Tips for a new XCOM 2 player

Avatar image for maxszy
#1 Posted by Maxszy (2229 posts) -

Hey all,

Just asking for any tips for a new XCOM 2 player?

I played a little bit of XCOM, but that was it. Life got in the way and I didn't go back to it. So now that I have time I decided to give XCOM 2 a start from all the good things I've heard about it. I'm playing XCOM 2 (base game) on PC and just looking for any tips/suggestions as I get started. If you have anything to suggest, your input would be appreciated!

Thanks!

Avatar image for relenus
#2 Posted by Relenus (205 posts) -

Flashbangs. They will save your ass so many times in the early missions.

Avatar image for mundanesoul
#3 Posted by MundaneSoul (57 posts) -

I'm also pretty new to XCOM 2 (and also played a little bit of the first one). Here's what I've learned in my short time:

Always take time to set up ambushes from concealment when you can. This can make a tough match-up way easier.

Even if you heal someone with a medkit they will still be injured after a mission. Be careful about exposing people!

Grenadiers are great for destroying enemy cover and Rangers' melee attack is amazing (especially if you take the skill that makes even more powerful).

Don't be afraid to set up advantageous tactical situations even when you're on a mission limited by turns, etc. I have always moved at my own pace despite the constraints instead of rushing and have usually still completed the objective on time.

The tutorial tries to route you into building Proving Grounds first but I think Advanced Warfare Center is way more important up front (especially if you don't savescum to avoid injuries). Guerilla Training School is good too.

...

Sorry I don't have more...still figuring most of this out myself!

Avatar image for oursin_360
#4 Edited by OurSin_360 (5609 posts) -

Dont overextend your squad, in enemy within i was able to split guys and cover more map. In 2 it ended up biting ne in the ass my first playthrough. That said take advatage of your concealement to cover the map quicker, but always keep somebody in position to fire(preferably a sniper or reaper with squad site if you have wotc). Use your gadgets, flash bangs, mimic beacons are your best friends

Avatar image for undeadpool
#5 Posted by Undeadpool (6308 posts) -

Know that breaking concealment is something you only get once, so try and line it up as much as possible. It's also not likely something you'll be able to sustain very far into the map, so don't worry TOO much about trying to "play it stealthy."

Clear away debris ASAP from your HQ, it gets you resources and the LAST thing you want is to need to build something and not have room for it.

Status ailments (disorientation especially) is a LOT more useful in this than I ever found it to be in the first game, so as someone else said: flashbangs are GREAT. Huge AOE and your units won't be hit by them.

This one's more opinion, but I find going early on Scientists and trying to get Magnetic Weapons as early as possible gives you a MASSIVE advantage early in the game.

Vipers will rarely be the most dangerous units on the map, but remember: their tongue attack has massive range and enormous accuracy.

Almost every map has a mission objective that's also a time crunch, so you won't be able to play as conservatively as you did in XCOM.

This last one's not really a tip, but if it's at all financially possible: grab War of the Chosen. It adds an absolute metric TON of content, from new factions to new units to a bunch of different maps and scenarios (including making Resistance Defense actually fun to play).

Avatar image for pweidman
#6 Edited by pweidman (2687 posts) -

Invest in specialists w/medic skills early on. Mimics can save a squad. Look for soldiers with a high will stat, and prioritize armor research as early as available. Keep your squads together, don't split up too much. Open AWC asap, and increase squad size as early as you can. Look for a way to put high accuracy soldiers in elevated positions, snipers especially. Pick the skill that gives your rangers immune to overwatch shots. When you encounter mind control capable enemies, prioritize their demise first any way you can. Have fun and realize there is a learning curve. Don't be afraid to go easy diff first run until you get a better understanding of the micro and macro decisions, and how the game works. Finally, it's a fantastic game, and get WotC after you get good at the base game.

Avatar image for asmo917
#7 Posted by Asmo917 (706 posts) -

To add on to what some other people have said about not splitting up too much: this is true and important, but also be wary of your spacing. If your squad isn't in concealment, you'll notice aliens VERY quickly move themselves to be 3-4 tiles away from any other aliens to prevent you from getting too much benefit from an AOE attack. It can't always be helped, but keep that in mind for your own movements. Especially early, you'll find yourself truly fucked if you lose 2 or 3 soldiers right away, even if it's only them being disoriented for a turn, allowing the enemy to move and focus fire with impunity.

