Classes (EU2012)

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Soldiers in Enemy Unknown 2012 are divided into Classes, where each class has specialized stats and weapons, whilst also possessing unique abilities (a.k.a. 'perks'). When a Rookie is first promoted it will be assigned randomly to one class and be given its initial ability. As the soldier levels up more, the player gets to choose one of two abilities at each level, with the exception of Major where only one perk is available.

The system of different classes complement one another on the battlefield and provide unique abilities to each squad. Each class is focused for a specific role(s) and they are crucial to squad design with the right combination of abilities required for each mission, terrain, type of hostile presence and other factors. There are five classes of XCOM soldiers present in the game, with the Enemy Within DLC introducing a new one, the MEC Trooper.


Assault

Main article: Assault (EU2012)
A Squad of different Assault soldiers.
Assault

A class with high mobility, defence and close range damage, hence the Assault class excels at close combat in urban or indoor environments. Its main drawbacks are the limited effective range of the Shotgun and the high cool down time of; and high dependence on Run & Gun. Useful for flanking and scouting.

Primary Weapon: Shotgun, Scatter Laser and Alloy Cannon.
Alternative Primary Weapon: Assault Rifles, Laser Rifles, Light Plasma Rifles & Plasma Rifles
Secondary Weapon: Pistol, Laser Pistol or Plasma Pistol.

The Assaults Ability choices are mainly divided between attack or defence stats/abilites on each tier, giving the player the choice of either going full defence, high damage or a trade of between both. Stats gained through rank promotions will give the Assault a total of +24 Aim points upon reaching Colonel rank, together with a total of +4 HP and +14 Will.


Abilities

Rank Ability
RANK SQUADDIE.png
Squaddie
ASSAULT RUNGUN.png
Run & Gun
Allows firing or Overwatch after Dashing on the turn Run & Gun is activated. 2 turn cooldown. Does NOT allow use of Arc Thrower but can pick up Meld.
RANK CORPORAL.png
Corporal
ASSAULT TACTICALSENSE.png
Tactical Sense
Confers +5 Defense per enemy in sight (max +20).
ASSAULT AGGRESSION.png
Aggression
Confers +10% critical chance per enemy in sight (max +30%).
RANK SERGEANT.png
Sergeant
ASSAULT LIGHTNINGREFLEXES.png
Lightning Reflexes
Forces the first reaction shot against this unit each turn to miss.
ASSAULT CLOSEPERSONAL.png
Close & Personal
Confers +30% critical chance against adjacent targets. The bonus declines with distance from the target.
EW DLC: The first standard shot made within 4 tiles of the target does not cost an action. Cannot combine with Run And Gun.
RANK LIEUTENANT.png
Lieutenant
ASSAULT FLUSH.png
Flush
Fire a shot that causes enemies to run out of cover. The shot is easy to hit with, but does reduced damage. (+30 Aim, 50% Damage)
ASSAULT RAPIDFIRE.png
Rapid Fire
Take two shots against a single target in quick succession. Each shot carries a -15 penalty to Aim.
RANK CAPTAIN.png
Captain
ASSAULT CLOSECOMBAT.png
Close Combat Specialist
Confers a reaction shot against any enemy who closes to within 4 tiles. Does not require Overwatch.
ASSAULT BRINGTHEMON.png
Bring 'Em On
Adds 1 damage on critical hits for each enemy the squad can see (up to 5).
RANK MAJOR.png
Major
ASSAULT EXTRACONDITIONING.png
Extra Conditioning
Confers bonus health based on which type of armor is equipped. Heavier armor increases the bonus.
RANK COLONEL.png
Colonel
ASSAULT RESILLIENCE.png
Resilience
Confers immunity to critical hits.
ASSAULT KILLERINSTINCT.png
Killer Instinct
Activating Run & Gun now also grants +50% critical damage for the rest of the turn.

