Psychos are bandits who have gone insane with a freakish obsession for the Vault. Shirtless, wearing a white mask and dressed in orange pants, these outlaws can be immediately identified by their homicidal cries and constant desire to get into close combat.
At some point in Pandora's recent past, a discovery was made at the Headstone Mine and hastily covered up. While it has never been fully revealed what was found there, it is known that a Vault key fragment came into the possession of Sledge, a grossly muscled behemoth of a man who later amassed a small army of bandits at Headstone Mine. The discovery at the mine had a surprising effect on many of the convict workers there. Most went crazy and many were physically mutated as well, growing into huge, muscular parodies of humanity, or stunted to dwarf proportions. Many of the "psychos", as they came to be known, donned face masks portraying the object of their collective fixation; an upside down "V" emblem.
Psychos are typically found among the ranks of the bandits that plague Pandora. They are known to act as the close-range counterparts to their more lucid, gun-waving brethren and will rush their targets while screaming all manner of insane comments.
Psychos run very swiftly to get into melee range with their intended victims, but are also capable of zig-zagging through terrain to avoid weapon fire. Wielding a "buzz axe", they can hack through most shields in one swipe and inflict massive damage if they get close. They typically attack with a double swing pattern, pausing after the second attack. When hurt, psychos can flinch, letting a player get a short distance away or counterattack in melee. While only armed with a close combat weapon, they are very capable of throwing axes over long distances, though such does little damage even to shields. Should they sustain significant injury, they are known to cast aside their axes and raise a grenade overhead and rush their target in a fenzied suicide attack. Killing them at this stage will not stop the grenade from going off. Interestingly, if the player is far enough from them, they'll still take out a grenade, but make no effort to run at the player before they explode.
Some psychos have adopted a pyromaniac bent and have become known as "Burning Psychos". These psychos deal Incendiary damage, and are also immune to fire as well. They are often encountered wearing shields. Burning Psychos are distinguishable by their bird-like outfit, including a skull mask with feathers, and the flames that they have leaping off them. They will also make suicide grenade attacks like normal Psychos.
There are also smaller, midget versions of psychos that behave exactly like normal psychos. They look like stunted versions of regular psychos; shirtless, orange pants and a 'vault mask'. Midget are easy to identify, thanks to their high-pitched squeals and grunts. They generally have less health but may be more difficult to hit, due to their smaller stature. They attack in exactly the same manner as regular psychos.
The midget versions also have a variation where they wield shotguns, called the "Midget Shotgunner". These psychos will stay back and fire at you with their weapon. They appear to be more cautious than normal bandits, making excessive use of cover and often wearing shields. The force of the weapon firing is sometimes capable of flinging them onto their backs. They usually drop Shotgun ammo upon death, and occasionally their shotgun.
Badass psychos are much larger than the normal varieties, have a disproportionately enlarged right arm and a severely stunted left arm. They never make the suicide grenade attacks that their smaller brethren do, but deal far more damage, and are quite resilient and tough to kill.
- Hanz - Partner of Franz and bodyguard to Baron Flynt.
- King Wee Wee - A midget side boss apparently in charge of the bandits in Tetanus Warren.
- Roid Rage Psycho - A gross monstrosity of a man, commanding Sledge's bandits in Sledge's Safe House.
- Sledge - Massive psycho who possesses the Vault key fragment found in the Headstone Mine.
- On Playthrough 2, the name Psycho is changed to Maniac, whilst in playthrough 2.5, they are called Lunatics. The Midget Psychos go from Mutant Mutant Psycho to Freaky Little Maniac, and then Apeshit Stunted Lunatic.
- When shooting at psychos from positions that the psycho cannot reach, they will occasionally throw their buzz axes in a ranged attack that inflicts minimal damage and a small knockback effect.
- "It's time for my pound of flesh! Hahahahahaha!"
- "Strip the flesh, salt the wound!"
- "MORE! More meat for me!" (Heard after another bandit or psycho is killed in front of him.)
- "Time to play... TIME TO PLAY!"
- "Time... to pound... SOME MEAT PUPPETS!"
- "I wonder what your face would look like on mine...?" (Heard after player is spotted.)
- "Another walking meat puppet!" (Heard after player is spotted.)
- "Just three more steps, and I got me dinner." (Heard after player is spotted.)
- "I'm gonna skin ya, put on your face and say Hi to your momma!" (Heard after player is spotted.)
- "Why don't you come over here, I got a little present for you!" (Heard after player is spotted.)
- "Ahh, another victim!" (Heard after player is spotted.)
- The standard psycho face mask bears the Vault symbol seen in many places throughout the game.