The mind probe is an alien communication device which is used to take information directly from brain waves. X-Com units can use this device in combat to display an alien's characteristics.
The mind probe is a metallic alien spherical device that allows you to remotely enter the mind of the target. In game terms, this gives you a once-per-use peek at an alien's stat screen, revealing important info such as his health, TU's, and rank. To leave the alien's stat screen you must right click. As you right click you are almost guaranteed to double click, and thereby turn your solider in a random direction. To avoid the double click, move the mouse to a screen edge as you right click and your solider will not turn.
Mind probes must be researched before being issued to soldiers. The most common use of a mind probe is to identify high-ranking targets worthy of capture and live research. They are not vital battlefield devices and take up 2x2 backpack spaces. Can be used on any alien within sight of any soldier. The soldier with the mind probe does not need a direct line of sight to the alien.
Although the mind probe uses Psionics, soldiers do not need any psionic ability to use it. Because every use requires 50% Time Units, you will only ever get two uses per turn - less, if you spend too much time moving or turning. A good choice for the useless officer who sits in the Skyranger.
The OBDATA file says the mind probe is a two-handed object. However, this doesn't affect its usage.
- If the alien is nearly out of Time Units, you can move without fear of drawing reaction fire.
- If the alien is nearly out of health, you might be able to bring it down or stun it with light weaponry.
- If the alien is low on morale, it is likely to panic easily. In particular, soon after you get Psi technology, you might let psi-locked troops (not yet trained in the Psi Lab) peek at aliens to see whether other, newly psi-unlocked troops (with a low chance of success) have successfully panic-attacked an alien down to low levels of Morale.
- Mind probes can be used by anyone; they do not require psi training. They also do not give any experience toward increasing your Psionic Skill.
- Mind probes are highly prized by governments and advertising firms, so you can sell your spares at $304K each.
- They are only found on Scout ships. The alien soldier on a Small Scout will always carry a mind probe. On the Medium Scout, the navigator(s) (or its substituted rank equivalent) will normally be equipped with them, but only in the early stages of the game. For the Large Scout, Navigators and Engineers will also get mind probes in the early part of the game. As time wears on, only the Engineers will have them and eventually they will stop carrying them too.