Cybermen consist of an organic brain held inside a mechanical humanoid body. Several forms of Cybermen have been observed. Their metallic bodies are superhumanly strong, able to survive in hostile enviroments such as space, and armored enough to easily withstand bullets. In regards to aging, cybermen are effectively immortal. They typically wield head- or wrist-mounted energy weapons as well as being able to fatally electrocute enemies through their hands, although they can also make use of hand-held weaponry. Some Cybermen have demonstrated a vulnerability to gold, which clogs their respiration units; it is unclear whether this vulnerability still exists in all Cybermen.
Earlier models of Cybermen made use of small robots for various tasks, these were known as Cybermats. More recently, Cybermen have employed animalistic constructs known as Cybershades, although this might have only been a stop-gap measure. Some of the more primitive types of Cybermen have had more organic components.
Cybermen are genderless. To reproduce, Cybermen capture and forcibly convert humanoid sapients into additional Cybermen, a process they call "upgrading". This process subverts the minds of the converted beings to function in the standardized Cyberman model, devoid of emotion (although particularly strong-willed victims have overcome this programming).
While Cybermen are capable fighters in terms of brute strength and normally see organic sapients as mere resources to be converted, they never the less have been proven effective at infiltrating other civilizations and in making temporary alliances with individuals and organizations to meet their ends, generally using promises of power and wealth.
The Cybermen have their origins on the Planet Mondas. Due to the decay of the Mondosian climate, the Cybermen resorted to cybernetic enhancement in an attempt to survive. Never the less, they were eventually forced to abandon Mondas in order to survive. On several occasions the Cybermen have made moves to conquer Earth. The fate of the Mondosian Cybermen is unknown.
In a parallel universe, the remains of Mondosian Cybermen were reverse-engineered by John Lumic to create a new race of Cybermen in hopes of conquering mortality. Although this race of Cybermen was successful in converting large numbers of humans into cybermen, they were eventually contained and defeated by the acts of the Doctor.
To avoid confusion, the former are refered to as Mondosian Cybermen and the latter as Cybus Cybermen.
Unlike the Borg, Cybermen are not ruled by a collective hive mind. Instead, certain Cybermen assume command and control roles; these are known as Cyber-Leaders, Cyber Lieutenants and Cyber-controllers. Should one of these be destroyed, another Cyberman assumes its role. Some specialists also exist, such as Cyber Scouts. Cyber Controllers that have been in employed in said capacity for some time generally receive some modification to indicate superior status. In one instance, the Cybermen have employed a computer called a Cyber Planner to co-ordinate their efforts.
For ground assaults, Cybermen have been known to build large Mecha with onboard conversion facilities known as Cyber-Kings.
The power level of the cybermen varies immensely depending on the time period, ranging from small bands of Cybermen to a sizable interstellar empire. At their height, the Mondosian Cybermen were considered a major power in the Doctor Who universe. Among the more notable technological developments of the Mondosian Cybermen were "cyber bombs": explosive devices small enough to be carried by a human but powerful enough to destroy a planet. The Cybermen have also experimented with time travel.
- "You shall be like us"
- -Numerous Instances
- "This broadcast is for humankind. Cybermen now occupy every landmass on this planet; but you need not fear. Cybermen will remove fear. Cybermen will remove sex, and class, and colour, and creed. You will become identical. You will become like us."
- -Cyber Controller, "Doomsday"