As the Plaga parasites have taken control of the central nervous system, Ganado hosts can be controlled or influenced by them.[excerpt 1] The host retains their memories and intelligence, unlike Zombies, and can still communicate with other people perform actions beyond simple survival instinct. Hosts are highly-aggressive towards those not parasitised, but will still attack other hosts, mutant or otherwise, if necessary.
Outside of combat, Ganados are known to maintain a lifestyle comparable to unparasitised humans, with farmworkers continuing to look after their cattle and using pitchforks to turn hay. However, their attitudes to hygiene are noticeably different, and villagers were known to eat rotting meats and stews.
As an effect of their parasitisation, Ganado bodies become more durable and powerful, and their pain threshold is increased. These enhancements allow hosts to easily lift other people, and withstand gunshots without response. If a Ganado receives too much damage, however, the Plaga may cause irreparable bodily damage by ripping open their neck to personally defend itself from attackers. Some Ganados are known to become more stronger and durable than others. Villagers with these enhanced abilities were known to arm themselves with heavy chainsaws as a more powerful weapon, while the combatants on the island were able to carry gatling guns.