Assault Class

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XCOM-EU Soldiers Class - AssaultXEU ClassAssault

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

The primary role of the Assault Class is aggressive reconnaissance, flanking, and drawing enemy fire.

Movin' at the speed of death.

–Assault soldier activating Run & Gun

XCOM DatabaseEdit

As the first and last units on the ground, these troops are initially equipped with XCOM's proprietary combat shotgun. However, they may still deploy with the assault rifle.

–XCOM Database, XCOM: Enemy Unknown


The Assault class is the only class that has a choice between two types of primary weapons: shotguns or rifles. They use pistols as a secondary weapon.


WeaponBase DamageCrit DamageCrit ChanceRange
XEU Shotgun  Shotgun 3 - 56 - 820%Short
XEU Scatter Laser  Scatter Laser 5 - 79 - 1120%Medium
XEU Alloy Cannon  Alloy Cannon 8 - 1014 - 1620%Medium
Source: Tactical Info, XCOM: Enemy Within


WeaponBase DamageCrit DamageCrit ChanceRange
XEU Assault Rifle  Assault Rifle 2 - 45 - 710%Short
XEU Laser Rifle  Laser Rifle 4 - 67 - 910%Medium
XEU Light Plasma Rifle  Light Plasma Rifle 4 - 68 - 1010%Medium
XEU Plasma Rifle  Plasma Rifle 6 - 811 - 1310%Medium
Source: Tactical Info, XCOM: Enemy Within


WeaponBase DamageCrit DamageCrit ChanceRange
XEU Pistol  Pistol 1 - 22 - 40%Medium
XComEU Laser Pistol  Laser Pistol 1 - 33 - 510%Medium
XEU Plasma Pistol  Plasma Pistol 2 - 45 - 70%Medium
Source: Tactical Info, XCOM: Enemy Within


When a soldier is promoted, some ranks allow a choice between two abilities.

Rank Abilities Description
XEU Assault RunAndGun  Run & Gun Allows to fire or enter Overwatch after dashing.
XEU Assault TacticalSense  Tactical Sense +5 Defense per enemy in sight (Max +20).
XEU Assault Aggression  Aggression Confers +10% critical chance per enemy in sight (Max +30%).
XEU Assault LightningReflexes  Lightning Reflexes Force the first reaction shot against this unit each turn to miss.
XEU Assault CloseAndPersonal  Close and Personal Confers +30% critical chance against adjacent targets. The bonus declines with distance from the target. In XCOM: Enemy Within, this ability is: The first standard shot made within 4 tiles of the target does not cost an action. Cannot combine with Run & Gun.
XEU Assault Flush  Flush Fire a shot that causes enemies to run out of cover. The shot is easy to hit with, but does reduced damage.
XEU Assault RapidFire  Rapid Fire Take two shots against a single target in quick succession. Each shot carries a -15 penalty to Aim.
XEU Assault CloseCombatSpecialist  Close Combat Specialist Confers a reaction shot against any enemy who closes to within 4 tiles. Does not require overwatch.
XEU Assault BringEmOn  Bring 'Em On Adds 1 damage on Critical hits for each enemy the squad can see (up to 5).
XEU Assault ExtraConditioning  Extra Conditioning Confers bonus health based on what type of armor is equipped. Heavier armor increases the bonus.
XEU Assault Resilience  Resilience Confers immunity to critical hits.
XEU Assault KillerInstinct  Killer Instinct Activating Run & Gun now also grants +50% Critical damage for the rest of the turn.

Skill ComparisonsEdit

Whether you are building a tanky Assault (left side promotions) or an aggressive one (right side promotions), there are a couple times you might want to consider crossing the aisle: Rapid Fire and Lightning Reflexes.  Rapid Fire is perhaps the best double shot ability in game; while it gives a -15 Aim penalty, taking two shots will average out to more damage in most cases, except in situations of exceptionally low chances to hit. It will also allow you to move or Run & Gun and then take two shots. Lightning Reflexes allows you to negate an enemy Overwatch and run even when Suppressed without worry of reaction fire. As it's not always clear if an enemy is on Overwatch in the fog of war, Lightning Reflexes remains useful all game long. But mostly, Lightning Reflexes dominates Council Missions where Thin Men frequently spawn on Overwatch behind your lines which can make the first few Council Missions the most challenging missions of a whole game playthrough.

