Brainsucker (Apocalypse)

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Brainsucker (Alive).jpg

The life span of a Brainsucker is very short, eight hours at most. It has no reproduction or feeding system. Instead it attacks human victims by grasping the head with its claws and inserting its proboscis into the victims throat. The Brainsucker dies immediately after a successful attack, but our tests reveal that the victim is subsequently transformed into an Alien controlled entity. We will not understand the mechanism which causes this until we have completed studies on the full Alien life cycle.

Source: X-COM Apocalypse Ufopedia
Brainsucker Autopsy
Brainsucker Autopsy.jpg

This life form appears to have a simple structure with no distinguishable organs apart from an efficient heart and cardiovascular system. There appears to be no means of ingesting food or separate brain structure rendering it immune from Psionic influence. It seems that this creature has little purpose in life except that it is known to attack humans and seems to be designed to do only that. Its complex organic structure may be useful for developing toxins to counter any threat to our race.

Source: X-COM Apocalypse Ufopedia
Time Units 90-104
Health 20-23
Stamina 70-81
Reactions 5
Strength 10
Bravery 0
Psi Energy 0
Psi Attack 0
Psi Defense 100
Accuracy 100
Hidden Attributes
Head Armor 5-8
Torso Armor 5-8
Arm Armor 5-8
Leg Armor 5-8
Score 4
Size X 10
Size Y 3
Other information
Damage Modifier Group Brainsucker
Inventory no
Innate Weapon none
Unique Attributes brainsuck attack

The Brainsucker will often be the first alien creature you ever see in combat. They resemble a small orange ball with eyes, thin appendages and a large proboscis. They are very weak but make up for this by being fast and can jump very high; they also have more Stamina than any other alien. They have no ranged weaponry, but have a lethal one-off close combat attack. Their primary means of attack is the element of surprise and carelessness.

Their sole purpose in combat is to jump on and attach itself to the head of an X-COM agent and inject Micronoids. This seizes permanent control of the host's brain. The Brainsucker will immediately die after this procedure. There is a small chance that this attempt may fail.

Be aware that shields, the agent's psionic defense and helmet type do not play a part in defending against a Brainsucker attack. Androids can be brainsucked, but are effectively immune because Brainsuckers will not actively target them.

Brainsuckers come from the following sources:

In addition, one or more are lurking in one of Mega-Primus' buildings at the beginning of the game. A Brainsucker Pod will only hatch if it is on the ground. If agents quickly scoop up and store the pod in their backpack, the pods will remain inert. This is a most effective strategy for agents to control the propagation of new Brainsuckers. An agent can later thrown the pods out one at at time to safely dispose of the Brainsuckers. Recovering the pods also allows access to all biochemistry topics on the Brainsucker.

The threat from Brainsuckers varies wildly depending on the game mode. In Real Time focus fire and grenades on a charging Brainsucker will almost always deal with it. In Turn Based however Brainsuckers are a major threat because they can easily charge from outside your vision right up to an agent in one turn. Advancing slowly so that you have TUs left for large amounts of reaction fire can deal with them. Autocannons with HE ammo are very effective against Brainsuckers in both modes, since their low HP means a HE blast anywhere near them will usually kill them, but their ability to reaction fire with explosives really shines in TB. Proximity bombs (available from Week 2) can be a very effective way of dealing with Brainsuckers if you suspect they're around. Depending on terrain, you can use Androids to block doors and corridors to protect your human agents. Scouting with Androids is recommended so that you don't have a vulnerable agent ahead of your main force. If you kill an alien with a brainsucker launcher be sure to grenade the corpse or pick up the pods before you end turn, since they will hatch at the start of the alien turn.


  • An agent in mid-suck cannot access his or her inventory directly. To get around this, access the inventory of another agent and click on the victims portrait to access the inventory screen.
  • In RT the best way to defend against a Brainsucker in mid-suck is to have all nearby companions shoot the Brainsucker off post-haste!
    • Another option when wearing a full suit of armor is to get the victim to use a light explosive. Either by way of an AP grenade or firing an HE Autocannon shell at the adjacent tile or wall.
  • In TB brainsuckers are significantly more dangerous. They can be dealt with with copious amounts of reaction fire or proximity bombs.
    • Autocannons with HE ammo are extremely useful for dealing with Brainsuckers, since they can reaction fire and Brainsuckers' low HP means you only need to hit somewhere close.
  • Brainsuckers always stun themselves silly when they attempt to jump onto an agent that is lying prone. This works in both RT and TB combat.
  • Brainsuckers may have trouble jumping on agents in low doorways.
  • On maps with very high elevations, flying can put agents out of the reach of Brainsuckers. They can still jump fairly high, so fly as high as the map will allow.
  • As mentioned in the description, Brainsucker Pods will not hatch if held.
    • The battlescape trick of combining clips can be used to create a composite pod out of many for easier storage in case your agent does not have enough room.
      • Note that as with the clip combination trick, you will still be carrying the same amount of weight as the number of pods you've combined. They only take up less inventory space.
      • Empty (0 ammo) pods won't hatch, but to be safe you can make them vanish by loading them into a brainsucker launcher.

See Also

Apocalypse InsigniaX-COM: Apocalypse/Units
X-COM: HumansHybridsAndroids

BrainsuckerMultiwormMultiworm EggHyperwormChrysalisAnthropodPsimorphSpitterMegaspawnPopperSkeletoidMicronoid AggregateQueenspawnOverspawn

Civilians: Population
Data Agents Stats Unit Stats • To do (Other relevant articles)