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Warhammer 40k Kroot lore, models, and rules

The Kroot are predatory alien mercenaries, stalking the stars for worthy foes to consume, the better to strengthen their own genetic stock.

Warhammer 40k Kroot Warshaper, an avian humanoid with a beak and quills in place of hair, wearing leather harnesses and a breastplate, armed with a hook on a rope and a double-ended polearm

The Warhammer 40k Kroot race are predatory xenos from the Eastern galactic rim. Their nomadic kinbands act as mercenaries in the wars of many other species. They fight not just for profit, but to devour the flesh of worthy enemies, for they can incorporate genetic material from those they consume into their own genetic code.

The Kroot are employed as military auxiliary troops by the T’au Empire more frequently than any other Warhammer 40k Xenos race. Rules for the Kroot are accordingly found in the T’au Warhammer 40k Codex – but a spate of new miniature releases means that you’ll soon be able to field an army of Kroot as if they were a standalone Warhammer 40k faction.

Here’s what you need to know about Warhammer 40k Kroot lore, models, and rules:

A Warhammer 40k Kroot shaper, a caped alien with quills in place of hair and a beak, meets hovering Tau battlesuits descending from a blue sky

Kroot lore

The Kroot are a Xenos species from the Ultima segmentum, near the Eastern galactic rim. They are hardy and adaptable. Originating on the planet Pech, their species has mastered interstellar travel and other advanced technology. Their warp-capable Warsphere vessels make up the mainstay of their fleet.

Despite their advanced technology, Kroot civilization is not industrialized. The Kroot live in migratory tribes, often selling their services as mercenaries for other species. Most commonly, they fight as auxiliaries alongside the T’au Empire, the product of a long-standing agreement sealed when the T’au saved a number of Kroot enclaves from a savage Ork Waaagh!

Warhammer 40k Kroot biology - a pair of Kroot Carnivores, avian humanoids with quills in place of hair and bird beaks, accompanied by a small Krootiform hound creature

Kroot biology

Kroot exhibit avian features, including a beak and feathery quills, pointing to an avian ancestor. But Kroot biology is extremely malleable. When Kroot consume the flesh of another species, they begin to incorporate some of its genetic material into their own. Consuming the flesh of dead rivals and allies is an integral part of Kroot culture, for this makes them strong, and preserves the spirit of a deceased warrior.

Though they do not exert the same control over their genetic adaptation that the Tyranid hive mind does over the creation of new Tyranid bioforms, the Kroot can still curate their genetic evolution. Kroot Flesh Shapers hold a special role in Kroot society. They steer the process in particular directions by carefully cultivating which genetic material their people consume.

Warhammer 40k Kroot artwork by Games Workshop - a montage showing a Kroot battleforce, with a closeup image of an alien Kroot armed with a long rifle on one side, and a massed force consisting of infantry and cavalry on the right

Kroot subspecies

Several Kroot subspecies exist which are almost entirely animalistic, sharing common ancestors with the Kroot but not their higher intellect. The Kroot employs many of these in hunting and in warfare.

Warhammer 40k Kroot Hounds, canine-like aliens with manes of quills and avian beaks

Kroot Hounds

Kroot Hounds follow the Kroot as devotedly as canids follow humans. Beaked and long-limbed, Kroot Hounds are excellent trackers.

Warhammer 40k Kroot Krootox and Kroot Hounds, large creatures with features of hounds, birds, and gorillas


Lumbering, gorilla-like Krootox are used as beasts of burden and enormous warmounts by the Kroot. Juvenile Krootox are belligerent, and make for excellent shock cavalry, while older and more stable Krootox can be employed as weapons platforms.

Warhammer 40k Kroot Farstalker crouching, holding their Kroot rifle upright, with a birdlike Pech-ra perched on the gunblade


The Pech-ra is a birdlike creature that originates from the Kroot homeworld, and may be a distant relative of the Kroot. Its excellent vision makes it invaluable for Kroot trackers.

Knarloc and Greater Knarloc

The Knarloc and Greater Knarloc are huge, flightless birds, similar in outline to theropod dinosaurs or terror birds. They are among the largest creatures employed by the Kroot, used as cavalry mounts and belligerent weapons platforms. No models are currently available for either breed of Knaroc.

Kroot Bird

The flightless Kroot Bird is a small, rather less imposing relative of the Knarloc. A single Kroot Bird miniature was released as a Games Day special edition model.

Warhammer 40k Kroot Lone Spear riding a Kallamandras, a large, reptilian creature


The Kallamandras is a long-limbed, chameleonic, lizardlike entity, ridden by Kroot Lone-Spears. Whether it is a Krootiform subspecies remains to be seen.

Kroot Models and rules

Games Workshop is in the process of updating its Kroot Models and rules, with a new Kroot army set coming along with the next T’au Empire Codex. Here’s everything revealed so far:

Warhammer 40k Kroot Carnivores - humanoid aliens with quills instead of hair and beaks, wielding sturdy looking ranged weapons

Kroot carnivores

Kroot Carnivores are the most common Kroot troops. Rangey and muscular, they are stronger than humans but go to war equipped with little but their sturdy bladed rifles and a few scraps of armor plate.

