Through my experience while playing, I know that soldiers can panic if an ally dies, or if they take a lot of damage. I also know that the soldiers' Will score plays a role in determining whether or not they will begin to panic.

However, I'm looking for a more in-depth explanation of what causes a soldier to panic. I'm especially interested in detailed information in the role that Will plays, since the the Second Wave feature allows users to start with a Will score as low as 20.

What determines if a soldier will panic?

  • 1
    Don't forget that panic can also be caused by the Beserkers Intimidate ability, and cured with the Tier2 Psi ability Psi-Inspiration
    – Neon1024
    Jan 19, 2013 at 0:32
  • I don't know specifically with the new version but in the old version soldiers had a morale score. Injuries, deaths and psi attacks could erode that morale, if it hit zero the solider would panic. It healed over time. I rather suspect the new version works in a similar fashion. Jan 19, 2013 at 3:32

2 Answers 2


Panic in XCOM: Enemy Unknown (2012) works by having something to trigger a panic roll. These rolls have base number, your soldiers Will points are added. Roll needs to exceed this number to cause your soldier to panic.

From there, your soldier can choose four actions, depending circumstances. If soldier is flanked and/or exposed, he will seek out new cover. If he is cover, he will either attack random target in FOV(Field Of Vision) or hunker down.

Now, on what triggers the panic roll, there is still not 100% sure knowledge of this, but current best known events are following:

  • Loss of teammate
  • Taking damage
  • Teammate in FOV panicking
  • Psi-Panic
  • (Normal/Elite/Berserker) Muton Intimidate

Furthermore, following events can cause will power to drop during the mission, increasing the chance for panic:

  • Being poisoned (also causes damage, so each turn soldier is poisoned, he has chance to panic)
  • Being hurt, called "Battle Fatigue".
  • Mindfray
  • Being critically wounded and then revived, which causes permanent Will penalty.
  • Team leader is dead (Leader is marked by a star)
  • 4
    IIRC even hearing obscured enemies' sounds has a low chance to trigger panic.
    – kotekzot
    Feb 17, 2013 at 11:06
  • 1
    +1 This is great information. Did you figure out this yourself, or do you have a source? If so, I'd like to see it so I can read up on this some more, and see how the data was gathered.
    – Wipqozn
    Feb 17, 2013 at 13:46
  • I remember reading some some of it from ufopaedia.org but I can't find excat details. However, most of it comes from personal experience. I never had soldier panic after hearing unseen enemy.
    – Mandemon
    Feb 17, 2013 at 18:42
  • 1
    Also, added one Will debuff I had forgotten: If your team leader dies, all soldiers receive extra debuff, in addition to lost teammate.
    – Mandemon
    Feb 17, 2013 at 18:53

After some intensive research, this are the rules: If an event happens, your soldier rolls a d100, if the result is lower than the target number he stays cool. If not, he panics. E.g. a soldier with a will of 30 will have a 20% chance to panic when wounded.


eMoraleEvent_Wounded, 50

eMoraleEvent_AllyCritical, 45

eMoraleEvent_AllyKilled, 45

eMoraleEvent_ImportantAllyKilled, 35

eMoraleEvent_AllyTurned, 35

eMoraleEvent_ZombieHatch, 25

eMoraleEvent_AllyPanics, 45

eMoraleEvent_MutonIntimidate, 30

eMoraleEvent_Disoriented, 45

eMoraleEvent_SetOnFire, 20

edit: -5 on all rolls if the soldier is wounded. -10 if his Hp are below 50%.

  • Very nice to have some hard data, thanks very much for the contribution! Any insight onto how you found this data exactly?
    – user66184
    May 4, 2015 at 20:06
  • Which difficulty is this for? Soliders panic way more often on impossible than on classic... May 4, 2015 at 20:11
  • eMoraleEvent_SetOnFire? Soldiers can catch fire? I don't recall anytime this ever happened in one of my playthroughs. Is there actually a situation in the game which sets characters/aliens on fire or is this something which was planned but dummied out before release?
    – Philipp
    May 4, 2015 at 20:28
  • @ Philipp: i guess its the flamethrower from the dlc. @ Thebluefish: The data is from some game file. You can google "eMoraleEvent_Wounded" and you should find my source. But since its from a game file, doenst mean that every single line of code was used in the final game. They had plans for much more, but didnt implement it because it just didnt work or for other reasons. +If you play the "long war" mod, you can see the panic-dice-roll results. use that to confirm those numbers if you want :) May 6, 2015 at 4:51
  • @BlueRaja - Danny Pflughoeft: Those numbers seem to be independent from difficulty. No wiki mentions "harder" panic tests for soldiers. May 6, 2015 at 5:01

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