Is there any "comeback mechanic" for recovering from the loss of high-level soldiers in XCOM 2?

It's been mentioned in another question that the loss of high-level soldiers should be avoided and that it can be a serious setback if it occurs. In the event that they happened regardless, what is the best way to compensate? Is there any rules within the game that can be leveraged to recover from such a position? (Assuming the mistakes that led to the losses were isolated incidents and are not repeated.) What strategy can one take to deal with being behind in soldier experience?

2 Answers 2


There are a few things that can help.

Train up rookie soldiers without relying on their Aim

Even rookies can still be pretty effective if you use them mostly for utility items and heavy weapons. Bring them along, stocked with Mimic Beacons, grenades, etc., and take your missions slowly until they're trained up. (If you have the Guerrilla Tactics School, you can skip the part where they're rookies.)

Always be training Psi soldiers

Psi soldiers are extremely powerful, and can be trained without taking them on any missions. From the moment you first build a Psi facility it should never be empty, and ideally it should have an engineer to speed up training. If one of your top soldiers gets killed, swap in one of your Psi soldiers to fill the slot.

As an extension of this, your Guerrilla Tactics School should always be training a rookie into a specific class.

Accept a soldier as a mission reward

Sometimes missions will offer you a soldier as a reward. This soldier will generally come with some ranks already, letting you jump right into the fray with a decent option. The main downside is that you'll need to complete a mission without your dead soldier to earn this. You can take a soldier as a reward before losing anybody if you're worried about this eventuality coming up.

Cross train when you can

If you're looking at a somewhat easier mission, leave one of your top soldiers at home and bring someone lower along. Your best soldiers won't level quite as fast, but in the event of their untimely death, you'll have something to back them up with. Try to let the lower level soldier finish enemies off, if possible, to help them level faster. Getting squad size upgrades is very useful to make this a viable strategy.

  • 3
    +1, but the best way to deal with this situation is to be prepared for it by spreading out promotions so that you have soldiers at intermediate ranks to take over.
    – DCShannon
    Commented May 2, 2016 at 18:40

The easiest but not the cheapest way is to recruit new soldiers from resistance HQ using supplies or Black Market using intel. They will be the higher level the longer the game has progressed, and eventually there will be colonels to recruit.

The available recruits refresh after each supply drop, and it's not guaranteed to always have a soldier available. HQ has always two new people as recruits, but they can also be a scientist and an engineer, in which case no soldier is available until the next supply drop. Black Market usually has one soldier available, but I guess it's not guaranteed.

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