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XCOM 2 - Complete Multiplayer Guide (Units, Items and Tips)

Written by Woeful   /   Mar 2, 2020    


Guide to Fast Start in Multiplayer



Actually Getting a Match



If you've ever asked around about multiplayer you've probably been laughed at and been told it's dead, but this isn't entirely true. The problem is that there are four different places one can go to look for a match: Xcom 2 ranked, Xcom 2 quick match, WOTC ranked, or WOTC quick match. It's luck of the draw if you run into someone and while people do play multiplayer, not enough do to quickly find a game. For that reason it's best to try and arrange a game and the best place to find people who play is the Xcom Discord Server. Link to join is here.

They've done tournaments, and you can sign up for a multiplayer role and ping people with the same role to let people know you're looking for a game. People from all over the world play Xcom and time zones are a real issue, but I have over a 1,000 games played and this is the best place to find people.

You also need to disable all mods and console commands if you want to play people. Hypothetically one could play with mods if you both have exactly the same mods active, but it's better just to disable. If ranked is greyed out that means you have something active still and you might need to unsubscribe. Stuff that majorly changes the game itself like Long War 2 needs to be removed entirely.

Setting Up a Squad



At 10,000 points for the standard the metagame is that you can't fit everything you'd like into a squad and therefore have to pick and choose. There are so many viable teams to potentially use and I literally have around 40 unique layouts made. Some general advice is...

  • Try to have a squad of 5-6 units. While making a squad of only xcom soldiers may be tempting, they are hard to win with.
  • Be wary of having a squad with easily exploitable weaknesses: For example having mostly Berserkers will probably result in a loss or stalemate since they can't climb a ladder if someone is blocking the top. There's nothing they can do if there is no other route.
  • Consider that many units have armor and shredding is often important. MECs, Sectoids, Vipers, Archons, Codexes, Spectres, Heavy Gunner Demos, and Sectopods can shred with their main attack and of course explosives shred as well.
  • Your opponent probably knows all the tricks from single player that you do. Grouping your soldiers close together is just asking for an AoE attack.
  • You'll want to destroy an enemy unit's cover, but they'll want to do the same to you. Keep in mind what cover can't be destroyed and think carefully about where you move your soldiers.
  • Roofs can be dangerous places to be, despite the height advantage. Explosives+fall damage can usually end an unfortunate unit.
  • Listen to sound cues. If you hear a codex teleport, space your units further apart. Listen for Gatekeepers, Sectopods, and Andromedons destroying the environment or the sound of a grapple to get an idea of what your opponent has and what their strategy might be before you make contact.
  • Count points for what enemies you see. If you see a lot of low cost units you can bet you'll see some powerful, expensive ones.
  • Try not to let your opponent see your biggest, strongest unit before they see the other units in your squad. You don't want them killing the centerpiece of your team first.
  • Plan squads around units that work well together. For example MECs can blow cover with micro missiles so have units handy that can take advantage of that and don't group MECs in a team with a medic specialist.

S Rank Units



Heavy Gunner

3,200 points.16 HP. 1 armor. Has a Shredder gun, Shredder, Suppression, Holo Targeting, Chain Shot, Hail of Bullets, and Rupture. You get a lot for the point cost.

Pros:

  • Easy to mark a unit since a shot grants +15 aim for all your other units. Hail of Bullets takes out the luck factor for this.
  • Rupture does a massive amount of damage if it hits.
  • Shredder Gun can devastate multiple enemies and remove their cover.

Cons:

  • At 75 Aim they miss a lot.
  • Most of their skills require lots of ammo and have long cooldowns.
  • A spectre getting one of these is really bad for you.
  • If your opponent can make your Gunner panic and fire on something they also get the +15 aim bonus.

Sniper Sharpshooter

3,000 points. 13 HP. 20 Dodge. Has the Spider Suit which also grants +1 mobility. Long Watch, Deadeye, Death From Above, Kill Zone, Steady Hands, Serial.

Note: In WOTC this unit is glitched with Steady Hands, which works for every single turn instead of just once in single player and you lose it when you move. You stay still long enough you can get 100 % crit through full cover. In Vanilla this unit would be ranked a B or A.

Pros:

  • Works well with phantom Rangers or Reapers by giving you a safe way to snipe.
  • Deadeye does massive damage on hit.
  • Very little strategy involved. Just set it in a good spot and take shots.

Cons:

  • Fairly low health despite having some dodge from its Spider Suit.
  • A codex can render it useless for a turn and make it move or take serious damage.
  • Blazing pinions from an archon can force it to move or take serious damage.
  • Requires line of sight to do damage and a crafty opponent can break that and approach it.
  • Squadsight is useless if the rest of the squad dies. A lone sniper is easy pickings.
  • Since people set snipers they typically don't move much, giving away their position.

