Absolutely Critical is a Second Wave option that forces all flanking shots to guarantee a critical hit. This affects both the aliens as well as XCOM soldiers, and significantly alters the risk:reward ratio for each battle.


  • Absolutely Critical works by increasing the "Enemy Exposed" and "Flanking" bonuses from +50% to +100% critical chance.
  • The Hardened ability (available to non-cover units, including MECs and S.H.I.V.s) goes up from 60% to 100% to compensate. However, the critical chance is still higher than without Absolutely Critical (since the net chance is 0% rather than -10%).
  • In XCOM: Enemy Within, Squadsight critical chance negation is applied after applying the bonus to critical chance from Absolutely Critical. This means that enemies which can only be hit by using Squadsight still cannot be critically hit unless using the Headshot.
  • MEC subsystems which ignore cover will deal 50% extra damage when Absolutely Critical is chosen, with the exception of the Electro Pulse. The increased damage is noted in the battlescape HUD subsystem option.


  • As with the base game, positioning is key, as this will allow maximum rewards with minimum casualties.
  • It is worth noting that this option allows ballistic weapons and basic MEC subsystems (Flamethrower/Kinetic Strike Module) to stay relevant for longer than usual, allowing players to delay weapons research in favour of other urgent research choices.
    • Jellied Elerium research upgrades the Flamethrower damage to 13.
    • MEC Close Combat research increases the KSM damage to 27. This allows MECs to kill nearly all enemies in one hit, with the notable exception of Sectopods.