Beginner’s tips to help you keep the peace in City 31.
Out of nowhere, with little to no fanfare, we have another XCOM game on our hands, and though it might not quite be XCOM 3, Chimera Squad is still pretty darn good. It also represents a pretty big shift for the series, introducing several interesting major new mechanics and dropping some older ones, and even though this is one of the more newcomer friendly XCOM games we’ve had in a while, there’s still a lot to keep track of. In this feature, we’ll be going over some handy pointers that you should keep in mind to make your time with the game smoother. With all that out of the way, let’s get started.
One of the most important new mechanics XCOM: Chimera Squad introduces is Breach mode, which is sort of a pre-battle preparation, but given just how much it determines for the rest of the battle going forward and how influential the decisions you make here can be for your squad, it’s something that you need to pay very close attention to. Unlike many other turn-based strategy games, Chimera Squad’s pre-battle preparations are not just simply about deciding where to place which units (though that is certainly a factor)- there’s a lot else at play. Let’s go over some of those things one by one.
When assigning your units to Breach points, you need to be careful about who goes where and pay close attention to various positive and negative effects. Each Breach point can have a positive or negative effect on the Agent that uses them, so rather than just randomly assigning an Agent to any Breach point, you need to pay attention to whether or not the buff or debuff in question suits them. Make sure the positive effects are applied to those who need them most, and that the negative ones – if there are any – go to the ones who won’t be affected by them terribly.
Turn order is something else that XCOM: Chimera Squad has changed. Unlike earlier games, in Chimera Squad, the interleaved turn order now dictates which unit will be allowed to take an action at which point. As you can imagine, this changes the flow of battles significantly, and also has a huge impact on how you strategize. You need to be aware of how long your units have to wait for their turn, whether or not there are any immediate threats coming up thanks to the turn order, and shift priorities accordingly. Speaking of…
The turn order is something you can and should manipulate in Breach mode- at times, it almost becomes essential. In regular fights where you’re being attacked by enemies in numbers, it’s a smart idea to make use of Breach mode to either injure multiple enemies or take some out entirely to give yourself a boost in the turn order. Many times, it’s best to injure as many enemy units as you can rather than taking any out, and then use the fact that they have lower health with your turn order to quickly eliminate them one by one before they have a chance to attack.
Some fights, however, will see you coming up against an enemy that is much harder to take down, one that can be devastating if it is allowed to attack- for fights like these, it is best to focus everything you’ve got during Breach mode on that enemy (or enemies, as the case may be). Even if you find you cannot kill them, you can give yourself a huge boost by at least chipping away at them as much as possible.
Something else to keep in mind during Breach mode is Breach Abilities. Not all Agents have these, but you should try and make sure you take advantage of the ones who do have them- some of them can be especially useful. Verge, for instance, has an ability that allow him to lift an enemy into the air, so that all the Agents who breach after him can attack that enemy more easily, which means this ability can be very useful for situations like the one we spoke of just now where you should be focusing all your Agents on stronger enemies while breaching. Make sure you pay attention to Breach Abilities then- not just what they are, but when they would be best used.
There’s no shame in restarting the game in XCOM: Chimera Squad and going back to an earlier point- always be ready and willing to restart encounters, missions, or even days. There can be a lot of trial and error involved in the game, so using the knowledge you’ve gained to come back at the challenge at hand with better preparation can be crucial. Just as an example, there are often some Breach points that can only be assigned to specific units, so it’s best to save before battles and restart if you find you came into the fight without an Agent who’d be able to take full advantage of that Breach point.
Your primary goal in XCOM: Chimera Squad is to keep the peace in City 31 and ensure it doesn’t fall victim to a violent insurrection. To that end, each district of the city has an Unrest meter, and that’s something you’re gonna want to keep an eye on constantly. If you keep ignoring missions in a district, its Unrest keeps growing, and the more it grows, the more difficult missions become. As such, don’t ignore any district for too long, and choose which missions to take on based on that when you need to. Yellow side missions are great for this, while Spec Ops missions also help.
FIELD TEAM ABILITIES
A great way to reduce Unrest in a district is using Field Team Abilities. Assigning Field Teams to districts unlocks Field Team Abilities, and these abilities can be used to either freeze or reduce Unrest. The more Field Teams you have assigned, the more Field Team Abilities you have, so assign as many as you can. Field Team Abilities also have cooldowns, so keep that in mind while using them.
The Scavenger Market is something you have to unlock, but once you do, make sure you make full use of it. The Scavenger Market – whenever it is open – has some excellent higher-level stuff on sale, but since it only opens up on a strict schedule, make sure you buy stuff from it whenever you can. To that end, also ensure you have plenty of Intel on you any time the Scavenger Market opens up.
Keeping an eye on your units’ ammo is quite important in XCOM: Chimera Squad, because reloading takes up an action, and can affect your battle strategies pretty significantly. Auto-Loaders, however, are great to counter this crutch- by equipping each unit (or as many as you can) with an Auto-Loader, you allow them to reload their weapon for free once every mission. Saving up that action point can be a huge boost, especially in the really tough Encounters.