Formed from illegal personnel in the zone.
Since they are nomadic, Loners have no official, single leader.
Nearly everywhere in the zone.
Loners are Stalkers that aren't from any main faction, and the name usually applies to smaller 'packs' of Stalkers. They are neutral to players and most will trade or offer missions for the player to accept. They are usually equipped with cheap weapons, hold few items and rarely have any artifacts. The Marked One is a freelance Loner, accepting jobs from a multitude of factions. It can be assumed that other Loners live a similar life.
The loners also hold a shaky relationship with the Military. While the loners are involved with the military in the illicit trade of firearms and artifacts in the Zone, the military do have the power to shoot stalkers on sight and have been known to abuse their power over stalkers, which generally makes most Loners resentful against the military.
They also hold an unfriendly relationship with most Mercenary forces within the Zone; this is most likely attributed to the mercenaries' reputation of being secretive and somewhat unpredictable individuals who will not hesitate to kill anyone who gets in the way of their work. While they won't normally shoot mercs on contact, they will commonly deny them access to their territories.
They are neutral to the Freedom, Duty and Ecologist factions. Whilst not a proper faction of their own as per se, killing a Loner will earn the enmity of every other Loner in the game; it is implied that word spreads quickly among this nomadic group, and that they don't take kindly to murderers. Technically, Loners are the most ubiquitous group of Stalkers in the Zone outside of the Monolith faction as they can be found nearly everywhere.
In S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl, you start the game as a Loner, and cannot officially join a faction. In Clear Sky the main character can join the Loners. In Call of Pripyat the player also starts the game as a loner and can become a "friend" of Freedom or Duty, but not join officially.
Additionally, while the game calls them "loners", people in the Zone never actually refer to them as such. Loners are usually addressed as "stalkers" or "free stalkers" by the Zone's inhabitants.
History and ApperanceEdit
Clear Sky Edit
In Clear Sky, the Loners are one of the five legitimate factions contesting for control of the Zone. It is implied that, before the Second Emission, Loners behaved much like they do in Shadow of Chernobyl, as a nomadic, yet neutral group. However, after the military sells out a group of Loners to the Bandits, pressing them into slavery, Father Valerian and his group seize control of the Cordon vehicle station, and build up a Loners faction, as well as taking Major Khaletskiy, the man responsible for betraying the Loners, hostage. Not long after the Second Emission, the Loners are a legitimate force, controlling most of the Cordon with squads stretched across almost all of the Zone.
Faction War Edit
In the faction war, the Loners' sole purpose is to establish control over the entrances to the Garbage, and later, the extermination of the Bandit base. To this end they will not hesitate to accept Mercs such as Scar into their ranks. After seizing the Depot and eliminating the Bandits, the Loners tend to go about their own business in the Zone.
GLITCHES: The Loners - Bandit faction war is notoriously glitchy / frustrating. Most problems point towards Loners attempting to control the paths to the Garbage, where squads will become lost between the Cordon and Garbage, and never arrive, while Bandits will never send reinforcements to their points, resulting in a stalemate. The Loners will also never take and hold the Depot, resulting in the Bandits coming back time and time again, leaving it up to Duty to eliminate them completely. The only working method at this time is to wait until a group of Loners is already moving to attack the depot and for the player to assist them in the assault. There is no reason, apart from a very small monetary reward, to attack the Depot by yourself. Doing so only results in a waste of ammunition and time, as the player will have to eventually leave and the Depot will be repopulated rapidly by bandits.
Clear Sky Personnel Edit
- Father Valerian - Leader
The Loners faction's primary opponent in the Zone are the Bandits, and will ignore the other territories of the Zone so long as the Bandits still control their headquarters in the Garbage, the Depot. Afterwards, the Loners will spread throughout the Zone, typically controlling points that Duty and Freedom leave unattended in their bid to destroy one another.
Despite being the most prevalent faction, the Loners have little bearing on the plot. It is left rather vague as to how the faction fell apart, but evidence in game suggests that Father Valerian is killed in action when all the stalkers rush to the center of the Zone later on in the game and without his charismatic personality it is likely the faction simply dissolves after the events of Clear Sky.
Shadow of Chernobyl Edit
For reasons unknown, the Loner "faction" eventually fell apart and disintegrated into roving groups than a unified faction.
While Loners are present nearly everywhere, they do not hold any more areas unlike in Clear Sky and instead simply make camp from area-to-area before moving onto another location. They do however, commonly congregate in the Duty-held Rostok factory complex, which hosts the 100 Rads bar.
Call of Pripyat Edit
The Loners' main camp is located in Zaton, in the derelict hulk of the Skadovsk, an abandoned cargo ship in what used to be the Zaton river, now a marshland. They share the camp with bandits, with whom they have a very fragile truce with; they will kill eachother outside the Skadovsk, but the area around the ship itself is a neutral area.
The Loners also made camp in Yanov Station and act as a buffer between the Freedom and Duty detachments living there. They aren't directly involved in the faction war there, but are caught in the middle of it and they, at the same time, are the only reason one faction hasn't made a move to take over the whole place already.
Shadow of Chernobyl Edit
- Rank: Rookie
- Armor: Leather Jacket or Sunrise suit
- Weapons: Viper 5 Submachine gun, PMm, Sawed-off shotgun
Rookie Stalkers are the most common member of the Loner faction due to the fact that not many Stalkers survive to be Veterans or Experts. They don't wear protective armor and they only have access to light weaponry and are on a level footing with Bandits in terms of strength, Rookie Stalkers aren't experienced with the Zone as the Skilled but Rookie Stalker can be found around the Cordon and the Garbage and very rarely found throughout the deeper part of the Zone. They can typically withstand a few shots but will either die or fall down injured due to the lack of apparel protection.
