Bandits are one of the main enemies in RAGE. They are roving gangs of killers who survive the harshness of the wastes by forcible taking from others. There are six bandit clans, five of which are encountered through the course of the Campaign and in the Wasteland Legends co-op mode, and one is found in the Scorchers DLC.
Bandit clans are groups of people who emerged about 4 years after the impact of 99942 Apophis to a world with no law and sign of civilization. Most people turned to debauchery and anarchy as a way to survive. Robbing, raping, and kidnapping are some of these clans hobbies. By the events of Rage, 106 years after 99942 Apophis impacts earth, these clans have turned almost tribalistic, with each clan having their own unique customs. The Ark Survivor will find these clans practically rule the Wasteland, at least in areas outside established areas, such as Wellspring.
In the 2 territories visited by Nicholas Raine, six different clans will be encountered, each completely different than each other, but with the common goal of banditry.
The Ghosts are an insane group of cannibals that occupies the old Rutherford hotel, which is now their base of operations known as the Ghost Hideout. They're the first clan the player encounters after leaving the Ark 437a, and must fight them first during the quest "Quell the Bandit Threat". Their dwellings and vehicles are littered with decorative skulls and blood smears as signs of their victories in the Wasteland.
They have their own ways of maneuvering around with ease. They're very agile and adept at using the environment to perform jumps and other tricks to disorient enemies. They prefer close-in, hand-to-hand combat, making use of Wingsticks and bladed weapons like sickles and kitchen knives. They also use pistols and assault rifles.
The Wasted are a band of British-accented bandits mainly residing in the Wasted Garage located on the old Dam Facility site north of the Hagar Settlement. They're first encountered in the quest "Where's Juno" and the enemy in the quest "Find the Buggy Parts". Their gung-ho mentality means they will suicidally charge the protagonist, and they prefer hand weapons, explosives and firearms.
Not particularly adept at person-to-person fighting, they are rather good at Vehicle Combat. They retrieve any salvageable chassis they can find and outfit them with weapons and armor. Their boss uses a Monarch. It appears that they also control all the machine gun turrets found throughout the Wasteland.
The Scorchers are a bandit clan that resides in the Hagar Caves and controls the Scorcher Territory. They're much like the Ghosts in the way they use environment to their advantage, but they aren't cannibals. They use improvised hand weapons, including spiked baseball bats, as well as firearms and grenades.
They worship the Apophis asteroid as a god and decorate themselves, their vehicles and their residences with images of fire and destruction. They're masters of ambush, hunting in packs and surprising their victims in the most unlikely places. The Vehicle Combat encounters with the Scorchers are usually rather challenging because they are encountered in groups, utilize aggressive tactics and use environment to maneuver.
The Shrouded are a bandit clan residing in the complex known as the Shrouded Bunker. They are first introduced during the quest "Destroy the Barricade", and then battled during the "Destroy the Bomb Caches" mission. They are the most technologically advanced and intelligent bandit clan in the Northern Wasteland, and also strong enemies.
They tend to use assault rifles and grenades, and use cover frequently. They often drop ingredients as random loot when they die, so explosive kills should be avoided when possible. Their most powerful members are the Minigun and Shotgun troopers equipped with heavy body armor and weapons that are difficult to kill.
The Gearheads are a Russian / East European bandit clan residing mainly in the old power plant to the east of Subway Town. They are first encountered during the quest "Gearhead Vault". They are the strongest, most intelligent bandit clan in the whole Wasteland, and are best at using heavy machinery and producing energy. They control the power flow to the Eastern Wasteland, except for the Authority Territory and Capital Prime.
They are heavily armored and have the second strongest Minigun soldier, bested only by the Authority's juggernauts. Their combat preference centers around explosives and robotics, making extensive use of Sentry Bots and Turrets.
The Jackals are a bandit clan that resides in the Jackal Canyon south of Subway Town. They're first encountered in the quest "Ark Equipment", in which the player must make it through their domain to a recently emerged Ark. They're the second most powerful clan, bested only by the Gearheads in manpower. Being agile and tenacious of life, they wear minimal armor and are armed mainly with improvised hand weapons and crossbows. They also use a unique explosive called the Balloon Bomb.
They howl and yip, using the the canyon walls to amplify the echos of their shouts and make intruders think that there are more of them in any one spot than there really are. They surprise and swarm their foes, rushing in groups of up to six at a time.
"*" — The Scorchers DLC content.
- The Scorchers were originally planned to be in the game, as the RAGE Prima Official Game Guide goes into great detail on this clan, but they were cut from the game, leaving the players only the Vehicle Combat encounters at the Scorcher Territory. In December 2012, however, a DLC entitled The Scorchers was released, subsequently adding this faction into the game through a parallel storyline in which the protagonist faces them in person on several occasions, in a variety of new locations.