During the Fall, the alien spores killed all the people and animals that were exposed to them. However, some of the dead were heavily mutated and turned into new forms of life – transgenants.

Transgenants are deeply hostile to the human survivors and they will attack your soldiers on sight. No transgenant has any real intelligence, and its mind is solely driven by its hostility towards humanity.

Transgenant armour

Some transgenants are protected against certain damage types by an exoskeleton or by the nature of their flesh.  If a transgenant has some natural protection, then the amount of damage it suffers when it is hit is reduced by a fixed percentage.  

The percentage modifiers for each damage type are listed in the species pages.  For example, a balloon fish has 90% protection against laser damage, which means that laser weapons are almost totally ineffective against it.  However it has 0% protection against hard damage, which means that it is vulnerable to a weapon that fires hard rounds, such as the HK G36 assault rifle.

Transgenants and the Biomass

The transgenants that you encounter early in the game are all either mutations of the people and animals killed in the Fall or biomechanical constructions.  When the Biomass establishes itself, it spawns new transgenant species that defend the Biomass from intruders.  For the most part, these new species are only found in the Biomass which they have a symbiotic relationship with, and the other species never venture into territory controlled by the Biomass.

Capturing transgenants

Your objective in some missions is to capture a living transgenant for your scientific research.  In other missions, capturing a live specimen is desirable for scientific research, but not necessary.  Balloon fish, deathbellows, octopuses, sporeblowers and watchers cannot be captured alive under any circumstances.

In order to capture a transgenant, you must render it unconscious by shooting it until the health bar turns from green to red.  An unconscious transgenant will not recover during the course of a mission, no matter how long it takes.

If you are on a capture transgenant mission, then your objective is to disable a transgenant – killing all the transgenants in the mission area is counted as a defeat.  There are three ways to approach this situation:

If the disabled transgenant is human sized or smaller, one of your soldiers can pick it up and carry it to the pick up zone.  Use the Move order to get your soldier to stand on top of the transgenant, and then go into the equipment screen and drag the transgenant into his arms.  Then order your soldier back to the pick-up zone.  Remember that transgenants are heavy and a soldier carrying one will not be able to move very quickly.

If an unconscious transgenant is too big to carry, then you can recover it by killing or disabling every other transgenant in the mission area.  Recovery of transgenants and artefacts is then handled automatically.

Alternatively, it is possible to win a disable transgenant mission by disabling a transgenant in the pick up zone, no matter how big the transgenant is.  This is possible because most transgenants will head towards your soldiers, so you can use them as bait to lure the transgenant into position.  Pulling off this manoeuvre is fiddly and it requires a certain amount of both skill and luck.

Researching transgenants

Once you have obtained a dead specimen of a transgenant species and got it back home, it will become possible for your scientists to study the species by conducting an autopsy.  Research can be speeded up by having a live specimen as well, although it is not necessary.

Once your scientists have studied around two thirds of the transgenant species, they will be able to research the transgenant theory, one of the prerequisites for learning what the Reticulan plans are and how to stop them.  It is not necessary to research the remaining transgenant species unless you want to see the glossary entries.

Transgenants and psionics

Some transgenant species have a limited psionic ability, which they use to move around or to attack your soldiers.  Chrysalises and watchers are able to paralyse a soldier for a minute or so.  Several other species use their psionic ability to direct a bolt of electricity at a soldier without having the electricity earthing en-route.  No transgenant is capable of mind controlling one of your soldiers.

Transgenants are immune to mind control, so psi projectors are totally useless against them.  However they can be temporarily paralysed by psi stingers or physically injured by the other psionic weapons in the game.