The Reaver fleet was stationed in Reaver space above the planet Miranda. For years, they would sporadically send raiding parties out to Rim planets and distant territories. When Malcolm Reynolds provoked the Reavers by blowing up a crab-shaped vessel, most or all of the Reaver fleet pursued Serenity in unison. They followed Serenity until they passed through the ion cloud above Mr. Universe's planet, where they confronted—and were eventually destroyed by—a large Union of Allied Planets fleet in the Universe battle.
Reaver ships are usually older or obsolete models, modified with a wide array of weapons or offensive devices such as a magnetic grappler, an EMP cannon, or spear gun. The ships fly without core containment to increase speed given that Reavers like to run down their prey, meaning the crew is exposed to lethal levels of radiation. Reaver starships are abominations: older-line models for the most part, often no longer used by other inhabitants of the 'verse and with pieces of the hull missing or modified asymmetrically as opposed to the Alliance's preferred style of ship design. They are festooned with bits of random debris and ghoulish junk, a characteristic paint scheme of red slashes, and the skeletons of their prey. Whether or not the markings have any significance or meaning to the Reavers is unknown. Reaver ships seem to broadcast a nightmarish chorus of screaming across channels, although whether this is a recording used to induce fear, the howling of their inhabitants, or the sounds of their victims is uncertain.
In space raids, Reavers target poorly defended ships and cargo transport vessels. They do this by catching the vessel with a magnetic grappler. Once on board Reavers quickly subdue the passengers and commence with their depraved pleasures. When Reavers finish a raid on a known lane of traffic, they string up the bodies in a place where they can be found by rescue parties and leave a trap attached to the hull of the bait vessel to cripple rescue ships. This means, of course, that the ship will be left stranded- and easy prey for the Reavers when they return to check their traps. Once a civilian ship is boarded by Reavers, it is doomed, as the close confines of a ship are natural settings for the savage melee combat preferred by Reavers.
When raiding settlements on the ground, Reavers often target vulnerable, largely undeveloped, or developing communities without any warning, perhaps inserting raiders directly from a vessel or landing a small distance from town. Reavers will use large hover vehicles or small patrol vessels equipped with non-lethal armement to take live prey when chasing down fleeing peoples on vehicles or horseback. It is not known if Reavers previously scout their targets before raiding or simply pick their targets on a whim whilst slowly moving farther and farther away from Reaver space as they wipe out settlements. Reaver raids are devastating, with no survivors under normal circumstances.
Reavers in space battles display the same degree of suicidal insanity that they do on land. They seem to display the same preference for close combat when in their craft. Reavers slam into enemy starships without pause, heedless to the damage to their own hulls, and their ships may likely be armed with folding 'arms' ending in large blades that may be used to rend and tear rammed vessels. The sheer weight and inertia of their ships may buckle warship hulls. Their ships are also armed with conventional starcraft weapons, as well as electromagnetic pulse beams, which aid in their capturing of potential victims by shutting down electrical systems.
The Reaver fleet was stationed in Reaver space above the planet Miranda. For years, they would sporadically send raiding parties out to Rim planets and distant territories. When Malcolm Reynolds provoked the Reavers by blowing up a crab ship, most or all of the Reaver fleet pursued Serenity in unison. They followed Serenity until they passed through the ion cloud above Mr. Universe's planet. They engaged the Union of Allied Planets Navy in the Universe battle and were annihilated.