A Rank Units



Archon

2000 points. 18 HP. 25 Dodge. 20 defense. Can Shred.

Pros:

  • Good damage.
  • Extra mobility after taking damage or with blazing pinions to position.
  • High HP+Dodge+Defense makes this unit especially tanky.
  • Safe to put on high ground because it doesn't take fall damage.
  • Resistant to mind control.
  • Battle Frenzy makes it easy to flank units.

Cons:

  • Can't easily scale changes in elevation. Once you're on a rooftop you'll need 2 action points to get off or vice versa.
  • 20 defense isn't much and it's easy to overestimate how tough your Archon is. Also 20 defense makes the Archon easier to hit than a unit behind full cover.
  • Blazing pinions when used recklessly leaves the Archon isolated and easily targeted.
  • Accuracy isn't great. You'll miss a frustrating amount of time especially if you're poisoned.
  • Blazing Pinions can explode objects on the ground and damage your own Archon.

Codex

2000 points. 12 HP. 25 Dodge. Can ShredThey're somewhat weak but when split can become a headache.

Pros:

  • A split codex can double or triple your firepower if it survives.
  • The ability to disable your opponent's guns and force a reload can easily disrupt your opponent's plan especially if they're too close together.
  • Great mobility with teleport so you can easily get flanks or go point blank for maximum crit chance.
  • Can be healed and/or mind-merged, inspired/combat presence.
  • Immune to fire, acid, poison.

Cons:

  • Teleporting can often leave you in trouble if you use it to scout and you're reckless.
  • Disoriented/Stunned Codex do not split.
  • Damaged codex tend to flank themselves when they clone.
  • Easily dispatched with explosives or other AoE attacks if damaged to halve their hp.
  • Their gun does only 4-5 damage. Not a lot for the point cost.

Spectre

2,000 points. 13 HP. 20 Dodge. Can Shred. A hard counter to any Xcom Unit.

Pros:

  • Immune to Fire, Acid, Poison.
  • Shadowbind can be devastating if you can manage to keep the Spectre and the clone alive.
  • Horror can cause Xcom soldiers to panic.
  • Built-in lightning reflexes make scouting safer.
  • Great mobility across changes in elevation.

Cons:

  • Their gun does only 4-5 damage. Not a lot for the point cost.
  • None of its abilities work on non-humanoids.
  • Doesn't get proximity bonuses, so its aim suffers against units behind good cover.
  • Its shadow usually does not have a lot of health and it easily killed and to shadowbind a unit usually leaves you open to a counterattack if your opponent has another units nearby.

Specialist: Combat Hacker

3,200 points. 15 HP. The offensive side of the specialist tech tree. Does 5-7 damage and specializes against mechanical units and is the best way to find concealed units. Has 2 charges of Combat Protocol, Haywire Protocol, Scanning Protocol, Threat Assessment, Guardian, Capacitor Discharge.

Pros:

  • Combat protocol does 4 damage regardless of cover with 2 uses. Good to finish off units.
  • Hard counter to MECs, Sectopods, and Andromedon shells. Can take those over for several turns if hack is successful
  • Capacitor Discharge is a hard counter to mind control and codex because it disorients and has extreme range. Also good for disorienting powerful units to buy time.
  • Threat Assessment grants 40 defense and a free overwatch shot against any action, not just movement even to units that don't have overwatch shots like Gatekeepers or Archons in the middle of blazing pinions.
  • Guardian when it activates can deal considerable damage.
  • Scanning protocol can detect but not reveal concealed units and force burrowed Chrysallids up.
  • Good aim stat.

Cons:

  • Have to be choosy when to use threat assessment because of its cooldown.
  • Their skills are ineffective against high hp units such as Berserkers.
  • Though unlikely, a failed hack will boost your enemy's stats and will make even a MEC a nightmare to deal with.
  • Difficult to range them to be close enough to take a shot or overwatch shot, but far enough away to make for an easy target.

Grenadier: Demo Expert

3,200 points. 16 HP. 2 armor. Comes with an Exo suit with a rocket and a grenade. Has Blast Padding, Demolition, Volatile Mix, Salvo, Saturation Fire.

Pros:

  • Blast Padding makes this unit quite durable between less damage from explosions and another point of armor.
  • Rocket has immense range.
  • Grenade does extra damage and using it or the rocket doesn't end turn thanks to Salvo.
  • Demolition will explode a car if someone is hiding behind one and a reliable way to remove cover.
  • Saturation can deal a lot of damage if your enemies are positioned for it.
  • Worth spending extra for grenades thanks to Volatile mix.

