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A good gun is a soldier's best friend.

Weapons, primarily firearms and explosives, are used in combat by XCOM soldiers and most aliens in XCOM: Enemy Unknown, as well as EXALT's paramilitary agents in XCOM: Enemy Within.

Soldiers equip weapons based on their class, which can be seen in the Barracks or while selecting a squad for a mission. Alien species always make use of the same weapon(s) with the exception of the Muton (see Alien Weaponry below). While weapons can be captured from aliens which have been stunned by the Arc Thrower or had the difficulty turned down to a point where their health value becomes 0, they cannot be used until the associated research project has been completed. Newly researched weapons become available for production in Engineering whereas conventional weapons (available by default) are already stocked in unlimited quantities.

Weapon Types[]

Soldiers carry a primary weapon, secondary weapon, and an item (two with Tactical Rigging in XCOM: Enemy Within). Primary weapons are a soldier's main source of firepower in combat; they include rifles, sniper rifles, shotguns, and LMGs. Secondary weapons vary; they include pistols, rocket launchers, and a wide range of tactical subsystems available to MEC Troopers that are installed directly to a MECEW. A soldier's item slot can hold a variety of grenades, a S.C.O.P.E. to improve equipped weapons, or an Arc Thrower to capture live aliens, among other useful equipment.

Technology Level[]

On occasion a class ability (such as the Sniper's Headshot or a Heavy's Mayhem) is related to the weapon's technology level. These are, in order:

XCOM Weaponry[]

The following is a list of weapons available to XCOM forces in XCOM: Enemy Unknown and XCOM: Enemy Within.

Pistols[]

Usable by Rookie-ranked soldiers, as well as the Assault, Sniper and Support classes.

Pistols

Rookies Assault Class Sniper Class Support Class Aliens

Weapon Base Damage Crit Damage Crit Chance Range
Pistol Pistol 1 to 2 2 to 3 0% Medium
Laser Pistol Laser Pistol 1 to 3 3 to 4 10% Medium
Plasma Pistol Plasma Pistol 2 to 4 4 to 6 0% Medium

Notes[]

Rifles[]

Usable by Rookie-ranked soldiers, as well as the Assault and Support classes.

Rifles

Rookies Assault Class Support Class Aliens

Weapon Base Damage Crit Damage Crit Chance Range
Assault Rifle Assault Rifle 2 - 4 4 - 6 10% Short
Laser Rifle Laser Rifle 4 - 6 7 - 9 10% Medium
Light Plasma Rifle Light Plasma Rifle 4 - 6 7 - 9 10% Medium
Plasma Rifle Plasma Rifle 6 - 8 10 - 12 10% Medium

Notes[]

  • Light Plasma Rifle has a +10 Aim bonus.

Sniper Rifles[]

Usable by Sniper class soldiers only.

Sniper Rifles

Sniper Class

Weapon Base Damage Crit Damage Crit Chance Range
Sniper Rifle Sniper Rifle 3 - 5 6 - 7 25% Long
Laser Sniper Rifle Laser Sniper Rifle 5 - 7 9 - 10 30% Long
Plasma Sniper Rifle Plasma Sniper Rifle 8 - 10 13 - 15 35% Long

Notes[]

  • Unlike other weapons, the accuracy of a sniper rifle decreases the closer the target is.
  • Sniper rifles have the highest critical hit chance available to XCOM.
  • A sniper rifle cannot be fired after the soldier wielding it moves unless the soldier has received special training.

Shotguns[]

Usable by Assault class soldiers only.

Shotguns

Assault Class

Weapon Base Damage Crit Damage Crit Chance Range
Shotgun Shotgun 3 - 5 6 - 7 20% Short
Scatter Laser Scatter Laser 5 - 7 9 - 10 20% Short
Alloy Cannon Alloy Cannon 8 - 10 13 - 15 20% Short

Notes[]

  • Shotguns have the smallest effective range of all primary weapon types, being subjected to an Aim penalty over long distances. In contrast, the Aim bonus at close range is doubled.
  • Shotguns have the second highest critical hit chance available to XCOM.

Light Machine Guns[]

Usable by Heavy class soldiers only.

Light Machine Guns

Heavy Class Aliens

Weapon Base Damage Crit Damage Crit Chance Range
LMG LMG 3 - 5 6 - 7 0% Medium
Heavy Laser Heavy Laser 5 - 7 9 - 10 0% Medium
Heavy Plasma Heavy Plasma 8 - 10 13 - 15 0% Medium

Notes[]

  • Heavy weapons have the second lowest ammo capacity in the game, permitting only three shots per reload. The Ammo Conservation Foundry upgrade allows three additional shots per reload.
  • LMGs have the lowest critical hit chance of all primary weapon types.
  • LMGs have the highest terrain damage of all primary weapon types.

Rocket Launchers[]

Usable by Heavy class soldiers only.

