Elites are nearly twice the size of a normal pirate, covered in armor and armed to the teeth with deadly weapons, including Plasma Artillery Cannons, wrist bayonets, energy siphons and shockwave generators. The cannons fire powerful explosive blasts, but it can be targeted and destroyed by using the Thermal Visor. The energy siphons attract and absorb beam shots, but it does not affect missiles. The shockwave generator allows the Pirate to unleash a devastating energy wave with a ground pound.
Elite Pirates are far stronger than their lesser brethren. However, due to being infused with Phazon, they are dependant on it for life, like how the Outcasts are dependent on Cardamine. A special nutrient-rich Phazon solution was created to feed the Elites, and the supersoldiers were kept in large cryostasis tanks that bathed them in Phazon radiation.