What Are Orks? Unleash the Awesome Power of the WAAAGH!


What Are Orks? Unleash the Awesome Power of the WAAAGH!

Alright, let’s get this out of the way: Orks are ridiculous. They’re a fungus-based warrior race that exists solely for fighting, thinks painting things red makes them go faster, and communicate in a weird cockney-football-hooligan-on-helium dialect. As a Warhammer 40k fan, I’ve seen my share of greenskin shenanigans on and off the tabletop.

But here’s the thing – once you embrace the absurdity, you’ll find that Orks are also one of the most entertaining, memorable, and downright fun factions in the grimdark universe of the 41st millennium. So strap on your biggest, shootiest gun, get ready to scream WAAAGH! at the top of your lungs, and join me for a deep dive into all things Orky.

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Key Takeaways:

  • Ork origins, physiology, culture
  • Ork hierarchy, clans, oddboyz
  • Ork technology, starships, forces
  • Ork gods, language, currency
  • The WAAAGH! and Ork history

The Violent Origins of the Orks

The Orks are a biologically-engineered species, created over 60 million Terran years ago as warriors to fight the Necrons and C’tan in the apocalyptic War in Heaven. The legendaryBrain Boyz, a highly advanced reptilian species also known as the Old Ones, used their mastery of genetic manipulation to forge the Orks as the ultimate survivors and soldiers.

Towering Krork, the precursors of the modern Orks, were hulking brutes reaching 12 meters tall. They prosecuted the War in Heaven alongside the Aeldari and other psychic servant races until the Old Ones went extinct in the conflict’s cataclysmic aftermath.

In the ensuing millennia, the Orks degraded without their creators’ guidance. They devolved into smaller, meaner, and far more aggressive versions of their primal selves – the Orks we know and love today.

But they retained their uncanny hardiness, natural aggression, and instinctive knowledge of warfare that makes them such persistent threats.

Whether invading Imperial worlds in great WAAAGH!s or fighting amongst themselves for the sheer love of carnage, the Orks have been the bane of the galaxy for time immemorial.

Every attempt to eradicate them has failed. Numerous beyond belief, if the Orks ever unified they would drown the stars in a green tide of destruction. Thankfully for everyone else, they’re usually too busy bashing each other to get around to it.

Orks: A Unique Fusion of Fungus and Fury

Orks are massive, muscular humanoids with green skin, beady red eyes, and a mouthful of vicious fangs. But beneath their brutish exterior lies a unique synthesis of animal and fungal traits, granting them unnatural durability and reproductive abilities.

The algae-like fungal components in Ork physiology work in tandem with their bestial anatomy to create the perfect survival machine. Orks feel little pain, heal grievous wounds with startling swiftness, and can even survive decapitation (at least until they get their head stitched back on by a demented Painboy).

Most extraordinarily, Orks release spores throughout their lives that grow into a variety of Orkoid species. These include:

  • Squigs: Toothy, ambulatory fungal beasts that serve as food, pets and vicious warbeasts. Varieties include face-eaters, hair squigs, squiggoths and more.
  • Snotlings: Small, simple-minded creatures used for menial labor and herding squigs. Often eaten by other Orks.
  • Gretchin: Cunning, cowardly goblinoids that serve as lackeys and cannon fodder for larger Orks. Abused but indispensable to Ork society.
  • Orks: The big boyz themselves in all their green-skinned glory.

This means Ork populations recover rapidly from casualties and can quickly infest any planet they invade. Even the most thorough purges can’t eliminate their spores – solar decades later the Orks will sprout anew to restart the cycle of violence.

Might Makes Right: Ork Society and Kultur

Ork society is simple: the strongest leads, the weak serve or get stomped. Diplomacy is nonexistent, replaced by a swift club upside the head. Orks follow the bosses who yell the loudest and krump the hardest.

This brutal hierarchy shapes Ork “kultur”:

  • Warbosses and Warlords: Monstrous killing machines that lead the tribes. Violent visionaries that build WAAAGH!s.
  • Nobz: The wealthy elite, larger and richer than regular boyz. Includes Meganobz, Flash Gitz and Cyborks.
  • Oddboyz: Specialist castes born with instinctive knowledge. Mekboyz (mechanics), Painboyz (doctors), Runtherds (Gretchin wranglers) and Weirdboyz (mad psykers).
  • Boyz: Rank and file infantry that make up the bulk of mobs. Includes Shoota Boyz, Choppa Boyz, ‘Ard Boyz, Kommandoz, Tankbustas and more.
  • Gretchin: Slave race used for labor, gunnery crews and entertainment (via cruelty). Sneaky but cowardly.

