Launch is an ability used by Floaters and Heavy Floaters in XCOM: Enemy Unknown.

Move anywhere on the battlefield in a single turn. Launch cannot be used indoors.

– In-Game Description, XCOM: Enemy Unknown


This ability is typically used by a Floater or Heavy Floater get into a flanking position to one or more soldiers. As the alien will be unable to attack after using Launch, any unit flanked will typically have a turn to reposition or to kill the ambusher; the threat posed by this ability is further limited by the fact that it is rare for more than one alien in a given patrol to use Launch at a time. It is also possible for a Floater or a Heavy Floater to occasionally use Launch to perform a rapid retreat out of your squad's Line of Sight.


  • If a Floater is Mind Controlled during the final mission it can Launch all the way to the final chamber. This is not recommended as the game is programmed to open doors after certain enemies are defeated, and by bypassing them it basically locks the rest of the troops out, thus forcing you to either kill the boss with the Floaters (unlikely), restart, or kill your soldiers if in Ironman mode.
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