How To Play Tyranids in 9th Edition 40k: Codex Rules Review

tyranids-codex-rules-rumors-bookThese are all the new Tyranids Warhammer 40k Codex rules and models along with how to play the new faction in our review.

Let’s start off by looking at the new releases for the Tyranids and then dive into how to play all the new codex rules for Warhammer 40k.

40k Tyranids Combat Patrol Box Set: What’s the Value?

Besides the codex, we know there is at least one other release for the Tyranids relatively that isn’t so new:

Tyranids Combat Patrol

Fortunately, the Norn-Queens have been hard at work splicing together a new Combat Patrol box, which is ideal whether you’re brand new to the Tyranids or have been on board since Hive Fleet Behemoth was first sighted.

The box actually has some useful units and minis inside, so this could be a good starting point for players. Let’s see what type of cash it will save you though.

  • Hive Tyrant $60
  • Tyranid Warriors $60
  • 36 Termagants $105 (includes the Ripper Swarms)

 Total MSRP: $225

Savings Versus Box Price: $75.

GW Reveals New Tyranids Parasite of Mortrex Model & Rules

Parasite of Mortrex 2


Parasite of Mortrex 3

Wait, could that be? Yes, it’s the legendary Parasite of Mortrex! This winged Tyranid monstrosity will soon cast a gruesome shadow over the battlefields of Warhammer 40,000.

This huge flying gribbly – first encountered on the planet of Mortrex – was originally mentioned in the 5th edition Tyranid codex, and Crusade rules have allowed Tyranid characters to mimic its horrifying implant attack… but nothing compares to the real deal. With its new plastic model, this classic critter is lunging out of the lore and onto the tabletop for the first time ever. 

Honestly, it’s a pretty cool model and from the size of what we’ve seen before, it’s just about the size of a Warrior.

It all sticks to the Hexapod style of the Tyranids organism design with a consolidated thorax, six appendages consisting of two sets of wriggly arms, and a set of wings.

When compared to the old 5th edition artwork of the Parasite, this is about as close as you can get. Plus, it makes for an easy addition to the codex because there is already background lore for it and plenty of people remember it

Parasite of MortrexSure there are a few new pieces of flair on the new model, but it looks about the same to us!

It also really looks like Games Workshop may be pushing Gargoyles in the new book, as they even mention it leading a group of them with Synapse,

This first image gives us a better idea of how large the model will be, as the new Tyranids Parasite of Mortex appears to be on a 40mm base, the same as the ripper swarm in the foreground.

parasite-of-mortex-whole-whcUnfortunately, this also fulfills most of the Nids rumor engines we’ve seen so far, so that means there is less chance for other new minis, but you never know.

With the new Tyranids Codex in hobbyists’ hands and rules previews aplenty from Games Workshop, we can get a better picture of how to play all the new rules for the bugs in this review! 

How To Play Tyranids Warhammer 40k: Codex Rules, & Review

These unique faction rules are collected from all the following reviews on YouTube, and Warhammer Community alike, so be sure to watch your favorite presenters talk about their take on the book at the links below:

Click Gallery below for full-size images.

Here’s the most up-to-date how-to-play review of the new Tyranids rules- so click on the gallery above to see all the new 9th Edition rules from the Tyranids codex!

Codex: Tyranids Retail Price: $55

Click here to get yours for less from these retailers: | Amazon | Dicehead Games | Gold Goblin Games |

Tyranids codex


Inside the book you’ll find fully updated rules for how to play the Tyranids and their key hive fleets, as well as background information leading from their first contact with mankind right up to the present day’s apocalyptic Octarian War. Despite the Imperium’s best efforts, Hive Fleet Leviathan runs rampant, and it seems that not even the largest Ork empire in the galaxy can stop them.

As befits a new codex, there’ll be a wealth of rules content from Stratagems and Warlord Traits to Hive Fleet adaptations and the return of Synaptic Link abilities. You’ll also be able to take your fleet on a Crusade campaign of its own, and while we can’t say anything about the specifics just yet, it’s safe to say you’ll be doing the complete opposite of any local T’au Empire players.

The new art is actually pretty cool we have somewhat of an expectation from this book, however, don’t judge too soon as we need to see how everything works together rules-wise.

Plus don’t forget to check out how to play all the new Tyranids Crusher Stampede rules review as well by clicking here.

New Tyranids Codex Faction, Biomorphologies & Synaptic Imperatives Rules Review

Tyranid Faction RulesTo start, you can mix Hive Fleets as long as they are in different detachments. So pretty nice to be able to grab multiple Hive Fleets. Next, Synapse has a base range of 6″ for all Morale tests.

