World War Z: Aftermath arrived with a ton of new content and improvements, and one really controversial new enemy: swarms of Rats. Rats are highly mobile, difficult to spot in all the chaos, and surprisingly tanky. Once they get to a player, they instantly pin them down, making them an easy target for other enemies. The World War Z: Aftermath community is struggling to deal with Rats because this new enemy type is not just frustratingly tough, but also offers no clear counterplay in the way other enemies do. Ironically, in the short time the game’s been out, Rats have become a bigger problem in World War Z: Aftermath than they are in Vermintide, a game made almost entirely of rats.
There is no silver bullet solution for dealing with Rats in World War Z: Aftermath, but there are a few things you can do to lessen the struggle.
Spot them early
Although you can hear them moving, Rats are usually difficult to see because of how low to the ground they are. Two things can help you a bit in spotting them early, the first being playing in third-person. Even if first-person is your preferred way to play the game, at higher difficulties and on solo runs third-person is advised for the better range of visibility. The other thing you can do to be preemptive is to watch spawn points. Rats emerge from the same spawns as other Zeke enemies in World War Z: Aftermath.
Use (the right) explosive weapons
Some weapons have enough burst to clear out Rats before they become a real problem. The Payload Rifle, the RPG, and the Hailstorm are great for this. Conversely, some area-of-effect weapons that on paper would be perfect Rat counters aren’t very good at the job. Flamethrowers and Molotovs deal damage over time, giving the Rats plenty of time to get to you and pin you. Impact Grenades also aren’t advised, as each swarm of Rats seems to be able to tank multiple grenades, even if they’re direct hits.
Mind your positioning
This tip is a no-brainer for any co-op horde shooter: don’t split up from your teammates, but don’t stand so close that you would risk friendly fire damage. Rats in World War Z: Aftermath can switch targets on a whim, further emphasizing the need to stand just the right distance apart from other players. Standing near environmental defenses like Turrets is also advised.
If you find Rats really difficult to deal with, you can try to customize your perk loadout to better deal with them. Some classes and perks in World War Z: Aftermath are slightly better at handling Rats than others. Try out Fixer with the Night Owl and Side Effects perks, Hellraiser with the Directed Blast perk, or Dronemaster with the Firecracker, Saving Grace, and Flight of Fury perks.