Rutans never refer to themselves as individuals, preferring the first person plurals "we", "us", and "our(s)", possibly suggesting a gestalt or group intelligence of some kind. Rutans are able to operate independently, and, like the Sontarans, sometimes dispatch scout units consisting of a single soldier.
Rutans have also developed advanced shape-shifting technology, allowing them to appear in any form they wish. They often use this technology to adapt to alien environments and infiltrate alien cultures; Rutans are consummate spies. A Rutan usually kills specific individuals and then impersonates them, though it is unclear whether this tactic is merely to prevent discovery or because they need to make a detailed examination of the body before adopting its shape.