Rat Packs are a special enemy in World War Z. They became a new addition to fight alongside the undead horde with the release of World War Z: Aftermath.
Rat Packs, much like zekes, overwhelm humans by swarming them until they fall, forcing the survivors to pick them all off before they do the same.
Rat Packs are a tightly-packed group (otherwise known as a mischief) of black rats that are constantly running around one another.
Abilities & Behavior
Rat Packs are unique as they are a group of vicious rodents, a far cry from the typical zeke enemies encountered so far. However, they have developed both a taste for human flesh and a tactic that makes fighting them similar to zekes. They can always be singled out by their constant squeaking sounds.
Rat Packs have the ability to swarm survivors. This is comparable to how multiple zekes can pin down a survivor after surrounding them. Although they attack one survivor at a time, they are capable of switching targets, potentially allowing them to pin down multiple survivors in a very short amount of time.
Due to the size and structure of Rat Packs, they have unique strengths that make them much more different to fight against. They can prove to be surprisingly resilient without the proper tools and could serve a greater obstacle than any zeke the survivors may encounter if unprepared.
Strategy & Tactics
"Ravenous packs of rats go into a feeding frenzy when they find fresh meat. Try to spot and destroy them before they attack, or avoid them altogether."
"Rat packs are very hard to kill with conventional bullets and can't be killed with melee weapons. Instead, try fire or explosives." ― Tutorial Tips
Rat Packs act as a pinning enemy, holding a survivor down with the intent to kill without letting them fight back. They will aggressively chase after a survivor once alerted, and will pin them down once they manage to swarm them. If they receive enough damage from other survivors, Rat Packs will release their victim and switch targets.
- Never stray too far from your teammates. It is made extremely clear that players that try to do things by themselves will only land in a tight spot that they may not be prepared to face on their own. Always have at least one teammate with you. It is preferred that the whole team is together when Rat Packs are around. In higher difficulties, Rat Packs can cause chaos and incapacitate one survivor before moving to the next, so sticking together will give you a better chance at fighting back, especially if you lack more potent weapons to fight back with.
- Listen carefully. Rat Packs can be distinguished by their high pitched squeaking noises. Once Rat Packs are alerted to your presence, this noise becomes louder and sharper to signify that they are on the attack.
- Watch out for a little notification sign. It is the same one that appears when someone is incapacitated except the white circle will not drain counterclockwise. When it appears, it will lead toward the direction where the pinned survivor is located. The pinned survivor will also be outlined in yellow. Distressed audio cues should also notify others that someone is currently being pinned.
- Communicate. If you have a microphone, use it. Call out if you know have have spotted rats in the area. If you are pinned, call for assistance. Warn others that Rat Packs are near where they incapacitated you and that they should watch out before coming to your position. Keep in mind that this, as well as team chat, only works across PC players only. Players of the Xbox and PlayStation versions of the game cannot communicate across different platforms. Groups containing players from different consoles will require third-party communication tools to communicate with each other.
- Rat Packs are one of the rarest enemies encountered. In any given chapter, it is never guaranteed that the survivors will even run into them. Consider yourself fortunate if you don't have to deal with a pack at all.
- However, it isn't impossible to encounter more than one pack either. Although this tends to rarely happen, consider yourself unlucky as you might not be fully prepared for the next surprise encounter.
- Rat Packs attack by swarming survivors. When a pack is alerted to the presence of survivors, either by noise or damage, they will immediately begin to hunt down whoever originally provoked them. Once they come in contact with the survivor, the rats will pin them down and deal constant damage, forcing the rest of the team to attack to free them. If Rat Packs receive enough damage during this point and not get wiped out entirely, they will free their previous victim and switch target to whoever last attacked them.
- If a survivor is incapacitated, the pack will remain on them and prevent anyone from getting close to try and revive them. To minimize the risk, maintain distance and try attacking the rats with something powerful in hopes to clear them out at once. Attacking them in this state while they still possess sufficient numbers will cause them to chase after their new provocateur.
- Rat Packs move extremely quick, allowing them to easily close any gaps and make escape nearly impossible for survivors. Like zekes, they can track down the position of the survivor that originally provoked them from any distance. Rat Packs are also capable of climbing up to higher levels. Do not be deceived into thinking that rats will be unable to climb up over obstacles and walls. Rat Packs can consistently climb over things and do it as quickly as zekes. Rat Packs can also descend from higher levels quickly as well with little pause.
