Beware of heavy story spoilers for all but the General playable characters and the Sandbox protagonist.
- Action Survivor: Other than knowing how to use a rifle, they don't seem to have any special skills. With the exception of Astrid, they can fly a plane, and to make up for it Astrid is a professional doctor, but those are useless skills as far as the game is concerned.
- Angrish: The character will scream and say barely intelligible things if attacked.
- Badass Boast: They can have one if they brandish a flare or torch.Character: You want some of this!
Female Sandbox character / Astrid : "It's not gonna be that easy for you!"Male / Will : "I'm gonna kill and eat you!"
- Also occurs often while fighting off wolves.
- Badass Bookworm: They can read in order to improve their skills.
- Deadpan Snarker: At times.Character:(with low thirst) I think the guy that drank his own pee doesn't seem so crazy now.
- Kleptomaniac Hero: Well, it's not like there's anyone else out in the game to care. Unless the owner is around, thanks to the game stopping you from doing so.
- Magic Pants: No matter how many wolves or bears maul the character, there will be no damage to their non-thermal underwear. If they are wearing thermal underwear, however, it can sustain damage.
- Ow, My Body Part!: They will complain about their stomach. Of course, they do this when they get food poisoning, so hardly strange.
- Purely Aesthetic Gender: The voice of the character is the only real difference between male and female, mechanic wise at least.
- Trademark Favorite Food: If the item descriptions are an indicator, nothing is better in the world than flame-broiled salmon or flame-broiled bass.
- The Ace: Has the ability to become this, should they get all skills to level 5, enabling them to be expert marksmen with both the rifle and bow, a masterful chef and tailor, a skilled fisherman, and adept with starting fires and harvesting their game. This also extends to repair and sharpening tools, but both skills still use a 0-100 based skill system from the Beta, rather than the lv 1-5 skills with perks in the current game. This is unlike Will or Astrid, who while they do start with skills apparently above level 1, cannot gain experience in those skills.
- In addition, the Sandbox protagonist already knows how to craft various items such as the animal skin clothes and the improvised tools (Except in the Hunted game modes, where for the proposes of the challenge, they cannot craft a bow or arrows), while Will and Astrid MUST learn how to craft them from someone who can teach them.
- Doomed Protagonist: Due to the game having worsening conditions over time, depleting limited resources, and some vital items like clothes and food decaying passively over time, odds are that especially on higher difficulties, you will start to be starved for resources once about a year has passed. Perhaps the most guilty issue here is the limited supply of matches, which as of right now are the only way to start fires barring limited supply and super rare fire strikers, and magnifying glasses that can only be used in direct sunlight, which will be more and more rare as the game goes on. Even if you run out of bullets and start to get low on cloth, you can work out ways around it. No fire? Good luck cooking and staying warm and getting clean water...
- This is mitigated somewhat by the Beachcombing mechanic, which enables the player to find non-renewable items washed up on the beach.
- Dying Alone: Pretty much doomed to, considering there are no other characters in the sandbox but themself, and nothing to save them.
- Hero of Another Story: It could be interpreted that the sandbox characters are either surviving at the same time as the story characters are or sometime afterward. It is never made clear, however, since you never find another soul in the Sandbox. You still cannot deny however that you are yet another survivor.
- Identical Stranger: The sandbox survivors look and sound exactly like Will and Astrid in game. However, when selecting character gender, the photos show different silhouettes to suggest someone else.
One of two protagonists of the Story mode of Wintermute and the ex-husband of Astrid. Will worked as a pilot for his personal company, the Jackrabbit Remote Air Transport prior to the lights. Prior to the game's start, he hesitantly flies Astrid to an isolated town to treat a patient despite the bad weather. But this leads to both of them being caught in the aurora and leading to a crash landing.
- Apologetic Attacker: Despite the Old Bear tracking and surprising him at times that are weirdly too convenient for any normal bear to do and not to mention nearly killing him after dragging him to its den, Will tells the Old Bear he's sorry he had to kill it and didn't want to after putting the big thing down.
- Badass Beard: Has a full grown and very prominent one.
- Big Damn Heroes: Arrives just in time to stop the Old Bear from killing Jeremiah. Of course, He breaks the rifle in the process.
- Disposable Pilot: Averted entirely, as while Will's plane does crash and leave him a bloody mess, he recovers and gets out a few days later, with Astrid's hard case to show for it.
