Playing X-Com Enemy Unknown, and I have a Heavy with a 30 Will who panics at the drop of a hat, so I know I should probably trash him.

Obviously I want troops with high attribute value, but what numerical attribute values should I be looking for in recruits to decide whether to keep or ditch them?

Also, how is this decision affected by changes from the Second Wave patch?

  • 7
    A willingness to die. Commented Jan 30, 2013 at 16:47
  • Numerical attribute values, @Doozer Blake.
    – JoshDM
    Commented Jan 30, 2013 at 17:15
  • 1
    Also - don't bother dismissing him, as he has a useful rocket. Put him in half-cover at the front of the battlefield and let the aliens "dismiss" him.
    – au revoir
    Commented Jan 30, 2013 at 17:48
  • @Jason Berkhan - wouldn't that sort of sacrifice generate a success penalty, or is that irrelevant in the term of the battle?
    – JoshDM
    Commented Jan 30, 2013 at 17:49
  • 1
    @JasonBerkan because having a panicky heavy killed is more important than having a useful rookie work his way towards colonelship. An operative dead in the line of duty is a missed opportunity.
    – kotekzot
    Commented Jan 30, 2013 at 19:07

4 Answers 4


All rookie soldiers start with 40 Will and gain Will increases as they gain ranks. They suffer a decrease in Will when they suffer a critical wound in battle. Therefore, there isn't really a single low number to worry about, as it varies by each rank. Also, a Squaddie (or any other low ranked soldier) who has been critically wounded can eventually gain enough Will back to be a successful soldier.

The table below shows the low and high Will values a soldier can have, by rank. By checking each soldier against the table, you can determine if their will is too low for the rank they have. I've included the low and high Will values for when the Iron Will upgrade has been purchased. However, I'm not certain how helpful those will be, as you generally purchase that upgrade after your soldiers have been promoted a few times, so you won't expect to see values as high as the columns indicate.

I created the table using the following assumptions:

  • Each soldier gets a fixed +2 per level.
  • Each soldier gets a random +1d6 per level (iRandWillIncrease=6 in the ini file).
  • Each soldier gets another fixed +2 per level when the Iron Will upgrade is purchased (iBaseOTSWillIncrease=2 in the ini file).
  • Each soldier gets another random +1d4 per level when the Iron Will upgrade is purchased (iRandOTSWillIncrease=4 in the ini file).

(See http://wiki.tesnexus.com/index.php/XCOM:EU_DefaultGameCore.ini_settings for the ini values.)

                        Iron Will
Rank        L   H       L   H
Rookie      40  40      40  40
Squaddie    43  48      46  54
Corporal    46  56      52  68 
Sergeant    49  64      58  82 
Lieutenant  52  72      64  96 
Captain     55  80      70  110 
Major       58  88      76  124 
Colonel     61  96      82  138

The Second Wave options Not Created Equally and Hidden Potential change all of this. Not Created Equally changes the starting Will from a fixed 40 to a random number between 25-60. Will increases stay the same. Hidden Potential changes the Will increases (and all other stat increases) to be random, so there will be a much larger variation of Will values among your soldiers. The above table can still be used to check whether you have a soldier who is better or worse than "normal", though.

  • I don't think this table is accurate. I have assembled a team of 6 colonels with each member having over 100 will, to a maximum of 107 (but I know it can go higher).
    – kotekzot
    Commented Jan 30, 2013 at 19:09
  • I am accepting this answer, as it is very thorough for Will and goes into Second Wave, but since it does not go into AIM, Defense and Mobility, I suggest anyone who upvoted this to also upvote David B's answer below, which does a justifiable job explaining AIM, Defense and Mobility.
    – JoshDM
    Commented Jan 30, 2013 at 19:36
  • @kotekzot - hopefully those numbers are a bit more correct.
    – au revoir
    Commented Jan 30, 2013 at 19:39

There are four attributes: AIM, Defense, WILL, and Mobility.

Defense and Mobility are the same for all soldiers, and so do not need to be considered.

WILL is used two places. Panic checks and psionic attacks/defense. A high WILL stat allows you to panic less frequently, resist psionic attacks and hit more frequently with psionic attacks.

WILL values start randomly and increase random amounts with ranks. The rank up amount is higher once Iron Will is purchased. Checks involving WILL are modified by PSI Armor and Mind Shield.

AIM is used to determine a gun attack's chance to hit. If you press F1 while you have an enemy targetted during an attack, the chance to hit will be displayed. The base chance is exactly your AIM score : 65 AIM = 65% base chance to hit. Items which improve AIM checks include Scope and Light Plasma Rifle, as well as pistols with Improved Pistol II.

AIM values are the same for all rookies by default. AIM increases with ranks at a rate determined by the soldier's class. Snipers have the highest AIM, followed by Assault and Support (tied), with Heavy having the lowest AIM.

Heavy's low AIM is not as big of a liability as it sounds. Heavy should usually spend the turn firing twice (compensating for low AIM), suppressing or launching rockets (actions which do not require AIM).

  • WILL also affects your likelyhood of getting a gifted psionic soldier
    – l I
    Commented Jan 30, 2013 at 18:09
  • @spartacus that is true, but the effect is really minimal.
    – Amy B
    Commented Jan 30, 2013 at 18:16
  • What changes does the Second Wave apply? How varied are the attributes then?
    – JoshDM
    Commented Jan 30, 2013 at 19:33
  • Knowing the variation of "Not Created Equally" and "Hidden Potential" doesn't help you choose the three best snipers so far to keep.
    – Amy B
    Commented Jan 30, 2013 at 20:13

As far as I'm concerned, the only attribute that really matters is AIM.

Being able to hit your target is everything.

However, WillPower will become more important when fighting against and utilizing your own PSIonics. But I'd take AIM over WillPower any day.

  • What numeric value is considered low or acceptable? I'm unsure the value is percentile.
    – JoshDM
    Commented Jan 30, 2013 at 17:16
  • 1
    I thought that aim was fixed for a given class & rank, unlike will? (except with Hidden Potential, perhaps)
    – Flyto
    Commented Jan 30, 2013 at 18:59
  • @SimonWaldman - Yup - Will is the only value that has a random element to it (without activating the Hidden Potential option).
    – au revoir
    Commented Jan 30, 2013 at 19:04

Since is now on Xbox one will reignite topic. If using the random stat option will is huge, low will and high aim is deadly for user, under 30 they can panic if people even hit for a single point damage and with a high aim it usually means a dead trooper and contagious panic leading to a squad wipe. I keep anything over 30 at start and once I get some good troops of each class I do a second culling.

Aim can be adjusted for with gear and heavy weapon skill giving plus 20 aim early, a panicky soldier will lose you troops and is not a lot you can do to protect from it for a lot of game.

Underestimate will and panic at own peril.

The added bonus of an early culling if you buy 10 troops early is you will end up with a solid squad of about 15 with about 5 of them rolling high on both stats....of course then RNG will be a beach and make them all one class lol

  • This doesn't really add anything not covered by the existing answers, I'm afraid.
    – Frank
    Commented Jun 26, 2016 at 13:30
  • Umm the question asked for a value, and although answers were good no one actually answered question but whatever lol. And some answers were quite bad even. The one answer that actually went into depth was for fixed stats not having random stats enabled. Of course if you dont like what I have to say you don't need to listen. Either way I was a lot more constructive than you lol. Commented Jun 26, 2016 at 13:37
  • Random stats is on by default on PC. I don't think it's even an option to turn that off. No one addresses it because that's exactly how it is.
    – Frank
    Commented Jun 26, 2016 at 13:47

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