Aliens: Fireteam Elite is one of the best Aliens game in recent years! Just read my review if you don’t believe me! The Horde mode in Aliens: Fireteam Elite is one of its highlights. It takes the class based gameplay and has you facing off against waves upon waves of increasingly tougher xenomorphs.

It’s hell and only the best can hope to last long.

Luckily, we’re here to help you with these tips that are sure to prolong your survival!

Know your classes!

It might not seem like much but playing the Horde mode in Aliens: Fireteam Elite means you need to understand the class you’re playing as. There is a class tier in Horde mode. Some classes are way better at surviving than others.

Here a tier list of what we think the classes are.

1 – Demolisher

The Demolisher is hands down the best class in the game. It can do everything BUT heal, which isn’t a big deal if you can kill fast enough. The Demolisher’s loadout of a rifle and heavy weapon means you have range AND firepower. This is further augmented by the class’s skills, which can buff the Demolisher, stun enemies and do massive burst or aoe damage. With the right perk loadout, the skills can be further enhanced to do damage over time (Micro Rockets) and do more damage to stunned/downed enemies.

Choose a DMR, couple that with the smartgun or flamethrower and you can waste anything that comes at you in rapid time.

2 – Gunner

The Gunner is great if you have a team backing you up or if you’re playing with AI. Its DPS might not be as consistent as the Demolisher but a CQW is still deadly up close. You might be tempted to use a flamer or SMG as a CQW weapon but ignore that urge! A shotgun is what you need.

Yeah, the limited ammo capacity hurts but shotguns regularly kill normal enemies in one hit if they’re close. When you’re being swarmed, killing fast is paramount. You need to get the Xenomorph numbers down to stand a chance, which is what shotguns are great at doing. Couple that with the Gunner’s passive boost to damage and you can be a murder machine with shotguns, especially when buffed with the Gunner’s faster reload skill.

3 – Technician

The Technician might seem like a great class with its turret and shock grenade. It is…if you’re only playing to survive the first 20 waves on Normal or below. Past that, the turret starts to lose its usefulness (since it doesn’t do enough damage fast enough) and the shock grenade’s ability to slow enemies don’t really matter much when you’re penned in by tons of xenomorphs.

Thankfully, like the Gunner, the shotgun saves the Technician enough to be able to buy time with with slowed xenos and a constantly firing turret. The class is much better with a second Technician as two turrets can really shred xenomorphs when they focus fire.

4 – Recon

The Recon is a mixed class. Solo, it’s low on the Tier list. Its firepower is mainly focused on long range and it doesn’t have any offensive skills. It’s a support class first and foremost, which is why you’ll need other players. While PUPS is a decent skill, it slows the game down and as such, is a hindrance. The other Recon skill allows you to mitigate damage and regenerate ammo, but since you’re hunkered down in the Horde mode AND always have access to an ammo box, there’s little need for that too.

The DMR is great for a while but once enemies start to get strong enough to resist one hit kills, that usability quickly drops off. Forget sniper rifles too, they’re too impractical with their low magazine capacity and fire rate. Even if you opt for a Pulse rifle, the Recon class is still mired by largely useless skills and outclassed by pretty much every other class out there…but one.

5 – Doc

The Doc class is nigh on useless for Horde mode in Aliens: Fireteam Elite. Yes, it can heal but the Doc’s healing tank only has a limited charge, which can ONLY be recharged by consuming medkits. That tremendously limits its usefulness since medkits are hard to come by. Plus, using a medkit directly heals MORE health than it recharges the healing tank.

Couple that with being only able to use rifles (so can Gunners and Demolishers) and handguns (Technicians) and useless perks and you can see why the Doc is the last class you’d want to see somebody use in Horde mode.

Kill the Spitters FIRST.

Ignore the runners, the Pratorians, the Warriors, Facehuggers and whatever is coming your way if you see a Spitter or worse, an Irradiated Spitter. While not deadly up close, they will continue to pepper you with acid spits which not only damages you for a good amount, it also leaves a deadly pool that will sap your health rapidly.

That’s why taking them out is a priority, even with other deadlier enemies on the prowl. Just run up to them, unleash your best skills and guns and run away.

Play on Casual before moving to higher difficulties.

I suggest playing on Casual first to gain experience and credits. The enemies are easier to kill and you can survive longer, which gets you a ton of experience points and credits. Plus, on Casual difficulty you can resurrect fallen players an infinite number of times, which theoretically means you can keep on playing for hours.