- Informed Flaw: Despite being implied to have a bit of an alcohol problem at the start of the game, Will faces no withdrawal issues whatsoever throughout. Perhaps it truly wasn't a genuine problem of his.
- Meaningful Name: To survive out in the harsh conditions of Great Bear Island, you'll require a...will.
- Outliving One's Offspring: It is implied early in the game that he and Astrid had a child. But they died early on, leading to a divorce and the complications between the two player characters. And he's still distraught over it at the game's start, even picking up a drinking habit in response to it.
- Pay Evil unto Evil: An option to deal with the town-killing convict Hobbs is to kill him by pushing the knife that's stabbed into him even deeper.
- Reliably Unreliable Guns: Will somehow manages to completely destroy the interior of a rifle the first time he pulls the trigger, rendering it useless and forcing him to repair it for Jeremiah in order to deal with the Old Bear. The only good thing he accomplishes with this destructive trigger pull is spooking the Old Bear and making him run off, sparing Jeremiah's life.
The second protagonist of Wintermute and the ex-wife of Will. Astrid was a professional and now freelance doctor before the lights. She shows up unexpectedly in Will's office to ask him to take her to a patient of hers no questions asked. Despite qualms, Will does so, but this leads to her both being separated from the pack she was carrying (And thus what she needed in the first place for the patient) and Will.
- Back-Alley Doctor: Subverted, as Astrid is, in fact, a professional doctor with a true degree. However, for unknown reasons, she abandoned her job at a true hospital and now operates freelance, apparently going from one place to another to treat her patients. Will lampshades this, and it is ironically the very reason why the both of them ended up off the mainland in the first place, as she and Will were headed to a remote town in the area for a patient who was apparently sick enough to warrant flying in the middle of a blizzard.
- Boyish Short Hair: Astrid's short brown hair is entirely fitting for a professional doctor that apparently also has what it takes to survive hurriedly traveling through Great Bear Island alone.
- The Determinator: Astrid has gone far ahead of Will despite them both crashing in the same plane and she's apparently been injured in some way in a scuffle with convicts, not to mention she was willing to go out into the blizzard still. Granted, the collapsing mountain slows Will down considerably, but Astrid clearly is a woman with a will (despite having divorced Will), and Will seems to know this due to remaining certain throughout the game that Astrid will have made it out.
- Outliving One's Offspring: Again, it's implied that she had a son with Will, but they died before the game began. Unlike Will, she makes an effort to move on, but it's up in the air how well she has taken it.
- Weapon of Choice: The Survival Bow, as while she has yet to be played as, in most of the promotional art she appears in as well as in several parts of the intro cinematic in Episode 2, Astrid is seen wielding a bow. Considering the nature of the Survival bow, it is likely she made it herself. Fitting considering how composed she has been in all of her scenes so far.
Nonplayable story characters
- Despair Event Horizon: After sending Will to fetch her firewood and food, she sends him to see if the highway is passable with the impression that it will help find Astrid. Will does find Astrid's trail... but the tunnel is collapsed, effectively trapping Gray Mother in Milton. Her attitude quickly changes and she seems to become almost hopeless once she finds out, thanks to the only other way out being impassable to her. This also serves to delay the game's progression, as the shock of this fact leads to needing to wait a day before she can be talked to again.
- Destructive Romance: She and her husband seemed to never get along. In fact, while they remained married as the Barkers, Gray Mother never even considers talking to him anymore, largely thanks to disagreements between the two leading to them living apart, their daughter's death thanks to her husband forsaking Adult Fear, and a feud over whether the Pearls will be buried with her or not. This clearly takes it's toll on her, as for what seemed to be ever since then, she has become very bitter and hostile, with little faith in anyone or humanity in general.
- Handicapped Badass: Despite being blind, she has fine-tuned hearing that permits hear to hear much of the activity throughout the town, and she is just as capable of using a rifle as someone who still had their eyesight. The dead convict's blood trail and corpse leading away from her house attests to this.
- Hidden Depths: She comes off at first as extremely bitter and untrusting of Will, and uses Will's urge to find Astrid as leverage to get him to supply her with food and fuel while also looking for a way out. Once she realizes she's doomed to stay in Milton forever, however, she uses Astrid's whereabouts again as leverage to get Will to take back her daughter's pearls, and leave them at her grave, with Gray Mother becoming progressively kinder and soft in her tone. Once Will has paid respects to her daughter, she comes off as very tragic and heartbroken about her daughter's death.
