|“||This is an extremely well-equipped mechanized combat unit. We'll need to look for vulnerabilities if we're going to take that thing out.||”|
–Shen upon encountering the first MEC.
ADVENT MECs are armored targets, thus reducing all received damages, but are vulnerable to shredding.
Later in the game (late June or mid-August on Legend) the Heavy MECs take their place while the normal MECs become support troops for ADVENT pods (but not for Aliens).
At the very end of the game (September/October, November on Legend), normal MECs are totally phased out and Heavy MECs take their place as support troops.
ADVENT MECs are large autonomous robotic units that provide heavy support for other ADVENT units. They are similar to XCOM's MEC Troopers from Enemy Within when the latter are equipped with their signature battlesuits, but ADVENT MECs are a glistening white (basic models only) and completely robotic in their exterior, with the breakdown of their wrecks confirming the lack of any biological components in their construction. They carry a variant of the Magnetic Rifle that is monstrously large in both size and damage output. Additionally, ADVENT MECs have an automatic grenade launcher on their back, allowing them to fire a fusillade of micro-missiles in an AoE attack. ADVENT MECs are heavily armored, and have superior health to ADVENT troopers, as well as damage reduction in the form of armor points.
As robotic units, they are vulnerable to hacking and having control of them given to XCOM for a short while, although a failed hack will increase the MEC's accuracy and defense (+10 Aim and Defense for standard MECs on Legend). A successfully hacked MEC that has been turned against its ADVENT masters is a potent tool in the hands of an XCOM commander; its combination of high health, tough armor, powerful weaponry and a missile barrage can have a dramatic effect on the course of a mission. Also; being robotic units MECs are vulnerable to EMP weaponry such as EMP Grenades and Bluescreen Rounds. A Psi Operative can also make use of the Fuse ability to detonate its grenades remotely, despite it being a robotic unit.
Description (Heavy MEC)
Heavy MECs begin their deployment in June or August (Legend) as pod leaders, with normal MECs being relegated to support. Later in the game, MECs are replaced completely by Heavy MECs.
Much like their less-armored counterpart, Heavy MECs are large autonomous robotic units that provide support for other ADVENT units. Heavy MECs are a uniformly red color on their interior and exterior and have far more health than a MEC. In addition, their guns do far more damage than the standard MEC cannon.
Like the MEC, they are still extremely vulnerable to hacking and EMP weaponry.
Exclusive to the Lost Towers mission in the Shen's Last Gift DLC, Derelict MECs are exactly what it says on the tin: old rusted MECs armed with old weapons and armor. They carry a heavy autocannon and have only four health points, but are reinforced with two points of armor. Like most robotic units, they are still vulnerable to bluescreen rounds and EMP grenades. However, they make up for these deficiencies with being deployed in endless numbers during the mission.
Physically, these MECs are old and rusted, with a skull-like head and wearing a black ballistic vest for protection. They also lack the ADVENT MEC's grenade launcher.
The two main strengths of the derelict MECs are their ability to self-destruct, and during each section of Lost Towers, a constant stream of them will be deployed during each enemy turn. When self-destructing, derelict MECs will spend one turn arming, and only during the next turn will they be able to use it to attack your soldiers. Killing a self-destructing MEC will also cause it to explode prematurely, so try to keep your distance from them.
During the final battle against Julian, hacking Julian's sectopod will allow you to attempt a hack that will turn all the MECs friendly, allowing you to divert Julian's attention from your own squad.
- It is possible for a Specialist to hack ADVENT MECs. But if the hack fails, either the MEC's Aim and Dodge stats will be increased, or there is a chance of summoning reinforcements.
- Micro Missiles have 20 range and 1 use on normal MECs and 2 uses on heavy MECs.
- MECs, like other enemies with AOE abilities, will strongly favor their Micro Missiles ability if they can damage more than one unit with it. If you end your turn with two or more soldiers grouped behind the same cover near a MEC, Micro Missiles can destroy your cover: consider hacking, disabling or simply killing a MEC before it gets a chance to expose your squad to enemy fire.
- The advanced version of the ADVENT MEC tends to immediately enter Overwatch when revealed, instead of moving when found.
- While MECs have been observed "jumping" to higher elevations, they do not appear to have the "Leap" ability, like the Faceless. This jump animation is used to signify a MEC ascending a ladder, drainpipe or scalable feature.
- There is a glitch that sometimes occurs if the player uses the haywire protocol on an Advent MEC, and saves and reloads right before the hack begins. This will result in the player's GREMLIN following the MEC instead of the specialist.