XCOM 2 Skirmisher faction - Abilities, skill tree, Resistance Orders and how to recruit new Skirmisher units such as Pratel Mox

How to encounter and master XCOM 2's Skirmisher faction.

The XCOM 2 Skirmisher faction is one of three added to the huge War of the Chosen expansion.

Encountered as part of the main story, and able to be recruited into your own unit starting with Pratel Mox, Skirmishers were once ADVENT soldiers who have broken free from the control of their powerful former masters and seek to enact retribution upon the alien overlords.

Mobile combat units, Skirmishers excel at disrupting the enemy on the battlefield and are led by Betos, the first of her kind rise up against the Elder's after a defective control chip allowed her to break free from the ADVENT network. Shunned by many, including the Reapers, for their unwitting crimes under ADVENT control, Skirmishers are nonetheless powerful and loyal allies.

If you need more help, our XCOM 2 War of the Chosen guide provides a breakdown on how else you can tackle the huge expansion.

How to unlock and play as Skirmisher units, Pratel Mox in XCOM 2

The Skirmisher faction is the second of the three new factions to be introduced.

How to get Skirmisher units and Pratel Mox in XCOM 2

During an early story mission in which you attempt to broker peace between the Reapers and Skirmishers, you meet Pratel Mox.

After proving his value in combat, Mox requires you to come to his aid. Do so via a story mission and he will come aboard and join your cause. While not as immediately powerful as Reaper Dragunova, Mox will grow to become a valuable tool on the battlefield and his two-shots per turn ability makes him a deadly finisher.

Later in the game, it's possible to recruit an additional Skirmisher via a covert operation that becomes available through the Resistance Ring building type.

How to play as Pratel Mox as other Skirmisher units

Skirmishers are adept at reacting to the flow of battle and can frequently help dictate its direction. This is primarily due to a Skirmisher's versatility.

The grapple enables Mox to reposition on the battlefield with ease, and as it doesn't cost an action it leaves options to either move and shoot, or even shoot twice at particularly stubborn enemies or two weaker ones that need finishing off.

His grapple also has offensive benefits, with the ability to pull an enemy from out of cover and deliver a melee attack and while the Skirmisher starts off a bit weaker than a Reaper, the tactical opportunities opened up by Interrupt and Battlelord are unrivalled.

What to consider when building your Skirmisher:

  • Pick and choose: Skirmishers can be shaped into well-rounded fighters, so be sure to consider all of the options before spending your AP on a new ability and don't be concerned about jumping around the ability tree.
    Zero In works particularly well with Reflex, despite coming from two very different branches of the skill tree. Similarly, Wraith, Retribution and Judgement is a potent combination for a well-armoured Skirmisher that's taking up a vanguard position.
  • Be an effective starter and finisher: The dual-shot capability of the Skirmisher's Bullpup weapon is a great way to finish off enemies and take out multiple wounded enemies. However, the Skirmisher can also start the combat round just as effectively.
    Using Justice to pull an enemy out of cover and deliver a melee attack is a great way to give your squadmates a chance to take high-critical flanking shots. The melee attack delivered by the Skirmisher's ripjack also has a high chance to stun, which is very useful for taking a tougher enemy out of the fight for a turn or two, or from stopping a Codex from cloning itself before a squadmate finishes them off with a follow-up hit.
  • Upgrade the Bullpup: The Skirmisher's ability to take multiple shots per turn, and the versatility of their powered-up overwatch abilities, means they can often find themselves running out of ammo and having to use a valuable action on reloading.
    Mox is a prime candidate for an early Auto-Loader upgrade, giving him one or more free reloads per engagement and ensuring his 3-clip-size Bullpup remains loaded and ready to bite at a moment's notice.

XCOM 2 Skirmisher abilities and skill tree

Training the new Skirmisher class works a little differently to training regular soldiers. At each rank-up, the Skirmisher will be awarded a handful of Ability Points to spend on an ability from their new rank. Alternatively, you can double-back and pick up a slightly cheaper ability from a previous rank, offering a degree of welcome flexibility.

This versatility is a powerful levelling tool, so it's useful to have a guide to the abilities you can expect to choose between from the table below. The Judge abilities offer maximum battlefield control with a host of repositioning options, while Tactician and Hussar options make Mox a more deadly soldier. More so than any other class, Skirmishers offer the most open skill tree, so choose carefully for each upgrade and check out the Skirmisher tips below for additional tactical options.


Marauder - Standard shots are not turn-ending, allowing for shooting then moving or shooting twice on a turn Reflex - When fired upon, gain one extra action on the next turn. Triggers once per mission N/A N/A Combat Presence - Grant an extra action to a squadmate Waylay - When entering Overwatch, you can take as many shots as you have remaining actions Manual Override - Lower all ability cooldowns by 1 turn


Justice - Use the Grapple to pull a humanoid target to you and deliver a ripjack strike N/A Wraith - Use the Grapple to pull yourself to an enemy and deliver a ripjack strike Whiplash - Attack an enemy with an electrical lash. This attack does not cost an action Retribution - Free ripjack attacks on any enemies that enter or attack from melee range Reckoning - Unlocks the ripjack Slash attack Battlelord - After each enemy in your line of sight takes a turn, take an immediate action


Grapple - Deploy a grappling hook to move quickly to an elevated position Total Combat - Throwing a grenade or using an item no longer ends the turn Zero In - Subsequent shots on the same turn provide +10 critical chance. If against the same target, they also provide +10 hit chance Full Throttle - Gain +2 mobility with every kill this turn Interrupt - A powerful form of Overwatch. Instead of firing automatically, perform any single action N/A Judgement - When targeted by an attack, the enemy has a chance to panic


None Possible chance for a random ability from another class Possible chance for a random ability from another class Possible chance for a random ability from another class Possible chance for a random ability from another class Possible chance for a random ability from another class Possible chance for a random ability from another class

If you need more help with XCOM 2's expansion, our XCOM 2: War of the Chosen guide and tips can explain everything you need to know, from how to beat The Chosen Assassin, Warlock and Hunter and the new The Lost, Spectre and Advent units. Combat them by learning about each new faction with our Reaper abilities and skill tree, Skirmisher abilities and skill tree and Templar abilities and skill tree pages, as well as learning about the new Challenge Mode, Resistance Ring, Ability Points, Fatigue and Bonds systems. Good luck, Commander!

XCOM 2 Skirmisher Resistance Orders

Aside from the powerful individual soldier abilities that a Skirmisher boasts, there are a number of useful Resistance Orders available via the Skirmisher faction. Issued at month end to take effect throughout the following month the most useful of these include:

  • Inside Job: Increases the Intel gained from mission rewards. Higher levels of this order offer an additional percentage increase of intel.
  • Decoys and Deceptions: The Chosen will actively hunt you down, gathering intel of their own through covert ops and sometimes by capturing your soldiers on the battlefield. This order reduces the knowledge they gain, thus slowing their ability to disrupt your supply lines and reducing the chance that they will be able to track down The Avenger and force you to defend it in a make or break mission.
  • Double Agent: With this order in effect, there is a chance on every mission that you undertake that an ADVENT unit will join your squad. Not a boon to rely on, but one that comes in very handy to give you another body on the ground, albeit an expendable one.

Increasing your standing with the Skirmisher faction by undertaking covert operations and Faction missions ensures you gain access to the most useful orders, in the shortest possible time. You will also unlock additional order slots so that you can have multiple orders active at any one time.

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About the author

Stace Harman

Stace Harman


Stace Harman is a freelance writer and zombie survivalist. He writes mainly about video games but has also reported on topics ranging from airline security to Claudia Winklemanís shoes.


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