"Maybe cybernetics wasn't such a great idea after all. Look what the demons have done with it. It seems unfair somehow you're not the only guy in Hell with a plasma gun."
― Description in the Doom II manual

The Arachnotron is a spider-like cybrid monster introduced in Doom II. It is similar in appearance to the Spiderdemon, but smaller and with large eyes that change color depending on the monster's current state (moving, hurt, or attacking). It is supported by a metal chassis and a body that consists primarily of a large brain, along with two small arms. Instead of a chaingun, it wields a powerful plasma gun that fires bursts of yellow and green energy.

In Doom II, they make their first appearance in Dead Simple, where the player must fight them when they reinforce the fallen Mancubi.

Combat characteristics

An Arachnotron emits a crescendoing mechanical cry (akin to machinery powering up) when spotting a player. Like the Spiderdemon, it has audible footsteps, in their case sounding like buzzing machinery punctuated with occasional electronic crackling. When this monster dies, its head explodes into a morass of gore as its mechanical body collapses while unleashing an electronically-pitched dying tone that resembles failing machinery.

Tactical analysis

Once the Arachnotron engages an enemy it will continue to fire until the enemy is killed or moves out of its field of view, or until the monster itself flinches in pain or is destroyed - similar behavior can be observed with the Spiderdemon, nazi soldier and heavy weapon dude.

Although they may seem slow, Arachnotrons are actually faster than quite a few of the other monsters and can catch up with the player at an alarming rate. They have a medium pain chance, so rapid fire weapons such as the chaingun will work well, although using the chainsaw on them is very risky (unless the chainsaw-wielding player can rapidly reach and attack the monster before it opens fire). Their attacks are easier to avoid than the rapid-fire hitscan attacks of heavy weapon dudes and Spiderdemons, but their plasma bursts are among the fastest projectiles, and their high rate of fire can quickly drain the player's health. Additionally, the plasma bursts can obscure the player's vision upon a successful hit. If a player constantly attacks, moves in broad side-to-side movements, and tries to get out of the Arachnotron's line of fire periodically, then the player will sustain minimal damage.

Because of their sustained, extremely fast rate of fire, they are often more than capable of defeating almost any monster if provoked via monster infighting, especially when multiple Arachnotrons attack; however, stronger enemies such as a baron of hell will usually prevail in smaller battles because of their higher health.


  • As with the Spider Mastermind, the term Arachnotron (roughly translatable as "spider instrument") is not absolutely literal, as arachnids (spiders and such) have always eight limbs. In Doom 2, however, these monsters have only six limbs: two organic arms and four mechanical legs; curiously, while the Doom 64 version increases their mechanic leg count to six, they lack the organic arms.
  • In the Doom source code the internal name for the arachnotron is MT_BABY, and the root of its sprite name in the IWAD is BSPI, so the monster was arguably called (or nicknamed) baby spider during the development of Doom II.
  • In a ZDoom-based source port, if the player is killed by an Arachnotron (monster is credited with delivering the blow that reduces player's health to 0%), an obituary message is displayed at the top of the screen: "[player name] let an Arachnotron get him(her)".
  • The projectile sprite APLS is actually a re-colored version of the Imp's projectile sprite in beta versions of Doom.
  • The Arachnotron was supposed to have a Chaingun instead of a Plasma gun in the early beta of Doom II. This was eventually given to the Spiderdemon.
  • In Brutal Doom, Arachnotrons are larger, near the size of Hell Knights or a Baron of Hell, move faster and fire the same blue plasma bolts from the player's plasma gun.


border="2" cellpadding="4" cellspacing="0" style="margin: 1em 1em 1em 0; background: #f9f9f9; border: 1px #aaa solid; border-collapse: collapse; font-size: 95%;" Attributes
ID #68 (decimal), 44 (hex)
Hit points500
Speed12 map units per frame
(140.0 map units per second)
Reaction time8
Pain chance128 (50%)
Pain time6 tics
border="2" cellpadding="4" cellspacing="0" style="margin: 1em 1em 1em 0; background: #f9f9f9; border: 1px #aaa solid; border-collapse: collapse; font-size: 95%;" Bits list

