|“||Fire a rocket using an equipped launcher. This ability cannot be used after moving, nor more than once per mission.||”|
– In-Game Description, XCOM: Enemy Unknown
- Fire Rocket deals 6 base damage in a 4 tile radius with 90% accuracy for a Heavy soldier armed with a Rocket Launcher (6 tile radius with Danger Zone, 9 base damage with Blaster Launcher and +1 or +3 damage depending on launcher tech level with Mayhem, for a maximum obtainable amount of 12 damage, and also benefits from the HEAT ammo bonus against mechanical enemies). Unlike most other weapons, the damage is fixed with no random variation, but also cannot score critical hits.
- Fire Rocket cannot be used after moving or firing (even if the Heavy has the Bullet Swarm ability); essentially the Heavy can take absolutely no other actions in the turn, with no exceptions. Fire Rocket can only be used once per mission unless the Rocketeer ability is learned, which increases it to twice per mission.
- Early in the game, Fire Rocket is unaffected by the soldier's Aim stat, and consistently deals significantly higher damage than conventional weapons. A Rocket is sufficient to kill all early game enemies on any difficulty, and mid-game enemies are severely damaged by it. This makes it possible for a player to make up for their lack of advanced weapons by using multiple Heavies. However, without upgrades, Fire Rocket becomes less reliable as a source of damage as more advanced enemies appear.
- Players who frequently use this ability are strongly advised to upgrade the ability by working toward the Guided Fusion Launcher research to allow manufacturing of the vastly improved Blaster Launcher, and learn the Rocketeer (extra rocket) or Mayhem (increased damage) skills, the Danger Zone skill (increased blast radius) and the HEAT ammo skill (inflict +50% damage to mechanical enemies), to maintain effectiveness in the late game.
- As with all other explosive attacks, no Weapon Fragments will be recovered from enemies slain by Fire Rocket; only corpses will be recovered. Take this into consideration in the early/mid game if you are low on stocks of Weapon Fragments.
- Since a Heavy cannot move if he wants to use Fire Rocket, proper pre-battle positioning of the Heavy is important. Players should place Heavies intending to use Fire Rocket in the best cover available just behind the front line with unobstructed line of sight to potential enemy locations. As rocket accuracy is unaffected by range, staying at maximum range is recommended if the player only intends to use Fire Rocket, and does not want to risk the Heavy getting hit and killed, or panicking.
- Once the Blaster Launcher has been obtained, positioning considerations are significantly relaxed, as the "smart" missiles can find their own path and curve around obstacles, ignoring line of sight restrictions. The Heavy still needs to remain stationary on the turn he launches, but can be completely hidden, and only needs to be within the appropriate distance to the target(s).
- Unlike Frag Grenades or vehicles struck by conventional weapons fire, vehicles hit by a Rocket instantly explode instead of burning for one turn first. This can be used to cause significant additional harm to enemies taking cover behind vehicles.
- Fire Rocket can completely destroy full cover trees, unlike most other weapons. Once armed with the Blaster Launcher, the ability can also punch holes through all types of walls, including UFO hulls. Thus, it is recommended to use the ability early in your turn, so that other soldiers can subsequently take advantage of the enemies exposed by the destruction of their cover.
- Friendly Support soldiers can use Smoke Grenades (preferably with Dense Smoke) to protect their Heavy squadmates to compensate for exposed positioning before and after using Fire Rocket. In XCOM: Enemy Within, Ghost Grenades can be equipped on any team members to accomplish the same task.
- In the 10% chance that Fire Rocket misses, the rocket generally flies the same distance but deviates in a slightly different direction. The explosion may still strike enemies, but might also risk hurting friendly soldiers that are near to the target point.
- This ability is used by EXALT Heavy and EXALT Elite Heavy units in XCOM: Enemy Within.