|“||Confers a reaction shot against any enemy who closes to within 4 tiles. Does not require overwatch.||”|
– In-Game Description, XCOM: Enemy Unknown
Close Combat Specialist is an incredibly versatile asset to the Assault soldier, and can boost this unit's combat abilities significantly in both defensive and offensive situations. During enemy turns, Assault players can be used to defend adjacent troops against melee-oriented enemies, or lock down chokepoints such as small passages and doorways. During offense, this ability can be triggered on first contact enemies (provided during relocation they run into proximity of the Assault trooper), or when fighting Berserkers, allowing the Assault to turn their Bloodlust ability against them.
- If a soldier is on Overwatch when Close Combat Specialist triggers, the soldier will not get an additional reaction shot. However, it is possible for an Assault to get two reaction shots in the same enemy move: assume that the soldier is on Overwatch, and has Close Combat Specialist. If an enemy moves into the Assault's line of sight, but is more than 4 tiles away, the reaction shot from Overwatch will happen. Then, if the enemy continues to move forward into the 4-tile range, the Assault will take another reaction shot.
- Close Combat Specialist can trigger unlimited times per turn. If multiple enemies enter 4-tile range within line of sight of Assault (this holds true only for engaged enemies) or the same enemy moves multiple times in it's area of effect, reaction shot will trigger every time providing Assault have enough ammo for this. This can be used on your own turn to devastate Berserkers and trigger against enemies relocating when flushed or panicked.
- The player cannot prevent Close Combat Specialist from triggering when an alien moves within range which might be unfortunate if soldier is using the Ghost Ability of the Ghost Armor. This reaction shot instantly uncloaks the soldier leaving them exposed to the enemy, possibly in the middle of the enemy turn and/or without cover. The only way to prevent this is to have the soldier maintain a discreet distance from the aliens while cloaked. This holds true in XCOM: Enemy Within for units with Close Combat Specialist that are under the effects of Mimetic Skin or a Ghost Grenade.
- This ability will remain active if the Assault soldier gets Mind Controlled. Be very careful if the squad is clumped up when this happens.
- It is unknown if it's a bug, or if there are other mechanics in the background, but dashing to a square and on the way quickly revealing hostiles who may instantly advance towards new target without an activation cutscene before the Assault reaches it's point of intended destination and enters a stationary state disables Close Combat Specialist to initiate correctly. This may have something to do with the ability being originally designed to be used by a stationary soldier.
- Close Combat Specialist is still working when Hunker Down is in use. The player cannot prevent Close Combat Specialist from triggering when an alien moves within range which might be unfortunate if soldier is using the Hunker Down ability.
- Close Combat Specialist will not trigger if the enemy is on a different elevation to the player, such as with drones, unless they move at least one tile horizontally on the same level.