Cons:

  • Their aim sucks.
  • Once they're out of explosives they're mediocre units.
  • Long cooldown for skills.
  • They only get a frag grenade unless you pay extra for another frag or alien grenade.

Ranger: Phantom

3,200 points. 16 HP. Has Phantom, Shadowstrike, Implacable, Deep Cover, and Rapid Fire. Has a tier 2 gun and a tier 1 sword.

Note: Is bugged in both versions of Xcom 2. In Vanilla you can sometimes see movement lines from your opponent, making this unit's concealment far less useful and would make the Phantom Ranger a F rank unit. In WOTC this unit has permanent hunker down after you hunker down the first time.

Pros:

  • Shadowstrike+Rapidfire has amazing damage potential.
  • Implacable can be frustrating for your opponent to deal with if you can get away with hit-and-run tactics.
  • Works extremely well with Sharpshooters, Demo Grenadiers, and Combat specialists.

Cons:

  • Very expensive unit for what you get.
  • Your opponent gets an audio indicator when you see their units, so they know they're being watched when they enter your visual range.
  • Ineffective against armored units unless you have AP rounds and can shred with something else.
  • Once you lose concealment this unit is far inferior to the Blademaster Ranger.
  • Implacable only works when you kill an enemy unit. Bleeding out does not count.
  • The sword they get sucks.

Advent officer

400 points. 7 HP and has mark and a frag grenade. The bread and butter of most teams.

Pros:

  • Mark grants +10 aim against a target and makes singling out an enemy quite easy and marking only costs 1 action point.
  • Useful for their grenade alone but note it only does 2-3 damage but at least it can shred and blow cover.
  • Cheap, at 400 points they are cost effective.

Cons:

  • Can be oneshot by most xcom units and stronger aliens.
  • Can become a liability if your opponent has Gatekeepers, Sectoids or Chrysallids.
  • Gun only does 3-4 damage, making it nearly useless against anything with armor.

B Rank Units



Andromedon

4,500 points. 15 HP. 4 Armor. Can Shred. Deals massive damage and Acid Bomb has a good area of effect and does 5-7 damage.

Note: Glitched in WOTC. Your Andromedon Shell HAS to be the last unit you move. Even if you kill a unit mind controlling something your turn still ends after the Shell uses its actions.

Pros:

  • Can one-shot many units.
  • Acid bomb is devastating to units affected by it.
  • Its armor makes it difficult for most units to deal real damage.
  • Unlikely your opponent can kill the Andromedon and the shell in the same turn, so you'll get a chance to attack most likely.
  • Can use acid bomb even when disoriented.
  • Fist attack will explode cars and collapse roofs if you're on a building.

Cons:

  • Vulnerable to mind control.
  • Destroys most cover by movement which can make finding cover difficult for your other units. Also your opponent can hear you destroying the environment, so they know to expect an Andromedon.
  • Once its armor gets shred it's relatively easy to take down. It doesn't have a lot of hp.
  • Units with A.P rounds are lethal to Andromedons.
  • Units with Haz suits are immune to acid, and thus you risk wasting turns by acid bombing Xcom soldiers if they have one.

Viper

1200 points. 10 HP. 25 dodge. Can shred. They're a versatile, if fragile unit. With many options and very dangerous to xcom soldiers.

Pros:

  • Poison spit and tongue grab use only 1 action point. Poisoning a unit before shooting it or grabbing it is a powerful combination. Or you can poison and then run or you can tongue grab then shoot if it fails. Viper can do a lot.
  • Good mobility.
  • Its high dodge stat makes it sometimes more resilient than it looks.
  • Poison lowers aim and mobility. Units such as Archons and Gatekeeper are far less accurate and therefore far less dangerous when poisoned.
  • Good aim.
  • Tongue grab shuts a unit down unless the viper is damaged.

Cons:

  • Tongue grab pulls you out of cover when successful.
  • Easily killed if it runs into overwatch fire.
  • Poison deals one damage per turn at the beginning of the turn and a shieldbearer's shield will take that damage instead of the unit if there is a shield up.

Gatekeeper

6,000 points. 20 HP. 6 Armor. Inherent defense when shell is closed. Expensive, but often devastating.

Pros:

  • High damage, can oneshot most units.
  • Gateway has a massive AoE and zombies raised are great pressure.
  • If enemy units are close, you can attempt to heal if you can get in melee range.

