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Melee Weapons
• Boneswords
• Crushing Claws
• Lash Whip and Bonesword
• Lash Whips
• Rending Claws
• Scything Talons
Ranged Weapons
• Acid Spray
• Barbed Strangler Weapons
• Bio-electric Pulse Weapons
• Bio-plasma
• Bio-plasmic Cannon
• Cluster Spines
• Deathspitter
• Devourer Weapons
• Drool Cannon
• Flamespurt
• Fleshborer Weapons
• Grasping Tongue
• Impaler Cannon
• Rupture Cannon
• Shockcannon
• Spike Rifle
• Spinefists
• Spore Mine Weapons
• Stinger Salvo
• Strangleweb
• Tentaclids
• Thorax Biomorphs
• Venom Cannon Weapons
Choking Cloud
Biomorph Upgrades
• Acid Blood
• Acid Maw
• Adrenal Glands
• Blinding Venom
• Flesh Hooks and Spine Banks
• Regeneration
• Tail Biomorphs
• Toxic Miasma
• Toxin Sacs
• Wings
• Bone Sabres
• The Maw-claws of Thyrax
• The Miasma Cannon
• The Norn Crown
• The Reaper of Obliterax
• The Ymgarl Factor
Tyranids Psychic Powers
• Powers of the Hive Mind
 1 Catalyst
 2 The Horror
 3 Onslaught
 4 Paroxysm
 5 Psychic Scream
 6 Warp Blast
• Leviathan Powers
Psychic Overload
Spirit Leech
This section of Codex: Tyranids lists wargear (including Melee Weapons, Ranged Weapons, Biomorph Upgrades, Bio-artefacts, Tyranids Psychic Powers, Powers of the Hive Mind and Leviathan Powers) used by Tyranids, along with the rules for using them in your games of Warhammer 40,000.

Melee Weapons

Designer’s Note: Tyranid Melee weapons come as pairs. For game purposes, each pair is treated as a single Melee weapon. This means that Tyranid models must fight with two pairs of any Tyranid Melee weapons to gain a bonus Attack in close combat for fighting with two weapons. For example, a Hormagaunt armed with a single pair of scything talons does not gain a bonus Attack, but a Ravener with two pairs of scything talons, or a Genestealer with a pair of rending claws and a pair of scything talons, does.


Boneswords are living monomolecular blades that can drain the life-force of their victims.

Range S AP Type
- User 3 Melee, Life Drain

Life Drain: Any To Wound roll of a 6 made by this weapon has the Instant Death special rule.

Crushing Claws

The obscene strength of these claws allows them to smash any foe.

Range S AP Type
- +1 2 Melee, Armourbane, Unwieldy

Lash Whip and Bonesword

Some Tyranid creatures wield these bio-weapons as a deadly symbiotic combination.

Range S AP Type
- User 3 Melee, Life Drain, Swiftstrike

Life Drain: Any To Wound roll of a 6 made by this weapon has the Instant Death special rule.

Swiftstrike: A model attacking with this weapon has a +3 bonus to its Initiative during the Fight sub-phase.

Lash Whips

Lash whips are cords of muscle that move at lightning speeds to slash their prey.

Range S AP Type
- User - Melee, Swiftstrike

Swiftstrike: A model attacking with this weapon has a +3 bonus to its Initiative during the Fight sub-phase.

Rending Claws

The diamond-hard tips of these claws can tear through armour.

Range S AP Type
- User 5 Melee, Rending

Scything Talons

Scything talons are long, razor-edged claws of serrated chitin.

Range S AP Type
- User 6 Melee

Ranged Weapons

Acid Spray

This weapon sprays caustic digestive fluids that reduce its victims to shapeless gobbets of liquefied flesh.

Range S AP Type
Template 6 4 Assault 1, Torrent

Barbed Strangler Weapons

These weapons fire seed pods that grow to maturity in seconds, spreading out hooked tendrils in all directions.

Range S AP Type
Barbed strangler 36" 4 5 Assault 1, Large Blast, Pinning
Stranglethorn cannon 36" 6 5 Assault 1, Large Blast, Pinning

Bio-electric Pulse Weapons

As a Trygon moves, it generates a potent bio-static field that discharges with lethal effect when the Trygon sights prey. Trygon Primes have curved spines sprouting from their bodies which contain and amplify this energy.

