Is it true that grenade usage by aliens is not dependant on a situation, and just by chance depending on difficulty level? In other words, do aliens have a chance to throw a grenade instead of shoot?

  • 2
    I don't remember that I ever saw an alien throw a grenade unless there were at least two soldiers in the blast zone.
    – Philipp
    Commented Dec 14, 2012 at 9:03
  • 2
    I have suffered it. Aliens throwing a grenade to a single soldier... Commented Dec 14, 2012 at 9:05
  • 2
    I was under the impression that they use it to: A) Destroy cover, or B) hit multiple targets.
    – bummzack
    Commented Dec 14, 2012 at 10:03
  • They'll do it to destroy your soldier's cover if they have allies that can then take the clear shot at your exposed soldier. Commented Dec 14, 2012 at 10:16
  • Alien grenades do 5 damage and do not crit. In some cases, it may be desirable to trick the AI into lobbing a grenade instead of shooting a plasma rifle, as the grenade is more predictable/survivable.
    – Amy B
    Commented Dec 14, 2012 at 14:18

2 Answers 2



As far as I've been able to tell, aliens that have grenades will always use them on purpose rather than at random:

  • When more than one XCom soldier is bunched up behind cover in the grenade's radius; the more soldiers bunched up, the likelier they get a shiny present.

  • When a single XCom soldier is in shooting range of multiple aliens, but all of them have lousy angles because of his or her cover; the first alien to move will lob a grenade and nuke the cover, after which the other two take clear shots at the now exposed (and probably soon to be dead) soldier.

Just like your soldiers, the aliens get one grenade each, and even on Easy mode the AI can and will choose to use them for maximum possible effect. No matter when one of them pulls out a grenade, you can be sure that you won't enjoy the outcome.

  • 2
    Then why the game has the following constants, each has a value between 0 and 100 (0 and 100%), each has 4 values ​​for each difficulty level: ThinManPlagueSlider (chance of poison), DeathBlossomSlider (chance of cyberdisk's death blossom), BloodCallSlider (chance of blood call), AlienGrenadeSlider (chance of throwing grendae), TerrorInfectionChance (chance of zombie when chrysalid killed a civilian in "fog of war") ?
    – spyder
    Commented Dec 14, 2012 at 10:42
  • @spyder Maybe they are not the chances of the action, but the hit chance? Because Thin mans will almost always spit their poison.
    – Lyrion
    Commented Dec 14, 2012 at 13:57
  • 3
    @spyder just because there's a chance they'll throw a grenade doesn't mean they'll always throw a grenade on a whim. It could be a chance for them to throw a grenade if it is a sound move.
    – kotekzot
    Commented Dec 14, 2012 at 16:23
  • While I used to agree with this (it certainly seemed correct), it is categorically incorrect and easily disproved. Every time they throw a grenade at me, I reload until they don't. I have done this with multiple units against single, single against single, multiple against multiple, single against multiple, and with varying cover (even flanked) units and aliens. This holds true for EU on XBOX, EW on XBOX, and EW on mobile.
    – Starshine
    Commented Mar 27, 2020 at 17:18

To expand upon the previous answer:

On Normal difficulty, I have only ever seen aliens use grenades when two or more of my units were close enough to be caught in the blast.

On CLassic difficulty, they will also use them against a single solider to destroy cover.

I have never seen this second behaviour on Normal. There may well be probabilities associated with both.

  • I have, but only when a muton had absolute crap aim against any of my dudes and no two of them were close enough to grenade both with one toss. Commented Dec 21, 2012 at 13:03

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