"They're spitting acid! Fucking acid!"
―Pvt. O'Neal, regarding Spitters (from Aliens: Colonial Marines)

The Spitter, also known as the Ranger,[1] is a specialized Xenomorph caste designed for ranged attacks. As its name implies, it attacks by discharging large quantities of acid at enemies, typically from long distances.[2]


Spitters were encountered numerous times by a fireteam of Colonial Marines from the UAS Endeavor.


Fireteam Spitter

Promotional image of the Spitter from Aliens: Fireteam Elite.

Spitters possessed a unique grey coloration and a black tipped head instead of the typical cylindrical skull. They are slightly larger than the Runner class, but smaller than Drone and Warrior variants.

Irradiated Spitters[]

Irradiated Spitters were Spitters that became irradiated by toxic barrels brought by Weyland Yutani during their excavations on LV-895.[citation needed] As a result of their exposure, Irradiated Spitters were stronger, larger and more resilient than the average Spitter, Irradiated Spitters have more health and can fire clusters of acid, leaving Burster-like pools of acid where they hit.

Aliens: Colonial Marines (Non-canon)[]

Spitters were first encountered on Acheron by the Colonial Marines from the USS Sephora, first by the USCM Private J. Ma, who was the first to be killed by their acid spitting ability. Spitters were subsequently encountered by Corporal Christopher Winter, Private Peter O'Neal and Private Bella Clarison.


The Spitter possesses a head crest not dissimilar to those on Praetorians and Queens, albeit smaller and smoother. Their crest is also dotted with several pouches, apparently used to store acid, that resemble yellow-green pustules located on either side of the cranium. These pouches are apparently sensitive to damage; one of the fastest ways to eliminate a Spitter is to rupture the pouches, although the resulting explosion of acid can be fatal to anyone unfortunate enough to be caught in its radius.[3] Spitters also possess large axe-like tails more commonly seen on Praetorians, but they prefer to use their acid spitting ability in combat instead. Unlike other Xenomorph castes, Spitters seem to lack elongated canine teeth - visually supporting their role as ranged fighters.

The body of a Spitter is much more a blueish hue in color compared to other Xenomorphs, and they possess many traits uncommon to both Drones and Lurkers. The "paw" of a common Drone is very round and efficient for movement in design, whereas Spitters possess particularly large claws on their paws. Spitters also appear to have an extra "rib" uncommon in other Xenomorph species, making them easily the most unique aliens seen in the Origin Facility.

Spitters primarily keep their distance in combat, hurling acid at targets from afar, and are particularly dangerous when acting in coordination with other Xenomorph types that engage with melee attacks.[3] They also possess a significant jumping ability that allows them to rapidly relocate to a new vantage point on the battlefield, often making them difficult to pinpoint and kill. They apparently prefer to avoid close-range combat, as they will often be seen to retreat by leaping away if approached.[3]


  • The Spitter first appeared in Aliens: Colonial Marines and was one of several new Xenomorph castes created for the game, although its spitting attack has been encountered many times previously in the video game and movie franchise.
  • The Spitter that appears in Aliens: Fireteam Elite possess a radically different design from Spitters previously seen in the franchise.
  • The Spitter's ability to spit acid is also used by the Runner in Alien3 (nicknamed the "Dragon") and the Cloned Xenomorphs seen in Alien Resurrection.
  • In the RTS game Alien versus Predator: Extinction, there is a Drone evolution that allows them to spit mutagenic acid - and their appearance shares many similarities to these xenomorphs.
  • John Mulkey stated the Spitter's design is a clear nod of the Spitter from Left for Dead 2 and the Dilophosaurus from Jurassic Park.[citation needed]
  • One of the multiplayer class abilities of the Spitter from Colonial Marines allows it to explode when critically damaged, showering nearby enemies in acid like the Boiler.
  • Spitters are said to be a hive adaptation to combat human and yautja forces. They are similar to Drones in many ways, and may possibly be an adaptation of that caste.[4] This is actually the case with LV-742 drones who similarly developed sacks of acid on their heads, giving them an ranged attack.
  • Irradiated Spitters first appeared in Aliens: Fireteam Elite's second campaign, being one or the first mission's two possible outcomes with the other being the game spawning multiple Drones instead of Irradiated Spitters.





  1. BradyGames. Aliens: Colonial Marines Official Strategy Guide, p. 39 (2013), Dorling Kindersley.
  2. "Sideshow Collectibles - Alien Spitter". Retrieved on 2014-1-6.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Aliens: Colonial Marines, Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 version, Gearbox Software, 2013.
  4. https://prodosgames.com/sites/prodosgames.com/files/files/avp_unleashed_1_1.pdf