- Unlike with all special zombies, Rat Packs are unable to be marked, either manually by players or automatically with specific perks. The true danger of this lies when Rat Packs start chasing survivors as the lack of a red outline can make it difficult to track once they are on the move. This is especially detrimental in certain areas that are less illuminated, or places that have lots of debris, tall grass, or other objects that litter the floor to partially conceal them during their advances. If you spot Rat Packs while they are idle, you can still mark their current location with the normal marker arrow to give everyone else a heads up.
- Unlike regular zekes, Rat Packs are not affected by them in any way. When idle zekes are alarmed, they can alarm nearby zekes and so on. Rat Packs cannot be affect by this as they ignore noises and movement made by zekes and continue to remain idle. To trigger the pack, players themselves must draw their attention either by getting too close or making too much noise while nearby. Since Rat Packs tend to appear in areas without any zekes nearby, these interactions tend to be very rare. However, when both Rat Packs and zekes are fought at the same time, they can work together to devastating effect.
- When encountering Rat Packs, your team has the option to ignore them entirely. In almost all cases, Rat Packs are encountered in areas without any zekes nearby. This allows the team to divert all their attention towards the pack and how they should be handled. In the case of stealth, it is possible to sneak past them by walking or crouching while keeping some distance. Keep track of their movement as they move together from one spot to another every once in a while. If they end up moving towards you as you try to stealth around them, they may become alerted to your presence and begin attacking. A more surefire way to stealthily avoid Rat Packs is by simply going through an alternate route if one is present. Rat Packs should be avoided if the team lacks proper weapons and equipment to effectively deal with them or they cannot risk taking any more damage and suffer incapacitation/death. Even if the team is more than capable of dealing with Rat Packs, it is still recommended going around them whenever possible, saving resources and ammo towards other fights.
- Bullets are not the most effective in exterminating Rat Packs. If you or the team choose to engage in combat with the rats, expect more difficulty if you only plan to use regular firearms. Shooting Rat Packs is largely ineffective due to the sheer number of rats that must be killed before they no longer pose a threat. This tends to make killing Rat Packs with bullets frustrating as unlike zekes and special zombies, there are no vulnerable locations on the body or weak spots that can be readily exploited with whatever firearms currently equipped. The best that can be achieved is simply firing upon Rat Packs until they all disappear, either shooting them down to the last rat or thinning their numbers low enough to force their retreat. This can be time-consuming and could lead to substantial health loss, though having the entire team focus fire can help improve the odds.
- Fire is extremely effective in exterminating Rat Packs. Rat Packs possess a notable weakness to fire. When fire is used, it will quickly burn through multiple rats at a time. If choosing to engage, it is highly recommended that any players possessing a weapon or equipment that can create fire pools be used to deal with Rat Packs as proper use can swiftly eliminate them.
- Explosives are extremely effective in exterminating Rat Packs. Rat Packs can be dealt with easily by utilizing explosives. The stronger the explosion, the more rats that are killed at once. In many cases, more than one explosive will be necessary to kill Rat Packs. Explosive weapons like the Crossbow, Grenade Launcher, and the Advanced Combat Weapon will require multiple shots to clear a pack. Since Rat Packs are typically found in areas free of zekes during stealth scenarios, the sound of explosions will easily draw in a horde of zekes. If Rat Packs are blocking the only path forward or present a risk that requires swift (and noisy) elimination, be prepared to trade in one problem for another.
- Melee is useless against Rat Packs. It doesn't matter if light, medium, or heavy melee weapons are used, none of them will work when fighting rats. Since they are low to the ground, regular or signature strikes cannot reach them. The other benefit of melee attacks, the pushback, cannot affect Rat Packs either. Even if they are put in an elevated position (for example, on top of a car), it is still impossible to target them. Avoid melee combat entirely and use anything else at your team's disposal to kill Rat Packs.
- Rat Packs also do not trigger melee finishers, which normally play a specific melee animation where survivors attack enemies that are low to the ground. However, even if this was triggered by other nearby zekes, these attacks cannot harm rats either.
- One particular heavy melee weapon, the Sledgehammer, features a signature strike where the wielder slams the weapon onto the ground. This attack does not actually hit low to the ground and is simply an animation.
- Electricity is highly ineffective against Rat Packs. In scenarios where Rat Packs and High Voltage Grids/Sound Traps are near the same area, do not rely on these defense system to help you at all. Electricity does very negligible amounts of damage to the Rat Packs and they cannot be stunned like zekes, meaning they will not stop when moving on top of a charged grid or let go of their victim once they have them pinned. If Rat Packs happen to be climbing a fence that has a High Voltage Grid on it, they will not be affected by it the way regular zekes are.