- Rank: Experienced
- Armor: Sunrise suit
- Weapons: Chaser 13 shotgun, AKM-74/2 assault rifle, AKM-74/2U assault rifle. TRS-301
Skilled Stalkers are Stalkers who have been present in the Zone for at least a good few months and have gained a lot of experience on the Zone and how to survive, they are members of the Loner faction. They tend to wear Sunrise Suits as it is most likely, it's all they can afford presently. They can often be seen carrying shotguns or assault rifles such as the AKM-74/2U and the Chaser 13 shotgun. Skilled Stalkers are more numerous in the deeper areas of the Zone, such as the Army Warehouses, Wild Territory or Yantar. They are similar in strength to normal Stalkers, although their combat skills and equipment are fairly average. Skilled Stalkers wearing Sunrise Suits are fairly resilient to pain and can cope with being wounded.
- Rank: Veteran
- Armor: Sunrise suit, SEVA suit,
- Weapons: VLA Special Assault rifle, AC-96/2 assault rifle, SPSA-14 shotgun, TRs 301 assault rifle, IL 86 assault rifle,
Veteran Stalkers are long time veterans of the Zone, and are one of the most skilled members of the Loner faction. They can often be found wearing the iconic and well known Sunrise Suit or the more Advanced SEVA Suit, and are often equipped with higher-end Russian Federation weaponry such as the AC-96/2 assault rifle and the SPSA-14 shotgun. Some also use the NATO weaponry that is quite common among the Freedom faction. Veteran rank Loners are fairly uncommon and they take a good beating before dying or being totally wounded.
- Rank: Expert
- Armor: Sunrise suit, SEVA suit, Exoskeleton suit
- Weapons: Vintar BC subsonic sniper rifle, VLA Special assault rifle, SPSA-14 shotgun, SGI-5K assault rifle, FT-200M bullpup assault rifle
In Clear Sky, the Loners are an actual faction, and the player's relation with the faction affects his reputation with all Loners, even those who do not follow Father Valerian and his merry band. Despite having little to no Expert level Stalkers, they have a much larger population then the other factions, and can be found in nearly every territory up until Limansk.
Rookies are loners who have just recently made their way to the zone and are still learning the ropes on how to survive, they rarely go outside the area of the Cordon but those brave enough might wander off to the Garbage. Most Rookies are only equipped with a PMm, Fora-12, Sawed-off shotguns or a Hunting Rifle but those thrifty enough may posses a Viper 5 or an AKM-74/2U. Most Rookies only have Leather Jackets as a garment but some may have a Sunrise suit instead. Rookies typically hang around near Experienced or Veteran stalkers for mentoring and protection.
Experienced loners are those who have seen their fair share of action and loot in the zone and have earned enough cash to buy themselves some decent shooters and equipment. Experienced Loners are able to hold their own in deeper parts of the zone like the Agroprom Reasearch institute and the Red Forest. Experienced Loners have access to large selection of armaments but they all use Sunrise suits. They may either be armed with the following: an AKM-74/2, TRs 301, IL 86 or Chaser 13.
Veterans are loners who have reached the farthest and most dangerous parts of the Zone that the zone permits and enough combat experienced under their belt to rival that of a Special Forces operator. Veterans are typically armed with exotic equipment such as the Exoskeleton though some might still use their Sunrise suits. Their armaments are typically either a Vintar BC or an SPSA-14, though some might use an TRs 301 with a scope or an AKM-74/2.
Call of PripyatEdit
Clad in the trademark leather jacket, Rookie Loners are most plentiful in Zaton - aside from specific, scripted Loners, they rarely if not appear in Yanov, and they make themselves rarer in Zaton as the game progresses. They restrict themselves to low end shotguns and submachine guns, such as the Hunting rifle, the Sawed-off shotgun and the Viper 5. They normally do not last long on their own, but Experienced and even Veteran stalkers may take in Rookies on their travels.
Wearing the distinctive Sunrise suit coupled with a respirator or a Gas mask, Experienced Loners make up a significant portion of Zaton's ,Yanov's and Pripyat's population. Travelling in groups of two or three, they're rarely alone, and slightly better equipped than their Rookie counterparts. They make use of AKM-74/2, IL 86, TRs 301, and low and mid-tier shotguns (usually Chaser 13 shotguns but sometimes SPSA-14s).
Veteran Stalkers wear either the Sunrise suit like Experienced Loners, the SEVA suit or the Radiation suit, much like Monolith veterans. They use higher-grade weaponry - SEVA suits Loners use the GP37, while those wearing the Radiation suit usually appear with SGI-5k assault rifles, and those wearing Sunrise suits (rarer than SEVA or Radsuit Loners) appear with SA Avalanche rifles. SEVA suit loners usually do not last long on their own due to the poor hit protection of the SEVA suit, but those wearing Radsuits are much tougher than other Loners, being able to withstand multiple bullets without dying.
Rarer than other Loners, Experts either use the SEVA suit or the Exoskeleton. SEVA suits Loners use the Vintar BC while Exoskeleton-clad Loners have access to various weapons, including the rare FT-200M, the Tunder S14 or the Eliminator. Like Veterans, SEVA experts usually do not last long, but Exoskeleton-clad Loners are among the tougher stalkers of the game, especially able to defend themselves with their powerful weaponry.
Loners use all of the weapons and almost all armours of the Zone.
Submachine Guns Edit