A Queen is a large Xenomorph that serves as the mother and leader of a Xenomorph hive. Her appearance differs from that of smaller variants, with a pair of extra arms and a large head crest. She is the largest, strongest and the second most intelligent Xenomorph of the species, after the Queen Mother.
Queens are capable of engaging in combat, but usually remain stationary, letting the Praetorians (or Drones and Warriors, if none have developed yet), perform these tasks while they direct the hive and lay the eggs. A Queen can disconnect from its egg sack by pulling its tail out as seen in Aliens. A Queen is much more intelligent than a normal Xenomorph, displaying traits of wrath and vengeance beyond any purely instinctual behavior.
An example of this is when the Queen saw her nest destroyed by Ellen Ripley, but more importantly, Ripley killed all her children, after which the queen began a murderous rampage in an attempt to kill both Ripley and Newt, even going so far as to hide herself in the landing gear of their dropship and follow them back to the USS Sulaco. Ultimately, Ripley finished the Queen off by throwing her out the air lock. Queens may develop into Empresses if multiple Queens exist, and are attempting to eliminate each other. The victor rules over any Xenomorphs on the planet.
Out of all the Xenomorph species, the Queen possesses the most physical differences. It's most notable feature not present in other Xenomorphs is its size. While the Queen in Aliens was three times larger than a regular Xenomorph at best, the one shown in AVP is far larger than that, though this could be attributed to the difference in age between the two.The Queen' most prominent physical trait is its large, texturized, crown-like carapace, from which the soft spot of its head and its face can retreat into similar to a turtle. This great carapace is of disproportional size when compared to the rest of the Queen's very large body. It also has double-jointed hind legs, two sets of spikes on its back, six digit hands - with the third finger being much longer than the others and its forearms - and chest also featuring some form of carapace. It has a much smaller set of arms on the center of its chest that have unknown purposes. Its tail is extremely long and segmented, with a blade-like tip. It's overall colour is of a greyish-green tone.
A Royal Facehugger is the preferred method of developing a Queen. It sports a darker coloration and is capable of implanting both a standard embryo and the embryo of a Queen into a host.
It is possible for a typical Drone or female Warrior to develop into a Queen (as was the case with Specimen 6) in the absence of either a Royal facehugger or a Praetorian Facehugger, as long as it lives long enough to undergo transformation into a Praetorian. In AVP: Requiem, the Predalien was capable of impregnating humans with multiple Xenomorph embryos. The creature may have been a premature Queen and according to the directors, it used its unique method to impregnate hosts to build a hive so that when it molts into a queen, it will have some defence when it is rendered immobile with an egg sack.
A Queen, despite her size ratio compared to other Xenomorphs, can sustain near-limitless gunfire before having to retreat. Due to this, once outside of her larvae facility, a Queen can destroy most prey within seconds. It has also been noted that Queens display numerous signs of extreme muscle density, making hand-to-hand fighting a lesser-used tactic in AVP. A Queen's size is massive, much larger than other variations of Xenomorph. The Queen is rather fast despite her size, making her a very formidable opponent.
Queens are very intelligent and have been shown to know how to operate machines and somewhat understand humans (actions, not speech); as the Queen of the Hadley's Hope hive "told" her Warriors to back off when Ripley threatened her eggs. It should be said though that all Xenomorphs have shown intelligence in some respects, namely observation learning but it is known that Queens are superior. In the film Aliens and the comic Aliens vs. Predator: Deadliest of the Species, Queens were shown to communicate and "bargain" with humans: in Aliens, the Queen had her Warriors back off after Ripley threatened her eggs with a flamethrower, though Ripley later killed the eggs anyway after one opened, presumably due to the belief that either the Queen directed it to do so or that a Facehugger wouldn't be restrained by the Queen and would attempt to impregnate her.
In Deadliest of the Species, Caryn threatens a Royal Egg with a spear to get the Queen to release her friends; the Queen, however, begins squeezing them until they bleed, giving Caryn her own threat. Caryn then places the egg in front of the Queen telling her she (Caryn) will be a host to a royal facehugger if she (the Queen) lets her friends go, the Queen complies and releases the captive humans and gives Caryn a Royal Facehugger, which Caryn uses to impregnate herself. The Queen, from that point on, protects the group, though this may be instinct to protect her heir rather than actually protecting the group because of a deal. Also, in Aliens: Earth Hive, a Queen is given an IQ test, of sorts, and receives a score of 175.
It is unknown if Queens can take traits from its host or not, as the video game Alien vs. Predator: Extinction made it that Queens are PureXenos, however in Alien vs. Predator Requiem, a Predalien exercises traits of a Queen, hinting at the possibility that it could be a premature Queen.
A Queen's origins and growth have never properly been seen in films, the closest being seen in the film, Alien 3 as Ellen Ripley (a human) who was ]impregnated by a Royal Facehugger. If Queens inherit traits of their hosts, then the hosts of the Queens seen in Aliens and Alien vs. Predator were humans. However, other media sometimes show the same Queen appearance spawning either from other hosts or not shown at all. In select books, human cultists were host to Queen embryos. In Aliens vs. Predator (2010), it is shown that a Warrior can molt into a Praetorian and then a Queen.
- The Queen appears to be much more intelligent than other Xenomorphs. This is seen in Aliens when the Queen uses a service elevator to get to Ripley, though this could be common sense as she developed in the facility and most other Xenomorphs would have learned to operate human technology.
- In AVP, the Queen appears much larger than the one in Aliens, most likely due to age since the Queen in Aliens was only about a week old and the Queen in AVP had presumably lived for much longer. However, younger Queens can still grow to that size.
- It is also shown that the Queen can be made from Warriors. One example being Specimen 6.
- The Queen in AVP3 appears different to the other Queens seen thus far. She had a white coloration and the covering of her mouth was wrinkled and broken in some places. The differences in her appearance may be due to her advanced age or perhaps the loss of her Royal Jelly. It is also plausible that this particular Queen was, in fact, a Xenomorph Empress.