Swarming Masses is pretty nice to get as many models to attack as possible, as 2.5″ is pretty far. Lastly, Death from Below is basically Deepstrike.

faction rulesThis is pretty standard so if you have a certain Hive Fleet, you can replace all the relics, traits, etc… with the ones specific for that Hive Fleet.

abilites aka faction rulesYou will be limited to one Hive Tyrant per detachment and all troops have ObSec. The Hive Adaptations can be swapped out for other rules and will supersede them. Lastly, any Living Artillery will never have Hive Fleet adaptations but will not stop the rest of your army from getting them.

Tyranids Biomorphologies Rules

Tyranid Biomorpholgies

From the New Tyranids Biomorphologies rules, The Hunt section has some really cool rules for moving around the map much faster, but the two coolest might be consolidating an additional 3″ and falling back and shooting, not to mention the ability to heroically intervene!

In the Lurk Tyranids Biomorphologies Rules, Territorial Instincts will let all your big monsters become ObSec and count as 5 models. Then, adding range to their psychic powers and re-rolling Deny the Witch tests are super strong. Lastly, the Feed ones will help you with charging, AP, moving and shooting, and shooting heavy weapons into combat!

Tyranids Synaptic Imperatives Rules

Synaptive Imperative rulesThis is a cool way to give each unit a special rule for their synapse. Remember though, you can only select one of the new Tyranids Synaptic Imperatives per turn- so that’s an interesting twist on how to play.

Synaptive Imperative rules 2Falling back and charging is quite powerful, but you do have to be within 6″ of the Hive Tyrant. Guidemind can be really strong for your large units as you should be rolling plenty of 6’s.

The Maleceptor is also really strong because you can perform action and shoot, perform actions even if you advanced or fell back and perform Psychic Abilities!

Lastly, the Parasite will allow you to consolidate even further, and when combined with the rules from before that would get you a 9″ consolidation!  Keep those bugs alive, and reap the rewards from these Tyranids Synaptic Imperatives rules.

Tyranids Synaptic Link Rules

tyranids synapseBasically, how to play the new Tyranids Synapse rules is to think of them as a Wi-Fi extender now. If one synapse bug links up with another, it has Synapse link range to everything they do. Which is handy for all the Model, Hive Fleet, and Imperatives rules sprinkled throughout the codex.

Hive Fleet Behemoth Tyranids Codex Rules

Hive Fleet RulesAdding 1 to the Strength of all units that charged is quite strong, meaning your army will always hit hard in the first round of combat! Next, re-rolling all charges in a melee-centric army is also preferred. The Psychic Power is solid as well, you’ll be getting that +1 Strength and re-rolling all wound rolls.

Lastly, attacking one last time for a couple of CP can be insanely good if done with the right unit!

Hive Fleet Kraken Rules

Hive Fleet Rules 2Improving the AP by one can be super strong if you’re attacking with huge units, as it will make their attacks actually cut through armor. Next, regaining CP on a 5+ can be really good, but isn’t anything too crazy from what else we’ve seen in the book and 9th edition in general.

Hive Fleet Leviathan Rules

Hive Fleet Rules 3This will make your Synapse units have free Transhuman, meaning rolls of 1-3 always fail! Then, it will give your smaller units in range a mini version of it with no wounds on a 1-2. Next, a free re-roll is always nice, but it is just on hit rolls.

Being able to have one unit taking advantage of a different Synaptic Imperative can be super strong and take your opponent by surprise! For 1CP, increasing all your AP by one is just awesome when you need it too!

Hive Fleet Gorgon Rules

Hive Fleet Rules 4Adaptive Toxins may not be the craziest thing, but if you have a ton of weaker units against a high toughness army, this will come in clutch. Then, re-rolling a wound roll is just always strong for free. The Warlord Trait might not be the best thing ever, but if you can get in combat with 2 or 3 units, you can start racking up the wounds.

The Psychic Power can also be super strong for bigger units, as you’re bound to roll plenty of 6’s with all those attacks!

Hive Fleet Jormungandr Rules

Hive Fleet Rules 5Getting Dense Cover for all your units is pretty sweet, especially against an army that wants to shoot you from afar, this will be super helpful- just ask the Raven Guard.

Tyranids have a lot centered around extra AP as this is another power based on that. Next, stopping actions is always really strong and really annoying! Buried in Wait is nice to put one big unit in the ground, meaning they can then ambush!

