Scout (Long War)

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The Scout is a unique class that doesn't have an equivalent in vanilla XCOM, combining elements of Assaults and Snap Shot Snipers. The Scout's signature ability is Lightning Reflexes, greatly reducing the chance to be hit by overwatch fire while moving. Scouts are the only class other than Snipers that can use marksman rifles, but they cannot use sniper rifles.

Primary Weapon: Assault Rifles, Battle Rifles, Carbines, Marksman Rifles, Shotguns, SMGs.
Secondary Weapon: Pistols, Machine pistols, Sawed-off Shotgun.
Class-Limited items: Marksman Scope, Chameleon Suit.


Rank Ability
Lightning Reflexes
Lightning Reflexes
The hit chance of reaction fire against this unit is reduced by 90 percent for the first shot, and by 70 percent for additional shots.
+1 Mobility.
Lance Corporal
Shooting at or suppressing enemies confers +10 Aim to allies' attacks on those enemies until end of turn.
Damn Good Ground
Damn Good Ground
Confers +10 Aim and +10 Defense against enemies at lower elevation, in addition to the usual elevation bonuses.
Lone Wolf
Lone Wolf
+10 Aim and Critical Chance if not within 7 tiles of an allied unit.
No other bonuses. No other bonuses. No other bonuses.
Low Profile
Low Profile
Makes partial cover grant the defense bonus of full cover.
Confers +1 damage with primary weapons, rocket launchers, MEC secondary weapons and sidearms. Negates the long-range accuracy penalty with sidearms when shooting beyond 14 meters.
Confers +15 aim against flying targets.
No other bonuses. +1 Aim. +1 Aim.
Fire a shot that may cause non-flying enemies to run to new cover. The shot is easy to hit with (+30 aim), but does reduced damage (-50% base weapon damage), and consumes extra ammo (2 ammo). Hunkered units will not relocate.
Confers +10% critical chance per enemy in sight (max +30%). Aliens visible via squadsight are not counted for bonus.
Battle Scanner
Battle Scanner
Scanning device that, when thrown, creates a new source of vision for 2 turns. Grants 2 uses. Increases throw range for battle scanners by 70% (does not stack with other perks).
No other bonuses. No other bonuses. No other bonuses.
Tech Sergeant
When the soldier moves to high cover, enemies without special capabilities will not target the soldier (but CAN sense him/her). Does not work if any enemies have line of sight to the soldier's starting position. Leaving cover, being flanked, firing, hacking arrays, and capturing meld will break this concealment. Low Profile units will not gain this bonus by occupying low cover. Firing from concealment grants +30% crit.

In The Zone
In The Zone
Killing a flanked or uncovered target does not cost an action. Confers a -1 base damage and -10% critical hit chance penalty for each successive In The Zone kill.
Hit and Run
Hit and Run
Your first standard shot of each turn against an uncovered or flanked target does not cost an action. Does not work against flying units, and cannot be used if Run N' Gun activated.
No other bonuses. No other bonuses. No other bonuses.
Gunnery Sergeant
Tactical Sense
Tactical Sense
Confers +5 Defense per enemy in sight (max +20).
Bring 'Em On
Bring 'Em On
Confers 1-4 bonus damage during critical hits (which is then multiplied by 50% due to the critical hit). The damage is higher when more enemies are in view (including squad sight vision). This results in +1.5 dmg for 1-2 enemies, +3 dmg for 3-4 enemies, +4.5 dmg for 5-6 enemies, +6 dmg for 7 or more enemies.
Grants +4 mobility (roughly 3 tiles movement).
No other bonuses. No other bonuses. No other bonuses.
Master Sergeant
Extra Conditioning
Extra Conditioning
Confers 1-4 bonus health based on which type of armor is equipped. Heavier armor increases the bonus.
Vital Point Targeting
Vital Point Targeting
Confers 2 bonus damage with primary guns, and +1 damage with sidearms, against humans and alien targets whose species have been autopsied.
Smoke and Mirrors
Smoke & Mirrors
Allows one additional use of all support grenades during each mission. It also increases charges from Smoke Grenade and Battlescanner perks by 1.
+4 Aim, +4 Will, +1 Mobility. No other bonuses. No other bonuses.

