When you’re a beginner to XCOM, things can seem a little overwhelming, but after a few missions you start to get the hang of things and fall into a rhythm. Shoot enemies, take cover, rinse repeat. Many players are comfortable with this basic style of play (and you definitely can be successful sticking with it), but if you want to take your game even further, XCOM 2 offers a lot of opportunities for advanced tactics and tricks that will put you above and beyond the pack.

Many of these XCOM 2 pro tips carry over from XCOM Enemy Unknown, but some are completely new to the sequel. Just make sure you have the basics down before you start throwing them into your game.

  • There is a strategy to placing your base facilities. While the adjacency bonuses aren’t as important as they were in Enemy Unknown, you can still increase efficiency by placing certain structures in certain locations. For starters, placing your power generators on the bottom floor, they will receive a bonus to their power generation.
  • You can pick up items without picking them up. If the timer hasn’t expired on dropped items by the time you complete the mission, they will be automatically added to your inventory without you needing to pick them up.
    Also, if the soldier who was carrying the items dies, you can pick them up again off of their corpse.
  • If a Viper has one of your soldiers bound and your regular attack has a low chance of connecting, use a grenade. It is possible to position the grenade so that it will hit the viper and not the soldier they are constricting. Targets that are effected by the blast will be highlighted.
  • You can set waypoints for your soldiers to follow to avoid having them pass through enemy fields of vision and/ or breaking through windows. Hold control and then click to set waypoints that they will then follow.
  • Mimic Beacons are great for luring out enemy forces before you take care of them with your other troops from a safe distance. You can also have mimic beacons take cover to avoid enemy fire.
  • Get a Ranger with the Phantom perk. This is seriously one of the best perks in the game as it allows you to have an advanced scout on every single mission, even ones where the rest of your squad starts off not concealed.
    Send your ranger a short distance ahead of the rest of your squad and you’ll never be blindsided by a random patrol of aliens again.
  • Don’t overlook unlocks and upgrades from the Guerilla Training Center. There are so many ways to customize and upgrade your soldiers, it’s easy to forget a lot of them. You’ll want to get the Guerilla Training Center up asap to gain access to its extremely helpful unlocks, including the ability to field more units at one time.
    Having even one more soldier on the field can make a huge difference, and it has the added bonus of levelling up more units quickly.
  • The enemy will always call down reinforcements after you complete the objective. Usually this is within 1 turn, so place your evac zone close by and get ready to high tail it out of there if you aren’t up to the fight.
  • Captured units can be rescued. If you’ve ever left a soldier behind because they were knocked unconscious, they can sometimes be rescued. Occasionally they will show up as the VIP in the VIP rescue missions, allow you to add them back to your squad.
  • Flash bangs break psionic holds. If one of your troops is under the influence of a mind control, you can break the sentoid’s hold on them by hitting the sectoid with a flash bang.
  • Use destructible environments to your advantage. Blowing out the floor underneath an enemy will cause it to take fall damage on top of the explosive damage. This is especially effective against turrets.
    Just be sure the aliens don’t use this tactic against you.

To read the latest guides, news, and features you can visit our XCOM 2 Game Page.

Last Updated: Mar 21, 2016

About The Author

A man of many hats, Greg divides his precious gaming time between competitive games like League of Legends and Dota 2 and Action/ Adventure Games like GTA, and Destiny. At Ten Ton Hammer he specializes in making guides for new and veteran players alike.