XCOM-EU Soldiers Class - Assault.pngXEU ClassAssault.png

The Assault Class is a soldier class in XCOM: Enemy Unknown.

The primary role of the Assault Class is aggressive reconnaissance, flanking, and drawing enemy fire.

Movin' at the speed of death.

–Assault soldier activating Run & Gun

XCOM Database[]

As the first and last units on the ground, these troops are initially equipped with XCOM's proprietary combat shotgun. However, they may still deploy with the assault rifle.

–XCOM Database, XCOM: Enemy Unknown

Tactical Description[]

The first ones in... and the last ones out: be extremely wary of over extending with an Assault. Assaults are the definitive reconnaissance and close-quarters combat (CQB) unit, and will most likely be "pointman" in any given situations. Often the closest unit to aliens, it will be shot at the most. Based solely on quantity of fire directed towards your assaults, they can go down with frightening rapidity.  Consider giving your assault the best armor and HP boosting items available for this reason.  While in EU small movements with Overwatch could be used in all situations, giving the assault a solid base of fire to back him up, the addition of Meld in EW sometimes requires riskier movements that will see assaults alone, flanked, and shot.


The Assault class is the only class that has a choice between two types of primary weapons: shotguns or rifles. They use pistols as a secondary weapon.


Weapon Base Damage Crit Damage Crit Chance Range
Shotgun  Shotgun 3 - 5 6 - 8 20% Short
Scatter Laser  Scatter Laser 5 - 7 9 - 11 20% Medium
Alloy Cannon  Alloy Cannon 8 - 10 14 - 16 20% Medium
Source: Tactical Info, XCOM: Enemy Within


Weapon Base Damage Crit Damage Crit Chance Range
Assault Rifle  Assault Rifle 2 - 4 5 - 7 10% Short
Laser Rifle  Laser Rifle 4 - 6 7 - 9 10% Medium
Light Plasma Rifle  Light Plasma Rifle 4 - 6 8 - 10 10% Medium
Plasma Rifle  Plasma Rifle 6 - 8 11 - 13 10% Medium
Source: Tactical Info, XCOM: Enemy Within

Foundry Upgrades


Weapon Base Damage Crit Damage Crit Chance Range
Pistol  Pistol 1 - 2 2 - 4 0% Medium
Laser Pistol  Laser Pistol 1 - 3 3 - 5 10% Medium
Plasma Pistol  Plasma Pistol 2 - 4 5 - 7 0% Medium
Source: Tactical Info, XCOM: Enemy Within


When a soldier is promoted, some ranks allow a choice between two abilities.

Rank Abilities Description
XEU Assault RunAndGun.png  Run & Gun Allows to fire or enter Overwatch after dashing.
XEU Assault TacticalSense.png  Tactical Sense +5 Defense per enemy in sight (Max +20).
XEU Assault Aggression.png  Aggression Confers +10% critical chance per enemy in sight (Max +30%).
XEU Assault LightningReflexes.png  Lightning Reflexes Force the first reaction shot against this unit each turn to miss.
XEU Assault CloseAndPersonal.png  Close and Personal In XCOM: Enemy Unknown: Confers +30% critical chance against adjacent targets. The bonus declines with distance from the target.

In XCOM: Enemy Within: The first standard shot made within 4 tiles of the target does not cost an action. Cannot combine with Run & Gun.

XEU Assault Flush.png  Flush Fire a shot that causes enemies to run out of cover. The shot is easy to hit with, but does reduced damage.
XEU Assault RapidFire.png  Rapid Fire Take two shots against a single target in quick succession. Each shot carries a -15 penalty to Aim.
XEU Assault CloseCombatSpecialist.png  Close Combat Specialist Confers a reaction shot against any enemy who closes to within 4 tiles. Does not require overwatch.
XEU Assault BringEmOn.png  Bring 'Em on Adds 1 damage on Critical hits for each enemy the squad can see (up to 5).
XEU Assault ExtraConditioning.png  Extra Conditioning Confers bonus health based on what type of armor is equipped. Heavier armor increases the bonus.
XEU Assault Resilience.png  Resilience Confers immunity to critical hits.
XEU Assault KillerInstinct.png  Killer Instinct Activating Run & Gun now also grants +50% Critical damage for the rest of the turn.

Second Wave[]

Hidden Potential : 1-5 Aim per level for Assaut

Training Roulette: Each soldier's training tree is mostly randomly generated.