Stat Progression

Rank Health
Specialist 0 0 4 4 5(6) 5(-6)
Lance Corporal 0 0 3 7 5(6) 10(-12)
Corporal 1 1 4 11 3(4) 13(-16)
Sergeant 0 1 3 14 3(4) 16(-20)
Tech Sergeant 0 1 4 18 3(4) 19(-24)
Gunnery Sergeant 0 1 3 21 3(4) 22(-28)
Master Sergeant 1 2 4 25 2(3) 24(-31)
  • Note that, even without Hidden Potential turned on, there is a chance of gaining 1 extra will per level (shown in parentheses above). Psionic soldiers can also gain 1-6 extra will per psi level (1 + rand(6)).

Tactical Advice

Role: Scout / Mobile Offense

The Scout is a versatile, mobile generalist class, capable of dishing out good damage output while providing a host of utility. Singularly, the Scout is a master of reconnaissance, able to provide situational awareness and thus battlefield control like no other unit can, but this is not it's only use; potent damage dealing perks like Hit and Run or In The Zone (gained relatively early at Tech Sergeant) make the Scout mobile & lethal at any range, and are some of the more mobility-focused of the multi-attack perks to boot.

Scouts have a great deal of flexibility, able to be built to fill anywhere from one to all three of the following roles, depending on degree of specialty:

  • Scout: A major role of the Scout class is in their ability to recon - in Long War, the importance of situational awareness and the existence of extended range on some weapons means that gaining vision of the battlefield is more important than ever. A scout can spot for the team, moving forward into a position that may draw enemy contact and then escaping relatively safely using the core class perk Lightning Reflexes if any major threats choose to Overwatch. Even better is advancing under Concealment, which is an effective method of gaining vision with almost no risk, so long as it is employed properly. The Scout class also gains the Battle Scanners perk relatively early which provides substantial vision out to a massive distance, which may be supplemented with Smoke & Mirrors later on for an extra charge.
  • Mobile DPS / Off-DPS: The Scout can be specialized as a primary damage dealer thanks to the presence of multi-attack perks Hit and Run or In The Zone combined with other potent damage increasing abilities (Aggression, Bring Em On, Ranger, Vital Point Targeting, and even Lone Wolf), allowing a damage-focused Scout to effectively compete with other classes in a niche role as a heavily mobile flanking DPS unit. While other DPS classes gain an edge late game (most notably, Infantry and Snipers at Master Sergeant, and Gunners against mechanical units), the Scout readily transitions into one of the best DPS MECs in the game, the Pathfinder. Marksman Rifles can be used to make extended range attacks from risky positions, while the large ammo capacity of Shotguns makes them deadly for a close quarters In The Zone build.
  • Utility / Fire Support: The Scout class contains a veritable toolbox of utility skills that can round out any squad. Concealment and Smoke & Mirrors can make for a decent Support Grenadier, able to Flashbang or Chem enemies from close range without breaking concealment; this is especially potent when combined with support psionics like Mind Merge or Psychokinetic Strike. Holo-targeting, Battle Scanners, and Flush offer utility value in various circumstances as well.

Incidentally, Scouts also make for great covert operatives, as their wide variety of perks that increase mobility and survivability help immensely during Covert Operations against Exalt cells. Concealment is particularly valuable for mid-to-late game Covert Extractions, where the sheer quantity of enemies make direct engagement with EXALT almost impossible.

Sample Builds

Concealment Recon

Role: Recon

Pure information and utility build. Get your Scout hidden near the front line to plan engagements and let your snipers and LMG gunners get into position for a devastating first strike. Battle Scanner as a perk and Motion Sensors as an item give ideal information to prevent your squad from walking into a multiple-pod trap. Pick extreme mobility troops and give them a Strike Rifle and heavy Pistol. Caution: Concealment can get your Scout pinned, as you cannot move without activating in sight of an alien.

Sample Scout: Holo-Targeting -> Ranger -> Battle Scanner -> Concealment -> Sprinter -> Extra Conditioning.

Note: Low Profile does not work with Concealment. Ranger in its place allows some offensive utility, and allows a Strike Rifle to be used with a heavy pistol for reliable short range work. Extra Conditioning gives the Aim and HP to allow the Scout to slug it out when the firefight starts.

Equipment: Motion Scanner, Armor plating, or Chameleon Suit.

Flanking Marksman

Role: Extreme-mobility sniper
Preferred Rookie stats: 15 mobility (16 if playing Nigeria start) and 70+ aim.

This build is a compromise between the damage output of a Sniper, and the utility of a highly mobile Scout. It features some of the best of both worlds, and combines them to fill an interesting niche which neither no other class or build can truly claim. It does, however, sacrifice some of the utility of other Scout builds, and still lacks the incredible range (and therefore safety) of a traditional Sniper build.

