Company of Heroes 2 – How To Control Units Movement, Retreat and Formations

How to control units movement, retreat and formation in Company of Heroes 2.

This guide aims on helping you on how to control different units in Company of Heroes 2.

There are a number of units that you can control including troops on foot and vehicles. It also sheds light on to how to move around the map and harass your enemies and how to restrict enemy movement in your cut-off points. And the formation tactics that will give an overall better position than your opponent.

For more help on Company of Heroes 2, read our Field Defenses and Vehicles Guide.

Company of Heroes 2 Units Control

Infantry Weapons
Infantry squad soldiers drop their weapons on the ground when they die and you can pick these weapons up. Infantry soldiers have two slots for weapon upgrades. And instead of purchasing these weapons or weapon upgrades, you can always pick up those weapons with interesting combos.

Picking up a weapon can be quite a thing to decide and it will have certain effects on the combat abilities of your soldiers.

For instance, allowing an Anti-Tank unit to pick a weapon like flamethrower and things will not go the way you want them to be. So deciding which unit should pick up which weapons will greatly impact the overall performance of your squad.

Team Weapons
Weapons which require team work such as Anti-Tank Guns, Mortars and HMGs can also be conquered. But as a minimum of two men are required to handle them, you will need at least two of infantry units to gain control of them which will be replaced by the new squad.

In Company of Heroes 2, you can capture any unoccupied vehicles or you can always kill its occupants without destroying the vehicle itself. This also includes Heavy Tanks.

If you happen to find any unoccupied vehicle somewhere, try to gain control of it as soon as you can or destroy it before enemy squad has a chance of accessing them.

While playing the multiplayer mode, vehicles you will de-crew from its occupants will not be in a good shape and will have a very low HP. So it is obviously a bad idea to jump right into it! Instead, use your engineers to repair that vehicle first and then order your squad to gain control of it.

You should also try the same thing with the support weapons such as Anti-Tank Guns and Mortars, etc. Use a couple of engineers to conquer those weapons as engineers are weaker than the rest of your squad.

And if you do not wish to gain control of those weapons, then you better destroy them for good before enemy troops lay their hands on them.


Kiting The Enemy
Kiting can be defined as usage of faster and long-ranged unit to engage a sluggish and close-range unit in order to force it to fallback or destroy it completely. This works really well with the snipers – use your snipers to engage a squad, change your position and then do it again.

If done successfully, you will have depleted the enemy squad to half its strength by the time they will reach you, making it much easier for you to fight back.

The same thing works very well by bringing in supporting units to destroy enemy vehicles.

Circle Strafing The Enemy
As the name suggests, circle strafing means going around enemy units at a speed with constantly hitting them. This works great with vehicles having mounted turret guns.

In this way, you will be able to destroy enemy AT guns without having to worry about them shooting back at you. The same thing applies while destroying enemy vehicles with no turrets.

In Company of Heroes 2, waypoints work exactly the same way as in any other game. You can set a waypoint by holding ‘Left Shift’ while giving orders to your troops.

Waypoints come in very handy while giving orders to specific units that you want to have your attention on!

How To Capture Points
It is very important to capture points just as your game starts as it gives you huge advantage over your enemy. Also making progress from one point to another is holds great significance.

It is always advised to have multiple units while capturing a point as it provides back up and makes the process of capturing much faster.

How To Block Enemy Movement
You can use a faster moving vehicle to intercept and slow the progression of a slow moving enemy vehicle. In addition to that, your vehicles can delay the movement of enemy troops while they are retreating.

Using a vehicle to intercept enemy troops is a great way to getting in the way while your enemy is retreating. In this way, you will able to attack them both from your mobile units and squad members on foot.

Another way of using your light vehicles to block the enemy movement is to place them in the path of enemy tanks and other vehicles. This will provide you with sufficient time to take out those vehicles with your AT guns and mortars.

Blocking also comes in very handy during saving your damage vehicles.

Take the example of a damaged T-34 which is trying to retreat from a Tiger. Your light vehicles are obviously not good at taking out a Tiger but they can certainly block its path. Use your vehicles to block the path of infantry and other enemy units along with preparing your HMGs to attack them is a wise move.

Infantry units can also block the enemy movement but they are not as effective as vehicles.

How To Force Retreat
Artillery and mortars can be used to force enemy to retreat from advancing towards your position by firing in their pathway. And by firing just behind them, you can also stop them from retreating and keep them at the same position making it easier for you to take them out altogether.

Grenades can also be used in a similar fashion like forcing enemies to come out of certain buildings, stopping them from advancing towards your troops or getting them out from their covering positions.

How To Contain Enemy Movement
Containing refers to a defensive tactic that uses positioning your troops and other defensive fortifications near choke point or your base entrance that will hinder enemy movement near your base.

One way to do this is to put a HMG near the choke point of your base that will take out any enemy troops lurking around.

When To Retreat

At times, there will come certain situation that will require you to fallback and leave your position in the battlefield. To do this, the game features several options. Some of them are given below!

Sending a ‘Retreat’ order to your squads will immediately send them dashing to your headquarters. However, once given, this command can’t be undone.

Once issued a retreat command, you will get the following things:

  • You will lose the ability to control your units or attack enemy forces.
  • You will become immune to being pinned down and being suppressed by enemy troops.
  • You will gain movement and speed bonuses.

