Commander! That UFO contact has us locked in! We have to take evasive maneuvers!

–Central Officer Bradford

"We're going down, Commander! UFO contact has disabled our systems! Brace yourselves!"

–Bradford, if the Avenger does not succeed in evading the UFO.

The unique loading screen for the Avenger Defense mission, showing the disruptor (to the left of the Avenger) and the Avenger itself.

The Avenger Defense is a unique mission in XCOM 2.

It is an optional mission in the storyline and will end the game if failed, like the XCOM Base Defense mission in XCOM: Enemy Within. Unlike the first game, the player is allowed to select a squad for the mission before beginning the mission.

It is very likely to appear at least once in a campaign, as the storyline path summons a UFO after the completion of either one of the story missions. It can only be skipped by completing the game before the UFO hits.

Mission Start[]

The Avenger has been intercepted by the attacking UFO.

The popup which warns the Commander about the start of the mission.

There are two ways that the Avenger Defense mission can take place.

  • At a certain story point, almost always after the assault on the Codex Brain Coordinates or ADVENT Forge Facility (in which it is only avoidable by rushing to the final mission)
  • As a random Dark Event (in which it can be avoided)

Bradford will warn the Commander if the event is imminent (within the next 2 weeks or so) by mentioning that the aliens are hunting their position.

Dark Event[]

If the XCOM Hunt Dark Event is active, a red UFO will appear on the Geoscape and begin to randomly patrol - the patrol lasts for a month. At a random moment of the month there is a chance the Avenger will be located by the UFO, forcing the player to begin evasive maneuvers. Two things can happen: the ship successfully evades the enemy, or the UFO intercepts the Avenger, starting a cutscene.

If the UFO was spawned by the Dark Event, there is a 50% chance to successfully evade it, and a 50% chance to be intercepted.

A flowchart which depicts the possible methods by which the UFO could be evaded or not.

Story Path[]

A few weeks after completing the Codex Brain Coordinates mission or the ADVENT Forge Facility mission, the UFO patrol will start without remark, except by Bradford. In this case, when the UFO was not spawned from the Dark Event, evasive maneuvers will always fail, and the cutscene will play regardless of the path the Avenger takes.

If the UFO was spawned by one of these missions, it will never be evaded and the interception will always occur.


As the ship flies through the sky, its power is disrupted by an electromagnetic pulse from the UFO. Shen tries to nullify the disruption via system overriding, but fails. Central Officer Bradford yells at her and she changes the plan, shutting down the Avenger and activating its emergency power supply. Immediately after, they discover that the aliens have placed a needle-like object which prevents the ship from taking off. Bradford then turns to the Commander and tells them to deploy a squad immediately.


  • Avengerdefensedisrupter.jpg
    Destroy the disruptor.
  • Enemies must not reach the Avenger's ramp.
  • Return all XCOM soldiers to the Avenger's ramp.


It's a very good idea to build the Defense Matrix after the assault on the Codex Brain Coordinates or Forge Facility, as the UFO spawned after either mission is guaranteed to hit.

There are no turn limits on this mission.

The popup informing the Commander about the deployment of wounded and Shaken soldiers into combat.

Before beginning the mission, the player will be able to select which soldiers will be deployed to start. When the team select screen appears, a window will show up explaining that it will be possible to take wounded units into battle (this will only happen in this mission and the Alien Fortress Assault). The squad appears in the Avenger's ramp, a huge rectangular area highlighted by blue edges. If any alien enters this area and survives a turn, the mission ends in an automatic game over.

A squad of XCOM soldiers on the Avenger's ramp.

Around 15-20 enemies will be present to start with, and ADVENT reinforcements will be deployed every turn after the objective is completed, but over time, Central Officer Bradford sends reinforcements from any of the soldiers on the Avenger, which appear on your ramp. The soldiers are taken in the order in which you obtained them, NOT in rank order. (This chronological order can be seen when tabbing through your soldiers in the Armory.) This includes Wounded soldiers, Shaken soldiers, and Rookies.

