Opening cinematic clip from the tester office.
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How the Absorber Works in Serum

The Absorber is one of the first machines you'll encounter in Serum. Here's a rundown of how it works.

The Absorber is one of the first machines you’ll learn about in your Serum base. While necessary for survival, its actual gameplay mechanics can be confusing, especially to new players. Here is how the Absorber works in Serum.

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How to Use the Absorber in Serum

The serum in Serum is a blessing and a curse. It keeps humanity alive in a tainted world, yet it contains a mutagen that ends up being fatal. Each use, depending on the elixir’s purpose, increases the mutagen. It causes the skin to decay, becoming almost zombie-like from what you can see on your arms.

Using the Absorber is the only way to remove the mutagen from your system. Sticking your arm into the machine lets it take all the toxin from you. You do this the first time you enter your new base.

It also clears all benefits from the serum you may have obtained, including extra time. While the wording for the Absorber’s description can be interpreted a couple of different ways, additional time alive is considered the main benefit of serum.

Utilizing the machine resets your timer to two minutes. If you don’t have any time-lengthening elixir already made, this is enough of a buffer to allow you to search throughout the wilds around your hideaway. It’s wise to use your full timer exploring until two minutes is all that remains.

Serum timer and the mutagen's effects on the body.
Image via Toplitz Productions

On the opposite end of the spectrum, if you’re running out of time and only have seconds yet, it gives you more time. I can attest to having only six seconds left on my timer, it pausing as I reached base, and lengthening my time to two minutes by using the Absorber. This can be a boon when you have to leave for resources but no serum.

That’s how the Absorber works in Serum. As a central piece of equipment to your survival, knowing what it does and what it takes when used will allow you to maximize your strategies. For more on the horror survival game, check out our Serum guide library.

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Ashley Erickson
Ashley, otherwise known as Glitchiee, is an avid gamer of RPGs, TTRPGS, farming sims, and survival crafting games. Playing since she can remember, she started on the SNES, GameBoy Color, and collection 1st gen Pokemon cards. Using her passion for gaming, she's written about games for a combined total of 2 years.