You should also keep in mind that in a very close match where everything between two teams is equal. The first team to retreat is most likely to lose the game.

When should you think about Retreating? – When you are left with only two or three of your squad members and that too with low health; it is that moment when you should think about retreating and reinforce.

When you think are about to get pinned down by grenades and artillery which are unavoidable. You should give a thought to retreating.

Having no means of destroying enemy supporting weapons such as mortars and HMGs.

Soft Retreat
Using usual movement command instead of using the ‘Retreat’ command is called ‘Soft Retreating’. It is very useful in situations when you are outnumbered by enemy forces but have a building nearby that you can use as a cover and call in supporting units to help you out.

For example, if your infantry squad is pinned down by a Tiger, do not order a retreat command at that moment. Instead, use soft retreat to garrison inside a building and call in Anti-Tank Guns to take it out.

Similarly, if you are being pinned down by enemy forces. It is a good idea to use soft retreat to a cover and come out only when opposition have switched targets.

Note: If you are in a situation when you are on the verge of being wiped out by enemy forces and you know ‘Soft Retreating’ is not going to work. Then it is advised to take your chances before retreating and force enemy forces to chase you down in areas where their units are scarce. This might provide you with an opportunity to win the game.

Make sure to damage enemy vehicles with AT Guns so that they can’t chase you.

How To Control Units

In Company of Heroes 2, every unit has been assigned a task but that certainly does not mean that your troops should always be in a stance of action. Sometimes, standing still and waiting for enemy troops is also very important.

The main purpose here is to give attention to all units at your disposal rather than focusing on one unit alone.

This may sound impossible for some of the players as controlling every troop at the same time can be had. But after spending some good hours in the game, it will come on its own. Your instincts will develop in a way that you will automatically know which troop needs your most attention!

As a beginner, just try and keep most of your units active and after the game is over, think about your mistakes and what strategy could have worked better for you.

Static Units
If you have an idle unit and you notice that enemy activity is weak in a particular area then it is a good idea to use this squad to attack the enemy forces in that area.

If your idle unit is unable to protect itself effectively then it is a good idea to send them to join another squad nearby.

Protecting your idle units with field defenses like sandbags, barbed wires and mines should do wonders for you.

Always send a single unit to go and notice the enemy movement and strategy and then plan your tactics accordingly. You can send the whole unit itself but only IF you are sure that enemy squads will not attack you at that particular moment. This will give you an idea where to position your field defenses.

Capturing points is very important as it not only provides you with resources but also rewards you victory points that eventually lead you to winning the game but keeping your squad intact until they reach higher ranks of veterancy is equally important.

Veterancy will give your units activity bonus at rank one and other stats bonuses at rank two and three for free. The team who has maintained his squad will tend to have a stronger army then his enemy.

Attacking enemy forces grant you with veterancy points. Always think that which squad will get most of these points and then plan your tactics. For me – the infantry squad is best for the job.

Misc. Units
In an engagement, always attack those squads first which can be easy killed unless they are practically useless in that scenario.

Take this example; if you have an IS-2 being supported by a Conscript squad and an engineer squad battling with a Tiger being supported by a Panzergrenadier squad and a Pioneer squad.

If not properly controlled, the tanks will fire at each other, Panzergrenadier squad will attack IS-2 and rest of the infantry will attack each other. You don’t want to do this. Instead, Conscript units should throw AT Guns at Tiger and engineers should repair IS-2 when the battle is over.

Controlling a bunch of vehicles and infantry squads require a lot of attention, control groups and hotkeys. Units which are concentrated in an area are much easier to control then the units which are spread across the map.

AT Guns and mines are quite effective when it comes to destroying enemy vehicles. However, the placement of these AT
Guns is very important as a single can be crushed down by heavy vehicles.


Unlike many other games out there, many players in Company of Heroes 2 do not pay much heed to formation forming.

What players usually do in this game is to randomly order certain troops regardless of knowing the position of other troops or commanding them all to move at a same time like a swarm. I would recommend having some certain tactics in mind while engaging the enemy troops.

There are certain formations which players should consider before starting the game. Some of these formations are given below:

Line Formation
Line formation comes in very handy when you don’t know the position of the enemy squad. This allows your individual troop units to discover the areas where enemy position is weak and use that to your advantage.

Wedge Formation
Wedge formation is also ideal for moving forward IF you don’t know the position of your enemy squads. This kind of formation protect your own supporting squads and keeps them hidden from the initial confrontation.

Vee Formation
This type of formation works really well if you know the position of your enemies and you can outflank them. A vee flank can be can confront enemies from the front, maximizing the focus fire at the center.

Column Formation
This formation is excellent for taking advantage of enemy weaknesses – like an area which is not covered by enemy AT Guns or HMGs or mines.

Note: Do not use column formation to attack an already prepared position as the enemy squads can engage the leading unit while the following units remain unable to attack.

Would you like to add anything? Or have we missed something? Do let us know in the Comment Section below!

Haider is a freelance contributor, who loves video games, playing guitar, and aviation. He is a competitive FPS player and also enjoys exotic RPG games like Diablo and Xenogears (his favorite game of all time) ...