Typical Putty tactics involve amassing in large numbers, dancing around enemies in a sort of half-crouch, striking menacing poses, and emitting a constant warbling noise. They often vanish after being thrown to the ground or struck with certain weapons. In a traditional plot, the battle with the Putties serves as a precursor to the final battle with the monster of the day.
Though they pose no real threat to the Power Rangers on their own, the Putties are extremely adept at performing their intended role as enemy "cannon fodder". They are used to perform any grunt work necessary to Rita's (and later Lord Zedd's) evil plans, such as kidnapping, distraction, sabotage, stealing items needed for spells, buying time for more powerful monsters to arrive, and looking particularly menacing. On many occasions, Putties have posed as humans, and were able to speak and act as humans (but always reverted to normal Putty behavior upon returning to Putty form). Putties' babbling seems nonsensical to human listeners, but Putties can converse with each other using the sounds they make.
Special versions of the Putties exist, including those with arm attachments, rock-armored versions, and versions tailored to the monster they accompany, such as Pumpkin Rapper's pumpkin-headed Putties or Rhinoblaster's football-uniformed Putties. The Putties in "Mighty Morphin Mutants" were given the Badges of Darkness to become Mutant Rangers, they looked identical to the Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers except for retaining their Putty boots and gloves. After the discovery of Super Putty, a stronger grade of the clay Finster uses to create monsters, Rita created Super Putties, which were stronger than standard Putties and re-formed into two when destroyed. Putties referred to as Super Putties were summoned in later episodes, but did not display the original Super Putties' capabilities.
When Lord Zedd arrived, he created his own Putties using his staff. These were nicknamed Z-Putties by fans (onscreen, the new Putties were simply called Putties or Putty Patrollers, as with the old ones). They are more intelligent and dangerous than their predecessors, and can only be destroyed by striking the Z on their chests, at which point they shatter. Goldar generally commanded them, and Zedd frequently referred to them as being Goldar's, despite Zedd having created them personally.