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In XCOM: Enemy Unknown, this post mentions how defensive bonuses are calculated with regard to the amount of cover, perks and additional buffs.

For XCOM 2, I currently have this defensive bonus list:

 - Half Cover:                          +20
 - Smoke:                               +20
 - Hunker Down:                         +30  
 - Half Cover w/ Smoke:                 +40
 - Half Cover w/ Hunker Down:           +50
 - Half Cover w/ Smoke and Hunker Down: +70
 - Full Cover w/ Smoke:                 +60
 - Full Cover w/ Hunker Down:           +70
 - Full Cover w/ Smoke and Hunker Down: +90

What perks or armors are available to further add to these bonuses? For example, in XCOM: Enemy Unknown, the 'Dense Smoke' perk allowed smoke grenades to give an additional +20 defense.

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    Hrmmm; don't forget sending a gremlin over to a particular character.
    – Sumurai8
    Nov 26, 2016 at 9:35

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After looking at a number of abilities and @Sumurai8's comment, I've compiled that the following list of defense bonuses:

 - Half Cover:                          +20
 - Smoke:                               +20
 - Hunker Down:                         +30
 - Gremlin (Aid Protocol):              +20
 - Gremlin Mk II:                       +30  
 - Gremlin Mk III:                      +40

Maximum defense can then be gained by using Full Cover, Smoke, Hunker Down and Gremlin MKIII Aid Protocol for a total of 130 defense.

Since defense is a number subtracted from the shot chance, at 130 defense it is not possible to be hit by a shot. Psi attacks and grenades may still hit.

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  • I'd like to add height advantage which confers a defence bonus of 20 - which I forgot if 20 is with or without the Damn Good Ground perk
    – Ben Ong
    Feb 6, 2017 at 7:19
  • at 130 defense it is not possible to be hit by a shot A 140% shot (which is shown as 100% in the UI but counts as 140%) would still have a 10% chance to hit. Hit chance = Unit aim minus target defense. The dice roll is capped to 100% for obvious mathematical reasons, but the calculations before the dice roll are not. However, 100+ Dodge would guarantee a dodge, as the Dodge stat is only calculated after the roll.
    – Flater
    May 22, 2017 at 14:47

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