Archæans – a variant of the Parasite – are the threat that you must eliminate in Rainbow Six Extraction. These aliens come in 13 different types, all with unique appearances, abilities, and traits. You are more likely to encounter Tier 1 and Tier 2 Archæans on the lowest difficulty, with the chances of encountering stronger Archæans on the higher difficulties. Regardless, always aim for headshots.
Below, you will find a full list of Archæans in Rainbow Six Extraction. This will include how to encounter the strongest Archæans in the game: Proteans.
For trophy and achievement hunters, there is one associated with each Archæan: generally a number of kills or a certain type of kill.
Tier 1 Archæans
These are the most numerous Archæans in Extraction, and likely 90 percent of what you will encounter on the lowest difficulties as well as the first subzone. However, they can still be deadly, so do not take them lightly.
The main soldier of the Archæan force, it is a speedy melee attacker. They usually patrol in small areas or stand in place. If you can sneak up and take them out with a takedown to save bullets, do that. Otherwise, use one bullet to take them out with a headshot. They can easily swarm you and whittle down your health, so it’s best to avoid alerting them and taking out any nests that have been agitated.
One of two – along with the Breacher – Archæans with an exploding sac on its back (green), the Bloater presents a different dilemma than the Breacher. If it gets near you, it will explode with a noxious gas. This gas will continuously harm any Operator within its radius. The explosion will also alert other foes that there’s something to check out in the area.
To avoid this from happening, you can do one of three things. First, you can headshot it, which will not trigger an explosion. Two, you can use REACT Tech to eliminate them. Three, you can sneak up behind and use a takedown which, thankfully, does not trigger the sac.
On the plus side, you can shoot the sac to cause damage and kill enemies within the blast radius!
The Bloater’s counterpart, the Breacher doesn’t have noxious gas, but its self-detonation will damage you. Further, before they approach you for its final attack, it will alert other Archæans with a howl. Avoid this by taking it out before it can howl!
You’ll know it – and any Archæan – is getting ready to howl when an orange aura begins to swell around them. It takes about three seconds, so you have to be quick. Use the same tactics as you would for the Bloater. You can also use the explosion to damage enemies.
Possibly the most dangerous of the Tier 1 Archæans, Spikers have the ability to shoot many, many projectiles – spikes, as its name suggests – continuously. It also has a tougher shell than the others, so it will take more to kill a Spiker.
However, like with the other three, a stealth takedown will kill it so that a battle isn’t necessary. You can also take it out from distance if you’re able to land a headshot, though it may sit protecting its head from any view that doesn’t put you directly in its line of sight.
Tier 2 Archæans
This tier includes two unique Archæans that, while a step up from the previous tier, aren’t as much of an issue as a higher tier would suggest if you strategize correctly.
Rooters are like a mutated form of Groot, really. These hunched Archæans with blades for front legs. It has a hardened shell that makes it difficult to kill as it protects its head (a common theme).
If it notices you, it will stab its front legs into the ground and send out a Sprawl-like substance that will not only entrap you should you be caught, but will also damage you. The trick is to get in behind a Rooter and take it out with a headshot or a takedown, either in stealth or because its focused on rooting a teammate.
Sowers don’t look like too much at first glance, but they can turn the tide of a battle in an instant. Sowers can make traps that blind you when triggered. The effect dissipates, but those moments can be the difference between success and failure. Further, it will protect its head by enclosing it in a tough shell.
You will know its head is open for a shot when you see an orange orb in the middle of its face. If you are certain in your sharpshooting abilities, take it out with a headshot from stealth; otherwise, be prepared for a difficult fight as it will alert other Archæans if it’s not killed quickly.
Tier 3 Archæans
This tier includes what amount to mini-bosses. They are stronger with more unique characteristics.
One of the taller Archæans you will face, the Tormentor may end up proving the bane of existence for some while playing Extraction. It has the ability to freely move in and out of Sprawl, basically an instant transmission, which is made more problematic by the fact that you will most likely only encounter Tormentors in Sprawl-infested areas. Further, like Spikers, it can shoot projectiles at you.
Your best bet might be to have a squad member focus on taking out Sprawl in the area – either with bullets or the REACT Laser should they be at level 25 – while the others focus on taking out the Tormentor until nearly all the Sprawl is gone. This removes its area of maneuverability, increasing your chances of cornering the foe. If needed, deploy the Field Wall to create a projectile wall to protect your squad from the Tormentor (check out the REACT Tech guide).
Smashers are, fittingly, hulking melee brutes. It has a hardened Archæan Carapace that is nearly impenetrable. You will have to aim for its weak points, usually the head, but they’re also exposed by using the REACT UV Light equipped on all guns. They charge at Operators and seek to lay in a nice, stiff, violent shoulder tackle. It does go in a linear path, so use that to your advantage. Get behind it and try hitting its weak spots from there.