Tips & Trix

  • Run & Gun could land you in trouble by activating more alien groups, when trying to set up a flanking position.
  • Run & Gun will only allow Fire, Overwatch and Rapid Fire after dashing. Use any free actions (like Ghost Mode) before.
  • Close Quarters Specialist will trigger against any hostile unit that closes within four tiles, whether or not the soldier has taken any actions. Useful for setting up multiple shots against Berserkers or defending from Chryssalid charges.
  • Rapid Fire is not consumed if the alien is killed with the first shot. If the original hit chance is in 34%~96% range, rapid fire offers more chance to land at least one hit.
  • Flush will cause an alien to leave one cover position for another (if available). Make sure to set up Overwatch, Suppression or Close Combat Specialist shots beforehand.
  • Extra Conditioning gives +1 health with the starting Body armor, +2 for Carapace, Skeleton , Ghost, and Psi Armor, and +4 with Titan or Archangel Armor.
  • Killer Instinct (+50% crit dmg), may also be combined with Overwatch and Close Combat Specialist shot.
  • The Enemy Within DLC version of Close And Personal functions similar to a Heavy's Bullet Swarm, given that the Assault is within the 4-square range (when this Ability is available, enemies will have an orange ring around them, akin to Arc Thrower functions). With Rapid Fire, how one would move, and shoot three times: move to within the ring. Fire a normal shot as the free move. Then use Rapid Fire. Only works once per turn (won't get multiple free shots on enemies with overlapping rings).
    • You can't activate Run & Gun after free Close And Personal shot, and you don't get Close And Personal shot after activating Run & Gun.
  • Lightning Reflexes works not only against Overwatch or Suppression shots, but it also forces a miss on Covering Fire shots.



Heavy

Main article: Heavy (EU2012)
Heavy Squad
Heavy

A class specialising in high fire power and area damage with some support capabilities. The Heavy is at its strongest vs mechanical or high health enemies, but can also be really useful in situations were the enemies cluster together. With the heavy damage comes the drawback of high ammo consumption, lower accuracy, limited rockets and the the lack of a side arm.

Primary Weapon: Light Machinegun, Heavy Laser or Heavy Plasma.
Secondary Weapon: Rocket Launcher or Blaster Launcher. (Doesn't carry a pistol).

When it comes to abilities, the options are mostly between an improvement for more and powerful rockets/grenades versus a more potent attack with the soldiers primary weapon. Heavies gain less stats upon promotion than other classes, +10 Aim, +4 HP and +14 Will as Colonel rank.



Abilities

Rank Ability
RANK SQUADDIE.png
Squaddie
HEAVY FIREROCKET.png
Fire Rocket
Fire a rocket using an equipped launcher. This ability can not be used after moving, nor more than once per mission. (6 Damage)
RANK CORPORAL.png
Corporal
HEAVY BULLETSWARM.png
Bullet Swarm
Firing the primary weapon as the first action no longer ends the turn.
HEAVY HOLO.png
Holo-Targeting
Shooting at or suppressing enemies also confers a +10 Aim to any allies' attacks on those enemies.
RANK SERGEANT.png
Sergeant
HEAVY SHREDDER.png
Shredder Rocket
Fire a rocket that causes all enemies hit to take +33% damage from all sources for the next 4 turns. The rocket's blast is weaker than a standard rocket's. (4 Damage)
HEAVY SUPPRESSION.png
Suppression
Can fire a special shot that grants reaction fire at a single target. The target also suffers a -30 Aim penalty.
RANK LIEUTENANT.png
Lieutenant
HEAVY HEAT AMMO.png
HEAT Ammo
+100% to damage against robotic enemies.
EW DLC: Confers +50% damage against robotic enemies.
HEAVY RAPIDREACTION.png
Rapid Reaction
Confers a second reaction shot, if on Overwatch and the first reaction shot is a hit.
RANK CAPTAIN.png
Captain
HEAVY GRENADIER.png
Grenadier
Allows to carry 2 grenades in a single inventory slot.
EW DLC: Allows 2 grenades in a single inventory slot. Frag, Alien, and Needle Grenades receive a 1 damage bonus.
HEAVY DANGERZONE.png
Danger Zone
Increases hit area of rockets and suppression by 2 tiles.
RANK MAJOR.png
Major
HEAVY WILLTOSURVIVE.png
Will to Survive
Reduces all normal damage taken by 2 if in cover and not flanked.
RANK COLONEL.png
Colonel
HEAVY ROCKETEER.png
Rocketeer
Allows 1 additional standard rocket to be fired per battle.
HEAVY MAYHEM.png
Mayhem
Confers additional damage based on weapon tech level to Suppression and all area-effect abilities.

