Agents are representatives within the Matrix fictional universe. They are guardians within the computer-generated world of the Matrix, protecting it from anyone or anything (most often Redpills) that could reveal it as a false reality or threaten it in any other way.
Agents also hunt down and terminate any rogue programs, such as The Keymaker, which no longer serve a purpose to the overall Machine objective. They physically appear human, but have a tendency to speak and act in highly precise and mechanical ways.
Agents wear black business suits lined with a gold fabric, white dress shirts, black dress shoes, black neckties with a silver bar clip, square sunglasses, and a communication earpiece. These features are copied from the attire for plainclothes agents of the United States Secret Service, as well as those of the Men in Black conspiracy or the stereotypical G-Man/FBI official. All Agents are Caucasian males (with a minor exceptions of African-American Agent Perry and female Agent Pace from The Matrix Online game), which also provides a dynamic compared to the majority population of Zion, containing many diverse cultures and walks of life. With the exception of Agent Pace, Agents also tend to have common Anglo-Saxon names such as Smith, Jones, Brown, etc. They have sideburns, and their hair is either slicked back or side-parted. Matrix Agents carry Desert Eagle handguns in shoulder holsters that are concealed beneath their suit jackets. In addition to proficiency in the use of firearms, all Agents are masters of the martial arts and hand-to-hand combat.
Agents are programmed with a number of superhuman abilities. An Agent's speed, agility, stamina and reflexes enable them to leap great distances such as across building rooftops, sway their body from side to side to evade gunfire, and perform unusual counter attacks in melee combat (Agent Smith managed to directly counter a punch from Morpheus with a punch of his own to Morpheus's still-moving fist). Agents possess superhuman strength, performing feats such as tearing open a car's roof with one hand and punching through solid concrete. Although they can be momentarily stunned by certain attacks (such as when Neo jabbed his fingers into Agent Smith's throat), they are generally impervious to pain and injury (the upgraded Agent that Trinity shot in the abdomen and shoulder showed no reaction of pain).
In spite of their abilities, they can be caught off guard with a point-blank contact shot aimed directly at their head or a barrage of firepower from a weapon with a high rate of fire, such as that from a “minigun”. Any trauma that is instantly lethal to a vital organ will kill an Agent.