Gunner (LWR)

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The Gunner class is a support fire specialist, capable of wielding the largest automatic weapons in XCOM's arsenal to either inflict heavy damage, or lock down and debuff hostiles.

Primary Weapon: SAWs, LMGs, Assault Rifles, Carbines, SMGs.
Secondary Weapon: None.
Class-Limited items: SAWs, LMGs.
Attribute Growth: HP x2, Aim x2.


Rank Ability
Suppress [Pinned if protected by cover, suppressive fire if not, no reaction fire, -35 aim, -35% mobility/ability range] targets. Breaks with suppressive fire if the target acts. Requires 2 ammo, and uses the 2nd ammo if the suppression breaks with suppressive fire. 2 turn cooldown.
Lance Corporal
Will To Survive
Will To Survive
Increases DR of all cover to 65% but grants 10 less defense. Grants +3 armor HP and Steadfast.
Provides immunity to panic (except from flame/psi attacks) and reduces injury time by 50%.
Fire an additional reaction shot during overwatch. Gain +20 defense when on overwatch. Grants Opportunist.
Reaction shots gain +20 aim and can critically hit.
Suppression has 1 turn less cooldown and deals suppressive fire damage immediately.
Double Tap
Double Tap
Shooting or using burst allows this unit to fire an extra shot (at +25 aim/crit if it's the same target) if not out of ammo or targets. 1 turn cooldown after 2nd shot is used.
Ready For Anything
Ready For Anything
At the end of each turn, if this unit did not move and is not at risk of triggering reaction fire, Overwatch activates. Doubles shred application from shots.
Holo Rounds
Holo Rounds
Firing at a target during this unit's turn holos [Prevents concealment/stealth, incoming shots gain +20 aim and +1 penetration] them for 3 turns.
Critical System Targeting
Critical System Targeting
Shots against autopsied mechanical units deal +50% damage and gain +2 penetration. Does not work with the Arc Rifle or Arc Pistol.
Regen Biofield
Grants +3 armor HP, +10 crit resistance, and %DR equal to half of the % total HP lost.
The primary weapon gains +2 penetration.
Tech Sergeant
Extra Conditioning
Extra Conditioning
Grants +3 armor HP, +0.6 mobility, 10% throw range, and a 10% chance for all end-in-idle actions to cost 0 AP.
Gunnery Sergeant
Tenacious Defense
Tenacious Defense
Grants +3 armor HP. Grants +30% crit resistance when protected by cover.
Lock N' Load
Lock N' Load
Reloading any weapon costs only 1 AP. Dashing automatically reloads the active weapon.
Bring 'Em On
Bring 'Em On
Standard shots gain damage equal to half the number of enemies in sight and aim equal to twice the number of enemies in sight. Gain a chance equal to 4x the number of enemies in sight for incoming shots to graze, dealing half their original damage.
Master Sergeant
Grants +1 damage and penetration to all shots. Hitting a target with a non-reaction shot clears their overwatch and disables their Reactive Targeting Sensors.
Grants +1 armor HP, a medikit, a smoke grenade, and +1 ammo to non-arc primary weapons.

Tactical Advice

Role: Medium Range Offense / Offensive Support

The Gunner is mostly unchanged from vanilla. A major decision when building a Gunner is deciding if they will use a LMG or SAW-type weapon. SAW Gunners have more mobility and accuracy, while LMG Gunners are slow and inaccurate, but boast an improved AOE Suppression thanks to the weapon's Danger Zone and a deep pool of ammo to draw from.

Suppression is a powerful tool used to chip down exposed targets or pin down enemies behind cover to prevent dangerous flanks. Support aspect of the Gunner comes with Suppression applying holo-targeting and shred effects on aliens. Besides this innate utility, they also have access to a large array of offensive and defensive options which gives them a lot of flexibility in their builds, with many viable combinations.

They enjoy the high power of their class weapons, granting them a sizable damage output that will put Shredder to good use. Gunners are however quite slow with no movement growth and heavy weaponry and thus are most at home in fights that don't require a lot of repositioning.

Sample Builds

Tank Gunner

The Tank Gunner mixes sturdiness with high damage in a threatening package. It is a rare example of a biological class with access to Grit and it is put to good use to endure an impressive amount of punishment that would leave most other tank builds long dead. Double Tap rounds out the offensive capabilities of the build with strong bursts of shredding damage that can crack open heavily armored enemies. Suppression remains a reliable utility option but an alert Commander will keep an eye on available ammo lest a crucial Double Tap opportunity be missed.

Sample Tank Build: Will To Survive -> Double Tap or Holo Rounds -> Grit -> Extra Conditioning -> Tenacious Defense or Bring 'Em On -> Impact or Kitted

Recommended Weapons: SAW or LMG
Recommended Equipment: Platings, Combat Stims, Walker Servos, Psi Defender.


