Although Orks, Chaos marines, etc. are always hostile to humans, they can be talked with, even if not reasoned with. Very rarely, even a (very short-lived) truce can be made with them.

However, was there any example in canon of Tyranids having any kind of communication with humans (or other sentient races)?

3 Answers 3


Communication from the Tyrannids is limited to their Genestealers and Genestealer Hybrids who infiltrate societies in order to make them ready for absorption into the Tyrannid Hive Mind. While the Tyrannid communicate amongst their factions and fleets, they do not bother with any other minds. Once infiltration is total, planetary assimilation can be completed in 100 days leaving a lifeless husk of a world. Lexicanum -> Planetary Assimilation

  • Possibly the most terrifying aspect of Genestealers is their insidious method of reproduction. Genestealers reproduce completely separate from a Hive Fleet, unlike the majority of other Tyranid creatures.

  • Through the use of a tube-like tongue called an Ovipositor, they insert a tiny embryonic organism containing their own genetic material into a host victim. Over time this organism alters the host's genetic code, and their consciousness is also completely suppressed by a localised version of the Hive Mind, known as the Brood Mind, becoming a virtual slave.

  • Any offspring born by the host will be horrific Genestealer Hybrids, which the host will be psychically mesmerised to care for, giving rise to the Genestealer Cults that grow in secret within human and other societies. Lexicanum -> Genestealer

  • Once they have begun their total absorption of a society, it is unlikely the Tyrannid Hive Minds ever establish any true communication with their victims. They do not need to. Their forces only have two default settings, join or die.

  • It is unlikely the Tyrannids will ever ally with any local galactic race since every organic race feeds their war machine. Only the unliving Necron have nothing to fear regarding being assimilated by the Tyrannids. They can simply look forward to annihilation being of no use to the oncoming Tyrannid fleets.

  • The Tyranids are seen as one of the gravest threats to the entire Galaxy. They seek only to consume all organic life and cannot be reasoned with or deterred in this quest. Worse still for the Galaxy, thus far the Tyranid Hive Fleets that have been encountered are merely the furthest stretched tendril of the main invasion fleet that is still traveling in the void of space. Lexicanum -> Tyrannid

See Also: Are Tyranids the creation of humans?

  • 1
    I'm sure I remember something about the Ultramarines Chief Librarian (who, being an Ultramarine, is the truest paragon of a Space Marine Librarian, whom all other Librarians look up to in awe & weep over every night for they know that they will neverreach that level of perfection) making psychic contact with a Hive Fleet... of course, the Hive Mind was wholly alien and true communication was impossible, so this may not be what the OP really wants. I think it was in one of the Space Marine Codeces.
    – evilsoup
    Commented Jun 30, 2013 at 9:29
  • For example, the gloating in Independence Day, in the style of "we will kill you all, you can't stop us" would be considered as communication. Communication must not necessarily mean negotiation. It is sufficient if one civilization sends a message to the other, and the other understands it (or at least part of it).
    – vsz
    Commented Jun 30, 2013 at 13:54
  • 1
    The Tyrannid hivemind is completely alien, so unless someone in the Ordos Xenos is keeping secrets, no real communication has ever effectively occurred. Not even a threat of destruction. The Tyrannids simply destroy every world they can in a hundred days, unless the Imperium catches them first. Then the Imperium attempts a save, if that doesn't work, then they perform an Exterminatus and everyone is dead anyway. I think the message is pretty clear from the Tyrannid perspective. Commented Jun 30, 2013 at 22:53
  • While true under current canon, at one point the Zoats served as Tyranid ambassadors.
    – Canageek
    Commented Nov 6, 2015 at 4:55

The genestealer cults which are set up before the Tyranid invasion arrives involve human-appearing hybrids infiltrating the society on the planet they are on. I assume this involves communication, even if its covert and duplicitous!


Just to be complete, I'm going to bring up some extremely old background. Beyond the genestealer cults, there are two other notes regarding communication with the Tyranids :

  • During the first edition, the Tyranids had some constructs that could be used as diplomats, the Zoats (cf. Advanced Space Crusade)
  • In the olden days (Realm of Chaos : Slave to Darkness), the rules did allow for tyranids in Chaos warbands (as well as zoats and genestealer cults).

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