While all Orks love war, different klanz express this in unique ways. Goffs are up-close brutes, Evil Sunz worship speed, Deathskulls loot everything, Snakebites stick to tradition and so on. This diversity ensures every warband is a colorful tide of lunatic warriors.

Orks care little for material wealth or comfort. Grabbing a Squig pie, chugging fungus beer and getting stuck into a really good fight is all they need in life.

The only exception is an insatiable lust for bigger guns, faster vehicles and louder weapons – necessary status symbols in Ork society. The richest Orks, like Flash Gitz, will go to insane lengths to get the shiniest shootas around.

Gork, Mork and the Great Green Afterlife

Orks worship two gods: Gork, who embodies brutality, and Mork, the epitome of cunning. Every Ork tries to be a bit of both, with hilarious arguments over which god is which.

These primal deities are visualized as building-sized Ork effigies bristling with guns and gubbinz – Gorkanauts and Morkanauts.

Some Orks, addled by potent psychic energies, claim to receive visions from Gork and Mork exhorting them to greater heights of violence. Ghazghkull Thraka, the most infamous Warlord alive, is said to be one such prophet. He may be right – the Ork gods have never been rowdier as the fabric of reality unravels.

Orks believe in a raucous afterlife for their boisterous species. The souls of the dead fly through the Warp to a “Great Green” where perpetual battle rages. But the fun doesn’t stop there – Orks reincarnate to spread more mayhem if Gork and Mork are entertained. Makari, Ghazghkull’s infamous Grot sidekick, respawned countless times for his bosses’ amusement.

This promise of neverending carnage fills Orks with demented glee. They don’t fear death, only the chance to die in a truly tremendous scrap against the best enemies.

To an Ork, going out in an explosion visible from high orbit, roaring praise to the gods while hacking foes apart, is the equivalent of a peaceful death surrounded by loved ones for humans.

WAAAGH!s: Green Tsunamis of Destruction

An Ork WAAAGH! is part holy war, part mass migration, all unleashed in an apocalyptic tsunami of guns, blades and raw aggression. When an Ork empire reaches critical mass, Weirdboyz begin to twitch with visions, Meks construct towering war effigies, and a Warlord gathers the mobs for the greatest of undertakings.

Thousands, sometimes millions, of Orks congeal into an anarchic tide that rampages across star systems. Worlds drown under their feet, defenders are torn apart, and the very stars tremble at their coming.

The more worlds they conquer and foes they beat, the stronger the WAAAGH! becomes. Ork numbers swell, and even their ramshackle technology operates at peak performance as if infused with the power of their gestalt psychic might.

Only the death of the leading Warlord or the literal extinction of enemy forces can stop a WAAAGH! in full flow. Some, like the legendary Wars of the Beast, brought the Imperium to its knees and scoured entire sectors.

Ghazghkull’s ongoing WAAAGH! has ravaged Armageddon and countless other planets, drawing Orks from all corners of the galaxy into its sphere of destruction.

Warhammer 40k ork gun

Kustom Guns, Jalopies and Scavenged Starships

Ork technology is a lot like the greenskins themselves – brutal, loud and deceptively effective. Their fascination with speed, dakka and explosions permeates every Mek’s fevered inventions.

On the ground, Orks ride to war in smoke-belching jalopies kitted out with bolted-on guns and wrecked armor plates. Warbuggies, Trukks and Battlewagons roar across the battlefield belching fire while Deff Dreads and Killa Kans stomp forward on piston-driven legs.

Gargants and Stompas, war effigies in the images of Gork and Mork, unleash devastation visible from orbit.

In the skies, Dakkajets, Blitza-Bommerz and Bommers rain down bombs, missiles, and suicidal Grot pilots. Megalifta Dropships carry mobs to the front while Skwadrons of Fightas dogfight with spacecraft ten times their size.

Ork pilots shrug off crippling damage, literally welding shut hull breaches mid-flight and carrying on the fight.

But Ork ingenuity doesn’t stop at the planet’s edge. Crude, hulking starships cobbled together from space junk ply the void, held together by little more than the power of the WAAAGH! Massive Roks and Hulks, often entire asteroids hollowed out and outfitted with engines, serve as interstellar migrant fleets or surreal pirate strongholds.

