XCOM 2’s best class!
XCOM 2 Sharpshooter Tips
The best class in XCOM 2 is also the one which has been most fundamentally reworked. Enemy Unknown’s snipers were, frankly, a bit of a pain to work with. Until Corporal rank, The Sniper class was unable to shoot or enter Overwatch after moving. Even then, you had to sacrifice Squadsight if you wanted any flexibility in the class.
By comparison, XCOM 2’s Sharpshooter is absolutely essential to any deployed squad.
They’re devastatingly effective at long range while remaining surprisingly useful in close
quarters. Two elements of the class are key to this. Firstly, Squadsight is unlocked for all Sharpshooters at Squaddie rank. To briefly explain, Squadsight lets your Sharpshooter fire at any enemy that can be seen by your squad-mates, provided there is a viable line of sight from the Sharpshooter’s position. This makes them highly effective at long range much earlier in the game, particularly if you can find some high-ground from which you can gain a good overview of the battlefield.
Secondly, although Sharpshooter’s still suffer a movement penalty of sorts – they cannot fire their rifles after moving – they are equipped with a pistol which can be fired after moving. The pistol does a comparatively small amount of damage, but Sharpshooters can blast the tongue out of a Viper’s mouth with it from fifty yards. The pistol is great for finishing off enemies injured by other soldiers. It’s even possible to build the entire class around the pistol, transforming the Sharpshooter into a Wild-West style Gunslinger capable of squeezing off up to six shots in a single turn.
While the Gunslinger skill tree is surprisingly powerful, with Lightning Hands in particular being a crucial ability for all Sharpshooters, they’re still most effective in their long-range build. A Sharpshooter placed on high-ground with the Death from Above and Long Watch perks provides a rock-solid foundation for the rest of your squad to move forward from.
Best Ability: Lightning Hands is an early skill that lets Sharpshooters fire their pistol without costing an action, and any free actions offered by XCOM should be taken full advantage of. Lightning Hands is useful for Gunslingers for obvious reasons, but it’s also handy for long-range Sharpshooters who suddenly find themselves on the defensive.
Worst Ability: Aim – provides Sharpshooters with an Aim and Damage boost after using Hunker Down. Seriously, who uses Hunker Down?
Hints: Avoid placing Sharpshooters on rooftops near ADVENT Mecs, as their cluster-missiles can blast a Sharpshooter back to ground level, causing both explosive and falling damage while leaving them horribly exposed.