Cons:

  • Very limited options in combat. Just shoot, gateway or try to heal at melee range.
  • Has difficulty changing elevations.
  • Crashes through the environment and your opponent can hear that
  • No range benefits. Has a static 80 aim, thus will miss a frustrating amount of time when you are up against enemies behind full cover. Even height advantage doesn't help much there.
  • Psi Ops/Priests can buy time with stasis to chip away at your gatekeeper.
  • Viper poison will make your gatekeeper inaccurate.
  • AP rounds will devastate this unit if they connect.

Muton

1,500 points 10 HP. 2 Armor. Can Shred. These units are versatile and relatively inexpensive. Comes with a plasma grenade. Useful in just about any situation.

Pros:

  • The grenade will blow up most cars.
  • Decent aim.
  • Armor makes it fairly durable.
  • Their Bayonet has the possibility of stunning, disorienting or knocking out units. Makes them difficult for melee units to kill due to their counterattack which I think is around a 66% chance of activating.

Cons:

  • 4-6 damage is just ok. Shieldbearers cost 800 and do 5-6.
  • Acid, Poison, Fire will devastate this unit. Especially fire.
  • Very very weak to mind control.

Shieldbearer

800 points 8 HP and 2 armor. It does 5-6 damage and has decent health and armor and aim. Can throw up a shield around closeby units for 3 points of ablative health Shield lasts for a few turns before wearing off. A full shield, for example, will protect against shred if an Officer throws a grenade at a unit with armor because the grenade does 2-3 damage and therefore does not penetrate the shield.

Pros:

  • Can take multiple hits.
  • 5-6 Damage is enough for your opponent to take this unit seriously.
  • The shield can extend the life of other units. An Officer with 7 HP plus 3 from the shield can't be oneshot by most Xcom units.

Cons:

  • Can only throw up a shield and shoot which limits your options and keeps them at the front line for maximum effectiveness.
  • Easy targets for Chrysallids, Sectoids, Spectres, Priests and Psi Ops.
  • You can't stack shields if you have multiple shieldbearers. Throwing up a shield with another one while a shield is still up will waste the shield.

Berserker

1500 points. 20 healh. 15 mobility. Melee only. Attacks can stun, disorient, or KO.

Pros:

  • Can potentially knock Out any unit besides Gatekeepers, Andromedons, or Sectopods. Those get stunned instead.
  • Knocked out units can only be revived by a medic.
  • A damaged berserker gets a massive mobility boost.

Cons:

  • Easy targets for mind control and Chrysallids.
  • Struggle against Blademaster Rangers and Gatekeepers.
  • If a unit is blocking a ladder, they can't climb up and have no way of attacking the unit blocking the way.

Sharpshooter: Gunslinger

3,000 points. 13 HP. 20 Dodge. 13 mobility. Has Lightning Hands, Faceoff, Aim, Fan Fire, Return Fire. This unit is much more flexible than the other Sharpshooter build, able to attack from afar and much more dangerous up close.

Pros:

  • Can shoot a pistol up to 5 times if it doesn't move using Fan Fire, Lightning Hands, and a regular shot.
  • Hunkering down increases aim by 20 on the next attack and lends itself to versatile play either with sniper rifle or pistol.
  • Return Fire activates on any action targeting this sniper.
  • Grappling gives them many opportunities to flank or run.

Cons:

  • Unit is a little flimsy.
  • Can hardly put a dent in any armored enemies without spending 500 for AP rounds.
  • Hunkering down for aim bonus means you can't fire every turn.
  • Overwatch doesn't activate on squadsighted enemies.

Ranger: Blademaster

2800 points. 15 HP. Tier 2 gun and sword. Has Blademaster, Shadowstep, Run and Gun, Bladestorm, and Untouchable.

Pros:

  • Not activating overwatch and run and gun can easily get you in close.
  • Sword can stun and will activate on any action if you end your turn next to an enemy or one runs next to you.
  • Killing a unit makes damaging the Ranger much more difficult by forcing your opponent to waste an attack before being able to to do damage.
  • Reaper can be devastating if planned correctly.
  • 2,800 points is cheaper than most soldiers.

Cons:

  • Getting in close enough to kill something can be tricky.
  • Untouchable only activates on a KILL not on bleeding out.
  • Reaction sword attacks sometimes miss.

Specialist: Field Medic

2800 points. 15 hp. Has Medical Protocol, Aid Protocol, Revival Protocol, Covering Fire, Ever Vigilant, Restoration. Your support healing unit. Gun does 5-7 damage.

