ADVENT-backed alien twenty-year occupation of Earth has helped introduce more advanced small arms technology to the planet, quite altering the technological landscape from that of the time of foundation of XCOM.

XCOM WeaponryEdit

As an underground resistance movement, XCOM has to use (at least initially) conventional firearms, most likely salvaged from the armories of now-defunct militaries of Earth's nation-states.

Such weapons include fully automatic assault rifles, available for XCOM Rookies and later for fighters of Ranger, Specialist and Psi-Operative classes, while XCOM Rangers also have access to the compact pump-action shotgun, deadly in the CQB combat. XCOM Sharpshooters utilize a powerful bolt-action sniper rifle as a primary weapon, and a high-caliber revolver handgun as their backup firearm. XCOM Grenadiers arm themselves with the man-portable rotary cannon and the revolver-action grenade launcher for lobbing fragmentation grenades at their enemies.

As the research and development aboard the Avenger, XCOM's Mobile HQ, progresses, Magnetic/Gauss weaponry and, finally, Plasma weaponry becomes available for the XCOM operatives in the field.

XCOM Weaponry can be divided into Primary Weapons and Secondary Weapons. The main differences between primary and secondary weapons are that primary weapons can be extensively modded (once Modular Weapons is researched) but have limited ammo and need to be reloaded periodically in battle. Secondary weapons do not benefit from weapon mods but do not require reloading either. Which weapons a soldier can equip as primary or secondary weapons is dependent on their Soldier Class.

Additionally, soldiers can gain access to Heavy Weapons which are neither primary nor secondary weapons but can only mounted on Heavy Armors. Heavy Weapons are devastating AOE options with a very limited ammo count, so be careful not to squander them needlessly.


  • Experimental ammo (e.g. Dragon Rounds, Talon Rounds etc) affect both primary weapons and Pistol-type secondary weapons.
  • PCS: Perception (and its Advanced/Superior versions) affect both primary weapons, Sword- and Pistol-type secondary weapons.
  • PCS: Willpower (and its Advanced/Superior versions) affect the amount of damage Psi Amps do.

Primary WeaponsEdit

All primary weapons receive a second mod slot at the second tier and will remain so. A third slot is only possible by obtaining the Armed to the Teeth Continent Bonus. (In the War of the Chosen expansion, certain Breakthroughs can unlock an additional upgrade slot for one specific class of weapons.)

What follows is a brief summary of weapons available and their relevant Soldier Class requirements.

Assault RiflesEdit

Assault Rifles are a primary weapon accessible to Rookies, Specialists, Psi-Operatives and Rangers.

Variants (Tiers)

  1. Assault Rifle
  2. Magnetic Rifle
  3. Plasma Rifle


Shotguns are a primary weapon type restricted to Rangers. Shotguns are extremely effective at close range but their accuracy drops off quickly at long range.

Variants (Tiers)

  1. Shotgun
  2. Shard Gun
  3. Storm Gun


Cannons are a primary weapon type restricted to Grenadiers.

Variants (Tiers)

  1. Cannon
  2. Mag Cannon
  3. Beam Cannon

Sniper RiflesEdit

Sniper Rifles are a primary weapon type restricted to Sharpshooters. Sniper rifle always takes two/both actions to fire and suffers a penalty to hit at close range.

Variants (Tiers)

  1. Sniper Rifle
  2. Gauss Rifle
  3. Plasma Lance

Bolt Casters (Alien Hunter DLC content) Edit

Bolt Casters are a primary weapon type accessible to Rookies, Specialists, Psi-Operatives and Rangers. Each attack has a chance to stun the target, and cannot be dodged. Genetically-empowered aliens are highly susceptible to being stunned. Launches a single, high-damaging projectile, but must be reloaded after each use. Can not utilize weapons upgrades.

Bonus Aim: +15%. Stun Chance: 20%.

Variants (Tiers)

  1. Bolt Caster
  2. Magnetic Bolt Caster
  3. Powered Bolt Caster

Heavy Autocannons (Shen's Last Gift DLC content) Edit

Heavy Autocannon are a primary weapon type restricted to SPARKs robotic soldier class. They cannot utilize weapon upgrades, unless you are playing the War of the Chosen update.

Variants (Tiers)

  1. Heavy Autocannon
  2. Helix Rail-Cannon
  3. Elerium Phase-Cannon

Secondary WeaponsEdit

This also includes 'devices' that are not strictly conventional weapons but occupy the same item slot (e.g. GREMLINs or Psi Amps).

