December 5, 2023

It’s completely plausible to assume that there is advanced and sentient alien life out in the ominously dark and seemingly endless ocean of outer space. It’s also not hard to imagine that their technology would probably blow ours completely out of the water.

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Video games provide the perfect conceptual testing ground for what alien technology could conceivably be. It has the opportunity to offer gamers extremely powerful and devastatingly destructive technology to do with as they see fit. More than just an exciting thought experiment, these games can allow us to live out our power fantasies and imagine the tantalizingly exciting possibilities of the distant future. Here are some of gaming’s coolest gadgets, weapons, and tech.


An Andromedon in a Battlesuit in a battle stance in XCOM 2

XCOM 2’s mechanized Andromedons actually house an organic life form within their airtight battlesuits and are immune to all sorts of elemental damage. The suit has a devastating plasma cannon and can pummel straight through walls in an attempt to take you out. Once the invading alien pilot is killed, the fight isn’t over.

In a second attack phase, the suit itself will gain sentience and charge at you with deadly melee attacks, leaving a trail of a nasty poisonous substance in its wake. Also, if you opt not to kill the metallic beast and mind control it instead, it becomes a very powerful ally on the battlefield, causing quite a nuisance to their original alien comrades.

9/10 Predator: Hunting Grounds – Predator Suit

Predator standing over a fallen soldier in Predator: Hunting Grounds

In Predator: Hunting Grounds, you have the chance to play as Predator in 1v4 multiplayer against a squad of puny human soldiers. As always, the Predator has a variety of death-dealing tricks up its sleeve that all originated from another world.

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There’s a collection of primitive and advanced weapons and technology to help them with all that incessant murdering, including an advanced laser-guided plasma caster, the iconic net gun, and the relentlessly fun smart disc. All of that lethal tech couples perfectly with your active camo enabled. They’ll never know how much they had it coming.

8/10 Destroy All Humans – Anal Probe

Crypto shooting an Anal Probe at a human in Destroy All Humans

The recurring Anal Probe gadget in the Destroy All Humans series finally answers the age-old question of why probing human nether regions is necessary for intergalactic research. As it turns out, all humans have a pure form of Furon DNA, which is exactly what Crypto and his alien species need to prevent their extinction.

Luckily, they have the perfect tool. The Anal Probe does exactly what it says on the tin – aim at a poor unsuspecting subject’s bottom, fire an intimidatingly green beam of energy into their rectum, and witness in horror as they defecate all over the floor and their head explodes. Whoever said being an alien was clean work?

7/10 Prey – Mimic Matter

Collage of fightinh Mimic aliens and a playable/controllable coffee mug after using Mimic Matter in Prey

Mimics in 2017’s Prey are a subspecies of hostile aliens that can camouflage themselves by transforming into any inanimate object. After doing a quick scan of a mimic with your trusty Psychoscope, you’ll have the same transmutable ability with Mimic Matter.

You can transform into everyday household objects such as a garbage can or an unsuspecting coffee mug, and later you get the chance to inhabit the shapes of much deadlier objects. Being able to shift into basically anything you see fit is a great way to solve puzzles and get to hard-to-reach areas. It opens up the gameplay quite a bit, and it’s a blast to mess with the enemy AI.

6/10 Star Wars – Lightsaber

Collage of Lightsabers in Jedi Academy 2 and Jedi: Fallen Order

Perhaps the most iconic weapon in all fantasy fiction, the Lightsaber is a powerful ancient blade made of pure plasma energy that has the ability to cut through almost anything. The weapon has been a staple of the Jedi and Sith orders for millennia and has been used by any alien race skilled and disciplined enough to wield it.

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Pretty much every video game with the Star Wars name has included the Lightsaber in some shape or form. Some of the more notable include Knights of the Old Republic, Jedi: Fallen Order, and Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy. In all of these games, you can construct your own lightsaber, choose its color, and wield the ancient weapon in a variety of forms and styles.

5/10 Half-Life 2 – Gravity Gun

Gravity Gun picking up a red barrel in Half-Life 2

Half-Life 2’s Gravity Gun uses crystals from the alien planet of Xen for its power and has two distinctive fire modes that are useful for both combat and puzzle-solving. The first fires a potent energy blast that applies an astounding amount of force to whatever it is directed at – which is great for swatting away enemies and blasting aside seemingly immovable objects.

The secondary fire mode allows you to levitate items off of the ground and move them to where you see fit. When combining both, the gadget has the potential to be a very devastating weapon that will hit harder depending on the type of material you lob at your foes.

4/10 Marvel’s Guardians Of The Galaxy – Element Guns

Peter Quill holding his Element Guns in Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy

After receiving them on his 13th birthday, Peter Quill finds out that his Element Guns were once owned by his father, a native of the planet Spartax. As the name suggests, the guns allow you to conjure four elements at will.

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At first, the gun’s abilities are limited, but as Peter bonds with the rest of the team, he gains access to ice, lightning, wind, and plasma shots that each affect combat, puzzle-solving, and traversal. The fact that you have to deepen your relationships with each of the Guardians of the Galaxy before having access to these upgrades is a nice touch, and gives them an air of appreciated gravitas.

3/10 Mass Effect – Mass Relays

Mass Relay in Mass Effect

‘Mass Effect’ actually refers to the manipulation of matter from the mysterious Element Zero, which can manipulate the mass of anything in the field it creates. That’s where Mass Relays come into play.

Built eons ago, they are ancient structures that act as gargantuan transit devices that are scattered across the Milky Way. These impressive pieces of tech allow for intergalactic space travel with your hub spaceship, which makes the galaxy a much smaller place. It’s because of Mass Relays that races from all over the galaxy have discovered and shared with each other their respective cultures, technological advances, and general distaste for the new kids on the block – the humans.

2/10 Halo – Halo Arrays

Halo ring in Halo: Combat Evolved

There’s a reason why the title of an entire franchise is named directly after these beautifully colossal celestial space rings. They’re kind of a big deal. Originally created by the Forerunners, an ancient advanced civilization, Halo Arrays were built to serve a very important purpose. Kill everything.

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After discovering the Flood – an entire species of parasitic organisms desperate to take over any organic lifeform – the only logical to do is to hit the intergalactic reboot button. There are multiple Halo rings dotted around the galaxy that will destroy all sentient life in a devastating chain reaction when activated, in order to stop the ever-pervasive spread of the Flood. More than just a pretty face, eh?

1/10 Destiny – The Traveler

The Traveler floating above the last city in Destiny 2

Bungie sure likes a grand galaxy-spanning tale. The Traveler in Destiny’s expansive sci-fi series is a giant mechanical spherical entity of ancient origin that has the ability to boost the development of civilizations and literally resurrect people from the dead.

After hanging about for a few billion years, this very large, round machine decided that humans were its next target. It proceeded to pop in and out of our solar system, terraforming previously inhospitable planets to make us feel more at home. It does this with Light, a paracausal force that is the very source of life itself. Before becoming dormant in the sky of the last remaining city after the collapse, it birthed the Ghosts – sapient machines who could find fallen heroes capable of wielding this inexplicable power. If terraforming entire planets and advancing the technology of multiple galactic civilizations isn’t cool, we don’t know what is.

Next: Games That Let You Play As An Alien


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