What would appear to be a single entity is actually a swarm of tiny, robotic units working in close coordination to maintain a cohesive form.

–Richard Tygan

The Spectre is an alien enemy introduced in XCOM 2: War of the Chosen. They are thousands of small nanomachines grouped together into a humanoid shape. They are first seen in May.


Similar to the Codex, the Spectre is a mechanical entity in the shape of a humanoid. They are primarily black and reflective, with streaks of green within the creases of its armor. Spectres carry a standard issue plasma rifle functionally identical to the Codex's, but later improve damage output in their M2 form.


  • Vanish - The Spectre can enter concealment. The Spectre will reappear when it takes a non-movement action or if it is flanked.
  • Shadowbind - The Spectre travels to a nearby humanoid and knocks it Unconscious, spawning a Shadow clone with identical stats and equipment. Killing the Shadow will revive the knocked out target, and killing the Spectre will kill the Shadow. Soldiers can be revived with Revival Protocol, but the Shadow will remain.
  • Horror - The Spectre launches a projectile dealing psionic damage, restoring health equal to the damage done. This attack also decreases the target's will, usually putting them into Panic.
  • Lightning Reflexes - The first reaction shot taken at the Spectre in a turn will miss.


  • The Spectre is vulnerable to Bluescreen Rounds and EMP Grenades.
  • The Spectre cannot be hacked, is immune to all mental effects and attacks that requires it to pass a Will test, and does not take bonus damage from Combat Protocol or Whiplash.
    • Attacks that require a biological target but do not test Will, such as Soulfire, can be used against the Spectre.
  • A Spectre will always attempt to use Shadowbind with its first turn. If there are multiple Spectres, only one will use Shadowbind during a given turn, while the others Vanish in order to get into position to take shots.
    • Shadowbind only costs a single action. A Spectre will use its remaining action to move away or into cover. Shadows produced by Shadowbind get a free movement action when they are created as well.
  • The Spectre can be damaged with reaction fire if multiple reaction shots are taken.


  • Because the Spectre cannot be hacked and is immune to Insanity and Domination, the Spectre is the only normal enemy unit in the game that cannot be controlled by XCOM.
  • Spectres only leave their humanoid shape when moving. The Spectre will always maintain its shape otherwise, even when it is killed.
  • Previously, if the Shadow of a humanoid unit was in Stasis when its corresponding Spectre dies, the unconscious soldier would not automatically revive. This was later patched in the 2017 Fall Update.