I'd like to try to spread the XP around my group, so that I'm frequently ranking up both my experienced soldiers and my new recruits.

I'm pretty sure that I get XP for killing an alien, but are there other actions I can take during a mission to maximize my XP gain?

For instance, this guy, my newly minted Corporal, Marcel Petit:

enter image description here

He's got a grand total of 1 kill. He's just made Corporal though, so that's 2 ranks in 4 missions with just one kill on record. He's not been stunning aliens either (this is so early in the game I haven't researched Arc Throwers yet). I didn't get him as a quest reward - these four missions are the only ones I've played.

  • Kills. Shoot them, commander. Commented Oct 10, 2012 at 1:54
  • Are you sure? I think just trying to hit them also nets some xp. I know I've had rookie's rank up without getting a single kill. Although that might be only rookies
    – Shykin
    Commented Oct 10, 2012 at 19:26
  • Yeah, I've got some Captains that have 5 kills on record, and I'm certain they haven't been stunning aliens (since they only pack medkits). There's got to be more to it than what's listed here.
    – agent86
    Commented Oct 14, 2012 at 3:10
  • @agent86 - You're sure these captains aren't ones you've received as mission rewards?
    – SaintWacko
    Commented Oct 15, 2012 at 12:54
  • @SaintWacko, here's an example from my latest game, complete with screenshot.
    – agent86
    Commented Oct 24, 2012 at 21:50

4 Answers 4


These are what grant you XP and how much:

  1. Alien Kill 30/60*
  2. Regular Missions 60/90*
  3. Storyline Missions 120/180*
  4. Zero KIAs 20
  5. Resist Psi Attack 10**
  6. Successful Mindfray 20**
  7. Successful Mind Inspiration 30**
  8. Assist Mind Inspiration 30**
  9. Successful Psi Panic 30**

*Additional XPs earned if the soldier has a rank of Lieutenant or less and kills any of the higher alien ranks (Ethereals, Sectopods, Elite Mutons, Sectoid Commanders, etc.) during the mission.

**Psionic actions.

Your soldiers have different requirements for promotions:

  • Rookie 0
  • Squaddie 90
  • Corporal 300
  • Sergeant 510
  • Lieutenant 745
  • Captain 1100
  • Major 1560
  • Colonel 2150
  • Psionic* 0
  • Specialist 50
  • Operative 120

Source: http://ufopaedia.org/index.php?title=Soldiers_(EU2012)#Earning_XPs

  • Does the 'zero KIA' count civilians (during terror missions) as well? Commented Feb 18, 2013 at 10:29
  • No, KIA refers to team mates. So not losing any soldiers on Terror Missions, but losing civilians will give you "No KIA" bonus, but saving all civilians but losing one soldier gives no bonus.
    – Mandemon
    Commented Feb 18, 2013 at 12:08

enter image description here

Hello, great work all!

I wanted to let everybody know, you do not have get a kill to level up a soldier!

Melaina did not take any actions during the 4 missions except to hunker down. She did not fire any shots or assist the team in any way.

Also, I'm not sure if capturing aliens will reward the soldier with XP. I'll have check this out later.

  • 5
    I've just finished a experiment to see if capture aliens alive rewards the soldier with XP. The conclusion; Capturing Aliens does NOT provide additional XP for capturing soldier. In this experiment, I used a Squadi with 2 arch throwers equipped. After she captured 4 aliens, I left her in a corner hunkered down. She did not fire a shot. I used her to capture a total of 12 aliens in 3 missions. After completing the 3rd mission w/o lvl up, I confidently conclude that capturing aliens does not provide XP.
    – user74753
    Commented Apr 20, 2014 at 19:25

Kills and capturing aliens alive.

  • 1
    Are you sure capturing aliens gives experience? Commented Oct 27, 2012 at 4:48
  • I can confirm that capturing aliens gives XP - I have a solider who is ranking up on 0 kills - he is my Arc Thrower suicide runner :)
    – Laurence
    Commented Nov 9, 2012 at 12:59
  • 1
    There's more to it than this - see my screenshot.
    – agent86
    Commented Nov 26, 2012 at 20:34

Your group gets shared XP, so whatever you kill/capture (as EVERY single mission has you killing everything) every member of your group gets XP - this is great for getting two rookies with a group of veterans and levelling them up.

  • 4
    Not sure about that one -- I've more than once seen the message "<rank> Urist has earned a promotion!" after a successful kill - but only the one making the kill or capture. There may be some degree of shared experience but whoever makes the kill definitely gets more. Commented Oct 15, 2012 at 9:34
  • I agree with @shadur. There is definitely not 100% shared XP - I'm playing on a difficulty that is too easy for me it seems to I haven't lost a man yet (thoguh a few injuries) and for those first few missions without any injuries they definitely all levelled at different times, etc. I've not really paid attention to what my rookies have done in missions (if I have them I tend to try to let them get a kill if I can to level them though).
    – Chris
    Commented Oct 15, 2012 at 16:03

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