Devouring Swarm is a supernatural ability in Dishonored and Dishonored 2. It allows Corvo Attano to summon forth a swarm of ravenous rats that will attack any characters in the immediate area. Devouring Swarm consumes 40% of Corvo's total mana.



A swarm of rats attacking a pair of City Watch Guards.

Tier I - (3 runes)

With Tier I Devouring Swarm, Corvo can summon a swarm of rats which attacks and eats foes.

Tier II - (4 runes)

With Tier II Devouring Swarm, the swarm is larger, allowing its attacks to do more damage and allowing it to eat foes faster.

Dishonored 2

Ability Runes Previous upgrade Description
Devouring Swarm 4 None Summon rats that attack enemies and devour bodies.
Greater Swarm 2 Devouring Swarm Increase the size of your rat swarm.
Rat Piper 2 Devouring Swarm Summon a rat swarm that follows you.
Twin Swarms 3 Devouring Swarm Summon two smaller rat swarms.

Usage tips

  • Rats summoned by Corvo will not attack him.
  • Devouring Swarm can be used to dispose of groups of enemies or corpses without Corvo having to reveal his presence.
  • Devouring Swarm is particularly effective at distracting enemies in the middle of combat, permitting Corvo to kill or escape without much difficulty.
    • Similarly, it can be used to lure multiple enemies to one spot by summoning a swarm near a large yet dispersed group of enemies. This can then be followed up by a grenade toss. If timed correctly, this can easily take out a large number of enemies simultaneously.
  • Like standard, the summoned rats will not attack weepers and can be possessed by Corvo.
  • Equipping the Undying Swarm bone charm allows the rat swarm to recover from losses sustained during an attack.
    • The overall lifespan of the swarm is not affected by this bone charm.
  • Rats summoned by Corvo will not attack Granny Rags - instead, she will thank Corvo for summoning more of her "little pretties".
    • Similarly, they will ignore Paolo.
  • If Corvo has the Gutter Feast or Carrion Killer bone charms equipped, killing a summoned swarm is a good tactic for harvesting mana or adrenaline, respectively.
    • The Albinos bone charm can make the mana side of this strategy more efficient.
  • In Dishonored 2, equipping the Blood Sacrifice bone charm then summoning and killing a swarm of rats can restore lots of health. Equipping an upgraded Spiritual Sacrifice bone charm can give more mana than summoning the swarm takes.
    • The above strategy involving Gutter Feast and Albinos also works in Dishonored 2.
    • If Corvo also equips Undying Swarm, he will be able to continue gaining health and mana until the swarm disperses.
  • The Synergic Swarm bone charm increase the duration of the rat swarm, allowing it to attack more enemies and consume more bodies.
  • Twin Swarms does not summon two swarms at once - instead, it summons two independent but smaller swarms for the standard mana use each time.
    • Without the Twins Swarms upgrade, Corvo cannot summon two rat swarms simultaneously. Attempting to summon a second swarm of rats will disperse the first.
  • The Rat Piper upgrade does not mean Corvo's rats always follow him; they prioritize enemies and other targets, including both unconscious bodies and corpses.
  • With Rat Piper, Corvo can summon a swarm of rats away from his enemies, wait for his mana to recharge and then enter combat with the swarm of rats and more mana.
    • While the lifetime of the rat swarm is slightly less when Corvo enters combat, the fact that he can use more supernatural abilities makes up for this.
      • With the Spritual Pool bone charm, Corvo's mana recharges faster, allowing him to enter combat sooner.
      • Equipping the Synergic Swarm bone charm also compensates for this.

Related Bone Charms


  • Void Channel - Increased duration for the rat swarm.

Dishonored 2

  • Synergic Swarm - Summoned rat swarms persist longer.
  • Undying Swarm - Rat swarms repopulate over time.


  • The Lonely Rat Boy has a version of this power. The only known difference is that the rats he summons can attack him.
  • If Granny Rags is killed or knocked unconscious at any point, her body will disappear and summon a swarm of rats. The same is true for Paolo during the mission The Clockwork Mansion, and can also occur once during the mission Dust District.
    • In both cases, these rats will attempt to attack the protagonist, regardless of other characters who may be easier to access.
    • In Paolo's case, all the rats will be albinos.
  • When Granny Rags uses Devouring Swarm, she, unlike Corvo, seems to have a degree of control over the rats.
  • Undying Swarm works only if it was equipped at the time that the swarm was summoned.


Devouring Swarm audio

Devouring Swarm sound effect.


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