1: Obstacle

2: Shootable

22: Affects Kill %

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border="2" cellpadding="4" cellspacing="0" style="margin: 1em 1em 1em 0; background: #f9f9f9; border: 1px #aaa solid; border-collapse: collapse; font-size: 95%;" Sprites & sounds
Sprite nameBSPI
Alert soundDSBSPSIT
Chase soundDSBSPWLK
Action soundDSBSPACT
Pain soundDSDMPAIN
Death soundDSBSPDTH

|} |valign=top|

border="2" cellpadding="4" cellspacing="0" style="margin: 1em 1em 1em 0; background: #f9f9f9; border: 1px #aaa solid; border-collapse: collapse; font-size: 95%;" Ranged attack
Speed25 map units per tic
(875 map units per second)
Shots per minute263
Sprite nameAPLS (in flight)
APBX (impact)
SoundDSPLASMA (firing)
DSFIRXPL (impact)

|} |}


Damage done by each plasma burst

Shots needed to kill Mean Standard
Min Max
Player (100%
health, no armor)
Player (100%
health, security armor)
Player (200%
health, combat armor)
Wolfenstein SS2.750.7825
Lost Soul5.021.0938
Commander Keen5.021.0938
Boss Brain211.681.70816
Pain Elemental18.272.041322
Hell Knight22.802.241728
Baron of Hell45.163.093652
Spider Mastermind134.412.61128140

  1. This table assumes that all calls to P_Random for damage, pain chance, impact animations, and backfire checks are consecutive. In real play, this is never the case: counterattacks and AI pathfinding must be handled, and of course the map may contain additional moving monsters and other randomized phenomena (such as flickering lights). Any resulting errors are probably toward the single-shot average, as they introduce noise into the correlation between the indices of "consecutive" calls.
  2. Assumes that direct hits are possible, which does not occur in any stock map.
  3. Hardcoded exception to infighting negates damage (excepting indirect damage caused by exploding barrels).

Appearance statistics

In classic Doom, the Arachnotron is first encountered on these maps:

Doom IIMAP07: Dead SimpleMAP07: Dead SimpleMAP07: Dead Simple
TNT: EvilutionMAP06: Open SeasonMAP08: MetalMAP04: Wormhole
PlutoniaMAP03: AztecMAP03: AztecMAP03: Aztec

The IWADs contain the following numbers of Arachnotrons:

Doom II154164
TNT: Evilution295257

Other games

Doom 64

Sshot arachnotron64

Doom 64's Arachnotron in action.

In Doom 64 their physicality is considerably altered; the mechanical body is much bigger, with the brain head ducked down inside the machine itself instead of sitting atop it, also not having any organic arms like the classic version, and the mechanical legs (now six instead of only four) being longer and bent at upwards-pointing acute angles. Instead of a single plasma gun, the Doom 64 Arachnotrons possess two guns that fire out two blue plasma bolt shots simultaneously, but done so in spurts of five instead of a constant rate of fire, though it will continue firing as long as it can see the player. They first appear in MAP14: Eye of the Storm unless the player goes through MAP30: The Lair and MAP32: Hectic, which contain Arachnotrons but chronologically come first.

Doom Eternal

Two Arachnotrons can be seen walking in the official teaser trailer of Doom Eternal, but it's actual appearance in the game is yet to be confirmed.

See also

Monsters from classic Doom games

Doom & Doom II Monsters

ArachnotronArch-Vile*Baron of HellCacodemonCommander Keen*CyberdemonDemonHeavy Weapon DudeHell KnightImpLost SoulMancubusPain ElementalRevenantShotgun GuySpectre | Spider MastermindZombiemanWolfenstein SS*Final Boss (Romero's head)*

Sony PlayStation exclusives

Caco-SpectreNightmare Spectre

Italics = Introduced in Doom II

Monsters from the Sony PlayStation version of Doom
Arachnotron | Baron of Hell | Cacodemon | Cyberdemon | Demon | Heavy Weapon Dude | Hell Knight | Imp | Lost Soul | Mancubus | Nightmare Spectre | Pain Elemental | Revenant | Shotgun Guy | Spectre | Spider Mastermind | Zombieman
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