Range S AP Type
Bio-electric pulse 12" 5 5 Assault 6
Bio-electric pulse with containment spines 18" 5 5 Assault 12


Some Carnifexes can generate a roaring ball of bio-plasma within their bodies and vomit forth the resultant energy as an incandescent gobbet of fire.

Range S AP Type
12" 7 2 Assault 1, Blast

Bio-plasmic Cannon

This giant weapon can channel bio-plasma through a series of different ventricles to ensure the destruction of its prey, unleashing a vast ball of roaring energy through its central chamber, or firing several focussed streams of death through its surrounding barrels.

Range S AP Type
Blast 24" 7 2 Assault 1, Large Blast
Streams 24" 7 2 Assault 6

Cluster Spines

Some Tyranid bioforms have rows of quills imbedded in their carapaces that they can project a considerable distance.

Range S AP Type
18" 5 - Assault 1, Large Blast


This multi-creature symbiote fires maggot-like organisms with corrosive innards. A spider-jawed set of fangs drags an organism from the weapon’s brooding chamber and strips off its shell, before the deathspitter reacts to the caustic flesh with a spasm, firing the maggot to explode in a shower of caustic slime against its target.

Range S AP Type
18" 5 5 Assault 3

Devourer Weapons

These weapons fling worm-like parasites that burrow into their victim’s flesh and eat their way through its nervous system to the brain. The devourers wielded by larger Tyranids teem with hives of brainleech worms, a more aggressive and voracious devourer worm.

Range S AP Type
Devourer 18" 4 - Assault 3
Devourer with brainleech worms 18" 6 - Assault 6

Drool Cannon

Drool cannons fire gobbets of caustic digestive juice over their victims.

Range S AP Type
Template 6 4 Assault 1


The Pyrovore’s flamespurt bio-weapon billows forth a blazing plume of fire, engulfing the Hive Mind’s foes in a searing conflagration.

Range S AP Type
Template 5 4 Assault 1

Fleshborer Weapons

The fleshborer is a compact brood nest for sharp-fanged borer beetles. When the weapon is fired, a frenzied borer beetle will hurtle itself forward with a single flick of its flea-like legs. The beetle then spends its remaining life energy in a few seconds, frantically boring through the armour, flesh and bone of the first thing in its path. The fleshborer hive is a seething colony for the very same beetles, but the fanged creatures stored in the bloated sacs of the hive lay thousands of eggs that hatch and mature at an astonishing rate within the cavernous chambers of the brood nest. Indeed, the fleshborer hive must eject the beetles at regular intervals to prevent the Tyrannofex from bursting apart due to the mass of creatures birthed within it.

Range S AP Type
Fleshborer 12" 4 5 Assault 1
Fleshborer hive 18" 4 5 Assault 20

Grasping Tongue

This creature’s clawed tongue grasps its chosen prey before yanking it bodily into its maw.

Range S AP Type
12" 6 2 Assault 1, Precision Shot

Impaler Cannon

Impaler cannons propel osseous spines at such high velocities that they can punch through reinforced plasteel. At the base of each spine is a small creature known as a shard-beast that uses thin membranous fins to steer the spine towards its target.

Range S AP Type
24" 8 4 Assault 2, Homing, Ignores Cover

Homing: Impaler cannons can be fired at targets out of the unit’s line of sight.

Rupture Cannon

This weapon fires two different projectiles, launched in quick succession. The first is a bloated tick that bursts upon impact, showering the target in a thick oily substance. The second, a seedpod, reacts as it contacts the viscous remains of the tick, creating an implosion which can even wrench armoured vehicles inside out.

Range S AP Type
48" 10 4 Assault 2


Shockcannons fire large claws attached to ropes of sinew, which latch onto their target before delivering a powerful bio-electric surge that electrocutes any prey nearby and disables enemy machinery.

Range S AP Type
18" 5 5 Assault 1, Blast, Haywire

Spike Rifle

This bony, muscle-lined tube launches harpoon-like spikes.

