S.H.I.V.s are controllable weapons platforms, They are the same size as a soldier, so can fit through doors, and follow most of the same rules as soldiers with regards to moving, firing and dashing. S.H.I.V.s cannot use cover, but make up for this by having high HP and innate defense equivalent to low cover. Because they always ignore cover S.H.I.V.s never count as flanked for the purposes of bonus critical hit chance. S.H.I.V.s are also a little faster than a regular soldier.
S.H.I.V. uses one space in the Barracks and can be sent on missions using one of the squad slots. However you cannot customize either the look or the loadout of the SHIV. It also gains no experience and cannot gain new abilities except through additional Foundry projects; any SHIV upgrade project completed is automatically applied to all current and future SHIVs.
If a S.H.I.V returns from a mission damaged it will be unavailable for a time while it's repaired, similar to how soldiers must recover after being wounded.
All S.H.I.V.s come with a standard Minigun by default, which does 5-7 normal damage and has 10% crit chance. The weapon is automatically upgraded to the best weapon available through Foundry research.
Each S.H.I.V costs §50 and takes 7 days (3 days in EW) to manufacture in Engineering
The Alloy S.H.I.V. is an upgraded model that can be used as a portable low cover by XCOM soldiers. If S.H.I.V.s are unlocked, it will be available after competing research for the Carapace Armor. Each Alloy S.H.I.V costs §75 and requires 10 Engineers and 20 Alien Alloys, taking 7 days (4 days in EW) to manufacture in Engineering.
The Hover S.H.I.V. is capable of limited flight similar to Archangel Armor. The Hover S.H.I.V does not provide cover like an Alloy S.H.I.V. If Alloy S.H.I.V.s are unlocked, it will be available after completing the research for the Firestorm. Each Hover S.H.I.V costs §100 and requires 20 Engineers and 30 Alien Alloys and 20 Elerium, taking 7 days (4 days in EW) to manufacture in Engineering
- S.H.I.V. Suppression - Same as a Support/Heavy's suppression ability.
- S.H.I.V. Laser - Heavy Laser research required to unlock. +2 damage, +15 aim, +5 crit chance.
- S.H.I.V. Plasma - Heavy Plasma research required to unlock. +4 damage, +25 aim, +10 crit chance
- S.H.I.V. Repair - Allows Arc Thrower equipped soldiers to use them to repair S.H.I.V.s.
- If Drones appear on a mission, and the Foundry's Drone Hack project has been completed, you can commandeer Drones to repair your S.H.I.V.s instead.
- Advanced Repair - Foundry version of the Officer Training School's Rapid Recovery: speeds up repairs when you get home.
- Advanced Flight - Doubles the Hover S.H.I.V. fuel capacity.
- Advanced Construction - Halves build time.
- Shaped Armor - Mechtoid Autopsy research required to unlock. +3 health.
- Advanced Servomotors - Mechtoid Autopsy research required to unlock. Increases movement.
- Sentinel Drone - Drone Autopsy research required to unlock. S.H.I.V. is repaired by 2hp per turn, and gains ability akin to Assault's Close Combat Specialist.
- S.H.I.V.s have a higher movement speed than a basic soldier and good HP for your tech level. S.H.I.V.s are by no means indestructible, but can take several hits before being destroyed.
- S.H.I.V.s can advance without cover, which would be suicide for a soldier because of the increased critical hit chance.
- The normal and the Alloy S.H.I.V. run on tracks (and the Hover, when not in Flight Mode, glides on terrain), so they rely on ramps to move, or get to higher ground; they cannot climb ladders or move over half-cover obstacles or earthen berms in Enemy Unknown but can hop over half cover walls and berms in the Enemy Within expansion.
- S.H.I.V HP gets a sizeable boost when you develop Carapace Armor in the form of the Alloy variant, but doesn't improve beyond that, meaning that Titan Armor makes them somewhat obsolete although S.H.I.V.s do benefit from the Shaped Armor foundry upgrade in Enemy Within for an additional three hps.
- S.H.I.V.s fixed performance and inability to gain rank means that once you have a team of high ranking soldiers available with advanced armors you'll usually find their range of abilities more useful and will leave the S.H.I.V.s at home.
- However, if disaster strikes and you lose a lot of high ranked soldiers, fielding some S.H.I.V.s is better than fielding a full squad of inexperienced soldiers.
- S.H.I.V.s high speed and no need to pay attention to cover makes it easy to get flanks with them.
- Alloy S.H.I.V.s can be a good support unit for captures, giving the stunner cover exactly where they need it and suppressing the target to keep them in place while advancing.
- Alloy S.H.I.V.s can be used as "band aid" cover. If you uncover aliens and they flank a soldier who now can't move (or you don't want to move), moving the S.H.I.V to provide cover is an alternative to moving the soldier.
- Occasionally aliens will decide to use your Alloy S.H.I.V as cover. If so, simply move it and their cover is gone.
- Given the choice of having a S.H.I.V. damaged or one of your soldiers having a S.H.I.V. damaged is usually the better option. They are easily replaced and less useful than a senior soldier. If you have made a mistake and left a soldier vulnerable, move the S.H.I.V. into position where it is the obvious choice to be shot at instead.
- Because S.H.I.V.s are robotic, they can neither be Mind Frayed nor Mind Controlled. However, because they have no Will, they will be decimated by an Ethereal's Psi-lance or Rift.
- S.H.I.V.s can rescue civilians in terror missions, as well as defuse power nodes, defuse bombs, and capture meld containers.
- Alloy S.H.I.V.s are particularly useful for their mobile cover perk. They can provide a civilian with some extra cover, or they can be positioned such that a sprinting soldier can have cover after rescuing a badly positioned civilian.
Enemy Within DLC
The Enemy Within DLC gives S.H.I.V.s several direct and indirect buffs. In the mid-to-late game they receive the Shaped Armor and Sentinel Drone foundry projects for survivability and the Advanced Servomotors project for mobility. Indirectly, the power of the Tactical Rigging project and the Foundry granting adjacency bonus to Workshops makes an early Foundry much more attractive than it previously was, consequently making fielding S.H.I.V.s in the early game more attractive.
S.H.I.V.s are named "Thunder-X", Alloy S.H.I.V.s are named "Goliath-X" and Hover S.H.I.V.s are named "Lightning-X", where X refers to the build order of that particular model (eg: Lightning-3 would be the 3rd Hover S.H.I.V. you built).
|XCOM: Enemy Unknown (2012): XCOM Units|
|Soldiers:||Assault • Heavy • Sniper • Support • Psionic • MEC Trooper (EW DLC)|
|S.H.I.Vs:||S.H.I.V.• Alloy S.H.I.V. • Hover S.H.I.V.|
|Attributes:||Classes • Class Builds • Abilities • Stats • Nicknames • Gene Mods (EW DLC) • Medals (EW DLC)|
|Loadout:||Weapons • Armor • Equipment • MEC Suit (EW DLC)|
|Barracks:||Officer Training School • Psi Lab • Memorial • Genetics Lab (EW DLC) • Cybernetics Lab (EW DLC)|
|Other:||Volunteer • Heroes • Zhang (Slingshot DLC) • Annette (EW DLC) • Covert Operative (EW DLC) • Training Roulette (EW DLC)|