  • The biggest choice for Gunner Tanks is their CPL perk. Double Tap gives strong burst damage potential from the big guns that Gunners carry, while Holo leans more into the support side of gunners and their Suppression's ability to spread Holo around (especially with an LMG).
  • At GSGT you can choose to sacrifice the crit resistance of Tenacious Defense for the utility and ammo of Kitted. With Psi Defender, the crit resistance is less necessary, so this may be a worthwhile trade.
  • Like most Gunner builds, mobility tends to be a heavy concern; Walker Servos are an instant solution to the problem if necessary.
  • A more hybrid build utilizing perks such as Critical System Targeting or Lock N' Load is possible if the heavy firepower of a Gunner is more important than raw tankiness; this can work well if multiple tanks are brought along.

Overwatch Gunner

The Overwatch Gunner is an offensive build that utilizes the high damage of the SAW or LMG with Sentinel and Shredder to deliver hefty damage through reaction fire and lock down enemy movement. Ready for Anything grants more shred and uptime and flexibility as Gunner can chose to fire or reload and still overwatching as long as the Gunner does not move. For this reason, this build is most at home in heavy and protracted firefights where it can fire uninterrupted - racking up shredding damage to overwhelm the opposition. Pairing this build with another Overwatch class will wear down enemy battle lines at an alarming pace. Suppression - while still useful - is less optimal than on other builds. Late game the build works very well with flying armors giving Gunners extra mobility and much needed accuracy to hit for serious damage.

Sample Overwatch Build: Sentinel -> Ready for Anything -> Any -> Extra Conditioning -> Lock N' Load or Bring 'Em On -> Impact or Kitted

Recommended Weapons: SAW or LMG
Recommended Equipment: Alloy Bipod, Aim-increasers, Damage-increasers, Mobility-increasers, Special ammo.


  • The SGT perk in this build is very flexible:
    • Critical System Targeting combined with Flak ammo allow a high specialization against Mechs.
    • Penetrator is less specialized but usable against many targets.
    • Grit gives a front-line soldier added survivability, which is always useful.
  • Lock n' Load and Kitted both accomplish a similar role in this build; LnL makes your reloading more flexible while Kitted lets you wait longer before reloading and provides some utility. Both lead to Overwatching with a full mag due to Ready for Anything.
  • Psionics and Gene Mods are both greatly appreciated on this build for the extra OW shot from Inner Fire and Enhanced Metabolism respectively. The Gunner's low will growth often means that Psi Gunners are quite rare, however.
  • The LMG is an unconventional choice for this build due to the steep aim penalty. Sufficiently mitigated however (e.g Mind Merge + Holo Rounds or equipping multiple aim-increasers), the resulting damage will put most other offensive builds to shame.

Mayhem Gunner (Bullet Wizard)

The Mayhem Gunner build focuses on debuffing and crowd control through Suppression boosted by Holo Rounds and Shredder to allow other squad members to provide more accurate and damaging fire. With Mayhem and Danger Zone from the LMG, the Gunner can suppress and debuff entire groups of enemies, denting targets and pinning them down if in cover. The cooldown turn of Suppression can be put to good use by repositioning, reloading or simply using the unwieldy LMG to deliver a powerful albeit innaccurate (Burst is advised) shredding shot to a target. While slow, this build can fix that problem thanks to a great freedom in terms of equipment choices; many typical "shooter" items have a minimal impact on Mayhem Suppression.

Sample Bullet Wizard Build: Mayhem -> Holo Rounds -> Penetrator or Grit -> Extra Conditioning -> Lock n' Load -> Impact or Kitted

Recommended Weapons: LMG
Recommended Equipment: Survivability-increasers, Mobility-increasers, Damage-increasers, Alloy Bipod, Utility.


  • The Alloy Bipod gives a unique flat bonus to Suppressive Fire damage; this can be nice if you happen to have extra item slots you aren't using for other things, but isn't necessary.
  • Penetrator adds a significant amount of damage through DR due to Mayhem's low damage early, but eventually the survivability of Grit may be more worthwhile as shred is not affected by DR and Mayhem isn't a damage specialist.
  • This build is known to be very stat-independant; any rookie cursed by low stat totals that ends up in the Weapons supraclass is salvageable as a Mayhem Gunner.

See also

Lone Wolf (EU2012).jpg
Long War Rebalance: Soldiers
Class Infantry (Long War).png
Class Rocketeer (Long War).png
Class Scout (Long War).png
Class Engineer (Long War).png
MEC Troopers
Class Marauder (Long War).png
Class Goliath (Long War).png
Class Jaeger (Long War).png
Class Shogun (Long War).png
Sub-classes and abilities
Gene Mods Soldier Icon (EU2012).png
Gene Mods