A Violent Green Future

With every century, the Ork menace only grows. The guttural cry of “WAAAGH!” echoes from the galactic core to the blackest depths of space. Empires crumble, planets burn, and untold trillions perish under the Orkish onslaught. And that’s just the way the greenskins like it.

For an Ork, there is no greater joy than wading through bloody fields of corpses, bellowing praise to Gork and Mork while pumping rounds into anything that moves.

Defeat means nothing to them – there’s always another fight waiting beyond the veil of death. Every fallen Ork just makes room for two more to take his place.

To grapple with Orks is to face a relentless green tide, one that cares nothing for its losses and cherishes only the din of total war. The Imperium has fought them for ten thousand years without respite.

Yet the Orks endure, an inextricable part of a galaxy forever locked in unending conflict.

In many ways, Orks are the most honest expression of Warhammer 40K’s central themes – survival of the fittest, the madness of unending war, and a strange, morbid celebration of violence. They embody the setting’s brutality while reveling in the absurdism underpinning the relentless darkness.

So remember, whenever you see that mob of Battle Boyz bearing down on your army, figures waving choppas and shootas in a thunderous charge, put aside your fear and meet them head-on.

You’re getting the authentic 40K experience, even as your models get stomped into so much fine resin dust!

Notable Ork Warlords and WAAAGH!s

Orks love a good scrap, but some take it to the next level. These are the Warbosses who rise above the rest, the biggest and the baddest, leading WAAAGH!s that shake the very foundations of the galaxy.

First among equals is Ghazghkull Mag Uruk Thraka, the Prophet of Gork and Mork. This beast of a Warboss has led multiple invasions of Armageddon, turning the hive world into a never-ending warzone. Now he’s gathering the greatest WAAAGH! the galaxy has ever seen, a tide of green that threatens to drown the Imperium in blood and teef.

But Ghazghkull’s not the first Ork to give the humies a right proppa kickin’. Back in M32, during the War of the Beast, a mysterious Warboss known only as The Beast built the largest WAAAGH! ever seen until Ghazghkull’s time.

His Orks battered down the walls of the Imperial Palace and nearly brought the Imperium to its knees.

Then there’s Grimskull, an infamous Deathskulls Warboss who left a trail of looted worlds in his wake. Snagrod, the Arch-Arsonist of Charadon, burned Badlanding to ash and fought the Crimson Fists down to a single Astartes.

And who could forget Gorbad Ironclaw? This cunnin’ git actually captured Armageddon for a time before moving on to fight the Collegia Titanica!

The lesson here is clear – when a big Ork starts buildin’ a WAAAGH!, the galaxy trembles. These Warbosses are forces of nature, living avatars of Gork and Mork’s might. They exist to wage war on a scale that defies comprehension, and they do it all with a big, tusked grin on their faces.



Ork Tactics and Warfare

How do Orks wage war? Simple – they charge straight at the enemy, shootas blazing and choppas hacking, until everything stops moving. At least, that’s the basic idea. But dig a little deeper and you’ll find there’s a bit more to Ork battlefield tactics than just mindless violence.

Not much more, but enough to catch a humie general by surprise!

See, each Ork clan brings its own unique brand of mayhem to a fight. Goffs pride themselves on being the biggest and the meanest, always spoiling for a good bout of hand-to-hand butchery. Evil Sunz are speed freeks, tearing across the battlefield in smoke-belching buggies and trukks. Deathskulls loot anything that isn’t nailed down (and a few things that are). Bad Moons are rich and flash, hiring on the best Meks and Flashgitz around. And Snakebites, well, they’re just mean.

But Orks ain’t just a bunch of mindless brutes (except when we are). Kommandoz and Stormboyz perform “kunnin’ an’ brutal” attacks, dropping behind enemy lines to crump heads and blow stuff up.

Meks lend fire support with all sorts of big blasty gubbins. And nothing, but nothing, beats the feeling of a wall of Boyz slamming into the enemy line like a green tidal wave.

Then there’s the big stuff. Deff Dreads and Killa Kans stomping about, buzzsaw arms whirring and Grotzookas booming. Warbuggies and Warbikes tearing through infantry like a hot knife through squig butter. And when a Stompa or Gargant shows up, you know things are about to get real messy.

At the end of the day, Ork tactics boil down to this: be louder, harder, and more violent than the other gitz. Orks are experts at shock and awe, at breaking the enemy’s spirit with their sheer berserk fury.

