I have a bunch of soldiers who are lucky enough to have gotten Archangel armor for christmas this year.

But I can't for the life of me figure out how to use flight to my advantage.

  • The game's quite clear that activating flight doesn't convey any elevation bonus
  • It doesn't seem to improve sight lines meaningfully, which isn't surprising how little it elevates you
  • I can't use it to get up anywhere high

Is it really just for avoiding having to walk around low obstacles? Seems a bit weak for how cool it looks and expensive it is.

I feel like I'm missing something.

Note that I don't have "advanced flight" yet. And I get that once I do, it will add capabilities, but I'm struggling to figure out what basic flight is actually good for, other than making me stress about fuel consumption.

  • You can't use it to get anywhere high? How not? If you're playing on PC, I believe the mousewheel allows you to change elevation levels.
    – Frank
    Aug 15, 2013 at 15:42
  • I believe the elevation bonus is only the accuracy aspect. You still gain elevation dodge bonus, but since you aren't in cover its not really a good tradeoff. My biggest complain about it is its easily outclassed by the grappling hook (which is only a half move) rather than having to fly and then move and land on a location.
    – l I
    Aug 15, 2013 at 15:47
  • Yep, it seems like you are not making your soldiers actually fly up in the air. Are you able to get them, like, three levels above the floor?
    – Orc JMR
    Aug 15, 2013 at 15:47
  • @fbueckert, is that it's primary function? Similar to grapple? Maybe it can, and I missed it because the grapple defaults your choices to the elevated ones, but flight doesn't?
    – Jaydles
    Aug 15, 2013 at 15:48
  • 2
    @Jaydles I think perhaps it means that simply starting up the jetpack (which will have the soldier hovering barely above the floor) does not provide the bonus. The elevation bonus should kick in as normal when you move your soldier 3-4 levels higher.
    – Alex
    Aug 15, 2013 at 15:52

3 Answers 3


There are two steps to using your shiny new Archangel armour effectively.

First you need to Activate flight mode by using the relevant skill, which will start the jetpack. Note that at this point the soldier will only be hovering barely above the ground, so will not gain any extra elevation bonus.

Next time you're allowed to move (which should be the same turn if you activating the skill is the first thing you've done) you can move your soldier vertically as well. If you move the soldier high enough, then the normal elevation bonus will kick in.

From the wiki:

  • Toggling Flight mode does not cost an action or end the turn. Movement or elevation changes while in flight costs 1 fuel unit. Hovering in a stationary position does not consume fuel.
  • Flying DOES confer an elevated-position bonus, but you must fly higher than normal.

Note that airborne units are immune to melee and harder to hit with ranged weapons, as they get the Evasion bonus (20% aim penalty against them). This is the trade-off for the lack of cover.

Personal note: I gave Archangel armour to my sniper with Squad Sight and Double Tap and he shot all of the aliens. He was far back enough that he was rarely, if ever, targeted, so the cover trade-off was well worth it.

Source: XCom Wiki

  • UFOPaedia corroborates this. Aug 15, 2013 at 18:36
  • 5
    Seconded. A flying sniper with squad sight and double tap is a lethal combination.
    – JohnnyO
    Aug 15, 2013 at 20:08

When a unit is flying more than 1 height unit above the ground it cannot be targeted by melee enemies, and can access roofs without ladders or stairs (similar to grapple, but can move from roof to roof rather than ground to roof).

With heavy mutons and chryssalids as powerful as they are, hovering while those units are around gains some use, especially since chryssalids can jump anywhere you can grapple.


It allows you to fly as high as possible and then get stuck on the steeple of the church in the center of the graveyard multiplayer map. From there you cannot move, but you can shoot in any direction including straight down into the inside of the church.

(Dear guy I accidentally did this against, I am so sorry.)

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