Range S AP Type
18" 3 - Assault 1


This weapon-creature, typically carried in pairs, has a long tail that burrows through a limb to connect the gun’s own air-bladder to the airways and vents of its host. A larger host will exhale great salvoes of spines, ripping through the flesh of anything caught in the blast.

Range S AP Type
12" 3 5 Assault X*, Twin-linked

* Spinefists get one shot for every Attack on the unmodified characteristic profile of the Tyranid creature firing them. For example, a Termagant (1 Attack) fires 1 shot while a Ravener (3 Attacks) fires 3 shots.

Spore Mine Weapons

Range S AP Type
Spore Mine cysts - 4 4 Assault 1, Barrage, Large Blast, Spore Bomb, Spore Burst
Spore Mine launcher 48" 4 4 Assault 1, Barrage, Large Blast, Spore Burst

Spore Bomb: Unlike other weapons, Spore Mine cysts are used during the Movement phase. A Harpy can fire its Spore Mine cysts once in each of its Movement phases. If it does so, it counts as having fired one weapon in its following Shooting phase; however, any other weapons it fires that turn can choose a different target to the Spore Mine cysts. To fire the Spore Mine cysts, the Harpy must be Swooping. After the Harpy has finished moving, centre the large blast marker on any one model the Harpy has passed over that turn and scatter it D6". Units take a hit for each model that is even partially under the blast marker’s final position, resolved using the profile above.

Spore Burst: If, when the final position of the first blast marker in the barrage is determined, there are no models (friend or foe) under it, place D3 Spore Mine models anywhere under the blast marker so that they are in unit coherency and not within impassable terrain or 1" of an enemy model (any that cannot be placed are lost). These act as a Spore Mine Cluster for the rest of the game.

WS BS S T W I A Ld Sv Unit Type
Spore Mine - - 1 1 1 1 - 1 - Infantry
Special Rules:
 • Fearless
 • Deep Strike
 • Floating Death
 • Living Bomb

Stinger Salvo

Stinger salvoes are simple but effective weapons that fire rows of metre-long, razor-sharp spikes.

Range S AP Type
18" 5 4 Assault 4


The strangleweb fires a mesh of sticky strands that ensnare the foe, leaving them at the mercy of the approaching swarm.

Range S AP Type
Template 2 - Assault 1, Pinning


These living missiles seek out aerial prey, latching onto their targets with barbed fangs before emitting a massive bio-electrical pulse.

Range S AP Type
36" 5 5 Assault 1, Haywire, Seeking, One use only

Seeking: If a model makes a shooting attack with this weapon against either a Zooming Flyer or a Swooping Flying Monstrous Creatures, it re-rolls failed To Hit rolls made with this weapon.

Thorax Biomorphs

Certain Tyranids have thoracic cavities that play host to swarms of parasites – some of these minute creatures drain their victims’ vital fluids, others emit an electrical charge which plays havoc with enemy vehicles, and others still nestle amongst the foe’s armour before exploding in a horrific fashion.
Thorax biomorphs are ranged weapons.

Range S AP Type
Desiccator larvae Template 1 - Assault 1, Fleshbane
Electroshock grubs Template 5 5 Assault 1, Haywire
Shreddershard beetles Template 3 - Assault 1, Rending, Shred

Venom Cannon Weapons

These powerful bio-weapons fire salvoes of corrosive crystals at tremendous velocities which shatter on impact to shred the foe.

Range S AP Type
Venom cannon 36" 6 4 Assault 1, Blast
Heavy venom cannon 36" 9 4 Assault 1, Blast


Range S AP Type
48" 10 3 Assault 6

Choking Cloud

A cloud of sentient spore organisms engulf the foe, inflicting a horrible death.

Range S AP Type
12" 3 - Assault 1, Ignores Cover, Large Blast, Poisoned (2+), Predatory Sentience

Predatory Sentience: When making armour penetration rolls against vehicles that are Open-topped or that have lost 1 or more of their Hull Points this weapon has the Armourbane special rule.

