'Aliens: Fireteam Elite': Phalanx Class Introduced in New Season 1 Update

Aliens: Fireteam Elite will be getting its first major update later today (Wednesday, September 8), introducing extra weapons to the cooperative shooter, alongside some cosmetics and a brand-new character class.

Having only been released a couple of weeks ago (on August 23), it might seem rather early for Aliens: Fireteam Elite to be getting such a big update. Yet developer Cold Iron Studios has announced that new content will be regularly supplied to the game, via seasonal patches akin to those you might see in Fortnite or Call of Duty: Warzone.

Unlike those titles, however, Fireteam Elite is not free-to-play and so its extra content will not be gated behind a paywall or battle pass system. Instead, it will be available for all players after the initial $39.99 fee.

The first of these major updates is released later today and will expand the armoury and cosmetic options for your colonial marine avatar. However, the most significant addition is a new character class, known as "The Phalanx", which is ideally suited for bunkering down and withstanding the unrelenting enemy hordes.

Indeed, tomorrow's patch of free new content not only brings the Phalanx Kit, but also 4 new weapons and more cosmetics. This is only the first of more seasonal updates we have on the way, though.

— Aliens: Fireteam Elite (@AliensFireteamE) September 7, 2021

Aliens: Fireteam Elite Introduces New Phalanx Class

At launch, there were a total of five playable classes in Aliens: Fireteam Elite. Four of these were available to select from the very beginning (the gunner, the demolisher, the technician and the doc), but you had to unlock the recon unit separately by finishing the main campaign.

The phalanx soldier will now provide an additional sixth option for those who like to play more defensively. The defining attribute of this new class is that it comes equipped with a deployable shield that can be used to block incoming gunfire and acid projectiles. Phalanx troopers also have a special perk (entitled "Bulwark") which gives them a damage buff that is stacked by using this shield effectively.

The phalanx's other unique ability is the "Shock Pulse", which stuns nearby enemies and deals damage to them over time. In terms of weapons, the class has a slot for handguns and a holster for CQW sidearms.

Aliens: Fireteam Elite: Phalanx Abilities

Here is a comprehensive breakdown of the phalanx class in Aliens: Fireteam Elite:

  • Primary Weapon Slot: Handgun
  • Sidearm Weapon Slot: CQW
  • Shield Up Ability: Deploy your shield to block incoming projectiles. This will slow down your movement.
  • Shock Pulse Ability: Immediately stuns nearby hostiles and causes aliens that melee attack you to become dazed. Affected enemies will also take damage over time.
  • Bulwark Perk: Blocking damage with your shield builds stacks of Bulwark. Each stack increases damage dealt by 3%. Stacks 5 times.

The community's response to the phalanx reveal has been mixed. Some players are excited to see how it will shake up the dynamic of online matches (particularly in relation to spitter enemies), while others are less impressed by the new loadout.

In my opinion, this looks like a class made specifically to counter Drones and Spitters, without as much use (as far as abilities goes) against the melee enemies of the game, with its only direct effect against them to be a “now lemme gtfo” ability… which is why I love it :)

— Ponk! (@LordPonk) September 7, 2021

Meanwhile, another subset of fans is simply disappointed that Cold Iron Studios are not prioritizing other things instead. Specifically, there is a lot of demand for them to improve the matchmaking functionality and to let players customize A.I. bots in case they struggle to find teammates online.

Aliens: Fireteam Elite is available now on PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S and PC. Crossplay functionality between these systems is not supported.

Aliens: Fireteam Elite Keyart
"Aliens: Fireteam Elite" is avaialble now on Xbox and PlayStation console, as well as PC. Crossplay is not supported. Focus Home Interactive