For the enemy in The Bureau: XCOM Declassified, see Drone (The Bureau: XCOM Declassified).

A Drone is an enemy in XCOM: Enemy Unknown.


Drones are small floating spherical robots that are often seen escorting Cyberdiscs and Sectopods. Drones tend not to pose much of a direct threat due to their low health and weak ranged attack (2 base damage); their ability to repair the robotic units they escort for 3 health can prolong the threat posed by these heavier hitting units however. Additionally Drones provide a certain harassment factor due to their base Defense and ability to fly can make them harder to target than ground units but they can also easily move to gain Line of Sight to soft targets like injured soldiers or civilians during Terror Site missions.

It is possible, albeit uncommon, for civilians to survive a single attack from a Drone during a Terror Site mission. This is because Drone attacks have a minimum damage of 1 and civilians have 2 health (Enemy within only)

Drones will always appear at the Alien Base Assault, though if assaulted during month two, they will not be accompanying any alien robotic units.


Ability Description
Airborne  Airborne Flying units can bypass ground obstacles. They can remain in flight if they have sufficient fuel.
Overload  Overload Overload the unit's own power source, destroying the unit but causing explosive damage similar to a grenade's.
Repair  Repair Repairs robotic units.


Trait Description
Evasion  Evasion Enemies targeting this unit when it is airborne suffer a -20 Aim penalty.
Hardened  Hardened Reduces the chance of suffering a critical hit by 60%.
XEU AbilityPlaceholder.png  Robotic Immune to fire, poison, and several Psionic abilities.
Stun Immune  Stun Immune This unit cannot be stunned with the Arc Thrower; taking a live specimen is not possible.


Drones cannot be captured and returned intact to XCOM headquarters. However, they can be hacked with an Arc Thrower and controlled during a mission (after completing the Drone Capture Foundry project). A captured drone can be used to repair S.H.I.V.s and MECs, or attack aliens, and should it survive until the end of a successful mission, it will self-destruct.



  • A Plasma Pistol shot will deal 2+ damage to them, so you can save primary ammo on lower difficulties.
  • If grouped with a Cyberdisc or Sectopod, using a Heavy's rocket or any grenade can kill them and deal damage to the main target.
  • Detonating robotic units are likely to destroy them as well.
  • When using In The Zone and feeling lucky, aim for them first, then for the robot they're escorting. A Squadsight sniper flying high with Archangel Armor and a Plasma Sniper Rifle can take out a Drone with a single shot.
  • Disabling Shot prevents a hostile Drone from doing anything but moving. If hacked, the Drone can be ordered to reload its beam weapon to regain the repair functionality.
  • Drones have an invisible flight fuel counter. This can be noticed on especially long missions such as a crashed Battleship if a Drone is hacked early on.


Drones can be used as scouts or as a support to a Cyberdisc. They have the same stats as on Easy difficulty. Unlike Sectoids, they have a base 10 Defense and can gain an additional 20 Defense while flying, which make them less vulnerable.