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- Facehugger (lifecycle)
In lifecycle games, each Alien starts as a facehugger. The facehugger's sole purpose in life is to attach to a host (either human or Predator) and complete the transformation to an adult. The facehugger is very mobile and can wallwalk, but its only attack is a facehug which consists of a pounce; it has no other abilities to do damage to other creatures. When a facehug is successful, a frag is scored and the facehugged body of the victim falls to the ground. After a few seconds, the facehugger detaches, the body starts twitching, and a chestburster erupts.
Facehuggers have one mission in life: Finding a host.
- Chestburster (lifecycle)
In lifecycle games, after a facehugger has successfully downed a human or Predator, a chestburster arrives a short time later. The chestburster is the most vulnerable of the Alien forms; it is small and relatively slow compared to its cousins, cannot wallwalk, and is extremely weak. It has a bite attack which does only very minimal damage. After a few seconds, the chestbursters matures into a full adult Alien.
The job of the chestburster is merely to survive. Hide.
The drone is the standard adult Alien form; in lifecycle games, the drone is birthed from a Marine. The drone is powerful and fast.
The drone is the standard adult Alien class. Claws, jaws, tail, and pounce are all available to you.
The runner is a quadrupedal adult Alien form (as seen in the movie Alien 3), although in lifecycle games, it is birthed from Corporates. Runners are fast and mobile, and since they are quadrupeds, they tend to hang lower to the ground which makes them harder to hit.
The runner's advantages are its somewhat increased speed and its smaller profile.
Praetorians are large, armored hulks. They are somewhat faster than Predaliens and can take about as much of a beating.
It takes armor-piercing fire to bring a praetorian down; traditional rounds are far less effective against them. Use armor-piercing pistol, or a shotgun slug, or a minigun.
Predaliens are adult Aliens that come from Predators instead of humans. Predaliens are very large, very durable, very powerful, but move relatively slow. They, unlike the human-Alien hybrids, cannot engage in a jaw attack, and so are often at a loss for effective ways to regenerated health; although in Primal Hunt, the Predaliens gain the ability to use a jaw attack.
The Predalien is strong and can take a serious beating, but it is very slow. Using the pounce is particularly important here.
The queen is the ultimate Alien killing machine. The queen is only available in multiplayer in the later patches, and is only available when enabled on the server. After an adult Alien kills a certain specified number of enemies (a number that is set by the server), the Alien molts into a queen. There can even be multiple queens present at the same time. The queen is huge, can take a massive beating. Its only weapons, though, are its claws and tail; the queen has no Jaw attack and cannot pounce.
Once you score enough kills to molt into the queen, you're guaranteed a good killing streak before you get taken down, even by the better players -- provided you avoid Exosuits!
The claw attack is the standard Alien weapon. They are fast and do significant damage. Combined with a circle strafe to avoid sustained fire, a sustained claw attack and can take down a human in a matter of seconds. The claw attack also allows Aliens to heal themselves; mutilating corpses will offer some additional health.
Claws are your standard close quarters weapon -- use them.
The human-borne adult Aliens (and Predaliens in Primal Hunt) can engage in jaw attacks, which are nearly one-shot-one-kill weapons that occur when a normal attack (what would otherwise be a claw attack) is aimed directly at an enemy's head. When a jaw attack is possible, you can see the outline of your own ready jaw at the top and bottom of your view. In addition to causing devastating damage (only fully-armored Predators can survive a first jaw attack, but will fall to the second), this mechanism also confers a huge health bonus to the Alien. A tail stun followed by a jaw attack is the best way to get health when low.
The jaw attack not only causes massive damage, but regenerates health. How can you not appreciate the beauty of that?
The tail is an alternate attack that does significant damage, although cannot be used as frequently as the claw attack. The tail can also be "charged" (by holding down the tail attack key) in order to inflict much more damage, and to create a stun effect, where the victim is immobilized (note that in Primal Hunt a stun victim still has some limited mobility) and dazed (their controls react sluggishly) for a few seconds. A charged tail attack is tremendously effective at bringing Alien prey -- even Predators -- down quickly.
The stun effect of the charged tail is one of the Alien secret weapons; if used properly it can take down enemies with devastating regularity.
The pounce is not only a very effective maneuver in terms of getting in and out of close quarters combat quickly, but also serves as a devastating weapon if timed correctly. The pounce allows an adult Alien (excepting Praetorians and the queen) to initiate a very powerful jump. As a side bonus, if this pounce lands directly on an enemy, it does devastating damage, enough to pulverize even a modestly armored human or Predator (but then this leaves you no corpse to mutilated for a health bonus afterward). A second pounce can only be activated after a delay, so be sure to time your pounces properly so that you leave yourself open to enemy fire.
Use the pounce to get into combat and then get out of combat quickly.
- Facehug (facehugger)
The facehugger (and the facehugger alone) has only one mode of attack: the facehug. This is the facehugger equivalent of a pounce, but with a special dispensation: If the pounce lands on the head or chest of a human or Predator, the facehugger lands an immediate kill and the victim is taken down, with a chestburster to arise from the body shortly thereafter. Only the exosuit is immune to facehugs; lone humans and all Predator classes are vulnerable.
Facehuggers must facehug. Get them before they get you.
Most Aliens (except the chestburster, praetorian, and queen) have the ability to wallwalk, that is, to walk on any surface, including walls and ceilings. This ability should not go underused, as it allows a clever Alien to approach enemies in ways that they would not expect as well as offering avenues of retreat that enemies cannot use to follow.
Wallwalking is a skill which takes some getting used to -- the controls are touchy and the arrow interface is confusing -- but once mastered it is an indispensable tactic.
- Vision modes
Hunt is the standard mode where all creatures have a pheromone aura around them: humans (both Marines and Corporates) are blue, Predators are green, and fellow Aliens are red. Other than the auras, everything appears normal.
Most of your time should be spent in hunt mode.
The navigation mode shows everything as a negative and has short range, but offers the very useful advantage that it can be used to see in total blackness.
Navigation mode should be used only when there are no enemies nearby and you must navigate a dark area, such as a vent.