Only Assaut : Run & Gun (Lv1), Close and Personal (Lv3), Rapid Fire (Lv4), Killer Instinct(Lv7)

Indep: Tactical Sense (Lv2), Aggression (Lv2), Lightning Reflexes (Lv3), Flush (Lv4), Close Combat Specialis (Lv5), Bring Em On (Lv5), Extra Conditioning (Lv6), Resilience (Lv7)

Skill Comparisons[]

Some players who have completed Ironman on Classic and Impossible difficulties recommend choosing Rapid Fire and Lightning Reflexes.

Tactical Sense vs. Aggression[]

  • Tactical Sense always-on defensive boost guarantees at least 5%.
    • Tactical Sense allows a soldier to end a turn in partial cover, and still retain "high cover" quality.  This allows scouting for a Squadsight Sniper, and more direct attack paths to the enemy while remaining in relative safety. It helps when being flanked, aiding in dodging potentially lethal critical fire.
    • Tactical Sense has no effect against "melee enemies" (i.e. Chryssalids and Berserkers) which hit automatically.
      • Tactical Sense causes aliens to ignore "high cover" soldiers; instead opting to shoot at another "easier" soldier on the front line, when available. This can negate the advantage of Tactical Sense in certain engagements.
      • Tactical Sense is less relevant late in the game, where aliens have significant Aim bonuses, psionics, and other specials. At this point, the most efficient counter is to kill them before they get a turn to act, and as such Aggression contributes more to clearing groups effectively. On the other hand, as the early game is so difficult and the late game is relatively easy, Tactical Sense may be more advantageous overall.
  • Aggression always-on bonus critical chance guarantees at least 10%.
    • Aggression's bonus fully stacked is +30%, combined with a shotgun (+20%) on a flank (+50%), results in 100% critical hit chance (except against Hardened enemies); this makes risky flanking maneuvers a sure bet and a decisive victory.
      • Aggression aids in overcoming critical-chance reduction on enemies with the Hardened property, such as Sectopods, Ethereals, and Cyberdiscs.
    • Choosing Aggression means it rarely stacks to 30%.
      • Moving up with more than one alien alive and in sight is risky and often hazardous since you can potentially activate more aliens as you charge in, resulting in the Assault getting overrun.
      • Due to the possibility of front-line fighters missing their targets and leaving the Assault compromised and surrounded, the prudent Assault generally moves up last, after all other shots have been decided; thus, a lot of the aliens providing the Aggression bonuses might be killed.  ***Hold back on guaranteed kill actions such as rockets, Sniper shots from high ground, or grenades until Aggression Assaults have fired to preserve their bonus.

Lightning Reflexes vs. Close and Personal[]

  • Close and Personal tactically allows the soldier to move in to point blank range (i.e. within 4-tiles), shoot at no cost, and then move back into cover; or take three shots per turn (if combined with Rapid Fire). Note that this ability is defined such for Enemy Within; in the vanilla game this ability merely gives an increased critical chance against adjacent targets but does not remove the action cost.
    • Close and Personal synergizes very well with Ghost Grenade or Ghost Armor; particularly useful in late game, allowing a soldier to close in and unload multiple shots against high valued targets.
      • Choosing Close and Personal though, means that the squad sacrifices mobility: if the enemy is in Overwatch, then they may have fewer "safe" options to trigger it.
  • Lightning Reflexes forces the first reaction shot against this soldier each turn to miss.
    • Lightning Reflexes allows negation of enemy Overwatch and Suppression without worry of reaction fire, thus freeing up your squad to move into a better position. As it's not always clear if an enemy is on Overwatch in the fog of war, Lightning Reflexes remains useful on all playthroughs.
      • Lightning Reflexes is highly useful against robotic enemies on Overwatch and high-damage units (eg. Sectopods).
      • Lightning Reflexes dominates Council Missions where Thin Men frequently spawn on Overwatch behind your lines which can make the first few Council Missions the most challenging missions of a whole game playthrough.
      • Choosing Lightning Reflexes though, means that the squad sacrifices firepower: if the enemy is a high valued target, then they may lack the means of killing (or capturing) it in one turn.

Flush vs. Rapid Fire[]

Flush augments the effectives of Squad Tactics; while Rapid Fire increases lethality.

  • Flush hits for 50% with a +30 Aim; if combined with +20 Aim from Scope and Light Plasma Rifle, it will overcome high cover and hit any target reliably.
    • Flush is essentially a re-usable grenade: Flush removes enemy cover, often forcing the target to seek low-cover or exposed positions, allowing the rest of the squad to cut it down.
  • Rapid Fire's two shots at 60% are always better than one shot at 75%.
    • Taking two shots will average net-gain damage in most situations. If flanking foes within 10 tiles, the range bonus compensates for the abiltiy's -15 Aim penalty.

