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Aliens: Dark Descent — How to Beat an Alien Queen

Every hive has a queen. Here's how to take one down in Aliens: Dark Descent.

Aliens: Dark Descent has quite a variety of enemies in it, and a majority of them are different types of xenomorphs. While each is challenging in its own right, none are as intimidating as the head of the hive herself, and the game isn’t afraid to make good use of the Queens’ power. Here’s what you need to know on how to beat an Alien Queen in Aliens: Dark Descent.

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How to Defeat an Alien Queen

Although each one you fight is considered a boss, complete with a large health bar, it won’t take long before you encounter an Alien Queen. In fact, you’ll be fighting one at the end of your first mission on planet Lethe at Dead Hills. These tips will help you with that fight and all additional fights against this dangerous enemy.

  • Make good use of Sentry Guns and Flamethrowers when fighting an Alien Queen.
  • Stay mindful of your positioning when engaging.

Use Explosives

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One of the most useful tools to use against a Queen is explosives. Early on, this will only be in the form of grenades, but later you’ll be able to use mines and RPG launchers as well. I’d only recommend the mines if you’re going for the Heavy Steps achievement or have adequate time to set it up before the fight. Ranged explosives like grenades and RPGs will come out a lot faster. 

Aside from the big damage that explosives deal, they also have the handy side effect of interrupting her actions. If you’re feeling comfortable where you are, this will be the go-to response as soon as you see her rearing to charge at you or preparing a large stomp attack. A shotgun blast will do the same trick, but it won’t be as effective unless you’re nearby.

Ranged explosives only require a bit of leading, and they’ll keep her at a distance. Plus, the Stasis Grenade Xeno-Tech that adds a slowing effect to grenades will make them especially handy.

Use Sentry Guns

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There’s a good chance you’ve used sentry guns to help cover you during a massive onslaught. Fights against an Alien Queen generally involve other enemies joining in as well, sentries will help keep them manageable.

Their purpose isn’t just for any stragglers. As effective as they are at mowing down multiple enemies, they can do wonders when they’re focused on the Queen. Having just one sentry gun will make a noticeable difference, while two or more will shorten the boss fight considerably. She will prioritize your sentries, so make sure to use explosives to keep her away and place the sentry guns far apart so she can’t destroy them both in one attack.

A word of caution: Sometimes, the doors will lock behind you after you enter. This means that although you can take your time setting up sentry guns outside the door before you fight the first Alien Queen in Dead Hills, others might ruin any of your plans with a locked door. An autosave should be generated before your encounters with most of them, so this might not be too much of a problem.

Related: How to Rotate Turrets in Dark Descent

Use Flamethrowers

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Xenomorphs don’t like fire, and most of them will gladly move around it in their attempts to kill you. Bringing along a flamethrower is a great way to stall them or deal a good amount of continuous damage.

In my experience, the Alien Queen is more than willing to charge through fire than just walking around it. That’s not to say it’s any less effective, though. If she does decide to charge through, use some explosives to keep her near or even in the fire if possible. Stalling her and keeping her away is your goal, and it’s all the better if you have enough guns to finish her before she can get close.

Stay Out of Reach

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This one probably goes without saying, but it’s worth mentioning anyway. The Alien Queen is a tough enemy that can kill a marine with just a few basic swipes. Even worse is that she has a special grab attack that can lead to an instant kill. Keeping distance is vital.

If you’re confident that you can hold a position down and keep her at bay long enough to beat her, that’s certainly worth going for. Otherwise, don’t hesitate to start moving. Run away if you can’t stop her charge or if she gets too close. In any other situation, you’ll be fine with just walking backward and shooting.

Is It Worth Fighting an Alien Queen in Aliens: Dark Descent?

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Although there will be many Alien Queens you come across, only a few of them are mandatory fights. The rest are relegated to secondary objectives at best and a simple challenge at worst. Fighting one is still absolutely worth it, though, solely for unlocking Xeno-Techs.

Each Alien Queen you defeat will drop Xeno-Tech Blueprints. Some of these can be found in other boss battles or within chests in a laboratory, but the common way to find them is by killing a Queen. Make sure to loot the corpse for samples after, and then you’ll just need to research them back at the USS Otago.

Xeno-Techs can be a huge help during your deployments and make a world of difference. Not only will some give incremental buffs, such as increasing your squad’s armor or health points, but others provide unique changes, such as adding a slowing effect to grenades or ignoring acid burst attacks against armor. Even if it would require a redeployment with healthier marines, the rewards from fighting an Alien Queen are worth the danger.

Follow these tips, and you’ll be more than prepared to take on any Alien Queens throughout your campaign in Aliens: Dark Descent. If you’re curious to learn more about the game, check out our best weapons tier list. If you’re in need of some other tips and tricks to help you survive the xenomorph hordes, our growing hive of Aliens: Dark Descent guides have you covered, with articles on Infestation levels and more.

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Samuel Moreno
Samuel is a freelance writer who has had work published with Hard Drive, GameSkinny, Otaquest, and PhenixxGaming. He's a big fan of the Metal Gear Solid and Resident Evil series, but truth be told he'd sell his soul simply for a new Ape Escape game.