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Battlesuit size comparison

Battlesuits are used by the Tau and are one of their most advanced pieces of technology. They incorporate many weapons systems and armour comparable to a Space Marine's and can easily lay down a withering hail of fire to destroy both infantry and vehicles. These Battlesuits have specific roles and abilities within the Tau army.[1][2a] Among the Tau, they are known as "Her'ex'vre", which translates as "Mantle of the Hero".[12] Basically the Battlesuits are made of a dense nanocrystalline alloy which has an impact structure and a lightweight composition that allows the suit to carry more weapon and support systems. Meanwhile, the shape of each battlesuit helps to deflect solid shots, while a liquid metal coating reflects laser fire.[16]


The first Battlesuits were used by the Tau during the First Sphere of Expansion, where they were then known as the T-Series, helping capture Tash'var in 576.M39[8b]. The fossil-fuel powered T-Series was quickly replaced by the V-Series, which used Fission Reactors. However radiation poisoning for pilots was still problematic and it was not until later that they became standard in Tau Cadres. The current X-series of Battlesuits are far more advanced than their predecessors, and are considered the elite tip of the spear of the Tau Empire.[8a] Only Fire Warriors who have served as standard troopers (or Shas'la) then passed the Trial by Fire can go on to become Battlesuit pilots.[8c]

Battlesuits are a type of advanced power armour, with the larger models likened by Imperial observers to fast-moving (and infinitely more graceful) Dreadnoughts.[3] They vary in size, from no bigger than a Fire Warrior in standard armour, to being twice as tall as a Space Marine (with the new XV104 Riptide having surpassed even this).[3]. Battlesuits vary in role, from battlefield infiltration to fire support. Battlesuits are designed to be worn by a single Fire Warrior and are packed with advanced weaponry and devices. These include multi-spectrum sensors and scanners useful for detecting hidden enemies and recoil absorption technology which, while not providing the same stability as Terminator Armour, allows for accurate shooting of light weaponry while moving.[1] They also incorporate anti-tampering systems to prevent their use by enemy forces; during the mission to assassinate Commander Brightsword, an Imperial saboteur attempted to pilot a Crisis battlesuit, but upon entering the suit's cockpit was fried to a charred corpse.[5]

Standard nomenclature has these battlesuits categorized by two numbers - the first number denoting which mass class it belongs to, the second its role. For example, in the XV22 Stealth Battlesuit, the first '2' denotes it as a lighter-weight suit, while the second '2' means it is still undergoing field-testing.[2b]

Battlesuit Classification

Every piece of Tau wargear has a unique identification code detailing its size, design and battlefield role. Battlesuits are given the classification XV followed by a numerical code to denote their mass class (size) and their evolution in the design process. The XV88 Broadside Battlesuit, for example, is a mass class 8 suit, and the eighth variation of the XV8 Crisis Battlesuit. The much larger XV104 Riptide is in the tenth mass class, while the 4 in its classification indicates that it is in the final stages of field testing.[15]

Crisis Battlesuit

Main article: Crisis Battlesuit
XV8 Crisis Battlesuit

The XV8 Crisis Battlesuit is the standard battlesuit worn by those Fire Warriors who have proven themselves in battle and earned the rank of Shas'ui.[4] Besides the standard battlesuit systems the Crisis suit also incorporates a Jetpack for greater maneuverability and flexibility on the battlefield, while three hard-points allow for a mix of weaponry and wargear. The XV8 series comes in many variants.

Stealth Battlesuit

Main article: Stealth Battlesuit
XV15 Stealthsuit

Stealth Battlesuits, also called Stealthsuits, employ a holographic disruption field to make them hard to spot and target.Like the larger XV8 Battlesuit, the Steath Battlesuits incorporate a Jetpack in their design. Known existing patterns consist of the XV15, XV22, XV25, and XV95.

Broadside Battlesuit

Main article: Broadside Battlesuit
XV88 Broadside Battlesuit

The XV88 Broadside Battlesuit is based on the same chassis as the Crisis Battlesuit. However it exchanges the Jetpack for heavier weapons and armor for the specific role of destroying enemy armour units.

Hazard Close Support Armour

XV9 Hazard Battlesuit.

The XV9 'Hazard' Close Support Armour is a new design with the aim of providing a powerful counter-attack to Tau forces as well as a stable weapon platform for the battlefield.

Riptide Battlesuit

Main article: XV104 Riptide
XV104 Riptide Battlesuit.

The XV104 Riptide is one of the largest types of Tau Battlesuit, standing twice as tall as the XV8 series. They are both agile and heavily armed.[7]

R'varna Battlesuit

Main article: XV107 R'varna
XV107 R'varna Battlesuit

The XV107 R'varna is a new experimental Battlesuit that was developed from the XV104 Riptide.[10]

Y'vahra Battlesuit

Main article: XV109 Y'vahra
XV109 Y'vahra Battlesuit

Rushed into deployment after the success of the R'varna battlesuit, the XV109 Y'vahra is a Class 10 battlesuit designed for devastating shock assault.[11]

Pilot Battlesuit

Main article: XV02 Pilot Battlesuit
A pilot battlesuit.

The XV02 Pilot Battlesuit is an small battlesuit intended to be worn by Tau vehicle pilots. Currently it is in trials, with Longstrike as a test subject.[7]

Vanguard Void Battlesuit

The XV-46 Vanguard Void Battlesuit are fairly bulky battlesuits but not as large as the Crisis and Broadside Battlesuits. Their primery function is the exploration of derelict starships. There is a more advanced and heavily protected variant of this battlesuit used by Shas'el ranked Tau or higher called XV-46-4 Vanguard Commander Variant Void Battlesuit.[9]

Ballistic Suits

Ballistic Suits are a specialized variant of Tau Battlesuits. These suits are massive vehicles akin to walking tanks, designed to deliver heavy firepower. Ballistic Suits are not very manuverable, as they are too large to be equipped with jet packs. This excludes them from the type of highly mobile fluid warfare the Tau are known for. Instead, they are used to take down heavy enemy engines such as Super-Heavy Tanks and Titans. Ballistic Suits are also deployed against enemies that greatly outnumber standard Tau Hunter Cadres.[14]

Stormsurge Ballistic Suit

Main article: KV128 Stormsurge
KV128 Stormsurge

Designed to hunt enemy Titans, the KV128 is a large less-maneuverable artillery Ballistic Suit designed to deliver enormous amounts of firepower.[14]

Ta'unar Supremacy Armour

KX139 Ta'unar Supremacy Armour

The KX139 is the heaviest class of Tau battlesuit, intended for defensive purposes against massive enemies such as Imperial Knights and Tyranid beasts.[13]


Battlesuits use a wide variety of advanced Tau equipment and support systems.

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