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Raiders, sometimes referred to as bandits, are any group of wastelanders who pillage, plunder, murder, or otherwise ruin the day of anyone unfortunate enough to cross their path. Raiders tend to organize into loose confederations of gangs in the post-apocalyptic wasteland and are a constant problem. They typically prey upon lone travelers and small towns, leaving larger groups and more populous settlements alone, though in great enough numbers they can pose a major threat to the security of a region.
Raider groups can be found nearly everywhere in the wasteland. Most are short-lived and loosely-organized gangs barely scraping out a living, typically without any real driving purpose beyond basic survival or psychotic thrills. Some, however, such as the Khans and the 80s, last long enough to form tribal connections and a unique culture based on raiding.
Besides a great number of raider gangs encountered throughout New California, there are three distinct raider groups referenced by the first Fallout: Jackals, Vipers, and Khans, although only the last one appears in the actual game. All three groups originated from Vault 15.
- The Jackals: The first clan, the Jackals, are a typical group of crazies. They have no morals, and only one goal: survival. They use group tactics to overpower their enemies. They band together in their hideaway and fight over the spoils.
- The Vipers: The second clan, the Vipers, are mysterious followers of ancient religion. They usually only come out at night to hunt for food or to conduct raids. They are ruthless in combat and prefer stealth to strength. They usually carry bone knives dipped in Pit Viper venom, which, when in the bloodstream, paralyzes the victim. Most victims captured in this way are taken back to their hideout.
- The Khans: The last clan, the Khans, are probably the most dangerous and resourceful of the three Raider clans. They live the lifestyles of Mongol warriors, raiding towns, burning what they cannot take and capturing the survivors for use as slaves. They usually travel in small scouting bands, but sometimes they roam as full war parties. The Khans above all else respect strength. They are eager in combat to prove their worthiness to the clan by engaging in hand-to-hand combat with fists or clubs. The Khans carry very few firearms. Anyone showing superior strength is worthy of their respect.
There are numerous different groups of raiders in Fallout 2, which are still a common sight in the wasteland, but only a few groups played quite a major role.
- Bishop's mercenaries: Operating out of a cave north of Broken Hills, protected by raised plates, falling traps and barbed wire-walls with locked and trapped doors. They were not true raiders, but mercenaries hired by the Bishop family of New Reno with arms supplied by the New California Republic. They merely posed as raiders to pressure Vault City to accept annexation by the NCR. They reside in the mercenaries' cave.
- The New Khans: Reappearing in the second game, they are led by the only survivor of the original group. They are hiding out inside the secretive corridors of the ruined Vault 15, protected by squatters. Their leader Darion is paranoid and ridden with survivor's guilt about being the sole survivor of the original Khans who were wiped out by the Vault Dweller. As a result, they carry out many attacks on caravans and towns and, under Darion's orders, are extra fierce against the NCR.
- Yakuza: Japanese-style raider gangs could be encountered during travels, armed with traditional swords.
By 2281, the New California Republic has effectively cleansed most of the region of raiders. Eastward, Caesar's Legion had done the same thing in a different fashion, but was arguably more raider-free than in New California, making Legion territory safer to visit to some traders. Between the two factions, in the Mojave Wasteland, smaller gangs that technically fit the raider definition continue to exist, such as the Greasers and Scorpions in outer Vegas, with former ones having taken up new identities or striven from the traditional raider path, such as the Great Khans and Fiends.
The raiders of the Capital Wasteland are mostly hostile, lawless, chem-addled ruffians who roam the wastes of the Washington, D.C. area. They have little in common with the raider clans of the West Coast, except for the Fiends of the Mojave Wasteland. They are encountered in smaller groups and are armed with a fairly wide range of weaponry. They can occasionally be found hunting with guard dogs as well. All raiders wear some form of raider armor and have dirty skin. The raiders of the Capital Wasteland have no central leader, leaders being at the level of individual gangs. However, in The Pitt, Ishmael Ashur rules over an entire distinct army of raiders which controls the city of the Pitt.
Raiders have no alliances with other factions and will attack everyone but other raiders or slavers. They appear to be quite cruel, as places they inhabit are usually filled with the mutilated bodies of other raiders and wastelanders, implying that they torture captured enemies and occasionally their own.
The largest organized group of raiders in the Capital Wasteland operates out of Evergreen Mills, having formed a small city which offers more amenities than other raider bands in the area possess, including merchant services and a brothel. They are rumored to do business with slavers, taking wastelanders captive and selling them for profit.