This build relies on extreme mobility and long-range flanking. This is good for some maps, namely wide open maps with good line-of-sight in all directions, and is poor on maps without these traits (such as most urban maps). Additionally, this encourages a play style which is risky due to the potential activation of pods during flanking maneuvers. As such, it should only be used with extreme caution, or not at all, particularly if playing ironman.

Sample Scout: Lone Wolf -> Ranger -> Aggression -> Hit and Run -> Sprinter -> Vital Point Targeting.

Note: This build can be varied in several ways.

  • ITZ can be taken instead of HaR if you can consistently get 2 or more shots with it. Otherwise HaR is the more reliable and higher damage choice here.
  • If ITZ is taken, Deadeye can be taken as well to thin out flyer pods. However, a traditional ITZ sniper build is superior in this role.
  • Bring 'Em On can be taken if you don't feel you need the extra mobility from Sprinter. Remember though, that squadsight ruins crit chance.
  • Extra Conditioning can be taken instead of VPT, particularly if you are behind on autopsies and/or Bring 'Em On was taken.

Equipment: Strike Rifle. Marksman's Scope (unless Bring 'Em On was taken), Chameleon suit, and/or SCOPE. A solid pistol for short range engagements.

Covert Operator

Role: Covert Ops against EXALT

To serve as your covert operator, this soldier must work with a smaller weapon and item pool and therefore is geared around the idea.

Tree: Lone Wolf -> Ranger -> Battle Scanner -> In the Zone -> Sprinter -> Vital Point Targeting

Use: Your operative is likely to start away from your squad with lower health than all of them. Lone Wolf, Ranger and Vital Point Targeting will help when the operative needs to fight it out (or stall), while In The Zone will allow him or her to clean up after your main operatives. Additionally, the Battle Scanner will help keep eyes on and Sprinter will allow even easier mobility aiding with In the Zone. Alternatively, HnR can be taken instead of ITZ if you have trouble setting up enemies for your operative or want more consistency.

Equipment: The best handgun you have, otherwise have the waist empty or filled with zero weight items, or bring a Combat Stim for bursts of mobility. When brought to level up in a non-covert mission, bring a light weapon/armor.


This is a default Scout build for use in squads that want a Scout for the utility it provides with Lightning Reflexes, but don't expect to need Scout features such as Concealment/Battlescanners or an In The Zone build, that instead provides broader utility in general firefights.

Suitable Recruits: High Mobility, Health, Defence, as far as possible. Lower Aim is acceptable as Scouts have good Aim growth.

LCPL: Holo-Targeting. Works well with Flush, below, and generally helps the Scout contribute more towards squad firepower.

CPL: Low Profile. Lets the Scout use a wider range of cover, leaving the choice full-cover spots to team-mates.

SGT: Flush. Holo+Flush will set up easy shots for squad-mates who are good Overwatchers.

TSGT: Hit & Run. Now the Scout can provide considerably more with his own firepower, with the option to slip back to a position fully out of sight after the first shot.

GSGT: Tactical Sense. Helps the Scout dodge Overwatch fire and reduces the chance of them being targeted in other situations. (Sprinter is an alternative if you just want to race these soldiers after Meld as fast as possible!)

MSGT: Extra Conditioning. Toughens and improves the soldier across the board.

Role: This build has no one outstanding feature and is intended to contribute as much as possible to the squad throughout the game and across the board.

Gear: Early on, an Assault or Laser Rifle. When they become available, a Gauss Stuttergun. Light or heavy armour depending on level of resistance expected. Armour plating item and utility grenade (flashbang) are typical choices. Chameleon Suit later in game improves the safety of drawing Overwatch fire considerably.

Limitations: Compared with other Scouts, this build does not offer the battlefield information of a Concealment/Battlescanner build (very important on missions such as Large UFOs), or the clean-up capability of an In The Zone build (handy on Terror missions). You may also find that they don't offer that much compared to other types of soldier if you are unwilling, for whatever reason, to make heavy use of Lightning Reflexes to clear Overwatch fire. Their main unique (or rare, as SHIVs and some MECs can also do it) feature is Holo+Flush.

See also

Lone Wolf (EU2012).jpg Long War: 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 Valkyrie (Long War).png
Class Archer (Long War).png
Class Goliath (Long War).png
Class Jaeger (Long War).png
Class Pathfinder (Long War).png
Class Guardian (Long War).png
Class Shogun (Long War).png
Sub-classes and abilities
Gene Mods Soldier Icon (EU2012).png
Gene Mods