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Overwatch is an ability in XCOM 2.

In-Game DescriptionEdit

Overwatch provides a reactionary shot that targets any hostile unit moving within the available detection range. All XCOM units possess this ability, as do the ADVENT forces and many of the alien species we encounter on the battlefield.


Overwatch is a reactive ability available to all XCOM soldiers (including SPARKS), all ADVENT units, and most aliens (excepting melee aliens). While Overwatch is active, any hostile unit that moves into the unit's shooting range will be attacked with a reaction shot that has a chance to hit the target (this is called a 'reaction shot'). Overwatch remains active until the start of the player's next turn or until the unit takes the reaction shot.

Compared to a standard shot, Overwatch has a default aim penalty. Against a normal enemy, Overwatch has a 0.7 multiplier of base hit chance or 0.6 multiplier against a dashing enemy. This penalty does not apply if the user activated Overwatch while in Concealment.

Rather than triggering all at once on a single target like in Enemy Unknown, Overwatch in XCOM 2 triggers in sequence. Each soldier will fire in turn, choosing a new target if the first is killed, until there are no more valid Overwatch targets.

Overwatch requires a single action, but ends the unit's turn once used.

Abilities that affect or grant OverwatchEdit

  • Overwatch (Concealed) - Overwatch will only trigger if the unit is revealed while Overwatch is active. Does not suffer the standard Overwatch aim penalty.
  • Guardian (Specialist)- If an Overwatch shot successfully hits, there is a 50% chance a second shot will be taken. This stacks on itself.
  • Shadow Step (Ranger) - Unit does not trigger reaction shots.
  • Long Watch (Sharpshooter) - Overwatch can activate at enemies in Squad Sight, rather than in the unit's own range.
  • Covering Fire (Specialist) - Allows Overwatch to be triggered by any enemy action instead of only movement.
  • Threat Assessment (Specialist) - Aid Protocol grants the target a Covering Fire Overwatch shot.
  • Ever Vigilant (Specialist) - Activates Overwatch automatically at the end of the player's turn, if the soldier has dashed (spent both actions on movement).
  • Suppression (Grenadier) - Grants a reaction shot if the target of Suppression moves.
  • Kill Zone (Sharpshooter) - Grants Covering Fire Overwatch in a cone area that can be triggered any time a hostile unit enters the cone.
  • Waylay (Skirmisher) - Overwatch can trigger as many times as there were remaining actions before entering Overwatch.


  • Overwatch will trigger on enemy Mind Controlled units.
  • Grappling will not trigger Overwatch (or Suppression) if the end position of the grappling unit is not within the line of sight.
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