XCOM 2 Templar faction - Abilities, skill tree, Resistance Orders and how to recruit new Templar units

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

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

Wielding Psionic purple powerswords that extend from a set of specialised gauntlets, Templars specialise in close-quarters combat.

Led by the Psionically gifted Geist, the Templars are sometimes accused of allowing their abilities to cloud their judgement and give them delusions of grandeur. Nonetheless, Templars are powerful combatants once you understand their application on the battlefield.

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 Templar units XCOM 2

The Templar faction is the third of the three new factions to be introduced.

How to get Templar units in XCOM 2

Templars be found through expanding your resistance network via making contact with neighbouring regions. They may appear in slightly different regions in each playthrough, but they are usually not too far from your starting position.

Once encountered, they will extend an invitation to meet, and offer a Psionically-charged Templar soldier to join your cause.

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

How to play as Templar units in XCOM 2

Templars are geared towards melee combat and have a range of abilities that can both damage enemies directly make them vulnerable to allied soldier attacks.

Unlike Elena Dragunova of the Reapers and Pratal Mox of the Skirmishers, the Templar soldier that you enlist will not be a story-character and will instead be randomly generated. Ours was Amelia "Ether" Kowalczyk of Poland, yours will be someone else.

Nonetheless, what the Templar soldier lacks in back-story they make up for in suaveness and skill; seeing a Templar launch themselves at an enemy with twin-Shard gauntlets extended in a crackling purple deathblow is a sight to behold. Despite the effectiveness of this route-one approach, the Templar is the class that takes the most practice and experimentation to use well.

This is primarily due to their need to balance gaining Focus with earning Focus. This mystical energy is created when a Templar lands the killing blow on an enemy using their Rend attack. Focus increases their stats and damage while it is held in reserve, but it also powers many of the Templar's abilities and so must be kept on board in some situations and spent in others.

What to consider when building your Templar:

  • Rend offers the perfect hit and run option: The Templar's staring ability, Rend, offers a 100% chance to hit an enemy. That makes it great for getting in, hitting (and hopefully killing) an enemy to generate Focus and then moving away afterwards with the Templar's passive Momentum ability. Just don't try to use Rend against a Muton. They are are immune to melee damage and if you try to hit them with your Templar's Rend attack they will block it and hit you back. Ouch.
  • Templars are great, unless you're expecting a lot of Lost: Due to the headshot mechanic that has been introduced alongside the new enemy type, The Lost, the melee-heavy Templar suffers on missions where this horde-like enemy is found. Killing a Lost with Rend does not grant a free action, and so you are better off focusing the Templar's attention on the regular enemies that may be present. That said, killing Lost will generate Focus and so, as with so many aspects of the Temaplar, it's all about balance.
  • Pump up the damage with Amplify: One of the most useful early abilities for a team-orientated Templar, Amplify enables you to spend a point of Focus in order to have single-target attacks directed at a chosen enemy deal increased damage. Beware that area of effect attacks such as grenades or environmental damage is not amplified. Still, Amplify can prove invaluable at taking down a Muton, Gatekeeper, Andromedon or even a member of The Chosen, when they put in an appearance.

XCOM 2 Templar abilities and skill tree

Training the new Templar class works a little differently to training regular soldiers. At each rank-up, the Templar 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.


Rend - Melee attack with a chance to stun or disorient the target. Cannot miss. Triggers Momentum, and generates Focus on kills Parry - After attacking with Rend, prevent all damage from the next attack instead of moving Overcharge - Non-lethal Rend attacks have a 33% to generate focus Deflect - When the Templar has Focus, there is a chance to deflect incoming shots, completely avoiding the damage Reflect - When the Templar has two or more Focus, there is a chance to reflect incoming shots back at the attacker, completly avoiding the damage Arc Wave - Rend generates a wave of Psionic energy in the direction of the attack. Damage increases with Focus level Ionic Storm - Summon lightening to strike all nearby enemies. Damage increases with Focus levels. Costs all Focus, and generate Focus on kills


Volt - Psionic attack that deals low damage, but jumps to nearby units at higher Focus levels. Costs 1 Focus Aftershock - Targets struck by Volt will be easier to hit, increasing your squad's aim by +15 against the target Pillar - Summon a pillar of Psionic energy to act as a high cover point. Costs 1 Focus None Invert - Switch locations with an enemy unit. Costs 1 Focus Exchange - Exchange locations with a squadmate. Costs 1 Focus Void Conduit - Trap a humanoid in a Psionic prison, immobilising them for multiple actions and transferring their health to the Templar. Costs 1 Focus


Focus - Gain Focus during missions, increasing stats, damage, and ability effectiveness. Focus can be spent on powerful abilities Amplify - Mark a single target with a Psionic lens, causing them to take an additional 33% damage from a number of future single-target attacks. Costs 1 Focus Stun Strike - Strike an enemy with Psionic force, knocking them back in the direction of the attack. Costs 1 Focus Channel - When an enemy dies, it may leave behind Psionic energy the Templar can collect to raise their Focus level Deep Focus - The maximum Focus level is increased to 3 N/A Ghost - Create a duplicate of the Templar from the body of a fallen humanoid. The Ghost disappears once its Focus is exhausted. Costs 2 Focus.


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 Templar Resistance Orders

The Templar faction orders are among the most varied and useful in the game and amongst the most useful of them are:

  • Art of War: Ability Point gains upon promotion are increased by 25%. AP can be spent on abilities to unlock new options from a soldier's skill tree, or even gain access to abilities from other classes. However, earning AP is often a relatively slow process and so this helps speed things up. More AP means more abilities; more abilities means more options and greater success (hopefully).
  • Stay With Me: Soldiers are much more likely to enter the bleeding out state than to die outright. Useful at the best of times and invaluable for Iron Man playthroughs.
  • Greater Resolve: Soldiers that are Lightly Wounded can be sent back into combat without having to first recover. Very handy if you have to take on a Black Site mission or intend to hunt down the Chosen and assault their bases, as this ensures soldiers are available for selection more quickly. Just keep an eye on their fatigue level and mental state.

Increasing your standing with the Templar faction by undertaking covert ops and Faction missions ensures you gain access to additional useful orders. You will also unlock multiple order slots so that you can have more than one order 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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