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The Rats wear gas masks, as they once lived in toxic mines and tunnels. Over time they mutated, with some growing long claws and shrinking in size and stature, while the Rats as a whole have become cannibalistic. When they collect people to be sacrificed and eaten, midgets and other bandits are often on the menu. The masks have become a sign of their status, and they wear them now for ceremonial purposes.
Very much like actual rats, this faction will grab and make off with loot. This may lead to interesting decision points as a player weighs the benefits of defeating a threat or pursuing a rat which has acquired a valuable loot item. Defeating a hoarding rat will result in a burst of scattered loot. Additionally, due to their cannibalistic nature, they can regain health by devouring corpses. They have a chance of equipping a shield upon picking it up.
They are mainly found in The Fridge, however some appear in Lynchwood, Tundra Express and Bloodshot Stronghold.
- Tunnel Rat/Cannibal Rat/Flesh-eating Rat - The basic and most common type of Rat encountered on Pandora. They are not very durable and as such will try to stay as far back from their enemies as possible, shooting at them with assault rifles while ducking and weaving away from enemy fire. In the case that an enemy gets too close, they will either leap at them or hit them with a claw swipe to knock them away. If there is any loot on the field, they will run over to it and pick it up. If left alone long enough after picking up loot, they will bury it and the loot will become unrecoverable.
- Field Rat - A stronger, tougher, faster and more evasive version of the Tunnel Rat. Like Tunnel Rats, they try to stay back from their enemies and pepper them with assault rifle fire. Unlike Tunnel Rats, these rats almost never wear shields, and occasionally they will go in for a quick melee strike which is usually done via a powerful long-distance leap that is capable of knocking enemies back. They will also stop to pick up any loot they find on the battlefield.
- Rat Thief/Rat Bastard/Despicable Rat Bastard - Unlike other Rats, Rat Thieves have almost no interest in fighting, instead, they are interested in pilfering a sizeable chunk of money from unsuspecting travelers. Rat Thieves move quickly, quietly and often from behind their targets. If a Rat Thief is successful in his attempt to steal money, he will quickly scamper off to bury his newfound treasure, like other Rats. If he successfully buries the money he has stolen, it will become unrecoverable. The money can be recovered if the Thief is killed before he buries the money.
- Midget Rat/Runty Rat/Wee Rat - Diminutive and substantially weaker versions of Tunnel Rats. However, unlike Tunnel Rats, they tend to close in on their targets a little bit. Their heads are fairly large, making for easier critical hits.Their small size and fast movement speed makes them hard to hit regardless.
- Lab Rat/R.O.U.S/Mutated Lab Rat - Lab Rats are almost polar opposites to the other Rats: they are slow moving and have very high health. They don't pick up loot or items on the ground, and attack mainly from close range. The only time a Lab Rat will attack from a range is when he cannot reach a target and at that point will begin to toss a Buzzaxe in a manner similar to a regular Psycho. If they get close to their target, they will unleash a devastating eye-laser attack that can quickly destroy shields and wearers alike. As they advance towards their target, they will cover their face with their non-mutated left arm, making it harder to score a critical hit. Shotguns are effective in hitting their head even if blocked by their hands thanks to the pellet spread.
- Miner Rat/Digger Rat/Mole Rat - A slightly stronger version of the Tunnel Rat found in the Tundra Express and the dig site in Lynchwood. They can tunnel underground, reappear topside to strike, and then dive back under to move to a different location. They cannot be hurt while underground.
- Sewer Rat - Rats spawned during the Pete the Invincible fight if the valve to the left of the Raid Post in his arena is used. Each time the valves are used, their levels are increased by 3, with a cap of 66.
True Vault Hunter Mode
- Plague Rat - A rat that crawls around on all fours very quickly (similar to a rat thief/rat bastard), it slashes at its prey with acid soaked claws causing corrosive damage upon successful hits.
- Loot Midget Rat
- Assassin Rouf
- Dan, Lee, Mick, Ralph - Named Rats in Bloodshot Stronghold
- Laney White
- Bloody, Crabby, Creppy, Dirty, Greedy, Sleazy, Tipsy - Named Midget Rats in The Fridge
- Allez Cuisine!
- I'm so HUNGRY!
- I can tassste you already!
- Another morsssel for the fridge!
- You sssmell delicious!
- Jussst another sssnack!
- Ssscream for usss!
- No mercccy!
- Food for the family!
- Your ssscent is intoxicating!
- Dribble the fat, mop it up, chew it down!
- Chew you up, ssspit you out!
- Tasssste the flesssh!
- Lick the chops! LICK the chops! LICK THE CHOPS!
- Can't hear youuuu!
- Ssswallow you whole! SSSWALLOW YOU WHOLE!
- I'm SSSSTARVING!
- You disssgusssst me!
- Ssssslice them open, ratsssss!
- Haven't had a bite in weekssss!
- Time to eat, boysss!
- Hate! HATE!
- Food comesss to ussss!
- Mouth watersss! Ssstomach RUMBLESSS!
- Ssscoff you down!
- Not in the lab...Not in the lab! (Lab Rat)
- Look into my eyes (Lab Rat)
- Open your Eyesss (Lab Rat)
- Optic Blast! (Lab Rat)
- Windows to the SOUL! (Lab Rat)
- I sssee EVERYTHING! (Lab Rat)
- The FEAR! (Lab Rat)
- Omnomnomnumnumnum (said very rapidly)
On taking damage
- Who's cooking?! (when lit by fire or electric damage)
- What's cookin'? (when hit by fire damage)
- My SSSKIN! (when lit by fire or electric damage)
- My flesssssh! (when lit by fire or electric damage)
- What'ssss that ssssmell? (Lab Rat)
Stealing an item
- You don't need thisss anymore!
- Thanksss, brother!
- It'sss mine now!
- Corpsssse robbing!
- Thank you for the loot, brother!
- Throwing grenade!
- Grenade out, brothersss!
- Chew on thisss!
- I sssmell deliciousss! (when killed by incendiary elemental damage)
- One less...Mouth to feed...
- Not on an empty stomach...
- The food killed me!
- Killed...By a morssssel...
- Killed...By sssome dumbassss!
- Brothersss... kill them...
- Be ssstrong my sssonsss...
- I dessserved better...
- I can sssmell you...
- The goo killed me! (when killed by corrosive damage)
- Some players report that the hitbox for the head is a bit off, increasing the difficulty of scoring a critical hit.
- Rat Thieves can steal money from Gaige's DeathTrap, Axton's Saber Turret, or Zer0's hologram, increasing the amount of money they drop when killed, however the money isn't stolen from the player's reserves.
- When a Rat Thief steals money from a Vault Hunter and is killed at the same time, it is possible that the stolen money will not be dropped causing it to be lost forever.
- Rats move very frequently, making them very hard to kill. Using guns with larger spread or high rates of fire make them easier to kill.
- It is common to believe that fast action is the best way to get loot back from a rat. However, waiting a few seconds ensures the loot will not "break" out of the game and become unrecoverable.
- In True Vault Hunter Mode, the Lab Rat's name changes to R.O.U.S, an acronym for Rodents Of Unusual Size. This is a reference to the strange rats that inhabit the fire swamp in the 1973 novel and 1987 movie The Princess Bride.
- The seven named rats in the Fridge are references to Snow White And The Seven Dwarves, all of which have names that end with "y".
- In True Vault Hunter Mode, the Rat Thief's name changes to Rat Bastard, a common insult from the Republic of Ireland.