Like the Sower, Lurkers don’t appear too difficult at first – until they cause a swarm of Archæans to horde you and cause an Operator to go MIA. It is mainly a support unit, like Operator DOC, but don’t let that fool you. It can turn itself and other Archæans invisible, cloaking them to your squad and most of your REACT Tech. They will also call more enemies to your location, possibly cloaking them, so take them out. They are noticeable in that their heads look similar to a lotus flower
Tier 4 Archæans
This tier includes one Archæan, but it amounts to the easier of the boss fights – and “easier” is by no means to indicate a fun time. You’ll be lucky to survive an encounter with the next Archæan on the list.
Apexes are summoners. As such, they can summon other Archæans to battle and turn a numbers advantage into a disadvantage in the span of a few moments. Beyond summoning, they can also launch attacks at you, so you will have to balance offense, defense, support, and evasive maneuvers.
This is a battle where REACT Tech may prove necessary. A Fragmentation Grenade here, a Glue Grenade there, a strategically placed mine – these can all help turn the tide of the battle.
Also, don’t forget about using Operator abilities! FINKA’s will work wonders for a squad, while ROOK’s can provide that extra bit of armor that helps you last just long enough to defeat an Apex.
Tier 5 Archæans
The strongest Archæans in the game – so much they’re not officially in a tier, but so strong they deserve one – Proteans will present the most difficult challenge for any player in Extraction. Not only are they smarter, stronger, and more resilient than other Archæans, but they have taken the form of Operators and their abilities.
They mimic their behaviors to a certain extent as well. You will likely encounter Proteans who resemble Sledge, Alibi, and Smoke, so understanding their weapons and abilities will be crucial to defeating them.
They are motile, meaning they can freely move like you. They also have a hardened Carapace, providing them a tougher defense. It will take your wits, Operator abilities, REACT Tech, and most importantly teamwork to defeat a Protean.
Take the Singularity to meet a Protean
The only way to meet a Protean is to travel through a Singularity. These portals will only present on the higher difficulties (Cautious and above). You may be presented with “Gateway” as an Objective when beginning an incursion (check out the Objectives guide as well). Only by taking the Singularity can you battle a Protean.
Ensure that before entering, the whole squad has refilled ammo, REACT Tech, and abilities, as well as any med kits lying around to provide maximum benefit. If ROOK is in the squad, use his ability to deploy body armor for the squad for even more protection. Make a strategy, execute it, and defeat the Protean!
These are Archæans that have undergone a mutation, adding an effect – both visually and in skills – to otherwise normal Archæans. You will know what mutations are present in a map when you are presented your Objectives as just below, it will indicate the types of mutations possible. However, these two are placed here because of their presence in the game’s Codex under the “Chimera Threat” section.
1. Blinding Spore
Blinding Spore mutations indicate Archæans now have yellow spores on their body. These spores produce a blinding effect. In every case except when able to stealthily takedown Archæans, take out these mutated Archæans with headshots from a reasonable distance. You don’t want to be in the vicinity of the spores, rather letting the body disappear after death before proceeding.
They will also appear on walls and even on your Operators. Melee them off because when they explode the damage is minimal, sure, but it severely hampers your vision (look at the picture!).
Sludges are what amount to slimes from classic JRPGs. They are orange blobs that hang from ceilings. These split into three when killed. Each of the three then needs to be killed, though they are significantly weaker in this state. They will slowly make their way to you, then attack, though they will also shoot projectiles at you. Always take them out from a distance rather than attempt to melee them – maybe unless you use Sledge’s special hammer. They will also alert other Archæans. In this game, because of the presence of nests and Sludge, don’t forget to look up!
Other mutations include:
- Sprawl Overflow: Rather than only produce Sprawl upon death, enemies will produce Sprawl continuously.
- Cloaked: Some enemies will be cloaked.
- Armored Nests: Nests will have an armored Carapace surrounding them, making them harder to destroy.
- Caustic Sprawl: Sprawl not only slows you, but will cause damage.
- Chimera Fog: A thick fog covers the area, reducing visibility for Operators.
The three highest difficulties will present mutations. The intervals of mutation risk are 50 percent, 75 percent, and 100 percent depending on the difficulty. The experience boost correlates to 50 percent, 100 percent, and 200 percent gain for those difficulties. Basically, it’s high risk, high reward.
What you need to know about Nests
While Nests aren’t necessarily a traditional enemy nor occupy a tier below, they can easily turn a simple incursion into a fight for your life. These orange, bulbous sacs are littered throughout on the ground, on walls, and even hanging upside down from structures.
They have Sprawl around them, slowing you as you approach (if on the ground). If they are agitated – by being alerted to your presence, the exploding of a Bloater or Breacher, and more – they will continually spawn more enemies. Avoid this at all costs!
Whenever possible, stealthily takedown the Nests with a melee attack when prompted as it will take several bullets to pop. Further, using bullets can alert Archæans around the Nest and if not destroyed in time, it will spawn more enemies.
You also gain experience not just for destroying Nests as you would for killing a humanoid Archæan, but you also get extra experience for stealth kills (any kills from crouch while not alerted to your presence). So, Nests can be easy sources of experience and also the cause of your demise. Tread lightly.
Now that you have an idea of what Archæans are, their types, and how to best defeat them, squad up and make your way through the zones! Show those Archæans they chose the wrong planet to invade!