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My main specialist seems to have a hard time hacking stuff. How can I make him better at it?

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There are a few options:

  1. Level up. A Specialist's base Hack stat starts at 50, and increases by 5 with each level, giving you 80 base Hack at the rank of Colonel. Other classes start with much less and gain 5 Hack only at certain promotions.
  2. Upgrade your GREMLIN to Mk. II or Mk. III. These become available as the result of research projects. Once upgraded, all of your specialists will get the higher level GREMLIN, which provides a correspondingly higher Hack stat (+20 for Mk. II and +40 for Mk. III).
  3. After creating a Skulljack in the Proving Grounds, you can undertake the Skullmining project (also in the Proving Grounds). This will cause the Skulljack to give a substantial Hack bonus (+25) to the soldier carrying it, which applies to all hacks.
  4. Occasionally, hacking an objective, such as during a data recovery mission, will have a permanent boost to hacking ability (+20) as a reward. If you hack these with your specialist you can therefore improve their Hack stat. There does not appear to be a limit on how many times a soldier can earn this bonus.

All told, this can get you to 145 Hack, not including the objective-based bonus. Having searched through the XCOM 2 source for calls to the code that modifies soldier stats, I feel confident in saying these are the only methods which will increase your Hacking stat.

  • 4
    XCOM 2 is open-source?! Or how did you get access to the code? – Ordous Feb 8 '16 at 11:32
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    @Ordous Both XCOM: Enemy Unknown and XCOM 2 are built in Unreal, which means it's not very hard to look into the .upk files that make up a lot of the game's data. – DuckTapeAl Feb 8 '16 at 13:08
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    @Ordous On top of that, Firaxis have tried to ensure that XCOM2 is fantastically moddable from day one (given how popular mods like Long War made XCOM:EU/EW), and haven't obfuscated any data (that I've heard about). I believe they'll also be releasing a series of the tools for modding. – Jeeva Feb 8 '16 at 14:34
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    @Jeeva The tools have already been released. If you bought X-COM 2 on Steam, you already have access. Go to the Tools sub-menu of your library and look for it. (Note: this is a huge download, over 40 GB!) – Mason Wheeler Feb 8 '16 at 15:41
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    Also, how did you get a maximum of 130 out of those numbers? 75 base + 40 gremlin + 25 skulljack = 140, and I think the base for colonel specialists is 80 rather than 75 (for a maximum of 145). – user2357112 Feb 9 '16 at 7:22

protected by Community Jan 29 '17 at 11:23

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