Recommended XCOM 2 Specialist builds


Specialist build: Combat Hacker

Abilities: Aid Protocol, Combat Protocol, Haywire Protocol, Scanning Protocol, Threat Assessment, Guardian, Capacitor Discharge

Gear: Predator/Warden Armor, Skulljack, Miscellaneous

Accessories: Perception, Scope, Expanded Magazine (Bonus: Repeater)

The Combat Hacker is an immensely powerful support unit who can control the battlespace with surprising efficiency. Combat and Haywire Protocol are obvious counters to robotic enemies but the former is also very useful for picking off wounded enemies in cover. Scanning Protocol gives you free recon on demand, while Threat Assessment and Guardian let you provide impressive amounts of overwatch, either from an Aid Protocol enhanced teammate or from the Hacker themselves. Capacitor Discharge is a large AoE with shocking damage that can also stun and disorient enemies.

Much of the Specialist’s efficiency comes from Aid Protocol being a single action ability. You can send your Gremlin to assist a teammate and still take a second action afterwards - granting Threat Assessment to an ally and then going on Guardian overwatch yourself is a huge amount of cover fire threat for any enemy to test. We want Perception, a Scope and an Expanded Mag to make the most out of Guardian—more aim and ammo to keep those chain hits coming.

A Skulljack with the Skullmine upgrade grants extra power to each hack you attempt, and the extra item slot is yours to use—a Mimic Beacon’s a powerful pick if you need a suggestion.

Guerilla Op objectives can grant you +20 to your hack score on a good attempt, so use them to boost your Specialist’s tech power as often as you can. It’ll be worth it when you’re hijacking Sectopods at Colonel.


Specialist build: Battle Medic

Abilities: Aid Protocol, Medical Protocol, Revival Protocol, Field Medic, Threat Assessment, Guardian, Capacitor Discharge

Gear: Predator/Warden Armor, Medkit, Miscellaneous

Accessories: Perception, Scope, Expanded Magazine (Bonus: Repeater)

The Battle Medic trades anti-robotic capability for increased support potential. Medical and Revival Protocol allow you to remotely heal allies and remove negative effects from them such as panic. Field Medic increases your sustainability, while Threat Assessment and Guardian remain my preferred picks for any type of Specialist compared to their alternatives. Restoration is the most powerful healing skill available but one I choose to avoid—while it could single-handedly save the day if every member of your squad is wounded or dying, I feel that situation is rare enough that normal healing can suffice. Instead, Capacitor Discharge means your Medic still has some teeth, and a powerful AoE skill to assist with multiple enemy cleanups.

Just like Aid Protocol, Medical and Revival Protocol are also single actions, allowing you to assist a friendly and then take a second action afterwards. We still want aim and ammo to boost Guardian’s power, but a key difference is we no longer need a Skulljack, as without Haywire Protocol your Specialist has less need for a high hack score. A Medkit is naturally core, leaving another item slot to do with as you see fit.

The Battle Medic becomes more important later in the game as enemies land more and greater damage per turn. Ignore this build at your own peril—sooner or later, you’ll likely regret not having a healer in your squad.

More of our recommended XCOM 2 soldier builds: Ranger / Sharpshooter / Grenadier / Hybrid builds


We recommend