In XCOM:Enemy Unknown and XCOM:Enemy Within, you have the option each turn to make two limited-distance moves. Alternately, you can make one double-distance move ("Dashing").

It seems like splitting the move into two parts gives you more options. If you make a half move, and happen to find that you've flanked an alien you couldn't see before, you can fire on him. Or flee. If not, you can make the other half move, and wind up in the same situation.

I thought it might have to do with enemies using overwatch, but it seems like they can fire on you when you move through thier line of sight either way?

So, why would you dash, effectively losing the mid-move option? (I've considered that it's for people too lazy to tap twice, but set theory suggests that highly impatient types may not have huge overlap with XCOM players.)

Note: This question touches on the pros and cons of dashing, only in the context of noise, and doesn't speak to the potential benefits of dashing vs. splitting the moves.

  • 1
    I'm not sure enough of this to post it as an answer, but in addition to the defence bonus I think that dashing gives you slightly more distance than two single moves. It may be related to diagonal moves and rounding...
    – Flyto
    Commented Nov 19, 2014 at 7:10

3 Answers 3


Mainly, dashing grants a defensive bonus (-20 Aim) to overwatch shots.

I've used it rarely when I need to soak an overwatch with a rookie, to get my shotgunner or heavy into a better position before firing.

Another sometimes benefit, is that it will take the absolute shortest path to get to that location. This will allow you to get maximum movement without exactly positioning your middle move. Be careful that this doesn't dash you through hazardous terrain of course.

  • Does it show that somewhere in game out of interest? I didn't think there was an easy way to see modifier's for opponents shots...
    – Chris
    Commented Nov 18, 2014 at 23:18
  • I'm not sure. In the wiki, it's listed on the overwatch page.
    – Kexlox
    Commented Nov 19, 2014 at 0:33
  • 2
    There is support for the overwatch and dash-overwatch penalties being 0.7 multiplicative modifiers, rather than -20 Aim penalties. I think there's in-game text saying it's -20, but the game was so bug-ridden, text and mechanics mismatching is hardly a surprise. Commented Nov 19, 2014 at 2:47
  • Wouldn't doing a half move and then hunkering down also be beneficial for giving an Aim penalty to the enemy? Commented Nov 19, 2014 at 16:59
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    @RyanJ This is talking about overwatch (reaction shots), where you would get shot at during the half-move. By the time you hunkered it would be too late to receive the bonus
    – Lawton
    Commented Nov 19, 2014 at 18:44

Dashing has a significant benefit on all characters, it decreases chance to be hit by an overwatch shot by 20% since you are running faster.


There is also the curiously inobvious benefit of moving further. As far as I know, you don't get any bonus movement, but if you really need to move to a tile at the farthest possible point, stopping in the middle risks falling short by one:

It should always be possible to move to any tile you can dash to in two normal moves, but sometimes it requires you to pick the exact right tile in the first move, and which one works won't always be visibly obvious.

According to Kexlox: If you need that full movement, but want to stop in the middle to look around, put the cursor over the final destination, and then note where the movement line crosses the one move boundary.

That technically invalidates the answer, but it's still the obvious way to always get to the target tile.

Edit: There is also the pure UX advantage. Dashing saves an interaction; useful when moving through a secured area. Not every game mechanic needs a game mechanical advantage.

  • Are you sure that can happen? Not saying it can't, but you're the second person to suggest it might be possible. If it definitely can happen, I'd want to upvote - that's another good point to consider.
    – Jaydles
    Commented Nov 20, 2014 at 20:26
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    @Jaydles Yes, it can definitely happen; move to one spot and the number of spots you can move to in the second move is reduced. I'd say game discourages you from counting moves exactly, and there may be special handling that makes it less necessary; but unless the second move allows you to move to any tile a dash would allow there is always the possibility to click the wrong tile.
    – Odalrick
    Commented Nov 21, 2014 at 13:34
  • Yes @Jaydles it is possible, especially when moving up and down levels. The path your soldier takes to the first spot is NOT the path they would take to reach the farthest two move spot, leaving them without enough movement to get there.
    – au revoir
    Commented Nov 21, 2014 at 14:12
  • Ahhh... I wasn't getting it. I thought you were saying sometimes it's not possible at all, vs, that sometimes you won't be able to be sure which tiles work and will pick the wrong one. I edited clarification for others as daft as me. :p
    – Jaydles
    Commented Nov 21, 2014 at 14:14
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    What I do if I need that full movement, but want to stop in the middle to look around, is put my cursor over the final destination, and then note where the movement line crosses the one move boundary.
    – Kexlox
    Commented Nov 21, 2014 at 23:17

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