The Pistol is a weapon in XCOM: Enemy Unknown.


As with all conventional weapons, the Pistol is available at the beginning of the game. Supply is unlimited.

Tactical Info[]

▪  A sidearm with limited tactical value
▪  Useful for when a soldier's main weapon is out of ammo,
   or otherwise unusable
– Tactical Info, XCOM: Enemy Unknown

Foundry Upgrades[]

Upgrade Effect Adjusted Spec.
Improved Pistol I +20 Critical Chance Crit Chance: 20%
Improved Pistol II +10 Aim Applied to wielder
Improved Pistol III +1 Damage Base Damage: 2 - 3
Crit Damage: 3 - 4


  • The Pistol's Critical Damage is incorrectly listed as 2-4 in XCOM: Enemy Within.
  • The Pistol is useful for finishing off weakened enemies while conserving ammunition for the soldier's main weapon, or in case said primary weapon is empty.
  • In addition to serving as a backup weapon, the Pistol is useful for weakening aliens for live capture before the Improved Arc Thrower Foundry project is conducted. If other weaponry is upgraded before the project is completed, it can become difficult to accurately leave them with the right amount of health. Pistols can be used to "shave off" health points without killing the alien. Due to this, research of new pistols can be given a lower priority until the Arc Thrower is improved.
  • The Pistol has no range penalties and, in fact, it receives the same aim bonus from close range as the Assault Rifle, so it may have a higher hit percentage than a primary weapon, especially for distant shots with a Shotgun or close range shots with a Sniper Rifle.
  • Snipers on the move will often have to rely on their pistols unless they acquire the Snap Shot ability.
  • Pistols used by Snipers with the Gunslinger perk in combination with the Improved Pistol III upgrade have a total theoretical damage of Base 4-5 and Crit 5-7, rivaling the Assault Rifle.
  • The pistol is also known as "the Humiliator", considering it is the weakest weapon in the game.