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Basic Sectoids use their mind power to shoot beams back and forth amongst each other. I haven't been able to figure out what they are trying to do. What is the point of these beams?

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    It is worth noting that once you have autopsied an alien then you can see a list of all their powers in their information screen which I believe describes this power. Mainly relevant in case you have any questions about other powers later...
    – Chris
    Jan 1 '13 at 15:23
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The ability is called Mind Merge.

As long as the beam is maintained, the target sectoid gains these benefits:

  1. One additional health bar (meaning they can no longer be killed with 1 grenade).
  2. +25% crit chance

If you kill the sectoid giving the mind merge, the receiving unit will immediately die. The mind merge effect takes precedence over explosive damage death, so if you catch two sectoids (one mind merging the other) in a rocket, you'll still recover some weapon fragments.

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    also Mind Merge heals it target for 1 hp. Very annoying. Dec 31 '12 at 21:42
  • So to summarize, shoot the sectoid in the back and ignore his boosted buddy.
    – Shadur
    Jan 1 '13 at 13:02
  • @SergeyGrinev: Does it actually heal them by one or does it just add one health because of the extra max health? ie if a sectoid with 1/3 health is mind controlled it goes to 2/4 but when it ends is it on 2/3 or 1/3? I don't think I've ever seen a partly injured sectoid mind controlled (and paid attention enough to what happens).
    – Chris
    Jan 1 '13 at 15:24
  • he will stay with 2 out of 3 hp left at end of turn, so after several turns he can return back to 3 hp. Jan 1 '13 at 17:44

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