Astronaut Zombies violently explode upon death, sending the player flying many meters back, even in normal gravity. If there are any zombies in its close proximity when it is killed, they will die. Zombies killed by an explosion from an Astronaut Zombie will count as kills and award 50 points per zombie killed to whoever killed the Astronaut, unlike with Crawler Zombies. The explosion caused by an Astronaut Zombie's death has a 10-meter radius, powerful enough to send players flying in low gravity areas.
Astronaut Zombies always have a red player name above them. The name above them is always one of the host's friends or someone who recently played with the host, except when playing solo, in which case it chooses from a list of predetermined names.
It will immediately spawn after the first teleportation to the starting room on the Moon, or round two. After every death it suffers, it will spawn again with a different name above its head.
An Astronaut Zombie grabs and head-butts any player that gets too close, causing them to teleport to a random point on the map. In addition to this, it will take a random perk (though typically the first one received), re-arrange the order of the perks the player still has, and critically damage the player's health. If a player is unfortunate or unaware enough to be grabbed by this Astronaut Zombie, they can escape by pulling back on the analog stick quickly (within the first few moments of being grabbed), and jumping just before the Astronaut would normally head-butt them. For about a second or two after being freed from its clutches, the Astronaut Zombie will behave like a typical zombie and will swipe at the player, causing normal damage typical of average zombies.
Astronaut Zombies do not react when shot, and they move very slowly, similar to a Napalm Zombie. Their health is the same as that of a Napalm Zombie, which is four times the regular health of a zombie on a given round, times the number of players (e.g. on round 2 with 3 players, the Astronaut Zombie has: 250 * 4 * 3 = 3,000 health), making it extremely hard to kill through conventional guns, although if an Astronaut Zombie is not killed, its health will be the same as the round he spawned in. Similar to the Hellhounds, Astronaut Zombies are not affected by multipliers. As such, the best weapons to kill them are shotguns, the Python, and most explosives. The upgrade module Dead Wire (for Black Ops III only) is also very effective at disposing of the Astronaut Zombie. If a Q.E.D. is thrown at it and explodes in the same fashion the Astronaut would upon death, it will result in an instant kill if the Astronaut Zombie is caught in the center of the blast radius. Shooting or damaging the Astronaut will not give the player points; however, the player will earn 50 points for killing it.
- Astronaut Zombies can spawn on any round, at any time, as long as the player is on the Moon.
- The Astronaut Zombies are immune to both versions of the Wave Gun.
- In a trailer for Moon, an Astronaut Zombie can be seen being killed by a Wave Gun.
- Insta-Kill and Nukes do not affect them.
- If an Astronaut Zombie spawns within reach of the player it will simply hit the player rather than grabbing them.
- If Richtofen's Grand Scheme has been completed, and the player has all eight perks, the Astronaut Zombie cannot take one.
- The Astronaut Zombie will appear to always be moving in low gravity, even in an area where artificial gravity is in effect.
- The name of the Astronaut Zombie when playing solo are usually names of famous people or members of the Treyarch staff.
- In online co-op mode, it will be the online ID of a friend of one of the players.
- In Black Ops, the Astronaut Zombie has a dancing animation.
- This will cause him to get stuck in one spot.
- In Black Ops, Astronaut Zombies are not affected by the Gersh Device. They will still be sucked toward it, but not into it.
- There is an occasional glitch where the Astronaut Zombie will get stuck in the animation and can't be fixed unless it's killed.
- This also causes it to move at high rates of speed throughout the map when stuck in this animation.
- When an Astronaut Zombie is killed, it will change the order in which Excavator activates.
- In Black Ops III, the Astronaut Zombie will only spawn in the Receiving Bay unlike Black Ops where it will spawn near any player
- In Black Ops III, the sound of an Astronaut Zombie is heard as radio chatter.
- Numbers are being said in reverse.
- In Black Ops 4, it is revealed that the Astronaut Zombies are failed attempts by Dr. Schuster in sending astronauts to Griffin Station as test subjects to establish a link from Groom Lake on the map Classified.