Drifters have a corrosive ranged attack that is devastating to vehicles. They will also jump towards pedestrian targets and will stomp on the ground to damage victims at close range. They can be killed by staying out of its range and shooting it, e.g. the homing missiles of the Monster, in order to avoid its corrosive projectiles. The raised highways provide a good vantage point to exploit this strategy.
They have three glowing orbs around the base of their body. Shooting these will result in a critical hit causing massive damage, around 1/4 of the Drifter's health. Destroying these orbs will severely weaken it. The back side of the abdomen can also be shot for critical hit damage if it is visible.
About five full rocket shots (all three rockets hit) from a Monster vehicle will kill a Drifter. They are weak against shock weapons. The Lancer's shock turret can be very effective against Drifters. However, the turret should be manually aimed at the main body of the Drifter. Locking on can cause the turret to fire through the Drifter's legs, doing no damage. Also, a Double Anarchy SMG or a rapid-fire shotgun is very effective to hit multiple critical areas.
To gain weapon proficiencies quickly, use Racer/Monster vehicle rockets to wear the Drifters down to a sliver of health from far away, and then jump out of the vehicle and finish them off on foot. (Vehicle rockets tend not to destroy their weak points. Using a semi- or fully automatic weapon has a good chance of hitting one of the critical points, causing an instant kill). A level 60 Drifter is worth 10,000+ exp on foot.
A fully upgraded Radiance skill is very effective for Lilith to use against them.
It is extremely hard, if not impossible, to run one over.
If characters plan on looting their corpses, it should done in haste, as more Drifters will emerge out of the ground fairly quickly. Keep a very close eye on the compass for red dots and react accordingly
If bursting out of the ground near the character and immediately proceeding to attack, the Drifters make no sound until they're on the player, easily taking the player by surprise if the player has not kept an eye out.