Genestealers are amongst the most infamous and feared of all Tyranid organisms. As the first Tyranids encountered by the Imperium, their ferocity, hardiness, and strength has led them to be feared across the galaxy. Sent in as long as hundreds of years prior to Tyranid invasions, Genestealers infiltrate the societies of targeted planets and implant their genetic material into other organisms to create monstrous hybrids that eventually breed true, pureblooded Genestealers. Using the Genestealer's psychic signature as a beacon, the Hive Fleet eventually arrives to reap the planet's biomass and reacquire their Genestealers. As the Hive Fleet grows closer, the Genestealers are taken back in by the Hive Mind and burst out from the sewers to kill the unsuspecting populace in the initial stages of the invasion - often, by the time the Hive Fleet lands, the planet is in shock, making for easy pickings.
Powers and Stats
Tier: At least High 8-C | 10-B to 9-C, higher with weapons, 6-A with heavy weapons and vehicles | At least High 8-C, far higher with weapons | At least 7-C, likely 6-A | At least High 8-C, likely higher | Likely 6-A
Origin: Warhammer 40,000
Gender: Varies. Often inapplicable.
Classification: Parasitic Tyranid lifeforms
Powers and Abilities: Superhuman Physical Characteristics, Durability Negation (to some extent) with Rending Claws, Mind Manipulation, Telepathy, can implant their genetic code within other beings to create Genestealer hybrids, Shapeshifting and Adaptation (Ymgarl Genestealers), expertise in stealth, can survive in the vacuum of space, Patriarchs and Magi possess even greater psychic powers, allowing for Illusion Creation, Biological Manipulation, Energy Manipulation and Projection, Summoning, Invisibility
Attack Potency: At least Large Building level (Genestealers can easily shred through the armor of Space Marines and Terminators) | Human level to Street level (Individual Hybrids range in strength from being comparable to the average human to being considerably stronger), higher with weapons, Continent level+ with heavy weapons and vehicles (Heavy weapons such as Lascannons are capable of heavily damaging Imperial tanks, which are capable of withstanding Plasma weapons, which discharge with the power of a solar flare) | At least Large Building level (Hybrid Metamorphs are strong enough to shatter rock and are comparable to purestrain Genestealers, Aberrants are considered among the physically strongest forces available to the cults), far higher with weapons (Crushing Claws drastically increase a Metamorph's strength, When armed with power picks or hammers, Aberrants are used to tear apart enemy war machines and fortifications) | At least Town level, likely Continent level+ (Genestealer Magi are comparable to Space Marine Librarians, who can open up chasms in the earth and destroy heavy tanks) | At least Large Building level, likely higher | Likely Continent level+ (A Patriarch possesses the foremost psychic power of its Broodmind and should be superior to the strongest Magi)
Speed: Subsonic with at least Hypersonic+ reactions, likely higher (Genestealers are faster than most Marines, capable of shredding them before they can even react) | Normal Human to Superhuman | Likely Superhuman | Subsonic with at least Hypersonic+ reactions, likely higher | Subsonic with at least Hypersonic+ reactions, likely higher | Subsonic with at least Hypersonic+ reactions, likely FTL (Should be much faster than even the most highly trained Marines, who can act in under a nanosecond)
Lifting Strength: Superhuman
Striking Strength: At least Large Building Class | Human Class | At least Large Building Class | At least Large Building Class | At least Large Building Class | At least Large Building Class
Durability: At least Large Building level | Human level to Street level, Continent level+ with heavy vehicles | At least Large Building level | Unknown physically | At least Large Building level, likely higher | At least Large Building level, likely higher
Stamina: Very high. Genestealers are capable of subsisting on minimal nutrition for decades at a time.
Range: Normal melee range; further with ranged weapons for Hybrids and Broodlords with their psychic powers. At least one kilometer with racial telepathy. Interstellar with psychic beacons (Hive Fleets are capable of detecting, homing in on and controlling Genestealer cults from interstellar distances).
Standard Equipment: Varies; all Genestealers possess rending claws, although many also possess scything talons. Hybrids carry ranged weapons, such as lasguns.
