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Rainbow Six Extraction Archaeans - all enemy types explained

Rainbow Six Extraction sees you fight against an army of varied Archaeans - here are all the different types you'll come up against.

There are many ways to die in Rainbow Six Extraction and none of them are nice. But the key to survival is knowing which Archaeans you are going up against and how best to bring them to an end. Each sub-zone and larger area within Rainbow Six Extraction is a dangerous place to be as Archaeans get tougher and more deadly as you progress through the game and difficulty tiers.

Every Archaean you face threatens you and your team in different ways, keeping you all on your toes. Rainbow Six Extraction operators come with unique gadgets which can be key to defeating the tougher enemies. This is not your usual run-and-gun, blasting at hordes of enemies PvE experience – Extraction is all about stealth and tactics and planning how to attack.

So to help you prepare for your journey into Parasite-infested America, here’s a full explainer on Rainbow Six Extraction Archaeans, including enemy types, alien tiers, tactics, abilities, and more.

Rainbow Six Extraction Archaens

There are 13 different types of Rainbow Six Extraction Archaeans to discover across the game’s four difficulty settings:

  • Grunt
  • Breacher
  • Bloater
  • Nest
  • Spiker
  • Rooter
  • Sower
  • Lurker
  • Sludge
  • Smasher
  • Tormentor
  • Apex
  • Protean

Rainbow Six Extraction Archaeans: Multiple grunts can be seen running towards a squad taking cover.


The Grunt is a tier one Archaean that has daggers for hands. They move fast and are quick to take down. However, a few hits from their bladed hands can put a teammate into down-but-not-out state. Awareness is key and knowing where Grunts are at all times will help keep you alive.


These lower-tier Archaeans are known for exploding right next to you and sacrificing themselves to destroy walls and other reinforced barricades. You will want to listen out for their strange alien gargling and also keep an eye out for any red smoke in the distance – this emerges from the exploding pustule on their backs.


The Bloater is a lot like the Breacher, however when they explode, they will leave behind a cloud of noxious gas. On top of that, they will often rush in after the Breachers have destroyed your cover to force you out of your position. You can melee both the Bloaters and Breachers to push them out of your way.

Rainbow Six Extraction Archaeans: A MIA Operator can be seen with two dormant nests next to them.


Nests are the birthing pods of the Archaeans and taking them out will stop new foes from spawning while you traverse a map. Be wary of enemy howls as this will set any nearby nests off, causing them to spawn enemies rapidly. If you can, try to take them down with a melee attack, so any Sprawl around it evaporates.


One of the more deadly tier-two Archaeans, Spikers can shoot armor-piercing projectiles from a distance, making them a key threat when in an Incursion. On top of that, while they fire, Spikers will cover their face, forcing you to land more hits to take them down.


This tier-two Archaean is an armored, four-legged parasitic creation that will slam the ground to fire out a ranged attack, locking you in place if you get hit by it. The Rooter is deadly if other enemies are nearby, so you will want to stun them and go for a takedown as quickly as possible.


The Sower Archaeans in Rainbow Six Extraction are stealthy boys that can be found scuttling around on all fours, which makes them hard to kill thanks to their armored head. On top of that, they will also vomit up mines which when triggered will blind you and alert nearby enemies to your presence. Stun grenades and Vigil’s Operator ability are a real lifesaver when it comes to taking out Sowers.

Rainbow Six Extraction Archaeans: A Lurker and a Grunt can be seen running towards a team in a doorway.


Lurkers are a real pain. Looking like a combination between a hunched-over elderly woman and a flower, these foes will cast invisibility shields onto nearby enemies, as well as itself, potentially allowing Archaeans to sneak up on you. You can melee it to reveal its weak point, which it will enclose in its flower petal-like head.


These Archaeans are not particularly deadly, but they can catch you off guard. Falling from the ceiling, these small piles of parasitic goo will split apart and crawl towards you if you don’t neutralize them quickly enough. Keep an ear out for their distinctive sludgy sounds to avoid being surprised.


Smashers are like the Hulk, except if the entire front of their body was covered in armour. Stomping around and able to charge at you, the only way to effectively take this Archaean down is to hit its weak point on its back. Stun grenades, distractions, and Operators that focus on stunning and halting the enemy in place are handy when facing Smashers, allowing you to get a takedown from behind.

Rainbow Six Extraction Archaeans: A Tormentor and a Breacher can be seen attacking two teammates in a backstreet.


This top-tier Archaean is stealthy, sly, and quick on its feet. Able to morph into the Sprawl that covers the ground in Rainbow Six Extraction, the Tormentor will dart around, popping up to fire off a quick volley of projectiles. Mines, plantable grenades, and stunning equipment can all help keep the Tormentor in place.


The Apex is the toughest of enemies in Rainbow Six Extraction. Floating around and shooting projectiles from afar, this Archaean will spawn new enemies in the map from Nests it summons. Invulnerable to takedowns, you will need to rely on grenades, stunning equipment, and Operator abilities to stop them from decimating your team.


A Protean is a Parasitic replicant of a traditional Operator. Found behind a Gateway, these enemies are fought in unique boss arenas and mimic the weapons, equipment, and abilities of Operators.

These are tough fights but equipment and bullets are the key to bringing them down. For more on the different types of Rainbow Six Extraction Proteans and how to defeat a Protean read our guide on the boss Archaean type.

So there you have it, all the Rainbow Six Archaeans you’ll be facing in the game. Make sure you’re prepared, or else your favorite Operator could go MIA.