XCOM-EU Soldiers Class - Sniper.pngXEU ClassSniper.png

The Sniper Class is a soldier class in XCOM: Enemy Unknown.

The primary role of the Sniper Class is providing long range standoff, force multiplier and supporting Overwatch against enemy units. Their ability to precisely place a round where needed greatly enhances the survivability of the squad, reduces collateral damage, and increases mission success.

XCOM Database[]

Specialized in dealing large amounts of damage from extreme range, the Sniper is an invaluable resource for both scouting and surgical elimination of enemy units. Please note: Snipers are not suited for close-quarters combat without supplemental training.

–XCOM Database, XCOM: Enemy Unknown

Tactical Description[]

Main article: Sniper Class (XCOM: Enemy Unknown)/Guides

The primary role of the Sniper Class is to devote special attention to the military coup d'œil, to quickly kill high-valued targets, and to dispose of retreating or flanking hostile elements. Every "kill confirmed" alien directly translates into one less -dead- XCOM soldier. The unique characteristic of the class is the focus on long range combat: unlike other weapons, sniper rifles have greater accuracy at long distance, and suffer reduced accuracy (up to 25%) at close and mid range.

Available abilities allow snipers to develop into two general types — Recon and Overwatch.

Recon is optimized for "high-variance missions" involving rapid movement and close-quarters combat (such as UFO and Target Extraction). Overwatch excels at "low-variance missions" involving open terrain, choke points and "sniper nests" (such as Alien Abductions and the Alien Base).


The Sniper class can be equipped with sniper rifles and pistols. They tend to rely on their pistols as backup weapons more often than any other class, so they should be the first to receive upgraded pistols.

Sniper Rifles[]

Weapon Base Damage Crit Damage Crit Chance Range
Sniper Rifle  Sniper Rifle 3 - 5 6 - 8 25% Long
Laser Sniper Rifle  Laser Sniper Rifle 5 - 7 9 - 11 30% Long
Plasma Sniper Rifle  Plasma Sniper Rifle 8 - 10 14 - 16 35% Long
Source: Tactical Info, XCOM: Enemy Within

Foundry Upgrades


Weapon Base Damage Crit Damage Crit Chance Range
Pistol  Pistol 1 - 2 2 - 4 0% Medium
Laser Pistol  Laser Pistol 1 - 3 3 - 5 10% Medium
Plasma Pistol  Plasma Pistol 2 - 4 5 - 7 0% Medium
Source: Tactical Info, XCOM: Enemy Within

Class Abilities[]

When a soldier is promoted, certain ranks allow the player to choose one of two abilities for the soldier.

Rank Abilities Description
XEU Sniper Headshot.png  Headshot Fire a shot with +30% critical chance and extra damage on critical hits, based on the tech level of the sniper rifle. 2 turn cool down.
XEU Sniper SnapShot.png  Snap Shot Removes the sniper rifle's restriction on firing and Overwatch after moving. Any shots taken suffer a -20 Aim (-10 Aim in XCOM: Enemy Within) penalty.
XEU Sniper Squadsight.png  Squadsight Allows firing at targets in an ally's sight radius. (In XCOM: Enemy Within, these targets cannot be critically hit unless using Headshot.)
XEU Sniper Gunslinger.png  Gunslinger Confers 2 bonus damage with pistols.
XEU Sniper DamnGoodGround.png  Damn Good Ground Confers +10 Aim and +10 Defense against enemies at lower elevation, in addition to the usual elevation bonuses.
XEU Sniper DisablingShot.png  Disabling Shot Allows the Sniper to fire a shot that causes the target's main weapon to malfunction. The target may use Reload to fix the weapon. The shot cannot inflict a critical hit. 2 turn cooldown.
XEU Sniper BattleScanner.png  Battle Scanner Scanning device that, when thrown, creates a new source of vision for 2 turns. Can only be used 2 times per battle.
XEU Sniper Executioner.png  Executioner Confers +10 Aim against targets with less than 50% health.
XEU Sniper Opportunist.png  Opportunist Eliminates the Aim penalty on reaction shots, and allows reaction shots to cause critical hits.
XEU Sniper LowProfile.png  Low Profile Makes partial cover count as full.
In The Zone.png  In The Zone Killing a flanked or uncovered target with the sniper rifle does not cost an action.
XEU Sniper DoubleTap.png  Double Tap Allows both actions to be used for Standard Shot, Headshot, or Disabling Shot, provided no moves were made. The second shot must be taken immediately after the first. 1 turn cooldown.

Second Wave[]

Hidden Potential : 3-9 Aim per level for Sniper

Training Roulette: Each soldier's training tree is mostly randomly generated.

Only Sniper : Headshot (LV1), Snap Shot (LV2), Squadsight (LV2), Disable Shot (LV4)

Indep : Gunslinger (LV3) , Damn Good Ground (LV3), Battle Scanner (LV4), Executioner (LV5), Opportunist (LV5), Low Profile (LV6)


  • Snap Shot and Double Tap - If a Sniper acquires both of these abilities, then the second shot from Double Tap will be affected by Snap Shot movement penalty.
  • Overwatch - After moving, a Sniper without Snap Shot can only Overwatch with a pistol. After selecting Overwatch, the Sniper may switch back to a sniper rifle and reaction fire animation will be performed with the rifle, despite the fact that Overwatch with a rifle is not possible. This requires at least one of your other soldiers to have an unused action. (Tested on XCOM: Enemy Within and XCOM: Enemy Unknown single player)
  • With Second Wave options Not Created Equal and Hidden Potential active, A Sniper can have as high as 143 base aim at Colonel rank. High enough to hit most enemies in full cover with 100% accuracy with a standard shot or headshot, or all enemies if the Sniper has Height Advantage.


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