Covert actions are side operations offered by the various factions that the commander can send soldiers to complete to earn valuable rewards. These actions do not require an actual combat scenario, with exception to ambushes. Covert actions are the only way to unlock the chosen stronghold and unlock the mission to permanently kill a chosen.
There are various hazards of covert operations, with the 3 dangers being soldiers being wounded, soldiers being captured, or being ambushed by enemies or a chosen. These dangers can usually be eliminated but with a cost of various resources or an extra soldier.
To unlock more covert actions, one needs to increase their reputation with the various factions, which is done by completing the "hunting the chosen" covert action. This unlocks more covert actions while also increasing the amount of resistance orders XCOM can use.
Rewards from covert actions may include:
- Alien loot
- A Superior PCS
- Ability Points
- A Soldier bond
- Faction exclusive soldiers
- New Resistance Orders
- Chosen Stronghold Location
- Reduced Avatar Project Progress
- Increased Combat Intelligence