Tips & Trix

  • Shredder Rocket is a good opening since it will both destroy cover and increase damage on all following attacks that turn. Each Shredder rocket also deals 4 damage on the target(s).
  • Suppression can be used cover another soldier that is moving up on an alien in Overwatch.
  • Suppression may neutralize a mind-controlled solder long enough to recover him/her.
  • HEAT Ammo applies to all damage dealt by the Heavy (grenades, rockets, Mayhem ...)
  • Mayhem gives +1 damage for the LMG, +2 for Heavy Laser, and +3 for Heavy Plasma. It also gives +2 damage to standard and Shredder rockets and +3 damage to Blaster Launcher rockets.
    • Mayhem does not apply to grenades, only rockets and suppression.
  • Mayhem & Danger Zone combined with Suppression will deal area damage to units close to the suppressed one. Useful against aliens in high cover or versus Cyberdiscs/Sectopods with Drones and does not require the Heavy to hit the shot.
  • Mayhem/Suppression is also very useful as the killing blow to an alien with almost 0 health since its a 100% guaranteed shot.
  • Blaster Launcher does not require line of sight, but can be fired around buildings and walls.
  • Note that the Second Wave modifier Not Created Equally is one way to make the Heavy class more useful in the endgame at higher difficulty levels, at the expense of having to hire, screen and fire a lot of soldiers after getting the OTS New Guy perk. Not Created Equally can randomly generate Heavy Squaddies with up to 82 Aim.



Sniper

Main article: Sniper (EU2012)
Sniper Squad
Sniper

A class able to inflict massive long range damage on enemy targets from a position of safety. They are good at inflicting critical hits, and can augment the chances further with their special Headshot ability. Special training can allow the sniper to provide long range cover fire, disarm enemies or reconnaissance. The drawback being a Sniper can't move and shoot except with the Snap Shot talent.

Primary Weapon: Sniper Rifle, Laser Sniper Rifle or Plasma Sniper Rifle.
Secondary Weapon: Pistol, Laser Pistol or Plasma Pistol.

The Sniper relies heavily on positioning, favourable terrain and the cooperation of squad mates to locate their marks. The Sniper is otherwise a poor close range combatant. Rank promotions will give Snipers the biggest increase in Aim when compared to the other classes (+40 points total). Their drawback is that upon reaching Colonel rank a Sniper will also receive less 1 Health Point than any of the other classes (+3 total) but the same Will (+14 total)

Abilities

Rank Ability
RANK SQUADDIE.png
Squaddie
SNIPER HEADSHOT.png
Headshot
Fire a shot with +30% critical chance and extra damage on critical hits based on the tech level of the sniper rifle. 2 turn cooldown.
RANK CORPORAL.png
Corporal
SNIPER SNAPSHOT.png
Snap Shot
Removes the sniper rifle's restriction on firing and Overwatch after moving. Any shots taken suffer a -20 Aim penalty.
EW DLC: Removes the sniper rifle's restriction on firing and Overwatch after moving. Any shots taken suffer a -10 Aim penalty.
SNIPER SQUADSIGHT.png
Squadsight
Allows firing at targets in any ally's sight radius.
EW DLC: Allows firing at targets in any ally's sight radius, but these targets cannot be critically hit unless using Headshot.
RANK SERGEANT.png
Sergeant
SNIPER GUNSLINGER.png
Gunslinger
Confers 2 bonus damage with pistols.
SNIPER DGG.png
Damn Good Ground
+10 Aim and +10 Defense against enemies at lower elevation in addition to the usual elevation bonuses. (including while flying)
RANK LIEUTENANT.png
Lieutenant
SNIPER DISABLINGSHOT.png
Disabling Shot
Allows the Sniper to fire a shot that causes the target's main weapon to malfunction. The target may use Reload to fix the weapon. The shot cannot inflict a critical hit. 2 turn cooldown. (-10 Aim, reduced Damage)
SNIPER BATTLESCANNER.png
Battle Scanner
Scanning device, when thrown creates a new source of vision for 2 turns. Can only be used 2 times per battle.
RANK CAPTAIN.png
Captain
SNIPER EXECUTIONER.png
Executioner
+10% Aim against targets with less than 50% Health.
SNIPER OPPORTUNIST.png
Opportunist
Eliminates the Aim penalty on reaction shots, and allows reaction shots to cause critical hits.
RANK MAJOR.png
Major
SNIPER LOWPROFILE.png
Low Profile
Makes partial cover count as full.
RANK COLONEL.png
Colonel
SNIPER ITZ.png
In The Zone
Killing a flanked or uncovered target with the sniper rifle does not cost an action. (applies only once to Pistols)
SNIPER DOUBLETAP.png
Double Tap
Allows both actions to be used for Standard Shot, Headshot, or Disable Shot, provided no moves were made. 1 turn cooldown. (Can't be used with Snap Shot)

Tips & Trix

  • Sniper Rifles suffer an aim penalty when targeting enemies in close quarters, making the pistol more useful than on other classes.
  • Snap Shot or Squad Sight, makes for two completely different play styles of snipers. Plan your build ahead.
  • Squad Sight still requires free line of sight from the sniper to the target.
  • Damn Good Ground is best combined with an armor with flight or a grapple hook.
  • Battle Scanner is often more useful on Snap Shot snipers, due to its limited range.
    It can also be thrown through UFO doors.
  • Gunslinger with Foundry Pistol upgrades puts pistols on par with most Rifles.
  • Disabling Shot is useful for captures or to disable high damage targets and mind controlled soldiers.



