The game difficulty in XCOM 2 can be set at one of four levels: Rookie, Veteran, Commander, or Legend. Each difficulty setting affects a large number of game parameters, creating a significant learning curve between difficulties. The difficulty setting can be changed (up or down) at any point in the game but may affect the player's ability to claim certain achievements. Additionally, higher difficulty levels are designed to be much more challenging earlier in the game, but do not scale as quickly as easier difficulties; while the gap may narrow as the game progresses, harder settings will remain more challenging throughout.


Choose this level if you are interested in finishing the story, but not to be too challenged.

  • Soldiers start with 6 health (instead of 5)
  • Patrols are 50% smaller (i.e.: 2 soldiers instead of 3)


A challenge appropriate for players familiar with XCOM. A good starting level for all players to have some degree of challenge.


Commander level is a quite "realistic guerilla warfare" level. Players will often focus more on sneaking and positioning instead of barreling through missions guns-a-blazing.

MANY Steam achievements require you to play at this level or higher (i.e.: Commander+).

  • At this level soldiers start with 4 health (instead of 5)
  • Enemy forces have more health (e.g.: Troopers have 4 instead of 3)
  • Enemy sight lines will be larger and not as obvious


  • A longer game with no margin for error. Only the strongest XCOM players will survive. The Tutorial will not be enabled for Legend difficulty.
  • Resource costs are higher on Legend. On this wiki the alternate item cost (if available) will be shown in parentheses, eg: (§123).