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Aliens: Fireteam Elite is a Multiplayer Third-Person Shooter developed by Cold Iron Studio in collaboration with Disney's 20th Century Games, set in the Alien universe. The story is comprised of four campaigns, each containing three missions. It was released on August 24, 2021 on PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S. At least four 'seasons' of additional content have been released so far, with the first major expansion, Pathogen, released on August 30, 2022.

Approximately twenty-three years after the events of Aliens, Colonial Marines aboard the USS Endeavor receive a distress call from the Katanga, a missing refinery station in orbit over the planet LV-895. After boarding the station, they discover that the station has become the site of a xenomorph outbreak. After extracting the sole survivor, the marines descend to the planet below, hoping to discover and eliminate the source of the outbreak.

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Players are paired with two additional player-controlled characters, or AI controlled combat androids. The player may customize their character's base appearance, as well as create a loadout for a number of classes available. In addition to starting weapons and gear, there are additional consumables, weapons, attachments and cosmetics that can be purchased, unlocked via level progression, or found in hidden caches appearing in each level.


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Tropes appearing in this work include:

  • Abnormal Ammo: The Alphatech 6A Jaipur SMG slings special 'Bagh Nakh' munitions which seperate into four flechettes after leaving the barrel, essentially making the gun into a hybrid of submachinegun and shotgun. What it lacks in precision killing potential and maximum ammo it makes up for in ability to absolutely mulch targets at close range. All of the Alphatech weapons also use dual chemical-magnetic ("monopole") propulsion; they can fire without the monopole system engaged if need be (e.g. due to environmental conditions causing issues), but this limits range and stopping power quite notably according to the weapon descriptions. There's also piezoelectric rounds for almost all weapons, which can shock targets on impact.
  • Absent Aliens: The game notes that, while alien animals are common enough to be relatively unremarkable, humans have never encountered another intelligent species even after surveying 500 worlds, which is why discovering the Engineers is such a big deal.
  • Achievement Mockery: The "I Think They Like Me" achievement, which you earn by being grappled five times in one mission.
  • Action Bomb: The "Burster" xenomorphs violently explode when they die, showering anyone they're near with their acidic blood. Also, the pathogen "Poppers". There's also the Synth Detonators, and, to a lesser degree, most synths have a chance to go critical on death in a rather spectacular fashion, which can cause serious damage to anyone standing too close.
  • Action Girl: The Feminine Archetype.
  • Adaptational Badass: Drones and Warriors (the Alien and Aliens xenomorphs respectively), rather than being standard fodder enemies, are now used as Elite Mooks and King Mook type enemies with sizeable health bars that require concentrated sustained fire to bring down. The standard fodder enemy type is instead the Runner alien (the Alien 3 alien).
  • The Aesthetics of Technology:
    • Colonial Marines (and by extension Armat) technology is boxy, with elements of (relatively) contemporary weaponry such as carry handles, rails, with lots of green plastic and dark gray polymer over the frame. Basically, it all looks (and often is) related to the standard pulse rifle.
    • Kramer weaponry (which has been bought out by Armat) is even chunkier than Armat weapons, but more rounded, taking inspiration from the exaggerated proportions of weapons from the '90s comics. In fact, one of their weapons, the Kramer Assault Rifle, is a surprisingly faithful recreation of one of the weapons from the comics.
    • Weyland-Yutani tech is sleek, white, and rounded, with blue circles, using both the Ascetic Aesthetic and Everything Is an iPod in the Future. Their 'elite' skins add black and/or gold elements.
    • Hyperdyne weaponry is much more angular, with trapezoidal cutouts and flat plastic planes, fitting their simple, 3D-printed origins, and tend to have names in Russian (i.e. the Zvezda (star) Plasma Rifle, and the Medved (bear) break-action shotgun).
    • Alphatech equipment is solid and even more angular, somewhat similar to Hyperdyne weapons. Their offerings (both weapons and attachments) are primarily sandy-beige with grey parts, and are typically quite thin, with tall and narrow profiles from the front and rear. Notably, they do not adhere to the "ATM-(number)" naming scheme or the design aesthetics seen in the Colonial Marines comic series.
  • A.I. Is a Crapshoot: The Pala Station AI Cynthia Rodriguez aka SN/TH/YA sends an army of combat androids to kill the fireteam when they refuse to leave the surface of LV-895. It also attempted to activate "asset zero", which turns out to be an Engineer ship loaded with pathogen and send it to Earth, forcing the Colonial Marines to shut it down in a violent confrontation. Somewhat more horrifyingly, Esther concludes that many of the Pathogen-corrupted humans you encounter during your trip through the Engineer ship were exposed to Pathogen only a short time ago, meaning there were still human survivors up until very recently.
    • Even after Cynthia is taken out, the remaining Wey-Yu synths on the surface and aboard Katanga continue to be a nuisance, fighting any xenos and marines they come across, as they continue to follow their last valid orders.
  • Air-Vent Passageway: The runners, which make up the bulk of the xenomorph force, tend to appear this way. The drones too, who will retreat into the nearest vent after taking damage.
  • Alien Blood: By the bucketload, of course. Be careful not to step in it, it is acidic!
  • All for Nothing: The second campaign, which starts off as a mission to evacuate survivors from the surface of LV-895. There aren't any.