Two technicians, with turrets placed at opposite ends of the cul de sac (near the ammo box) can outlast a ton of xenomorphs! I’ve personally lasted to Wave 40 (we only stopped cause it was 3am) using this technique.

Don’t use flamers in close quarters.

Horde Mode in Aliens: Fireteam Elite

Flamethrowers are some of the best weapons in the game but they absolutely suck if you’re grouped together.

Not only will you damage your allies, but you’ll also blind them as the flames make it impossible to see. If you’re equipped with a flamer, change weapons when the xenos get close so your teammates don’t get fried and can fire effectively.

Place a turret on top of the boxes near the huge pipe.

Horde Mode in Aliens: Fireteam Elite

If you’re (or one of your fireteam) a Technician, place your turret there. Only Chargers, Praetorians and an explodey xenomorphs can even damage it there so it’s a damn good place to stash it while you fight.

From its perch, the turret has almost a 360 field of fire, which means it can hit pretty much any xeno nearby.

NEVER use the Technician’s Heavy Turret perk.

NEVER use it. EVER! Not even on casual. It is the worst perk in the game. Yes, it makes the turret do more damage, but it shoots much slower, fires only 1 shot at a time and seems to miss more. Save the space and equip practically any other skill but this one.

Charger and Praetorian crests are bullet resistant, hit them from behind instead.

Horde Mode in Aliens: Fireteam Elite

One of the strongest enemies in the game, the Praetorians are the Queens’ royal guards. They’re incredibly tough head on and their crests deflect bullets. You’re not going to be doing any damage shooting them head on. Circle from behind and open fire as soon as you can to bring it down. Flamers (and other incendiaries) work from the front if they’re on all fours though so fire (pun intended) away.

Use the scopes that enable first person views.

If you’re going to be camping in the corners of the map, the camera will inevitably block your shots with your character model. Avoid this problem by using scopes that allow you to get into first person mode.

Roll over acid pools.

If you see acid pools, don’t run over them and let them drain your health. Hit the dodge button and roll over them. You have invincibility frames during dodges, so you’re never going to be damaged rolling over pools.

Let the enemies come to you.

This might sound weird but you want xenos to swarm you in Horde mode for a number of reasons.

One, if they drop Health Kits, the kits will be near your position. Two, it’ll allow you to maximize your skills for ultimate effect. Three, it makes them hard to miss!

Use upgraded guns in higher difficulties.

While it might be tempting to use new guns to level them up faster in the harder modes, don’t. Use your tried and tested weapons as they have extra perks that can mean the difference between life and death.

Always aim for weak points.

Horde Mode in Aliens: Fireteam Elite

You should always be aiming for weak points whenever you can.

For most xenomorphs, this is the head. For the Charger, it’s the torso. The Praetorian is similar, though its weakpoint can only be shot at from the front. You’ll be able to see it if you’re looking at its chest full on; it has a green splotch to it. That’s where you concentrate your fire.

An easy way to know you’re hitting weak points is if you turn on the damage numbers in Options. When you hit an enemy’s weakness, the numbers will pop up greenish instead of white.

Buy Consumables.

Horde Mode in Aliens: Fireteam Elite

Don’t let the points you earn from completing waves go to waste. Buy Consumables, even if you don’t intend to use them. You lose the points when you quit Horde mode but the consumables stay with you! Best bang for your buck? Incendiary turrets. 500 bullets, with the chance to set enemies on fire for 500 points.

Turn on Always Show Center Dot.

Horde Mode in Aliens: Fireteam Elite

Sometimes you don’t have time to pick your targets and need to hip fire. Make sure your shots count by going into the options and turning on ‘Always Show Center Dot’. Now there’ll always be a marker on-screen, even if you’re not aiming down sights. It’s indispensable when you need to beat a hasty retreat while laying down suppressing fire.

Equip parts that synergize with your weapons.

First off, equip parts that make sense for your weapons.

Shotguns for example, don’t really benefit from parts that give stability since they’re mostly one shot weapons. That’s why you should prioritize what parts you put on your weapons. Generally though, all weapons benefit a ton from Range upgrades, as well as Max Ammo and Reload Speed, so try to focus on those if you have no idea what to go for.


With all these tips, it should be easier to survive the xenomorphs that are out for your blood in the Horde mode in Aliens: Fireteam Elite. How long you survive though…that’s up to you!

Sal's been in the industry since the early 2000s. He's written for a ton of gaming and tech publications including Playworks, Hardwarezone, HWM and GameAxis. Recently, Sal served as a juror for the Indie Game Awards at Taipei Game Show 2020. A geek and hardcore gamer, Sal will play everything, on any platform.