Biomorph Upgrades

Acid Blood

The alien blood spilt from certain Tyranids is so corrosive that it can eat through ceramite armour and dissolve flesh in mere moments.
For each unsaved Wound a model with the acid blood biomorph suffers in close combat, the enemy unit that inflicted the Wound must take an Initiative test at the end of the current Initiative step. For each test that is failed, the unit that inflicted the Wound immediately suffers a Strength 5 AP2 hit with the Ignores Cover special rule.

Acid Maw

The maws of some Tyranids constantly drip with acidic bile.
In close combat, a model with this biomorph can exchange all of its normal Attacks to make a single acid maw attack with the following profile:

Range S AP Type
- 5 2 Melee

Adrenal Glands

Adrenal glands saturate their host’s bodies with chemicals that boost the creature’s metabolism to a hyperactive state of frenzy.
A model with the adrenal glands biomorph has the Fleet and Furious Charge special rules.

Blinding Venom

Some Tyranids spit caustic venom at their prey’s eyes.
In close combat, a model with this biomorph can exchange all of its normal Attacks to make a single blinding venom attack, which uses the following profile:

Range S AP Type
- 3 - Melee, Blind, Poisoned (6+)

Flesh Hooks and Spine Banks

Flesh hooks are attached to a Tyranid’s ribcage by ropy tendrils and allow it to scale sheer surfaces or snare prey at close range. The explosive spine banks imbedded in the carapaces of some Carnifexes can also be fired at the foe as the Tyranid charges.
Models equipped with either of these biomorphs don’t suffer the penalty to their Initiative for charging enemies through difficult terrain but fight at their normal Initiative. In addition, they can each be fired as a ranged weapon with the relevant profile below.

Range S AP Type
Flesh hooks 6" User - Assault 2
Spine banks 8" 3 - Assault 1, Blast


Some Tyranids have the ability to recover from horrendous wounds and injuries that should have proven fatal.
At the end of each friendly turn, roll a D6 for each model with the regeneration biomorph that has less than its starting number of Wounds, but has not been removed as a casualty. On a 4+, that model regains a single Wound lost earlier in the battle.

Tail Biomorphs

The tails of some Tyranids are deadly weapons, from bony protrusions dense enough to cave in the side of a tank to stingers containing enough poison to kill whole regiments.
A tail biomorph is a Melee weapon that allows its wielder to make a single additional Attack. Note that this Attack is resolved separately from a model’s other close combat attacks and uses the appropriate profile below. Also note that a tail Attack is not affected by other Melee weapons, biomorphs, upgrades or special rules belonging to the owning model, or vice versa.

For example, a Hive Tyrant with a heavy venom cannon, a lash whip and bonesword, a prehensile pincer and toxin sacs does not gain an additional Attack for fighting with two close combat weapons, nor does its prehensile pincer tail attack have either the Smash or Poisoned special rules.

Range S AP Type
Bone mace - 8 - Melee, Unwieldy
Prehensile pincer - 6 5 Melee
Thresher scythe - 4 4 Melee, Rending
Toxinspike - 1 6 Melee, Poisoned (2+)

Toxic Miasma

Some creatures emit toxins to poison a prey world’s atmosphere.
Once per game, in any Assault phase, a unit with this biomorph can unleash its toxic miasma. If it does so, at the Initiative 1 step, all enemy units engaged in the combat suffer a number of hits equal to the number of models from their unit in base contact with any model from the Tyranid unit unleashing the toxic miasma. These hits are resolved at Strength 3 AP`-` and have the Poisoned and Ignores Cover special rules.

Toxin Sacs

These parasitic glands secrete vile fluids, coating the Tyranid’s claws, fangs and talons with a lethal variety of alien poisons.
If a model has the toxin sacs biomorph, its close combat attacks have the Poisoned special rule.


The forelimbs of some Tyranid organisms are in fact leathery wings.
If a Monstrous Creature has this biomorph, its unit type is Flying Monstrous Creature.


The bio-artefacts of the Tyranids are symbiotic organisms of incredible rarity. Only one of each of the following items may be chosen per army – there is only thought to be one of each of these items in existence, or so the indigenous races of the galaxy hope…

A model may replace any pair of scything talons with one of the following. Only one of each Tyranid Bio-artefact may be taken per army.