  • And Your Reward Is Clothes: Head accessories and gun decals are sometimes given as rewards for level progression or randomly spawn in hidden caches. One possible item is the classic smartgun eyepiece. You also unlock class-specific black-and-red "Specialist Elite" outfits when you raise a particular class to max rank.
  • Anti-Armor:
    • The Armor-Piercing Rounds Large Magazine attachment increases damage dealt to armoured targets by 25%.
    • The Dual Rail Booster Barrel attachment increases damage inflicted on armored enemies by 5% for 3 seconds per hit, stackable up to 5 times.
  • Arc Villain: The Pala Station AI is this for the second campaign "Giants in the Earth".
  • Artificial Brilliance:
    • Enemy rifle-wielding synths will stay down if you focus on suppressing them, potentially keeping your attention on them whilst their allies return fire. They'll also try to pin you down with suppressing fire so their close combat specialist allies can attempt to close the distance.
    • The Gunner-class synths (Alpha & Beta), who fill in when human teammates are absent, are reasonably intelligent in that they rarely get stuck, are fairly proficient with the use of grenades and aid kits, and will attempt to revive their team should they go down. On the other hand...
  • Artificial Stupidity:
    • On higher difficulties, the synths are no replacement for a human teammate capable of communication. They are restricted to a single loadout, carrying only basic pulse rifles and grenades, and lack access to any skills allies may benefit from, such as "overclock". They are also not smart enough to take advantage when you use your abilities, such as running head-first into a prowler ambush even if it had been illuminated by a recon ability seconds ago, tend to have abysmally poor reaction times even on good days, and often walk directly into your line of fire. And then complain like it was your fault.
    • Most xenomorphs attack in very predictable patterns. Instead of utilizing their wall-crawling and ability to slink through hidden passages to flank and ambush, they tend to just throw themselves at the player's position, hoping their numbers will allow them to break through defenses.
    • Prowlers usually cling to ceilings or walls and otherwise try to position themselves out of sight when preparing to ambush you. Emphasis on usually, because sometimes they'll just crouch down somewhere really obvious where you can spot them from a safe distance away. They tend to hide better in the claustrophobic confines of Katanga and the Hive, and don't fare so well in the wide, winding tunnels of LV-895.
    • Sometimes, the runners will simply rush right by you, or stand by while you revive a fallen ally.
  • Artificial Humans: The USS Endeavor has Esther, who serves as the companion unit to the ship's MU/TH/UR mainframe-based AI, as well as eighteen combat androids including "Alpha" and "Beta" (your artificial teammates in solo play). There are also the Seegson "Working Joes", plus Wey-Yu's own synthetics.
  • Artificial Limbs: Ko, The Endeavour's dropship pilot, has a prosthetic leg.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: Several weapons become this on higher difficulties.
    • Sniper Rifles in general. While their damage is very high, their low rate of fire and the high zoom of most large scopes make them highly impractical to use against most of the forces fought in the games, who are made up of numerous quick enemies. They fare much better against specialist xenomorphs and Wey-Yu synths. Possibly the biggest example is the Wey-Yu L33 Pike, a single-shot anti-materiel rifle.
    • While the Smartgun has its iconic auto-targeting feature, the version in Fireteam Elite focuses on accuracy and stability over firepower. Whilst it can shred hordes of Runners, has the most generous ammo capacity of any Heavy weapon, and has bucketloads of reserve ammo, you will burn through that ammo fast trying to use it against heavier opponents like Drones.
    • While undeniably cool, the N79 EVA Laser is not the most practical choice for a handgun. Though it never runs out of ammo and hits very hard for a pistol, it overheats after just a few seconds of sustained fire, forcing you to let it cool down while preventing you from switching weapons or using abilities. It also has a unique battery instead of a magazine, giving it only two mod slots instead of the standard three.
    • Unsurprisingly, flamers are a bit lackluster against Wey-Yu's synths. They're great against massed xeno swarms, but the range is a serious limitation when you're trying to deal with rifle-toting synths and wardens, nevermind that synths tend to be somewhat fire-resistant.
    • Rocket and grenade launchers. You'd think the big three-shot rocket launcher would be great against big critters - but no, it's really only good against tightly-packed swarms of Runners. The damage is too low for them to be useful against the elite mooks and minibosses, and the low area effect makes them hard to use effectively.
      • Justified in that most if not all of them were designed for use aboard ships and stations in space so they emphasize antipersonnel damage while minimizing structural damage that might result in a breach. Which means they're not that great against the armor of more powerful Xenos.
  • Bad Boss: Weyland-Yutani, as usual. Overlaps with Stupid Evil.
  • BFG: The heavy weapons available to the Demolisher and Lancer classes all qualify, as they all weigh so much that marines require the iconic Smartgun's Steadicam-style armature to lift them (and handle their recoil). A few of the rifles, like the Twilight and Pike, are gigantic too.
  • "Blind Idiot" Translation: Attempts to translate the Engineer language tend to fall into this, not helped by missing context. One notable example is in Chapter 3, where Esther sounds puzzled by something described as a "basket of the heavenly traveller". It is, of course, a hangar for an Eldritch Starship.
  • Body Armor as Hit Points: Armor functions as a seperate health bar for the enemy types that have it. It typically comprises about 1/2th the enemy's total durability.
  • Body Horror: Any living creature that is exposed to the pathogen, if it doesn't just kill them outright. Those that survive are made stronger, faster, and absolutely murderously psychotic.
