The Faceless is an alien enemy unit. They are a new, improved infiltration unit, and unlike the Thin Man, they are capable of maintaining a perfect civilian disguise until they attack. Faceless normally appear in Retaliation missions, mimicking civilians to be rescued. When approached, they will transform into their true form, a hulking sack of flesh and internal chitin three metres tall.
They are a moderate nuisance with a surprising amount of mobility. They are moderately durable, with 8-12 HP which regenerates at the start of the turn. Their only weapon are their claws, which deals 3-4 damage to the target and anyone nearby, even alien and ADVENT units. It might not even do that, due to their horrendous Aim - 60-75. However, this can potentially destroy nearby cover, exposing the XCOM soldier to enemy fire.
There are numerous 'tells' and ways to reveal Faceless.
- Battle Scanners or the GREMLIN Scanning Protocol reveal all Faceless in the area.
- Alien and ADVENT enemies will not attempt to harm Faceless deliberately, and will never use a Standard Shot on them. A civilian close to some enemies who is not being shot at is likely a Faceless.
- Normal civilians have Shadowstep to prevent them being cut down too easily by Overwatch fire. If a civilian is shot by an enemy on Overwatch, that person is a Faceless.
- Faceless don't count towards the counter of unrescued civilians in a mission. If there is only one civilian left and there are two in sight, one of them is a Faceless.
Faceless will transform on your turn if you try to rescue them or if there are no more enemies. They can also transform after a random number of turns.
The 'Alien Infiltrator' Dark Event temporarily places Faceless in all missions with civilians. If it is active, sparing a hand grenade on a group of civilians may be worth it.
View them in combat as the Psi Zombie's big brother - a nuisance that is low on the priority list. They cannot use cover, so hitting them is almost a non-issue. Their moderate health is easily cut down by a Chain Shot or a Rapid Fire. Plasma weapons will make quick work of them. A weakened Faceless can also be cut down with a Ranger's Bladestorm. A Sharpshooter with Deadeye and a Gauss Rifle can one-shot a Faceless, and anything better guarantees it (providing the shot hits). They are not worth using Psionics on - Domination should certainly be used elsewhere.
Faceless have Leap, so elevation is not an obstacle for them. This is rendered nearly moot in that their home territory is the Retaliation, where there are few buildings higher than one story tall. However, their AoE claw attack can destroy the floor beneath them and their target, dealing fall damage to them and their target.
Their autopsy reveals how the Faceless shapeshifts. Their internal chitin structures are malleable, and provide expansion points for special fluid membranes. These can manipulate their cellular structure and can replicate a convincing human form.
From this autopsy, the prized Mimic Beacon (sometimes nicknamed the Meme Beacon) is unlocked, which requires another Faceless corpse to produce.