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Time to earn your paycheck, team. We got a doozy of a swarm on the way.
— Mission Control

A Swarm is an event which occurs in some missions. It involves a brief period where enemy spawn rates are massively increased, tasking the Dwarves with clearing out the oncoming waves until all threats are eliminated.

Swarm Phases[]

A Swarm is broken up into three phases. In the first phase Mission Control will issue a warning to the Dwarves that a Swarm is currently imminent. This phase lasts approximately 20 seconds to give players a chance to prepare by forming a position and establishing defences.

The second phase is the Swarm proper; enemies will burrow out of the ground and proceed to attack the dwarves. In a Swarm enemies will spawn in significantly increased numbers and often in tighter groups. The majority of a Swarm will be comprised of varying species of Glyphids and Macteras (and their regional variants where applicable) but Swarms can also bring out uncommon region-specific foes such as Q'Ronar Shellbacks and Nayaka Trawlers. A Swarm's second phase will persist until the vast majority of enemies have been killed, or enough time passes naturally.

The third phase is the ending of the Swarm, announced by Mission Control, after which no further enemies will spawn. Once these last few stragglers are dealt with, enemy spawn rates are reduced back to normal. Often times no further enemies will spawn for a brief moment, giving players a chance to recuperate.

This halt period's duration depends on the previous Swarm (if there is not a previous Swarm, it will use the Start Delay value after some time) and the Hazard level (being any value within the interval), being a sum of both:

Start Delay:

  • Hazard 1: 150s (2m 30s)
  • Hazard 2: 150s (2m 30s)
  • Hazard 3 / 3.5: 112.5s (1m 52.5s)
  • Hazard 4 / 4.5: 75s (1m 15s)
  • Hazard 5 / 5.5: 0s

Swarm Type:

  • Generic: 103s (1m 43s)
  • Mactera: 100s (1m 40s)
  • Grunt: 100s (1m 40s)
  • Praetorian: 45s
  • Swarmer: 35s
  • Dreadnought: 0s

Hazard Level:

  • Hazard 1: 350 (5m 50s)-500s (8m 20s)
  • Hazard 2: 300 (5m)-450s (7m 30s)
  • Hazard 3: 1/6 (16.66%) chance of 180 (3m)-200s (3m 20s); 5/6 (83.33%) chance of 250 (4m 10s)-350s (5m 50s)
  • Hazard 4: 4/19 (21.05%) chance of 180 (3m)-200s (3m 20s); 15/19 (78.94%) chance of 250 (4m 10s)-300s (5m)
  • Hazard 5: 4/20 (20%) chance of 160 (2m 40s)-180s (3m); 15/20 (75%) chance of 230 (3m 50s)-280s (4m 40s); 1/20 (5%) chance of 299s (4m 59s)

  • Hazard 3.5: 3/19 (15.78%) chance of 180 (3m)-200s (3m 20s); 15/19 (78.94%) chance of 250 (4m 10s)-350s (5m 50s); 1/19 (5.26%) chance of 600s (10m)
  • Hazard 4.5: 4/20 (20%) chance of 180 (3m)-200s (3m 20s); 15/20 (75%) chance of 250 (4m 10s)-300s (5m); 1/20 (5%) chance of 400 (6m 40s)-500s (8m 20s)
  • Hazard 5.5: 4/20 (20%) chance of 160 (2m 40s)-180s (3m); 15/20 (75%) chance of 230 (3m 50s)-280s (4m 40s); 1/20 (5%) chance of 350 (5m 50s)-450s (7m 30s)

Unique Swarm Types[]

Swarms are usually generic (48/65 (73.84%) ; 12/15 (80%) for solo).
But some Swarms can have unique properties, spawning only certain kinds of enemies. These special Swarms will be identified by Mission Control.

  • Glyphid Grunt Swarm: (4/65 (6.15%) ; 1/15 (6.66%) for solo) This swarm will consist almost entirely of Glyphid Grunts. Grunt Slashers and Grunt Guards are also common sightings.
  • Glyphid Swarmer Swarm: (4/65 (6.15%) ; 1/15 (6.66%) for solo) This Swarm will feature many Glyphid Swarmers. Spawn numbers are significantly increased during this swarm to compensate for the easy-to-kill nature of the Swarmers.
  • Glyphid Praetorian Swarm: (4/65 (6.15%) ; 0% for solo) In this Swarm, you will face off against many Glyphid Praetorians. Spawn numbers are slightly lower than the average swarm, as Praetorians are tougher than the average enemy. Often, they are accompanied by a Glyphid Oppressor, as well.
  • Mactera Swarm: (4/65 (6.15%) ; 1/15 (6.66%) for solo) This Swarm summons Mactera enemies almost exclusively. This includes Mactera Spawn and Mactera Tri-Jaw. Mactera Brundle, Mactera Grabbers and Mactera Goo Bombers, are also summoned but not as common. Glyphids and other enemies can still spawn, but they are less common.
  • Dreadnought Attack: (1/65 (1.53%) ; Unknown% for solo, but not impossible as previously thought) Though not technically a Swarm, this event is conducted in the same way. Mission Control will announce the incoming threat of a Glyphid Dreadnought. These Dreadnoughts behave exactly the same way as the ones found in Elimination missions.

Unique Swarm Triggers[]

Asides from happening at random during a mission, some Swarms can be triggered through unique events or player action.

  • Egg Hunts: Breaking an Egg free has a chance of triggering a Swarm. This is detrimental to the flow of the mission as several Swarms can be triggered at once by breaking out multiple Eggs, causing Swarms to stack on top of one another. If the mission calls for collecting 4/6/8 Eggs then 1/2/3 swarms will occur, respectively.
  • Point Extraction: Swarms in this mission type do not have a warning from Mission Control before they occur, as Point Extraction caves tend to be smaller than the average mission. This makes them significantly more dangerous to unprepared players.
  • Escort Duty: A swarm will always spawn once the first wall is drilled into every time the Drilldozer is started up, and will usually continue until the Drilldozer runs out of fuel, and will not have an end of swarm alert from Mission Control. Regular swarm behavior takes over once the Drilldozer has stopped for fuel. Once the final room with the Ommoran Heartstone is reached, no swarms will spawn until the final fight is started. Once the final fight is over and the Heartstone is secured to the M.U.L.E., no swarms will spawn until the drop pod is called.