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

Weapon information

Standard weapons

New X-COM commanders are given access to a small but diverse range of small to heavy firearms. Many of these weapons will quickly become obsolete as technology progresses, while some can remain useful for the entire duration.

Standard firearms are sold on the market and are limited only by how much a commander is willing to spend and how much storage space is remaining.

Laser technology

Laser weapons improve over conventional non-explosive firearms by being more powerful and faster at the cost of some accuracy. Their biggest advantage is that they do not need ammunition.

Laser weapons can only be manufactured.

Alien weapons

Alien weapons are more powerful than conventional weapons and are very destructive. They are initially only usable by the aliens, but later can be turned on them once they have been researched.

The majority of all alien weaponry will be captured, but when necessary the weapons and ammunition can also be reproduced in the workshops once researched. Be warned that manufacturing ammunition for alien weapons can be costly on Elerium.

Also see: Alien Weapon Loadouts


Every weapon will have a damage type associated with it that determines its effects and its effectiveness against the target the weapon is being used against. This list groups the weapons by their damage types.

Armour piercing

Armour piercing (AP) ammunition are solid round projectiles that are used in your standard projectile weapons. Or more commonly known as "bullets". Despite the name, they do not in fact pierce armour very well, and work best on soft targets or enemies with low AP damage multipliers. This is mainly a result of the low to moderate damage levels.


Incendiary (IN) ammunition set fire in a wide area. A bonus of this form of ammunition is its secondary effect, the lingering flames that remain on terrain or stick to enemy targets. The flames will continue to cause damage per turn until the fire dies out. Incendiary doesn't have a very straightforward damage model. To better understand it, refer to the Incendiary article for a more thorough explanation.

High explosive

High explosive (HE) - the damage type - is another type of ammunition that hits a wide area, allowing multiple targets to be hit at once. Any unit or object within the blast radius will receive some amount of damage. Explosives are also capable of striking a unit's weaker under-armour at its point of impact.


Laser ammunition uses a concentrated beam of light to burn through targets. Laser weapons use internal batteries that last the duration of the battle, and therefore have no clip requirements, leaving more room on the transport for other items.


Plasma ammunition contain a power source of Alien origin, which can be researched and replicated for your own use. Plasma beams are non-explosive, but very destructive. Elerium is used in their manufacture.


Unlike the other forms of ammunition, Stun ammunition doesn't actually inflict damage to its target. Instead, it will cause enemies to become unconscious until the stun effect has worn off. Stun damage comes in several different forms: melee, area of effect, and smoke inhalation. Additionally, a small amount of stun is also inflicted as a bonus effect from standard damage caused by non-stun weapons.


There are two other damage types in the game, but they belong to the integrated terrorist weapons.

See Also

UFO Badge X-COM: Enemy Unknown/UFO Defense: Equipment
Armour: CoverallsPersonal ArmourPower SuitFlying Suit
Weapons: PistolRifleHeavy CannonAuto-CannonRocket LauncherStun Rod
GrenadeProximity GrenadeHigh ExplosiveLaser PistolLaser RifleHeavy Laser
Plasma PistolPlasma RifleHeavy PlasmaAlien GrenadeSmall LauncherBlaster Launcher
Equipment: Smoke GrenadeMotion ScannerMedi-KitElectro-flarePsi-AmpMind ProbeElerium-115
HWPs: Tank/CannonTank/Rocket LauncherTank/Laser CannonHovertank/PlasmaHovertank/Launcher
Data Item WeightsAlien Weapon Loadouts • Armour Damage Modifiers