Avatar image for nevergameover
#8 Edited by NeverGameOver (775 posts) -

- Each member of your squad gets two actions per turn. They can either (1) move twice, (2) move once and fire a weapon or (3) move and then do another action. If you fire your weapon or use another attack as your first action, unless you have certain perks or are playing one of the DLC classes, it will end that squad member's turn automatically. So move first, attack second.

- Always always always always always use each soldier's first move and then use each member's second move ONLY AFTER you've used each soldier's first move. This is incredibly important, and the fact that they don't do it on exquisite corps makes the series unwatchable for me.

- If you accidentally trigger an enemy pod, you want that to happen as early in your turn as possible so that you can kill as many guys as possible before the enemy gets a turn. Therefore, at the beginning of each turn, figure out which squad member you are going to move the furthest into unexplored territory. If only one or two of your guys are concealed, it should be one of them. Move that person first because they are the most likely to trigger a pod. Then you can safely move other guys toward them without risking triggering a pod.

- Move your sniper last

- Focus fire as much as possible.

- Once you attach a weapon mod to a gun, you can't detach it from that gun but you CAN move that gun to another soldier in your team. So if you're only using one sniper per mission, you can put all of your mods on a single sniper rifle and move that one rifle to whichever sniper you're bringing.

Avatar image for tobbrobb
#9 Edited by TobbRobb (6323 posts) -

Focus fire on one enemy at a time, any enemy you kill is one less attack that the aliens get to try on your team. For that reason I think weapon upgrades help your survivability more than armor upgrades.

Mimic beacon is a really strong tool to get you out of shitty situations, I forget what you research for it. One of the autopsies.

Shredder skill on grenadiers is key. Shredding the armor off of enemies and turrets is incredibly important and outweighs whatever the other option is pretty much 100% of the time.

Flashbangs are surprisingly good. They can stun enemies out of annoying channeled abilities like mind control.

Use whatever you can to get information on enemy positions. Rangers with the phantom skill are great to scout, battle scanners, educated guessing etc. If you know where enemies are, it's much easier to avoid fighting two groups at the same time. If you can contain a fight to just the one group of enemies and clean them up it'll help out an incredible amount. The difference between fighting one or two groups of enemies can be the difference between winning unscathed or wiping your entire squad.

Try not to get frustrated at the random aspects. A rookie will always have terrible chances to hit even with a good opening (is it 80% at most?). And you can not expect too much out of a 50% shot. I usually consider anything under 90% as unreliable and a missed 90% or up is unlucky. It's part of the game and a really important factor to play like any shot can miss. If you bank all you have on a shot that MUST HIT you already messed up. It's much more important to take safe shots that leave your squad in good positions with cover and routes to escape than having a great % to hit.

Avatar image for zombie2011
#10 Edited by zombie2011 (5526 posts) -

@undeadpool: Is War of the Chosen a separate campaign? Or is it like the Alien Hunters DLC and just integrates new content into the base campaign?

I'm about 10 hours into the Deluxe edition and am wondering if I should just buy WoTC and restart the game if it adds more content to the base.

Avatar image for oursin_360
#11 Edited by OurSin_360 (5609 posts) -

@zombie2011: its more like enemy within but much bigger, same basic campaign but with an entire new plot layer, new enemy's, and 3 new factions/soldier types. Only problem is the lack if narrative intergration with alien hunters and shens gift, you still get the enemies and weapons/armor but lose the missions(since the expansion adds a fatigue system that breaks those missions. So if you haven't played the other 2 dlcs i would play vanilla first then the expansion. I made the mistake of waiting and missed out on those missions completely.

Avatar image for maxszy
#12 Edited by Maxszy (2229 posts) -

Wow...you all are great! Thanks so much for the tips and suggestions, its already helping!

@relenus flashbangs... on point! those have already saved my ass...thanks! wouldn't have necessarily figured that one out.

@tobbrobb thanks, all of that is really helpful. Especially about the % and how to look at it. That has definitely been hurting me and i'll try not to bank everything on on "must hit" shots, though its hard! :-p I'll just have to get in the habit.

