"And I looked upon the great hive beast, and knew that hope was lost."
— attributed to Hector Prime, commander of the Tower of Adamant, Hethgard, executed for cowardice
Hive Tyrant

A Hive Tyrant, confronting the Ork Boyz

A Hive Tyrant (Tyranicus praefactor) is the massive Tyranid bioform that serves as the main battlefield commander of a Tyranid swarm, a synapse creature that stands above the rank and file Tyranids.

They wield potent psychic powers but are unaffected by the daemons of the Warp, a condition that would indicate a lack of a soul at the individual level for most Tyranids. However, the species' collective consciousness brings into being a truly potent psychic presence in the Immaterium called the Tyranid "Shadow in the Warp" which is produced by the collective Tyranid Hive Mind.

Hive Tyrants serve as the commanders of all the Tyranid forces deployed on a given battlefield, for they share a special synaptic link to the Hive Mind. This link makes a Hive Tyrant one of the most important of the Tyranid synapse creatures.


Hive Tyrant - Hive Fleet Behemoth

A Tyranid Hive Tyrant of Hive Fleet Behemoth leads its swarm

The Hive Tyrant is a large and massively powerful Tyranid creature, the closest thing to the commander of a battlefield swarm yet seen. Like the other Tyranids, they seem to mutate incredibly fast. Unlike the others, the Hive Tyrant evolves from a completely different type of genus, which covers their bodies with hard carapaces.

All Hive Tyrants have a very high level of psychic power, and they embody the Hive Mind completely, but their destruction does not diminish it in any way. Yet, their death does shatter the psychic web that controls the lesser Tyranids nearby, and so Tyranid forces have been defeated by eliminating the Hive Tyrant and breaking the links that drive this psychic control.

Some Hive Tyrants are seen carrying organism-like weapons that spit out large balls of bio-plasma. Apart from their advanced long-ranged weapons, their blood is also known to be extremely acidic, which they sometimes use as a type of weapon. When fighting up close, most of the Hive Tyrants use their claws and even lash-like weapons to smash away the enemies.



A Heavy Venom Cannon

  • Heavy Venom Cannon - A large and long heavy bio-weapon that fires out salvos of deadly corrosive crystals. Most of its victims die from the impact or from the toxins carried by the poisonous crystalline fragments. The plating of some armored vehicles may also be punctured, with the splinters destroying the interior equipment and killing the crew members inside.
  • Stranglethorn Cannon - Stranglethorn cannons are larger versions of the Tyranid Barbed Strangler. This heavier version fires a larger more aggressive seed pod. The tendrils grow at alarming rates, choking infantry. Sometimes a Stranglethorn cannon will take out lightly armoured vehicles by damaging the crew or weapons.
  • Bonesword - Boneswords are blades of living chitin that wear away and grow back. They crackle with psychic energy and are very effective against armoured units.
  • Lashwip - Lashwips are lethal upgrades that can be added to Hive Tyrants. They are long, deadly tentacles that have a mind of their own, and are useful for engaging more than one enemy at once.

Ordo Xenos Data

Ordo Xenos Departmento Analyticus Record
Designation Hive Tyrant Main Weaponry 4 Scything Claws
Common Title Overfiend
Species Name Tyranicus praefactor Secondary Weaponry Fangs and Claws
Average Height 6.1 metres
Average Weight 6 tonnes/Winged Strains 4.9 tonnes Tertiary Weaponry None
First encountered Tyran
Role Battlefield Commander
Threat evaluation Very high


  • Codex: Tyranids (5th Edition)
  • Deathwatch: Core Rulebook (RPG), pg. 369
  • Imperial Armoury Volume Four - The Anphelion Project


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