13 Tips When Playing XCOM2
XCOM 2 is a very complex and thoughtful game, it will require forward thinking and strategic planning. Luckily the guys at IGN have provided a great article with 13 great tips to utilise when playing XCOM 2. Read on below for the tips by IGN
XCOM 2 is a deep game, and as such, can be a bit overwhelming. We compiled a list of tips for use when starting out a game, to give you the best possible advantage going in. There’s tips here for everyone, and if you have your own, feel free to click that edit button and share with your fellow XCOM players!
Build up your Resistance Contacts
No matter how you plan to play, or the difficulty you’re on, contacting other regions should be one of your top priorities. You gain additional money for doing so, and also open up the chance to obtain region specific upgrades.
Most importantly though, you open up that region for potential missions. Alien Facility missions can spawn anywhere on the map, even in regions you can’t access. This can be a huge issue, and can even cost you your playthrough if you’re not careful. By having those Resistance Comms already established, you can expand your influence quickly and easily, preventing this scenario from ever happening.
The Black Market
In the previous game, you could sell of various pieces of alien tech for money. The Black Market returns in XCOM 2, however now you can buy and sell to it. The items it offers are purchased using Intel, so you must purchase carefully, as it’s a very limited resource.
With that said, the Black Market often sells crafting items, weapon and character upgrades, as well as research boosters. They can be very handy in a jam, but again, be mindful of how much Intel you are spending.
A word of caution though. Selling stuff to the Black Market can leave you in a jam. Unlike the previous game, there are no items classified as damaged, or useless. That’s because many crafting components, and even alien corpses, can be used for many various upgrades and item purchases. For this reason, we suggest you only sell to the Black Market when you are in a very tight bind, and even then, try to sell only enough so you can scrape by.
To help prevent you from running short on upgrade materials, head over to our Weapons page to get an idea about what items are needed to complete each upgrade. Alternatively, check out the Utility Items or Armor pages to learn more about the requirements for them!
Getting the Best Avenger Upgrades
Much like the previous game, you can upgrade your base of operations. Depending on the difficulty you’re playing on, you should prioritize different upgrades. For instance, playing on the hardest setting means your units will be limping back from missions. Getting an Advanced Warfare Center early will help your troops heal from wounds much quicker.
We have a bunch of other Avenger specific tips! Head over to our Best Ways To Upgrade Your Avenger page to learn more.
Battlefields are now filled with destructible objects. Nearly everything can be destroyed, or at the very least, damaged. This is a huge tool for the player, that can go largely unused if you don’t remember to utilise it!
Why’s it so important? Because you enemies can’t use cover, if there’s none left to hide behind! Are you moving up on a well fortified enemy? Blow up their cover, and suddenly they lose all their bonuses, giving you a much greater chance to kill them. Remember though, this can be used against you, so be mindful of the thin walls and other objects you hide behind.
Taking that a step further, in XCOM 2, you can now blow up the floors your enemy stands on. Facing three ADVENT soldiers on top of a roof? Blow up the floor beneath their feet, and watch them come crashing down, taking damage from the explosion, and bonus fall damage. This is particularly useful against Turrets. If you blow up the floor a turret is sitting upon, it immediately dies. Talk about an easy one hit KO!
A Diverse Squad is a Successful Squad
Although it might sound like a great idea to have 6 Grenadier characters, it’s not very practical and leaves you lacking in other categories. There are a total of 5 classes, so to maximize your teams effectiveness, you should bring one of each class, then use the sixth slot for whatever extra character class you like most.
There are a lot of other tips for creating a great squad though, so head over to our How to Create the Best Squad in XCOM 2 page to learn more!
The Avatar Project Can Be Delayed, a lot!
Early on, you might feel rushed to complete the main missions, as the Avatar project is always creeping towards completion. However, with some careful planning, you can delay the project for a very long time, freeing up months of time for you to stock up on research and gear.