  • Book Ends: The first and last level end with an Elevator Escape.
  • Bottomless Magazines: The Lancer's Onslaught ability gives them this for as long as it lasts, automatically feeding ammo into their weapon from reserves after every single shot. If you have enough ammo, it's entirely possible to just hold down the trigger with something like the Smartgun and let it rip through swarms. Good thing you don't have to worry about your guns overheating!
    • The Quickloader and Auto-loader magazine attachments also allow partial automatic reloading; 10% of the magazine on kill for the former, and 50% chance per kill for 15% of the magazine for the latter. In both cases the numbers round up for weapons with small magazines, so if you're lucky something like the Misha Sawed-Off Shotgun can fire far more than just two rounds before needing to be reloaded.
  • Ceiling Cling: Xenomorph runners and prowlers do this a lot, alongside Wall Crawling.
  • Challenge Run: A core game feature, in the form of Challenge Cards. Each player can choose one at the start of a mission if they wish, and one of the cards is then picked at random. The Cards typically incur an additional challenge or risk (such as "get 50 headshot kills" or "weapons take twice as long to reload") in exchange for increasing rewards at the end of the mission, though a rare few simply offer increased rewards with no challenge, or some kind of buff with no other rewards.
  • Character Class System: There are four classes initially available to players, with a fifth unlocking after completing every campaign mission. The game developers have also said they intend to release additional classes on a regular basis. Each comes with two different weapon slots and unique set of abilities.
    • Gunner: The Gunner is a basic but versatile class with access to rifles and a CQW. They are solid damage dealers with some utility to the team, with their abilities "Frag Grenade" and "Overclock", which deal substantial area damage and increase weapon rate of fire respectively. Their passive ability grants them a stacking damage bonus for every hit, up to a maximum of +20%, whilst higher-tier upgrades allow them to apply a Damage-Increasing Debuff. They might not have a lot of flashy toys compared to the other classes, but don't underestimate them.
    • Demolisher: The Demolisher's kit is built around dealing as much damage as possible. They come armed with a rifle and a heavy weapon (smartgun, flamethrower etc.). Their abilities are the shoulder-mounted "Micro Rockets" and "Blastwave", and their passive causes their damage output to increase when they use make use of them. At higher ranks, they can modify their rockets with incendiary or concussive warheads for increased area denial/crowd control potential.
    • Technician: The Technician specializes in controlling the battle and setting up defensible positions with a Sentry Gun and area-denying "Charge Coils". Their passive ability increases the turret's performance while you stand near it, and they have other perks that improve synergy when attacking the same target as their turret. They can also swap the turret out for a flame or sniper turret after reaching a certain level, or particle beam turret after completing the Pathogen campaign. For their weapons, they are equipped with handguns and a CQW.
    • Doc: Docs specialize in healing and buffing their fireteam. They come equipped with a portable "Trauma Station" that heals nearby allies, and "Combat Stims" that increase the party's combat effectiveness for a short time. Their passive ability allows allies to recharge their own abilities more quickly, and refill their trauma station by picking up aid kits. For weapons, they are limited to handguns and rifles.
    • Recon: The Recon is unlocked after completing the core four campaigns, and is a support class that reveals enemy positions with "PUPS" and allows the party to survive longer between checkpoints with a "Supply Drone" that drops ammunition and restores small portions of health. Their passive encourages ranged combat, granting a damage bonus after scoring headshots, though they come equipped with a CQW in addition to a rifle.
    • Phalanx: the first class added to the game post-release, the Phalanx is a marine equipped with a riot shield, a handcannon, and close-combat weapon. The "Shield Up" ability deploys this shield, blocking incoming projectiles and most melee attacks (but not grabs or grapples) at the cost of movement speed. Their other ability, "Shock Pulse" stuns nearby enemies and punishes them for melee attacks. The weapons available to them are handguns and a CQW.
    • Lancer: Added in Season 3, Lancers are a powerful defensive class. They wear armor equipped with a Particle Lance in the shoulders, letting them fire a linear blast that will obliterate almost anything it hits, potentially clearing out an entire corridor. Their second ability, "Onslaught," immediately reloads their weapon and keeps it loaded for the duration, increasing damage output and damage resistance while slowing movement speed and fire rate. Their passive, "Overwatch," increases damage up to 15% if they are not moving or stay in cover. They equip a CQW and a heavy weapon. Unlocked abilities as the class levels up make them even better damage sponges.
  • Charged Attack: The P.649 High Energy Laser newly released in the Season 4 update has a Hold type that increases the damage done by the laser pulse, at the cost of increased ammo consumption. The EDS-93 Zadak Plasma Discharger also has a Hold type that tightens the plasma "shot" groupings to increase its range.
  • Color-Coded for Your Convenience: The motion tracker identifies enemy threat-levels and assigns them different colored dots on your HUD display.
  • Combat Resuscitation: If your health drops to zero, you are knocked down and only able to crawl until an ally revives you. Oh, and there is a limited number of times they can revive you and they have to get to you before you bleed out. If all three members of your team go down, it's game over man, game over.
    • Docs have 2 unlockable perks (one universal, one exclusive) that let you do it in half the time and then gives a +50 percent boost to the health recovered; both extend the Bleedout by 25 percent, giving you more time to revive teammates.
