Factions are groups of individuals all working together towards a common interest. Most factions are simply sub-divisions of the Metro populace, many of which pose little to no harm, but there are also numerous factions which are aggressive by nature and will attack innocents on sight. This category is for the various factions vying for power and survival in the Metro Series. Below is a quick reference list for all the factions.
It is important to remember the clear distinction between factions in the Novels Canon and the Video Games. While both are similar they are different and thus cant consider all info to account for either the book or the game.
Major Factions are the largest and most prominent in both the Metro itself and in the story. Both the Novel and Video Game share the same Major Factions with small unimportant but existent differences.
- Fourth Reich - A politically far right neo-Nazi faction who embrace many of the ideals of World War II Nazi Germany. Their leader, the Führer, enforces a policy of oppression against all those who are considered 'inferior' which includes people who have been mutated by radiation. Their home station is the triple station of Tverskaya-Chekhovskaya-Pushkinskaya, though they occupy many other stations and bases on the surface. In a state of perpetual war with their political opposites, the Red Line, their army consists of highly trained men with advanced equipment, and often utilise Wehrmacht-style helmets and banners. They prefer well trained soldiers and heavy firepower at the expense of a smaller army (possibly because their purges have limited their recruitment options). Their numbers would be around 2000 to 3000 troops in total. The Nazis are always a hostile faction towards the player, as they commonly assume that Artyom is a Communist, claiming he is an 'Enemy Scout' or a 'Red Spy'.
- The Commonwealth of the Stations of the Ring Line - Shortened to Hansa, this faction is a collection of stations that occupy the Koltsevaya Ring Line of the Metro. Formed during the early days of the Metro when Central Metro Command fell, Hansa is the most powerful faction in the Metro. Their influence stretches in all directions due to their line being impossible to bypass, meaning Hansa grew incredibly rich. Although their security forces are well equipped, they rarely seek war, preferring to use economic sanctions to suppress their neighbours. They have an estimate of 4000 to 5000 soldiers. They also protect a number of satellite factions, in return for food, electricity and so on. Their leader is the mysterious Prime Minister Rusakov.
- Polis - Occupying the Arbatskaya, Alexandrovsky Sad, Biblioteka im Lenina and Borovitskaya stations, Polis is the beacon of light in the post-apocalyptic Metro. Created by previous members of the Russian government, military, and police, Polis is the factions closest to pre-war life, with electric lighting and relatively comfortable living conditions. Taking their society from Indian caste system, the Brahmin lead, the Kshatriya are the protectors, the Vashiya the merchants and the Shudra, who are the servants, Polis actively seeks to preserve as much of the old world as possible. Their numbers are smaller than other factions but their Kshatriya military would have around 500 soldiers. They frequently send Stalkers to the surface to hunt for pre-war books that they distribute to the entire Metro.
- Rangers of the Order - A para-military organisation considered the protectors of the Metro, the Rangers venture the Metro and the surface, eliminating mutants and bandits who prey on the weak. Although technically neutral, they have close ties with Polis, with many members hailing from there. They have no home stations, instead occupying the surface base of Sparta, and the D6 bunker. Their leader, Miller, enforces a policy of 'if it's hostile, you kill it', which has served the Rangers well so far. Many members were previously Russian special forces or military, training which makes them ideal soldiers for protecting the Metro. They can call upon 100 soldiers but there overall numbers would be 250. This is also Artyom's faction.
- Red Line - The Red Line are a Stalinist far-left faction who emulate the former Soviet-Union, particularly that of Stalin's era. Occupying the Sokolnicheskaya Line, minus the two stations of the Ring, the Red Line are a powerful faction. Although not as openly hostile as their enemies, the Fourth Reich, they are nonetheless an oppressive society, with many executions and imprisonments. Their army is reminiscent of the World War II Red Army, comprising of large quantities of poorly trained and equipped men with low chance of survival. Their huge (relative to the rest of the Metro) population allows this huge neglect for life. Since they are a Socialist faction they can use as many soldiers as they have there are 15,000 people living in the red line with likely about 6,000 to 7,000 contributing to the military. They have some well trained and equipped soldiers though, who are most likely either pre-war soldiers or veteran conscripts. These soldiers are rarely seen near the front lines though. Their leader, Secretary Moskvin, is a harsh leader, though the faction is fairly wealthy nonetheless.
Minor Factions are by the many in the metro and have smaller roles in the story but can have a prominent presence in both the book and game. All minor factions are exclusive to the novel's Canon with the exception of the 1905 Confederation where they prominent in the novel but are mentioned only slightly once in Metro Last Light. Another exception is the VDNKh Commonwealth where Both video games and Novels begin at. It is important to understand that the Revolutionaries, exclusive to the novel, are replaced by the Children of the Underground in the games.
- 1905 Confederation - Occupying the Barrikadnaya, Uliza 1905 goda, and Begovaya stations, the 1905 Confederation is a small faction of unknown origin. It is unknown what their primary produce is, though given their close proximity to Hansa, they are likely a satellite faction. Its only known residents are Mikhail Porfirevich and Vanechka.
- Arbat Confederation - Another small faction, occupying Kievskaya and its close neighbours. They are a Capitalist society, with a large number of Caucasians. Although they were previously a strong faction, their role in the Hansa - Red Line War reduced them to another Hansa satellite.
- Baumansky Alliance - The Baumansky Alliance are a small faction occupying the stations of Baumanskaya, Elektrozavodskaya and Semyonovskaya. They produce, repair and recreate much technology from before the war, as well as producing electricity to sell to the Metro. Their importance has enabled them to resist Hansa's absorption, as well as major hostilities.
