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For the XCOM: Enemy Unknown (2012) version, see Sectopod (EU2012)
For the version that appears in The Bureau, see Sectopod (Bureau)

The Sectopod is one of the most dangerous terror units X-COM has come up against. Their armour is nearly impervious to all weapons fire, but they appear to be vulnerable to lasers.

Sectopods are seen in the company of Ethereals. As with all terror units, they can be encountered on Terror Missions, Base Defences, with a Terror Ship or Battleship, Alien Base Assaults, and finally on Cydonia. Beware; their weapon is a powerful laser with autofire capability, which can make short work of any enemy of the Sectopod in seconds.

General information

Every Sectopod is completely identical and is built not only for self-sufficient commands and operation, but also psychic/psionic manipulation -- an Ethereal could potentially control a Sectopod as if it were it's own body, from millions of miles away.

If X-COM ground forces encounter Sectopods on Earth, it will usually be during a Base Defence, Alien Base Assault, or Terror Mission. Terror attacks by Ethereals are the most dangerous for both Civilians and X-COM units - apart from having to deal with their psionic abilities, we also have to fight against Sectopods.


TUs:               62-71
Health:            96
Energy:            90-104
Reactions:         64-79
Strength:          90-97
Bravery:           110
Firing Accuracy:   30-70
Psi Skill:         N/A
Psi Strength:      100-116

Damage:            100 Laser
  Snap:            75%
  Auto:            50%
  Aimed:           110%
  Snap:            30%
  Auto:            35%
  Aimed:           60%

Live specimen

Sectopods are robot creatures with a powerful plasma beam weapon. The control of these mechanical beasts is via a telepathic link to their controllers, the Ethereals. Sectopods are the most powerful terror weapon available to the alien forces. Note: it is not possible to capture one, the only way to get this report is to get it from a captured medic. Also, the ufopedia is lying... the sectopod uses a LASER weapon, not plasma. It just LOOKS like plasma.


Sectopod, Disassembled

This robot is sturdily constructed with powerful armour capable of resisting most forms of attack, in particular plasma weapons. However, the sensing circuitry seems particularly vulnerable to laser weapons.


  • Sectopods take 80% damage from high explosives and plasma, and 150% from laser. Combined with their strong armour, even the Heavy Plasma will have a very difficult time taking down a Sectopod - expect to expend many clips. Ideally the rear should be targeted, since it has a sizable 45 points (22 points on easy) less armour than the front. If you anticipate fighting Sectopods, dust off your old Heavy Lasers. Blaster and Stun bombs are even more effective if you have them.
  • Some commanders keep Tank/Laser Cannons on hand to deal with Sectopods. The turret laser's high power, combined with the Sectopods vulnerability to lasers, encourages troops to keep Laser tanks on hand when they would otherwise be scrapped in favour of hovertanks.
  • The extremely impressive under armor of the Sectopod(45 on Beginner, 90 at all other difficulties) combined with the resistance to explosives means that a Sectopod is immune to standard grenades, and almost immune to Alien Grenades, and it will require around 10 High-Explosives to kill one. Fortunately, the mighty Blaster Bomb has a high chance of killing a Sectopod in one hit.
  • As a robot, a Sectopod has incredibly high Psi Strength, making it almost impossible to effectively use Psionics against it. However, if you do have a soldier strong enough to Mind-Control a Sectopod, by all means do so; it's basically like adding a tank to your troop roster for the turn. As an added bonus, because the Sectopod fires lasers, the fastest way to destroy a Sectopod is to partially MC it, and then have the MC'ed portions fire upon the non MC'ed portions. On average, a Sectopod can kill another Sectopod in about one turn of continuous fire. Sometimes you can make the sectopod walk, and the non-MC'ed portions will reaction fire on itself.
  • The Sectopod's turret, although masquerading as a plasma weapon, is really a laser weapon. This explains how the Sectopods can kill themselves so easily during partial mind control. A quickly-made-up excuse would be that they are 'green' lasers. Green lasers that fire thick globs of light.
  • The only infantry weapons that are effective against the front and side armour of a Sectopod (or under armour, for explosives) are (in order of effectiveness) the Blaster Bomb, Stun Bomb, Heavy Laser, High Explosive, Heavy Plasma, Laser Rifle and Large Rocket. (Laser Pistols have a theoretical chance but it's almost nil.) On average a Heavy Laser will take down a Sectopod in about 3-5 hits, more at higher difficulty levels. A Blaster Bomb ought to take out the Sectopod in one direct hit (usually). A Stun Bomb is about fifty percent more effective, per hit, than a turn of fire from a Heavy Laser. And even the HE Pack, Heavy Plasma and Laser Rifle (about as good as each other) will only nibble away at it - the Rocket's nibbles are even smaller.
  • However, due to the 45 point armor difference in front and rear, weapon ranking is dependent on which armor is being attacked. From behind, the Laser Rifle and Heavy Plasma will kill a Sectopod even faster than a Heavy Laser. From the front, the Laser Rifle, Heavy Plasma and Heavy Laser will on average take 22, 18 and 4 hits for a kill. From the back it is 6, 5 and 2 hits respectively. Considering that the Heavy Laser has no auto mode and is quite inaccurate, the other two take seem to take the lead from behind.

See also

UFO BadgeX-COM: Enemy Unknown/UFO Defense
X-COM SoldiersHeavy Weapons Platforms
Aliens: FloaterSectoidSnakemanEtherealMuton

Terror Units: ReaperCyberdiscChryssalidZombieSectopodCelatidSilacoid

Stats Time UnitsEnergy (Stamina)HealthBraveryReactionsFiring AccuracyThrowing AccuracyStrengthPsionic StrengthPsionic SkillMelee AccuracyStunMoraleRankFatal Wounds
Data Alien StatsDamage ModifiersAlien Appearance RatiosAlien Weapon Loadouts