Spectre (XCOM2)

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The Spectre is a new type of alien introduced in XCOM 2: War of the Chosen. It is a strange humanoid entity which defies classification, seemingly dispersing itself into a cloud of gas when it moves. Dr. Tygan speculates it might be a swarm of alien insects, a nanobot colony, or even a Psionic power-matrix of some kind, but autopsies proved inconclusive.



  • Vanish: The Spectre can enter concealment. It will be revealed if it is flanked or takes actions other than moving.
  • Shadowbind: The Spectre travels to a humanoid and knocks it Unconscious. This also summons a Shadow whose stats and equipment are identical to those of the target. Killing the Shadow revives the target, and killing the Spectre will destroy Shadows it has summoned. Revival Protocol will also wake up unconscious soldiers, but the Shadow will still need to be dealt with.
  • Horror: A ranged attack that reduces Will (possibly causing Panic) and heals the Spectre by the amount of damage it inflicts.
  • Lightning Reflexes: Forces the first reaction shot taken at the Spectre in a turn to miss.
  • The Spectre is immune to poison, burning, and acid, as well as all effects that would require it to pass a Will test.


A Spectre will always use its first turn to perform Shadowbind; as it only uses one action, it will use the remaining one to move away or into cover. Shadows receive a free movement action upon summoning and will behave similarly.

If multiple Spectres are in a pod, only one will use Shadowbind in a single turn. The remainder will use Vanish to move into better positions unnoticed.

Tactical Analysis

A more dangerous successor of the Seeker, the Spectre can enter concealment at will to disable your soldiers. However, it differs in that its disabling effect doesn't require it to remain exposed to attack- and even worse, it'll create a Shadow copy of the unconscious soldier to assist it, which can be deadly if said soldier was your Psi Operative with Domination or someone with abilities and equipment that allow it to deal heavy damage. Its ability to sow panic with Horror is less of an immediate threat, but should still be noted.

Like the Codex and Gatekeeper, it inhabits an awkward grey area between being classified as organic and robotic. While vulnerable to EMP Bombs and Bluescreen Rounds, it does not take bonus damage from Combat Protocol or Whiplash and cannot be hacked; additionally, it is also completely immune to all effects that require a Will test, giving it the dubious honor of being the only normal enemy that cannot be controlled in any form. (Strangely, it is a valid target for abilities that require organic targets, such as Soulfire.)

As it has Lightning Reflexes, multiple soldiers should go on Overwatch when a Spectre is present since it only protects against the first reaction shot in a turn.