The Maw-claws of Thyrax 10 pts
The Miasma Cannon 25 pts
The Norn Crown1 40 pts
The Ymgarl Factor1 40 pts
The Reaper of Obliterax 45 pts
1 Does not replace the model’s scything talons and so can be taken in addition to any other weapon/upgrade.

Bone Sabres

The Swarmlord wields two pairs of serrated bone sabres. Through the core of each blade lies a crystalline growth. These alien crystals are not indigenous to this galaxy, and the bone sabres crackle with lethal power.
The Swarmlord has two pairs of Bone Sabres. Each pair counts as a Melee weapon with the following profile:

Range S AP Type
- User 2 Melee, Blade Parry, Instant Death

Blade Parry: The Swarmlord has a 4+ invulnerable save against Wounds caused by Melee weapons.

The Maw-claws of Thyrax

During the destruction of Thyrax, the dread beast that spearheaded the assault bore a symbiotic pair of fang-lined pincers. These terrible claws tore apart and consumed the bodies of those brave enough to stand against the monstrosity, absorbing their memories and assimilating greater knowledge of its prey.

Range S AP Type
- User 5 Melee, Assimilate, Rending

Assimilate: If this weapon’s close combat attacks cause an enemy model to be removed as a casualty, the model equipped with the Maw-claws of Thyrax gains the Preferred Enemy special rule against all units chosen from the same codex as the model removed as a casualty.

The Miasma Cannon

The Tyranids utilise all manner of bio-weapons, but none that have earned more dread than the Miasma Cannon. Unlike other venom cannons, this weapon fires gobbets of toxin-laden slime so virulent that it reduces squads of soldiers into shapeless puddles of organic goo in seconds. Whether vomiting noxious fluids in great torrents or liquefying targets in gouts of acid, the Miasma Cannon has been responsible for deaths beyond counting.

Range S AP Type
Miasmic spit 36" 1 4 Assault 1, Blast, Poisoned (2+)
Miasmic spray Template 1 4 Assault 1, Poisoned (2+)

The Norn Crown

First named by Inquisitor Kryptman, the Norn Crown is a unique parasitic organism that clings to the armoured crest of the host creature’s head with dozens of tendrils. Burrowing needle-like cerebral bores directly into the brain of its host, the Norn Crown forms a neurosynaptic link that acts as a hyper-conduit for the Hive Mind. Through this abhorrent union, the Hive Mind’s indomitable will can pour forth to augment and control the hordes of lesser Tyranids that scuttle in the leader-beast’s wake.
A model with the Norn Crown adds 6" to its synapse range.

The Reaper of Obliterax

The Reaper of Obliterax was first encountered amongst the re-emergent Tyranid swarms of Hive Fleet Jormungandr. A deadly bio-weapon resembling a bonesword, this sentient blade is commonly wielded alongside a lash whip. The Reaper discharges highly concentrated bursts of destructive energy, and even the lightest blow can result in the blade’s target being rent asunder.

Range S AP Type
- +1 3 Melee, Life Drain, Shred, Swiftstrike

Life Drain: Any To Wound roll of a 6 made by this weapon has the Instant Death special rule.

Swiftstrike: A model attacking with this weapon has a +3 bonus to its Initiative during the Fight sub-phase.

The Ymgarl Factor

The Ymgarl Genestealers have long been a cancerous blight on the worlds of the Imperium. Their insatiable voracity is legend amongst those that have had the misfortune to encounter them and live. Now, dark rumours have surfaced of another Tyranid leader-beast that appears to share the unfathomable adaptability of the Ymgarl Genestealers.
At the start of every Assault phase, a model with the Ymgarl Factor must alter their form into one of the three listed below. The bonus gained lasts until the end of the phase. The same form cannot be chosen in two consecutive turns.
  • Slashing Claws: The model has +1 Strength.
  • Tentacled Limbs: The model has +1 Attack.
  • Protective Carapace: The model’s armour save is improved by 1.

Tyranids Psychic Powers

Many Tyranids are also Psykers. They do not draw power from the Warp in any fathomable way, but rather they harness a fraction of the Hive Mind’s gestalt will. This makes no difference for game purposes and these models follow all the normal rules for Psykers – a Perils of the Warp attack they suffer instead represents massive cerebral trauma or synaptic feedback. Tyranid Psykers use the Powers of the Hive Mind, which is treated as a psychic discipline for all rules purposes.