Rocket Launchers

Heavy Class

Weapon Base Damage Crit Damage Crit Chance Range
Rocket Launcher Rocket Launcher 6 N/A N/A High
Blaster Launcher Blaster Launcher 9 N/A N/A High

Notes[]

  • Default limit of one ammo.
  • Ammo count, damage area and special effects can be changed or added via abilities.

MEC Primary Weapons[]

Usable by MEC Troopers only.

MEC Primary

MEC Troopers

Weapon Base Damage Crit Damage Crit Chance Range
Minigun Minigun EW 4 - 6 7 - 9 10% Medium
Railgun Railgun EW 6 - 8 10 - 12 10% Medium
Particle Cannon Particle Cannon EW 9 - 11 15 - 16 10% Medium

Notes[]

MEC Tactical Subsystems[]

Tactical subsystems are secondary systems integrated into a MEC, to be used by a MEC Trooper along with their primary weapon.

Tactical Subsystems

MEC Troopers

Tactical Subsystem Base Damage Crit Damage Crit Chance Blast Radius MEC
Electro Pulse EW 5 N/A N/A 4 MEC-3
Flamethrower EW 6 N/A N/A Cone MEC-1
Grenade Launcher EW 4 N/A N/A 3 MEC-2
Kinetic Strike Module EW 12 18 0% Melee MEC-1
Proximity Mine Launcher EW 8 N/A N/A 2 MEC-3

Notes[]

  • Electro Pulse stuns Robotic enemies for one turn in addition to inflicting damage.
  • Jellied Elerium upgrades the Flamethrower to 9 damage.
  • The Alien Grenades Foundry project increases the Grenade Launcher's damage to 5.
  • The Kinetic Strike Module can be increased to 18 base damage and can be used twice per turn with the MEC Close Combat Foundry upgrade.
  • The Expanded Storage ability allows an additional use of the Grenade Launcher, Proximity Mine Launcher, and Restorative Mist.

Other Tactical Subsystems:

Grenades[]

Usable by Rookie-ranked soldiers and every class except MEC Troopers, through the use of an item slot. (MEC Troopers have a Grenade Launcher tactical subsystem instead.)

Grenades

Rookies Assault Class Heavy Class Sniper Class Support Class Aliens

Weapon Damage Blast Radius Duration
Frag Grenade Frag Grenade 3 2 N/A
Alien Grenade Alien Grenade 5 2 N/A
Needle Grenade Needle Grenade EW 3 5 N/A
Gas Grenade Gas Grenade EW 1 2 3
Flashbang Grenade Flashbang Grenade EW 0 2 2

Notes[]

  • Needle Grenades have a large blast radius, but the projectiles do not pass through cover.
  • Gas Grenades poison all units in the blast radius: -20 Aim penalty and -1 HP per turn for 3 turns.
  • Flashbang Grenades inflict a -50 Aim and -50% Movement penalty for 2 turns. No friendly fire.

Other Grenades[]

Weapon Comparison Chart[]

The following weapons are available to XCOM personnel:

Weapon Dmg Min Dmg Max Crit Min Crit Max Crit % Range Rookies Assault Class Heavy Class Sniper Class Support Class MEC Troopers
Pistol Pistol 1 2 2 3 0% Medium
Laser Pistol Laser Pistol 1 3 3 4 10% Medium
Plasma Pistol Plasma Pistol 2 4 4 6 0% Medium
Assault Rifle Assault Rifle 2 4 4 6 10% Short
Laser Rifle Laser Rifle 4 6 7 9 10% Medium
Light Plasma Rifle Light Plasma Rifle 4 6 7 9 10% Medium
Plasma Rifle Plasma Rifle 6 8 10 12 10% Medium
Sniper Rifle Sniper Rifle 3 5 6 7 25% Long
Laser Sniper Rifle Laser Sniper Rifle 5 7 9 10 30% Long
Plasma Sniper Rifle Plasma Sniper Rifle 8 10 13 15 35% Long
Shotgun Shotgun 3 5 6 7 20% Short
Scatter Laser Scatter Laser 5 7 9 10 20% Medium
Alloy Cannon Alloy Cannon 8 10 13 15 20% Medium
LMG LMG 3 5 6 7 0% Medium
Heavy Laser Heavy Laser 5 7 9 10 0% Medium
Heavy Plasma Heavy Plasma 8 10 13 15 0% Medium
Rocket Launcher Rocket Launcher 6 6 - - - Medium
Blaster Launcher Blaster Launcher 9 9 - - - Medium
Minigun Minigun EW 4 6 7 9 10% Medium
Railgun Railgun EW 6 8 10 12 10% Medium
Particle Cannon Particle Cannon EW 9 11 15 16 10% Medium
Frag Grenade Frag Grenade 3 3 - - - -
Alien Grenade Alien Grenade 5 5 - - - -
Needle Grenade Needle Grenade EW 3 3 - - - -

