I noticed a trend among all of my games of XCOM that, with my first four soldiers promoted to Squaddie, I always had:

  • one sniper
  • one assault
  • one heavy
  • one support

If I assume that they are assigned randomly, then the exact probability of this occurring in any given game would be 4!/44, or about 10%. So I was wondering if this is actually hardcoded into the game, or just plain luck.

Am I correct in my assertion here? Is there a larger pattern that I'm missing?

  • I've observed the same thing. The first 4 promotions yielded 1 of each class on each playthrough I had.
    – Nolonar
    Commented Jan 8, 2017 at 21:57

1 Answer 1


This is a known feature in XCOM games with classes. First, the game checks if there's any classes you've never had a soldier of, and if so it picks between them with an even chance. Since it rolls them one by one, your first 4 rookies that survive a mission will be different classes. Second, it compares the numbers of each class in your barracks to make a roll. If there are classes with 0 living soldiers, they will be much more likely than those with 2 living soldiers, and ones with a single soldier alive are more likely than those with 4.

They changed it a little bit in XCOM: Enemy Within. The first step is the same, but the second roll is replaced with a draw from a deck of 16 cards, 4 from each class, with the top 3 cards discarded. This means that if you promote 17 soldiers (including the first 4 from step one), you'll get at least 2 of each, and quite likely 3, but never 6 of one class.

Source: ufopaedia.org

  • 5
    To clarify, there's nothing special about the first 4 squaddies, but the first 4 promotions will be distinct. Commented Jan 8, 2017 at 22:18
  • Good point, that's important to make distinct. Commented Jan 8, 2017 at 22:23
  • 2
    Great job on this as your first answer, by the way :)
    – Nissa
    Commented Jan 14, 2017 at 1:51

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