Warhammer 40k has had its fair share of races that have us begging for more details. These are our favorite Mystery Races of 40k!
First off, what exactly are the Xenos?
The major alien races are the Orks, Eldar, Dark Eldar, Tyranids, Necrons and the Tau. All these races pose a considerable threat to the survival and continued dominance of mankind. There are countless other races but all are trivial by comparison.
The Imperium considers humanity the rightful rulers of the whole galaxy. Part of the Imperial Creed is that all aliens judged to pose a threat to mankind’s survival must be contained or destroyed. Aliens, along with mutants, heretics and deviants, are all considered enemies of mankind, for they threaten the very survival of the human race.
Many new alien races and civilizations are discovered by Imperial Explorators every year. For the most part, these aliens are ignored, contained, or if they present a threat to mankind or the Imperium, eradicated. Throughout its history, the Imperium has fought many long wars with dangerous alien species. In most cases, the Imperium has eventually won, but in some, the threat has only managed to be contained.
With a universe of lore the Grimdark has had it’s fair share of races that popped-up on the radar and have gone dark. Where did they go? What happened to them? Are they coming back? Frankly, we don’t know for sure. What we do know is that we’d love to see more from these races in the future.
The Slann or Slanni or even sometimes the Old Slann are a race of ancient reptilians or amphibians. The have a long history that started in the Rogue Trader Era but it was cut off around the time of 4th edition and they were quietly replaced by “The Old Ones” in the lore. Are they the same race? Maybe. Or were they also puppets of the Old Ones? Kind of depends on your sources. But what happened to them and are they still around in the Grimdark Universe? That’s the mystery!
Hrud are a pretty strange Xenos race. Some pictures (like the one above) depict them as small, sneaky creatures with flint-lock type weapons. They are almost rat-like with tails and hunched postures. Other sources have them as larger, gangly creatures which chitinous hides.
Frankly, we don’t really know which is correct – or perhaps they are BOTH correct. They have been a race that has hidden in the background and on the outskirts since their first appearance in the 3rd edition core rulebook. We’ve always wanted to know more which is why they are here on this list!
The Jokaero are an alien, ape-like race. They are master engineers and are capable of marvelous technological feats. They have been recruited by the Imperium, specifically member of the Inquisition, as Weaponsmiths. Most recently, we finally got a look at their ships which looks very different than anything else in the game:
While we have seen bits and pieces about them, the Jokaero are still a mystery. They may have been one of the races the Old Ones manipulated during the War in Heaven but they are still a mystery. Why aren’t there more of them if they are so technologically advanced? Are they hiding? Are they just scouting the galaxy? We may never find out until it’s too late.
Squats were once the most wide spread of the abhuman races. They used to have an army list for Warhammer 40k with an entire range but they were “Squatted” – which is to say they were removed from the game. Although remnants of them still remain along with a lingering hope they might one day return.
Lorewise, it’s said that the Tyranids simply devoured them…but apparently not ALL of them. Games Workshop has recently created a few one-off Squat Minis. The real mystery is if they will ever make a comeback.
The Zoats are another mysterious race. Initially, they were believed to be scouts for the Tyranids. Some of the old lore had penned them as bio-constructs or a slave race. At some point the lore changed and their were Renegade Zoats that had escaped the Hive Mind. It’s unclear what function they actually serve and there is other lore that points to Zoats still being a part of the Tyranid’s fleet or at least inside the living ships of the Tyranids.
Most recently, a Zoat has been re-introduced as a part of the Blackstone Fortress. What does this mean and are there more Zoats like this one? It’s yet another mystery waiting to be solved.
For my money, the Rangda are maybe the scariest xenos race you’ve never heard of. So potent they killed off a Legion’s worth of Marines before being wiped out. Worse still, they may have been merely a slave race to a higher power! The Rangda are truly one of the Grimdark’s boogeymen. Read on for all the chilling details.
The Rangda were a violent and powerful Xenos “Cerabvore” species encountered by the Imperium during the Great Crusade. They originated from a homeworld of the same name. Though now a footnote in history, the Rangdan Xenocides were a massive series of campaigns fought for Humanity’s survival. Over the campaigns 80,000 Astartes and millions of Imperial Army gave their lives to hold back the Rangda and their slave cohorts. There are subtle implications the Rangdan Xenocides may be related to the “Missing Legions & Primarchs”.
The Rangda were first encountered by the 105th Pioneer Company of the Vth Legion in the northern rim of the Galaxy and were recognized as a grave threat and engaged by the First Legion of Astartes. During the Rangdan Xenocides, the Rangdan invaded from the galactic north and east. In the bloodiest war for the Imperium until the Horus Heresy the Rangdan were halted, at great cost to the Imperium and the Dark Angels especially.
The Rangdan were described as possessing “Slaugth murder-minds”, suggesting they may have been a slave species to the Slaugth species. Indeed, the Slaugth have been seen following the wake of the Rangdan, harvesting the dead and any survivors they come across. The Rangdan were feared for their mimicry abilities, and their ships had a brutal appearance of spines and flails which dragged behind the vessels like metallic tentacles, giving them the appearance of jellyfish. Their elite warriors were said to be the match for a Space Marine in combat, wielding weaponry perhaps even superior to the Imperium and protected by personal energy shielding. Their preferred tactic was to use vast legions of slave armies and send them against the foe, exhausting them until selecting the right moment and place to strike. Their campaigns were conducted by Warmasters while their slave-controlling elite were known as Overlords.
Their warships fired radioactive electromagnetic blasts known as Shadow Blasters for the ominous shadow they left behind of their victims. They were capable of creating vast artificial war-moons manned by millions of slaves who were controlled via neural collars.
There are lots more mysterious Xenos races running around – which are your favorite and why?