Close Combat Specialist vs. Bring 'Em On[]

  • Close Combat Specialist confers an "always on" reaction shot against any enemy within 4 tiles.
    • Close Combat Specialist will always "trigger"; unfortunately, this includes soldiers under the effect of Ghost Armor, Mimetic Skin or a Ghost Grenade. The only way to prevent this is to have the soldier maintain a discreet distance from the enemies while cloaked.
  • Bring 'Em On adds 1 damage on critical hits for each enemy the squad can see (up to 5).
    • Bring 'Em On synergies with Aggression and Close and Personal in allowing an Assault armed with a shotgun to reliably deliver hard hitting critical hits at close range.

Resilience vs. Killer Instinct[]

  • Resilience confers immunity to critical hits.
    • Resilience's critical hit immunity (along with additional effects) can be provided by Combat Stims.
  • Killer Instinct grants +50% critical damage to Run and Gun.
    • Killer Instinct synergies with Rapid Fire and Bring 'Em On. Conventional shotguns inflict a minimum of 10 damage; up to a maximum of 31 with an Alloy Cannon if five enemies are visible, per critical hit. This is enough damage to eliminate bulky high-threat targets such as sectopods with a single soldier, though it should be noted that this is neither reliable nor safe, as it relies on critical hits and requires placing the soldier in a high-risk position with line of sight to an uncomfortably large number of enemies.

Builds and Tactics[]

Main article: Squad Tactics (XCOM: Enemy Unknown)

Assault Class builds suitable for all difficulties and DLCs:

Vanguard Soldier[]

Early-game "pointman" build (1-2 months):

Tactical Sense, Lightning Reflexes, Rapid Fire, Close Combat Specialist, Resilience
Respirator Implants, S.C.O.P.E., Laser Rifle, Carapace Armor
Tactical Rigging, Mimetic Skin

Trips Overwatch hot zones and flushes foes out of high cover. This allows for Advancing Cover and Squadsight kills.

Close Quarters Soldier[]

Mid-game "breacher" build (3-4 months):

Aggression, Close and Personal, Rapid Fire, Close Combat Specialist, Resilience
S.C.O.P.E., Chitin Plating, Alloy Cannon, Ghost Armor
Tactical Rigging, Ammo Conservation, S.C.O.P.E. Upgrade, Mimetic Skin, Hyper Reactive Pupils

Aggression will always give a minimum 10% boost to critical chance. If that doesn't kill the target, Close Combat Specialist will provide yet another shot should the target move(which if flanked will most likely move).

Psi-Rifleman Soldier[]

Late-game "lineman" build (5+ months):

Aggression, Lightning Reflexes, Rapid Fire, Bring 'Em On, Resilience
S.C.O.P.E., Chitin Plating, Alloy Cannon, Ghost Armor or Psi Armor
Tactical Rigging, Ammo Conservation, S.C.O.P.E. Upgrade, Mimetic Skin, Hyper Reactive Pupils, Mindfray, Psi Panic, Mind Control

Allows Rifleman to excel in mid range shootouts against numerous lesser enemies or mind-controlling high-valued targets. The key point in this tactic is making excellent use of fireteam discipline.

Lightning Reflexes provides the flexibility to seek out good cover for this without fearing enemy reaction fire. Use Heavies to break cover and wipe out groups with a hail of accurate, medium damage gunfire from long range without having to flank and potentially alert extra groups. 

Equipment and Upgrades[]


  • Items that provide additional health Nano-fiber Vest, Respirator ImplantEW, or Chitin Plating can support the longevity of a front-line Assault.
  • High Mobility armors such as Ghost Armor or Skeleton Suits can allow the Assault to close in easier, but they do sacrifice health; the Ghost Armor's cloaking ability can mitigate this by allowing the soldier to advance or retreat unseen.

Gene Mods[]

Requires XCOM: Enemy Within expansion:

Multiplayer Assault Classes[]

The following is a detailed break-down of the Assault class stats and abilities in multiplayer mode. 








Recon 600 7 67 0 45 Run & Gun
Gunner 2250 9 79 0 65

Run & Gun - Aggression - Lightning Reflexes - Rapid Fire - Bring Em On

Commando 3000 10 85 0 75 Run & Gun - Aggression - Lightning Reflexes - Rapid FireBring Em On - Extra Conditioning - Resilience
Psi Warrior 4750 9 81 0 70

Run & Gun - Tactical Sense - Lightning Reflexes - Rapid Fire - Close Combat Specialist - Extra Conditioning    

PsionicMindfrayPsi Panic - Mind Control

Note: Each soldier class has a base cost of 800 points, which would need to be added to the values above to determine the point value of a particular build. The above point and stat values reflect the default (i.e. 0 point) equipment load-out.