The mountains provide a surprising amount of cover, especially the rock-strewn washes that run east-west just south of Nelson. This is the perfect location for packs of anarchic hunters, grifters and psychotics to wait for an opportunity to steal, kidnap or kill. These loosely-knit raider gangs revel in chaos and anarchy. The Jackals are no more than a handful of scarred and tattooed reprobates, scraping out a living by preying on anything weaker than them. The slightly more organized Viper gang consist of a more skilled collection of ne'er-do-wells, dug in close to major roads to rob and plunder travelers and merchant caravans. Further north are two much more pitiful gangs, who have lost their brethren (both in violence, or by recruitment) to the Fiends; the Greaser gang who terrorize the North Vegas sewers, and the Scorpions, who fight intermittent skirmishes with Westside residents. There are also two other major raider groups: the Fiends and the drug-making and trafficking Great Khans. All these raiders have little driving purpose or goal, other than to live to see tomorrow and raise as much hell as possible in the present.
In the Commonwealth, raiders are more organized than seen previously. Raiders are now more technologically advanced and can utilize machine gun turrets and automatic spotlights - some raider leaders have even re-purposed power armor for themselves. However, raiders in the Commonwealth do not have a centralized organization and are split into several groups. According to terminals and dialogue, some of these groups antagonize each other, while some stay out of each other's way. For example, Red Tourette's group has constant skirmishes against Tower Tom's crew.
These raiding groups rarely have set names and are mostly referred to by their leaders, with some exceptions like the Forged and the L&L Gang, a loose alliance of raider gangs. Raiders seem to follow an unspoken chain of command, though not as structured as the Gunners.
The Nuka-World raiders are a completely different story from the Commonwealth raider gangs, as they are far more organized and better equipped. This loose triumvirate consists of the Operators, a mob-style gang driven by monetary gain; the Disciples, a highly sadistic and bloodthirsty gang that revels in murdering and torturing victims for sport; and the Pack, which, as the name suggests, follows an animal pack-based system while its members wear brightly-colored armor and clothes. All three gangs follow an overall leader or "overboss." The current overboss is Colter.
In Fallout 4, raiders can be heard conversing with each other, sometimes telling stories or joking with each other. The members also seem to have close bonds with one another as they often get enraged when some of their comrades are killed. Notes and terminals also show that raiders care more about each other (e.g. Intervention note) though they still possess the same bloodthirstiness that raiders have in Fallout 3.
Raiders, like many factions, do not treat synths and the Railroad favorably. The most notable example is the L&L Gang, which has a reputation for seeking out and committing violence against synths.
Raiders earn protection money from Bunker Hill caravans in exchange for not raiding the settlement or its caravans, and spend money in places like the Combat Zone, a raider-only bar, show house, and wrestling ring.
Prior to 2102, there were five major raider gangs in Appalachia. These gangs were descended primarily from those trapped in ski resorts in the Savage Divide region. The rich tourists and staff first waited for rescue from the government, but when they realized help would not arrive, they turned to raiding any nearby survivors for supplies.
Each of the gangs focused on different aspects of raiding to survive, but each group ultimately met their end. The Blackwater Bandits specialized in stealth and theft but either died or became ghouls when one of their members damaged some machinery in the uranium mine they resided in, releasing dangerous levels of radiation. The Gourmands turned to cannibalism, but this eventually proved to be their undoing - some members began to eat the others in the group, and these members became wendigos. The Trappers favored using traps to ensnare their victims but were assaulted by the super mutants who captured many and forced to others to flee the region. The Diehards were the most pacifist of the groups, preferring to avoid killing except in self-defense, however, this philosophy proved difficult in the wasteland and eventually drove their leader to suicide. Finally, the Cutthroats, who were known for their fierceness and willingness to go to extreme lengths to get revenge on those who opposed them, were wiped out primarily due to the Scorched Plague.
One large raider gang is made up of former members of the original five gangs, and they are led by a former Diehard. Their main base is at the Crater but they do control some territory along the Ohio River. Either these raiders, or their rivals at Foundation, must be sided with to break into Vault 79.
Another large gang is the Free Radicals, who occupy an old lumber mill. Their members include the ex-cons and the former head guard of a prison in Maryland. They came to Appalachia looking for treasure, and can be either fought or sided with.
The final large gang is the Blood Eagles. They are led by a triumvirate of leaders - the Blood, the Eye, and the Claw, though they rarely live long and can be replaced by another member of the gang, as long as they proved their loyalty and power. They are almost all addicted to a spiked version of Buffout, making them crazed so that they will attack anyone who is not part of the gang on sight. A former member, Beckett, is dedicated to eliminating the gang, and the Vault Dweller can assist him in doing so.