Pros:

  • Heal cures poison/fire/acid and can keep units like Archons, Codex, or Andromedons in the fight for longer.
  • Only unit who can bring back bleeding out soldiers.
  • Aid protocol has a quick cooldown and 20 defense is decent.
  • Restoration can really help the squad if all/most units are injured.
  • Can cure panic and bring back units bound by a Spectre.
  • Ever Vigilant gives you the option to dash away or to a flanking position and get a free overwatch shot.
  • 2,800 points is cheaper than most soldiers.

Cons:

  • Limited offensive abilities. Mostly support, but should be close enough to the action to participate if an opportunity presents itself.
  • Limited to 2 heals and 1 restoration.
  • Decent aim, but no offensive skills whatsoever.

C Rank Units



Chryssalid

1,200 points. 9 HP. 1 Armor. 20 Dodge. A very all-or-nothing kind of unit.

Note: This unit is extremely glitchy. Be warned. I have seen poison not work when attacking from underground, I have seen the game skip your turn, I have seen the game not allow you to spawn more from a cocoon, I have seen the game allow you to pop multiple Chryssalids on the same turn, I have seen the game allow Chryssalids to attack multiple times in the same round. Glitches can work for or against you.

Pros:

  • If your opponent is not careful and you poison a unit, you can easily overwhelm them with more Chryssalids.
  • Devasting against teams will lots of cheaper advent units like Officers or Shieldbearers.
  • Deals good damage in addition to the poison.
  • Burrow can bypass Muton's counterattack skill.
  • Poisoning an Xcom soldier is a massive loss for your opponent when they lose it.

Cons:

  • If you miss when attacking a unit your Chryssalid won't likely get another turn to try again.
  • Practically useless against Blademaster Rangers, Gatekeepers, or Andromedons. In fact, gatekeepers get an easy heal opportunity.
  • If you burrow and an enemy archon does blazing pinions overhead your unit will go and attack the closest unit even if it is across the map. Be warned.
  • Using Inspire or Combat Presence on a Chryssalid lets you attack multiple times or move really far to get an attack in.
  • Ineffective against units with haz mat vests.

Advent MEC

1000 points. 9 health and 2 armor. Gun deals 4-6 with shred. A tough and powerful unit for the point cost but it's mostly useful for its micro missiles which do 3 damage and count as a frag grenade.

Pros:

  • Can easily get height advantage.
  • Armor makes it hard to kill by weaker units.
  • Micro Missiles have EXTREME range.
  • Deals decent damage with its gun with decent accuracy.
  • 9 health is good enough not to get one shot by most units.

Cons:

  • Easily hacked by a combat specialist and used against you.
  • Easy to spot and kill if your opponent has anything that shreds.
  • Micro Missiles don't work well indoors with low ceilings due to how they're fired.
  • Andromedon acid wrecks this unit.
  • Easy targets most xcom soldiers, especially Heavy Gunners.
  • The fact that they're good to put on roofs make them easy targets for explosives to knock them down.

Advent Priest

2,500 health and 8 hp. Handle with care. Has Mind Control (lasts 3-5 turns), Mind Merge, and Stasis. Mind Merge boosts aim and crit chance and grants 4 health worth of shield. Can be stacked with shieldbearer shield to give a total of 7 points of shield health.

Note: Mind Control is bugged in WOTC. Mind controlling a unit with a consumable item like a grenade will allow your opponent the option to still control a unit. Like you both have action points you share. Beware of dishonorable opponents who exploit this glitch or save your mind control for units that don't have that issue.

Pros:

  • Mind Control has a high chance of success against most units
  • Stasis is the best form of crowd control and works on anything.
  • Mind Merge can make a unit strengthened much more dangerous. The stronger the unit, the more deadly they become.
  • Mind Control is a great way to counterattack an aggressive opponent.

Cons:

  • The priest has a crappy gun and crappy aim.
  • Mind Merge means if your opponent kills the priest, the merged unit dies too.
  • Low HP makes killing a priest relatively simple if left unprotected.
  • Reapers in particular usually have no problem slipping past and killing a priest.
  • 2,500 is a lot to spend on a support unit.

Advent Stun Lancer

400 point . 7 HP and 70 aim. Stun Lance can disorient/stun/knock out units.

Pros:

  • Cheap units. Difficult for opponents to ignore because they probably won't want a 400 point unit knocking out a 3000 point soldier in one hit.
  • Good mobility makes flanking easy.
  • Cheap enough to consider a suicide rush to stun to make your opponent focus on it and not something else.
  • Stunning/disorienting a Codex prevents it from splitting.
  • Running through fire to stun someone will stop your lancer where the fire is and refunds an action point to let you shoot.

