position. after that he should attempt to vanish and reset his behaivior.

  2. how to deal with that is to pressure him instead, don’t let him assume his jumping stance, after the first jump, if he is mid air, and not likely to hit you, alredy move towards his landing positon and shove him canceling his animations, wich should give you enough time to kill him.
    if he wants to jump you, don’t just dodge him try to push him out of the air, that leaves him totally exposed, and prevents the second much more dangerous jump.
    and yes that can be learned to be very consistently doable, i find it easier the longer he needs to travel, but it can be done even when almost no space between you, but i would not recommend to rely on this alone, always dodge AND push.


As is implied here the time between teleport and cast is also fixed and not random. Once you figure out the timing you don’t even need to look at them to dodge it if there are more pressing matters.

Assassins suck also because their jumps can be (or at least look) glitch at times. I had one jumping sideways at me yesterday… You can also push them while they are mid air head on. But that’s more of a last resort kind of thing, especially if you’re not host since the window is extremely tiny and lag can get you hit anyway. Pushing them when they fly past you when you dodged on the other hand is extremely useful to control their behaviour and not giving them a possibility for a second jump.
But all of that is in no way easy and can take a LOT of practice.