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Covert Actions (or Covert Operations) allow XCOM to raise their level of Influence with each Resistance Faction and are a task necessary to defeat The Chosen.

Raising faction Influence involves completing 3 consecutive 'Hunt the Chosen' operations for each of the designated parties, and is required in order for their bases of operations to become objectives available for assault. Until they are eliminated, they will remain possible obstacles on all missions within their established regions, but defeating them is not a requirement of game completion (see: Avatar Project).

With each consecutive level of Influence, XCOM will be permitted to employ an additional Resistance Order associated with that faction, up to a maximum of 2.

Only one Covert Operation may be initiated at the Resistance Ring base installation at a time. If the installation does not currently exist, a single action may be performed at the beginning of each month. Upgrading the Resistance Ring facility provides +2 additional Wildcard Resistance Order slots.

While on a Covert Action, soldiers may be captured (abducted), ambushed or wounded. Consequently:

  • An abduction requires that a rescue mission be undertaken to liberate that soldier from captivity. While a soldier remains imprisoned, the Chosen have a chance to gain additional intelligence on XCOM and increase their power level.
  • An ambush situation requires an exfiltration in which those soldiers will need to make their way to a pre-determined extraction point. This mission occurs on an identical map each time, with 3 enemies dispersed amongst The Lost, and periodic Drop Ship Reinforcements (on Commander and Legend difficulties).

Covert Action Description & Reward
Combat Preparedness Send XCOM soldiers to train tactics with the Resistance, awarding a random amount Ability Points (into the XCOM AP Pool)
Counterintelligence Use a special team to throw off The Chosen, stopping the monthly Chosen Activity
Helping Hand Increases income from a random region by a random amount
Hunt the Chosen As explained above, increases influence with a Faction and get closer to being able to kill a Chosen permanently
Higher Learning Help the Resistance smuggle an intelligent contact into XCOM's hands, providing a Scientist
Intel Collection Help the Resistance recover classified information, awarding a random amount of Intel
Locate Faction Send a team to expand the Resistance, discovering a new Resistance Faction and getting Hero from the newly-found faction
New Orders Discuss with a Faction for creation of new monthly Resistance Order
Personnel Extraction Get help from the Resistance to look for XCOM soldiers taken prisoners, providing a mission to rescue an XCOM soldier from ADVENT [1]
Sabotage Help the Resistance destroy an Alien Facility, setting back Avatar Progress by one or two pips
Scavenge Alien Loot Recover loot (Alien Alloys, Elerium Crystals, etc.) from a successful ambush
Signal Boost Help the Resistance expand their radio network, increasing the Resistance Contacts capacity of the Resistance Comms facility by one or two.
Supply Run Acquire random amount of Supplies from an ADVENT supply transport
Tactical Education Send an XCOM soldier to train with the Resistance, increasting the soldier's Combat Intelligence by a random number of levels
Technical Advances Collaborate with Resistance Scientists to expand the Resistance, leading to a Breakthrough
Tech Support Find the maker of machines fighting the Elders, and recruit them as Engineer.
Teamwork Training Increase two soldiers' Cohesion until it meets the threshold for the next Bonding level


[1] The mission is not required to be taken immediately; it will be available on the Geoscape to take when you're ready. Do note though that the longer your soldier is kept prisoner, the faster the capturing Chosen's knowledge of you grows.