XCOM 2 is full of randomised elements to ensure budding Commanders are forced to think on their feet at all times. It's also intent on shaking up tried and tested strategies that existed in its predecessor, XCOM: Enemy Unknown, and this is particularly apparent when it comes to base building.
Base building is an integral part of both your short and long term strategies, and how you approach it is largely dependent on your personal priorities and playstyle. XCOM 2 is accommodating of experimental approaches when it comes to halting the alien advance of its Avatar Project, so whether you're focused on gaining access to as much equipment as possible in the shortest amount of time, unlocking the Psi Operative class, or securing advanced options for squad management and training, there's a base building path for you.
With this is mind, the information below represents some of the best build options and considerations dependent on your own priorities, and provides crucial intel to ensure you're always making the right choices for the resistance effort.
If playing with the War of the Chosen expansion, consider tweaking this build order by adding the Resistance Ring to the front of this queue and swapping out the Advanced Warfare Centre (which no longer exists in the expansion) for the Infirmary. For more on the new building types, read our feature on the Resistance Ring, Infirmary and Training Centre. You can read more about the expansion in our XCOM 2 War of the Chosen guide
Excavating alien debris aboard the Avenger costs time and requires an engineer but offers plentiful rewards
Depending on the randomised layout of your own Avenger, you'll see a mix of rooms stuffed with Alien Debris, Alien Machinery or Exposed Power Coils. While excavating a room containing Alien Debris will be a speedy process that offers a few supplies as a reward, a room containing bulkier Alien Machinery will offer a far greater haul of valuable material - but take a great deal longer to get
This additional time can be mitigated by assigning up to three engineers to a room containing Alien Machinery - assuming you have some to spare. The Exposed Power Coils represent an excellent opportunity to gain additional juice to power other facilities by first shielding the exposed coil and then building a Power Relay atop it.
Alternatively, a facility with a high power-cost can be built in its place, and harness the residual current running through the room, so it runs at a cost of zero power. This isn't a recommended use for your first Exposed Power Coil and is better saved for any additional ones that you may have access to later on. When excavating, always keep an eye on time and resource costs.
Aggressive Style Build Order: Guerrilla Tactics School (GTS) > Advanced Warfare Centre (AWC) > Power Relay > Proving Grounds (PG) build order opens up a wealth of options and a stack of benefits
In addition to benefits such as increased squad size and faster soldier upgrades, the GTS enables a relatively cheap Combat Tactic called Vulture, which offers an additional item for every item dropped in the field by an enemy. It also enables you to remove the random element of initial class assignation by allowing you to train a rookie to be a specific soldier type (excluding Psi Operative), making it possible to fill holes in your roster or avoid a surplus of any one class.
Building the AWC soon after ensures that soldiers can get back to the action more quickly thanks to the centre's medical facilities, and it also offers the chance to have randomly assigned perks applied to soldiers as they are promoted through the ranks, making them stronger and more valuable.
Finally, with your squad in the best possible health and customisable to your specific requirements, the Proving Grounds has a wealth of exotic equipment available for construction that takes advantage of both alien autopsies and ongoing research projects, most of which can help ensure that your soldiers enter battle armed with some of the most advanced items available.
Use options to staff and upgrade rooms to enhance their benefits in the short and long term
Once they're built, facilities such as the Workshop, Laboratory, Power Relay and Resistance Comms can be upgraded and staffed to provide additional benefits. In order to maximise space aboard the Avenger, facilities should be upgraded to further enhance their base features. This is typically an expensive process but provides long term, permanent benefits which depend on the room being upgraded.
For cheaper, temporary benefits, staff can be assigned to rooms to provide boosts as required, enabling you to direct your efforts to sit your priorities at any given time. Managed in this way, a single laboratory or workshop can serve you well for a very long time without the need to build additional facilities of its type.
Balanced Build Order: Advanced Warfare Centre > Guerrilla Training School > Power Relay > Resistance Comms > Proving Grounds > Psi Lab provides a balanced approach to keeping everyone happy.
By combining options for soldier training, contacting resistance forces, building equipment and accessing the Psi Operative, this build order offers a robust approach to operations. Due to the required power cost, the Power Relay should be built atop the first Exposed Power Coil and staffed by an engineer to further boost output. This approach ensures that contact can be made with numerous resistance forces across the globe, not only granting access to additional resistance missions and supply drops but also maximising the opportunity to disrupt alien progress in the Avatar Project.
Again - if playing with the War of the Chosen expansion, consider tweaking this build order by adding the Resistance Ring to the front of this queue and swapping out the Advanced Warfare Centre (which no longer exists in the expansion) for the Infirmary.
- The next part of our guide explains how to unlock the Psi Operative in XCOM 2.
- Return to the index page for more entries in our XCOM 2 guide.