While Long War set out to enhance the Super-Heavy Infantry Vehicle to make it a more viable replacement for soldiers, Long War Rebalance takes a different approach. SHIVs are a special unit that brings raw damage, durability, and a degree of utility to the field, thanks to their numerous upgrades and equipment options. In addition to being stronger overall, all SHIVs can now be used as partial cover, rather than just the Alloy SHIV Moreover, the basic SHIV is now available from the beginning of the campaign, including the first mission. They can not be rebuilt if destroyed.
XCOM starts with 2 SHIVs, one of which accompanies your soldiers on the first mission.
|Credits||Alloys||Elerium||Base HP||Armor HP||Aim||Defense||Damage Resistance||Mobility||Item Slots||Flight Capability|
|Hover||390||90||45||14||14||55+30||20||3||6.8+1.8||4||Y (16 fuel)|
Big Sky (the Skyranger pilot) can control only 1 SHIV each turn. This means that if you bring multiple SHIVs on a mission only 1 can act each turn.
Like other units, SHIVs must have their weapons replaced individually. All units start with the baseline Autocannon (with an unlimited quantity in stock, much like the other basic ballistic weapons), which can be upgraded for each tier of weapon. New weapons must be manufactured by Engineering, and they can be found in the same section as MEC armaments.
Bringing a SHIV to a mission isn't a waste of experience either, as the 1st SHIV alive at the end of any battle grants its mission experience to its squadmates.
SHIVs, like most mechanized units, have built-in damage reduction and are hardened, which makes them more durable. Much cheaper than MEC Troopers, and with 'abilities' swappable as equipable modules giving them a significant degree of flexibility, these units will prove to be a valuable asset to XCOM.
It is advisable to have at least a small pool of SHIVs in reserve, to fill any gaps when your Barracks list reads nearly entirely "Fatigue", and to help deal with smaller crashed UFOs that you still may want to gather materials from, as their raw damage and durability can potentially serve as a replacement for high-ranking soldiers.