Support

Main article: Support (EU2012)
Support Squad
Support

A flexible class focusing on squad defence, medic or fire support. Highly mobile and useful for setting up flank attacks, or defending flanks. Its drawback being the lack of high damage attacks and low critical chance.

Primary Weapon: Assault Rifles, Laser Rifles, Light Plasma Rifles & Plasma Rifles
Secondary Weapon: Pistol, Laser Pistol or Plasma Pistol.

The bonus in stats gained through rank promotions will give the Support a total of +24 Aim points upon reaching Colonel rank, together with a total of +4 HP and +14 Will.

Abilities

Rank Ability
RANK SQUADDIE.png
Squaddie
SUPPORT SMOKEGRENADE.png
Smoke Grenade
Deploy a smoke grenade once per mission. The smoke confers +20 defense to all units, not just allies, and lasts during the enemy turn.
RANK CORPORAL.png
Corporal
SUPPORT SPRINTER.png
Sprinter
Allows the support to move 3 additional tiles.
SUPPORT COVERINGFIRE.png
Covering Fire
Allows reaction shot to trigger on enemy attacks, not just movement.
EW DLC: The reaction fire now happens before the enemy attacks, not after.
RANK SERGEANT.png
Sergeant
SUPPORT FIELDMEDIC.png
Field Medic
Allows medikits to be used 3 times per battle instead of once.
SUPPORT SMOKEMIRRORS.png
Smoke and Mirrors
Allows 1 additional use of Smoke Grenade each mission.
EW DLC: Allows two extra uses of Smoke Grenade each mission, for a total of three.
RANK LIEUTENANT.png
Lieutenant
SUPPORT REVIVE.png
Revive
Allows Medikits to revive critically wounded Soldiers at 33% of maximum health instead of just stabilizing them.
SUPPORT RIFLESUPPRESSION.png
Rifle Suppression
Fires a barrage that pins down a target, granting reaction fire against it and imposing a 30 penalty to aim.
RANK CAPTAIN.png
Captain
SUPPORT DENSESMOKE.png
Dense Smoke
Smoke Grenades have increased area of effect and further increase units' Defense by 20.
SUPPORT COMBATDRUGS.png
Combat Drugs
Smoke Grenades now contain powerful stimulants that grant +20 Will and +10% Critical Chance for all units in the cloud. (Also grants +20 Aim Bonus)
RANK MAJOR.png
Major
SUPPORT DEEPPOCKETS.png
Deep Pockets
Confers an additional item slot in inventory.
EW DLC: All limited-use items in your inventory receive one extra use.
RANK COLONEL.png
Colonel
SUPPORT SAVIOR.png
Savior
Medikits restore 4 more health per use.
SUPPORT SENTINEL.png
Sentinel
Allows two reaction shots during Overwatch, instead of only one.

Tips & Trix

Smoke Grenade

  • Smoke Grenades mean the difference between life and death in the game due to the Defense bonus it provides. Later they can carry Combat Drugs switching their role for an offensive one.
  • Supports can carry an additional Smoke Grenade with Smoke and Mirrors but they'll forgo the additional Medikit usage.
  • Dense Smoke doubles the Defense to +40, giving units on the cloud the equivalent to full cover. If already in full cover the bonus can increase to +80 or more.
  • Combat Drugs is also a great ability specially when setting ambushes to advancing aliens or if you can plan the cloud deployment in advance. It can also be used to counter Will losses coming from Psionic attacks in the late game stage.


Additional Notes

  • Support abilities upgrades are centered on medical, scout and sentry roles.
  • The Field Medic perk dramatically improves the effectiveness of Medikits, tripling the number of uses. Savior further improves Medikit effectiveness, and Revive can allow the Medikit to bring critically wounded soldiers back in to the fight.
  • The Sprinter perk and additional smoke capacity makes for a good scout.
  • Combat Drugs smoke gives an undocumented +20 to aim, and loses its defensive benefit.
  • Support's two other specialized abilities are Rifle Suppression, allowing scouts or sentries to support attacks and Covering Fire (making it the only class that can react to enemy fire on Overwatch).
  • Covering Fire reaction shot will be fired after enemy's shot. In the EW DLC, reaction shot will occur before the enemy's shot and it also gives reaction shot against grenades, etc.
  • Deep Pockets has been changed on the EW DLC, to only giving +1 use to items rather than allowing a 2nd item, making it less powerful than before.


