Soldiers gain experience from killing enemies. At what experience levels do the soldiers advance to the next rank?

  • 2
    As a sidenote, you can increase the levelling speed of your soldiers by 'buying' an update in the barracks.
    – pleinolijf
    Oct 15, 2012 at 9:20

4 Answers 4


As this wiki page suggests (game mechanism tuning, did not tested myself), there is a XP chart for your soldiers:

Soldier XP Levels (Rookie, Squaddie, Corporal, Sergeant, Lieutenant, Captain, Major, Colonel)  
  - m_iSoldierXPLevels=0  
  - m_iSoldierXPLevels=90 
  - m_iSoldierXPLevels=300  
  - m_iSoldierXPLevels=510  
  - m_iSoldierXPLevels=745
  - m_iSoldierXPLevels=1100  
  - m_iSoldierXPLevels=1560 
  - m_iSoldierXPLevels=2150

Though kills does not make all. It does bring experience, as stated in Does the type of kill matter for promotion?, but all your promoted soldiers did not necessarily killed a target. It can be assumed that participating to a kill also grants some experience.

Furthermore, I think there is a mission bonus awarded to each surviving soldier.

There are also bonus that can be bought through the soldier academy: wet work that increase the amount of experience gained and the new soldier auto-squaddie promotion come to my mind.

  • I've seen soldiers be promoted at the end of the mission though they haven't earned a promotion by making kills, evidence for mission completion XP. I've never seen somebody who assisted a kill get promoted.
    – kotekzot
    Oct 23, 2012 at 12:45
  • For example I'm positive, that psi-promotion don't require kills, just successful use of psi skill
    – vartec
    Oct 23, 2012 at 14:17
  • You are right @vartec, you can also see the PSI-Level in the file.
    – M'vy
    Oct 23, 2012 at 14:59
  • So we know how many XP you need per level, how many do you get per kill? Here are two of my crew; Martin Wright (Germany) Squadie, Missions 1:0 Kills:0 and then there's Dimitrios Nicolo (Greece) Squadie Missions:1 Kills:5. The Greek guy was robbed. [Playing on Normal]
    – Andrew
    Nov 26, 2012 at 17:29

The XP chart for promotions is correct. However - you don't have to kill to earn points. For example: A Sectoid kill gives you 30pts. A successful abduction mission gives you 80pts.

Make 1 Kill, survive, accomplish mission = 110pts aka Squadie promotion. Don't make a kill, survive 2 accomplished missions = 160pts


I had a colonel after 29 kills that just hadn't been on that many missions, she was a psi and i had a large dry spell of psi soldiers. My primary goal in every mission for my team was to get her as many kills as possible as quickly as possible. I have also had colonels early game with much fewer kills (high teens i think is my lowest...mebe 19...not verified) simply because they were along for the ride as my overwatched squadsight sniper got 1/3+ of all kills. I have definitely had soldiers level up from mission completes without getting a kill.


In order for a soldier to rank up, he/she has to kill a set number of aliens. I do not know if it has to all be on one mission, but anecdotal evidence through my playthough indicates that it is kills in total, not kills in one mission, and that which type of alien is killed doesn't matter. My Colonel (the highest rank) with the least number of kills has 24 kills across all missions. My Major (second highest rank) with the most kills has 18 across all missions. I believe that recruit to squaddie is 1 kill, and squaddie to Corporal is 3 kills. Not definite about any others.

  • 3
    It is better not to assume, and back up your statements with proven facts, rather than anecdote.
    – childe
    Oct 15, 2012 at 5:44
  • Anecdotally I'm pretty sure that I have a soldier with more than 24 kills who isn't a colonel. I may have to check. and I haven't got the upgrade for bonus xp from kills either which will obviously make a difference.
    – Chris
    Oct 15, 2012 at 14:37
  • 1
    I don't think that this is right. One, there's an XP table in the data files. Two, I've had squaddies with zero kills in the early game, so they're clearly getting experience for more than just kills.
    – jprete
    Oct 16, 2012 at 2:28

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .