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Timberwolves are relentless hunters. You must break their resolve by reducing Pack Morale. You can also try and take refuge indoors, if you have no other way to defend yourself. Timberwolves can be scared off using a variety of actions -- flares, gunfire, torches, even stones. Break their morale and the Pack will retreat...for a while.
In-game description

Timberwolves are the tougher and more intelligent counterpart to the wolf. Unlike wolves, timberwolves always hunt in packs and are not frightened by common anti-wolf tactics such as lit flares or distracted with decoys.


Timberwolves are silver-gray and larger, than their smaller and flat gray-black wolf cousins. They are native to Bleak Inlet and Blackrock regions (in Survival mode) and Episode 3 and Episode 4 of Story mode, roaming and attacking in packs of 2 to 4. Each pack has morale, which appears at the start of confrontations and must be depleted to end the encounter.

Morale is reduced by shooting or throwing items at pack members, direct hits are most effective but 'near misses' may deplete some morale. This includes: shooting with all weapons, and thrown stones, lit torches, and lit blue Marine Flares (not common red Flares).


  1. If carcass is harvested
  2. If carcass is quartered.


Timberwolves have unique behaviour from common wolf, namely no 'stalking' behaviour, instead they howl upon detecting the player and rush them as a pack. Timberwolves will attempt to encircle the player, taking turns diving in for attacks: either a lunge which begins a struggle, or a "drive-by" attack wherein they charge past and bite the player, causing immediate bruising, bleeding or torn clothes without a struggle. In Wintermute, timberwolves also attack rescued survivors laying on the ground.

  • Timberwolves ignore bait with decoys, but are drawn to scent of meat or bloody injuries.
  • Lone timberwolves (the rest of it's pack having been killed) will always flee away from the player and return to their home location (e.g. The Cannery courtyard).
  • Aiming weapon at attacking timberwolves will cause them to momentarily flee, unless already moving in for an attack.
  • Like other wildlife, timberwolves flee from nearby gunshots and bullet/arrows impacts if they have not detected the player.


Timberwolves continue to attack until the pack's morale is depleted, if the player moves far enough from the pack, or if they enter the territory of a different pack. Morale can be lowered by shooting or throwing objects at the timberwolves. Striking a timberwolf with a shot (or thrown object) lowers morale more than a near miss. Killing a pack member can decrease morale up to twice as much as when a pack member is hit, though it might not automatically completely deplete the pack's morale. Passing a time will cause packs to give up, but may take upwards of 12 hours.

Marine flares are effective at stopping timberwolf lunges, although normal flares are not. Both types of flare are effective at deterring timberwolves, just outside their lunge distance, and directly hitting a timberwolf with a thrown flare (either type), torch, or stone will damage morale. Once a pack's morale is depleted, surviving members flee and will not attack again until their morale regenerates (~1 hour in-game). A single lit Marine flare can be used to fully deplete a pack's morale by repeatedly throwing it at the ground between the player and a timberwolf, and then retrieving the flare.

During Aurora the flashlight's high beam is effective at scaring aurora timberwolves and depleting their morale: however even marine flares have no effect on aurora timberwolves.

Campfires have limited deterrence value. Timberwolves will not attack through them, but will instead encircle the fire to attack or 'hold ground' opposite the player. Torches pulled from a lit campfire may be thrown at timberwolves to deplete their morale.

Injured timberwolves do not participate in attacks (though it takes a few seconds to realize they are injured), and they flee from the player even if the pack has morale. If every timberwolf in the pack is injured then the player is safe from attack, though the morale bar will only disappear once enough of the timberwolves have bleed to death.


When the player is detected by a timberwolf pack, a chord stab sounds and the morale bar will appear. Shooting or throwing objects at the timberwolves will decreases the bar. When fully depleted, the pack will flee.

Evasion Strategies

Timberwolves are competent in fights, making detecting, avoiding, and escaping them preferable.