Alien Weaponry[]

Plasma[]

A number of alien species are equipped with plasma-based weaponry equivalent to XCOM's:

Plasma Pistol Plasma Pistol: Sectoid, Sectoid Commander, Seeker
Light Plasma Rifle Light Plasma Rifle:    Floater, Outsider, Thin Man
Plasma Rifle Plasma Rifle: Heavy Floater, Muton
Heavy Plasma Heavy Plasma: Muton Elite
Alien Grenade Alien Grenade: Cyberdisc, Heavy Floater, Muton, Muton Elite, Sectoid Commander

Notes[]

  • Mutons use Light Plasma Rifles when first encountered (in May) before switching to Plasma Rifles for the remainder of the game. This change occurs in June on Classic/Impossible difficulty, or in July on Easy/Normal difficulty.
  • Cyberdiscs, Heavy Floaters, and Muton Elites can throw grenades farther due to their Bombard ability.

In addition, many aliens employ specialized weapons or offensive capabilities that are unavailable to XCOM and unique to their species:

Ranged[]

Weapon Species Base Damage Crit Damage Crit Chance
Chest Cannon Sectopod 9 - 11 15 - 17 10%
Cluster Bomb Sectopod 6 N/A N/A
Cyberdisc Cannon Cyberdisc 7 - 9 12 - 14 25%
Drone Beam Drone 1 - 3 3 - 5 10%
Plasma Mini-cannon Mechtoid EW 6 - 8 10 - 12 0%

Melee[]

Weapon Species Base Damage Crit Damage Crit Chance
Chryssalid Claw Chryssalid 6 11 20%
Muton Blade Berserker 9 13 33%
Zombie Fist Zombie 8 N/A N/A

EXALT Weaponry[]

EXALT initially uses conventional weapons before upgrading to beam weapons. Name and outward appearance aside, their weapons are identical in stats and function to XCOM's weapons.

Encountered EXALT armaments can be on par with up to XCOM's laser weaponry. As they don't possess Plasma-based gear, a sufficiently-upgraded team can easily outgun them in combat.

Weapon Base Damage Crit Damage Crit Chance Range
EXALT Assault Rifle EXALT Assault Rifle 2 - 4 4 - 6 10% Short
EXALT Laser Assault Rifle EXALT Laser Assault Rifle 4 - 6 7 - 9 10% Medium
EXALT Sniper Rifle EXALT Sniper Rifle 3 - 5 6 - 7 25% Long
EXALT Laser Sniper Rifle EXALT Laser Sniper Rifle 5 - 7 9 - 10 30% Long
EXALT LMG EXALT LMG 3 - 5 6 - 7 0% Medium
EXALT Heavy Laser EXALT Heavy Laser 5 - 7 9 - 10 0% Medium
EXALT Rocket Launcher EXALT Rocket Launcher 6 N/A N/A Long

Range Bonuses and Penalties[]

Weapons are subject to Aim bonuses and/or penalties, based on the weapon type and distance from the target.

  Pistols Rifles Sniper Rifles Shotguns LMGs
Aim Bonus
Aim Penalty
Range Bonuses
Pistols, Rifles, LMGs
Distance 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Aim +37 +33 +28 +24 +19 +15 +10 +6 +1 0
Shotguns
Distance 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Aim +52 +48 +40 +36 +28 +24 +20 +12 +8 0
Range Penalties
Sniper Rifles
Distance 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Aim -24 -21 -19 -16 -13 -10 -7 -4 -2 0
Shotguns
Distance 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17
Aim 0 -4 -8 -16 -20 -28 -32 -40 (Maximum) [1]


Weapons are zeroed (no Aim bonus or penalty) at a range of 10 tiles. The Aim bonuses and penalties above are based on straight-line distances and cardinal unit positioning. Angled positioning with a Shotgun or Sniper Rifle can result in an Aim bonus/penalty corresponding to values within ±1 tile of the straight-line distance (calculated using Pythagorean theorem).

Bugs[]

  • In XCOM: Enemy Within, critical hit damage may vary from what is listed in a weapon's Tactical Info due to a calculation bug. They may inflict one point less than the indicated minimum, and/or be limited to one point less than the indicated maximum.

Trivia[]

  • EXALT does not utilize shotgun type weapons, nor do they use pistols. Their gear also caps at laser-based weaponry in terms of advancement, therefore no plasma-based EXALT armaments can be seen on the field.
  • Aliens utilize neither shotgun type weapons nor sniper rifle type weapons, although they have some more unique weaponry.
  • A soldier can shoot to any enemy less than 18 tiles away, unless there is some obstacle between him and enemy.

See Also[]

References[]

  1. ASSAULT_LONG_RANGE_MAX_PENALTY = -40, DefaultGameCore.ini file, XCOM: Enemy Unknown (2012)


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