The ‘Hunt XCOM’ is a special Dark Event in XCOM 2 in which a UFO attempts to hunt down and disable the Avenger ship.
XCOM 2 ‘Hunt XCOM’ UFO Dark Event Mission Walkthrough
The Dark Event will have a UFO attempting to intercept the Avenger as you fly it around the globe, and even when you are scanning. If the UFO catches you, you can attempt Evasive Maneuvers, but it’s highly likely your evasion isn’t successful.
In case the UFO successfully intercepts, a cutscene will trigger, and a unique mission will ensue. This mission is one of the most challenging unique missions in the game. Without the correct strategies and preparation, it’s likely to result in heavy casualties. Also, if you fail this mission, the game will be over.
This guide will help you get through this mission in the most efficient manner so you do not face heavy soldier casualties.
Firstly, you’ll need to prepare yourself for this mission. The moment you see the warning of this Dark Event initiating, you should start making preparations.
The first preparation you want to make is to set up a Defense Matrix. This is essentially a facility that is unlocked by researching enemy turrets. It doesn’t take much time to research them, so do so. Once you have, build a Defense Matrix facility.
What this does is adds two turrets (four if you upgrade the facility) to help you in your base defense in case you are intercepted by the UFO. This can make the mission a lot easier than it normally is.
The second thing you should do is have one Ranger learn the Conceal ability. You not be concealed during this mission, but having one Ranger who can use conceal can make this mission a cakewalk if the right tactics are applied.
If you don’t have a Ranger with this ability, consider sending one to the Advanced Warfare Center facility for retraining.
You can then re-select the skills and choose the all-important Conceal (Conceal is also extremely useful in other missions, so you should have at least one Ranger with this ability).
Next up, you’ll need a well-trained Sharpshooter who is a pure marksman. This shouldn’t be difficult, as Marksmen are integral parts of an XCOM squad, and should’ve been training one from the beginning.
When deploying your soldiers for the mission, equip Mimics, EMP grenades, Proximity Mines, and Smoke Grenades. These are all extremely important.
The Mission Itself
The mission will have you carrying out two tasks at the same time: defending the Avenger, as well as attempting to destroy the Disruptor that has downed your ship. You’ll start off on the Avenger ramp, and will have to move forward towards the disruptor.
It’s usually located within the team’s line of sight, though in the fog of war. This is extremely important, and something you should take note of and use to your advantage.
There will already be enemies occupying the battlefield, but those only make a small portion of what you could end up facing.
The long this mission goes on, the more reinforcements will come. Initially, the reinforcements will be your average ADVENT soldiers and Mecs. However, tougher enemy types will begin to appear.
The enemies in this mission will look to close in on the Avenger and attempt to sabotage the ship. This does mean they will at times make decisions that ignore your soldiers, but don’t rely heavily on that.
If the enemies manage to sabotage the ship, it’s game over. You will not acquire any corpse or salvage from this mission (save for random on-field drops), so do not make killing enemies your number one priority.
Reinforcements will always arrive in this mission, and will keep arriving until it’s game over or you’ve successfully completed all your objects. The most important aspect of this mission is that all your soldiers will be available to fight, including those who are currently wounded.
Additionally, Central will send occasionally send in additional soldiers from your roster to aid the squad you have already selected. This means you could have around 7 or even 8 soldiers on the field at one time.
Don’t treat this like an advantage though – it’s not. The only reason you’ll have so many soldiers is because there will be just as many (or more) aliens to fend off. If you plan to prolong the mission, expect heavy casualties!
If you’ve prepared properly for this mission as advised, you’ll have the aid of at least two turrets to make life a tad bit easier for you.
At the start of the mission, you’ll be shown the location of the disruptor in the fog of war. The disruptor is a very tall structure, which makes it an easy target from distance. Keep this location in mind.
The first thing you want to do is to use Conceal immediately on your Ranger. While concealed, head to one of the extreme edges of the map, ideally the one that is closest to the disruptor.
The tactic that you need to execute is to stealthily make your way to the disruptor with the Ranger without being spotted. This way, you’ll give line of sight to your Sharpshooter, who can stay on the Avenger ramp (where you start) and shoot from distance.
It will take a few turns for your Ranger to make it all the way to the disruptor, which means enemies will attempt to head towards the Avenger between turns.
For this reason, try to keep the concealed Ranger a good few tiles away from the red ‘enemy sight’ tiles, ideal to the sides as the enemies will move forward towards the Avenger instead of sideways.
This way, even if the enemy moves about, your Ranger’s won’t be spotted. While your Ranger is busy going up, have your team set up defenses in the meantime.
Toss some proximity mines a few tiles ahead of you as the enemy closes in. Make sure your Sharpshooter is well-protected, but keep him in a position where he has clear sight of the disruptor.
Within a couple of turns, expect a battle to start. Prioritize the enemies who can close down space quickly, such as Archons, Stun Lancers, and Vipers. These enemies will attempt to get on the ramp and ultimately onto the Avenger.
If you built the Defense Matrix facility, you’ll have an easier time taking care of enemies who are closing in. Once your Ranger has line of sight on the disruptor, use your Sharpshooter to shoot at it.
Provided you have unlocked (and purchased) plasma weapons, it should only take a couple of shots from the Sharpshooter to destroy the disruptor.
Once the disruptor is destroyed, it’s time to get the hell out of here! Use everything you’ve got and fall back to the ramp. Use your Smoke Grenades and Mimics in the final few turns, and abuse Overwatch if you must!
By this time, reinforcements will be arriving in large numbers. All you need to do is defend yourself and the Avenger till the Ranger makes it back.
Concealment doesn’t matter anymore, so rush your Ranger back to the ramp. Using Mimics during these turns can make this rather simple – just make sure you toss the decoy behind a tree where it has good cover so it can survive an entire turn.
By the time your Ranger returns, you’ll probably have a few players injured. Use your medikits if you feel you need one more turn. If not, then get the hell out of there before more aliens creep up!
If you manage to execute this tactic correctly, you will be able to finish this mission in less than 6-7 turns, and without facing any casualties. That’s excellent for what can become one of the hardest missions in the game.
Let us know if this tactic works for you. If you have anything else to add to it, please do share in the comments section below!