XCOM-EU Personnel - Engineers.jpg

Engineers are XCOM employees who run the Engineering and Workshop facilities at XCOM headquarters in XCOM: Enemy Unknown.

Headed by Dr. Shen, engineers manufacture the various weapons, armors, equipment, and aircraft used by your soldiers. They can also upgrade your equipment once you have built a Foundry. You can tell how many engineers you have by visiting Engineering and looking at the bottom-middle of your screen.


  • You start with 5 engineers
  • Each Workshop built provides 5 additional engineers.
  • Performing random missions that offer engineers as a reward.
  • The monthly report from The Council can provide engineers dependent on having Satellites over certain countries. Note that these numbers are accurate only to Easy and Normal. Classic and Impossible give half as many.
    • Africa gives 1 engineer per satellite
    • Asia gives 2 engineers per satellite, the only exception is 2 satellites gives 3 engineers.
    • North America gives 1 engineer per satellite, and gives 4 when it has 3 satellites.
    • Having 2 satellites in South America gives 2 engineers every month.
      • Having 3 satellites in Africa, 4 in Asia, and 2 in South America, and 3 in North America (a total of 12 satellites) gives the maximum number of engineers per month at 17 engineers.


Many items require a minimum number of engineers to be housed in your base before you can start to build the item or research the upgrade. You also require a certain number of engineers to construct a Workshop. Engineers are never "consumed" when they are required for something.

Engineers also reduce the Credit, Elerium and Alien Alloy cost of items by up to fifty percent. This stacks with other bonuses. Adjusted costs can be calculated using the following formula (results are rounded down):  Cost = Base Cost × 0.5 × (1 + (Required Engineers ÷ Total Engineers))


  • Engineers tend to be more important than Scientists and should be the priority for Abduction missions rewards followed by money and scientists. You always should take them for the first Abduction mission if possible. They are required for many projects, and more of them are needed each time a new Satellite Uplink is made. However, individual engineers offer less and less savings as more are acquired, as seen below.
  • For an item that requires 10 engineers, having 15 reduces the cost by roughly 17%. Having 20 (twice as many as needed) reduces it by 25%. Having a whopping 40 engineers only reduces it by 37.5% in spite of being four times as many as necessary. When choosing what reward to pursue, the player should carefully weigh how many engineers they have against the highest engineer requirements of the available items.
  • Obtaining 80 Engineers unlocks the "One Gun at a Time" Achievement.