reaction shot is a gameplay mechanic in XCOM: Enemy Unknown.


A reaction shot is taken by a soldier or alien in response to an action taken by an enemy unit; they can be triggered in and out of turn (e.g. a soldier can fire a reaction shot during the alien's turn). Reaction shots incur a 0.7x Aim modifier penalty and typically have a 0% Critical chance unless the soldier is an Opportunist. Although most commonly associated with Overwatch, reaction shots can also be activated by several other abilities.

Related Abilities[]

Listed below are all abilities interactive with reaction shot:






MEC Trooper:


Case Examples[]

The following are examples of cases where it is not easily distinguished how the reaction shots will play out. These should help clarify the descriptions of the abilities somewhat. Training Roulette is not considered, along with Aiming Angles and Absolutely Critical.

  • Consider a Rookie soldier positioned in sight of an alien who is in full cover behind an object with more than one square of width (a wall or truck, for example). The Rookie goes on Overwatch. If the alien fires (or performs any action without moving), no reaction shot is triggered. If the alien remains behind cover while moving to the other side of the object and re-enters Line-of-Sight, no reaction shot is triggered. If the alien moves out of cover, a reaction shot is triggered - the soldier will fire a shot with reduced Aim and 0% Critical Chance. If the alien suppresses the soldier, and a second alien moves out of cover and into Line-of-Sight of the soldier, no reaction shot is triggered.
  • In this example, consider a Lieutenant Assault soldier with Lightning Reflexes finished his or her second move into cover. An enemy soldier trained with Covering Fire moves into cover in Line-of-Sight, and goes to Overwatch. If the Assault fires, uses Rapid Fire, or uses Flush, the enemy will take a reaction shot with 0% chance to hit and 0% Critical Chance. If the Assault moves, the enemy will take a reaction shot with 0% chance to hit and 0% Critical Chance. If the Assault was not trained with Lightning Reflexes, for the first of the above cases, the enemy would take a reaction shot with reduced Aim in addition to the Assault's cover bonus, and 0% Critical Chance. A similar situation arises with an Assault with Lightning Reflexes firing on a MEC Trooper with Reactive Targeting Sensors - however, this situation cannot be present during a game.
  • Consider a Captain-ranked Sniper with OpportunistDisabling Shot, and Squadsight. This Sniper moves into cover, and on the next turn, goes to Overwatch. If an enemy moves into Line-of-Sight of the Sniper, he or she will take a reaction shot with the standard Aim and Critical Chance values. If the enemy is in Line-of-Sight of the Sniper, but was spotted by another squad member in cover, then he or she will take a reaction shot with the standard Aim value and 0% Critical Chance. Assume the enemy survived the reaction shot, made it to cover, and went on Overwatch. If the Sniper hits the target with a Disabling Shot, and the other squad member moves out of cover, no reaction shot will trigger.