For alternate versions of this enemy in other XCOM games, see Sectoid.

The Sectoid is the first alien enemy encountered in XCOM: Enemy Unknown.


Sectoids are weak and die quickly against experienced soldiers, but are still dangerous early in the campaign. They are usually found in groups of two or three, alongside other enemies like Thin Men or Floaters. They are intelligent enough to use cover and flanking tactics, unlike some aliens. As the campaign progresses, they are largely phased out in favor of more dangerous foes.

According to autopsy reports, their unusual structure suggests that Sectoids are genetically manipulated and their identical genetic info implies that they are cloned.

They also posses the ability to Mind Merge with one another, increasing their health and combat effectiveness. However, one of the large downsides to this ability is if the Sectoid that initiates the Mind Merge dies, the other linked alien soldier dies as well.


Sectoids are the first enemies to appear in the game. Their chance of being deployed declines from April to July (or April to October if the "Marathon" Second Wave option is enabled), however this is partially negated by supplemental Sectoids that escort Mechtoids beginning in June (Marathon: August). Sectoids can be deployed for most mission types, but are not encountered during Terror Site missions.


Ability Description
Mind Merge  Mind Merge Merge minds with the target, granting the target +25% critical chance, +25 Will and +1 health. Merged subject dies automatically if merging Sectoid dies in the same turn Mind Merge is initiated.
Suppression  Suppression Can fire a special shot that grants reaction fire at a single target. The target also suffers a -30 Aim penalty.



Tactical analysis[]

  • Sectoids generally behave as appropriate to their role as light infantry. They will take cover wherever possible and engage in combat tactics such as flanking, suppressing, and Overwatching.
  • Sectoids will use Mind Merge where possible. It is a bread and butter tactic of theirs to Mind Merge (while the initiator stays back) and to have the buffed Sectoid advance toward the enemy. Counteract this by targeting the initiator; even if they are in cover, one can throw a simple grenade or launch a rocket to finish them without problem.
  • Sectoids have infinite ammunition on account of them using a Pistol-class weapon so they will never have to sacrifice a turn reloading unlike XCOM soldiers.
    • Despite this, the Sectoid can still be affected by Disabling Shot, and will need to "reload" to bring its pistol back online.
  • Sectoids are quite brave for their frail stature and weak stats; they will often storm XCOM positions if they lack eyes on a target. This can be exploited for easy Overwatch kills.
  • All pistols and the Assault Rifle are the only weapons that have a chance of not instantly killing Sectoids (except on Impossible difficulty).


  • Sectoids are the cheapest units in multiplayer, at just 400 points. They are armed with nothing but a Plasma Pistol and the ability to Mind Merge.
  • Sectoids, despite their small size, don't have Low Profile, and thus 0 defense. They are as easy to hit as any other target.
  • Sectoids have only 3 HP. Only the Assault Rifle and standard Pistols won't instantly kill one unless they score a critical hit.
  • Sectoids may Mind Merge to grant +1 HP and critical chance to an ally; though killing the merge initiator will instantly kill both units. One can Mind Merge with any unit, even an XCOM elite; this is a very bad idea due to how easy it is to kill the Sectoid.
  • Sectoids are best used as disposable scouts, Overwatch drawers, and cheap squad-rounders; they have just 3 health, an unimpressive weapon, average aim, very poor Will and a weak psychic ability.
  • A good strategy is to use a high-ranked Sniper (ideally one with a Plasma Sniper Rifle and Archangel Armor) and several Sectoids. As Sectoids are so cheap, there is plenty of space freed up for customizing the Sniper. On the first turn, simply make the Sniper hover in the air (hovering does not consume fuel), and move the Sectoids forward, strategically hunkering down and Mind Merging where needed instead of attacking the enemy. Simply let the Sniper take out the enemies from highest threat to lowest- the Plasma Sniper Rifle will instantly pulp most units.
  • Practically any unit can counter a Sectoid. Even the weak Poison Spit of a Thin Man will eventually kill a Sectoid if it is not healed.


  • In the original UFO: Enemy Unknown, Sectoids had visible nostrils, a mouth, pale/grey skin and displayed an upright, human-like posture.  In comparison to their 1994 predecessors, Sectoids in XCOM: Enemy Unknown have a more beastly appearance and pattern of movement, strongly resembling the Dover Demon.
    • A classic Sectoid can be seen during the cutscene following the initial Laser Rifle manufacture, as the target shot by the tester.
  • Their autopsy codename is "Roswell", a reference to their likeness to the classic Grey alien. 
  • According to the Uber Ethereal, Sectoids were the first species to be "uplifted", and although they showed psionic promise, their cowardice and frailty kept them from developing further. 

See also[]

  • Sectoid Commander - a superior version of the Sectoid wielding potent psionic powers.