Elite Pirates are Space Pirates that have undergone extensive gene modification through experimentation with Phazon. A result of the Pirates' Helix Project on Tallon IV, these huge Pirate specimens have had their muscle tissue enhanced and been outfitted with the strongest cybernetic armour available.
Samus Aran encounters three of these Elite Pirates in the Phazon Mines during the course of Metroid Prime. These units are bulky and slow, but tremendously strong; they are equipped with bayonets for close-range combat, Wave-Quake Generators that can produce deadly shockwaves, and an energy-siphoning gauntlet that can absorb beam fire. The energy absorbed by the gauntlet is used to power a plasma artillery cannon mounted on the Pirate's shoulder which fires explosive plasma shells that inflict massive damage.