In Quake 4, the Scientist is a model of Strogg tasked with maintenance of the Stroggification process and conducting essential research. They examine the specimens destined for Stroggification and make any necessary procedures. They're composed of a human torso attached to a small hover pad instead of legs, allowing free movement through the air. The mouth is covered by some sort of a respirator, and its eyes glow a bright orange which is a common feature amongst the Strogg.
Scientists are equipped with the tools that they need for research, including a circular saw for a right hand and a number of needles mounted on extra mechanical limbs, all brutally welded into the torso. If necessary, the scientist may utilise those tools as weapons. Scientists also have a poison gas-filled grenade they can throw if forced into combat. They are first seen at the beginning of Strogg Medical Facilities jutting a massive needle into your cranium during the Stroggification process. They are also fought for the first time in the same level just after one kills Rhino Squad's Medic, Anderson.
Scientists float through the air at below average speed, striking you with melee attacks from their their various sharp instruments if you get close. Their only ranged attack is a gas grenade, which explodes and releases a cloud of toxic gas for several seconds. This gas cloud does gradual poison damage, and any armor equipped doesn't reduce the damage induced by the gas, probably due to inhalation. The gas grenade doesn't do much damage, but it can be very difficult to avoid the gas entirely, so you usually end up taking a small amount of damage from each gas grenade attack.
The Scientists have a tendency to sneak up on its targets in order to attack unexpectedly with an intent to kill. This will be a common tactic amongst them, since they are a weak model of Strogg and they need to avoid taking damage. Their hover pad allows them movement without making any noise, so they are virtually undetectable unless spotted visually.
- Despite how threatening they looked during Stroggification, Scientists are no match for a Marine in combat. Most of their attacks are based on point-blank melee combat, so distance must be kept to avoid getting wounded. Their only ranged attack is a poison gas-filled grenade. When the grenade hits the ground, it'll eject the gas near the point of impact. If you get near the gas, you'll slowly start to take damage (including the screen turning red and shaking, as if you were being attacked), even if you get away from the smoke. While this doesn't seem bad on it's own, the effect will disorient you if there is more than one enemy in a room, as it'll be difficult to figure out if you were harmed from an enemy's attack or the poison.
- Like Grunts, Sentries, and Tactical Strogg, Scientists are tougher than the weak Guards, but their health is still mediocre enough for them to be considered cannon fodder enemies. It only takes about 9-12 machine gun shots or 2 shotgun blasts to kill one. They are encountered solely in the Medical Research Facility, although they appear fairly frequently within that level. Some of them will drop in front of you so be prepared.
- A notably useful tactic is to equip a Shotgun, close in on the scientist and fire and quickly retreat to a safe distance to avoid melee attacks. Repeat the process until the Strogg is disabled. This is also good for saving the ranged weapon ammo for tougher opponents like Gunner and Tactical Strogg.
- With other enemies present, the Scientist should be taken out first because the gas emitted from its gas grenades causes visual disorientation resulting in temporary partial blindness, giving the Strogg an advantage over you. Even without gas grenade, they can be distractions while you are dealing with heavier Strogg units.
- It's possible that the scientist is a replacement for the old generation of the Medic from Quake II. Since the Strogg desperately needed all the dead parts of corpses in creating more soldiers to repel the invasion of Human Forces, they resorted to Stroggification rather than healing their own injuried units or reviving them.