Abstract We investigate the cosmological constraints on exotic stable matter states which arise in realistic free fermionic superstring models. These states appear in the superstring models due to a “Wilsonline” breaking of the unifying non-abelian gauge symmetry. In the models that we consider the unifying SO(10) gauge symmetry is broken at the string level to SO(6) x SO(4), SU(5) x U(1) or SU(3) x SU(2) x U(1) 2. The exotic matter states are classified according to the patterns of the SO(10) symmetry breaking. In SO(6) x SO(4) and SU(5) x U(1) type models one obtains fractionally charged states with Q e.m. = ± 1 2 . In SU (3) x SU (2) x U(1) 2 type models one also obtains states with the regular charges under the Standard Model gauge group but with “fractional” charges under the U(1) z′ symmetry. These states include down-like color triplets and electroweak doublets, as well as states which are Standard Model singlets. By analyzing the renormalizable and nonrenormalizable terms of the superpotential in a specific superstring model, we show that these exotic states can be stable. We investigate the cosmological constraints on the masses and relic density of the exotic states. We propose that, while the abundance and the masses of the fractionally charged states are highly constrained, the Standard Model-like states, and in particular the Standard Model singlet, are good dark matter candidates.