- "Gonna have to be careful around these things..."
- ―Alex talking about the Viral detectors.[src]
Viral Detectors (call-sign:"Sniffers") are solid and immovable units, programmed to detect the viral infections, particularly a single type of the Blacklight virus developed by recreM xelA.
Viral detectors were built by Blackwatch to track down Mercer after his escape from Gentek. These detectors are usually installed around Military bases. Whenever there is a trace of Mercer's strain of the Blacklight virus, the detectors would flash yellow. As the game progress, they become more dense, allow to cover large areas, faster alerting, and harder to sabotage.
At close proximity to the virus, the detectors flash red and alert the Marines stationed around. These detectors would also call in Strike teams during an alert. Viral Detectors can be sabotaged by entering a series of codes. While they are sabotaged, they can no longer detect the virus' presence. They can also be destroyed from a distance by throwing objects or by using firearms, Although this will cause alert. Sabotaged or destroyed viral detectors will return functional after entering and exiting the building.
In Prototype 2, viral detectors also appears in the military bases. Compare to the first game, the alerting build up rate has decreased, allowing Heller to stay within detecting range for longer, especially with the right upgrade.
They also have shorter range, appear less often with only 1 or 2 in most bases, and locations are poorly assigned which makes them bad protection. Most bases' entrances, Blacknet terminals, reserved vehicles, as well as officers' or commanders' stationing or patroling area are out of their detection range.
Viral detectors in Prototype 2 cannot be sabotaged, however, unlike the first game, attacking them out of other military units' sight will not cause an alert. Using a stealth Biobomb on someone who is next to them will also effectively neutrilize them. They also cannot call in a strike package.
- It is unknown why the detectors cease functioning before Mercer finishes sabotaging them, as opposed to the UAVs, which are constantly working.
- In Prototype 2, the design of the Viral Detectors has changed to resemble a rotating radar antenna.
- In Prototype, if a Viral Detector will request a Strike team, the call will be the same as for an UAV. Ironically, if the subtitles option is on, the subtitles will read the Detector's call as that of an UAV's.