Psionic

Main article: Psionic (EU2012)
Psionic Squad
Psionic
A Psionic is a late game 'extra' class that appears once you tested your soldiers for psionic ability. Higher Will makes the more likely to have the gift. They can use their mental powers on the battlefield to panic/control enemy units or to create physical attacks. Psionic soldiers get access to their regular class abilities in addition to their psychic powers, allowing for some interesting combinations. A Psionic soldier will have a purple effect applied to their class identifier.

The Psi Lab is required to rest soldiers for psionic powers, and will only be available after conducting a Sectoid Commander autopsy, or interrogating a Psionic alien, if the Second Wave's More Than Human option is activated.

On the Enemy Within DLC MEC Troopers can't become Psionic soldiers. If the Second Wave's option Mind Hates Matter is enabled, it is not possible also to test gene modded soldiers.

Abilities

Rank Ability
Psionic
PSIONIC MINDFRAY.png
Mindfray
Causes the target to lose grip on reality, inflicting penalties to Aim(-25), Will(-25), and Movement, and doing 5 base Damage. Robotic units are immune. Lasts 2 turns. 1 turn cooldown.
Specialist
PSIONIC PSIINSPIRATION.png
Psi Inspiration
Removes Mindfray and panic from all allies within 3 tiles, and strengthen their Will by +30 for 2 turns. 4 turn cooldown.
PSIONIC PANIC.png
Psi Panic
Cause target to panic on its following turn, if the target's Will is overcome. Robotic enemies are immune. 2 turn cooldown.
Operative
PSIONIC TELEKINETICFIELD.png
Telekinetic Field
Create an immobile telekinetic field that lasts through the enemy turn. The field distorts and deflects incoming attacks, granting +40 Defence.
PSIONIC MINDCONTROL.png
Mind Control
Very difficult psi technique that, if successful, grants control of the target for 3 turns. Robotic enemies are immune. 5 turn cooldown.
The Volunteer
PSIONIC RIFT.png
Rift
Devastate an area with a storm of psi energy. The rift does more damage against targets with low Will, and reduced damage against targets with high Will. 4 turn cooldown.

Tips & Trix

  • Targeting
    • Psionics can only be used on an alien that can be seen by the psionic unit.
    • Generally the success probability is based on Will and ignores factors like cover and range.
  • Mindfray
    • Will penalty from Mindfray stacks with multiple application. Other effects does not stack.
  • Psi Panic
    • Contrary to the description, Psi Panic will cause the victim to panic immediately and then skip its next turn. This will often cause it to fire on you in your turn if it can see you.
  • Telekinetic Field
    • Telekinetic Field will be centered on the psi user that created it, so it should be given to soldiers that will be near the front line.
    • Telekinetic Field doesn't give defense to enemy units unlike smoke grenades.
  • Mind Control
    • A Mind Controlled unit cannot act on the turn it is controlled.
    • Mind Control will end at the beginning of your turn, usually giving you an opportunity to attack the previously Mind Controlled unit before it attacks or moves.
    • If you Mind Control a psionic alien, you will have access to making the alien use some (not all) of its psionic capabilities, including abilities that the XCOM psi operative does not possess. For example if you mind control an Ethereal, you can use its Rift ability, which normally is only available to the Volunteer.
    • Mind Control has no effect or limitation on the psi operative performing it. They can move and attack with weapons freely, that does not interrupt or end the Mind Control.
    • An alien under the effects of Mind Control is treated as one of your soldiers for pretty much all intents and purposes. You cannot target the unit with direct fire weapons. Surprisingly, your soldiers will take the Will penalty if he dies, as if a friendly unit had died.
    • Killing an MCed alien (such as with rockets or grenades) does not give Experience Points (XPs), however it does count to that soldier's list of kills.
    • Therefore you may want to damage the alien while it is MC'd (for example by making it fight other aliens, or dropping a grenade on itself as well as aliens), and then easily perform the kill when it is back under its own control.
    • However if it does die while being MC'd, the alien's equipment does not self-destruct (unless it's killed with explosives), allowing you to recover its equipment (usually a weapon and maybe a grenade) at the end of the mission, similar to if you had stunned it with an Arc Thrower.
      • (EW: An MCed Mechtoid does not drop anything).
    • Surprisingly, a psionic alien unit that is performing a successful Mind Control cannot itself be Mind Controlled until its Mind Control has ended. The same applies to XCOM psi operatives during a successful Mind Control.
  • Psi Inspiration
    • Psi Inspiration also affects the psi unit who uses it (this isn't clear in the description). This makes the ability very powerful for increasing the success rate of other abilities such as Mind Control, as well as improving defense when tackling psionic aliens.
    • Psi Inspiration does not stack with itself.
    • Psi Inspiration also removes the Fallen Comrade Will debuff. This is especially useful when using Mind Control.
    • Psi Inspiration does not stack with the new Enemy Within DLC OTS perk Lead By Example. Whichever provides the most Will will be chosen. Squad Leader with 140 Will will override any soldier boosted by Psi Inspiration if less, otherwise will be given the Inspired bonus. Any soldier within range of Psi Inspiration will still receive bonus but it is not "tacked" on to Lead By Example, for clarification purposes.
    • However, it is extremely important to have your highest Will soldier as Squad Leader because if his Will is boosted, every nearby soldier regardless if they were Inspired or not, will receive the boosted Will. (Great way to get all nearby soldiers to nearly 200 Will! High Will Psi soldier with Psi Armor, Mind Shield, + Will medals, Psi Inspired and Squad Leader will turn squads into Ethereal Death Squads.)
    • The Support's Combat Drugs includes a Will bonus, but this does not affect any Psi Abilites (ie: will not stack with Inspiration, or enhance MC/Panic/Mindfray probability).
  • Rift
    • Only one psi unit can become The Volunteer, and this occurs when they use the alien device in the Gollop Chamber. This unit gains the Rift ability, which is otherwise only possessed by Ethereals.
    • The Rift ability is a wide area-effect psi attack that can inflict massive damage, but has a long down-time.
    • Rift is the only Psi attack used by XCOM's soldiers that can attack Robotic units, and, if the Volunteer is a Heavy, it does benefit from the HEAT ammo ability.
      • Enemy Within: Mindfray benefits from HEAT ammo if used against Mechtoids.


