The Tarkata are a race of nomadic mutants from the Mortal Kombat universe. Residing in the realm of Outworld, they are a vicious interspecies mix of Outworld humanoids and demons from the Netherrealm. They are normally viewed as being savage, unintelligent brutes, but they are ferocious warriors. Most, if not all, Tarkata serve as soldiers in Shao Kahn's armies, inducted into the emperor's service as soon as they come of age.
The majority of Tarkata are bald, though females are known to have hair. Their builds vary between wiry and stocky as they tend to rely on speed in battle and generally tend to rush opponents, swiftly tearing them apart. Tarkata are easily recognised by their hideous facial features; their faces consist mainly of a large, lipless mouth filled with dagger-like fangs. They have burning red eyes, small pointed ears and many of them have a series of tiny horns on their heads.
All Tarkata are born with spiky protrusions on their forearms which, as they grow older, extend into long blades that become as hard as steel. Most Tarkata have one blade on each arm, but it is possible that Tarkata could develop additional blades.
Tarkata are nomadic and are known to populate the wastelands of Outworld in numerous wandering tribes. Originally, the species came from the Netherrealm but migrated to Outworld at an unknown point. Though violent and bloodthirsty, Tarkata respect authority, or more to the point, they respect strength. They have followed the laws of Shao Kahn willingly for centuries but have pledged allegiance to those who have managed to seize control of Outworld, such as the Deadly Alliance and Onaga.
- Baraka - General of the Tarkatan Hordes that make up the bulk of Shao Kahn's army.
- Mileena - Not a full Tarkatan, Mileena is a hybrid created by Shang Tsung consisting of Tarkatan blood and the blood of the princess of Edenia, Kitana.
- Karbrac - Leader of the Tarkata in Mortal Kombat: Defenders of the Realm.