In XCOM 2, it’s only a matter of time before alien forces achieve world domination. As Commander, it’s up to you to ensure the safety of your crew and put a stop to the alien advancements at all costs. Follow these basic tips to provide the leadership the Avenger needs.
With its combination of turn-based tactical combat and strategic base management, XCOM 2 can be a bit overwhelming for new players. For this guide, we’ve put together some basic tips that new players should keep in mind during the early months of the campaign.
Prepare to Lose Soldiers
If you are new to XCOM 2, the turn-based combat can take a bit of getting used to. The game will progressively throw you new challenges during combat that can result in heavy casualties if you are unprepared.
As you get acquainted with the combat mechanics and begin to develop new strategies for approaching situations, you’ll quickly come to realize that your soldiers will die, a lot. Losing soldiers in combat is a part of the learning process, and can help you improve your strategy in future missions.
Try not to get frustrated when you lose too many of your best soldiers. Instead, plan ahead by coming up with new strategies, moving carefully in combat, and upgrading your squad members appropriately for each mission. New enemies offer unique challenges to overcome, which can help you ultimately develop a more balanced and effective team for the later stages of the game.
Bring Out Your Dead
Watching a well trained soldier helplessly bleed out on the battlefield isn’t a pleasant experience, especially when you took the time to customize their loadout with the latest armor and weapon upgrades. Not all is lost, however.
During combat, you can command a squad member to pick up their fallen comrade on the battlefield and carry them to the extraction zone. This allows you to retrieve any gear that was on the fallen soldier that would otherwise be lost during the mission. Rescuing a squadmate's body can be tricky, depending on their location. Calculate whether the gear is worth the risk ahead of time, as you want to avoid losing more soldiers in the process.
Use Corpses Wisely
Speaking of corpses, you’ll quickly find that the dead bodies of fallen aliens are somewhat more valuable than those of your own squad members. As you defeat aliens in different missions, their corpses are extracted for further research in the laboratory. The research done on different types of alien corpses allows for new weapon, armor, and equipment upgrades to become available from the engineering department. You will need certain quantities and types of alien corpses to build upgraded gear.
Along with Intel, alien corpses can also be applied to the Black Market. You should investigate the Black Market as soon as you are prompted to do so in the Geoscape. On the Black Market, you can purchase a number of different supplies, put a rush on research projects, or even employ new engineers or scientists.
Alien corpses can be sold on the Black Market for currency, though this should be done sparingly. Alien corpses are vital for certain research projects, so it’s best to avoid selling them on the Black Market unless you have an extreme surplus or are in desperate need of Intel. Selling a few corpses doesn’t hurt, but investing them all in the Black Market for some quick cash will negatively effect your research efforts.
Prioritize Certain Facilities
As you progress through the game, you will have the opportunity to create new facilities that can provide research for upgrades and enhance the functionality of your crew. However, building or creating anything will cost you both money and manpower. Early on, it’s best to prioritize building certain facilities over others, in order to maximize the benefits you gain for the cost.
First, make sure to have your scientists research as much as possible, starting with Resistance Communications or Modular Weaponry. At the same time, have your engineers excavate some compartments in the ship, so that new facilities can be built when the time comes. Once enough research has been completed, you will have various facilities to choose from to build in the newly cleared compartments.
Try to construct the Guerilla Tactics School early. This facility allows you to train new recruits, promoting them to a specific class type of your choosing without having to put them through a field mission first. The Guerilla Tactics School also increases the number of soldiers you can take on a mission. A larger squad is absolutely crucial during the more challenging missions later on.
Next you’ll want to focus on creating the Resistance Comms center. This will help you expand your network, allowing you to find new missions and earn more intel. Once communications are established, push to build either the Advanced Warfare Center, Proving Grounds, or the Psi Lab.
The Advanced Warfare Center doubles as a medical facility, where you can heal up wounded soldiers. The Proving Grounds allow for experimental weapons research that results in some valuable upgrades to your arsenal. The Psi Lab lets you train special soldiers that can combat the aliens with unique psionic abilities. Of course, this will all cost quite a bit of resources, so be sure to spend wisely.
Keep an Eye on the Avatar Project
Early on in the campaign, you will be informed of an alien research initiative called the Avatar Project. The gravity of this project becomes enhanced by the ominous red status bar that gets plastered to the top of the screen, serving as a constant reminder that the end is near. Squares will fill up on the Avatar Project bar as the aliens make progress on their mysterious project.
Allowing the aliens to succeed in their endeavors basically spells ‘game over’ for both the world, and your campaign. Your goal is to thwart the aliens’ progress by completing certain missions pertaining to the Avatar Project. However, focusing too heavily on the Avatar Project can be detrimental to your squad and ultimately have long-term effects, such has having an unprepared team during difficult later missions.
It’s important to keep an eye on the status of the Avatar Project, but it’s more important to optimize your soldiers and make sure they are prepared for battle. Once the progress bar reaches about halfway, then you can start focusing on missions to push back the Avatar Project. Until then, preparing your soldiers and advancing the Avenger should be your main priorities.