|“||By integrating a stealth field based on the phase-shifts observed in the hyperwave beacon, this suit makes it extremely difficult for the wearer to be detected in the field. It should be noted, the stealth system is only effective when used by a soldier in cover.||”|
– Engineering description, XCOM: Enemy Unknown
|“||▪||Health Bonus: 6||”|
|▪||Stealth systems allow wearer to become invisible|
|▪||Ghost mode can be activated up to 4 times per battle|
|▪||Activating Ghost Mode does not cost an action, nor end the soldier's turn|
|▪||Provides a moderate [+20] bonus to Defense, equivalent to partial cover|
|▪||Wearer's movement speed is increased [+3]|
|▪||Grappling hook module has been adapted from the Skeleton Suit|
– Tactical Info, XCOM: Enemy Unknown
XCOM: Enemy Within amends this with:
|“||▪||Sealed: internal air supply and recycling systems provide the wearer immunity to poison and airway interruption||”|
|▪||Flame Resistant: cooling systems and alien alloy construction confer immunity to environmental fire damage|
– Tactical Info, XCOM: Enemy Within
|Ghost Mode||A Ghost Armor wearer can activate a special mode that makes him or her invisible to enemies.|
|Grapple||This armor mounts a grappling hook and cable on the left arm, permitting rapid elevation change and access to tactically advantageous positions.|
The production of Ghost Armor opens up a wide range of scouting, spotting, and ambush tactics to the player; its main drawback is that it is expensive to craft.
While not as protective as the Titan and Archangel Armor, the Ghost Armor takes all the tactical advantages of the Skeleton Suit and improves upon them. The movement bonus and the grappling hook provide unlimited use (unlike the Archangel Armor's jetpack) and the +20 Defense bonus effectively turns no cover into partial cover, partial into full, and full into full + 1/2 (60 Defense). Then to top everything off the Ghost Armor has the incredibly useful Ghost ability.
The Ghost ability can be activated up to 4 times per battle; activating Ghost does not cost an action nor end the turn. The Ghost ability's invisibility effectively renders the soldier immune to attack if active during the enemy turn; alternatively, firing while stealthed confers a 100% (reduced to 30% in XCOM: Enemy Within) Critical Chance (unless reduced by a trait similar to Hardened) but will reveal the wearer. Note that using Ghost along with Rapid Fire will confer the critical chance bonus for both shots.
Ghost Armor can serve many different purposes and is even better than it sounds: if a soldier encounters new enemies while stealthed, then ends the turn right next to them, they will NOT respond to the soldier's presence when revealed at the beginning of the next turn (at least until the soldier moves or shoots them).
Spotting for a player's Squadsight Sniper(s) becomes incredibly easy. A team of four ghosted units and two Snipers can clear most maps without giving the aliens a single chance to fire. The same goes for the final boss who can be sniped all the way from the door.
However, note that Close Combat Specialist trigger will break an Assault unit's cloak whether the player wishes it or not, although this quasi-tactic can be exploited for benefit. It can be circumvented by ordering the Assault to Hunker Down.
Soldiers can also ambush the enemy by sneaking behind them and attacking. The enemy will most likely take cover, exposing their backs to the rest of the squad, who can finish them off in the same turn. Therefore, do not shoot with ghosted units the moment they spot the enemy - this will push them away. Instead try going behind them and pushing them towards the rest of the team.
Close-range rush to capture an enemy also becomes infinitely easier: the designated Arc Thrower user can cloak and move into spitting range of the enemy while their squadmates reduce said enemy to low health, not get shot by their target at very short range, and then either successfully stun them during the next move, or have them wiped out by other squadmates if unsuccessful.
Although Ghost Armor is usually associated with the Assault Class, the Heavy Class needs it more urgently. Heavies can use it to get into position quickly and safely, and will no longer fall behind in movement speed and kill count. Snipers can use the grappling hook and stealth system to get into elevated firing positions whilst being undetectable and gain the added critical chance bonus for being stealthed. For Squadsight Snipers on outdoor maps, consider Archangel Armor instead, as it allows them to create their own "nests" instead of seeking out the (few and far between) natural positions, and they rarely need the invisibility feature.
