Melee Accuracy

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In theory, Melee Accuracy affects a soldier's ability to hit their target with a close combat, or melee, attack.

  • This statistic is not shown in any displays, but is still tracked by the game. It can be seen to rise (like other skills) when the Stun Rod is used. BUT,
  • Hacking this field has NO effect on Stun Rod accuracy; the Stun Rod seems hard-wired to 100% accuracy. Therefore, Melee Accuracy is an entirely useless/vestigial value, with the possible remote exception of somebody playing with hacked melee weapons (which might or might not also be hard-wired to 100% accuracy).
  • Some players call this skill Melee Accuracy and some call it Close Combat Accuracy (CCA). The OSG talks about a CCA, but since it didn't wind up being shown anywhere in the game and it's not 100% clear that the OSG meant this skill as opposed to e.g. HTH, the shorter term is also used.
  • It's not hard to abuse the Item Stacking Bug so as to make "new" melee weapons.

Even though it appears to be an entirely irrelevant field, we've still managed to pin down some of its functionality (smile).

Starting Values

New recruits always begin with a value from 20 to 40.


Melee Accuracy will only increase by the use of the Stun Rod in the original XCOM. In Terror From The Deep (TFTD), Vibro Blades, Thermic Lances, and Heavy Thermic Lances will also increase it.

You are awarded an average of 2 skill points (range 1-3) per combat mission if you melee at least 3 times, and an average of 4 points (range 2-6) for 11+ uses. These points do not depend on your current skill level, only on the number of stun-rod/melee uses. For more particulars on skill-point increases, see Experience.

Maximum Caps

An X-COM soldier's Melee Accuracy is capped at 120. However, because you can get a +6 roll when at 119, a soldier can have up to 125 Melee Accuracy (if they're really lucky!). For more info, see Regarding Caps.

Hidden Value

Melee or Close Combat Accuracy is not shown in any display, but it clearly increases when you use the Stun Rod. Possibly the XCOM programmers once hoped to emphasize melee much more in general, but then downplayed it to focus on other things. In any event, here are technical details for anyone interested. These specifics are for the original XCOM.

Like other primary stats, Melee Accuracy:

  • Has an initial [50] and an increase [61] byte in SOLDIER.DAT, in line with other primaries there
  • Has an experience byte in UNITREF.DAT (offset 82), in line with other primary counters
  • Also has its value pasted from geoscape into Unitref (offset 56), as do other primaries
  • Has a cap of 120 (composed of an initial and increase), the same as firing and throwing accuracy
  • Has the same rule as other primaries for skill point increases
  • Triggers secondary stats to increase, just like other primaries

So it's quite functional relative to gaining experience.

But Melee Accuracy DOESN'T MATTER, because the Stun Rod appears to be hard-wired to 100% accuracy. (Hacking your melee accuracy to 0 or to 255 has absolutely no effect on Stun Rod accuracy.)

The only way you can see your Melee Accuracy value is by hex editing SOLDIER.DAT (bytes [50] and [61] added together) or UNITREF.DAT (offset [56]).

Soldier Usage

Melee accuracy is entirely irrelevant in a regular game of X-COM. The only melee weapon is hard-wired to 100% accuracy, period.

If someone wants to build melee accuracy just for the fun of it, the following was written before Zombie showed that the Stun Rod is hard-wired:

Unless someone wants to have fun with close combat, melee isn't a particularly viable skill in XCOM. (It might be in TFTD, though.) In XCOM, if you were thinking of stunning aliens and then reviving them (so you can stun them again and/or shoot them to death - the pathetic slobs), note that the stun-rod can deliver up to 130 stun points (2x65). But the Medi-Kit stimulant only reduces stun level by 4 points (time 10 equals 40 points of stun per Medi-Kit). Aliens can become so unconscious that you use up all your Medi-Kits trying to revive them (plus it's a real hassle). Most players would much rather increase their Firing Accuracy and Reactions skills than Melee.

Of course, the stun rod remains vital for capturing some aliens and unlocking research, even if you don't develop its accuracy.

Note: You can try to exploit the use of other items as melee weapons in the original XCOM if you're feeling adventurous - see NKF's notes. If you do, then melee accuracy might matter... or it might not. The jury's still out.

In case anyone was confused: The Small Launcher does not use Melee Accuracy. Firing this ranged Stun bomb weapon counts as "hits" toward your Firing Accuracy stat (and Reaction too, if applicable).

Alien Usage

Because Aliens have no Stun Rod equivalent, the only species to utilise Melee Accuracy are the Silacoid, Chryssalid, Reaper, and Zombie, each of which have an accuracy of 80%. The melee attack's damage is equal to the unit's strength.

Influencing Factors

Melee Accuracy might be affected by the same factors as firing and throwing accuracies:

  • +15% when kneeling.
  • -20% when holding a two-handed weapon with one hand.
  • -10% per wound to the head or hitting arm.
  • -25% x (max health-current health)/max health)

... but probably not, because the Stun Rod seems to be hard-wired.

See Also

UFO Badge X-Com: Enemy Unknown/UFO Defense
Soldiers:Time UnitsEnergy (Stamina)HealthBraveryReactionsFiring AccuracyThrowing Accuracy
StrengthPsionic StrengthPsionic SkillMelee AccuracyStunMoraleRankFatal Wounds