Kroot Carnivores have the Scouts 7” and Stealth abilities, letting them move up the table quickly and giving them some protection from enemy shooting. Should they destroy an enemy unit in melee they will permanently gain a 5+ Feel No Pain save as they feast on their foe’s delicious genetic material.

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Kroot Farstalker Kinband

First released in the Kill Team Gallowdark boxed set, the Kroot Farstalker Kinband is a group of itinerant Kroot who actively seek out rare genetic material among the stars. They aim to perfect their genetic composition before returning to their home kindred, where they will be ritually killed and eaten.

This warband is equipped with a variety of unique weapons scavenged from other Xenos races, ranging from the Dvorgite Skinner to the Londaxi Tribalest. On the tabletop they double down on the Kroot Carnivores’ core abilities, able to Infiltrate rather than Scout.

They’re bounty hunters that pick a particular target unit, against which their attacks have the Lethal Hits and Precision weapon abilities. The Pech-ra bird that accompanies the unit allows them to Ignore Cover, making them a fairly effective shooting unit.

Warhammer 40k Kroot Flesh Shaper - an avian alien with a pair of skinning knives

Kroot Flesh Shaper

Flesh Shapers are spiritual and genetic leaders of the Kroot, responsible for curating which genetic material the Kroot devour in order to shape the development of their species.

Warhammer 40k Kroot Warshaper details, closeup photographs of a beakjed alien with quills, dressed in a quilled cloak and carrying strange weapons

Kroot War Shaper

War Shapers are Kroot battlefield commanders, experienced warriors and skilled tacticians who lead their forces in the hunt. They have a variety of possible armaments, such as the Bladestave and Preyhook melee weapons, or ranged Dart Bow and Tri-Blade

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Kroot Trail Shaper

Kroot Trail Shapers are infiltrators and scouts without comparison, carefully reading the battle ground to provide maximum advantage to Kroot forces.

The unit that the Trail Shaper leads can react to enemy units that finish Advance, Fall Back, or Normal Moves within 9” by making their own D6” Normal Move. In addition, after deployment the Kroot Trail Shaper – plus the unit they’re leading and one more Kroot unit – can be redeployed, including into strategic reserve.

Warhammer 40k Kroot Krootox Rampager - an avian alien riding on the back of a rearing, gorilla-like, beaked Krootox

Krootox Rampagers

Juvenile Krootox are hot-tempered and violent. They are ridden into battle by equally intemperate riders, acting as line-breakers and skirmish cavalry called Krootox Rampagers. According to the Warhammer Community post revealing the unit, they have a total of seven attacks each in combat, some from the mount and some from the rider’s hunting blades.

Warhammer 40k Kroot Krootox - a large, gorilla-like alien, with a beak and quills, adorned with bangles and necklaces, ridden by an avian alien manning a large mounted gun


Mature Krootox act as walking weapons platforms for the Kroot. The current rules for Krootox make them effectively an adjunct unit that needs to accompany Kroot Carnivores, as they gain +1 to hit while within 6” of their infantry buddies. Their Kroot Gun fires two S7 D2 shots with no armor penetration, while their bulky fists have S6 D2 AP-1.

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Kroot Hounds

Kroot Hounds are fast moving quadrupeds that resemble terran Canids with the avian features of the Kroot. Though their bestial aggression makes them quite effective on their own, they perform better when guided into battle by skilled Kroot handlers.

Kroot Hounds can declare a charge in the same turn that they advance, provided they started the Command Phase within 6” of a Kroot infantry unit. While within 12” of a Kroot character, their objective control stat is one – not much, but enough to grab an objective in a pinch.

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Kroot Lone-Spear

Kroot Lone-Spears are isolationists and hermits from the tribal society of the Kroot. In times of war they saddle up their chameleonic Kallamandras riding beasts and lend their peerless wilderness survival skills to the tribe, acting as scouts, assassins, and shot-callers.

The Kroot Lone-Spear’s most significant ability is Advanced Scouting. Once a Lone-Spear has hit an enemy unit with a ranged attack, other Kroot can re-roll their rolls to hit that target until the end of the turn. It’s a low-tech version of the T’au Empire’s markerlight technology, but no less effective.

Lone-Spears can be equipped with a Kroot Long Gun, a powerful anti-infantry ranged weapon with the Precision ability, perfect for sniping Space Marine apothecaries. Alternatively, they can be equipped with explosive javelins, which are well suited to take out elite infantry and have some facility putting dents into tanks.

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Dayekh Grekh

Dayekh Grekh was a solitary Kroot hunter who appeared in the dungeon crawler board game Blackstone Fortress. The model is also available in Combat Arena: Lair of the Beast.

If you fancy collecting an army of tribal Xenos with a little more belligerence and a little less subtlety, check out our guide to the Orks. Or if you love the concept of eating other species and absorbing their genetic material, but want to take it a little further, we recommend you look at the Tyranids.