Universe At War
Affiliation:The Hierarchy
Type:Organic, Heavy Infantry, Basic Infantry
Armor:Alien Infantry Heavy
Movement Type:Infantry
Sight Range:175
Cost:300RM (see article for reductions)
Time:0:18 (see article for reductions)
Produced From:Hierarchy Habitat Walker
Special Ability:Capture Neutral Structure
Weapon:Plasma Shotgun (5 projectiles per burst), Plasma Grenade (researched), melee knockback.
Damage:Shotgun Pellets: 5, Knockback: 13, Grenade: 15 (DPS: 3.8), Radiation 50 over a period of 10 seconds (doubled with Gamma Radiation)
Upgrades:Plasma Grenades (Assault-1), Irradiated Shots (Mutagen-1),Gamma Radiation (Mutagen-3), Quantum Ordnance (Quantum-3)

"Commander Orlok, why are we always the ones to die first?" - Grunt

The Hierarchy Grunt is the mainstay of the Hierarchy invasion forces and serve as basic infantry for the faction.


Grunts are about 13 human ft tall.

Grunts are genetically modified to survive in any environment [1] and perhaps as a result tower over all other basic infantry. Each Grunt carries a massive plasma shotgun on their right arm and are capable of "bashing" other infantry with it when in proximity. Like the other Hierarchy infantry, Grunts have three fingers and toes as well as gray skin. Unlike other alien infantry, Grunts have near-full body armor complete with sensors, rebreathers and life support systems built into it [2]. Grunts seem to enjoy combat, as they will laugh or chuckle when ordered to attack. When not in combat, Grunts stretch their limbs, toy with their cannon, or gaze about.

Despite being quite powerful, Grunts are considered expendable by Kamal Re'x and are frequently sent on suicide missions or told to fight to the very last soldier. At least one Grunt seemed to resent this, asking Orlok why they are the first to die in missions. [3]

Based on developer commentary about the weapons casings of Hierarchy Plasma weapons being made from a material on the Grunt homeworld, it seems to point to the idea that Grunts were a separate species before being conquered and enslaved by the Hierarchy.


"...summon more Grunts! Reinforcements are arriving too slowly."-Orlok

Being the most basic infantry of the Hierarchy, Grunts appear in just about every mission in the campaigns. Their first appearance is during General Moor's rescue mission in Washington D.C., where a pair of them are witnessed killing civilians as they flee the battle.

A line of Grunts awaiting orders.

During the Hierarchy's assault on Egypt, a squad of 15 Grunts are given to Orlok by Kamal Re'x to deal with a "small" Novus outpost. One of them expresses dislike for the fact that they are always the first to die in an invasion. Later, a large group of Grunts side with Orlok during his rebellion, but at the defeat of Orlok at the hands of Kamal, they quickly turn on him and open fire on their former commander as per Nufai's orders.

Later, several Grunts witnessed Kamal's interragation of Prince Zessus, chuckling over it. Many Grunts were used to guard the prison compound that held the prince and several other prisoners, but ultimately they were not enough to prevent Zessus' reinforcments from freeing all the prisoners.

Tactical Application[]

A grunt using it's bash attack on an Ohm robot

The Grunt's unique plasma "shotgun" weapon allows them to either damage multiple enemies at range or deal severe damage to a single infantry target up close. Thanks to this, the Grunt's shotgun is ideal for irradiating multiple foes with the Irradiated Shots upgrade. When at point-blank range with a hostile infantry unit (even another Grunt or a Novus Blade Trooper), the Grunt will use its weapon as a club to knock back the enemy and then shoot them on their way back down. Like all basic infantry, Grunts have the ability to capture neutral buildings.

Three Grunts capturing a human laser turret

Grunts are generally used in heavy numbers to overwhelm enemy positions and can be used in combination with Bleed-mode Defilers as makeshift defenses. Grunts are most effective as living shields for more vulnerable or expensive units like the Defiler or Brutes, given that Grunts are fairly cheap (300 RM) and rapidly build. On the flip side, Grunts also work well when paired with a higher priority target, such as Orlok or an Assembly Walker. Their Grenade upgrade in particular makes them extremely effective against vehicles and structures.

