Can all enemies be suppressed? For example, can you successfully suppress a Cryssalid or will they simply take the hit point and destroy you?

1 Answer 1


To the best of my knowledge, all ranged attackers can be suppressed, but melee attacks cannot be suppressed...in fact, aliens' melee attacks never miss under any circumstance.

I'd also like to note that I don't recommend taking the heavy's suppression skill at all, or at least not until you've completed the Ammo Conservation foundry project. I'd much rather have a shredder rocket for panic situations when the squad needs to focus something down fast than a skill that wastes two shots from the heavy's small clip and doesn't kill anything.

Reaction shots

It should be noted that suppressing a melee alien will still grant the reaction shot on moving, but at a cost of two ammunition. Note, however, that you could just use overwatch at zero ammunition cost.

Since melee aliens always move unless directly adjacent to a unit, if the alien is in cover, preparing for a reaction shot may grant a better chance to hit than taking a direct shot. Since melee aliens rarely seek cover, in most cases, the 15% penalty to aim on reaction shots will mean it's less likely to connect than a normal shot taken on your turn, so it's usually best to just take your shots.

If you've taken other heavy skills that enhance suppression, you could gain a slight advantage from also suppressing other aliens nearby (granted by Danger Zone), and/or the two points of guaranteed damage to suppressed aliens (granted by Mayhem).

Dealing with melee aliens

There are only three ways to prevent a melee attack: avoid the alien, kill the alien, or stun the alien.

Since melee aliens run faster than XCOM soldiers, running away is usually not very effective, but may occasionally be the right choice, if the alien is still at a moderate distance, and is unlikely to be killed on the current turn. More often than not, however, it's kill this turn or be mangled next turn.

The Chitin Plating accessory can greatly reduce damage from melee aliens, so you might consider giving that to your forward scout if you find you're often losing your scout to melee aliens.

If you scout with an assault soldier you could use also the skill Close Combat Specialist to defend yourself against an approaching Cryssalid or Muton Berserker, especially if you have an alloy cannon equipped.

  • To put it another way: suppression conveys a penalty to accuracy of next attack or a reaction shot on next move. Cryssalid will move, take damage, and the suppression ends. The only way you can actually make cryssalid to attack suppressed is walk next to it and start suppressing :-)
    – Orc JMR
    Nov 30, 2012 at 17:58
  • @OrcJMR I don't remember the exact wording, but I believe there's an in-game hint that confirms that melee attacks always hit. I'm fairly certain that even having a unit right next to the melee alien and the alien suppressed would still mean you'd get hit 100% of the time, and not just 70% of the time (which sounds so much better). This is often discussed with respect to smoke grenades, as a melee alien in the smoke is 20% or 40% harder to hit by your units, but still has a 100% chance to hit you. Nov 30, 2012 at 18:37
  • Yup, I do not believe you can dodge melee attacks either - that was just a funny explanation. (That can still be true, if melee attacks have, like, 200% accuracy :-)
    – Orc JMR
    Nov 30, 2012 at 18:46
  • ORC JMR, are you saying that when my last standing HEAVY/SUPPORT is alone with a Cryssalid, Suppression will stop it from pursuing me within that turn because of the reaction shot?
    – G_Glock
    Nov 30, 2012 at 20:26
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    @G_Glock No, Cryssalids always move, and try to tank the reaction shot. He's just pointing out that, if the aim penalty could apply, it would only apply if they don't move before attacking, i.e., are already standing next to one of your soldiers. Does anyone want to volunteer to test whether you only get mauled 70% of the time in that situation? I'd call that ‼science‼ in the best traditions of Dwarf Fortress, but I'm not sure Dr. Vahlen can get it past the ethics review board. Nov 30, 2012 at 21:35

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