XCOM 2: Advanced Tactics Guide

By Marcello Perricone 09 Mar 2017 0

XCOM 2 is a tactical game that may seem simple after you get the hang of it, but there are a lot of advanced tactics that the tutorials don't cover. Here at StrategyGamer we aim to provide fun content while helping players learn new things about their favourite games, and these are some of our favorite tactics.



  • Mimic Beacons are extremely useful for luring out enemy forces, as they force every alien in the vicinity to attack them before your real operatives. One secret feature, however, is that you can thrown the beacon near an obstacle to have the projection take cover to avoid enemy fire, significantly extending the beacon’s lifetime.
  • The Phantom Perk allows Rangers to start missions concealed even if the rest of the squad didn’t, which makes a world of difference in the essential warfare area of intel. Use your concealed ranger as a scout to anticipate alien patrols, then ambush them by shooting them in the back.
  • Most levels’ environments are extremely destructible, allowing for a wide range of tactical options. You can destroy roofs to relocate landing zones, take down walls to deny enemy cover, and level houses to create a quicker path to your objective. You’re also able to deal direct damage with environmental interaction, such as blowing out the floor underneath an enemy -- it cause fall damage as well as explosive wounds, and works especially well against turrets. Just remember: the aliens can use the same tactic against you.
  • You can order your soldiers to follow a specific path to get somewhere by holding control and left clicking, which places waypoints for them to follow. This is especially useful to avoid overwatch arcs during engagements and enemy fields of vision/breaking through windows during the concealment phase.
  • Soldiers left behind can usually be rescued. When an XCOM operative is not extracted for any reason, they’re captured by Advent forces and taken into custody. There is a chance that they won’t be killed and can sometimes be rescued, which takes the form of a VIP rescue mission.
  • If you complete a mission before the timer on dropped items expire, you will pick them up automatically. That also works in the unfortunate event where a soldier dies and you need to reclaim their gear.

Banner Aft18


  • If a Viper has grabbed one of your operatives on a choke hold and you’re not confident on your ability to shoot before the turn ends, you can throw a grenade at it. Carefully aimed explosives can hit the vipers without damaging your soldier, allowing you to damage or outright kill the reptile and free your soldier unscathed with one action.
  • The enemy usually calls down reinforcements as soon as the main objective is complete, and the timer is often as small as one turn. Use that to anticipate enemy deployment and the placement of evac zones, if you have the chance.
  • If a Sectoid has one of your troops under mind control, you can immediately break their psychic link and free your soldier by hitting the alien with a flashbang. 



  • The adjacency bonuses are less pronounced than they were in XCOM 1, but they still matter; building rooms near a Workshop allow them to be staffed with the little Gremlin bots, freeing up valuable engineers for other duties. The biggest efficiency factor this time around, however, is their location; besides the power cores that must be restored to working order, placing power generators on the bottom floor grants them a bonus to power generation.
  • Less of an advanced tip and more of an essential strategy, the Guerrilla Tactics School and Advanced Warfare Center must be built as fast as possible. The GTS allows you to field more units, level them up quicker, and get more items per mission, among many other useful perks. The AWC allows your soldiers to gain one extra ability outside of their class, and while you can retrain high level soldiers to unlock them, building the Center early minimizes the amount of time soldiers will be off duty retraining their skills.

What do you think? Can those tactics help you improve your game? Do you have any advanced tips we missed? Let us know in the comments below!



Log in to join the discussion.

Related Posts from Strategy Gamer