Bandits come in many shapes and sizes but are all ready to take from the weak, and give to themselves. They are not interested in rebuilding societies but do form loose communities concentrated on the idea of "survival of the fittest".
Bandits on the world map
Some World Map locations are already occupied by Bandits, obstructing Specialists from scavenging them. Sometimes a fortified Bandit Camp controls an entire sector and must be cleared before any others actions can be taken. Bandits grow increasingly tougher as you move farther away from the colony into harsher biomes. Attacking the well-fortified locations is not advised without a fully equipped group of combat Specialists.
Attacking Bandits pits the Specialist's firepower, plus a pinch of luck, against the Bandits' Defence value. An incompetent fighter can still prevail but has to risk several counter-attacks from the bandits to do so. The best way is to hit hard and fast so your opponent has no chance of retaliating.
Bandit Camps are organised bandit societies. The sectors with bandit camps are fully under hostile control and other locations in the sectors remain hidden until the Bandit Camp is destroyed. This can be done by attacking them with specialists, but defeating them requires more Combat skill than defeating small scattered bandit groups. Camps further away from your colony area often better protected and require several attacks to defeat.
Bandits in the colony
Sometimes bandits will try and attack your Colony. You can read more about Combat in the colony on its own page.