Commander in XCOM 2 is the game’s third difficulty setting that features tougher enemies, longer research times, and more. This guide details everything you need to learn about Commander Difficulty and how to render the experience a tad less frustrating.
XCOM 2 Commander Difficulty Walkthrough
Aside from tougher enemies, longer construction and research durations; the Commander Difficulty features more aggressive enemies who use a lot of their special abilities. Moreover, your troops get less HP boost after leveling up.
How to Play Each Class on Commander Difficulty
Using swords and shotguns, these soldiers deal great damage and critical hits. Despite the fact that sword has a higher damage; you should consider shotgun melee which has 100% chance.
Needless to say, but the shotgun has increased range; however, you can use the sword to simply run and dash across an area.
Also note that the soldiers can specialize in stealth. After leveling, you will get multiple options, but I suggest acquiring ShadowStep over ShadowStrike. For more details, you can check my complete Ranger Class guide.
Being the support class of the game, these soldiers excel in remote hacking, completing extraction missions, and helping a downed soldier escape.
Remote Hacking basically allow soldiers to open cell doors in order to carry out rescue missions and hack the scanner towers. These things also provide soldiers with temporary and permanent bonuses/buffs; however, it can also do so for enemies if anything goes wrong.
Therefore, it is a good idea to hack towers near the end of the mission. You also need to try and acquire Combat Protocol which can be used to finish off high level enemies behind a cover.
As for Healing Protocol, it is useful for Medic Specialist. Then there is Haywire Protocol which is useful during late game to revive teammates. For more details, you can check my complete Specialist Class guide.
In Commander Difficulty, these soldiers are not very useful for insta-killing enemies, but can be used to soften them up, blow their cover, destroy vehicles, and things like these.
They are also equipped with a Grenade Launcher which tosses grenades in a faster way and also get a free grenade. The gatling gun also does the same jobs in an efficient manner.
It is also worth noting that these soldiers can blow up walls and floors in order to reach objective areas much quickly, but can also mess up really quickly. After leveling up, you will get the option to acquire stronger armor or shredded ammo and I would advise to go with ammo.
For more details, you can check my complete Grenadier Class guide.
These soldiers have insane aim and usually acquire 100% hit chances, however, do note that they are unable to fire and move at the same time.
The pistol, on the other hand, allows this and can easily finish off wounded enemies. One important thing to note here is that you need to keep them behind cover at all times.
For more details, you can check my complete Sharpshooter Class guide.
These are pretty overpowered soldiers and unique in the sense that they acquire abilities (in random order) by training in a Psi Lab.
Due to this fact, it is very much possible that a Psi Operative gains access to high-level abilities right at the start of the game. A Psi Operative can also gain access to all of the abilities, provided there is enough time and resources, unlike other classes.
Psi Operatives in the game excel when it comes to using assault rifles and are equipped with a Psi Amp which is automatically used whenever Psionic Abilities are used.
For more details, you can check my complete Psi Operative Class guide.
How to Combat Enemies on Commander Difficulty
There are a lot of different enemies in XCOM 2 all of whom are detailed below:
Grenades are not so much effective on these guys as they still walk away with 1HP, but other guns do seem to get the job done.
Therefore, you should weaken them with grenades following by finishing off the job with some other weapon. These guys can easily flank you if you give them an open position, hence you should always try and eliminate them as soon as possible.
These guys can easily survive a couple of grenades and have an ability which drastically increases their aim. In order to eliminate them ASAP, cut them with a ranger followed by finishing off the job with another class soldier such as a sniper or a grenadier.
As the name suggests, these guys can stun a soldier and incapacitate him for the rest of the mission. It is generally believed that they do not hit ranger which is why you need to get in close and shotgun them.
You should also bear in mind is that their stun gun deals +3 damage which can easily eliminate a wounded soldier – use your Revive Protocol to get them back.
Early in the game, these guys can disorient you, raise a zombie, or disable abilities. In addition to this, these guys can also mindcontrol you and you will have to flashbang or kill them to remove the effect.
