XCom video game - Seekers concept art excerpt

Generic Seekers

(XCom alien robots)


“Seekers” are a specialized type of alien combat robot, featured in the 2012 XCom video game.

Unless you’re well acquainted with this setting, we suggest reading our XCom Project article first.


Powers & Abilities

Seekers are a sort of lifelike alien giant octopus robot. They “swim” silently in the air.

Their tentacles are powerful. Only the most extraordinarily strong persons have a chance to break their deadly hold.

Seekers can emit a large cloud of fine mist that soon covers the battlefield. In this mist, their skin acquires extraordinary camouflage properties, making them essentially invisible. The mist will only remain active for half a minute, but this is usually enough for the Seekers to work.

They also carry a built-in plasma pistol.

Tactical considerations

Seekers usually release their mist right away then glide toward the most isolated opponent. They then appear from nowhere and strangle that person to death.

Seekers usually operate in pairs, but will pick separate targets.

In practice, they’ll tend to go for support and command personnel. This is presumably their whole point, and human soldiers have called them “Seekers” due to this hunter-killer behaviour.



A trained and ready force can deal with seekers. The XCom immediate action drill upon contact with Seekers eventually became:

  1. Immediately break contact, carefully but quickly fall back.
  2. Form up quickly. At this stage the squad’s marksperson is probably the most isolated, hanging back from the squad. This makes them a good target for seekers. The marksperson is to run to the rest of the team, then transition to their handgun.
  3. Seize the occasion to reload to top up, with a maximum of one person not being ready to fire at any given instant. This is done by stating “reloading one” and “loaded one”. Increase the number if you’re the second, third, etc. to reload.
  4. All other keep weapons at the ready, with a distance of about 2 metres between operators. The squad remains as grouped as cover will allow. The point person stays on overwatch.
  5. Meanwhile the mist is dispersing. Denied a convenient isolated target, the seeker(s) will likely attack before their invisibility runs out, as per programming.
  6. As a seeker attacks, everybody but the target opens fire into the body of the seeker to rescue their comrade. It is usually preferable to drop on one knee and open fire, so shots that go wide are angled skyward.
  7. This is usually sufficient for the target to escape with but minor lacerations and shock. Especially for a shock unit with two CQB  specialists.
XCom video game - Seekers concept art by Piero MacGowan

Official XCom concept art by Piero McGowan . Click for a larger version.


However, one 1/ has to know exactly what to expect and 2/ has to endure the “psychic static” alien aura (which requires specially selected and trained troopers).

Furthermore, Seekers are usually mixed in with other alien troops.

In practice, XCom commandos are probably the only ones who can reliably pull that trick.

The XCom project eventually developed special additional armor plates that make it impossible for a Seeker to strangle the person. But these are cumbersome.


Seekers appeared relatively early during the alien intrusion, in April. They gradually faded out as the conflict intensified.

XCom video game - Seekers flying lazily

Click for a larger version.

Apparently they are closer to probing scouts than to main battle units such as mutons or cyberdisks.

Seekers have also been called “inviso-squids” by the troops. And “poulpes de la mort” by Margot “Fantômette” André, XCom’s deadliest shooter.


Seekers look very much like alien living creatures. Especially since visibility is usually execrable, psychic static encourages light hallucinations and they move in a highly fluid manner thanks to highly advanced micro-motors.

XCom video game - Seekers cloaking

Two seekers spraying mist and vanishing. Click for a larger version.



Game Stats — DC Heroes RPG

Tell me more about the game stats

Generic seeker

Dex: 03 Str: 04 Bod: 05 Motivation: Slave species
Int: 02 Wil: 02 Min: 02 Occupation: Slave species
Inf: 01 Aur: 01 Spi: 01 Resources {or Wealth}: 000
Init: 006 HP: 000

Energy blast: 05, Extra Limbs (x2): 04, Flight: 04, Invisibility: 06, Sharpness (Energy blast): 01

Bonuses and Limitations:

  • Invisibility lasts for a maximum of 5 Phases.
  • The Duration of Invisibility can be further reduced if the mist can be dispersed, for instance via Air Control or Weather Control.
  • Invisibility breaks when the Seeker attacks.
  • Invisibility has Ammo: 01 with a Very Long Reload.

Accuracy (Wrestling/Grappling): 05, Evasion (Aerial only): 06

Misc.: The Energy blast built-in gun is shattered when the seeker dies.


Misc.: Seekers are probably not sapient , Misc.: Given their morphology, shooting a Seeker off somebody they are Grappling/Wrestling is not normally a Trick Shot.

Psychic static

Like all aliens, seekers emit “psychic static”. This is our proposed rationalisation for certain XCom gameplay conceits.

See the entry for Thin Men for an extensive discussion of those. And our XCom setting article for in-universe explanations.

Design Notes

BODY 05 assumes light use of Hero Points so assault rifle fire will kill a Seeker in 2 bursts.

Evasion to represent their evasive ability whilst in the air.

By Sébastien Andrivet.

Source of Character: XCom: Enemy Unknown video game.

Writeup completed on the 30th of December, 2015.