- Use heavy weapons. Heavy weapons, while mostly intended for zeke swarms, can also be used against tough enemies. Given how troublesome Rat Packs can be, most heavy weapons can easily exterminate them due to how much damage they can cause. If it can be spared, unload some of your heavy weapon ammo onto Rat Packs. Using each heavy weapon effectively allows you to maximize damage and successfully kill Rat Packs with efficiency.
- The Payload Rifle is very well suited to be used against Rat Packs given its somewhat lackluster crowd control capabilities. Focusing its explosive firepower on Rat Packs instead is highly recommended as a direct hit or two can easily kill it. The Payload Rifle's scope also makes it perfect for killing them from a distance and with accuracy.
- The RPG Launcher is an extremely powerful heavy weapon to use against Rat Packs. Sometimes, it is worth sacrificing the ammo in an RPG Launcher on Rat Packs, especially if no other explosive or fire weapons are on hand. A single blast is always guaranteed to clear them away. It is best to use it from a safe distance to avoid friendly fire as well as accidentally hurting yourself.
- The Machinegun is a good heavy weapon to use against Rat Packs. Its explosive ammo will be enough to kill an entire pack before they swarm you or a teammate as long as some distance is kept, but careful aim is required due to the weapon's high recoil. It is not advised shooting while aiming down sights if they are targeting you as you won't be able to move back to give yourself a bit more time to shoot.
- The MGL is a powerful explosive weapon that can work great against Rat Packs if you can line up the grenades well enough. It is easier to line up shots against Rat Packs if they have not been alerted yet. Shoot the grenades on the floor carefully so that they roll and explode very closely to them. However, you should be careful to aim carefully or else you may put yourself at risk of self-damage. If you miss, the rats will be alerted and become more difficult to hit due to their speed. When the pack begins to thin out, it may be more difficult to hit the remaining rats, so fire slowly to keep a better eye on your target without the debris from shooting the ground getting in the way.
- The Heavy Assault Shotgun is a fairly decent heavy weapon to use while fighting Rat Packs due to its fast fire rate and spread. Since the weapon fires many pellets, more rats can be hit with each shot. However, the weapon is obviously more effective up close, and it's likely that Rat Packs will swarm and pin you down before you manage to kill it. However, if you manage to thin out the pack, a few more shots will quickly clear out the last of the remaining scattered rats.
- The Chainsaw is near useless against Rat Packs. Despite being the only melee weapon capable of actually hitting them, it is wholly ineffective. The first problem is that you need to be on top of them to deal damage, putting you in the perfect (and only) position to get pinned down. The second problem is that you can only target Rat Packs by aiming the Chainsaw and looking down when firing. This could make you lose focus on your surroundings in case zekes or a Lurker are nearby.
- The Flamethrower can easily grill Rat Packs into barbeque. The risk of having to get close enough to be able to hit Rat Packs is trivial as the high damaging flames will quickly melt through them all within seconds. The Flamethrower also holds an advantage over other heavy weapons by being more silent. In stealth scenarios, the Flamethrower can quickly take care of Rat Packs without alerting a horde as long as it isn't fired for too long. With all other heavy weapons, you will greatly risk drawing out a horde upon your team.
- When Rat Packs receive enough damage, they might begin retreating. Once the number of rats have been severely reduced, they may cease to attack survivors. The sign that Rat Packs are no longer a threat is when they start running away from the survivors instead of chasing them. Rat Packs will also be noticeably slower during this time as well. While it is still possible for only a few handful of rats to attack and pin down a survivor, they will quickly release their target if their numbers dwindle any further.
- If Rat Packs happen to be blocked off behind doors meant for transitioning between one area to the next, they will disappear. On the other hand, if Rat Packs are spotted past a door that must be opened to progress and are able to be targeted, they will disappear shortly after getting attacked.
- Rat Packs can be slowed down by closeable doors. If possible, you can stay relatively safe by closing a door to hold rats back. However, barricades made from wooden planks can be crawled right underneath by the pack. It is still important to keep barricades up as they can still slow down zekes and special zombies, allowing your teammates to focus more on helping you if you happened to get pinned and vice versa.
- Being killed by Rat Packs will not cause survivors to return as a zeke. As Rat Packs are not infected, ultimately dying by them cannot cause you to reanimate and attack your remaining teammates.
- The appearance, behavior, and sound effects of Rat Packs are very similar to the rat enemies from A Plague Tale: Innocence, a 2019 action-adventure stealth game developed by Asobo Studio that was also published by Focus Entertainment. The fire weakness that Rat Packs possess is comparable to how sources of light, including those created from fire, can keep rats away or even incinerate them if they cannot escape from it.
|Zeke • Lurker • Gasbag • Bull • Screamer • Infector • Bomber • Rat Packs • Booster|