The Breather is a completely hairless Caucasian man with huge brown eyes and a grey, blood-stained hoodie with the hood up, as well as a white surgical mask, dark cargo pants, black combat boots, and blue, elbow-high surgeon gloves. He wields a kitchen knife, and this is what he uses to slay his victims with.
While the Kidnapper attacks through the window, the Breather attacks through the front door, at first teasing his attack by calling the player and either heavily breathing over the phone, or delivering menacing threats. While him actually posing a threat by visiting the player is incredibly unlikely, they should still always check the door when he calls to see if he's outside. If he is, they must hold the knob shut to keep him from breaking in. Whenever he stops moving the knob, he'll look around through the window of the door, trying to find the player. If the player uses the D key to look through the window of the door during this time, he'll spot them and begin trying to kick the door down, where you must brace yourself by holding Left Mouse. After several kicks, he'll eventually give up and retreat back into the bushes. If they fail at monitoring the door or keeping it shut, he'll barge through the door/into the dining room (or simply appear behind them) before gutting the player and inducing a Game Over. Like the Kidnapper, the Breather has multiple jumpscares based on where the player is: if the player is in computer mode when he breaks in, he'll appear behind them and yank them around before slitting their throat, if the player is in their chair but out of computer mode, he'll sprint into the dining room and butcher them, and if the player fails at keeping him out, he'll kick the door open, sending them flying to the ground, before stabbing them.
There is one way to evade the Breather altogether however. Typically, the Breather will signal his arrival when his phone calls are no longer just breathing, but actual threats. This does not always happen though, and the player should still occasionally check the door to make sure the Breather is not there have been instances of the Breather not calling for long periods of time and then appearing.
In order to drive the Breather away, the player must first listen carefully for his warning sounds. When the Breather is first approaching the door, there will be the sound of car door slamming shut or doorknob squeaking as it's being turned, signaling that he has left his van. (The van sound cue will only happen the first time he approaches your door from where he's parked. If he's already hidden himself in the bushes then it will be completely up to the player to listen for his footsteps in the distance approaching the door or the sound of squeaking from the doorknob being turned.) Peeking through the door window will show the Breather approaching the door. In order to survive, the player must hold the door knob while he tries to turn and open it. In order to do this, the player must aim the cursor on the door knob. The doorknob will then say "Hold" and the player must hold left-click in order to hold the door shut. (As long as "Holding..." is displayed on the screen the doorknob is being held and keeping the Breather at bay. The appearance of "Hold" when the cursor is focused on the doorknob will NOT happen if the Breather is not present.) After several seconds of attempting to open the door, the Breather will look through the window to try and find the player. It is tempting to look over and check if he has left while he is doing so. He will not have left, and it is not recommended that you do this, as it is highly likely he will see you and begin trying to break the door down. Continue to hold the doorknob without checking the window. After several seconds he will begin trying to open the door again. Continue to hold the doorknob until it stops twisting. Again, he will look through the window to try and find the player. Do not look through the window at this time or he will see you and try to kick the door in. This process must be repeated until the player hears his footsteps fade away. After you hear his footsteps fade away, you may look through the window. If done correctly, the Breather will be have been successfully subdued... For now.
Important note: Before playing the game, make sure to check the options to see whether or not your microphone is enabled. If it is, the Breather can pick up sounds coming from your microphone and will start trying to break the door down even if you do not look through the front door while holding him off.
(NOTE: After multiple tests, it has been concluded that the Breather will leave the house completely after an attack by random chance. The player, however, should continue to listen carefully and continue to guard the door, as it is likely he will not leave for the rest of the game, especially after day 10.)
- *heavy breathing* - His most common phone call.
- "I found you." - His second rarest phone call.
- "I'm coming for you." - His rarest phone call.
- "Hide and seek say I to myself, and step out of the dream of wake into the dream of sleep." - One of his phone calls.
- "I'm getting closer." - One of his phone calls.
- "Knock knock. Who's there? I'm here!" - One of his phone calls.
- "Night night." - In his first jumpscare.
- *laughing* - In his second and third jumpscare.
- "I can see you in there!" - As he's about to try and kick the door down after seeing the player.
- "I can hear you in there!" - As he's about to try and kick the door down after hearing the player.
- Like the Kidnapper, the Breather is mentioned by Adam in the tutorial, the difference being that the Breather isn't even treated like an urban legend.
- Adam mentioning that the Breather also targets hitchhikers is a reference to Rides With Strangers.
- Sometimes, if the player has been called by the Breather, and visits The Pedo Handbook, both the Kidnapper and the Breather will appear.
- The Breather is voiced by Hector Chavez.
- The Breather can harmlessly jumpscare the player by appearing out the window, though this only happens in the 2.1 update with Twitch integration.
- In the original concept art, the Breather's hoodie appeared to be navy blue and his surgical mask had blood staining it.
- Adam specifically mentions that The Breather has a strange M.O. of only invading homes through the front door, completely ignoring all other entrances. While this might seem like an awkward, in-universe excuse for his linear gameplay behavior, it's actually not too far from reality. Infamous serial killer Richard "The Dracula Killer" Chase had the Breather's exact same bizarre habit of mainly striking victims through their unlocked front doors, seeing it as "an invitation".