    • Docs can also unlock the universal perk Surgeon's Hands that prevents them from being interrupted by an enemy attack whether they're reviving teammates or trying to activate a mission objective.
  • Continuity Nod: The game contains lots of nods to the films, comics, and previous games in the franchise.
    • The presence of the pathogen (the black Mutagenic Goo), first found in Prometheus aboard the Engineer ship. It does what it did to Fifield to all the people living on LV-895, along with a lot of the wildlife too.
    • Several xenomorph variants originally found in Aliens: Colonial Marines. Some, like the "Boilers", "Spitters" and "Lurkers" have been renamed and given some redesigns, but still serve the same functions. The "Crusher" morph also returns in all its bulletproof glory.
    • Xenomorph drones retain some of their traits from Alien: Isolation, such as highly audibly footsteps, ducking into vents when they take damage, and screeches to announce zeroing in on their prey.
    • The Katanga space station was owned by Seegson, the same company that owned Sevastopol. As such, the "Working Joe" androids reappear. They're little more than set decoration and Paranoia Fuel for the first few levels (they register as actual enemies when aimed at, for instance), but in later missions they are actual axe-wielding enemies who tend to attack en masse.
    • If the Recon class is selected, the player character comes equipped with a PUPS; one of the scanning drones first featured in Prometheus.
    • The events of Alien: The Roleplaying Game are treated as canon by the game, with the Frontier War campaign detailed in the Colonial Marines Operations Manual being an important part of the backstory, and characters like General Vaughn are namechecked. Between the time RPG is set and the timeframe of Fireteam, greater knowledge about both the Xenomorphs and corporate malfeasance related to same has come to light, resulting in the Colonial Marines of Fireteam having the authorization — and firepower — to deal with out of control Company secret projects.
  • Diegetic Interface: A very minor example that's really more of an easter egg, but most Armat-made weapons have 7-segment display ammo counters (like the original Pulse Rifle's, as seen here in red) somewhere on the frame, which is fully accurate to the weapon's current capacity (including modifications and increases from skills/perks) unless you're in the preview menus. It's hard to see, but it's there, and it's the only way to see how much ammo you have in your gun if you have the Disabled HUD challenge card active.
  • Difficulty Levels: There are five of them. Technically six if you count the new Hardcore mode. In addition to numerical changes, there is the following:
    • Casual: Infinite revives.
    • Standard: Can only revive four times.
    • Intense: Starting at this difficulty, enemies are not highlighted when aiming down sights, inflict light damage to teammates, and reduced max ammunition. Synthetic teammates are no longer recommended.
    • Extreme: Fewer first-aid kits and ammo further reduced.
    • Insane: Some enemies now have instantly-lethal grapples. Also, teammates may only be revived once.
  • Dual Boss: On Intense difficulty and higher, the game will throw a pair of Warriors or Crushers at you at the end of certain levels, e.g. 2-2 and 3-1. This can easily end your run unless you have a full party of max-level min-maxed characters. And if you're playing solo, you can pretty much write off your computer controlled teammates, who will die in seconds. The holdout modes like Restock Turrets are pretty feisty with this as well, where the game will throw very exciting combinations of Warriors, Crushers, and Praetorians your way for certain waves. Fortunately you have the invincible auto-turrets as extra backup, if they're loaded.
  • Elite Mooks: The xenomorphs have several, and so do the Weyland-Yutani synths.
    • Bursters: they have low health but spray acid everywhere upon being killed. They tend to appear in groups of three or four at a time, to keep things exciting.
    • Spitters: a breed of xenos that take cover and launch globs of acid at players from a distance. Also their Pathogenized variant, Blights.
    • Prowlers: quadrupedal xenos who lay in wait and jump on players the first chance they get, usually from around blind corners. They have comparatively low health, but are still a pain to deal with.
    • Drones: the "classic", bipedal form of the xenomorph. They will duck in and out of air ducts and narrow cave passages to ambush you, retreating when they take too much damage before coming back from another angle.
    • Synth Warden: an armored synthetic. A bit tougher than regular synth guards and troopers, but not hugely so. Mostly notable in that they use grenades.
    • Synth Detonator: a kamikaze synth unit, identifiable by their headless bodies. They explode when they get close.
    • Containment Synth: A Seegson Working Joe carrying a riot shield and melee weapon. Whilst fairly slow, they can be a serious nuisance.
  • Emergency Weapon: Each player character has a small sidearm designed with this in mind. It holds ten rounds, does terrible damage compared to other sidearm-class weapons in this game... but it also has unlimited reserve ammo and virtually no recoil. It's useful for taking out Wey-Yu landmines or popping the alien eggs in later missions without expending main weapon ammo or using abilities, if nothing else.
    • The Demolisher kit has access to the Sidearm Expertise and Sidearm Mastery Universal Perks which increases the damage by 20% and autoreloads whenever you reload your other weapons, then increases the Firing Rate by 25% and makes switching to the sidearm near-instantaneous.
    • The Speak Loud, Carry A Small Stick challenge card increases sidearm damage by 200% which stacks with the Demolisher Sidearm Perks.
  • Enemy-Detecting Radar: The motion tracker returns, this time integrated into the player's HUD.
  • Energy Weapon: 6 usable by players in the game so far.
