Giant rats simply appear to be larger versions of normal pre-War rats, although they appear to have lost most of their fur (likely due to radiation), have spotted skin like molerats and have glowing turquoise eyes. Like normal rats, they have very large incisors. Giants rats are often found in darker areas, such as Cerulean Robotics, the broc flower cave and Vault 11.
Giant rats will not attack on sight, but will stand defensively in the way bighorners do when an enemy is spotted. Only when they draw too close or attack them will they become hostile. Certain rats, such as the ones found in Freeside will not even attack when assaulted. As with most mutated animals, giant rats will not attack if the Courier has the Animal Friend perk. Giant rats are also susceptible to, and count towards, the Animal Control perk. Occasionally, idle rats will make a sound similar to a howl.
Giant rats are light brown color, with glowing blue eyes and white hair down its back. The standard giant rat is equal in size to a mole rat. They are quite fast and attack in groups of three to seven.
These young rats look identical to fully grown giant rats, albeit smaller than the standard giant rat. They usually don't attack but instead run away. However, if pups are encountered with normal giant rats, they will accompany them in the assault.
Found in the broc flower cave and New Vegas sewers, rodents of unusual size are the largest of the mutated rats found in the Mojave Wasteland to date. They are identical to their giant cousins, save for their increased size and attack strength. They are aggressive and will attack on sight unless the player character has the Animal Friend perk. Can sometimes be found in vault 11 if the Wild Wasteland perk is active.
These are uniquely large giant rats, with only two in existence in 2281. They are found in the east central sewers, in the same room as "Sweet" Jill. Except for their size, they are identical in appearance to their smaller cousins, though are more aggressive and will attack on sight. If the Animal Friend perk is taken, the unnaturally large rodents will not attack.
Every three days, two children in Freeside will be seen chasing a non-hostile giant rat. If the Courier kills the rat, the children will say "Thanks, mister/lady" and perform an eating animation on the rat (like the Courier will perform if they have the Cannibal perk). The children will still "eat" the rat even if it was reduced to a pile of goo or ash. Sometimes they may perform this animation several feet away from the rat. Eventually the rat will respawn and the children will resume their never ending chase. It is likely that these children are working for Genaro, as he mentions that he has his "little helpers" who gather food for him. The children have knives and baseball bats, but they will never be able to catch up with and attack the rat.
Giant rats are friendly if the Courier has the Animal Friend perk, but may be hostile to companions.
It is possible to pickpocket a giant rat, though doing so will result in Karma loss.
There is a unique dialogue option with Jane in Freeside during the quest Debt Collector if the Courier has the Wild Wasteland trait. They can ask her about the "R.O.U.S" in the broc flower cave where her raided caravan lies.
In the Fallout: New Vegas concept art, the giant rat has been described as "smaller than a dog but bigger than a cat."
The rodents of unusual size are named in reference to William Goldman's novel and film The Princess Bride. In the film and novel, rodents of unusual size (or ROUS for short) attack the protagonists. Like Fallout's rats, ROUSs are extremely large and dangerous.