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Tyranid Synapse Overview

By 933552688 - 28th January 2009 - 23:06 PM

Gamereplays community member Teigen has written up an informative guide on the different Synapses that the Tyranid race has at their disposal.


A quick breakdown of Synapse

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The Tyranids, also known as Nids are all about outnumbering your enemy and killing as much as possible. Tyranids have many weak, fragile units. Their strength lies in speed as well as outnumbering and overwhelming their enemies, combined with the strength of their surprise attack due to their agility in the battlefield. They are arguably also the faction with the best capping power, next to the Orkz.

In short Tyranids are fast, deadly and rely heavily on numbers to fight effectively. However there are also Tyranids that have been genetically engineered further than their brethren, like the Carnifex, Warrior, Hive Tyrant and Zoanthropes, as well as others. The very core of Tyranids is the hive mind, a psychological link, which links the subconscious of each Tyranid to every other.

"Sharing the same will, one will, one mind, one body"

The Tyranids primary swarming force is made up of Ripper Swarms, Hormagaunts and Termagaunts. These units do not gain any experience or veterancy like warriors, heroes etc. Despite this you can increase their health if you upgrade your HQ.

HQ tiers

Tier 1
  • Termagaunts - 480HP
  • Hormagaunts - 560HP
  • Ripper Swarm - 630HP
Tier 2
  • Termagaunts - 600HP
  • Hormagaunts - 700HP
  • Ripper Swarm - 787HP
Tier 3
  • Termagaunts - 720HP
  • Hormagaunts - 840HP
  • Ripper Swarm - 960HP
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The basic synapse is the way the more developed Tyranids direct the lesser Tyranids around the battlefield. There is a wide collection of varying forms of synapses available in this game, Hero specific as well as non Hero specific synapse bonuses can be gained for your units. The Tyranid army has 4 types of synapse creatures, two of which are available for all the Tyranids. The other two are the Hive Tyrant himself and the Ravener alpha with the war-gear upgrade - Synapse Aura (Damage). Many of them can biomorph to give different synapse. A common question is: how do I know that a unit is affected by synapse? When a unit is affected by synapse they will have a green smoke-like affect around their bodies as well as having an aura around them. All the units in the squad will show that they are affected by synapse when they are within range.

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These Hormagaunts are not affected by the synapse the Hive Tyrant emits. And there is no green circle to see around their bodies.

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Here we can see that the Hormagaunts have a green, smoke like circle around them. This means that they are inside the aura the Hive Tyrant emits.

What does synapse do? How does it affect my units?
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Warrior Brood, Hive Tyrants, and Zoanthropes all give off what is called a passive Synapse aura that works for all lesser Tyranids (Ripper Swarm, Hormagaunts and Termagaunts).
This synapse boosts damage output, effectively boosting their melee damage. One thing one should always keep in mind is that ripper swarms also become immune to suppression fire when under the effects of this Synapse aura. A good tactic is to use Ripper Swarms under the effect of synapse to engage a heavy bolter, or weapon that causes supression. This way the heavy bolter will be forced to melee your Ripper Swarm, effectively making them unable to fire the main gun, giving the rest of your army time to move in. (If they are upgraded with another synapse, they do not lose there basic synapse)

Basic synapse
  • The synapse improves with level
  • Basic synapse does not stack
  • Gives lesser Tyranids(Ripper Swarm, Hormagaunt and Termagaunt)
  • 25% more damage dealt
  • 20% less damage received
  • Harder to suppress (though only slightly)
  • Rippers are IMMUNE to suppression while under this synapse
  • Behave more intelligently (i.e. Termagaunts in synapse will find cover quicker and will often try and keep at range, out of synapse they are slower to respond)
Warrior with barbed strangler

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Warriors that have biomorphed this weapon have a slightly different synapse than the natural synapse Warriors provide without an upgrade. The synapse gives a health boost to nearby friendly forces, around 40HP -140HP depending on unit type.

A good Synapse combination is to have a Hive Tyrant with health war-gear Improved synapse with a Warrior with the barbed strangler. These two different synapse will add 140HP -550HP depending on the unit. A Hormagaunt squad with a base health of 700HP will have around 1200HP when affected by both of these synapse auras.
Health synapse
  • Increases the health of lesser Tyranids, with +20%(not Carnifex, Ravener Brood, or Warriors)
  • These stack with HQ upgrades/and level
  • Multiple upgrades do not stack
Gives health boost:
Upgraded to Tier 1:
  • Termagaunts +96HP
  • Hormagaunts +112HP
  • Ripper Swarm +126HP
Upgraded to Tier 2:
  • Termagaunts +120HP
  • Hormagaunts +140HP
  • Ripper Swarm +157HP
Upgraded to Tier 3:
  • Termagaunts +144HP
  • Hormagaunts +168HP
  • Ripper Swarm +192HP
  • Lictor without Vanguard +100HP with Vanguard +140HP
  • Zoanthrope +40HP
Warrior with Venom Cannon