Kronos Hive Fleet Rules

Hive Fleet Rules 6Adding 4″ to the range can be really noteworthy as there are plenty of weapons in the book with short-ranged weapons. Then, this is another one that improves AP by 1 (seeing a pattern yet?). The Warlord Trait is interesting because it makes Perils so much more likely and might force them into re-rolls when they don’t want to.

Then, when combined with the Psychic Power to add one to the Strength, this is looking good.

Hydra Hive Fleet Rules

Hive Fleet Rules 7If you have big swarms, you will pretty much always be adding 1 to your hit rolls and that’s just super strong, Plus you can consolidate an additional 3″, so again, quite nice. If you have like 10-15 models within 3″ of one unit, you will really dish out the Mortal Wounds.

For 1CP re-rolling all wounds is honestly insane, especially since you’ll already be getting the +1 to hit.

Tyranids Warlord Traits Rules

Tyranids Warlord TraitsFrom the new Tyranids Warlord Traits rules, giving your big baddy ObSec and counting as 5 models will really let you get in there and get those objectives! Next, always attacking first and re-rolling your hits is always nice. Then, adding one to a hit roll is always nice, especially with all the other buffs you can give units.

Lastly, the 5+ FNP (essentially) is quite sweet.

Tyranids Relics Rules

Tyranids RelicsThe first of the Tyranids relics rules is pretty cool for the fact that it can do 3 different things, so whatever you need in combat, it can do it. The Reaper might be one of the best against big models because every time you wound, you do an additional Mortal and they can’t use anything such as FNP.

Lastly, the Resonance Orb will really help your psykers get off more powers.

Relics TyranidsGiving your Scythes +2S, -4 AP, and D3 is just super strong considering you keep the extra 2 attacks. The Cannon is quite powerful at S10 and D3+3 attacks. The one really interesting one, even though it might not see the most play is the Sac. Getting possibly 4 Ripper Swarms for free is just fun and cool.

New Tyranids Psychic Powers Rules

Psychic Abilities TyranidsWith these new Tyranids Psychic Power Rules and all the Hive Fleet-specific ones this book really has a lot of options. Catalyst is a great way to keep a unit alive as a 5+ FNP is always good. Onslaught is super good with a lot of uses, as you can use it to buff your shooting, or slingshot a unit into combat with Advancing and Charging.


Tyranids StratagemFor 1 CP re-rolling Monster’s wounds is always going to be strong if you want to secure the damage. Adding 1 to the attacks is also good and even for 2 CP on a unit of 20 or more, you’ll be getting a ton of extra attacks. They also have a Transhuman-style strat, which will really help your monsters stay alive.

Tyranids Stratagem 2Synaptic Legacy is really interesting because even if your Imperative that you want to use died, you can still just use it for 1 CP. Then, the channeling is cool because you can just use basically any power you want for 1 CP!

Tyranids Stratagem 3Toxic Entanglement is strong as it is super easy to get off and will give you buffs while debuffing them. With the buffs to Gargoyles, the Blinding Venom will make your Gargoyles much harder to kill in combat! Overall these seem to be some pretty solid new Stratagem rules for the Tyranids!

Tyranids Wargear

wargear 1We’ve been seeing rules for a while now for the weapons and it looks like the Devourer and Fleshborer rumors are true- meaning you’ll be getting all kinds of shots with potential rerolls to hit and exploding 6’s even!

wargear 2Again, just like with the shooting weapons, we’ve been seeing rumors for melee weapons while now, so it’s good to see all this confirmed! Rending Claws with +1 Strength and -4 AP is just pretty awesome to have from the get-go. Then, the Bonesword seems to be keeping the profile from the rumors, so super strong overall.

Tyranids Points

Tyranids PointsThe unit size of Genestealers being capped at 10 was expected, but still hurts a little. With their upgrades in rules, the Warriors at 25 seem like a pretty good deal. Venomtropes preventing fallbacks for only 35 points, and Pyrovores with tons of solid shooting are a value too.

Tyranids Points 2There were rumors Carnifexes were moving to elite or another slot, and going way down in points to like 60, so it looks like those aren’t coming true this time around. Still, not terrible points-wise overall for the Nids.


Tyranids secondariesConsidering you have so many units with Synapse, you should be able to score the Insight one without too much trouble, just be sure to save those last few wounds or models for them to finish off!

Tyranids secondaries 2This should be doable for big armies moving forward throughout the battle, so nothing too hard.

Tyranids Character & Datasheet Rules

Tyranids DatasheetOne nice thing about how their re-roll works is you only have to start the Command Phase in range, then you get the re-rolls for the whole time, no matter where they go. At 5 attacks, they don’t really improve in that facet, but still, the weapons are much better this time around.

hive tyant rules datasheet Tyranids codexUnlike the flying version, the new Hive Tyrant on foot does can not deepstrike but does have an impressive 4+ invulnerable save, however they are still limited one per detachment.