You should consider having a flashbang in order to counter them and group together so that if one of the guys is mindcontrolled; others can kill the sectoid.
Zombies are raised by sectoids, are pretty easy to eliminate, and do not deal much of a damage. Instead of wasting time on zombies, you can try and kill the sectoid in order to eliminate both. However, note that sectoids always raise them from behind the cover.
There are a ton of attacks at these guys’ disposal, therefore; it is a good idea to dispose them off as soon as possible.
While dealing with these guys, you need to consider spreading out a little to render their AoE attacks useless. You need to use a ranger to slash them, get constricted during the process, barge in with another soldier, and then finish off with the ranger’s shotgun.
When dealing with Faceless, you need to eliminate them in the same turn during which they activate or you will face heavy penalty.
One thing that you need to note is that they only appear in Terror Missions so you should consider training a specialist with drone which will reveal their position instead of going for MedKits.
Having same range as your soldiers, turrets are immobile and incapable of chasing your targets. You should consider checking their effective range before moving in an area. You can also dispatch them using gatling gun, grenades, combat protocol, and snipers.
It is highly advised that you leave the rooftops as soon as a MEC is activated or he will fall to his death. You need to spread out soldiers to avoid blast radius and stay behind solid covers such as trees.
In order to deal with them, you need combat protocol, shredder ammo, grenades, and a final nail in the coffin. You should consider dealing with them as early as possible, but if there is a snakeman on the field, you can ignore them for a turn.
How to Complete Missions
You need to avoid corners and move through the open area. Moreover, you should only proceed with the hack if there are 3 turns available
You need to use same strategies as Hacking, but remember that if you blow up the extraction point; it appears somewhere else. Due to this fact, you need to ensure that you don’t blow up the extraction zone.
This is pretty easy to do since there are a total of 12 turns; however, you need to ensure that you do not create any additional extraction zones – same as VIP Rescue.
This is again really easy! Since you start concealed, you should take your time to set up ambush, but do not blow up the supply crates as fire can damage them.
This is same as hacking, but you need to destroy the device in this one.
This is pretty random, but you need to bear in mind that faceless can attack in the same turn as they transform so you need to deal with them as quickly as possible. In addition to this, you should also try and stick together to quickly eliminate a faceless if it decides to jump on you.
The only thing that you need to remember is that you do not need to fight all the pods in order to secure a win. It is a good strategy to stealth and head to evac point, clear the area followed by clearing the building.
However, one thing that you need to bear in mind is not to stay in stealth for long or enemies will catch upto you.
XCOM 2 Commander Difficulty Tips and Strategy
You should always try and stay behind cover, but if you think you can eliminate an enemy; eliminating the enemy should always be a first priority over going behind cover. You should also note that you risk taking fire even when behind a cover.
You should also try and eliminate the entire enemy team as soon as possible. For this, target enemy pods as soon as you come across them even if it means blowing your cover.
When we talk about Commander Difficulty, do note that grenades, point-blank rifles, and Overwatch are not as over-powered as many think. Your snipers with score can usually get 100%, grenades are amazing finishers and to blow up covers, combat protocol is reliable as well.
Coming to scouting, you need to do so with your ranger who can rush in and slash. As for your scout, it is a good idea to keep him behind cover. In order to start a fight, always use your sniper who can get 100% and target the enemy with the highest HP.
Stealth in the game is not as amazing as it sounds – enemies will eventually catch upto you. You need to use stealth in order to move to a good engagement before initiating and not to sneak to an objective area as you will fail miserably.
You should also pay close attention to destructible objects in the environment which serve as free explosives to deal damage and blow enemy cover. This is not all as you should also try and toss a couple of grenades on enemy vehicles for +6 damage and finish off its occupants.
Last but not the least; target priority in the game is of utmost importance.
You should always target a MEC first if you have someone on rooftop that has not used a turn. Then you should divert your attention to flanking enemies, stunners (especially if there is no revive available), snakeman, and commanders.
You can leave MECs who cannot flank you just as you should do with zombies, faceless, troopers and shockies who cannot catch upto you.
Don’t forget to share your own tips and strategies with us in the comments section below!