Again, thanks to EVERYONE for all their helpful input. I've read it all and it has all started to make me a better XCOM 2 player. I really appreciate it!

Avatar image for chaser324
#13 Posted by Chaser324 (8412 posts) -

- Always always always always always use each soldier's first move and then use each member's second move ONLY AFTER you've used each soldier's first move. This is incredibly important, and the fact that they don't do it on exquisite corps makes the series unwatchable for me.

I think this is by far the biggest piece of advice for anyone new coming into the game. You'll also generally want to avoid ever uncovering new territory on that second move. Once you get a bit more comfortable with the game, you might be able to relax these rules a bit, but it's still generally how you'll want to approach things.

Also, mimic beacons! They're the only item that can reliably save your ass in situations where you can't kill an enemy before it gets a chance to attack.

Moderator
Avatar image for maxszy
#14 Posted by Maxszy (2229 posts) -

@chaser324 said:

@nevergameover said:

- Always always always always always use each soldier's first move and then use each member's second move ONLY AFTER you've used each soldier's first move. This is incredibly important, and the fact that they don't do it on exquisite corps makes the series unwatchable for me.

I think this is by far the biggest piece of advice for anyone new coming into the game. You'll also generally want to avoid ever uncovering new territory on that second move. Once you get a bit more comfortable with the game, you might be able to relax these rules a bit, but it's still generally how you'll want to approach things.

Also, mimic beacons! They're the only item that can reliably save your ass in situations where you can't kill an enemy before it gets a chance to attack.

This is huge! I didn't realize I could do this. This has been incredibly helpful. I have definitely gotten burned pretty hard by uncovering territory on the second move.

I don't have mimic beacons yet, or I don't know how to build them. I'll look at those.

*additional question* is there anyway to know what rookies get what specialization? or is it totally random? or is it based on how you use them?

Avatar image for chaser324
#15 Posted by Chaser324 (8412 posts) -

@maxszy said:

*additional question* is there anyway to know what rookies get what specialization? or is it totally random? or is it based on how you use them?

It's random. However, the Guerrilla Tactics School will let you take a rookie and train them to be a specific class - very helpful to fill in gaps if you're short on a specific type of soldier.

Moderator
Avatar image for zevvion
#16 Edited by Zevvion (5897 posts) -

I have a laundry list of tips to give, but it would take too much time to write out. So many things are important. The biggest piece of advice I can give you is never rage. If something goes wrong, it went wrong because of YOU not because of RNG. If you lose a soldier, immediately start thinking what you could have done differently to prevent that instead of reactively blaming the game.

Not saying that you would, I don't know you. But it is far and away the most criticism I have read within the community from beginning players.

@oursin_360@zombie2011 its more like enemy within but much bigger, same basic campaign but with an entire new plot layer, new enemy's, and 3 new factions/soldier types. Only problem is the lack if narrative intergration with alien hunters and shens gift, you still get the enemies and weapons/armor but lose the missions(since the expansion adds a fatigue system that breaks those missions. So if you haven't played the other 2 dlcs i would play vanilla first then the expansion. I made the mistake of waiting and missed out on those missions completely.

If you want to play the two missions unique to those DLC's, you simply turn off 'Integrated DLC' when starting a new game. This turns both DLC's into their vanilla versions, enabling the missions and introduction time of the new enemies and SPARK.

Avatar image for maxszy
#17 Edited by Maxszy (2229 posts) -

@zevvion: While I'm not that person, I hope I wouldn't be anyway, that is helpful! So thanks. It is frustrating when they die and it is easy to point the issue elsewhere beside decisions I made.

@chaser324: Perfect! That helps tremendously. I have the Guerrilla Tactics School building now so that will be helpful. (All my specialists have died :-S I've got 3 snipers though!)

edited for grammar

This edit will also create new pages on Giant Bomb for:

Beware, you are proposing to add brand new pages to the wiki along with your edits. Make sure this is what you intended. This will likely increase the time it takes for your changes to go live.

Comment and Save

Until you earn 1000 points all your submissions need to be vetted by other Giant Bomb users. This process takes no more than a few hours and we'll send you an email once approved.