    • The N79 EVA Laser (a handgun classified as a Hand Cannon) made by Weyland-Yutani. Is the only weapon in the game at the moment with unlimited fire, but the trade off is the lack of a Magazine slot for attachments and the tendency to overheat if fired too much in a short time, shutting down temporarily to vent.
    • The EVI-87 Zvezda Plasma Rifle made by Hyperdyne. A rapid fire Auto Rifle said to be a breakthrough in plasma technology compared to the UA and 3WE, whose own plasma technology are still limited to large and bulky anti-armor weapons such as the Boyars PARS 150 phased plasma cannons mounted on the M577 APC or the man portable but still bulky M78 PIG.
    • One of the Lancer's abilities is the Particle Lance which in its default configuration fires a bolt of charged particles that cuts through enemies but is stopped by hard obstacles and structures.
    • The Season 4 update includes the P.649 High Energy Laser, a Heavy weapon also made by Weyland-Yutani that fires single laser pulses but can be charged by holding down the trigger to unleash a stronger pulse.
    • The Pathogen Campaign includes the Hyperdyne EDS-93 Zadak Plasma Discharger, essentially a plasma shotgun. Shots can be charged up to narrow the firing cone and increase its ranged power, or it can be fired rapidly with a wider spread.
    • The Technician gains access to the Particle Turret, which fires a charged bolt similar to the Particle Lance.
  • Escort Mission: The final mission of the first campaign involves keeping Wey-Yu scientist Tim Hoenikker alive and getting him off Katanga. He has a gun and a generous health pool, so keeping him alive isn't too difficult on standard difficulty.
  • Fire, Ice, Lightning: All three can be utilized in the forms of ammunition, mods, or other consumables. Fire and ice work well against xenomorphs, shock works better against synths. There is no ammunition for ice, but there is a consumable called a "cryo-grid", which slows down anything that enters its radius.
  • Firing One-Handed: The Phalanx, when using Close-Quarters Weapons with their shield deployed, will somehow manage to fire a full-size pump action shotgun without breaking their wrist and can even pull off a One-Handed Shotgun Pump, presumably by bracing it against the shield.
  • Foreshadowing: LV-895 is mentioned as having several forms of native life, including large felines with chameleonic fur, but they're never seen during gameplay. At least until the late game, at which point you encounter Pathogen-enhanced versions which have increased speed, enhanced strength, and improved chameleonic capabilities.
    • Hoenikker makes a point of mentioning that they created Monica on purpose, down in the labs. It turns out the reason she behaves like a Drone but is more powerful is because she was subjected to the Pathogen.
  • Friendly Fireproof: Averted on higher difficulties. Especially dangerous with the lack of a crouch mechanic. Expect to hear the synth teammates complain about it when they inevitably sprint right in front of you for the fourth time that mission.
  • Gameplay Ally Immortality: Averted. The androids Alpha and Beta can be knocked down and have a limited number of times that they can be revived, just like player characters. If given the opportunity they can 'heal' themselves without aid kits though.
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation: Getting facehugged leads to your character getting downed, but if teammates are nearby, they can revive you. Out of gameplay, this would be a death sentence. Colonial Marines establishes that, even if a chestburster is removed safely, it still causes cancerous tumors to grow through the subject's internal organs.
  • Gatling Good; The sole example in the game is the L59 Minigun (a Heavy weapon) made by Weyland-Yutani. The casing assembly which enables the use of a Large Muzzle makes it resemble the old Maxim or Vickers machine guns, but the multiple barrels are visible and shown to spin during use.
  • Glass Cannon: The Pathogen "Poppers". They go down in one hit from most weapons, but pack quite a punch if they get close.
  • Hand Cannon: The term is used in-game to classify handguns that emphasize damage and stopping power over rate of fire and ammunition capacity.
  • Improbable Aiming Skills: The lore entry for the L33 Pike anti-materiel rifle includes quite possibly one of the most ridiculous examples of this, with a sharpshooter making a shot from Earth orbit into Mars orbit - it supposedly took two years to connect with its target.
  • Improvised Weapon: Some of the firearms in the game are manufactured refinements of such.
    • The Hyperdyne Rapid Responder, a fully automatic Riot Gun. Started off as a disposable zip gun designed by orbital maintenance workers using plumbing pipes and flare gun parts firing custom made shells loaded with whatever materials were available to use as shots (the description specifically calling out office staples as a payload in one notable uprising). Hyperdyne's refinement is much more durable and is configured for 12-gauge shells.
    • The OCAP-91 Volcan Heavy Flamethrower. Also made by Hyperdyne, it was originally a crowd-sourced pesticide sprayer that was turned into a flamethrower to combat Alien Kudzu that spread explosively after exposure to human agriculture including fertilizer and turned out resistant to standard defoliants. Hyperdyne licensed the design and refined it to address the lack of incinerators in the Union of Progressive Peoples military (they were previously seen as a tool of capitalist/corporate oppression).
    • Weyland-Yutani's P.649 High Energy Laser is a militarized adaptation of existing mining pulse beams.
    • The iconic underslung grenade launcher that had been removed from the M41 Pulse Rifle has come back as the U1A2 GL Conversion, a Hand Cannon. Its initial removal was attributed to insufficient recoil suppression systems causing misfires in the Pulse Rifles, but resulted in a supply of the launchers and ammunition sitting around. They were eventually kitbashed into separate firearms much more portable than the Heavy M94 and M95 grenade launchers although with less range and power.