Two smaller gangs are seen in Appalachia - one, a group led by Edwin (and later his niece Ronny) who often fight with the Blood Eagles and two, a group led by Sargento which runs a fighting arena in the Watoga Civic Center.
Although they do not operate in Appalachia, one unnamed group of raiders is mentioned during the Steel Dawn questline. Originating from west of the region, this traveling group of raiders stopped in Ohio before visiting the Crater, and they traded off Hellstorm missile launchers to the inhabitants of Crater. The raiders also claimed to have acquired this equipment, as well as a power armor helmet in battle with the Brotherhood of Steel. However, the amount of raiders that the Brotherhood First Expeditionary Force encountered on their way to Appalachia makes Knight Daniel Shin act as if he is unsure of whether or not they actually met this group of raiders. In reality, these raiders were the group that attacked a settlement in the Midwest, when the Brotherhood attempted to defend the townspeople. The raiders killed nearly every settler, except for two (Marcia and Maximo Leone), and Knight Alan Connors fell in battle as well. They took Knight Connors' helmet as a trophy and escaped with the Hellstorm missile launchers.
|The following is based on information from Fallout Tactics.|
There are many raider gangs throughout the territory of Chicago. The majority of these raiders are well organized, because of a need to become one faction: the presence of Brotherhood of Steel, super mutants and Calculator's robots. They are cruel, sadistic people who are usually found near the eastern part of the region, far from super mutants and robots. There are several notable groups present.
- The Main Faction: The faction was formed after four major raider leaders of the region (Luke Daniels, Bo Duffy, Daisy-May Gomer, and Jesse Gomer) forged an alliance to become stronger in order to fight their overpowering enemies. Their main base where the leaders hold their meetings is Rock Falls. They were all annihilated there by the Brotherhood.
- Gang of Devil's Graveyard: Powerful gang of raiders led by a man known as Gargantua. Their base is a place called Devil's Graveyard.
- Gang of Macomb: A gang which was formed to assault strangers around Macomb, a town suffering because of famine. These raiders are looking for food and use roofs as cover.
- Ghoul-haters: This group is actually an extremist party, dedicated to the extermination of ghouls. They took over Springfield because the mayor claimed that ghouls are equal to normal, smoothskin people.
|End of information based on information from Fallout Tactics|
|The following is based on information from Fallout: Brotherhood of Steel.|
In Texas, only one known gang of raiders exists, but it is very large and powerful, being de facto rulers of the land. However, they have become but puppets to Attis, who use them to capture slaves for him. Their base is an old mill located in the town of Carbon, which is completely under their control aided by the Mayor who keeps them happy. The gang is unique because of its matriarchal rule, with female lieutenants and the main leader is known as Jane, Raider Matron. The gang wears a yellow emblem on their clothes to differentiate themselves from outsiders. Aside from normal weapons, the Carbon Raiders are well known for using killer dogs and special flamethrower weaponry. They have the ability to brew alcohol on radioactive subsistences. 
|End of information based on information from Fallout: Brotherhood of Steel|
- Centre Dubois
- Winger Gervais
- Junders Plunkett
- Goalie Ledoux
- Lag-Bolt (Talon Company)
- Winger Mercier
- Ryan Brigg
- Sam Warrick
- Smiling Jack
- Split Jack
- Tara Fields
- The Wanderer
- Bethesda ruins raider boss
- Springvale school raider leader
- Springvale school raider miniboss
- Northern shack raider
- Northern shack raider's partner
- Southern shack raider
- The Pitt
- Lord Ishmael Ashur
- Trouble Man
Fallout: New Vegas
- Driver Nephi
- Vault 3 fiend boss
- Vault 3 Fiend guard
- Violetta (Fiend dog)
- BoneGnash (Fiend dog)
- GhashBone (Fiend dog)
- Queenie (Fiend brahmin)
- Greasy Johnny
- Viper leaders
- Jackal gang leaders
- NHPS Jackal gang leader
- Prospector's Den Jackal gang leader
- Nipton Road pit stop Jackal gang leader
- Papa Khan
- Jerry the Punk
- Melissa Lewis
- Oscar Velasco
- Great Khan armorer
- Big Maude
- Carl Everett
- Eager Ernie (Triggermen)
- Helter Skelter
- James Wire
