'XCOM 2' New Enemy Guide: Tips And Tricks For Vipers, Codex, Faceless And More

XCOM 2 - Loading Screen
Not everyone diving into XCOM 2 is already familiar with the vaunted franchise. So we've rounded up some advice for those whose first experience with the XCOM series comes via XCOM 2. Photo: 2K / Firaxis

This XCOM 2 new enemy guide is intended for players struggling with the early game. So if you’re past the 20-hour mark and getting bruised by the advanced baddies, check back with us soon for an update. But if you’re like us and just getting into the game after launch then this guide will help you understand the new enemy threats on the XCOM 2 battlefield, and how to mop the floor with this hybrid alien scum (sorry, we’re venting).

new enemy xcom 2 viper
Poison ass biatch. Photo: Firaxis

Vipers: Construct concealment/overwatch traps if you can. Vipers shoot poison, strangle soldiers and are tricky to kill once they let loose on the battlefield. Make killing them a priority as they die easy when taken by surprise.

new enemy xcom 2 faceless
Two stories worth of angry alien pancake batter. Photo: Firaxis

Faceless: These big brutes don’t care about cover, but are better at dodging overwatch than you’d think. Distance is your friend here so if a Faceless pops up fall back, shoot, repeat. Avoid high elevation though. The melee attack will smash buildings and you’ll take fall damage in addition to being plopped in front of the hulking monster.

new enemy xcom 2 muton
Big. Mean. Tough. Flammable. Photo: Firaxis

Mutons: Do NOT melee. Mutons have a devastating counterattack that will all-but-kill your ranger and leave them exposed. Keep troops spread apart too, Mutons have grenades and will toss them if they can get 2+ soldiers in the blast radius. Flanking with a ranger and getting a good shotgun blast is a great start to taking these guys out quickly. They’re susceptible to burn, poison and acid rounds too so try to get a hit from one of those in early.

new enemy xcom 2 langer
Stunning, and not in the good way. Photo: Firaxis

ADVENT Stun Lancers: They tend to target Snipers, so giving your sharpshooters the Return Fire perk means that any Stun Lancer that attacks one will suffer at least 2-3 damage as a result. With only six health this means they’re half-dead once your new turn starts and a much easier threat to manage, especially if your sniper happens to be alone on a roof somewhere. There’s no running from them, but they don’t GAF about overwatch and will run into danger.

ADVENT Shieldbreakers: These troops generate a three-point shield on all enemies in its field of vision. So, even more so than Vipers, take these guys out first. They’re heavily armored, so shredding with a grenade is a smart opening move otherwise they can absorb lots of hits. The shields dispel after a few turns but can always be renewed.

ADVENT Trooper: Keep an eye on them so you don’t get flanked, but these goons are basically big meat bags for your bullets, especially in overwatch. Also the only enemy that can be killed by a low-level grenade so if you have a cluster of them, blow ‘em up.

new enemy xcom 2 sectoid
Psionic threats are no match for bullets. Photo: Firaxis

Sectoid: Like the weak ass Trooper, Sectoids are susceptible to overwatch hits as they tend to charge into battle instead of finding cover. The best strategy is to draw them into overwatch traps. Don’t panic if they create zombies, the reanimated troops are slow and easy to put down, so don’t make them a priority until they are right on top of a soldier. Be careful of sending rangers off after them as the mind control attack can completely turn the momentum against you when a brainwashed ranger starts one-hit killing your troops with a machete. Flashbang grenades will break the connections to soldiers and zombies, a nice reason to add them to the mission loadout.

xcom 2 new enemy codex
The codex is all-new and all-dangerous. Photo: PCGamesN/Firaxis

Codex: A rarely seen enemy in the early missions the Codex can be a real problem if you don’t address it early. For starters, it teleports and can flank basically anyone at any time. It also clones itself anytime it takes damage but the clone starts with half its creator’s health. Unlike Sectoid zombies, the clone doesn’t die when the original does and clones also create clones when damaged. They’re also immune to status effects (fire, poison, etc). We recommend reloading your save if there are already a number of enemies on the field once you encounter the codex. It takes a focused squad to contain this threat and the Codex will wreak havoc if it's running amok during a pitched battle.

Got any of your own XCOM 2 tips to share? Let us know in the comments!

Join the Discussion
Top Stories