What follows is a brief summary of weapons available and their relevant Soldier Class requirements.


Pistols are a secondary weapon type restricted to Sharpshooters.

Variants (Tiers)

  1. Pistol
  2. Mag Pistol
  3. Beam Pistol

Shadowkeeper Pistols (Alien Hunter DLC content) Edit

Pistols are a secondary weapon type restricted to Sharpshooters. Comparable to each tier pistol, but has improved aim (+10%) and chance to critical hit (+15%). Has the special ability of Shadowfall, a pistol shot that is guaranteed to hit, if the target is killed, the shooter gains concealment.

Only a single Shadowkeeper pistol is available per play-through for all upgrade tiers, so if the Shadowkeeper is lost during a mission a replacement cannot be built, though it can be recovered just the once during the Enhanced and Powered Shadowkeeper upgrade in Engineering -- Built Item -- Weapons purchase. 'Captured' soldiers and their limited equipment may be rescued during a possible Rescue VIP mission that may spawn at a later time.

Variants (Tiers)

  1. Shadowkeeper
  2. Enhanced Shadowkeeper
  3. Powered Shadowkeeper


Swords are a secondary weapon type restricted to Rangers.

Variants (Tiers)

  1. Sword
  2. Arc Blade
  3. Fusion Blade

Axes (Alien Hunter DLC content)Edit

Axes are a secondary weapon type restricted to Rangers. One axe can be thrown from range (once per mission) for a 'free action' for an instant burst of damage. Note: Aim, Range, Cover, Dodge and Armor chances/penalties apply.

Only one set of axes are available per play-through for all upgrade tiers, so if the axes are lost during a mission a replacement cannot be built, though it can be recovered just the once during the Ionic and Fusion axe upgrade in Engineering -- Built Item -- Weapons purchase.

Note: The game text describes the weapon as a "pair of axes", one of which can be thrown as a free action. However, that ranged attack is treated in all respects as a one-charge-per-mission ability; the second axe cannot be "lost" unless you lose the core weapon. For example, if a soldier throws the axe, then you evacuate the mission (losing all the alien bodies on the scene), you do not lose the "second axe"; the next time you equip the pair of axes, the soldier will still have a single free ranged attack per mission.

Variants (Tiers)

  1. Hunter's Axe
  2. Ionic Axe
  3. Fusion Axe

Grenade LaunchersEdit

Grenade Launchers are a secondary weapon type restricted to Grenadiers.

Variants (Tiers)

  1. Grenade Launcher
  2. Advanced Grenade Launcher

Psi AmpsEdit

Psi Amps are restricted to Psi Operatives.

Variants (Tiers)

  1. Psi Amp
  2. Advanced Psi Amp
  3. Alien Psi Amp


GREMLINs are restricted to Specialists.

Variants (Tiers)

  2. GREMLIN Mark II

Heavy WeaponsEdit

(see also the Article Heavy Weapons)

Building an E.X.O. Suit unlocks Heavy Weapons in the Proving Ground. Building a W.A.R. Suit unlocks the next level of Heavy Weapons for research in the Proving Ground.


Advanced Variants

Hero Class Weapons (War of the Chosen) Edit

The hero classes introduced in XCOM 2: War of the Chosen each have their own primary and secondary weapons. These weapons can be upgraded at a lower cost than the core XCOM weapons.The Reaper and Skirmisher primary weapons can use modular weapon upgrades.

Reaper Weaponry Edit

The Reaper class uses a special sniper rifle, which does less damage than the corresponding Sharpshooter weapon but does not have a penalty at close range.


  1. Vektor Rifle
  2. Temnotic Rifle
  3. Shadow Lance

Secondary Edit

  1. Claymore

Skirmisher Weaponry Edit

The Skirmisher class uses a short-range "bullpup" assault rifle. This rifle does less damage than the corresponding tier of shotgun, and has an aim penalty at long range, but only uses one action to fire and does not end the turn.


  1. KAL-7 Bullpup
  2. Kal-15 Bullpup
  3. Kal-90 Bullpup


  1. Ripjack
  2. Ionic Ripjack
  3. Fusion Ripjack

Templar Weaponry Edit

The Templar class uses special gauntlets that generate a psionic melee weapon; this weapon cannot use modular upgrades.

