Meld is a new resource introduced in XCOM: Enemy Within.

XCOM DatabaseEdit

XComEW Meld recovery
Certain alien operations involve canisters containing this mysterious substance. Recovering it is a priority; it provides access to powerful technologies. The canisters will self-destruct if not recovered in a timely manner. They can also be destroyed by routine battle damage.

– XCOM Database, XCOM: Enemy Within


This mysterious alien substance is a suspension made up of billions of cybernetic nanomachines. These nanites are each made of organic and mechanical components. Dubbed "Meld" by both Dr. Shen and Dr. Vahlen, it is designed to combine different organic materials with one another, or to interface both organic and mechanical elements.


XComEW Meld Canister

Meld Canister

Meld is found in containers that need to be captured and it will be present in most mission types: Abductions, Crashed UFO and Landed UFO missions. Two Meld canisters will be randomly located on the map, one in an easy to reach spot (near the deployment zone) and one hard spot. Each Meld canister will contain 10 Meld.

Meld canisters have a self-destruct timer that will destroy the resource if not reached quickly enough; a Meld canister can be destroyed without exploding but loses its high cover status. The self-destruct timers start at the beginning of the match but are not known to the player until a canister is spotted; each canister has its own individual timer (~5 turns for an easy canister and ~10 turns for a hard canister).

Meld is collected similar to deactivating power nodes in Bomb Disposal missions (free action once a soldier moves next to it). Meld is also recovered by clearing the map of all aliens before the timers run out.

A Meld canister can send out a faint sound and an orange visual direction indicator at the beginning of the turn, similar to noises and blue indicator for unseen aliens.


Recovering Meld opens up a new research project called Meld Recombination. Upon completion this project opens up two new base facilities: Genetics Lab and Cybernetics Lab. In the Genetic Lab, Meld can be used to grant your soldiers super-human abilities through Gene Mods. In the Cybernetics Lab, Meld can be used to transform your soldiers into MEC Troopers and to build MECs for them to use in combat.

Gene mods vs. MECs Edit

If a MEC trooper dies, most of the meld cost is redeemable through recovery of the MEC. However, Meld can be doled out in smaller amounts through gene mods, and a fully modded soldier costs less than a maxed-out MEC.


  • In addition to canisters, 5 Meld can also be recovered for each Mechtoid or Heavy Floater killed in a mission (unless killed by explosives).
  • Occasionally a Meld canister will "beep" at the start of a turn and show the player where it is, even if it is too far away to be seen.
  • If the players looks carefully they can frequently see the canister silhouettes through the fog of war.
    • Meld canisters are one of the few environmental objects that are animated. The player should look for the rotating component through the fog of war.  
    • By selecting a Sniper's Battle Scanner ability's Free Aiming mode, it is possible to roam around the nearby fog of war using the deployment radius to easily highlight and find Meld canisters, without actually throwing the Battle Scanner.
  • A Meld canister requires one free action to recover the Meld. A canister with only one turn left is effectively lost if no soldier is capable of reaching it within one movement action unless the mission is completed before the turn ends or a soldier who has activated Run & Gun dashes up to the canister and harvests it prior to doing anything else. Another way to describe it, is that the soldier must have an unused action available in order to harvest the canister, but the act of harvesting the canister does not consume that action.
    • It is not possible to recover Meld if the soldier is even one step below or above a canister despite being adjacent to it; the option to harvest it will not function properly.
    • A soldier can recover Meld from the other side of a completely blocked off wall if they are adjacent to it; the Meld is harvested as though the wall isn't there.
  • While offering full cover, a Meld canister is very weak and easily destroyed by even the most insignificant damage. Prior to harvesting, it should be treated as last resort cover, second only to the valuable but explosive UFO Power Sources. However, if the soldier can reach it within one move action, the Meld can then be collected, and either use the second move action to retreat, or continue fight while using the empty canister as cover.
  • A Meld canister can be destroyed after the Meld inside is harvested, which will prompt a complaint from Dr. Vahlen. However, despite the complaint, there is no penalty for destruction of empty canisters; the Meld is considered already collected, and is not lost.
  • The Meld inside all non-destroyed Meld canisters will be automatically collected when the operation ends, regardless of whether or not the player has seen them.
  • In the Meld Tutorial mission, the easy canister does not have a self-destruct mechanism, giving the player infinite turns to collect it, and it is always in a fixed position on the map.


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