Be extremely wary of over extending with an Assault. Assaults are the definitive reconnaissance and CQB unit, and will most likely take point in situations. Often the closest unit to aliens, it will be shot at the most. Based solely on quantity of fire directed towards your assaults, they can go down with frightening rapidity.  Consider giving your assault the best armor and HP boosting items available for this reason.  While in EU small movements with Overwatch could be used in all situations, giving the assault a solid base of fire to back him up, the addition of Meld in EW sometimes requires riskier movements that will see assaults alone, flanked, and shot.

Tactical Sense vs. AggressionEdit

  • Aggression's bonus fully stacked is +30%.  When combined with a shotgun (+20%) on a flank (+50%), this results in 100% critical hit chance (except against Hardened enemies).  At 100% you can plan your turn around having the crit, making some risky attacks a sure bet and a decisive victory.
  • Aggression's bonus critical chance is always at least 10%, so that, combined with Close and Personal, a rifle will have a guaranteed critical hit in a point-blank flanking shot.  Normally, only with a shotgun can you thus plan on a critical. — This no longer works with the reworked Close and Personal in XCOM: Enemy Within.
  • Aggression's bonus is potentially extremely valuable for clearing melee packs, where it is often one turn, one volley, kill-or-be-killed.
  • Aggression aids in overcoming critical-chance reduction on enemies with the Hardened property, such as Sectopods, Ethereals, and Cyberdiscs.
  • If you take the suppression builds in your Heavies and Supports, you'll be more inclined to take Aggression since many targets will be marked for death but not killed until the following turn, meaning your assault will more frequently have full stacks of Aggression for their flanks. Those builds, the Heavies' in particular, are generally weaker than their alternatives and Aggression alone does not justify taking them.
  • Aggression rarely stacks to 30%. Moving up with more than one alien alive and in sight is risky and often hazardous since you can potentially activate more aliens as you charge in, resulting in the Assault getting overrun. Also, due to the possibility of front-line fighters missing their targets and leaving the Assault compromised and surrounded, the prudent Assault generally moves up last, after all other shots have been decided; thus, a lot of the aliens providing the Aggression bonuses might be killed.  On the other hand, sometimes you can hold back on guaranteed kill actions such as rockets, Sniper shots from high ground, or grenades until Aggression Assaults have fired to preserve their bonus.
  • Tactical Sense provides an always-on defensive boost of at least 5%, and if an Assault activates more enemies late in a turn, Tactical Sense can protect the soldier further.  It helps when being flanked, aiding in dodging potentially lethal critical fire.
  • Tactical Sense allows an Assault to end a turn in partial cover, and still have similar cover quality to the rest of the squad.  This allows more direct attack paths to the enemy while remaining in relative safety.
  • With Tactical Sense an Assault also gains outstanding "tanking" ability, ideally when hunkering down behind indestructible full cover, where even the high-ground advantaged attackers cannot hit and must advance to flank.
  • When a Tactical Sense Assault is behind full cover, aliens will often ignore the Assault and choose to shoot at another soldier on the front line, when available.  This can negate the advantage of Tactical Sense in certain engagements.
  • A Tactical Sense Assault can act as an excellent spotter for a Squadsight Sniper; the Sniper can be so far away that they cannot be targeted but able to make copious long range shots for as long as the Assault's positioning and cover holds.
  • Tactical Sense is the traditional talent chosen for players opting to rely on a double, heavily promoted Squadsight Sniper grand strategy.
  • Tactical Sense is generally better early on in the game when a single shot from aliens can be lethal.
  • Tactical Sense is less relevant late in the game, where aliens have significant Aim bonuses, psionics, and other specials.  At this point the most effective counter is to kill them before they get a turn to act, and as such Aggression contributes more to clearing groups effectively.  On the other hand, as the early game is so difficult and the late game is relatively easy, Tactical Sense may be more advantageous overall.
  • Tactical Sense has no effect against melee enemies such as Chryssalids and Berserkers, which hit automatically.
  • If you do end up with an over-extended assault, Tactical sense has a much better chance of getting them out alive rather than aggression.

Lightning Reflexes vs. Close and PersonalEdit

  • Close and Personal potentially allowing a soldier to take up to three shots during his or her turn if combined with Rapid Fire, and allowing the soldier to dash out of cover to point blank range, shoot, and run back into cover.
    • Close and Personal allows you to move in, shoot, and move away again, or in late game move in, shoot, and Rapid Fire for a total of 3 shots,
    • Choosing Close and Personal means though that the Assault and the squad sacrifices some mobility if the enemy is in overwatch, because there is no way to safely trigger it.
    • On the other hand, Close and Personal synergizes very well with Ghost Grenade or Ghost Armor, allowing an Assault to close in and unload multiple shots.
      • This is particularly useful in lategame when the player needs to take down high value targets, or enemy units in full cover
  • Lightning Reflexes forces the first reaction shot against this unit each turn to miss.
    • Lightning Reflexes is most useful against Overwatched robotic enemies.
      • It is also very useful to purposely trigger the overwatch of an enemy unit, thus freeing up your squad to move into a better positionm
    • But since it only forces the first reaction shot, this ability gets less useful in lategame when you often have multiple overwatched enemy units. It still is highly useful in triggering a high-damage units (eg. Sectopod's) overwatch though.