Primary Edit

  1. Shard Gauntlets
  2. Tempest Gauntlets
  3. Celestial Gauntlets


  1. Autopistol
  2. Mag Autopistol
  3. Beam Autopistol

ADVENT WeaponryEdit

The ADVENT administration arms its troops with standardized factory-produced Gauss rifles. These rifles accelerate bullets, made of ferromagnetic alloys to velocities largely unattainable by ballistic firearms. While the basic principles of such technology was well known to Earth's scientists before the invasion, it was technology donated by the aliens to their ADVENT puppets that solved the inherent problems of making reliable gauss-based man portable weaponry. Namely; the lack of portable power sources or compact and lightweight discharge capacitors.

ADVENT's standard-issue gauss rifles also have a built in genetic lock connected to the ADVENT network, (preventing a rifle being fired by any non-authorized user) as well as a self-destruct mechanism, activating a short time after the weapon's user dies in action and rendering the weapon permanently inoperable. These measures were installed to prevent any resistance fighters and XCOM from using captured ADVENT-made weapons.

Alien WeaponryEdit

The aliens appear to retain what is majorly the same weaponry as that of the original invasion, but the new troop variants seem to posses variations of the familiar patterns, such as the Muton's bayonet. Sectoids, however, still carry their wrist mounted plasma blaster. Despite its age in technological terms, alien plasma weaponry has not advanced very far, implying that plasma-based weaponry is the most effective possible armaments without risking excessive destruction.

However, it is noted that alien plasma weaponry is highly unstable, with a very fine line between 'functioning' and 'overloading', and complexity in trying to operate certain weapons. This shows the Elder's overall lack of effort to produce safe weaponry for their troops to use in the field in favor of more power, in comparison to XCOM, whose beam weaponry is designed far more safely and much more user-friendly.

The aliens also appear to have developed 'fusion'-based technology for use in melee weapons such as the Muton's Bayonet and the Archon's Staff. It is notable for its high heat during usage, something XCOM takes full advantage of when designing the Fusion Blade.

Table of Primary and Secondary Weapons Edit

Primary WeaponsEdit

Rookie, Ranger, Specialist & Psi-Operative Edit

Name Damage Clip Size Mobility
Assault Rifle 03-05 4
Magnetic Rifle 05-07 4
Plasma Rifle 07-09 4
Bolt Caster 06-08 1
Magnetic Bolt Caster 08-10 1
Plasma Bolt Caster 10-12 1

Ranger Edit

Name Damage Clip Size Critical Chance (%) Other
Shotgun 04-06 4 10
Shard Gun 06-08 4 15
Storm Gun 08-10 4 20
Arashi (WotC) 08-10 4 10 less range penalty, 4 upgrades

Grenadier Edit

Name Damage Clip Size
Cannon 04-06 3
Mag Cannon 06-08 3
Beam Cannon 08-10 3

Sharpshooter Edit

Name Damage Clip Size Critical Chance (%) Other
Sniper Rifle 04-06 3 10
Gauss Rifle 06-08 3 10
Plasma Lance 08-10 3 15
Darklance (WotC) 08-10 3 10 Only one action to fire, 4 upgrades


Name Damage Clip Size
Heavy Autocannon 04-06 3
Helix Rail-Cannon 06-08 3
Elerium Phase-Cannon 08-10 3

Secondary WeaponsEdit

Ranger Edit

Name Damage Critical Chance (+%) Stun Chance (+%) Other
Sword 3-5 10
Arc Blade 4-6 15 25
Fusion Blade 5-7 20
Hunter Axe 4-6 10
Iconic Axe 5-7 15 25
"Fusion" Axe 6-8 20
Katana (WotC) 8-9 Ignores 5 armor

Specialist Edit

Name Hack (+%)

Grenadier Edit

Name Grenade Range Grenade Radius
Grenade Launcher 4 1
Advanced Grenade Launcher 5 2

Sharpshooter Edit

Name Damage Critical Chance (+%) Aim (+%) Other
Pistol 2-3
Mag Pistol 3-4
Beam Pistol 3-6
Shadowkeeper 2-3 15 10 Grants Shadowfall
Enhanced Shadowkeeper 3-4 15 10 Grants Shadowfall
Powered Shadowkeeper 3-6 15 10  Grants Shadowfall
Darkclaw (WotC) 4-7 5 Ignores 5 armor, no benfit from ammo

Psi-Operative Edit

Name Psi (+%)
Psi Amp +0%
Advanced Psi Amp +20%
Alien Psi Amp +40%


Name Hack

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