Exploration & Harvesting



Average Height:

5 - 6 feet

Average Weight:

180 lbs

Average Psi-strength:

Class 3 Baseline Human 5

Average Intelligence:

Class 4 Baseline Human 5

Average Life Span:

50 years

The second alien race encountered by XCOM, Floaters appear to be the scouts and workers of the alien invasion. The vast majority seem to be clones, but there are at least a few distinct "races" within the Floater community with cosmetic and functional differences. Floaters, like Mutons, are naturally sexually reproductive creatures, but lose that ability due to surgery. Floaters organize themselves to conform to the overall alien hierarchy, with each Floater being "tailored" for a general task, like navigator or medic or Commander. They then hold this post for life. Floaters do the bidding of more powerful and influential aliens like Sectoids and Ethereals.

Floaters are most commonly encountered during the more routine sorts of abduction or harvesting missions, where the goal is specimen collection and harvesting rather than delicate experimentation. If the Sectoids are researchers, the Floaters are butchers. They are also often used for the construction of alien bases, for supplying those bases, and (earlier in the war) as Terror agents. They have no psionic ability and weak psi strength in general, but are physically robust and can survive unaided on Earth indefinitely (most aliens can only survive breathing Earth's atmosphere for a few days).


Floaters are humanoid in appearance, and are believed to have evolved from amphibian-like creatures. Their skin, almost always a shade of purple in color, is highly porous and constantly covered in a mucus-like secretion that serves to isolate it from the outside atmosphere, defeat 'alien' (in this case Earthly) bacteria and other foreign life forms, and that quickly covers and seals wounds. There is evidence of genetic engineering regarding their muscular and skeletal systems, and the lungs are very well developed. The unblinking eyes are similar to those of a cat; the rod photoreceptors are saturated with metarhodopsin, giving Floaters effective night vision capability.

The brain is not as large as our own, and while Floaters can see very well, their hearing is poor, as is their sense of touch. The jaw, lined by sharp teeth, is functional. Internally, Floaters are most notably characterized by a single large cybernetic enhancement made to their bodies. All active duty Floaters have a large implant replacing their lower body and part of their torso, which (aside from providing flight through anti-gravity technology) takes over the functions of the heart, lungs, renal, exocrine, endocrine and digestive systems. All of these organs are generally removed (only the lungs are left on occasion, probably as a backup in case of system failure). This life support system allows the Floater to survive in very hostile environments.


Despite a naturally predatory nature, Floaters are not naturally accustomed to or comfortable with flight or open spaces, and these conditions usually make them cautious. In doors, they are more aggressive and prone to pursuit. Floaters often display a pronounced dislike of human beings, and seem to revel in acts of cruelty and viciousness when given the opportunity. Floaters typically ingest the same liquid soup as the Sectoids, but can eat normal foodstuffs in captivity (showing a marked preference for small saltwater fish).</p>

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