Every Alien in the Alien Franchise Explained

The Xenomorph is one of the most iconic creatures in science fiction, and it has given rise to multiple variants of aliens in various media.

The Alien franchise is known for its inventiveness and sheer numbers of aliens, and here's a full list of each alien species. The design of the Xenomorph is attributed to Surrealist artist H.R. Giger and first appears in a lithograph called Necronom IV. The endoparasite species first appeared in Ridley Scott's Alien and quickly became one of the most iconic alien species in film history.

Unlike other alien species in science fiction, Xenomorphs are designed to be perfect killing machines, whose sole purpose is to protect their species by any means necessary. Due to its popularity, the expansion of the Alien franchise has been unusual, spawning four sequels, two prequels and two spinoffs, as well as multiple video games and literary works. Every new addition to the franchise has introduced a new variant of the Xenomorph, and there are now dozens of them throughout the series. So here are the most iconic and unique Xenomorphs explained.


Although not fully developed, the egg stage (also known as the ovoid) of the xenomorph's life cycle is the most important. The Ovomorph appears in nearly every entry in the Alien franchise, except Prometheus, and is the chunky living organism that protects the Xenomorph Hatch inside. If a person gets too close to the Ovomorph, it releases the Xenomorph inside, which is known as a Facehugger.


First appearing in Alien, the Facehugger is a crab-like creature that attaches to its host by grabbing its face and wrapping its tail around its airway. Once this is done, it implants a Xenomorph embryo into the host's airway. Facehuggers have been shown to claim humans, predators, animals, and space jockeys as their hosts, resulting in a variety of Xenomorph offspring. Like fully grown Xenomorphs, Facehuggers have acidic blood, making them harder to remove from their victims.

Royal Facehugger

The Royal Facehugger only appears once in Alien 3 Special Edition, as it was removed when the film was released, but it also appears in some comics. A Royal Facehugger behaves the same as a normal Facehugger, except it has a larger body and is protected by stronger armor. That's because the Royal Facehugger, who carried the Xenomorph Queen's embryo, was originally written as the Facehugger who implanted the embryo into Ripley.


Chestburster begins to grow after implantation of Xenomorph embryos Inside the host's chest cavity, pushing and chewing its way out. Chestburster first appeared in Alien and quickly became one of the most memorable parts of the franchise. Chestburster, who had no host on screen, survived, often dying of severe blood loss in the process. At this stage of its life cycle, the Xenomorph is at its most vulnerable, but thanks to its incredible speed and agility, it is able to dodge danger and hide.


The Drone Xenomorph first appears in Alien and is believed to be the young adult stage of the Xenomorph life cycle. It is the most iconic variant of the Xenomorph, and has also appeared in games like Alien: Isolation. Due to its human host, the drone is characterized by its bipedal stature, with an elongated head and cylindrical skull, standing about 8 feet tall. The top of the Xenomorph Drone's head is translucent, with hollow eye sockets inside.


In James Cameron's action-packed sequel, Alien, the alien returns, but looks and behaves slightly differently. Unlike the solitary Xenomorph Drone in Alien, they hunt in packs and are known as warriors. Unlike drones, their skulls are often more ridged, and they're also Faster and more agile. They have also been shown to explode when killed, dousing the attacker in acid.


First appearing in James Cameron's Alien, the Queen is considered one of the deadliest Alien variants. Standing approximately 15 to 20 feet tall, the Xenomorph Queen is the leader of the hive responsible for laying eggs in the Alien sequel. Despite being the greatest threat, the queen usually spends her time laying her eggs, only breaking away from her egg bag when necessary to protect her offspring. Additionally, the Queen is considered one of the smartest Alien mutants and has also appeared in Alien: Resurrection and Alien vs. Predator.


Runner first appeared in Alien 3 after a quadruped fell victim to Facehugger. It is widely considered to be the fastest of the Xenomorph breed, as well as the most aggressive. Unlike previous Xenomorph designs, the Runner lacks a back tube for a slimmer appearance.


The alien newborn is the result of a genetic mutation, a descendant of Ripley 8, the alien queen cloned on Auriga in Alien: Resurrection. newborn Proving to be more powerful than the Alien Queen, it was killed shortly after birth, thinking the cloned Ripley was its mother. The Newborn is very large, and unlike other types of Xenomorph, it is more humanoid in appearance, leading to it being widely regarded as one of the worst designs in the series. He hasn't been seen on screen since his death in Alien: Resurrection.


Although it is not explained how the Trilobite is related to the classic Alien from the Alien series, it has similar behavior to the Facehugger. Appearing in Prometheus, Trilobites first appeared after black goo infected Charlie Holloway on LV-223, which caused him to be impregnated with the creature after having sex with Elizabeth Shaw. Shaw manages to remove the Trilobite, but it later appears in the film as a giant octopus-like beast that attacks the Engineer, impregnates it like a Facehugger, and creates a Deacon.


The Deacon appears very briefly at the end of Prometheus, so little is known about him. It is thought to be a close relative of the Xenomorphs shown in the picture The original Alien movie and Aliens share some similar physical attributes, such as having an internal mouth. While it also has an elongated skull, it's more pointed rather than round, meaning it will grow much larger than other Xenomorphs since it was born human-sized. It's unclear if Deacon has acid blood, as it hasn't been seen on screen since Prometheus.