  • Incredibly Durable Enemies: Anything tougher than a fodder enemy can take an astonishing amount of gunfire to bring down; anywhere from a few dozen rounds for even the most common Elite Mooks like Prowlers, Spitters, Bursters, or Synth Wardens, up to a couple hundred rounds for tougher King Mook enemies like Warriors or Synth Heavies. Attack Its Weak Point is almost mandatory to kill anything, and even then it takes a lot of firepower (an alien Drone can take several dozen rounds to the head before dropping) or the use of heavier weapons.
  • Interface Screw: Some challenge cards impose this, such as disabling parts (if not all) of your HUD or artificially reducing the resolution by hyper-pixelating everything.
  • It's Personal: Hoenikker implies that one particularly large and aggressive xenomorph, dubbed "Monica", has a personal grudge against him. You have to kill her in order to get to Hoenikker in the second level of the "Priority One" campaign.note 
  • Jump Scare: Prowler xenomorphs love to hide where you can't see them, then pounce as soon as you're in view. Even if you know they're there, it can still be come as a shock. An individual Runner will sometimes wait patiently behind a door you're about to open just so it can pull this on you, complete with Scare Chord. Less scary since Runners appear on the motion tracker though.
  • Kill It with Fire: Fire is highly effective against xenomorphs and pathogen critters. Flamethrowers, phosphorus pop-up mines, incendiary ammo, and incendiary turrets are good options if you know you'll be fighting them. They're much less effective against Wey-Yu synths though.
  • King Mook: There are a few.
    • Xenomorph Warriors: they resemble a large drone, but have an even larger health pool and an armored shell. Also, unlike drones, they do not retreat after taking too much damage, giving you no reprieve from their attacks.
    • Irradiated Spitters: a variant of the spitter that shows up randomly in the second campaign as well as the Restock Turrets game mode. In addition to a slightly larger health pool, it also spits three globs of acid instead of just one.
    • Crushers: though appearing like an over-sized prowler, they function more like a Bull Fight Boss, charging players and deflecting bullets with their large, armoured crest.
    • Praetorians: very large, bipedal xenos found only in the final three campaign missions. They are extremely heavily armored, requiring you to hit their weak points, or rely on fire and explosives to do damage.
    • Synth Heavies: Heavily armored synthetics that carry either smartguns or flamethrowers. They implacably march towards you, firing all the while.
    • Synth Sniper: an armored synthetic with a highly damaging sniper rifle and smoke grenades. Very dangerous to ignore.
    • Stalkers: A pathogen-mutated form of life indigenous to LV-895. They can cloak to get close, then pounce on you, dealing significant damage.
    • Monica, a named Drone with a unique coloration, serves as a Recurring Boss for the second mission in the first campaign. She's been augmented with experimental injections of pathogen/black goo by Weyland-Yutani, which lets her take a lot more damage than regular Drones.
    • Pathogen Brutes, hulking monsters with hardened forelimbs that seem to serve a similar purpose and fighting style to Warriors and Praetorians.
  • Lighter and Softer: This is one of the few Alien media that doesn't graphically depict chest-bursting at all. In addition, Bloodless Carnage for the human characters is played straight until the fourth and final chapter of the original campaign, where players discover deceased Marines and have to recover their dogtags, and the game's ending is hopeful despite the Sequel Hook of an upcoming conflict over control of LV-895.
  • Limited Loadout: Characters are only allowed to carry two weapons, the type of which is determined by their class. The options in the pool are rifles, heavy weapons, CQW, and handguns. There is also a sidearm pistol that every class has access to; it has unlimited ammo, but doesn't do much damage either.
  • Luckily, My Shield Will Protect Me: The Phalanx class uses a collapsible shield, and it can stop almost anything short of pounce/grapple attacks from Prowlers and the bigger Xenomorphs. It makes the Phalanx very good at drawing the fire of Wey-Yu synths away from teammates. Containment Synths use them as well, but they (thankfully) don't offer magical bulletproof protection; the eye-slit can still be shot through to hit them in the head.
  • Machine Blood: Expect to see bucketloads of that lovely liquid latex, courtesy of Wey-Yu synths. It's pretty spectacular when they explode.
  • Macross Missile Massacre: Courtesy of a marine gunship to prevent xenomorphs from pursuing the fireteam across a bridge. The Demolisher's Incendiary Rockets alt-skill also significantly increases the number of projectiles in their volley, turning it from instant damage into area denial.
  • Made of Plasticine: There's not much (if any) human gore, but expect to see the synths get absolutely shredded. Their heads will asplode from precision shooting, and if they go into their critical failure state then their midsection will evaporate in a rapidly expanding cloud of white goo, leaving their lower half to flop to the ground whilst their upper torso flies several feet into the air. Bits of xenomorphs can also get blown off (usually those distinctive head crests) but it's not nearly as gratuitous.
  • Mêlée à Trois: At least twice, the players' fireteam will be fighting both xenomorphs and Weyland-Yutani synthetics at the same time, while they are also fighting each other. And in the Pathogen campaign, the Xenomorphs will fight with their Pathogen-infested kin, which can be exploited in a couple of encounters.
  • Mighty Glacier: Synth Heavies are incredibly slow, with all their armor limiting them to a steady walk, but they can withstand an incredible amount of firepower before going down (requiring a few hundreds rounds to bring down if you don't aim for the head, and over a hundred rounds even if you do), and are armed with either flamethrowers or a smartgun combined with shoulder-mounted rocket launchers.