An ADVENT Shieldbearer and Heavy MEC drop in to the battlezone - just one of many reinforcements the squad will need to get through.


The objective (besides protecting the ramp) is to destroy the Disruptor, a huge device which has 18 HP despite not being counted as an enemy. Once this objective is completed, enemy reinforcements will bring in stronger waves of ADVENT troops, and a new instruction will be received: to move all the soldiers back to the ramp to take off as soon as possible. When a soldier reaches the ramp, if they haven't ended their turn, the "Lift off Avenger" command will become available. A counter will appear on the top left corner of the screen displaying the amount of units outside the ramp - if there are any still out on the field, when the order is given to takeoff a window will appear to warn the player of allies outside the ramp being permanently lost if left there (if all living soldiers are in the ramp but there are any bleeding out, the window will appear as well). If the mission is finished and there is a unit outside the Avenger's ramp, they will be considered KIA at the end.

War of The Chosen[]

See: Avenger Defense (War of the Chosen)

This mission is still available in the War of the Chosen. However, a version with the Chosen is also available, but will only activate if at least one Chosen is still alive in the game.



  • Reinforcements (XCOM and ADVENT) will come endlessly until the mission is failed or completed.

    If there are no more reinforcements coming, Bradford will send this message to the Commander.

  • The Defense Matrix facility will give 2 or 4 friendly turrets around the ramp if it is installed. These turrets will have better stats if an Engineer is manning them, and the presence of these turrets can greatly aid in defending the ramp.
  • Except for loot from downed enemies, no items are collected at the end of the mission.
  • Any soldiers unconscious, being carried, or bleeding out on the ramp will be counted as safe.
  • If an enemy unit is controlled by the player, warnings for them to enter the Avenger's ramp will appear even when all XCOM soldiers are on the ramp. There is no penalty for leaving them behind.

Unique Dialogue[]

Geoscape Dialogue[]

Bradford: Commander, remote reconnaissance indicates the aliens have a UFO hunting for our position. We need to be careful about where we pick our flight paths.

At the start of the mission[]

Bradford: Menace 1-5, situation critical - primary systems are offline and hostiles are moving to engage. Shen, any updates?

Shen: Commander, we've got a critical system failure - the Avenger is dead in the water. I'm diverting reserve power to the scanners - and they're picking up a powerful radiation source nearby - we need to locate and destroy whatever it is that's disrupting our systems.

Bradford: We may have a bigger problem, Commander. We're picking up heavy comm traffic - dozens of ADVENT transports are inbound on our position - and they've got battleships in tow. The aliens are sending everything they've got. We have to get this ship off the ground or we may not make it out of this one.

Deploying reinforcements[]

Bradford: Commander, I'm sending reinforcements in from the Avenger's reserves.

Discovering the Disruptor[]

Bradford: Menace 1-5, we have visual confirmation on the disruptor. Destroy it and let's get the hell out of here before its too late.

Destroying the Disruptor[]

Bradford: Target destroyed. Excellent work Menace 1-5. Shen, what's our status?

Shen: Whatever it was, destroying it seems to have lifted the disruption field. Engine control systems are coming back online. We should be clear to take off within 60 seconds.

Bradford: Commander, we can take off on your order. We should get the squad onboard and get moving.

Next turn after the Disruptor is destroyed[]

Bradford: Commander, the situation just got worse. Resistance outposts are reporting enemy transports on the move across this region. They're getting ready for an all-out assault.

If an enemy enters the ramp[]

Shen: Commander, we can't let the alien troops get access to the Avenger's systems! If they have the original command codes, they could initiate a full shutdown of the Power Core - if that happens, there's no way we're getting off the ground before they overrun us.

If an enemy is killed on the ramp[]

Bradford: That's the last of 'em, Commander. We've taken out the last alien threatening the ship.

If an enemy survives for one turn on the ramp[]

Shen: Commander! There's no way for me to get the engines back online now! We're dead in the water - there's nothing else I can do.

Mission complete[]

Bradford: Excellent work, Commander - looks like the Avenger lives to fight another day.