Here are the best perks for your troops in XCOM

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what are the best perks in xcom Here are the best perks for your troops in XCOM

I’ve gotten a few emails today asking what I thought were the best squad perks for XCOM. Now while I’m not an expert (get it, Xpert?) I have put in the time and research to know where to spend your valuable skill points. Let’s go through the classes one by one.

Heavy

Recommended perks:

Bullet Storm – Being able to attack twice is ALWAYS a good idea. Normally firing on your first turn in XCOM would end that turn, but with this perk you can have a second chance at those Xrays. The best thing about this ability is that you can use it for anything. Normally if I’m close enough I’ll go in for a second shot, but flipping into Overwatch is a good bet too.

Suppression – I was on the fence about this one at first, but suppressing fire comes in handy in a pinch. It won’t kill any enemies but it helps to keep you alive against the larger baddies in the game. The shot helps to greatly reduce your opponent’s aim, destroy his cover, and even give you a reaction shot if he moves. Not the best weapon against a human opponent but it’s quite good against the AI. I’d grab it.

H.E.A.T. rounds – Yeah, you definitely want this. Robot enemies are dicks, and double damage is always good. At first you won’t encounter them but they are much more prevalent later in the game. They soak up insane damage, so this helps turn the tables in your favor. In others news, fuck Cyberdiscs and Sectopods and their stupid robotic abilities. ARGH!

Grenadier – You can carry two grenades. What’s not to like?

 

Sniper

Recommended perks:

Snap Shot – This is initially a hard choice when you pair it up against Squad Sight (the ability to fire on whatever is in your squad POV) but I’ve had a lot more luck with this. Snipers carry big guns, so they can either move on a turn or fire, not both. I know, it sucks. But with this we can have the best of both words, albeit at a small accuracy reduction. Snipers are deadly at higher levels and I always recommend keeping one or two in your party. For some reason all my snipers are coming from Israel… I don’t know why.

Damn Good Ground - Gives your Sniper Sniper an additional bonus to Aim and Defense when positioned on high ground. Snipers should always be placed on higher ground, therefore this skill is awesome.

Battle Scanner – I could take this or leave it. In theory this ability should be awesome. It lets you detect enemies on the map and with proper planning (a.k.a. long range rockets) you can make any mission easy. I say “in theory” because the launching range of this sucks. Sometimes it goes far, sometimes it’s short, and sometimes it gets stuck on something. I’m not sure if it’s the game or what, but I’ve had terrible luck with this. When it does work 5/10 it is a great skill though. Comparing to ‘Disabling Shot’ this is a tiny bit more useful.

Opportunist – Simple, it removes the accuracy penalty for Overwatch reaction attacks. This is basically an almost guaranteed free attack whenever an enemy approaches. To get really crazy, have your troops move inches at a time and keep everyone ‘cept one on Overwatch. Then watch the appendages fly.

ExecutionerAh-HA! You expected me to pick Opportunist over this right? Well, sorry to disappoint you. While the increased accuracy that Opportunist provides is nice, I prefer this. I always have my Snipers pick off damaged opponents and this makes quite the difference.

 

Assault

Recommended perks:

***Aggression or Tactical Sense is fine. Either one is a fine skill, it just depends on your play style. If you’re more methodical, go for the extra DEF; if you’re more cavalier, go with the extra CRIT.

Lightning Reflexes – As you can tell, a lot of battles depend on reaction shots. Sure you may have the best armor or the best weapons, but he who shoots first usually wins. Thus, this skill is a good one to have. LR makes any first Overwatch attack against your solider miss, very useful if you accidentally walk into an ambush. If you play it very safe, you may want to skip this one, but I’d rather just take it and be lazy.

Rapid Fire – Fires a double shot but with reduced accuracy. Only really useful at close range, this ability is one I don’t use that often. I have seen this do good damage but only when you’re basically face-to-face with the opponent, otherwise it will just miss twice. At any rate, it’s a much better choice than Flush. That skill just causes an enemy to hide someplace else (dumb).

Close Combat Specialist – This gives a reaction shot against anyone who approaches within four squares of you. You want this skill. I mean, I wish I had this skill in real life. Sooo useful against ambushes.

 

This is part one of the abilities guide. I’ll update it with the rest of the squad tomorrow!

  • Ian

    Couldn’t disagree more with the Sniper perks. If you take Gunslinger instead of Damn Good Ground, your pistols do almost as much base damage as your sniper rifles(in fact, laser pistols will do as much damage as regular snipers and plasma pistols will do as much as laser snipers). This means that you don’t need snapshot since you can do almost as much damage with your pistol(and are more likely to hit, too). You don’t need DGG’s defense bonus if you take Squadsight since aliens cant hit what they can’t see, and you don’t need DGG’s aim bonus since any Captain or higher with a SCOPE won’t miss anyway.

  • Ian

    Also, if you don’t have Squadsight, going to higher ground is a good way to get snipers killed since there’s little – if any – cover at higher elevations most of the time.

    Other than that, I agree with all your picks(I do take opportunist but that’s a small difference that doesn’t really change strategy at all) but I disagree with how useful Rapid fire can be. Shotguns have garbage accuracy at anything but close range anyway, so why not take two shots as long as you’re trying to get as close as safely possible in the first place? Doing double damage to a Sectopod or Muton Elite is often the difference between life and death.