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Rakk are flying creatures native to Pandora. They do not have beaks. Instead, they have a flat, fleshy head ending with a pointed snout, with a brightly colored, bony plate on the top, and hooked, rasping barbs lining a soft, slit-like mouth on the bottom. Rakk do not have grasping claws or lower limbs, and instead have a set of curved, razor-sharp talons upon a flexible tail that they use to adhere to rocky surfaces.
Rakk appear to be highly social creatures with a task-based hierarchy that includes scouts, hive defenders, food processing, and perhaps even long-term food storage not unlike honeypot ants on Earth. They are known to be vocal, howling or screeching to rally a flock when a target presents itself or proves itself to be a threat. They also emit a screech at the moment of their slashing attack.
Carnivorous and known to kill living prey, rakk can swoop down and use their tail to lacerate their targets without losing speed, letting them quickly gain altitude and set up another attack run. Like all creatures, there are Badass variants which have elemental properties and will often try to bomb enemies with ranged elemental attacks rather than employ the usual diving slash.
Rakk have a large target profile and no critical spot to exploit, however they are extremely fragile and almost any weapon can be used to dispatch individual rakk fairly quickly.
Shotguns are highly effective against flocks of rakk, filling the air with waves of metal capable of shredding entire sections of an attack run with each shot. Second on the list are Support Machine Guns which can rake a flock with a heavy rain of slugs, knocking one beast out of the sky after the other. Rocket Launchers can be used to vaporize entire flights of rakk if they head straight towards the rocket user. Anarchy Submachine Guns are also effective, combining the spread-out damage of Shotguns with the steady stream of machine guns. Repeater Pistols, Revolvers, and Sniper Rifles are generally not recommended as they either don't hit hard enough per-shot, or don't fire quickly enough to wipe out enough rakk before they strike.
Badass rakk are best taken down at very long range and never in an Outrunner. Use the vehicle to flee the immediate area and set up a corridor of fire to pummel this Badass enemy out of the sky. Combat Rifles or very accurate "Hunter" or "Death" shotguns with extended magazines or fast reload speeds are well suited to do this.
Vault Hunters would do well to be wary of rakk patrolling the sky - if there is movement in the upper corners of the screen it's usually a good idea to investigate. If an attacking flock of rakk isn't promptly detected it can be deadly at lower levels, and devastating at higher levels. However, it should be noted that not every flock of rakk will attack without provocation and that it is occasionally best to leave them alone.
Types of Rakk
- While Borderlands presents the word "rakk" as both the plural and singular form, certain NPCs can be heard saying, "Didja hear? We lost Jess to the rakks."
- Despite their aggressive behavior, it is inferred that rakk are also scavengers as well as predators. For example, Baron Flynt tells the Vault Hunters in an ECHO communication that their rotted bodies "will be nothing more than food for rakk" when the salt flats are entered for the first time.
- Rakk often spawn from dormant Rakk Hives half buried in the ground, but are also known to inhabit burrows well above ground level.
- Bloated and feeder rakk drop sniper rifles more commonly than any other type of gun.
- When a Rakk is Phaselocked by Maya in Borderlands 2, it will fall to the ground when released.
- In true vault hunter mode, their names change to sky hunter.
- Rakk have a symbiotic relationship with Rakk Hives. They roost within the porous hide of the Rakk Hive, while the Rakk Hive gains protection from other predators, even when hibernating.
- The name "rakk" is possibly a reference to the giant mythical hunting bird, the Roc.