Swarmlord Codex Datasheet Rules

Swarmlord rules datasheet Tyranids codex

Shadows has changed a bit to potentially more dangerous to enemy casters:

While an enemy Psyker unit is within 18″ of this unit:
• Subtract 1 from Psychic tests taken for that enemy unit.
• Each time that enemy unit suffers Perils of the Warp, it suffers
1 additional mortal wound.

Domination lets you just dish out re-rolls in general and a fat 2+, 4+ invulnerable, and T8 will help keep him alive some. However, at 13 wounds, he will get picked on for sure. Tyrant Guard are probably an auto-include for him if they still work that way.

Although the rumor is that Catalyst gives a unit a 5+ feel no pain (6+ for Titanic models) on a cast of a six, so maybe they will not be needed.  About the only thing not listed here is its’ new Warlord trait.

Tyranids Gargoyles Datasheet Rules

gargoyles troops points codex tyranids 1

Unfortunately, we don’t know all the special rules, but from the symbol next to the painted model it appears that Gargoyles are indeed making the move to the Troops slot!

swarming masses

It looks like with these new rules and a much better weapon, people might actually field some Gargoyles once again!  This would also mean Termagants might be making a bigger return as their shooting might actually do something!

TermagantsWith the Fleshborer getting so much better, the Termagants are getting a massive buff without changing much themselves.

They have a pretty decent statline with all the good rules for guarding your Hive Tyrant keyword models.

ZoanthropesThese are a little different from before, but they at least have a 4+ Invuln and can still go one Psychic Power. They also add 1 to Smite for each model in the unit, so can get up to a bunch of wounds. Thier synaptic imperative lets you throw out an invulnerable as well, which could be nice in some circumstances!

TyrannofexThe Rupture Cannon with 3 attacks at S 14,-4 AP, and D6+4 damage, this thing will really dish out the pain! The other weapons are all pretty decent, especially when you consider the Acid Spray is an 18″ super strong flamer.


Last, a profile with 16 attacks is just something else! Especially if you give this Adrenal Glands, it will be 16 S8 attacks! So, if you want to tear through infantry, then this might just be the perfect choice.

New Tyranids Warriors & Prime Codex Datasheets

tyranid prime rules 9th codex edition

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tyranid prime rules 9th codex edition

Haruspex 40k Codex Datasheet

Haruspex rules datasheet Tyranids codex

Though just looking at the statline, it’s getting seriously better and with 2 extra wounds and a better save, it should survive longer. Plus from the looks of it Acid Blood being a keyword means there is probably a Stratagem to trigger it as well now.

Tyranids Exocrine Codex Datasheet Rules

Exocrine rules rules datasheet Tyranids codex

From the looks of it the Exocrine has lost the standstill and double shoot +1BS option, still, the baseline stats of everything are so much better,  the trade-off may be worth it.

Warhammer 40k Tyranids FAQ

Tyranid FAQOne of the biggest NERFs is changing Encircle the Prey to be in the movement phase now. A bit of a strange move but we guess they thought it was performing too well? Next, they changed it so Hive Tyrants can no longer take two Venom Cannons or Stranglethorn Cannons. This was somewhat expected.

Then, there are some keyword changes that were pretty much just wrong and lastly, they actually gave Zoanthropes Synapse, which obviously they were supposed to have the whole time.

Tyranid FAQ 2Now it looks like their spore pods can come onto the battlefield in turn one. This one is a little strange, but it looks pretty intentional.

Then, two more NERFS; the first is Maleceptors getting hit with Enraged Reserves. After that, performing an action is counted against how many powers you can manifest, meaning it cuts down on the powers you can cast while performing the action.

Download the FAQ here!

More exciting times for how to play Tyranids are on the way, along with new rules and models!  Here’s all the latest on the new Tyranids rules updates and points changes for Warhammer 40k.

Click Gallery below for full-size images.

Here’s the most up-to-date how-to-play review of the new Tyranids rules- so click on the gallery above to see all the new 9th Edition rules from the Tyranids codex!

All the Newest GW Model & Rules Previews For 2022

What do you think about how to play Tyranids with all these new models and rules from their 40k codex book?

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About the Author: Rob Baer

Virginia Restless, Miniature Painter & Cat Dad. I blame LEGOs. There was something about those little-colored blocks that started it all... Twitter @catdaddymbg
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