  • Mirror Match: Synth Heavies versus Marine Demolishers. They have the same basic toolkits; smartguns and shoulder-fired rockets.
  • Mission Control: Staff Sergeant Herrera and the android Esther share this role.
  • Mythology Gag: The Thunderbolt Mk. 2 Autocannon's description mentions one of the factions currently using the weapon being Mondo Brand Professional Extermination Services, referring to One-Man Army bug hunter Herk Mondo from the Dark Horse Comics series.
  • Nerf: The pulse rifle in Fireteam Elite holds less ammo than the rifle from the original film, and lacks the under-barrel grenade launcher. Apparently, it's a new model that prioritizes weapon stability. To be fair it's still a very capable weapon in the right hands, and underbarrel weapons are possibly in the works.
  • New Meat: The Player Character is indicated to be this based on Santos' comments about boot camp and the PC being a "baby" during the Frontier War in 2184 (which was roughly eighteen years before the start of the game,) making the Player Character in their early-to-mid-twenties at the most.
  • No Fair Cheating: Since the Season 2 Update (December 2021), playing with mods will disable matchmaking for multiplayer modes. You can still play with friends by manually joining, but you can't inflict your mods on strangers (which is fairly reasonable, as mods can either completely break the game or give access to potentially-buggy Dummied Out or otherwise unfinished content which could potentially crash the game and/or corrupt save data for everyone involved).
  • Normal Fish in a Tiny Pond: Fireteam Elite really shows the disparity between civilians armed with civilian weapons, like Amanda Ripley and the other playable characters in Alien: Isolation, and Marines armed with military-grade weaponry. You'll mow through Working Joes by the hundreds (while in Isolation a single Joe could easily wreck you if you weren't careful), and the Drones, while much tougher than they were in older Aliens games, can still be brought down with enough firepower while in Isolation the Alien was effectively invincible.
  • One Bullet Clips: Ammo still in the mag is not discarded on reloading, unless using the Mindful Capacity challenge card. Even without that card, however, a few weapon mods grant faster reloading on an empty magazine, effectively rewarding players who don't compulsively reload.
  • Out of the Frying Pan: The campaign so far is basically one big string of jumping from one frying pan to the next. You find and rescue Hoenikker, but then you have to go down to the surface. Once there, you find the station AI has gone rogue due to conflicts between the Three Laws and corporate directives. Then it's a race against time to ground the Engineer spaceship full of Pathogen before it can take off and head to Earth. And when you finally stop that? You have to go back into Katanga to torch the Hive. Done with that? Great, it's back down to the surface to investigate unusual Xenomorph movements, and it turns out some of them - including a Queen - have been chugging Pathogen when nobody's been looking. Oh, and there's a good chance that Weyland-Yutani and Hyperdyne have rapid-response teams on the way and due to arrive in a few days too...
  • Play Every Day: There's a rotating selection of two daily challenges and one weekly challenge. Completing them awards a nice chunk of requisition credits so you can unlock stuff faster, and also rewards a random attachment, consumable, or challenge card.
  • Press X to Not Die: Unlike its inspiration, you can break free by yourself (aside from having an ally help you) if "elite" class xenomorphs managed to stun you by pressing the indicated buttons. Those "elite" class xenomorphs are: Prowlers, Facehuggers, Warriors, and Praetorians. Then there's also Stalkers for the pathogen mutants. You can't break free of Drone attacks, though they only swipe at you a few times before running off.
  • Purely Aesthetic Gender: The player may choose their character's gender, and then change it again at any time. You can also pick from one of six voice sets, and aren't forced to use the masculine voice sets with the feminine body type or vice-versa.
  • Random Event: Most missions have some minor randomization of elements to keep things from getting too samey given the small pool of missions. One room in the Giants campaign, for instance, has been fortified by Wey-Yu's synths and can either be full of hostile mines or sentries, whilst one of the missions itself can be full of radioactive barrels which means all the Xenomorph Spitters are replaced with beefed-up Irradiated Spitters.
  • Reliably Unreliable Guns: Completely averted, unless you're using the By the Lowest Bidder challenge card - in which case expect frequent jams which must be cleared by reloading. It does give you a significant requisition credit bonus and an extra random attachment as compensation, at least.
  • Sawed-Off Shotgun: While Fireteam Elite doesn't have any shotguns that are actually sawed off, it has Riot Guns which are miniaturized to Handgun size. The closest example to an actual sawed-off shotgun is the DKT-59 Misha, which is essentially a heavily modified compact version of the DT-57 Medved double-barrel shotgun.
  • Scare Chord: Sometimes, when you need to open a door to progress, either cutting, hacking, or just getting close enough, a Runner will be waiting right on the other side to rear up at you in preparation for an attack. When this happens, the music decides to help the xenomorph in its job of making you soil yourself.
  • Scenery Gorn: During the fourth chapter, you travel through the xeno-infested tower in your mission to destroy the Hive. Whilst it looks similar to the tower you've been through already in the other missions, in this case it's full of hive resin and xenos. The Core in particular is quite a sight.
  • Scenery Porn: Thankfully, planetside missions down on LV-895 have some absolutely fantastic views as well.