- Rending Claws: All Genestealers possess claws tipped with diamond-hard chitin, capable of tearing through even the hardest armors as if they were nothing but paper.
Intelligence: Purestrain Genestealers are surprisingly clever and intelligent, capable of keeping up with highly trained opponents in combat, skilled in hunting and acting as a group to ambush and overwhelm enemies. Early generation hybrids are animalistic and nearly mindless, while true hybrids are comparable to humans in intelligence. Genestealer Magi and Primuses are extremely intelligent and cunning, and the Patriarch is even moreso. As all Genestealers are linked by their own racial hive mind, they can call upon the knowledge and wisdom of other Genestealers if need be, and can coordinate their hunting efforts.
Weaknesses: None notable
- Genestealer's Kiss: After using its psychic powers to hypnotize and incapacitate prey, a Purestrain Genestealer will use its ovipositor to implant them with its genetic material. This alters their DNA and makes them completely, mindlessly devoted to the Genestaler which turned them, who they will see as a savior figure. Soon afterwards, they will give birth to a Genestealer Hybrid, which will further breed with other hypnotized members of the cult, becoming progressively more like the host species, before ultimately producing Purestrain Genestealers once more with the Fifth Generation.
- The Ymgarl Factor: The highly unstable genetics of Ymgarl Genestealers lead their bodies to be in a constant state of change. They can reinforce their claws and muscle mass to become stronger, can grow tentacled limbs to attack opponents, and can grow more durable shells to withstand attacks.
- Broodmind: All the members of a Genestealer Cult are linked together by a hive mind under the control of the cult's Patriarch.
- Broodmind Disciple: Patriarchs and Magi have access to the following psychic abilities:
- Mass Hypnosis: The psyker's eyes glow strangely as he casts his gaze across his chosen victims, his mental dominion putting them into a trance-like state so the cult can take them apart at their leisure.
- Psychic Stimulus: The unknowable power of the cult's gestalt soul flows into the psyker's chosen instruments, spurring them into a religious frenzy that sees them attack with hyperactive speed.
- Psionic Blast: The psyker focuses the alien hatred of his kind into a blaze of pallid energies. Where his gaze falls, the enemy are consumed - the last thing they hear is a shrill screech of triumph.
- Might of Beyond: An alien strength lurks in every being that carries the Genestealer Curse. With a low whisper that rises to a scream, the psyker amplifies this hidden might, and his followers are swollen with empowering energy born of the void itself.
- Mental Onslaught: The psyker, well-used to forcing his will upon those who would resist him, intensifies his hypnotic power to such a degree it can cause a victim's brain to swell to bursting point inside his skull.
- Mind Control: Palsied fingers twitch and facial muscles spasm as the psyker's chosen mark is taken over completely. Relegated to a mere passenger within his own body, he is forced to witness his traitorous actions as he opens fire upon his trusted comrades.
- Telepathic Summons: With a keening cry the psyker draws his kindred from the hidden places of the world. The summons, heard in the soul as much as the senses, awakens a dormant brood that has lain long in hibernation, patiently awaiting their master's call to war.
- The Horror: The Genestealer floods the target with the psychic presence of the Hive Mind, overwhelming lesser minds and shattering their resolves.
- Dominate: The Genestealer reaches into its foe's mind, crushing their will and preventing them from putting up any sort of resistance.
- Hallucination: Using its powers, the Genestealer causes enemies to experience horrifying hallucinations and immense paranoia, forcing them to assault themselves and their allies.
- Invisibility: The Genestealer obscures the image of himself and its allies from its foes' sights, allowing them to move entirely undetected.
- Psychic Shriek: Using the power of the Hive Mind, the Genestealer emits a howl which shreds its enemies' minds to pieces.
- Terrify: The Genestealer assaults its foes with images of everything they fear most.
- Genestealer Familiars: Psychic Genestealers can create manifestations of their psychic power in the form of small, vicious Genestealers that viciously protect their masters.
Key: Purestrain / Normal Genestealer | 1st - 4th Generation Hybrids | Metamorphs / Aberrants | Magus | Primus | Patriarch