How do you do this? Each successful Alien Facility mission will drop the bar by at least a point, check the number of pips below the alien base in the map. Do them anytime they appear, once the bar reaches half way or above. Also, anytime you have a Guerrilla Ops to do, check the reward. Often times one will be to delay the project for weeks on end. Finally, completing main and side objectives, such as using the Skulljack can also drop it by a block. By utilizing these, you can keep the Avatar project from ever getting near completion, giving you ample time to research and unlock new stuff.
Use The Resistance HQ
Sometimes, when you have objectives on the map, it might seem like a bad idea to sit at your Resistance HQ. Shake those thoughts! The HQ is a great asset, and even when there’s aliens breathing down your neck, taking a day or two to use the HQ can give you a great boost.
The HQ can be used to gain Intel, or boost the rate at which you heal or build. The healing boost in particular is great, particularly on the higher difficulties where minimizing down time is essential. The building boost is also very strong, particularly early on when you’re struggling with a low engineer count. Getting a couple facilities up and running quickly can give you that early boost that helps you throughout your entire campaign.
Prioritize Intel, Scientists and Engineers
The game will often times present you with various rewards. Although getting Supplies might sound good, you want to prioritize getting Intel, Scientists and Engineers. The latter two are crucial to getting upgrades both for your troops and your base. The more you have, the faster you get the upgrades.
Intel on the other hand is used for directly purchasing upgrades from the Black Market. You can also use the Intel to unveil Dark Events each month, ensuring you always know exactly what is going on. Finally, Intel is used to establish links with new regions. Expanding to new regions is crucial to winning the game, so the more Intel you have, the faster you’ll be able to expand. It also has the added benefit of increasing the supply reward you get each month!
Use Concealment Wisely
The new stealth mechanic, Concealment, allows you to set up all sorts of traps on your enemies. However, don’t think that just finding one group means you should go after them. If possible, scout around until you find multiple sets of enemies and ambush them all at once. There’s no better way to start a mission then by killing 5-6 aliens in one turn!
Don’t think you need to kill enemies during concealment though. If you’re on a time sensitive mission, use this precious stealth to get as close to your objective as possible. With the right equipment and positioning, it’s completely possible to distract the aliens while you grab an objective then Evac out.
The Advanced Warfare Chamber Is Really, Really Good
What if we told you there is a facility you can build that nearly halves the time it takes soldiers to heal? What if, we then told you that facility can also retrain soldiers skills, in case you want something new.
Then, what if we said, it also has a small chance to grant soldiers free skills on a level up, from other character classes! That’s right, the Advanced Warfare Chamber is truly one of the best facilities you can build, so try to get it early. The healing buff is great, but the chance to learn random skills is incredibly useful. A Ranger with the Serial skill? Or what about a Grenadier with the Deadshot ability. With some luck, you can end up with a squad of soldiers with an absolutely devastating combination of abilities.
Weapon Mods Can Save Your Life
Although they might appear weak, Weapon Mods are some of the best items in the game. The stats appear low early on, making them seem less than ideal, but they are definitely worth it.
Scopes are an official one, as having more accuracy is always good. Laser Sights are amazing on the Ranger, as they boost Critical Chance based on how close you are to the target. Bigger magazines work well on the Ranger and any other class that you know will be firing several times a round. Even better, as you unlock new weapons, you’ll gain additional slots, allowing you to equip two mods at a time. Never write off how useful these items are, and make sure anytime you get new soldiers you equip them with a mod or two!
Never Double Run After Concealment!
A classic mistake, that can lead to an entire party wipe. If you aren’t in concealment, never expend all your actions running unless you are 100% certain there are no enemies where you are going. Running too far ahead of your group can potentially trigger several groups of enemies, spelling certain doom for your group, particularly on harder settings.
On this same idea, you should never run ahead of your most forward person. Have one character, ideally the Ranger lead the group, while the others follow behind. This one character should be the furthest ahead, while all others are at least 1 square behind. This ensures you don’t accidentally trigger some enemies halfway through your turn.
Let us know if these tips helped you on your play-through or if you have any further great tips leave them in the comments below…
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About: Jamie B
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