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Taming A Xenomorph: Can Xenomorphs Become Friendly?

By | Published January 03, 2024

Xenomorphs are typically portrayed as hostile and lethal, attacking anyone in sight. The concept of taming these aliens, known for their predatory instincts, is explored through various scenarios seen in Alien lore. This article examines different fictional methods that might enable humans to interact safely with Xenomorphs or even alter their aggressive nature to be tame and friendly.

Pavlovian Training Of Xenomorphs

The Cloned Xenomorph from Alien: Resurrection learns to behave in a cage

First, we consider the classic approach of Pavlovian training. This method, relying on conditioning responses through rewards and punishments, has been successful with many Earth species. However, with almost all Xenomorph types, this approach falls short. Their inherent predatory nature and complex hive-mind structure render traditional conditioning methods ineffective, highlighting the need for more creative strategies. Many scientists in the Alien universe have tried this method (including Dr. Gediman from Alien: Resurrection) and failed with the Aliens escaping and wreaking havoc.

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Reasoning With An Alien Queen

Ripley reasons with the Alien Queen in Aliens

A more intriguing possibility lies in directly communicating with a Xenomorph Queen. Being the central figure and decision-maker of a Xenomorph hive, the Queen's cooperation could theoretically sway the behavior of the entire colony. Establishing a line of communication could open doors to negotiation. Ellen Ripley did this in Aliens, by threatening the Queen's eggs, the most important thing for the hive. Although Ripley gained some breathing space, the Queen still betrayed this temporary truce and Ripley had to torch the eggs and facehuggers.

Joining Forces With A Queen For A Common Cause

An Alien Queen joins with humans and Big Mama Predator in Aliens vs. Predator: Deadliest of the Species

Another scenario involves forming a more permanent alliance with a Xenomorph Queen for mutual benefit, such as combating a common enemy like Predators or Hybrid creatures. This alliance, borne out of necessity, could lead to a temporary truce or even long-term cooperation, reshaping the traditionally adversarial relationship between humans and Xenomorphs. Although Xenomorphs have very rarely worked directly with humans, the old and experienced Samara Station Queen did this in the Aliens vs. Predator: Deadliest of the Species comic series. She joined up with Ash Parnall and Big Mama Predator to fight the evil Montcalm-Delacroix et Cie company and the race of White Hybrids that were threatening her existence.

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Mind Controlling Xenomorphs

A Xenomorph being mind-controlled in concept art for Alien 5

In theory, the use of mind control devices presents a more direct approach of manipulation than controlling the Alien Queen. By manipulating the neural pathways of Xenomorphs, scientists could theoretically override their aggressive tendencies. Concept art created for Neill Blomkamp's canceled Alien 5 project visualizes such a device, with Weyland-Yutani personnel leading remote-controlled Xenomorphs on a hunt. Predators have also used such box-like devices on Xenomorphs, as described in the short story "Kyōdai" in Aliens vs. Predators: Ultimate Prey, which served as a sequel to the movie "Predators".

Gene Splicing The Xenomorphs To Be Tame

Doctor Ernst Kleist with gene spliced Xenomorphs in Aliens: Rogue

Genetic modification presents a more radical solution. By splicing Xenomorph DNA with genes responsible for docility in other species, scientists could create a genetically modified Xenomorph with a naturally tame disposition. The mad Doctor Ernst Kleist was the creator of a genetically enhanced strand of Xenomorphs in Aliens: Rogue, including the Alien King. These Aliens were somewhat docile at first but still turned out to be aggressive later. Specifically, the Alien King went on a wild rampage in the secret research base, even attacking the Alien Queen, but losing the fight in the end.

Android Xenomorphs Are Friendly

The Xenomorph vision as seen in Alien: Covenant

In a fusion of biology and technology, the concept of Android Xenomorphs emerges. These synthetic versions, programmed to be non-aggressive and cooperative, interact safely with humans while retaining the physical prowess of their organic counterparts. Many android Xenomorphs have been developed in the Expanded Universe, including Jeri from Aliens: Stronghold and Norbert from Aliens: Harvest. Often, the real Xenomorphs ignore these robotic versions of themselves, as they sometimes ignore all androids, including ones with human likenesses.

Carrying A (Dead) Chestburster

Doctor Paul Church escapes from an Alien hive in Aliens: Labyrinth

In the unique dynamics of Xenomorph behavior, an individual carrying a Chestburster inside them often goes ignored by these creatures. This phenomenon suggests a possible method of evasion or coexistence, but only for a short while. Intriguingly, there are instances where the Chestburster has died while still within the host, yet the Xenomorphs continue to disregard the host's presence. This happened with Paul Church in Aliens: Labyrinth, who was facehugged in a hive infected with an unknown sickness, leading to impotent Xenomorphs. Church was ignored by the Xenomorphs, escaped the hive, and surgically removed the dead chestburster by himself.

Xenomorph Born From A Family Member

A one-armed Xenomorph from Aliens: Dust To Dust

Aliens: Dust To Dust hinted at a never-before-seen concept of a Xenomorph choosing not to attack the former host's close relatives. In the comic book, Anne Cregar, the mother of a young child Maxon Cregar was infected by a Facehugger on the colony world of LV-871. After being born, the Xenomorph stalked the group that Maxon was a part of, and killed several members of it, losing its arm in the process. However, in some instances, it appeared confused and did not attack or abduct Maxon. Some of the group theorized that the Xenomorph's DNA reflex inherited the maternal instincts of the host. However, this is proven to be false later, as the Xenomorph gets over its confusion and almost headbites Maxon.

Joining A Xenomorph Cult

A Xenomorph Guardian from Aliens: Dark Descent, a Xenomorph cult member

Lastly, the emergence of Xenomorph cults, groups of humans who revere and worship these creatures, presents a unique social dynamic. These cults might develop ways of coexisting with or even taming Xenomorphs, driven by religious or ideological beliefs. Many Xenomorph cults exist in the Alien universe, with varying degrees of cooperation with the Xenomorphs. Some cults were telepathically controlled by the Queen Mother to do their bidding. Another cult called the "Darwin Era" from Aliens: Dark Descent resorted to carrying semi-dormant chestbursters inside their bodies (named Guardians), to gain the effect mentioned earlier.


In conclusion, the taming of the Xenomorph remains very difficult and the methods provided here don't always work. The best solution seems to be to go through the Alien Queen and gain leverage over her in some way, including threatening her children. This in return will gain access to her minions thanks to the hive mind of the Xenomorphs, by following their leader. Exploiting the Xenomorph weakness of ignoring androids (including android Xenomorphs) seems to be the second-best viable option. But perhaps best of all, it's better to avoid Xenomorphs altogether and nuke them from orbit.

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