- Johnny T. Walters
- Ken Standish
- Lucky Tatum
- Luke Silverhand
- Red Tourette
- Regi Blattaria
- Captain Sally
- Skrap Rat
- Smiling Kate
- Stevie Buchanan
- Sully Mathis
- Tammy Mac
- Tanya Standish
- The Bruiser
- Tower Tom
- Wayne Delancy
- Judge Zeller
- Ahab (Rust Devils sentry bot)
- Overboss Colter
- Porter Gage
- Mags Black
- William Black
- Lizzie Wyath
- Creation Club
- Vendor bot Raider
- Vendor bot Resin
- Mr. Bosley
- Carol Sweeney
- Edie Stevens
- Mr. Henrick
- Margie McClintock
- Rosalynn Jeffries
- Various Appalachian raiders
- Walter Griswold
- Raiders vendor
- Ace the Raider
- Meg Groberg
- Caleb Fisher
- Hal Gleeson
- Johnny Weston
- Lucky Lou
- Maximum Maddie
- Nuclear Don
- Registration guard
- Steel Dawn
- Blood Eagles
- The Blood
- The Eye
- The Claw
- Frank the Butcher
- Jessi the Hook
- Dagger's Lieutenant
- Tally Lang
- Beef Slam Bednarski
- Big Wes
- Boss McScrooge
- Cruddy Bonez
- Frank the Tank
- Hatchet O'Houlihan
- Khan Killian
- Marcus Hammer
- Mastiff Muldoon
- Paula Plumbkin
- Regina Rage
- Road Rash
- Sally Switchblade
Raiders appear in all Fallout games and are mentioned in the Fallout Bible.
- Fallout 3 Official Game Guide Game of the Year Edition p.42: "Raiders
Chaos and anarchy. Or if you prefer, anarchy and chaos. Raiders revel in both. Numerous Raider groups dot the wasteland. Most are no more than a handful of people scraping out a living by preying on anything weaker than them. They have no driving purpose or goal, other than to live to see tomorrow and raise as much hell as possible today.
The largest known band of Raiders has set up a crude city in Evergreen Mills. This well-defended canyon gives them a base of operations. Rumor has it they trade with Slavers, selling their captives for cash."
(Fallout 3 Official Game Guide faction profiles)
- The Courier: "Are you from California?"
Jas Wilkins: "Born and raised. Things back in California are better than they've ever been, according to my grandpa. The Raiders are mostly gone now and it's easy enough to get a job at one of the mills or farms. But now there's taxes and laws and other things. The NCR keeps things safe and orderly, but it's all very boring. So, I came out east towards the frontier."
(Jas Wilkins' dialogue)
- The Courier: "How do you feel about Caesar's Legion?"
Raul Tejada: "I don't really have a problem with them. People around here tend to see them as invading marauders planning to burn and pillage the countryside. But I've been to Arizona, boss. Before the Legion, it was a nasty place, so thick with raiders you couldn't trade with a town two miles up the road. Caesar's laws aren't nice, and their actions aren't always pretty. But then, neither am I, but you keep me around."
(Raul Tejada's dialogue)
- The Courier: "Do they deal with any caravans at all?"
Rose of Sharon Cassidy: "There's some caravans that deal with the Legion, yes. And as much as it pains me to say it, any caravan marked by the Legion is safe as houses. They guard their roads, their supply lines - even Fiends would hesitate before going after any trader dealing with Legion."
(Rose of Sharon Cassidy's dialogue)
- Fallout: New Vegas Official Game Guide Collector's Edition p. 44: "Raider: Greaser Gang
Raider: Jackal Gang
Raider: Scorpion Gang
Raider: Viper Gang
The Joshua Tree-speckled mountains provide a surprising amount of cover, especially the rock-strewn washes that run east-west just south of Nelson. This is the perfect location for packs of anarchic hunters, grifters, and psychotics to wait for an opportunity to steal, kidnap, or kill. These loosely-knit Raider gangs revel in chaos and anarchy. The Jackals are no more than a handful of scarred and tattooed reprobates, scraping out a living by praying on anything weaker than them. The (slightly) more more organized Viper Gang consists of a slightly more skilled collection of ne'er-do-wells, dug in close to major roads to rob and plunder travellers and Merchant Caravans. Further north, are two much more pitiful gangs, who have lost their brethren (both in violence, or by recruitment) to the Fiends; the stinking Greaser Gang who terrorize the North Vegas Sewers, and the Scorpion Gang, who fight intermittent skirmishes with Westside residents. All these Raiders have no driving purpose or goal, other than to live to see tomorrow and raise as much hell as possible today."
(Fallout: New Vegas Official Game Guide faction profiles)
- The Sole Survivor: "Who is this L&L Gang?"