Flush vs. Rapid FireEdit

  • Flush hits for 50% damage but has a +30 Aim, and combined with +20 Aim from Scope and Light Plasma Rifle is enough to overcome high cover and hit any target reliably. Flush will also force enemy to re-seek cover, often from high to low ones, which is what you want. It takes a lot of munitions though.
  • Rapid Fire on the other hand is an excellent skill to raise your odds that the enemy takes at least one hit. Two shots at 60% is always better than one shot at 75%. Since the assault is often close to the enemy, the range bonus makes up for the Aim minus of this skill and when you flank the enemy up close, you might hit twice and even critically hit both shots.

Builds and TacticsEdit

Vanguard RiflemanEdit

Tactical Sense, Lightning Reflexes, Flush, Close Combat Specialist, Resilience.

Assault Class "pointman build" to use early game that trips Overwatch hot zones and flushes foes out of high cover. This allows for Advancing Cover and Squadsight kills.

Close Quarters RiflemanEdit

Aggression, Close and Personal, Rapid Fire, Close Combat Specialist, Resilience.
Optional: Mimetic Skin

Assault Class "shotgun build" recommended after getting a "pointman" assault. Aggression will always give a minimum 10% boost to critical chance. If that doesn't kill the target, Close Combat Specialist will provide yet another shot should the target moves (which if flanked will most likely move).

Rambo RiflemanEdit

Aggression, Lightning Reflexes, Rapid Fire, Bring 'Em On, Killer Instinct.
Optional: Mimetic Skin

Assault Class "rifle lineman build" recommended after getting a "pointman" assault. Aggression + Bring 'Em On has powerful synergy and allows Rifleman to excel in mid range shootouts against numerous lesser enemies, and Lightning Reflexes provides the flexibility to seek out good cover for this without fearing enemy reaction fire. Shotgun build works very well together with this build.

All-out endgame Shotgun with Midgame Fire support. Light Plasma has a high hit rate, but low damage, so it is ideal for use with Bring 'Em On. 7 dmg crit -> up to 12 dmg crits, a massive boost!  A great lineman rifleman, with enough stopping power with 100% flanking crits to still pass in close quarters combat. After researching Light Plasma Rifle, there will be a timing window where you'll have a bunch of those lying around but would need to manufacture scatter lasers with alloys, and alloy cannons are not yet available. Use Heavies to break cover and wipe out groups with a hail of accurate, medium damage gunfire from long range without having to flank and potentially alert extra groups. Endgame this is the most damaging Alloy Cannon Assault build possible.

Equipment and UpgradesEdit


  • Items that provide additional health Nano-fiber Vest, Respirator ImplantEW, or Chitin Plating can support the longevity of a front-line Assault.
  • High Mobility armors like Ghost Armor and Skeleton Suit can allow the Assault to close in easier, they do sacrifice health, though the Ghost Armor's cloaking ability makes up for this

Gene ModsEdit

Requires XCOM: Enemy Within expansion:

  • Hyper Reactive Pupils confers +10 Aim after missing a shot, making the second shot of Rapid Fire more likely to hit if the first misses.
  • Mimetic Skin allows an Assault set up flanking attacks and deliver close range shotgun blasts with maximum Critical hit chance.

Multiplayer Assault ClassesEdit

The following is a detailed break-down of the Assault class stats and abilities in multiplayer mode. 








Recon 600 7 67% 0 45 Run & Gun
Gunner 2250 9 79% 0 65

Run & Gun - Aggression - Lightning Reflexes - Rapid Fire - Bring Em On

Commando 3000 10 85% 0 75 Run & Gun - Aggression - Lightning Reflexes - Rapid FireBring Em On - Extra Conditioning - Resilience
Psi Warrior 4750 9 81% 0 70

Run & Gun - Tactical Sense - Lightning Reflexes - Rapid Fire - Close Combat Specialist - Extra Conditioning    

PsionicMindfrayPsi Panic - Mind Control

Note: Each soldier class has a base cost of 800 points, which would need to be added to the values above to determine the point value of a particular build. The above point and stat values reflect the default (i.e. 0 point) equipment load-out.

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