5 Things You Need to Know Before Playing XCOM 2 – A Beginner’s Guide

Here's what you need to know.

Image credit to 2K Games

XCOM 2 is a strategy gamer’s dream title. This turn-based shooter packs a serious punch. With that in mind, there is a lot to keep up with if you are new to the XCOM serious.

For instance knowing which resources to spend and which ones to hoard, knowing how to improve your odds against the alien forces and knowing which targets to attack first are all incredibly important lessons to learn. To that end, we have developed a quick breakdown of five important tips every new XCOM 2 player should know.

1. Sell to the Black Market Sparingly


The Black Market is new and improved in XCOM 2. Now you can buy from the market, as well as sell. However, you will now have to sell your precious Intel if you want to make the most out of this shady vendor.

The issue here is that Intel is a rare commodity. Beyond that, you will need countless components and various crafting supplies to keep all of your gear in tip top shape. Consequently, you should sell to the Black Market sparingly.

While your resources may seem plentiful at first, you will likely find yourself hurting for supplies later on.

2. Gain Resistance Contacts ASAP

Gaining resistance contacts is a necessary tactic in XCOM 2. By doing so, you will earn a number of things. You will earn money, region specific upgrade unlocks and new missions. Your opportunities will soar as you continue to gain resistance contacts.

Simply take the time to set contact your allies and you will be taking down the aliens in no time.

3. Take Out Sectoids as Fast as Possible

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Sectoids are back for XCOM 2. However, they are a little different than their original XCOM counterparts.

This time around, the sectoids are capable of delivering devastating psychic attacks to your team. The issue with these enemies, however, is not their ability to deal damage. Rather, it’s their ability to control the battlefield.

Rather they are stunning one of your teammates or mind controlling them outright, sectoids can cause absolute chaos on the battlefield. Even worse, they are capable of reviving defeated soldiers and turning them into mind controlled zombies.

If you see any sectoids on the battlefield, take them out first. Otherwise, you may find yourself regretting it.

4. Build First, Then Attack

XCOM 2 Collection

Once you see the Avatar Project’s red bar begin to fill up, you will likely feel the urgency to immediately retaliate. Don’t do it.

Once the game begins, you need to establish a strong foundation for your base. You will need a steady income and significant upgrades all around.

Simply allow the red bar to slightly fill as you take the time to improve your base. Once you have a strong structural foundation, take the fight to the enemy.

5. Blow Things Up First, Ask Questions Later

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Armor is still a factor in XCOM 2. However, things work a little differently this time around.

Within XCOM 2, armor acts as a consistent damage reducer. Consequently, you will not deal your full damage to an enemy until you “shred” their armor.

In order to shred an enemy’s armor, you simply need to deal explosive damage. Send an explosive blast towards the largest group of enemies at the beginning of every fight to minimize their armor advantage.

Hunter Boyce is a writer, which probably seems pretty obvious with "author" prominently displayed. He mostly writes about video games. However, he was previously a mixed martial arts news writer. When not writing about people pelting each other in the face or about leveling up in the latest RPG, he tends to spend his time as a web producer in Atlanta. You can shout all of your MMA and video game related quandaries at him at @SomthinClever on Twitter. Feel free to make your demands to him in ALL CAPS. He loves that.

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