MEC Trooper

Main article: MEC Trooper (EU2012)
A MEC Squad
MEC Trooper
Translation: "Warrior in the Machine"

The MEC Trooper is a new class of soldier that is introduced by the Enemy Within DLC. A MEC Trooper requires Meld and can be created from any of your existing soldiers (from any class, except Psionic) after building the Cybernetic Lab. It costs §10 and 10 Meld to transform a soldier into a MEC Trooper. The soldier will lose all of its existing abilities but see its HP increase and will have its own abilities tree, starting with Collateral Damage.

MECs are walking tanks that are usually used for either Fire Support or Close Combat. Tactically they're a mixture of the Heavy and Assault classes, being built for frontline roles. Since MECs can't use Cover like regular soldiers they're equipped with specialized armor to be deployed, in the form of the Mechanized Exoskeleton Cybersuit (MEC Suit). MECs can't carry regular items but the MEC Suit offers a choice of two different Tactical Subsystems at each tier level.

Primary Weapon: Minigun, Railgun and Particle Cannon.
Tactical Subsystems:
MEC-1 Warden: Kinetic Strike Module or Flamethrower, §25, 40 Meld
MEC-2 Sentinel: Grenade Launcher or Restorative Mist, §32, 60 Meld, 10 Engineers
MEC-3 Paladin: Proximity Mine Launcher or Electro Pulse, §106, 100 Meld, 25 Engineers

The MEC's Ability choices are mainly divided between Fire Support or Survivability stats/abilites on each tier, giving the player the choice of either going full defence, high damage or a trade of between both. MEC Troopers gain a total of +10 Aim points upon reaching Colonel rank, together with a total of +4 HP and +14 Will through promotions.

Abilities

As part of the conversion process, each soldier turned into MEC will gain a bonus ability based on its former class and will retain its previous rank, replacing its previous abilities with MEC ones:

