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For the XCOM: Enemy Unknown (2012) version, see Chryssalid (EU2012)

The crab like claws of this creature are a powerful weapon in close combat. The high metabolism and strength of this creature give it sped and dexterity. Instead of killing its victim it impregnates it with an egg and injects a venom which turns it into a walking zombie. A new Chryssalid will burst from the victim shortly after impregnation. Chryssalids are associated with the Snakeman race.

Source: UFO Defense/Enemy Unknown Ufopaedia

Chryssalid Autopsy
Chryssalid - Autopsy

The exo-skeleton of this creature is extremely tough, but surprisingly vulnerable to explosive ammunition. The brain is well developed, and its cell growth rate very fast. The creature carries twenty eggs which are laid inside other organisms. The creature is a very effective terror weapons.

Source: UFO Defense/Enemy Unknown Ufopaedia

Chryssalids are the alien Terror Unit that accompany Snakemen.

The Chryssalid is a fast moving monster with strong armour (see Alien Stats for armour values). Its most prominent feature that sets it apart from every other alien is its melee attack. Chryssalid attacks can cause instantaneous death to civilians and soldiers by planting an egg in them and injecting them with a venom that turns them into a Zombie. The attacks ignore body armour.

A zombie created by a Chryssalid will shuffle towards X-COM forces and attempt to batter the soldiers to death. If the zombie is killed, a new Chryssalid will hatch from its carcass. Essentially, a single Chryssalid left to its own devices in a terror site will quickly multiply and populate the city with other Chryssalids.

This unique ability is the reason the Chryssalid is treated with feared reverence amongst many players. It has even been awarded the most terrifying video-game monster on several on-line gaming magazine polls a few years in succession.

The chryssalid does have several weaknesses. First and foremost, the Chryssalid is strictly a land bound alien. Flying units are able to keep well out of reach of their lethal attacks by hovering at least one level above the plane the Chryssalid is on. In open combat situations, this renders them harmless.

Like Reapers and other melee units, they can sometimes be put off their attacks or switch targets if they are attacked with reaction fire.

In a prolonged battle, Chryssalids have a bad habit of exhausting their energy, as they can spend more energy per turn than what they can regenerate. This impacts heavily on their maximum travel distance.


TUs:                   110-127
Health:                96
Energy:                140-162
Reactions:             70-86
Strength:              110-118
Bravery:               100
Psi Skill:             N/A
Psi Strength:          50-69

Damage:                110-118
Damage Type:           ???
Close Combat Accuracy: 80-92
TUs:                   15* (See Discussion page)


  • Beginner level Chryssalids have 110TU, and each melee attack costs 15TU. This means they can be out of visual range at the beginning of the turn and cross the 23 intervening tiles and still attack you in the same turn! But sometimes the Chryssalid will pop out of a building, run a few tiles, take a look at your soldiers, and the pop back into the cover it had before. This makes them susceptible to reaction fire since they do this several times, as long as you don't move up any further to get a better angle.
  • They can perform 7 attacks per turn max at Beginner difficulty and 8 at Superhuman difficulty.
  • Chryssalid Damage Modifiers: Fire 80%, Stun 90%. They aren't particularly susceptible to anything, despite the "vulnerability to explosives" mentioned above.
  • Unconscious Chryssalids are as vulnerable to ordinary Grenades as any other object (which is a good thing, seeing that leaving stunned Chryssalids alive is generally a bad idea unless you can stun them again in case they get up).
    • Alternately, revive it with stimulants from a Medi-kit and then finish it off with a weapon.
  • If you find yourself in a Chryssalid-infested area without a flying suit, you can try heading upstairs then shooting away the stairs. This works too if you just sit on the next level the stairs are on and block the way up since a Chryssalid is considered to still be on the bottom level. Sitting at the top of Transport aircraft ramps works too.
  • If you're afraid of a Chryssalid popping out of a corner while you're assaulting a base or a big UFO, place yourself below or above the Chryssalid's level and then pop out and blast it on your next turn.
  • If you find a lone Chryssalid in your area and you're still using human rifles or laser pistols, you'll have to do the unthinkable, get in its face and unload the entire clip into it! It's probably not going to die even from point-blank full-auto Rifle fire, but it's sure better than shooting wildly and missing or waiting for a reaction shot that never comes.
  • HWP's can't be turned into Zombies but a Chryssalid attack can still make a mess of them. The HWP may survive the attack but will have a serious damage.
  • Chryssalids usually don't have guns; using Flying Suits you can just hover in the air and shoot them or drop High Explosives down on them. A flying suited soldier can potentially distract a Chryssalid to an extent since a Chryssalid next to a flying soldier will stare angrily at it as long as there aren't any other ground units running amok nearby.
  • Their lack of ranged attack or flying ability makes them easy meat once you have flying armor.
  • AP works but you may want to skip the rifles and go straight to Heavy Cannon or Autocannons. Human weapons don't work very well unless it's a rocket launcher or something stronger than a laser pistol. Laser Rifles are reasonably effective as long as you have about 2 soldiers firing at each Chryssalid.
  • All-round armour means Chryssalids are relatively quite HE-resistant, unless the Chryssalid was spawned from a Zombie that had its under armour damaged (this carries over to the Chryssalid form). Making it a good idea to kill Zombies with ground-zero explosions.
  • A horrible way to meet one is shooting a Zombie with reaction fire as it shambles in for melee... then a Chryssalid pops out and sprints at you, turning your squad into more zombies.
  • The only known way to prevent a Chryssalid hatching is to land killing blows on zombies with Incendiary rounds.
  • Usually Chryssalids are unarmed, so they're sitting ducks during X-Com's turn. If you have a chance to kill one you should take it before it's too late.
  • If one of your soldiers was Zombified alive, and so didn't drop all its weapons, the resulting Zombie and Chryssalid will reaction fire at you aggressively (if inaccurately).
  • Listen during the alien turn closely. Chryssalids howl when they spot a target.