They’ll take casualties that would make a hummie general faint, and come back for more. As long as there’s something left to fight, the Orks reckon they’re winning. And in the grim darkness of the far future, that might just be good enough.


Ork Oddboyz and their Roles

Every Ork dreams of being the biggest, baddest, most brutal Warboss around. But some gitz are just born different. These are the Oddboyz – Orks born with a talent for certain roles that keeps the WAAAGH! going strong.

First up are the Mekboyz, the deranged grease monkeys who build all the guns, tanks, and towering Gargants that are the pride of any warband. Some say Meks have the knowledge of how to build and fix stuff coded right into their genes.

Others reckon they’re just lucky gits who keep trying until something works. Either way, a good Mek is worth his weight in teef for any self-respecting Warboss.

Then you got the Painboyz, the Orkish answer to medics. These blood-splattered lunatics are responsible for patching up wounded boyz and stickin’ on any bioniks or cybork bits.

Some Orks reckon Painboyz do more damage than the enemy, but no one can deny they get results. Just don’t ask what happened to the patients who didn’t make it.

Weirdboyz are the psykers of the Ork race, channeling the raw WAAAGH! energy into destructive blasts of green lightning. The more Orks around, the more powerful a Weirdboy gets – until his head explodes like a ripe squig. It’s a risky job, but some gitz are just born to it.

Runtherds have the thankless task of keeping the gretchin and snotlings in line. See, every Warboss needs a steady supply of bullets, so someone’s gotta keep those grot factories running. That’s where the Runtherdz come in, with whips, grabba sticks, and very little patience.

Finally, you got the Speed Freeks – Flyboyz, Kult of Speed, and other gitz who live to go real fast. These speed-crazed loons soup up their jalopies with as many guns and engines as they can weld on

. Painting your ride red is a mark of status among the Speed Freeks, ‘cos everyone knows “da red wunz go fasta!”

There’s plenty of other Oddboyz out there – Pigdoks and Squigherds who tend the warband’s livestock, Slaverz who keep the grots and slaves in line, even madboyz who have stared into the face of Gork (or possibly Mork) a few times too many.

Each one plays their part in keeping the WAAAGH! going, and a smart Warboss knows to keep his Oddboyz happy. After all, who else is gonna fix his kustom battlefortress, or patch him up after a big scrap?

So there you have it – a more detailed look at some of the most important members of Ork society. From the savage warlords who build the WAAAGH!s to the “speshulists” who keep the warband running, every Ork has a part to play in bringing the galaxy to its knees. Time to rev up your dakkaguns, lace up your stompy boots, and get ready for a propa fight. WAAAGH!!!


Q: What are the main Ork clans?

A: The major Ork klanz are Goffs, Bad Moons, Evil Sunz, Deathskulls, Blood Axes, and Snakebites. Each has a unique kultur and way of war.

Q: How do Orks reproduce?

A: Orks release spores throughout their lives that grow into Squigs, Snotlings, Gretchin and more Orks. This makes them nearly impossible to eradicate.

Q: Do Orks use psychic powers?

A: Yes! They generate a strong psychic field that empowers their technology and gestalt might. Weirdboyz channel this WAAAGH! energy as unpredictable psykers.

Q: What are some iconic Ork vehicles?

A: Some famous Ork vehicles include Trukks, Battlewagons, Deff Dreads, Gargants, Stompas, Warbuggies, Dakkajets, and Fighta-Bommerz.

Q: Who are the Ork gods?

A: Orks venerate two gods – Gork, brutal but kunning, and Mork, kunning but brutal. They epitomize Ork ideals of warfare and trickery.


Orks are a rampaging force of nature, a green tsunami that exists only to fight, win, and fight again. Their society is built on violence, their technology is an expression of explosive excess, and their gods are hulking brutes that smash reality itself. Theirs is a simple but effective existence – be the strongest, conquer the enemy, have a good laugh while doing it. For the Orks, eternal war isn’t hell – it’s heaven.

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And as they ride out to battle atop their Trukks and Stompas, guns roaring and blades flashing, you can almost see their point. There’s a terrible, mad joy to the Orks, one that’s simultaneously horrifying and infectious. They’re the green-skinned id of the 41st Millennium, the raging barbaric soul of a galaxy that has forgotten everything but war.

In the grim darkness of the far future, the Orks will always be there – fighting, winning, and laughing through clenched fangs. WAAAGH!

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