Powers of the Hive Mind


(Primaris Power)
The Tyranid uses its prodigious psychic strength to channel and amplify the will of the Hive Mind.
Warp Сharge: 1
Dominion is a blessing that targets the Psyker. Whilst this power is in effect the Psyker adds 6" to its synapse range. If the Psyker does not have the Synapse Creature special rule, it gains it for the duration of this power and has a synapse range of 6".


Through its synaptic conduits, the power of the Hive Mind reaches out to infuse the organisms under its control, invigorating their systems with such unnatural vitality that they can ignore the most grievous of wounds.
Warp Сharge: 1
Catalyst is a blessing that targets the Psyker’s unit and up to one other friendly unit with the Tyranids Faction that is within 12". Whilst this power is in effect, the targets gain the Feel No Pain special rule.

The Horror

The terrifying psychic presence of the Hive Mind radiates from the synapse creature, flooding the minds of the Tyranids’ enemies and causing them to quail and panic.
Warp Сharge: 1
The Horror is a malediction that targets a single enemy unit within 24". The target must immediately take a Pinning test with a -2 modifier to their Leadership.


The synapse creature reaches out its mind and seizes control of the lesser creatures’ weapon symbiotes, guiding their fire whilst simultaneously driving the swarms towards the enemy at a breakneck pace.
Warp Сharge: 1
Onslaught is a blessing that targets a single friendly unit within 24". Whilst this power is in effect, the target unit can both Run and then shoot in its Shooting phase.


The Hive Mind debilitates its enemies by triggering every nerve and pain receptor in their bodies, overwhelming their senses with wracking fits of agony.
Warp Сharge: 1
Paroxysm is a malediction that targets a single enemy unit within 24". Whilst this power is in effect, the target unit’s Weapon Skill and Ballistic Skill are both reduced by D3 (roll once and apply the result to both characteristics).

Psychic Scream

Through its vassal, the Hive Mind unleashes a piercing shriek of undiluted psychic energy that shreds the minds of those caught in the wake.
Warp Сharge: 1
Psychic Scream is a nova power with a range of 6". For each target unit, roll 2D6+2 and subtract their Leadership. That unit suffers a number of Wounds equal to the result. Armour and cover saves cannot be taken against Wounds caused by Psychic Scream.

Warp Blast

The Tyranid taps into the raw power of the Hive Mind, unleashing it as a blast of pure Warp energy that arcs from its cranium and vaporises its prey.
Warp Сharge: 2
Warp Blast is a witchfire power. Warp Blast can be used as either a Burst or a Lance. Each time this power is manifested, the controlling player must choose which profile is being used, before the target is chosen:

Range S AP Type
Burst 24" 5 3 Assault 1, Blast
Lance 18" 10 2 Assault 1, Lance

Leviathan Powers

Psychic Overload

The psyker plunges tendrils of psychic energy into the target’s brain, causing it to explode!
Warp Сharge: 2
Psychic Overload is a focussed witchfire power with a range of 24". The target must take a Leadership test on 3D6. Vehicles are treated as having a Leadership of 10. If the test is failed, non-vehicle models suffer D3 Wounds with no armour or cover saves allowed, and vehicle models suffer a single glancing hit with no cover saves allowed.

The Psyker can attempt to manifest this psychic power up to 3 times in each of its Psychic phases. Each attempt is resolved separately. However, an enemy unit cannot be selected as the target of Psychic Overload manifested by the same Psyker more than once each Psychic phase.

Spirit Leech

The Neurothrope steals energy from its victims to empower its attacks.
Warp Сharge: 1
Spirit Leech is a witchfire power that targets a non-vehicle enemy unit within 18". That unit must take a Leadership test on 3D6. If the test is failed, the enemy unit suffers 1 Wound for each point the test was failed by, with no armour or cover saves allowed. Add 1 dice to your Warp Charge pool for each Wound inflicted by Spirit Leech. These additional dice can only be used by the unit that manifested Spirit Leech and only to manifest Warp Blast.