Desdemona: " "
- Fallout 76 loading screens: "Thanks to their anarchic nature, would-be leaders among the Blood Eagles tend to have very limited lifespans."
- Vault Dweller: "The other Raiders you got the weapons from... Where did they come from?"
Sheena: "West. They said they passed through Ohio before coming here. I don't know how much further out they went."
- Vault Dweller: "Did your Raider friends mention anything else about the fight?"
Sheena: "They wouldn't shut up about it, so I learned to tune it out pretty quick. But I do remember them passing around a helmet with a bullet hole through its visor. A trophy from the fallen."
- Vault Dweller: "A group of Raiders traveling from the west said they earned it in a battle."
Knight Shin: "I... see. And are those Raiders still at Crater?"
Vault Dweller: "It sounded like they were just visiting."
Knight Shin: "It can't be helped, then. We need to focus on Appalachia for the moment."
Vault Dweller: "Did you come into contact with those Raiders?"
Knight Shin: " "
Vault Dweller: "We're really just going to let them go?"
Knight Shin: "I'd like to pursue them as much as you would, Initiate. But those were not our orders from Elder Maxson. We have duties in Appalachia. Ones that we've delayed for long enough as it is."
(Daniel Shin's dialogue)
- Vault Dweller: "The Raiders mentioned a Knight's helmet. Did someone important die?"
Knight Shin: "A Knight's helmet? It must be... Two other Knights embarked with us from the West Coast. Knight Thornberry returned partway through the journey. To think they held on to his helmet like a trophy... It's unforgivable."
(Daniel Shin's dialogue)
- Vault Dweller: "Tell me about the incident that split Rahmani and Shin."
Scribe Valdez: "Right... Those weapons you've been chasing? We found them in a government facility on our way to Appalachia. We were supposed to keep them to ourselves - that's how we operate - but then we ran across a settlement being threatened by raiders. We couldn't just leave them to die. We equipped them with the weapons we found, but it didn't help. It was a massacre. The whole place was wiped out. Everyone was killed, including Knight Connors, one of our own. Knight Shin believes it's our duty to report this incident to Elder Maxson. Paladin Rahmani feels we'd be punished just for trying to help."
(Odessa Valdez's dialogue)
- Fallout: Brotherhood of Steel Manual p.33: "Raiders
Mercenaries, thugs, guns-for-hire, the Raiders are just everyday folk that took a look at the world around them and thought that it could do with some additional hardship. Thanks guys. As their name suggests, Raiders move across the wasteland till they find a nice little remnant of civilization and then move in and strip the town of anything that isn’t bolted down. And then un-bolt the stuff that is. Since most raiders rank just below a fried egg on the intelligence scale, they tend to act as muscle for someone else, usually someone with bad things on their mind."
- Fallout: Brotherhood of Steel Official Strategy Guide p.87: "Raiders
Raiders are average men, unscathed by the fallout. At least, on the outside. Beneath their skin, in their chests, is a gaping hole where their hearts should be. Instead of banding together to help out fellow survivors, they decided to take advantage of their strength and numbers. They coalesced into vicious gangs called Raiders–an apt name because when they breeze into town, they rob, pillage, and loot. They take until there's nothing left. And then they move on, searching for the next unsuspecting town to burn to the ground.
Fortunately, Raiders are all muscle. They attack without thinking it through, which leaves them vulnerable to a foe with a modicum of gray matter. When a mob surrounds you, try luring one or two around a corner to thin their numbers."
The lowest of the low. These mindless goons serve only to attack Brotherhood characters, and that means you. Fortunately, they haven't been equipped with very good weapons (usually just knives and small firearms) and they wear very little armor."
These Raiders love playing with fire. They sweep into a town with gas tanks strapped to their backs, and start burning everything in sight. Those tanks, though, are their weakness. They explode if you shoot them, and the resulting conflagration will wipe them out. (This is especially useful if they attack in a horde. Once one gas tank blows, they all start popping like fiery pinatas.) If you're out of bullets when you meet one of these charming fellows, be careful when throwing your melee weapon around. Only hit the Torch in the front, or else you'll go up with the gas tank."
Soldiers are the next step up from Thugs in the Raider food chain. Soldiers are a little smarter, a little faster, and they've been entrusted with slightly better firepower. Some of these Raiders carry hammers, which gives them an increased melee range–so keep your distance."
The highest members of the Raiders, Lieutenants are all females. They only carry firearms, like pistols and rifles, and are crack shots. Watch for their grenade attacks, too. Lieutenants are smart enough to track your movement and lob a grenade directly in your path."