Bloodburster first appeared in Alien: Covenant, also known as Backburster or Spineburster. As the name suggests, it has some similarities to Chestburster, but is also quite different. For example, Bloodbursters are implanted via motes in egg sacs rather than Ovomorphs, and rapidly deteriorate their host's health during gestation. In addition, its appearance and behavior are very similar to the runner, with pale white translucent skin, and it is born extremely violent.


Bloodbursters are later shown to grow into Neomorphs in Alien: Covenant, which again appear to be distant relatives of Xenomorphs. David, the robot first seen on Prometheus, releases a mysterious black goo chemical created by engineers onto Planet 4, also known as Heaven, and the result is A new variant of Pale Agility that is naturally aggressive. Unlike Xenomorphs, Neomorphs don't have internal mouths or backstabs, giving them a more humanoid appearance.


The first and only appearance of the Praetomorph is in Alien: Covenant, where it was designed entirely by David based on the mural on LV-223 in Prometheus. Praetomorph's eggs are very similar to the Ovomorphs from the original Alien movie, but with a two-lobed design. Praetomorph takes only seconds to emerge from Facehugger, its limbs are fully developed and it grows very fast. Praetomorph lacks the biomechanical appearance, but it behaves very similar to Xenomorph, even more aggressive.


Grid first appears in Aliens vs. Predator as a xenos drone believed to be the leader of the xenos born in the pyramid of Yautja below Bouvet Island. It gets its name from the grid-like markings on its skull and back that were caused by wounds from the Celtics' Young Blood Yautja netting. Due to his unique appearance, Grid was one of the unique Xenomorphs in the series and was later killed by Scar, After the alien hunter destroys the pyramid with a self-destruct device.


The Predalien appears in Alien vs Predator: Requiem, and is a unique form of Xenomorph born after Facehugger attacks the Predator. A hybrid of Xenomorph and Predator existed in video games and comics long before the film's debut, and the Predalien is considered the best part of Alien vs Predator: Requiem. Like the Predator, it possesses mandibles and braids, and is capable of impregnating a host with a batch of Xenomorphs instead of one.

Tarkatan Xenomorph

The Tarkatan Xenomorph appears as a downloadable guest in Mortal Combat X, part of the game's Alien DLC. Although it's simply called the Alien in the game, it's actually the product of an alien drone born from the body of the Tarkatan warrior Baraka. It bears several resemblances to the normal Xenomorph Drone, but is much bulkier and more muscular than drones bred by human hosts. It also features Barak's vicious fangs with extendable blades within its forearms, similar to the sword-like arm blades Tarkatans have.


Praetorian in the Alien vs Predator video game as a boss enemy and Did not appear in any movies. Known as the Royal Guard of the Xenomorph Queen and her Egg, it has many similar attributes to the Warrior, but is larger and bears a similar insignia to the Xenomorph Queen. It is explained that they appear when the population of a Xenomorph Hive reaches 300 and is one of the final stages of a Xenomorph's life cycle. In addition to serving as the Xenomorph Queen's guards, they also serve as army commanders.


The Matriarch appears in the Aliens vs Predator 2010 video game as an ancient alien queen who inhabits BG-386. It is explained that the Yautja's sole purpose in capturing the matriarch was to produce alien offspring for them to hunt. She was later captured by the Weyland-Yutani Corporation, but managed to escape and start her own hive before being killed by Rookie. Due to her age, she has a grayer complexion compared to other Xenomorph Queens and is covered in battle scars. The matriarch also has bulletproof skin.

Spitter Alien

Acid in Xenomorphs is considered one of their deadliest properties, which is why Spitter Alien is paired with other variants. Spitter appears in the unorthodox video game Alien: Colonial Marines with bumps on the sides of his head that spit acid at the player, making them more lethal at a distance. Spitters have similar crests to Xenomorph Queens and Praetorians, except they have smaller crests and acid sacs that are yellow-green in color.

Crusher Alien

The Crusher appears in both Alien: Colonial Marines and Alien: Fireteam Elite. It is the only Xenomorph other than the Xenomorph Queen to have the heaviest armor; however, it is not as smart as the other xenomorph species. It attacks by rushing towards its target on all fours, and is speculated to be similar to the runner seen in Alien 3, and due to its similar attributes, it may have been bred from a larger animal such as a bull.

Prowler Alien

The Prowler appears in Alien: Elite Fireteam, where it attacks enemies by jumping, similar to its opponents in other video games, such as the Hunter in Left 4 Dead. The Prowler is similar to the Runner in that it is clearly the product of a larger, more agile quadruped. Its appearance is unique compared to other Xenomorph breeds Due to its red skin, bladed tail, crown of head and lack of dorsal tube.


The Empress is a non-canon Alien in Alien Online, Aliens vs. Predator 2, and Alien vs. Predator: Extinction. The Empress is an evolved and rarer form of the Alien Queen, considered superior and bowing only to the Queen Mother. They were described as being able to reach the height of a Tyrannosaurus rex, and had two sets of arms and a double crown. It has been suggested that the alien queen becomes the empress as the hive grows.