As with all terror units, they can be encountered in the following mission types:


If a human unit (or Chryssalid under permanent control) is attacked by a Chryssalid - even once - it will become a Zombie. This happens regardless of what the other effects of the attack are, including death.

Zombification occurs at the end of a Chryssalid's series of attacks on that particular opponent. So, even though only one attack is sufficient for zombification, a Chryssalid will keep attacking the same target until it dies, is stunned, or they run out of TU. This means that armor causes a major difference in Chryssalid attack patterns. An unarmored soldier will often die in just one hit, so a single Chryssalid will often run up to soldier A, kill and Zombify him, run to soldier B, kill and Zombify, and repeat this many times. For grounded soldiers in Flying Suits, it will often take many more hits to kill it's target, often not leaving it enough TU to go after a fresh target.

If the damage dealt to the subject was enough to kill it (usually the case), it will scream and drop its weapons in the usual way before "resurrecting" as a Zombie. Regardless there'll be no corpse left behind.

In the second case, Zombification without death, being "Zombified alive", is special, in that it does not cause units to scream or drop their weapons. No morale loss for unit death will occur, and no points for killed soldiers will be lost in this case. Armed Zombies can only use their equipment via Reaction Fire, and when killed, change to armed Chryssalids (which have the same limitation).

This scenario usually occurs in the case of a Chryssalid which has been reduced to critically low Health, and will very often be a Chryssalid that was previously knocked unconscious by bonus stun damage from conventional weapon fire. This is because Chryssalid melee accuracy is affected by Health %, so a critically wounded Chryssalid will often flail away and not be able to get a single hit in. Nonetheless, even a single missed attack has 100% chance of causing Zombification.

The third option is if the attacks ended up stunning the unit. The unconscious body will fall in the usual way, but then the victim itself will be turned into a standard Zombie. The result is that the body remains and appears to belong to the (conscious) alien.

Zombie-spawned Chryssalids suffer from a oversight in the game code which means that they will always have their core stats, unadjusted by difficulty level. In difficulties above Beginner, this means that Chryssalids birthed from Zombies will have lower stats than those that spawned at the beginning of the mission, and are thus less dangerous. However, if playing in Beginner mode, armor of units is adjusted to 50% of core for all units. This means that in Beginner mode, Zombie-spawned Chryssalids will be significantly better armored than mission-start Chryssalids! So if you're playing on Beginner, make sure you are prepared to kill a Chryssalid significantly stronger than what you have been facing normally!

Any damage done to the Zombie's armor will carry over to the resulting Chryssalid, in % terms! So, if you shoot the zombie in a certain location a few times, say the rear (it doesn't matter since zombies have 4 armor all over on Superhuman), and it gets reduced to zero, the resulting Chryssalid will have zero armor in that location when it spawns! Since Chryssalids have 34 armor on all sides on difficulty above Beginner, a reduction to 0 armor is very very significant.

Zombies created during (for example) Alien Turn 3 will only be able to move and attack during (for example) Alien Turn 4.

As noted under Zombie, Zombie research teams under controlled conditions have never seen a spontaneous Chryssalid hatching while the Zombie is still mobile and unharmed. So although the Zombie packs a wallop in melee, don't shoot them if you aren't prepared to deal with the Chryssalid immediately afterwards. Run away until you can bring to bear enough firepower to deal with both the Zombie and the Chryssalid.

Chryssalids left on their own with civilians in a Terror Mission can quite quickly raise an army of the undead. This is one of the few tricky situations where you might end up shooting civilians for their own good. And yours, of course.

However, the newly raised civilian zombies, as well as the accompanying Snakemen, tend to attack first before the chryssalid so there tend to be quite a few deaths before another zombie comes into play. So now the question is, death by plasma, strangling, and/or zombification or death by bullets, lasers, and explosives?

See Also

UFO BadgeX-COM: Enemy Unknown/UFO Defense
X-COM SoldiersHeavy Weapons Platforms
Aliens: FloaterSectoidSnakemanEtherealMuton

Terror Units: ReaperCyberdiscChryssalidZombieSectopodCelatidSilacoid

Stats Time UnitsEnergy (Stamina)HealthBraveryReactionsFiring AccuracyThrowing AccuracyStrengthPsionic StrengthPsionic SkillMelee AccuracyStunMoraleRankFatal Wounds
Data Alien StatsDamage ModifiersAlien Appearance RatiosAlien Weapon Loadouts