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To knock any unit unconscious, its Stun damage (a gray bar superimposed on Health) has to equal or exceed its current Health (the red bar).

Stun damage weapons

  • The Stun Rod is a highly accurate hand-to-hand combat weapon, although few soldiers will gladly accept the chance to poke a dangerous alien with a stick. Does between 0-130 pts stun; and aliens with high Health may require quite a few pokes to knock out. (Mutons take 1-6.)
  • Smoke inhalation, 1-3 pts/round (observation from 1500+ trials), e.g. from a Smoke Grenade. Will not affect sealed Flying Suits, Power Suits, robots (X-COM or alien) or any alien-controlled unit.
  • The Small Launcher, which fires area-effect Stun Bombs (Does between 0-180 pts stun at GZ).
  • The Thermal Tazer melee weapon with freezing effect of 40-120 pts (TFTD).
  • The Thermal Shok Launcher is the TFTD version of the Small Launcher, dealing an impressive 60-180 pts of stun at Ground Zero.

Recovery & Medi-Kits

Stun damage fades slowly - 1 pt/turn. This is true for conscious or unconscious soldiers or aliens. When stun damage falls below health the unit will wake up.

Medi-Kit stimulants will counteract stun damage by 4 pts/application. To revive an unconscious unit, stand on the square where their body is lying and use the medikit repeatedly, checking after each stimulant use to see if the unit has woken up (see below). The revived unit will be standing nearby without any equipment. A unit (soldier or alien) will have full TUs if it recovers naturally, and no TUs if it was revived with Stimulants. This is helpful when reviving aliens so you can stun them again, more deeply.

The medikit will not inform you when you have revived the unit. You will need to visually check after each stimulant dose is applied to see if the alien or soldier has awakened. If not, you may needlessly use up TUs and stimulants even though the unit is already awake. If terrain blocks the view of the medic's feet so that you can't see if the unit is still there, check the medic's inventory.

The medic who revives the alien will not see the revived alien, even if it's standing right in front of them. You need to manually force a battlescape update by selecting another soldier, then come back to the medic.

Units cannot wake up on the same tile as the person applying the medication. Instead, they will often wake up one tile to the north. If that space is occupied then the unit will attempt to appear in the next tile in a clockwise direction until a free location is encountered.


  • A shortcut to unconsciousness is to have friends lightly wound the alien to reduce its health (eg with a few pistol rounds) before or after hitting it with your stun weapon. Tricky but it can save your life.
  • An unconscious unit will drop all items in its inventory, which will have to be picked up again. Aliens who fall unconscious will be completely and permanently disarmed, as aliens never pick up items. Aliens with mind control ability, or with built-in attacks (such as Chryssalids and Celatids), will still be dangerous when they wake up, however.
  • Stunned units can be picked up and thrown or stored in a soldier's inventory. This won't aid or affect them; they will still wake up with the same conditions. Curiously enough, if the unit holding the unconscious body is flying in the air, the stunned unit will wake up and stand in mid-air. This unit will stay up in mid air until given a move order. This bug cannot be exploited to set up floating snipers as equipment cannot be passed to the unit. You could, however, throw a sleeping soldier onto a roof and throw a rifle up after him. And wait for him to wake up...
  • One word of caution: If the unconscious unit is an alien and it has a melee attack, like the Chryssalid (UFO) or the Lobsterman (TFTD), it will be in a perfect position to attack you if you've been carrying it and it wakes up. (Even if you were flying at the time. See previous).
  • Unconscious bodies do not have armor protection and have 0 health and can easily be destroyed (killed) by Explosions. Even a humble grenade can do the trick. Soldiers or aliens killed this way do not count towards the end-game points tally (but immediately grenade Chryssalids if they go down without a scream). Except in the case of the Invisible Unit bug, Unconscious units can not be struck by any form of direct-fire weapon, Incendiaries, Stun Bombs, or melee weapons. Basically, only HE weapons can effect stunned units... but being hit by any HE damage whatsoever will instantly kill such units.
  • Knocking a unit unconscious actually replaces it in the game with an "unconscious unit item type". Associated bugs include cloning a soldier where one clone awakens as the other dies, extinguishing a soldier on fire by knocking him out, and the Invisible Unit bug.
  • The exact process involved seems to be: check unit's stun exceeds current health = true -> remove unit icon from battlescape -> Create unconscious unit item -> Remove unit from battlescape.

Unconscious Aliens

  • Can be identified by type and rank when picked up (move a soldier to the same square, switch to inventory screen).
  • Could still wake up, but will not pick up weapons. Aliens with melee attacks, psionics, or built in weapons will continue to use them where possible.
  • Can be made unconscious if already half-stunned, by a small amount of damage that knocks their health below the stun level. Pistols suggested.
  • Will never have fatal wounds unless you were mind-controlling them when they were wounded. (Only friendlies get fatal wounds, not aliens - but an MC'd alien counts as a friendly while under MC.)
  • Attract other roaming aliens. Can be used as ambush bait e.g. if boxed into the Skyranger [Xeno].
  • Large (four square) aliens never wake up from unconsciousness. Occasionally a quarter of the unit may not fall unconscious. It's rare, but has been known to happen.

Unconscious Soldiers

  • Continue to suffer from fatal wounds (so check them a.s.a.p. if they've been downed by shots or explosions - but stun bombs will not cause wounds). Note that you can and should heal fatal wounds on unconscious units BEFORE waking them up.
  • Can be identified by name when picked up (move a soldier to the same square, switch to inventory screen).


Be very aware of a known bug with unconscious units in your hand slots. If they wake up they will no longer physically exist in your soldier's hands, but on the battlescape display, it will look like they're still in their hands. As with other potentially buggy situations, do not click on the 'ghost' in your soldier's hands (to bring up the attack/throw menu) as this will crash the game. Go into the soldier's inventory and place an item in their hand. This will clear the error.

See Also