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This biomorph offers a high damage Venom Cannon(note: this does not mean that the Hive Tyrant's Venom cannon upgrade grants a range synapse). The Venom canon is a ranged weapon that boosts ranged damage as well as giving Termagaunts an extra passive ability allowing them to knockback enemy units (similar to scouts with the Combat Shotguns upgrade). A Termagant squad with a Warrior squad upgraded with a Venom Cannon will have a chance to knockback a unit they hit. This is good to keep the distance with melee units such as banshees. A good combination is to have a Warrior with a Venom Cannon and a Termagaunt squad firing on the enemy’s strongest melee unit and then use Hormagaunt and/or Warriors to attack them. Effectively gives you the first strike bonuses versus the enemy unit that is knocked down. Versus high damage output units like Banshees this is vital if you want to win an engagement. Using Spore Mines on the enemy unit that is knocked down will force an immediate retreat or inflict heavy casualties.

Ranged synapse
  • Increases ranged damage by 30%
  • Adds chance to knockback on hit
  • Multiple upgrades do not stack
Warrior with Adrenal Glands

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This biomorph gives the Warriors' a bonus with their powerful claws that they can use in melee. This synapse is very powerful since it gives your Hormagaunts the ability to damage vehicles as well as leap across the battle field. This basically makes your Hormagaunts very effective in battle. By combining this with health synapse from ether Warriors with the Barbed Strangler upgrade and/or a Hive Tyrant with the Upgraded Synapse war-gear will give you a melee force to be feared. A good tactic to take out enemy vehicles quickly is to engage with Rippers and/or Hormagaunts then move in with Warriors after, this way it will be hard for your opponent to target the valuable warriors. Additionally you will be able to take down the vehicle without taking too much damage yourself.

Melee Synapse
  • Increases melee damage by 30%
  • Hormagaunts can now leap at their enemies and will automatically leap over cover
  • Multiple upgrades do not stack
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A tier 2 unit produced from the Tyranid's HQ. She gives off a powerful synapse aura that heals nearby Tyranids, as well as boosting their combat power. They are very fragile so activating the shield as well as keeping her close to a Warrior with the Barbed Strangle and/or a Hive Tyrant with the health “improved synapse”, will let her stay on the battlefield for a longer time, also healing your troops while they fight. Even if the health regeneration is slow, it really makes up for it when she heals 7+ squads.

Health regeneration synapse
  • Health regeneration synapse that heals nearby Tyranids.
  • Regen rate is 3- 8HP/s depend on unit type
  • Multiple Zoanthropes do not stack
  • When affected by the regen synapse there will be a green hexagon on the ground, surrounding the unit

Hive Tyrant

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The only hero that starts out with a synapse aura. This also gives a Tyranid player a good foothold early game, since your units perform better than they would have done around a Lictor Alpha or a Ravener Alpha. Upgrading your Hive Tyrant with the improved synapse war-gear will give a health boost to all nearby troops except for the Carnifex. A good combination of war-gear to allow you to fight longer is getting both the Improved synapse war-gear to give more health and then switching to the Bonded Exoskeleton when you are low on life to activate it's ability which will make the Hive Tyrant invulnerable for another 30 seconds, the only drawback is that you lose the improved synapse(health boost) aura and the good timing required to pull it off.

Health synapse (wargear)
  • Increased health on Tyranid unit, with +50% (except for Carnifex)
These stack with HQ upgrades/ and level:
Wargear: Improved Synapse
Gives health boost:
Upgraded to Tier 1
  • Termagaunts +240HP
  • Hormagaunts +280HP
  • Ripper Swarm +315HP
Upgraded to Tier 2
  • Termagaunts +300HP
  • Hormagaunts +340HP
  • Ripper Swarm +394HP
Upgraded to Tier 3
  • Termagaunts +360HP
  • Hormagaunts +420Hp
  • Ripper Swarm +480HP
  • Warriors +480HP
  • Lictor without Vanguard +250HP with Vanguard +350HP
  • Zoanthrope +100HP
  • Ravener Brood +675HP
Ravener Alpha

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The Ravener Alpha can be upgraded with the wargear, Synapse Aura (damage), which will make all units under this aura deal more damage and will grant basic synapse upgrades Although I am unable to gain exact data at this time on the amount gained, it does stack with all other synapse bonuses and seems to give a large bonus to damage.

Questions or comments? Discuss this guide in its feedback thread!