Cons:

  • 70 aim is absolutely terrible.
  • No grenade or anything else besides shoot or stun and neither does a lot of damage.
  • 7 HP is not very much and thus easily killed by overwatch fire.
  • Easy targets for Chryssalids.
  • Requires a coordinated attack to make it work. If your opponent can pick this unit before you've set up a plan you've wasted a unit even if it is a cheap one.
  • Chance of actually stunning or knocking out a unit is relatively low. It's a gamble.
  • Can't melee if on fire.

Sectoid 

1000 points. Does 3-5 Damage. Shreds armor. Has Mind Spin, can make zombies and takes extra damage from melee attacks. Mind Spin can either mind control or panic when successful.

Pros:

  • Mind Spin can rapidly change the course of a battle when successful.
  • Zombies can be used to scout. Best when paired with Ffficers or Troopers, Shieldbearer, etc.
  • Cheapest unit that can shred armor with main weapon.

Cons:

  • Mind Spin is a gamble. Odds are usually a coin flip or worse.
  • Zombies are somewhat easily killed.
  • Not a lot of HP and most melee units can oneshot.
  • Weak gun.

Psi Soldier

3500 points. 9 HP. Has Inspire, Stasis (and Stasis Shield), Soulfire, Insanity, Mind Control, and Void Rift.

Note: Mind Control is bugged in WOTC. Mind controlling a unit with a consumable item like a grenade will allow your opponent the option to still control a unit. Like you both have action points you share. Beware of dishonorable opponents who exploit this glitch or save your mind control for units that don't have that issue.

Pros:

  • Extremely versatile. Between Stasis, Mind Control, Inspire, and Soulfire it has both offensive, support, and crowd control abilities.
  • Inspire can throw an opponent off guard by allowing a unit to travel far further than normal or attack twice.
  • Soulfire cannot miss and penetrates armor.
  • Void Rift can cause panic.

Cons:

  • Very low HP. Easily killed even with a stasis vest. Be careful when selecting cover.
  • Very expensive.
  • Mind Control can be a gamble and a wasted move if fails.

Skirmisher

5,000 points. 15 hp. Appears to be glitched. Reflex seems to activate more than once.

Pros:

  • Can attack multiple times in a turn.
  • Pulling enemies out of cover to you allows you to focus on it with other units and can stun.
  • Retribution can stun and attacks automatically.
  • Ripjack attacks when they miss tends to destroy cover.
  • Whiplash is a great way to deal with Mecs or just to pile on extra damage.

Cons:

  • 5,000 points is extremely expensive and doesn't leave much for the rest of their squad.
  • Spectres counter this unit easily.
  • Your opponent will probably focus on this unit if possible and throw all explosives they have to get its cover blown.

Templar

5,000 points. 15 hp. A very tricky unit to use, but if you can keep it alive and feed it kills it is hard to stop. If your opponent only has one unit left and you have a templar they literally can't win in most cases.

Pros:

  • Once they get any focus they can deflect shots and become much harder to kill than one would expect.
  • Parry is good to use when there are few enemies around or most are dead, though it's usually better to run away after a kill.
  • Void Conduit will automatically win the match if your opponent only has 1 xcom soldier left.
  • The more focus they have, the harder they are to kill.

Cons:

  • 5,000 points is extremely expensive and doesn't leave much for the rest of their squad.
  • Spectres counter this unit easily.
  • Without focus they suck.
  • Their gun sucks real bad.

D Rank Units



Reaper

5,000 points. Has one Blood Trail, Target Definition, Needle, Claymore/Homing Mine, Remote Start, Sting, Silent Killer. Deals 5-6 damage. You can also put an item on the Reaper and you normally shouldn't be able to do that without Tactical Rigging.

Pros:

  • Extreme stealth makes this the best scout unit and simple to get a flank.
  • Blood trail activates if your opponent is injured by anything. This includes poison, fire or acid damage.
  • Remote Start often takes your opponent by surprise because most don't expect a Reaper.
  • Remote start has a larger AoE than blowing up the object normally.
  • Impossible to remove a homing mine from an enemy after its been set.
  • Gun bypasses two armor while in concealment.

Cons:

  • Have to get a killing blow to stay in concealment.
  • Remote Start's effectiveness varies wildly on the map with some having lots of things to explode and some having barely any.
  • Remote Start requires your opponent to make the mistake of placing a unit near something they shouldn't.
  • Your enemy can see anything the second it leaves the Reaper. Smoke trail from the gun. the homing mine or claymore being thrown. If they're watching they know the area where it happened from.
  • A Combat Specialist's scanning protocol or a Scanning Beacon makes killing a Reaper easy if spotted.
  • 5-6 Damage is not a lot, if an enemy has dodge its potentially halved if they luck out.
  • Extremely bad for you if a Spectre shadowbinds a Reaper.
  • 5,000 points is expensive and doesn't leave much for filling out most of the rest of the time.
  • Most of the time the go-to pairing with a Reaper is a Sniper, which makes Reaper play predictable.