  • Sentry Gun: As a Technician, you come equipped with one to deploy and pick back up as you please. There are also consumable ones you can equip regardless of class, though these are not reusable and might even be destroyed if you're not careful where you place them. The first mission of the final campaign also involves restocking a number of sentry gun checkpoints to cover Blue Fireteam's exfil route, whilst the wave defense Restock Turrets mode sees periodic ammo drops being used to restock a set of invincible turrets to give you extra breathing room. You'll also need to contend with hostile Wey-Yu auto-turrets in the second leg of the base campaign.
  • Shield Bash: The Phalanx class has one as their melee attack when their riot shield is deployed.
  • Shock and Awe: And as a counterpoint to Kill It with Fire above, electrical shock effects such as shock mines and shock grids are markedly more effective against synthetics than they are against xenos.
  • Short-Range Shotgun: Averted for the most part, especially when aimed to tighten the shot groupings. Certain Muzzles and Optics will increase the Effective Range of shotguns. The EDS-93 Zadak Plasma Discharger has a Charged Attack which tightens the shot grouping even more, increasing its range further. Played straight(er) with the Riot Guns.
  • Shoulder Cannon: The Demolisher class comes equipped with one that fires rockets, either explosive, concussive, or incendiary. The Lancer gets beam shoulder-cannons which fire a precise enemy-piercing energy blast, but can be altered to fire a wide-dispersal cone or a point-blank wave.
  • Shout-Out:
    • Hyperdyne Systems is a company that makes plasma guns, and synths. All they need now is a well-known product like Skynet.
    • Another Terminator shout-out is one of the challenge cards, which releases an extremely tough Synth in pursuit of the fireteam as an Advancing Boss of Doom, having the name "Won't Stop Until You're Dead".
  • Shown Their Work: A number of relatively obscure weapons (and weapons with similar names) from the Aliens universe return in this game, such as the Kramer Assault Rifle - which originally appeared in one of the comics - and the M42, which looks considerably less like a WA2000 here. Amusingly, the M39 submachine gun shares its name with a weapon from the much-maligned Aliens: Colonial Marines, but has a completely different appearance.
  • Starter Gear Staying Power: Though Fireteam Elite has RPG elements, all of your starting gear (such as the iconic M41 Pulse Rifle) is entirely viable in most content with the right setups and good aim, and you'll never find weapons that are strictly superior to all others in their group - though there are some definite subpar choices in each group.
  • Status Effects: Though ostensibly a fairly straightforward third-person shooter, Fireteam Elite has plenty of status effects as well, the most useful ones being Stun, Slow, and Stagger/Stumble. Enemies can also be set on Fire, of course, and Electrified. The Demolisher (and, to a lesser degree, Lancer) are pretty good at dishing out all of these with their abilities, between various weapon modifications having a chance to apply them on hit to their general abilities being able to stun or ignite enemies.
  • Stealth Pun: The third campaign is called "The Gift of Fire". In Greek Mythology, the gift of fire is what the Titan Prometheus gave to humanity.
  • Sticky Bomb: An optional upgrade for Gunners at higher ranks turns their basic frag grenade into a remote-detonated stickybomb which is much more versatile than the basic grenade. The Tech's Charge Coils will also stick to things they hit, so you can place them on walls or on the ceiling.
  • Sting: Aside from Scare Chords as mentioned above, many of the 'special' enemies also have musical stings associated with their spawning and death, as added cues to let players know when one has appeared (on top of Mission Control calling it out) and when it's dead.
  • Suspicious Videogame Generosity: Found an ammo crate, a set of aid kits, and a crate or two of deployables? You're about to have a holdout sequence. No ifs, ands, or buts.
  • Unnecessary Combat Roll: Marines (and the synthetic teammates) can perform combat rolls without much difficulty, even when lugging around two weapons and however much other back gear like the Tech's turret or Recon's bulky drone dispenser. It's quite useful though, as rolling renders you immune to acid puddles on the floor and diving off to one side is a great way to get away from a xenomorph that's about to hit you with one of their nasty grab or pounce attacks. You can only manage three combat rolls in quick succession though as there's a simple stamina system to prevent spamming them, and you can't use abilities or perform other actions whilst mid-roll. If a Doc's Combat Stim ability is active with the Super Serum mod attached however rolling will not stop stamina regeneration like it normally does, thus allowing you to slightly get away with it for the duration.
  • Video Game Flamethrowers Suck: Zig-zagged. There are three flamethrowers available (one heavy and two CQ weapons), and all are decent options in terms of damage, but have very short range. However, playing on higher difficulties, where friendly-fire is enabled, they can quickly become a liability unless the team has its act together. There are also 'fireball'-type flamethrowers, which lob globs of flaming fuel rather than projecting a constant stream.
  • Warm-Up Boss: "Monica", the grey-striped xenomorph aboard Katanga. She is fought halfway through the first campaign, preparing players for more dangerous foes such as xenomorph Warriors and Crushers fought later on.
  • Transhuman Abomination: The people that Weyland-Yutani exposed to the pathogen.
  • Wham Episode: The third campaign, "The Gift of Fire". Weyland-Yutani wasn't just experimenting with breeding xenomorphs. They found something even worse on LV-895: an Engineer ship, with a cargo hold full of "pathogen". You know, that black goo from Prometheus? The one that disintegrates or horribly mutates anyone who touches it? And it's primed to launch straight for Earth.

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