When a player starts their game, they have the option of playing as three different slugcats. Monk and Survivor both spawn in the same location and have the same story (being led by the yellow overseer to the same destination) with the only gameplay differences being features or changes that make Monk easier than Survivor. Monk (Yellow), Survivor (White), and Hunter (Red) correspond to easy, medium, and hard difficulties, respectively.
Yellow Slugcat: The Monk (Easy Difficulty)
The Monk is described as being more in-tune with nature than the average slugcat. Predators are less common and slightly less aggressive, and less food is required for the player to hibernate. Karma gates will also remove their karma level requirements after their first use, meaning the player cannot get trapped and can easily backtrack after entering a region they can’t progress through. Creatures are also much more quick to befriend or forgive Monk. The only significant downside is the Monk's reduced damage when throwing spears, meaning killing the sparse predators will be harder than normal, and even not killing weak enemies like Squidcadas or Noodleflies in one hit. Colored pearls are absent from the Monk's journey, locking off much of the optional lore, due to Monk placing farthest in the timeline so all of the data has faded over time. The Monk is designed for players seeking a more peaceful experience.
White Slugcat: The Survivor (Normal Difficulty)
The classic Rain World experience, the white slugcat has standard karma gate requirements, requires 4 pips of food to hibernate, and must deal with the ever-present threat of predators. Deals the standard (1) amount of damage for spears and encounters more creature variety (For example, Dropwigs are absent from Monk but occasionally appear as Survivor).
Red Slugcat: The Hunter (Hard Difficulty)
The Hunter is a very different experience from the other two modes, and takes considerable dedication to complete. The Hunter is a carnivorous slugcat, described as being karmically imbalanced. Despite being called carnivorous, any plants are edible but only give 1/4th of a food point. The Hunter will happily make a meal out of any dead creature, unlike the other two characters who can only eat centipede corpses and dead grubs. On the other hand, batflies will only give 1/4th of a food point for added difficulty. Because they are ‘karmically imbalanced’, karma flowers will not spawn as this character. Predators will spawn in greater numbers, and some which were hidden away in only a few corners of the world or those restricted to lineages like the Red Lizard or King Vulture are now much more ubiquitous. Although the journey will be difficult, the Hunter is adapted to it. The Hunter is faster and stronger than other slugcats, and also has the ability to carry a second spear on their back. Their heightened metabolism will require more food per cycle than other slugcats, forcing the player to battle for their survival and seek food from dangerous creatures.
The Hunter's journey differs significantly from the other two, starting relatively near the entrance to Sky Islands in Farm Arrays. The Hunter holds a strange green neuron fly, a spear on its back, and a pearl in its stomach when it spawns. The Hunter will also have a slightly more difficult time ascending, as a certain ally will be less effective, only raising the Hunter's max karma by one. This means that visiting echoes will be required, and the player will need to raise their maximum karma four times. The Hunter also does not have the ability to warp to visited regions upon completing passages.
The Hunter has a unique cycle counter, starting on cycle 19 and counting down to cycle 1. If the Hunter dies at or below cycle 1, the player's run will immediately end, their score will be tallied, and they will be forced to start over from the beginning. At cycle 1 and below, the Hunter will become significantly weaker, suffer seizure-like spasms, and will require more food to survive. If you manage to survive beyond Cycle 0, the cycle count will descend into negative numbers. Each step below one will make the effects of the Hunter's affliction much worse. Although it is extremely hard to survive through negative cycles, it is not impossible.
|The Survivor||The Monk||The Hunter|
|Enemy behavior||Standard||Less aggressive||More aggressive|
|Diet||Standard||Standard||Batflies, Blue Fruit, and some other items feed only 1/4 pip
Can eat the corpse of almost any creature, including predators
|Food per hibernation||4, max of 7||3, max of 5||6, max of 9|
|Physical prowess||Standard speed, spears deal 1 damage||Standard speed, spears deal between 0.6 and 0.9 damage (averaging at 0.66 damage)||Faster speed, spears deal 1.25 damage
Able to carry 2nd spear on back.
|Karma||Standard Gates||Gates unlock permanently||Starts with rank 3 karma
Starts with Mark of Communication
No karma flowers spawn
Fewer shelters available
Weakens after 18 cycles, resulting in eventual permadeath
Nightcat is not found in the single player mode and you can only use it in arena mode. It doesn't have any special ability and works just like the normal slugcat. It has dark blue skin, two white eyes, and a white nose. Since it doesn't appear in single player mode, it is most likely not canon to the Rain World story.
The most likely reason why Nightcat is in the game is because the arena mode was needing a fourth slugcat, since most Local games use a max of four players and the single player mode has just three Slugcats, making Survivor the first player, Monk the second, Hunter the third and Nightcat the fourth player. The different slugcats do not have any special abilities in arena mode, just different appearances.