- Rete: A weighted net used to trap opponents.
- Fascina: A three-pointed trident, as tall as a human being.
- Pugio: A dagger.
- Manica and galerus: Two guards to protect the arm and shoulder.
The Retiarii wielded a net (rete), which could be used to trap opponents or to disarm opponents, while the trident (fascina) they wielded would keep opponents at a distance. The retiarius would fight with little armor, usually only a subligaria and no helmet. He would also rely on evasive tactics to stay out of range of the weapon of his opponent. The net was also intended to make up for his lack of armor, while the dagger (pugio) was used to finish off a defeated opponent, or as a last resort should the trident be lost.
Retiarii were viewed as some of the lowliest of the gladiators, as the lack of armor and the engulfing net were thought to give them a more effeminate appearance, as well as his evasive tactics, meaning he would avoid close hand-to-hand combat.
The Retiarius, in contradiction, usually fought against heavily-armored opponents:
- Ancient Retiarii were often targets by other Gladiators within a Ludus. These other Gladiators are cited as "Fag Targeteers" because the Retiarius was considered to be a low class Gladiator.
- Damnati were especially aggressive towards the Retiarius.
- Titus states his dislike towards Retiarii, instead favoring the Murmillo.
- Historically, the emperor Claudius rarely spared a fallen Retiarius in the arena, as their lack of helmet allowed him (and the crowd) to see their faces during death.
- In the series Gnaeus is the only known Retiarius, however there are 5 more unknown Retiarii seen.
- 3 of 5 unknown Retiariuses shown on pics.
- Gnaeus: A exceptionally talented retiarius, his Dominus, Quintus Lentulus Batiatus, named him the best retiarius in Capua. He was killed by Spartacus
- Unnamed Retiarius: A retiarius fighter who fought in the games of Publius Varinius, killed by Crixus when the Arena fell.
- Septimus: Supposedly fights as a retiarius.
- Unnamed Retarius: A retiarius who fought in the executions of the captured Thracians, his legs were severed at the knee by Spartacus and was killed by Spartacus soon after with his trident.