Disabling Shot is an ability of the Sniper Class in XCOM: Enemy Unknown.

Allows the Sniper to fire a shot that causes the target's main weapon to malfunction. The target may use Reload to fix the weapon. The shot cannot inflict a critical hit. 2 turn cooldown.

– In-Game Description, XCOM: Enemy Unknown


This ability is useful for neutralizing enemies with powerful weaponry like the Cyberdisc or Mechtoid, if the rest of the squad is caught out of position or cover, or if an additional turn is needed to get them into position to eliminate a threat. In this same application, Disabling Shot also removes Overwatch.


  • Enemies disabled by Disabling Shot may still use special abilities or grenades, which can be more dangerous than their main weapon.
  • In earlier builds, a bug with Disabling Shot could give the target infinite Overwatch reaction shots instead of removing the single one they get. It was especially common with Sectopods.
  • Disabling Shot has no effect on Sectopods (other than the base ability damage).
  • Although not stated in the in-game description, the shot has a -10 Aim penalty.
  • Only usable with sniper rifles.
  • This ability is helpful when trying to capture aliens alive as well, if you need two turns to get close enough to stun them, or to bring their health down to increase the chances of a stun.
    • With Damage Roulette, be mindful that the damage from this ability varies like all other attacks, and it's possible to kill the capture target by accident with it. A Disabling Shot can deal 1-3 damage with the regular Sniper Rifle, with damage scaling with the higher tier alternatives. It may be better to wait until the Improved Arc Thrower Foundry project is completed for a safety net, as the alien's health doesn't have to be brought as low.
  • Last but not least, Disabling Shot can non-lethally disable a Mind Controlled squad member if you can't take out the enemy controlling them in the same turn.