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Chryssalids are an alien Terror Unit accompanying Snakemen.

Nasty. Toothy. Very very fast. Able to implant an egg (that turns you into a Zombie) with little regard for body armor. The ability of single Chryssalids to multiply and wipe out entire squads makes them more feared than even the tougher Ethereals.

General Information

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 Autocannons or better.

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.

Listen during the alien turn closely. Chryssies howl when they spot a target. This saved the life of one of my (amitakartok) soldiers on a Terror Ship: I heard a Chryssie howl, turn around and spotted it eight hexes away.


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%
TUs:                   15* (See Discussion page)

Live Specimen

The crab like claws of this creature are a powerful weapon in close combat. The high metabolism and strength of this creature give it speed 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.


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. This creature is a very effective terror weapon.

[ NKF: Note, the above is taken directly from the game UFOpaedia. Technically, the comment about the vulnerability to explosives is only true when the Chryssalid is unconscious. Chryssalids, in fact, take normal damage from Explosives. To confirm this, refer to the Damage Modifiers.

With the Auto or Heavy Cannon, Chryssalids are more likely to get knocked unconscious with HE rounds while AP rounds often kills them. Make it habit of examining the corpse before moving on if you haven't destroyed the corpse outright. ]


  • 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!
  • 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 chryssies are as vulnerable to ordinary grenades as any other object (which is a good thing, seeing that leaving stunned chryssies alive is generally a bad idea unless you can stun them again in case they get up).
  • If you find yourself in a Chryssalid-infested area without a flying suit, you can try heading upstairs then shooting away the stairs.
  • HWP's can't be turned into Zombies but a Chryssalid attack can still make a mess of them.
  • Chryssalids usually dont have guns; using Flying Suits you can just hover in the air and shoot them or drop High Explosives down on them.

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 1 attack is sufficient for zombification, a Chryssalid will keep attacking the same target that it begins attacking, 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 1 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 it's weapons in the usual way before "ressurecting" as a zombie. Regardless however there'll be no corpse left behind.

2nd case, zombification without death 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 critical life, and will very often be a Chryssalid that was knocked unconscious by bonus stun damage from conventional weapon fire. 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 3rd 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! HOWEVER, 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 Alien Turn 3 will only be able to move and attack during Alien Turn 4.

As commented under Zombie, zombie research teams under controlled conditions have never seen a spontaneous Chrys 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 Chrys immediately afterwards. Run away!

Chryssies 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.

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