Ghosting is a great way to hit multiple enemies with explosives. Cloak and then rush towards the enemy who are usually huddled close together. Since the soldier is cloaked, the enemy will not 'trigger' and they will not move. This works especially well with Heavy Soldiers since ghosting allows them to get within range with ease.
On time-sensitive missions (e.g. Terror Site, Bomb Disposal, and when looking for Meld Canisters) the player can have one of their units (preferably a fast unit like a Support soldier with the Sprinter ability) ghost and then rush blindly ahead without having to worry about cover. As long as the soldier is not put on Overwatch or equipped with the Close Combat Specialist ability, there is no way the enemy can target that unit. This advancing unit will reveal enemies and items on the map.
Although Ghost Mode prevents aliens and EXALT troops from detecting a soldier, civilians to be rescued during Terror and Council missions are unaffected, and will respond to being 'tagged' for rescue as per normal without requiring the soldier to reveal themselves.
There is the issue of decloaking. The suit automatically decloaks either when firing (either manual or Overwatch), using items, Psi Abilities, or at the end of the round, but otherwise remains cloaked throughout the round (note the differentiation between round and turn – one round consists of one player turn and one opponent turn). At the end of the round the suit decloaks anyway, the visual light bending effect will cease, the cloak sound effect will play, you'll get a tactical debuff message/bubble floating off the user, but BE WARNED, the camera will not always jump to that particular cloak user for reference, unlike for example Overwatch.
- The 100% Critical Chance bonus for invisibility (either from Ghost Armor, a Ghost Grenade or Mimetic Skin) is reduced to 30%. This does not seem to stack with HEAT Ammo [(Reaper Rounds?)].
- The Mimetic Skin Gene Mod allows for cloaking without requiring the use of the Ghost Armor, with unlimited charges, and without a timer (so a cloaked unit that stands still can stay cloaked indefinitely). The patch released in February 2014 significantly increases the Meld and Credit cost of Mimetic Skin so it is the most costly Gene Mod in the game, balancing both concealment methods.
- In addition, Mimetic Skin requires the use of full cover for invisibility to be attained. Ghost Armor does not, and given its far shorter manufacturing time and no need for Meld, the armor is sometimes more efficient and a better choice than waiting three days and spending Credits and Meld.
- On another note, Mimetic Skin is not useful when the soldier is trapped by an enemy on Overwatch or Suppression. Ghosting has no such problem.
- Ghost Mode cannot be activated if the soldier wearing it has Mimetic Skin. However, the soldier can still benefit from Ghost Armor as an upgraded Skeleton Suit: the movement and Defense bonuses, as well as the grappling hook, remain in play.
Pros and Cons
Class-based differentiation collected into one place.
- CON - Scouting while ghosted can defeat the purpose of also keeping the possibility open to assault a hostile with range closing and firing main weapon, or one is always simply just an extra objective for the other to keep in mind. This can (subjectively) over strain the duties of this class.
- CON - Close Combat Specialist decloaks the user. While this is not a tragedy, it needs to be taken into planning.
- CON - Lightning Reflexes is wasted if cloaked, and may be preferable to cloaking to burn Overwatch.
- CON - Medium Armor classification, so only +2 HP from Extra Conditioning.
- CON - Having the Grappling Hook is even more situational than average for a Shotgun-equipped Assault, as it rarely facilitates a close range approach and height advantage matters very little for the class.
- PRO - Rapid Fire has both of its shots enhanced with a decloaking buff.
- PRO - Ghosting allows Close and Personal to be taken advantage of rather often, enabling greater damage output from Assault.
- PRO - Defense bonus can stack with Tactical Sense.
- PRO - Run & Gun allows cloaked Overwatch after dashing. Decloaking buff comes into play.
- PRO - Decloaking buff applies to Flush.
- PRO - Bring 'Em On can stack with decloaking buff.
- PRO - Killer Instinct significantly stacks with decloaking buff.
- PRO - Movement bonus complements the far reach of an offensive operation.
- CON - Decloaking does not seem to apply bonus damage to area of effect weapons like Rockets and Grenades. This also makes the Grenadier ability useless in the perspective of this armor.