- Belorusskaya Trade Outpost - A collection of trading stations, including Sokol, Aeroport, Dinamo and Belorusskaya, the Belorusskaya Trade Outpost is responsible for the production of food in the Metro, particularly livestock, something of a rarity in the Metro. Unlike many other factions, they are completely neutral, even willing to deal with the likes of the Fourth Reich, buying slaves from them to work on plantations. However, they are having problems with disappearances, rumoured to have been kidnapped by Satanists.
- Children of the Underground - Residing in the mutant stricken station of Paveletskaya, the Children of the Underground is the name for the forces protecting the station. Also known as Hole Station, Paveletskaya, missing its hermetic door, is constantly under attack by mutants. Artyom aids the Children of the Underground in fighting off the invaders, but the station eventually falls, the Children of the Underground sacraficing themselves to cut off Paveletskaya and the mutants from the rest of the Metro.
- Savage Cannibals of the Great Worm Cult - A technophobic, xenophobic primitive faction, residing in Park Pobedy, the Great Worm Cult have descended into a state of primeaval living. They worship an entity known as the 'Great Worm', the being that created the entire world (I.E: The Metro), and frequently cannibalise those who use technology. Their leader is actually an old man who hated how technology destroyed the world. The Great Worm Cult's primary enemies are the Arbat Confederation, who's children they frequently steal.
- Revolutionaries - A military branch of the Red Line, though not directly affiliated anymore, the Revolutionaries travel the Metro attacking Reich territory and patrols, supplied by the Red Line. Following the ideals of Trotsky and Che Guevara, they save Artyom from certain death from a Reich noose.
- Satanists - A myth amongst the Metro, the Satanists are said to occupy the stations from Dubrovka to Lyublino. Driven mad by the apocalypse, the Satanists kidnap Metro dwellers and force them to dig a huge hole in Lyublino station, that they believe is the portal to Hell itself. Given that there is only one known witness of this, whether or not the Satanists truly exist is questionable.
- The Watchtower - The Watchtower are a religious faction occupying the tunnels south of Serpukhhovskaya. Composing mainly of Jehova's Witnesses, their brothers travel the Metro, taking in waifs and strays to indoctrinate into their order. One, Brother Timothy, rescues Artyom, but Artyom soon grows bored of the hypocritical ramblings of the priest.
- VDNKh Commonwealth - One of the youngest factions in the Metro, the VDNKh Commonwealth is an alliance between VDNKh, Alexeyevskaya and Rizhskaya to monopolise the station's tea production and prevent annexation by Hansa. A strong faction, with schools, a library and a decent security force, the VDNKh Commonwealth will likely grow into a powerful faction. Their only major enemies are the Dark Ones.
Less important and factions that simply make up the setting for the Metro, are both included in both the Novel and Game.
- Bandits - Bandits is the catchall term for loosely organised gangs and thugs. Controlling certain stations throughout the Metro system, though rarely more than one, bandits are known to rob and murder defenceless travellers in the tunnels, taking their goods to sell on. However, some 'bandits' are simply lawless factions, such as those ruling Venice or Kitai-Gorod, and are not as extreme as other bandits. Although their businesses may be lucrative, and they are not afraid to kill to get what they want, they are not openly hostile. Many bandit factions are also rumoured to create and sell poor quality or fake merchandise to gullible travellers, often for the same price as a genuine copy.
- Central Metro Command - Central Metro Command was a shortlived faction created in the months following the Great War. Many members of the Russian government fled directly into the Metro from their buildings when the air raid sirens sounded. Being natural authority figures, they took control of the thousands of refugees in an attempt to keep order. Claiming to be in contact with the President and his cabinet, who were sheltering in bunkers behind the Urals, they kept the peace as best as they could. However, law quickly broke down and the Command fell, stations becoming individual states. It is also possible that Metro Command governed from D6 before it shut down, either as direct rulers or just unseen observers.
- Dark Ones - The Dark Ones are a new species created shortly before or during the nuclear war. Standing well above a human man, they were first discovered when Artyom and his friends opened the hermetic door to Botanicheskiy Sad when they were small. The Dark Ones, having a Hive there, entered the Metro soon after. Able to live in the extreme conditions on the surface, they are also known as the sucessors of humanity.
- Mutants - Mutants is a generalised term used to describe the many non-human creatures living in the Metro tunnels and on the surface in the Moscow ruins. Mutants do not have organization, as they are all considered animals. However, they commonly do have pack structures and are known to attack other mutant species and any humans they come across. This 'faction' is hostile to almost everyone, excepting stronger mutants or during times of extreme peril, such as when Artyom and a Watchman pack worked together to defeat the mutant Bear. The only mutants that are possibly intelligent are the Librarians, who are known to set traps for Stalkers, and even grow plants.
- Polis Kshatriya - The military branch of Polis, the Kshatriya are the closest thing Polis has to a military. As they are not ever involved in conflict, the Kshatriya are utilised by the Brahmin as Stalkers who hunt for artifacts, books, knowledge and culture of the old world. They are an intergral part of the Metro, as most of it recieves books etc. from Polis - without them, much of the old world would be lost forever. One known Kshatriya group, led by Kuzmich, explored the Great Library hunting for artifacts.
- Stalkers - A Stalker is anyone who ventures to the surface looking for anything useful. Generally allied to their station only, the Stalker serves an incredibly dangerous but key role in supplying the Metro with things they cannot create, such as fuel. Battling bandits, mutants and the hostile environment, the life expectancy of Stalkers is very low.