  • MEC SHOCK ABSORBENT ARMOR.png - Assault: Shock-Absorbent Armor - Damage received from enemies within 4 tiles is reduced by 33%.
  • MEC BODY SHIELD.png - Heavy - Body Shield - The nearest visible enemy suffers -20 Aim and cannot critically hit this unit.
  • MEC PLATFORM STABILITY.png - Sniper: Platform Stability - Any shots taken without moving have +10 Aim and +10% critical chance.
  • MEC DISTORTION FIELD.png - Support: Distortion Field - Nearby allies in cover receive +10 Defense.
Rank Ability
RANK SQUADDIE.png
Squaddie
MEC COLLATERAL DAMAGE.png
Collateral Damage
Area of effect attack that destroys most cover and hits all eligible targets for 34% damage. This attack cannot cause critical hits.
RANK CORPORAL.png
Corporal
MEC ADVANCED FIRE CONTROL.png
Advanced Fire Control
Shots from Overwatch no longer suffer any Aim penalty.
MEC AUTOMATED THREAT ASSESSMENT.png
Automated Threat Assessment
Confers +15 Defense when in Overwatch. Cancelled when the MEC fires.
RANK SERGEANT.png
Sergeant
MEC VITAL POINT TARGETING.png
Vital-Point Targeting
Confers 2 bonus damage against targets that have been autopsied.
MEC DAMAGE CONTROL.png
Damage Control
When the MEC takes damage, all further damage will be reduced by 2 on the following 2 turns.
RANK LIEUTENANT.png
Lieutenant
MEC JET BOOT MODULE.png
Jet Boot Module
When activated, confers the ability to jump to normally inaccessible heights for the rest of the turn. Has an unlisted 1-turn cooldown.
MEC ONE FOR ALL.png
One For All
When activated, the MEC becomes a high cover element. Moving or using an arm-based weapon will return the MEC to standard posture.
RANK CAPTAIN.png
Captain
MEC REPAIR SERVOS.png
Repair Servos
Confers 2 health recovery at the start of each turn. A total of 6 health can be regenerated per battle.
MEC EXPANDED STORAGE.png
Expanded Storage
Allows additional uses of Restorative Mist, Grenade Launcher and Proximity Mine Launcher in each mission, and increases primary weapon base ammo by 50%.
RANK MAJOR.png
Major
MEC OVERDRIVE.png
Overdrive
Firing the MEC's primary weapon as the first action no longer ends the turn.
RANK COLONEL.png
Colonel
MEC ABSORTION FIELDS.png
Absortion Fields
Any hit that makes 33% more damage to the MEC's maximum health is reduced to that number.
MEC REACTIVE TARGETING SENSORS.png
Reactive Targeting Sensors
MEC gets a free shot back at the first enemy who attacks the MEC each turn, providing there's enough ammo do to so.

Tips & Trix

  • MEC Troopers can be created from any soldier above rookie rank, but they'll lose all abilities they previously had. For example, if player sacrifices a Sergeant-ranked soldier, he/she would get a Sergeant-ranked MEC, along with the ability to choose skills from the first three ranks.
  • A MEC Trooper who is converted will retain their stats from before conversion, meaning you may want to put off augmenting your (non-Heavy) soldiers until already high ranked, since the Support, Assault and Sniper classes have better stat progression than the MEC Trooper class.
    • Heavies are best augmented at Lieutenant rank to ensure additional stats, especially with Second Wave options enabled.
  • The Cybernetics Lab can augment 3 soldiers at a time and it costs §10 and 10 Meld units. The process takes 3 days and soldiers will lose all Gene Mods when augmented. The process is irreversible. Take note that wounded soldiers can also be augmented.
  • Any soldiers tested positive with Psionic ability are automatically excluded from MEC conversion, and MEC soldiers can not be tested whether or not they are gifted.
  • Any medals given will remain after conversion, and MEC soldiers can still be awarded medals (remember that a MEC can't go into cover, so giving it the defensive bonus while in cover is pointless).
  • If the damage suffered is in excess of the MEC Suit's HPs then the soldier will have to endure wound recovery time.
  • If the MEC Trooper is killed, the MEC Suit has to be repaired with small cost.
  • MECs are very expensive to purchase, costing up to 200 Meld to create a MEC and equip it with the most advanced MEC Suit.
  • MEC Suits came with the Minigun as its default Primary Weapon: more advanced primary weapons need to be manufactured in Engineering before being deployed.
  • They are immune to fire, strangulation, and poison but can still be psi attacked (and mind controlled) by Psionic units.
  • MEC Troopers can be healed with Medikits, Restorative Mist, Improved Arc Thrower and by captured Drones. Repairing with Arc Throwers is arguably more efficient, since if you don't stun any enemies, an Arc Thrower could be used to heal your MECs and save Medikits for your other soldiers. Deep Pockets will increase Arc Thrower usage to three, which could allow for seven healing uses between Field Medic and Medikits.
  • MECs can't use Cover (so they can't be flanked). To compensate that they have Hardened ability present on S.H.I.V.s and alien robotic units that gives increased protection against critical hits.
  • MECs can climb over half cover berms and up ledges, but are too heavy to use ladders and drainpipes to scale buildings, they can however use alien grav lifts.
  • MECs rely on the Foundry for several essential upgrades through different projects:
  • MEC Troopers get monotone, Robocop-esque voice.


