Aerotroopers are Space Pirates equipped with jet packs that allow them to fly and attack enemies from the air. First appearing in Metroid Prime under the designation "Flying Pirate", they have gone on to appear in the subsequent titles of the Metroid Prime trilogy under the title "Pirate Aerotrooper".
The Flying Pirates of Metroid Prime were extremely nimble and always maintained a high altitude when attacking, blasting at ground-level targets with missiles and galvanic accelerators. Samus Aran could make an easier target lock using the Thermal Visor thanks to the jet pack's heat signature and the Plasma Beam would quickly overheat the unit and cause it to rupture and detonate. The Ice Beam also proved to be effective, although Flying Pirates could easily avoid the slow-moving frigid blasts. Oddly enough, Flying Pirates frozen by the Ice Beam remain suspended in the air rather than dropping to the ground.
Some Flying Pirates will attempt a kamikaze attack when their jet packs are heavily damaged, explosively colliding with the enemy and destroying themselves in the process.
Metroid Prime 2: Echoes
The Pirate Aerotroopers differ little from their predecessors, except for their appearance; their armour is noticeably bulkier and their jet packs leave a distinct smoke trail, making them easier targets. Again, they attack with missiles and galvanic cannons, and will attempt a suicide attack when they take too much damage.
Metroid Prime 3: Corruption
The Aerotroopers have undergone a significant overhaul this time around. Their jet packs are more compact and they are equipped with Helix Attack Pods which are operated remotely and not attached to their suits. The pods fire missiles and gel bombs that stick to targets before detonating. Like the previous generations of Aerotroopers, they are still vulnerable to thermal attacks which will overheat their jet packs and cause them to explode.
There are three variants of the Aerotrooper in Metroid Prime 3:-
- Armoured Aerotroopers are armed with a standard, Echoes-style armoursuit that provides adequate protection against beam weapons, but can be breached with missiles. These units are often deployed in harsh combat zones.
- Advanced Aerotroopers are armed with additional layer of armour that can only be breached with missiles.
- Assault Aerotroopers are equipped with resistant armour that deflects all missile fire, but is still damaged by beam attacks. Only the best Aerotroopers can join this rank.