Advent Purifier

500 points. 9 HP. Comes with a flame grenade. Flamethrower does damage on contact, unlike single player but doesn't hit enemies behind full cover. Units on fire cannot reload and Mutons, Archons, Stun Lancers and Rangers cannot melee while on fire. 50% chance to explode on death and 100% if killed by explosive damage.

Pros:

  • Aliens can't hunker down so they're stuck with being on fire for however long it lasts. Using a grenade on a muton is an easy choice, debilitating a 1,500 point unit for the cost of a 500 point unit.
  • Has enough HP that it makes for a good scout.
  • When paired up with a Codex you can completely shut down some units such as Shieldbearers.
  • Cheap at 500 points you can fill your squad with stronger units.
  • If your opponent ignores this unit you can cause serious havoc on a flank.
  • Melee units generally won't want to attack it on fire of dying from an explosion on death.
  • If you have an explosive and a damaged Purifier you can run your Purifier next to a unit and blow them both up for additional damage.

Cons:

  • A lot of units are immune to this unit, making it a gamble even putting on a squad.
  • Haz Vests make any xcom soldier impervious to it as well and they can always hunker down if they don't have a Haz vest.
  • Medics can undo fire.
  • Once you use up the fire grenade they're not very useful.
  • Can't overwatch.
  • You shouldn't place any of your units adjacent to it in case it blows up on death.

Faceless

14 HP. Regenerates 4 HP per turn. A tricky unit to use with limited offensive abilities but also one of the most unique and frustrating units to fight against when used well.

Pros:

  • Great for walking into overwatch fire for its regeneration and high HP for such a cheap unit. Can attack from 1-2 tiles away.
  • Its claws can break cover, send a unit (and the faceless itself) falling by destroying the floor they're standing on. They also can destroy cars in one hit.
  • Can bypass a Muton's counterattack ability.
  • Usually just outheals acid, fire, or poison.
  • Literally impossible for some units to kill in a 1v1 situation.
  • Good mobiliy.

Cons:

  • Claws miss a lot.
  • Claw damage is ineffective against armor.
  • No defense and quite easy to hit.
  • Best used as distraction and support to break cover and unlikely to kill anything.
  • The high health and regen doesn't help much against XCOM or stronger alien units.

F Rank Units



Advent Trooper

200 points. 4 hp and 70 aim. Gun does a flat 3 damage. This unit is not good but what can you expect for 200 points?

Pros:

  • An expendable scout.
  • So weak that your opponent will likely ignore it for another target if there is one and potentially give you a flank shot.
  • Can be useful to fire on a unit behind cover in the hopes of missing and breaking it for a stronger unit to follow up or on a Ranger who has killed to get rid of its untouchable status.
  • Better to send this out into potential overwatch fire than something you really care about.
  • Deliberately ending it out into overwatch fire with the intention of turning it into a zombie with a gatekeeper or sectoid is a good strategy to get sight on what units your opponent has and make them scramble to kill the zombie.

Cons:

  • Terrible Aim.
  • Dies from one hit from pretty much anything.
  • The target of choice for chrysallids due to being an extremely easy kill.
  • Your opponent can make a zombie out of the corpse too.
  • Useless against anything armored.

Sectopod

8,000 points. 28 HP and 4 armor. Has 3 action points.

Note: Sectopods appear to be glitched in multiplayer when it comes to Wrath cannon. It seems to take away an action point from the Sectopod for every following turn, making an already bad unit even worse. If you use this unit stick to shooting or lightning field.

Pros:

  • Great aim when in high stance.
  • Can oneshot many things.
  • Good mobility and can shoot multiple times a turn.
  • Risky to hack.

Cons:

  • Any Xcom unit with A.P. Rounds can do serious damage to it. Especially Gunslingers.
  • Andromedons, Combat Specialists, and Heavy Gunners are hard counters to it.
  • Difficult to hide due to its size. The best you can do is see if you can get your opponent to spread out too far and pick them off or use other units to distract or lead them away from where the Sectopod is.
  • Your opponent can hear it walking through the environment.

Items



You can put items on XCOM soldiers but it costs points.

Plasma Grenade - 400 points. 4-5 damage.

  • A powerful item worth the cost and most useful on Grenadiers but any soldier using one is unexpected and can take your opponent by surprise. Mostly good for blowing cars and other objects up.
  • Skirmishers can follow up a grenade with another attack if they have both action points.