Class Assignment

The game follows a set of rules when choosing a class for a soldier, according to this Nexus forums thread. Those are:

  1. Choose a random class that doesn't have any live (Barracks) or dead soldiers (Memorial).
    1. Following this rule, if you promote all 4 soldiers on the first mission, you'll get the 4 classes.
  2. If all classes have been generated at least once, then pick a random class with the following restrictions:
    1. Classes with 0 live soldiers are prioritized over classes with exactly 2 live soldiers.
    2. Classes with 0 or 1 live soldiers are prioritized over classes with exactly 4 live soldiers.
  3. If 1) and 2) don't apply, the soldier's class will be randomized.
  • As a result of these rules after one class has 5 or more live soldiers then the assignment will be completely randomized.

Soldier Mission rewards

Abductions

If a soldier is received as a reward through completion of an Abductions or then its class will be determined by the following criteria [1]:

  1. If any classes have 0 or 1 soldiers alive, there is a 50% chance that one of those classes will be picked (equal chance for each).
  2. If the class is not picked in step 1, there is a 50% chance of picking the class with the smallest maximum rank. If multiple classes are tied for the smallest maximum rank then randomly pick one of them.
  3. If the class is not picked in step 2, then randomly select a class, with each class having equal chance.
  4. If by any chance none of the criteria above is used, then the soldier will be a Heavy.

Abductions rewards can receive the following ranks (chosen randomly):

  • Sergeant
  • Captain
  • 2nd highest rank present in Barracks

Council Missions

Reward soldiers received from Council missions are generated using the general Class Assignment method. The rank in all is predetermined into receiving a Sergeant/Captain or the 2nd highest rank.

Psionic Selection

There are special rules for a soldier to be assigned to the Psionic subclass - check Psi Lab for further details.

Enemy Within DLC

In the EW DLC the rules for class assignment upon reaching Squaddie rank have been changed in order to reduce some randomness and to ensure a better balance between the 4 classes.

  1. First four soldiers still are assigned each to the 4 starting classes (Assault, Heavy, Sniper, Support)
  2. After that the game creates a deck of 4 cards of each class (16 cards total). It then randomly discards 3 of those cards and picks, also randomly, a card of the remaining 13 to determine the class while generating soldiers.
  3. When there's no more cards on that deck, a new set of cards is created by the preceding rule.

Class Design/Dropped Features

Ananda Gupta has revealed several aspects about the class during a panel ([2]), dedicated to the theme during Firaxicon 2014.

  • The introduction of the class system was done after a lot of work had already been done into the game and it was inspired by Massively Multiplayer Online (MMO) games.
  • The class system and trees had a lot of inspiration from the one used on the Battleheart game.
  • At a certain stage it was considered to have 'Prestige' versions/upgrades for each classes, which would be unlocked by completing specific missions (they were considered for the Slingshot DLC). The idea eventually was dropped but the Flamethrower (for the prestige version of the Assault class) eventually made its way into the MEC Trooper on the Enemy Within DLC.
  • The fact that Major rank only has 1 available ability comes from the idea that each class needs to have 1 ability focused on survivability.
  • An aspect considered important was the ability to recover from squad wipes. The experience system was designed to have bonuses from killing higher ranked aliens to help recover, but it wasn't such an issue as the developers worried.
  • Another issue was giving to each class an active ability right at Squaddie rank to give the player an additional button to use while playing.
  • Initially the MEC Trooper was designed with a 3rd option for a Shield, in addition to the Flamethrower or Kinetic Strike Module.

See Also

EU2012 Badge XCOM: Enemy Unknown (2012): XCOM Units
Soldiers:CLASS ASSAULT.png AssaultCLASS HEAVY.png HeavyCLASS SNIPER.png SniperCLASS SUPPORT.png SupportCLASS PSIONIC.png PsionicCLASS MECH.png MEC Trooper (EW DLC)
S.H.I.Vs:S.H.I.V.Alloy S.H.I.V.Hover S.H.I.V.
Attributes:ClassesClass BuildsAbilitiesStatsNicknamesGene Mods (EW DLC)Medals (EW DLC)
Loadout:WeaponsArmorEquipmentMEC Suit (EW DLC)
Barracks:Officer Training SchoolPsi LabMemorialGenetics Lab (EW DLC)Cybernetics Lab (EW DLC)
Other: VolunteerHeroesZhang (Slingshot DLC)Annette (EW DLC)Covert Operative (EW DLC)Training Roulette (EW DLC)