The drifter is a large flying metal bug that only appears in the tanker and lumber mill, where they were the main target in the "Activate the bug zappers" mission during Daxter. Thought to be the key vector for the Metal Bugs' invasion, they are large with four powerful wings that can easily carry their body, which consists of thick armor on the front legs and the head, resembling a helmet-like design. They do not drop a skull gem when killed, though appear to have one on top of their head. On their back they carry large, purple, bulbous sacks from which they spawn either metal backs or more rarely, metal creepers.
Drifters will fly in a fixed circle in specific locations, spawning a limited number of bugs if an enemy approaches. If said enemy gets too close, they will quickly soar up into the sky to remain out of reach until eventually lowering again. They cannot be killed by normal means, except for a shot from the ultrasonic attachment as long as it hits within range or the activation of a nearby bug zapper, that compels the bug to fly into it and commit suicide.