The other day Jez Cordon tweeted out how hard XCOM 2 was.  He’s right it is a very unforgiving game and I’ve been playing some version of XCOM since I was 14 (-or so. Not sure exactly the day I started playing).

Basic Tips

  • always move from cover to cover. If you double up on cover in corners, even better.
  • Overwatch whenever possible.
  • take quality cover over flimsy cover.
  • do not take explosive cover.

Advanced Tips

Base building

  • Guerilla Tactics School should be built asap.  Train up everything possible.
  • Advanced Warfare Center should be built asap. It gives your troops a bonus ability outside their class when they level up.  Earlier is better.


  • Don’t go on Every Mission.  Crazy talk I know.  If your A squad is all injured and the council wants you to do an impossible mission with rookies, they will all die.  It would be better to disappoint the council.
  • When given a choice between missions, you don’t have to do the hardest one.
  • leave the Colonels at home.  Once you’ve leveled up a squad member to Colonel you should start leveling up a new rookie.  Every kill should have its extra XP (researched in GTS) go towards a promotion.


  • Get up high.
    • Unlikely to meet enemies on the roof.
    • Longer sight lines.
    • Farther grenade throws.
    • Bonuses for higher level Snipers.
  • “Save Scumming”
    • Yes we all suck.
    • Save Early. Save Often. If it all goes bad you can go back and make it right.
    • They put saves in the game.  Use them.
    • reloading because you missed a shot is cheap.
  • Use Explosives on Groups
    • good way to break concealment
    • hit and shock multiple enemies at once
    • Destroys cover
    • sets fires
  • The game is won through special abilities
    • level up your troops
    • research special armor and ammo
    • Hack and mind control

Do all that and you should pick up the subtler stuff as well.