- CON - Unlike Mimetic Skin, Ghost Armor ghosting does not require the use of cover, this enables placing the soldier at locations where there is no cover and still being cloaked (until decloaked) which in turn disrupts tactics with Will to Survive.
- PRO - Like written above, with Ghost Armor a soldier does not require cover to cloak, albeit does it only for a round and can only 4 times. This finite quantity however rarely seems to be an issue.
- PRO - Being a heavy damage dealer at crucial times makes cloaked positioning really useful.
- PRO - With Bullet Swarm, can cloak or grapple after the first shot.
- PRO - Decloaking damage bonus stacks with HEAT Ammo.
- PRO - Decloaking damage bonus applies to both shots of Rapid Reaction.
- PRO - The movement bonus is a great addition to placing the heavy soldier into strategically needed spots, especially considering his rather low class aim stats.
- PRO - Grapple allows the soldier to gain the high ground in a frontline assault, offsetting the class's inherently low Aim.
- CON - By not being so much a frontline soldier as the Assault or Heavy, has less need for scouting invisibility in front or decloaking at a tactical location in a firefight. Additionally, if used for Suppression, and having Smoke Grenades, the Support is likely too active to stay cloaked.
- CON - Throwing a Smoke Grenade while not an offensive action, still decloaks the user.
- CON - Deep Pockets further distances the Support from useful cloaking with the class' activity level.
- PRO - Ghosting helps medic-themed rescues, and works fantastic with Medikits, Field Medic, Revive, Saviour, and marginally Deep Pockets.
- PRO - The movement bonus stacks with Sprinter, and further helps non-offensive actions like medical operations.
- PRO - Decloaking damage bonus works with Covering Fire. This can help perhaps kill an attacker before it actually manages to fire.
- PRO - Decloaking damage bonus works with both shots of Sentinel. This is the most frequent way a Support soldier can deal additional damage, not including the rival Mimetic Skin.
- PRO - Decloaking damage bonus and Combat Drugs both are suitable for better combat performance catalysts.
- PRO - Defense bonus stacks with Smoke Grenade, Smoke and Mirrors, and Dense Smoke.
- PRO - Movement boost means the Support can cover the most distance at one time aside from a MEC Trooper with the Kinetic Strike Module. When a mission requires getting somewhere fast, such as to rescue civilians/covert operatives, disarm bomb power nodes or collect Meld, a Support is the best choice to get there and the cloak can keep them safe while doing it.
- CON - Snipers who prefer to stay back out of harm's way have little use for cloaking. This is most often the case with snipers who choose Squadsight.
- CON - A Sniper using Low Profile and Mimetic Skin can turn invisible infinitely without using Ghost Armor.
- CON - If not taking the HP difference into consideration, a Sniper using a Skeleton Suit also has a Grappling Hook before obtaining better armor. So there is no need for Ghost Armor.
- CON - Having a Battle Scanner and ghosting together might be considered redundant for a soldier.
- PRO - Movement bonus and Grapple make the search for a good sniper nest easier. For Snap Shot users this makes positioning easier for every firefight; Squadsight snipers may make better use of it than the Archangel Armor's jetpack in tight maps with very few uninterrupted sightlines like urban areas or Battleships.
- PRO - Grappling to a high perch activates Damn Good Ground against aliens in lower levels.
- PRO - Decloaking damage bonus works with Headshot. This has significant results.
- PRO - Decloaking damage bonus works with Gunslinger, a close range buff which it might need.
- PRO - Decloaking damage bonus works with Disabling Shot, although this might do more than the desired damage when capturing live specimens.
- PRO - Decloaking damage bonus works with Executioner.
- PRO - Decloaking damage bonus works with Opportunist.
- PRO - Decloaking damage bonus works with Double Tap.
|XCOM: Enemy Unknown Armor|
|Body Armor||Archangel Armor • Body Armor • Carapace Armor • Ghost Armor • Psi Armor • Skeleton Suit • Titan Armor|
|Other||Chitin Plating • Nano-Fiber Vest • Respirator Implant|