- Lazy Husband: Sure, her husband has a farmstead, but Will also finds a notice in his house saying that service for power is being terminated due to never bothering to pay his electric bill and leading to an absurdly large bill.note The very unclean state of the Farmstead also speaks for itself, especially considering it is likely that Will was the only other person to visit recently due to the locked door. And he also has the nerve to just lock his daughter's pearl bracelet up in a bank rather than clear out a place in his home where he could truly remember her by.
- Never Mess with Granny: You'll first go up to Gray Mother's house noticing the bloody remains of an orange-suited convict with a blood trail leading up to her front door. She's blind, never seen leaving her rocking chair, and also never without a rifle nearby.
- Outliving One's Offspring: No thanks to her husband letting her daughter go off on her own mountain climbing, leading to her falling to her death.
- Posthumous Character: Her Husband and Daughter. Her Daughter... you only need to look above to find out. Her Husband, however, Will finds him dead near his farmstead and serving as lunch for a wolf who will happily turn around and dive at Will for seconds. It didn't help that Mr. Barker refused to kill anything even if his life depended on it, which likely is what let the wolf get at him in the first place.
- Take Up My Sword: A variation. Once Will has paid respect to her daughter, Gray Mother gives him her daughter's climbing gear and map while urging him to move on since she is now at ease. With enough trust, she will also give him the Mountaineering Boots, which is among the best footwear in the game and very likely also belonged to her daughter.
- Badass Beard: Borders on Beard of Barbarism.
- Mountain Man: Lives alone in the Canadian wilderness, dresses in furs and sports an impressive beard.
- Mysterious Past: Has an old military-issue radio and asks Mackenzie to relay a cryptic message to an unknown party.
- Shout-Out: His name could be a reference to Jeremiah Johnson, a famous Mountain Man and folk hero.
- Badass Grandpa: We don't actually see him do anything particularly badass, but he's an old man who seems to have no trouble surviving a harsh winter in the Canadian wilderness all by himself.
- Fire of Comfort: He's always sitting by a fire when he appears, and said fire never goes out. It's a good opportunity to get warm and cook or make potable water.
- Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: His knowledge of past and future events as well as his knowledge of things Mackenzie did that he wasn't there for hint at something supernatural, but as of yet nothing about him comes off as explicitly paranormal.
- Meaningful Name: Methuselah was a character from the Bible, the longest-lived man in existence.
- Mr. Exposition: When he shows up near the end of Episode 2 he lets you know if there's any side stuff you still haven't done before proceeding.
- Mysterious Benefactor: He's friendly enough and even offers Mackenzie some cryptic advice, but is more interested in talking about Mackenzie and the new world than himself. If Mackenzie asks Grey Mother about him, she says she doesn't know him.
- Vagueness Is Coming: Offers Mackenzie a warning that there will soon be a reckoning.
- Wizard Beard: His long grey beard gives him the look of a prophet or soothsayer.
The Old BearBig Bad of The Hunted game mode. A grizzled, scarred old bear. Who is determined to make the Player Character its next meal.
- Amusing Injuries: let's be real, managing to stick a flare gun shot onto the butt or face of the Old Bear can be hilarious, as he seemingly forgets about you and spends several minutes running around in desperation trying to get the flare off while looking like a very rampant fireball in the distance. Of course, once he manages to get the flare off...
- Bears Are Bad News: Really bad news in the case of this super strong, super pissed bear.
- Nigh-Invulnerability: In the challenges at least. While it isn't helpful that you lack a bow and only get the rifle in part 2, no matter what you do to it, the Old Bear will shrug it off and keep coming, with the only thing able to kill him being the Old Trapper's Bear Rifle. And of course, he manages to withstand the shots enough to maul you anyway once again at the end of The Hunted Part 2. HOWEVER, as a Subversion, he is scared of the flare gun and will start to make a run for it once he realizes you have the bear hunter rifle with you.
- Offscreen Teleportation: Switched areas in the Hunted Challenge Part 1? Well, surprise! With a few exceptions, the Old Bear will seemingly come out of nowhere and continue the pursuit. Even if you cut through the shortcut to get to Mystery Lake through the Hydro-Electric Dam where the bear can't follow you.
- Super-Persistent Predator: No matter where you go, he'll track you there eventually.
- Villain Teleportation: See Offscreen Teleportation.