It should be noted that Grunts are near-useless against production walkers even when used en masse, so it is advisable to only build them for capturing neutral structures in a Hierarchy mirror match.


Grunt concept art

  • Grunts are without a doubt the slowest infantry unit in the game, but their shotguns mean that they can damage multiple foes per shot and they are the only basic infantry that is uncrushable to all but Masari Peacebringers, Orlok The Eternal and Hierarchy walkers.
  • Remember, Grunts are the only basic infantry with no anti-air capabilities, so mix a few Lost-Ones in to provide anti-air cover.
  • Grunts work extremely well when paired with something that can heal them, such as the Defiler, Habitat Walker with Radiator Artillery, or upgraded Spitter Turrets.
  • Although Grunts are the most powerful basic infantry, Masari Disciples and Novus Ohm Robots will easily out-range them. In fact nearly everything except melee units out-ranges them.
  • The Grunt's knock-back has the interesting effect of deactivating other infantry's abilities, such as capturing a neutral structure or even builders constructing something. Due to this, Grunts are excellent neutral structure guards, as if something tries to take the structure their knock back will cancel it.
  • Grunts work particularly well when paired with Lost Ones, since Grunts can block most vehicles from crushing the smaller aliens while the Lost Ones can handle aircraft and aid against infantry. Both units also greatly benefit from Assault 1 research which provides them with plasma ordnance to use against structures and vehicles.
  • "Grunt" is used as a slang term to denote low ranking infantry forces or infantry used as cannon fodder, hence the alien's name.
  • They seem to be the strongest infantry in the game

Cost and Buildtime Chart[]

Cost: 300

1 Cost Optimizer: 276
2 Cost Optimizers: 252
3 Cost Optimizers: 228
4 Cost Optimizers: 204

Time: 0:18

1 Teleport Accelerator: 0:16
2 Teleport Accelerators: 0:15
3 Teleport Accelerators: 0:13
4 Teleport Accelerators: 0:12

Special Abilities[]


Effect: Captures target neutral structure after 10 seconds

Cooldown: 0:20 (from end of capture attempt)

Damage vs. Armor[]

Shotgun Pellets[]

Armor Type Modifier Damage DPS
Base 1.0 5 3.3 (16.7)
Alien Infantry Light 1.5 7.5 5 (25)
Novus Infantry Light 1.5 7.5 5 (25)
Masari Infantry Light 1.65 8.3 5.4 (27.2)
Alien Infantry Heavy 1.5 7.5 5 (25)
Novus Infantry Heavy 1.5 7.5 5 (25)
Masari Infantry Heavy 1.65 8.3 5.4 (27.2)
Vehicle Light 1.15 5.8 3.8 (19)
Vehicle Heavy 1.15 5.8 3.8 (19)
Structure Light 0.8 4 2.6 (13.2)
Structure Heavy 0.8 4 2.6 (13.2)
Hero 1.25 6.3 4.1 (20.6)
Hero Endure 0.5 2.5 3.2 (8.4)
Walker 0.7 3.5 2.3 (11.6)
Walker Hardpoint 0.7 3.5 2.3 (11.6)
Walker Hardpoint Armor 0.7 3.5 2.3 (11.6)

Plasma Grenade[]

Armor Type Modifier Damage DPS
Base 1.0 15 3.8
Vehicle Light 1.3 19.5 4.9
Vehicle Heavy 1.2 18 4.6
Masari Vehicle Elite 1.05 15.8 4
Structure Turret 1.3 19.5 4.9
Structure Light 1.4 21 5.3
Structure Heavy 1.3 19.5 4.9
Hero Endure 0.85 12.3 3.2
Reaper 1.3 19.5 4.9
Dark Matter Armor 1.65 24.8 6.3


  1. In-game tool tip
  2. Concept Art
  3. Hierarchy Campaign: Mission 1