Hellweave - 200 points. +2HP and set melee attacks on fire.

  • Not worth the cost. All it does it catch things on fire and with Chrysallids you'd rather be protected from poison than set it on fire.

Stasis Vest - 400 points. +2HP and regen 2 HP per turn for a max of 8 HP.

  • Excellent item but mostly for when your opponent uses just barely fails to kill your unit and you can keep it alive to get its health back. Expensive though.

Hazmat Vest - 100 points. +2 HP and protection from Fire, Acid, and Poison.

  • The best vest item and dirt cheap. The extra HP comes in handy. A solid defensive option to make your units last longer.

EMP Grenade - 300 points.

  • Deals heavy damage to MECs, Gatekeepers, Sectopods, Andromedon Shells, and Spectres in addition it does not split Codexes. Also collapses shields. Risky to bring just in case they don't have any of those units. Then it's wasted points. Especially effective when used by a Demo Grenadier.

Mindshield - 200 points. Protects against Mind Control, Panic, Disorientation, and Stun.
  • More useful than one would think. A hard counter against psionics but it also is useful against Berserkers, Combat Specialists, Stun Lancers, and Spectres.

Battle Scanner- 400 points. Scans an area. Two uses.

  • Expensive. Using it correctly gives you a tactical edge and spotting a Phantom Ranger or Reaper will probably give you the upper hand. A concealed unit using one won't break concealment but your opponent can see where it's thrown from. Using it on the first action can let you run away and send your opponent chasing or reacting to a unit and that may be useful.

AP Rounds. - 500 points. Pierces 5 armor.

  • Very expensive but worth it. The best way to kill a Gatekeeper or Sectopod or Andromedon. You can easily kill MECs and Mutons and Shieldbearers. Best on Sharpshooters or Rangers.

Tracer Rounds - 100 points. +10 aim.

  • If you're not expecting armor this is the way to go. Helpful in most other situations. Makes Sharpshooters more accurate and useful for Combat Specialists to increase the odds of hitting something so Guardian can activate on overwatch.

Frag Grenade - 200 points. 3-4 damage.

  • A powerful item worth the cost and most useful on Grenadiers but any soldier using one is unexpected and can take your opponent by surprise. Mostly good for blowing cars and other objects up.

Advanced Tips People Often Don't Consider



Most cover is fragile enough it can be destroyed by a unit missing it and where the shot comes from is important. A unit shooting a unit behind cover on a roof from below might just hit the ROOF and cause them to fall through on a miss and do more damage than if they had hit. Similarly even if the odds of hitting something is low you can use your weak units to shoot hoping you'll miss and destroy their cover for a stronger unit to do some real damage.

Hunker Down is an underrated ability not used by most novice players. Dodge turning all damage taken getting halved into a coin flip and 30 defense is preferable in many instances to overwatching when you don't know yet what your opponent has.

The art of hiding is important. Cover can be blown but if your opponent doesn't know where your units are they can't counter them. Waypoints can be useful for avoiding having your troops run out in the open.

Try to think at least a turn ahead and have a plan of attack. The timer in multiplayer is not long enough for you to agonize over decisions. Learn the hotkeys for overwatch and hunker down to be able to mash those if you find yourself running short and don't know what to do. Having a flexible plan of attack and changing to adapt to it is important.

Psi Soldier's best ability isn't mind control, it's stasis shield and inspire. Leave as little to chance as possible and it is better to remove a unit from play than take control of one and potentially lose it when your opponent tries to get it back. Leaving as little to chance as possible yields more wins.

There is one map that has an intact and hackable object a specialist can hack with random rewards. I've had a match go to hell for me when my opponent hacked and got control of 2 units for a few turns. If he failed the hack he would have suffered greatly, so keep that in mind.

Cheaper units are best to put on roofs and higher elevation not only to get a height advantage but to tempt your opponent to use up a grenade or micro missiles on something like an officer or shieldbearer and not an Andromedon or Xcom Soldier.

Retreat is almost always a valid option. Just because your opponent is engaging you doesn't mean you have to stay put. Falling back and forcing their units to move up can shift the environment to your advantage. Units like Vipers are good for this when they can poison with one action and run with the other. Officers can mark and run too, and Skirmishers can shoot and then grapple away and so can pistol sharpshooters.

If your opponent is hiding it's better not to split up too far to look for them. They're probably counting on that.

Grenades aren't just good for damage and exploding cover. they're also good for starting fires and even if your opponent has a unit positioned behind something that can't be blown up the grenade can start a fire to make them move or have their unit caught on fire.



Game:   XCOM 2
Written by Woeful.