"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 Xenomorph caste that was encountered by Colonial Marines from the USS Sephora on Acheron (LV-426). As its name implies, it attacks by spitting large quantities of acid at enemies, typically from some distance away.

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.


Spitters were first encountered by the USCM Private J. Ma, who was also 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.[2] Spitters also possess large axe-like tails more commonly seen on Praetorians, but they prefer to use their acid spitting ability in combat instead.

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.[2] 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.[2]


The name "Spitter" comes from the caste's specialization in ranged attacks.[3]

Spitter Multiplayer Loadouts

Primary Attacks

  • Spit- Default
  • Acid Rebound- Unlocked on Rank 18
  • Acid Spray- Unlocked on Rank 15
  • Acid Trap- Unlocked on Rank 6

Secondary Attacks

  • Quick Strike- Default
  • Heavy Strike- Unlocked on Rank 14
  • Flurry- Unlocked on Rank 2
  • Acid Strike- Unlocked on Rank 8


  • Dodge- Default
  • Escape- Unlocked on Rank 17
  • Molt- Unlocked on Rank 11
  • Adrenaline Rush- Unlocked on Rank 5


  • Standard- Default

Description: Normal Carapace with no bonuses.

  • Heavy Chitin- Unlocked on Rank 13
  • Hollow Exoskeleton- Unlocked on Rank 7
  • Restoration- Unlocked on Rank 19


  • No Mutation- Default
  • Rupture- Unlocked on Rank 18
  • Quick Climbing- Unlocked on Rank 3
  • Heightened Senses- Unlocked on Rank 9
  • Smoke Screen- Unlocked on Rank 15


  • Acid Rain- Default
  • HeartBurn- Unlocked on Rank 6
  • Chopped Down- Unlocked on Rank 12
  • Mouth to Mouth- Unlocked on Rank 20 


  • 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 advertisements, multiple class abilities have been shown, including a smoke screen possibly caused by spores released from the Spitter's body that will blind and disorient enemies.
  • 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.
  • One of the multiplayer class abilities of the Spitter allows it to explode when critically damaged, showering nearby enemies in acid like the Boiler.
  • Unlike other xenomorph castes, Spitters seem to lack elongated canine teeth - visually supporting their role as ranged fighters. This trait also separates Spitters from the visually similar Praetorian caste.
  • It's worth noting that a Spitter Xenomorph is never encountered off the planet of LV-426, possibly indicating enhancement at the Origin Facility.




  1. BradyGames. Aliens: Colonial Marines Official Strategy Guide, p. 39 (2013), Dorling Kindersley.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Aliens: Colonial Marines (2013), Gearbox Software, SEGA [Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360].
  3. "Sideshow Collectibles - Alien Spitter". Retrieved on 2014-1-6.
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