  • Timberwolves are territorial and simply avoiding their areas is effective. In general, moving along the edges of a region is safe. Timberwolves avoid bear and moose territory.
  • Timberwolves must see the player to engage, so crouching and hiding behind terrain is effective, though scent and noise can attract them. In chokepoints (such as The Cannery's entrance) members can be lured to investigate thrown stones, or the player can wait for them to move away.
  • A worn wolfskin coat, bearskin coat, or carried bearskin bedroll may scare a timberwolf when it detects the player, preventing it from alerting the pack. Rarely, even without these items a timberwolf may flee.
  • When the player is detected, the timberwolves take several seconds howling before they begin their assault. This provides a short window of opportunity to sprint past them to safety (such as entering the Last Resort Cannery or Pensive Lookout). All else being equal the player sprints at timberwolf running speed so they can't catch up unless there is another factor like a head wind.
  • It is possible to out-run a pack, as they are optimized for fighting stationary or slow players. Leaving their territory (entering the territory of a different pack or a bear/moose) will cause them to disengage.
  • Passing even a brief amount of time in an interior will cause timberwolves to disengage, this does not work in psudeo-indoor areas like Pensive Lookout, but quitting and reloading the game (such as after sleeping) will also typically reset the timberwolves.
  • Lit torches are potent deterrence against attack. A charging timberwolf will pause and growl a few steps away from the torch. Be Warned: approaching a stationary growling timberwolf will provoke an attack, making a torch ideal only when moving away. A marine flare provides greater "offensive" power but does not absolutely prevent attacks.
  • During an Aurora the bright lights around The Cannery provide protection against aurora timberwolves, and sprinting between these patches is effective for entering the compound.

Fight Strategies

Timberwolves can be fought with the right tools or tactics.

  • Thrown marine flares are very effective at depleting a pack's morale, even one can be enough to deter the pack by throwing and retrieving it.
  • Terrain such as cliffs, ledges, boulders, or fallen trees are useful as chokepoints or for protecting from attacks entirely.
  • Standing next to a campfire or on top of a lit torch also provides considerable protection from attack.
  • Snow shelters can provide protection from attack, but may require leaving the shelter to continue a fight. Field of view is also limited, so the direction of a shelter is crucial since wolves behind the snow shelter (in blind spots).
  • The Distress Pistol is effective at depleting morale. A well placed shot depleting up to 1/4 of a pack's morale.
  • As with other predators, it is possible to sneak up close to timberwolves while crouched and redirect them with thrown stones or by picking up/dropping smelly items. This allows them to be hunted more effectively without starting an attack. A mastered survival bow (level 5 skill) is well suited to this method.


Update history

  • update 27 June 2020 (Update):
    • [Gameplay] Fixed an issue that prevented Timberwolves Pack Morale from being drained when using the Flashlight’s high beam.
    • [WINTERMUTE] Timberwolves will now react to the Flashlight when appearing in WINTERMUTE.
  • hotfix 20 January 2020 (Update):
    • [EP3] Players can no longer skip the Timberwolf Tutorial, by placing a survivor at the same time the tutorial triggers.
    • [AI] Fixed an issue that allowed Timberwolves to become hostile, regardless of game mode settings.
    • [AI] Fixed issue that prevented Timberwolves from attacking the Player, if they have entered and exited a vehicle.
    • [AI] Timberwolves will now only pick valid locations to wander to, preventing them from becoming stuck.
  • hotfix 18 December 2019 (Update):
    • [AI] Timberwolves will no longer freeze in place if they try to attack a target they can’t pathfind to.
    • [Animation] Pass on Timberwolves to fix numerous animation pops and hitches.
    • [Audio] When joining a pack, Timberwolf howls are no longer cut off or repeated.
  • hotfix 14 December 2019 (Update):
    • [WINTERMUTE] Timberwolf carcasses no longer disappear if the Player saves, then reloads.
    • [Survival] Timberwolves will now hunt prey, as intended.
    • [AI] Added additional line of sight check to Timberwolves, to prevent attacks through walls and out of reach locations.
    • [AI] Timberwolves will now break-off their attack if a Marine Flare is lit, before the struggle occurs.
    • [AI] Timberwolves can no longer flee to excessive distances.
  • update 10 December 2019 (Update):
    • [WINTERMUTE] Male survivor vocalization no longer plays when Astrid is attacked by Timberwolves.
    • [WINTERMUTE] Timberwolves now react properly to Marine Flares.
  • hotfix 1 November 2019 (Update):
    • Fixed issue that caused players to be forced out of aim when attacked by a Timberwolf.
    • Adjusted the distance which Timberwolves will hold ground when the player is holding a lit Marine Flare.
    • Fixed Timberwolves howling more than intended.
    • Fixed Timberwolf corpses resetting after transitioning indoors.
  • hotfix 29 October 2019 (Update):
    • Fixed Timber Wolves Morale bar resetting if they fled during the Tutorial.
    • Fixed issue preventing Timber Wolves from transitioning to and from Aurora state.
  • update 22 October 2019 (Update):
    • Added to game