|“||Before the world ends, the goblins will put an end to many more villages. We cannot ignore the goblins because the world is in danger.||”|
— Goblin Slayer's response to High Elf Archer regarding the fate of the world.
Goblins (ゴブリン) are the primary antagonists of the series. Although they are generally considered the weakest of monsters, goblins are known for being particularly vicious, cunning and sadistic.
Goblins primarily haunt the frontier lands where the military doesn't have a strong presence. Individually they are not very threatening and are considered the weakest of monsters. However, their numbers grow fairly quickly due to their ability to come into maturity at an accelerated rate, making them a rapidly increasing threat if not dealt with quickly.
Goblins are commonly found in caves and rely on attacking or stealing from settlements to sustain themselves, including the raw flesh of sapient species. The place a group of goblins are living together in is referred to as a 'goblin nest'. Goblins are an all-male species, but possess the ability to breed with any race with the pregnancy always resulting in goblin children. Even within the span of one week, a single captive can be forced to birth several new goblins. As such, women are among what they take from settlements to use for breeding until their eventual deaths at the hands of their goblin captors.
Goblins have an excellent sense of smell, especially when it comes to prey. They can even smell metal, making them dangerous to anyone wearing metal armor. They also have excellent night vision; if they detect any light in their nest, they know there are intruders.
While most goblins are described as thoughtless, they aren't fools, and thus have the ability to learn, as seen in Water Town when goblins were taught to use boats. According to Goblin Slayer, they learn from the mistakes of the dead and adapt. They are clever enough to make a strong poison by mixing their own saliva and excrement with herbs they find in the wild; they usually coat this poison on daggers and sometimes arrows. There are a handful of goblins that are capable of becoming smarter and therefore much more dangerous, Goblin Lord being one example. In general, each individual considers himself to be smarter and better then the goblins around him, and therefore to be deserving of more than their fellows. The only value they see in grouping together in greater numbers is purely how the individual can selfishly gain benefits from what the group brings to him (food, females to rape, meat shields), not because they care for each other.
In spite of their notorious reputation and danger they pose, most adventurers perceive goblins as mere pests that shouldn't be taken seriously. As a result, many rookies end up being killed and/or raped by the goblins for underestimating them, such as with Warrior and Fighter. Additionally, some adventurers make the mistake of sparing goblin children, which potentially allows them to develop into stronger variations of goblins.
Goblins come in different variations as they mature:
Hobgoblins (ホブゴブリン) are a larger and stronger variant of goblins that act as bodyguards for nests or wanderers who travel from one to another.
Goblin shamans (ゴブリンシャーマン) are goblins that have gained the ability to use magic. They often lead nests and are intelligent enough to make crude strategies. The presence of goblin totems in a goblin nest are indicators that a shaman is present.
Goblin riders (ゴブリンライダー) are goblins which have tamed captured wolves to be used as mounts or as guards. Only well-off hordes that can afford the resources to keep the wolves alive have them.
Goblin champions (
- Main article: Goblin Lord
Goblin lords (
Goblin paladins (
The goblin paladin was capable of branding Noble Fencer with the symbol of the God of Wisdom to use magic granted by the latter. He was also able to use a Lunacy miracle to turn his goblins into an insane and fearless army that desired only to destroy Goblin Slayer's party. 
Goblins start out as small, green rough-skinned humanoids with pointy ears, claws, fangs, and long noses. Some goblins are bald while others have shaggy hair or facial hair. Some goblins grow over time and become bigger than the size of a grown man, while others remain small and about the size of a child. They often dress in loincloths, though more resourceful ones gather armor or clothes, and carry crude or stolen weapons to use.
- There are numerous stories about where goblins came from.
- Lizard Priest believes they originated in a deep-underground kingdom.
- Priestess was taught that they appear when people misbehave, but this was simply a story told to make children obey their elders.
- Goblin Slayer was told by his sister that they originate from the green moon, which is a barren place that has no vegetation or hydration. The tale adds that this made goblins jealous of humans, and drove them to come to the main world.