Xenomorphs Kings, also known as Monstrosities, are an extremely large and rare form of Xenomorph. Similar to queens, they only appear if the hive is considered to be very large. It is unclear what role they play, since ovoids do not require fertilization. Kings are similar in appearance to queens, but have ivory on their crowns and no abdominal arms. Kings only appear in Aliens vs. Predator: The Hunt Begins, and their creation and role in the Hive remain a mystery.

Queen Mother

The Queen is the rarest Hive Monarch, and the rarest Xenomorph of all time. them Is the leader of the Xenomorph Queens and the only one who can breed more Queen Mothers. The Queen Mother is described as nearly 50ft tall, with four arms and sharp backstabs. The Queen Mother's tails are so sharp they are rumored to be able to cut through an army of marines. If the queen dowagers were not born from another human's eggs, they would have achieved their status through substantial growth of the hive.

Red Xenomorph

The red alien appears in Alien: Genocide. They are genetically mutated Xenomorphs who managed to escape their hive after the death of their queen. This means that, unlike traditional Ovomorphs, they are red, which is how they get their unique look. They managed to produce their own queen and establish a new home. However, they ended up at war with the original Xenomorph strain.

White Hybrid Xenomorph

The white hybrid Alien appears in the 12-issue limited comic series Alien vs. Predator: Deadliest of the Species. The fallen AI TOY created them using a reproductive system similar to Xenomorph eggs, and they are one of the most visually unique Xenomorphs to date. White hybrid DNA is mixed Along with Xenomorphs, Yautja and humans, that's why they look similar to the Predalien from Alien vs Predator: Requiem and have such high intelligence.


Not to be confused with the Necromorph from the popular horror game Dead Space, these Xenomorph variants appear in the 2019 novel Alien: Prototype. In the novels, Necromorphs are created by Dr. Gagnon in an attempt to breed Xenomorphs. However, the Necromorph acquired Necrosis from its host, which caused it to develop blisters all over its body, spreading the virus to its victims.

Space Jockey Xenomorph

The Space Jockey Xenomorph was one of those entries that would have become a classic but was completely scrapped after Prometheus was released. It first appeared in Dark Horse Comics' Alien: Apocalypse, based on the space jockey from the first Alien movie. Due to its engineer host, the Space Jockey Xenomorph is much larger and more menacing than normal Xenomorphs, capable of attacking human-generated Xenomorphs instantly. It also appears in the DS game Alien: Infestation, where it has a large trunk like an elephant.

Black Goo Xenomorph

Following the releases of Prometheus and Alien: Covenant, the 2021 novel Alien: Infiltrator explores what happens when the Alien appears It's for touching the black goo created by the Engineer. According to the novel, a group of Weyland-Yutani scientists exposed Xenomorphs to pathogens early in their life cycle, leading to various unique results. For example, one of the Xenomorphs, now known as Seven, is telepathic and highly intelligent, enabling it to command other Xenomorphs.

Anchorpoint Hybrid Xenomorph

Hybrids first appeared in an unused Alien 3 script written by William Gibson. It was later adapted into a comic book series by Dark Horse, where it was learned that Xenomorphs had discovered a new way to reproduce. Instead of Queen laying Ovomorphs, Xenomorphs spread airborne spores to a space station called Anchorpoint. The hybrid burst from the skin of its host, Susan Wells, in what appeared to be a red-eyed humanoid. However, it wasn't as strong as a normal xenomorph, as it was later torn in half by a human.

Flying Xenomorph

The Flying Alien is one of the most unique Alien variants, although not considered canon. They appear in various Alien arcade games, and also in the first issue of Alien: Survival. In some cases they have Have membranous wings and chestburster-like properties, while in other cases their wings resemble insects.

Aquatic Xenomorph

While the ability of Xenomorphs to swim was already confirmed in Alien: Ressurection's classic timeline, the Alien: Colonial Marines comic series introduced a new type of Xenomorph fully adapted to underwater conditions. They are found in the fern world and likely host large chelicerated crustaceans on Earth. Aquatic Xenomorphs are similar in size to Praetorians, but they have a large tail instead of legs and blue skin.


Alpha Xenomorph appeared in the six-issue comic series Alien: Bloodlines published by Marvel Comics. It's a very unique alien drone, similar in size to a Janissary, but also has bull-like horns on its skull thanks to a mix of human and ibex DNA. Its host, Gabriel Cruz, is one of the rare cases in which humans have successfully removed a Chestburster. Alpha has similar behavior to Grid and Drone aboard the Sevastopol in Alien: Isolation.

Irradiated Xenomorph

The Irradiated Xenomorph is one of the most unique films in the Alien franchise to date due to its bioluminescent properties. It appears in Alien: Aftermath, where it is Explains that not all Xenomorphs died in the atmospheric processor explosion on LV-426 at the end of Alien. The Irradiated Xenomorph is the only survivor, mutated due to the high radiation levels of LV-426. In addition to its unique appearance, its body is like liquid nitrogen, which freezes anything it touches.

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