Long War is a comprehensive mod for the computer game XCOM: Enemy Within. Long War expands the base game’s four classes into eight. These guides are designed to introduce new Long War players to the new classes. Most of the perks are identical to their vanilla counterparts, but Long War adds a few perks and changes others. When necessary, I will explain the perks in greater detail but I will assume for the most part that the player is familiar with what perks do.
Disclaimer: I typically use the following Second Wave options in my campaigns that slightly influence how I use certain classes: Red Fog, Hidden Potential, and Aiming Angles. Red Fog decreases player and AI accuracy for every point of health (not armor) damage sustained, up to -30%; it also decreases mobility for damaged units. This is important because with Red Fog enabled, inflicting minor damage is helpful because it can effectively neuter an enemy. Also, it makes Medkits more important for the player to ensure your soldiers are fighting at full effectiveness. Hidden Potential grants randomized boosts to a soldier’s stats at level up. Keep that in mind when deciding whether a particular soldier should be given a certain perk. Aiming Angles increases player and AI accuracy the closer a unit is to flanking another. Again, keep that in mind with certain perks. If you don’t play with these Second Wave options, the following guide will still be relevant.
XCOM: Enemy Within Walkthrough. Story Walkthrough. XCOM is a random game. While some things are set in stone, most are not. The third requires you to use an Arc Thrower on an EXALT enemy. @TheLaughingMan: Yeah, upgrading the Arc Thrower can be helpful, as instead of needing to get their health to 3 or below, it becomes 6 and below. A complete overhaul mod that uses the Long War (XCOM: Enemy Within) mod (v1.0) as a base. Primary features include re-balanced perk trees, equipment, enemies, facilities, and four distinct play modes. The Art of War project is designed towards getting the maximum possible tactical and strategic enjoyment out of the XCOM (2012) engine.
The Sniper – General Notes
The Sniper receives some great perks in Long War, but function essentially the same as in vanilla. However, Snipers now have access to two main weapon types: Sniper Rifles (same as vanilla) and Marksman’s Rifles (also called Strike Rifles at Laser tech level and beyond). MRs do less damage and have shorter range than Sniper Rifles, but give the Snap Shot ability by default, allowing you to move and shoot*. I prefer MRs with my snipers, because they still get Squadsight for an additional 5 tiles outside their normal range. My Snipers are generally on roofs or at the back of my squad, and are still able to hit most enemies at range with their MRs.
*MR/Strike Rifles used to confer the Snap Shot perk automatically in LW, but this was changed in the latest version. They no longer grant the perk, but they also receive no aim penalty after moving. Sniper rifles only gain the ability to fire after moving if you select Snap Shot at Corporal; they still have a -10 aim penalty. Essentially, if you are planning to use Strike Rifles, Snap Shot has no use at all.
- Enemy Within adds an incredible array of new abilities, upgrades and weapons to combat new enemy and alien threats. This expansion also introduces new maps and missions, new tactical and strategic gameplay, and new multiplayer content providing a fresh new gameplay experience.
- @TheLaughingMan: Yeah, upgrading the Arc Thrower can be helpful, as instead of needing to get their health to 3 or below, it becomes 6 and below. And if you do still manage to get an enemy down to like 1-3 health, you have a 95% stun rate.
One of the great things about Long War is that it finally makes both Squadsight and Shap Shot useful. Cheat engine geometry dash. In vanilla, Snap Shot was almost worthless, because although it made your Snipers better close-to-mid-range fighters, it failed to perform that role as well as any other class. Even with the nerf to Squadsight and buff to Snap Shot in Enemy Within, Squadsight was still the better perk by far. Now, all Snipers have access to Squadsight, and you may choose to combine that ability with Snap Shot if you desire. Squadsight lowers your ability to land critical hits by 30% on targets outside your normal range; enemies that are in Squadsight range will have a yellow crosshair on their icon. With Sniper Rifles/Marksman’s Rifles only, Squadsight applies to overwatch shots.
Lance Corporal: Low Profile – Gunslinger – Lone Wolf
Gunslinger was a must-have ability for Squadsight snipers in vanilla XCOM, but in Long War it is far outclassed by the other two perks. I almost exclusively use Low Profile with my snipers; although Long War boosts the effectiveness of low cover compared to vanilla XCOM, the ability to turn all cover into high cover is incredibly useful. Lone Wolf has its advantages if your sniper is going to be off on his own somewhere, but it’s hard to beat Low Profile. It does combine better with some later perk choices, however. Gunslinger is much less useful, because if you are using Strike Rifles/Marksman’s Rifles on your Scouts you will still have decent accuracy at mid-range and will have little need for a more-accurate pistol. It’s also not worth giving up Low Profile for.
Corporal: Disabling Shot – Precision Shot – Snap Shot
Disabling Shot is an incredibly useful shot late in campaigns, when tough enemies like Cyberdiscs, Mechtoids and Sectopods start appearing. DS suffers a -10% aim penalty and only does 1 damage, but it disables the target’s main weapon (note that this means the target can use secondary weapons or abilities). The weapon remains disabled until the enemy reloads, and DS has a 2 turn cooldown. DS is also useful when trying to capture enemies; since LW nerfs the Arc Thrower’s accuracy, it often takes several attempts to capture an enemy, and it is much safer when their weapon is disabled.
Snap Shot is a valid choice if you prefer long rifles over Strike rifles. Precision shot operates differently based on your weapon choice: for long rifles, it provides +30% critical chance (and removes the -30% critical chance malus for Squadsight shots) and additional damage on critical hits based on weapon tech level; for Strike rifles, it provides an unlimited range shot with no other bonuses (in other words, it’s almost completely useless). Precision Shot is a valid choice for users of long rifles, and is usually preferable to Snap Shot since Strike Rifles already grant the move-and-shoot ability. PS synergizes nicely with some later perk choices.
Xcom Enemy Within Improved Arc Thrower
Sergeant: Executioner – Aggression – Damn Good Ground
Your choice at Sergeant depends on previous choices. Executioner is a good all-around option, but so is DGG. Aggression, too, combines with other possible perk selections that involve critical hit chance. Plan your build ahead of time in order to ensure you are combining your perks wisely.
Tech Sergeant: Tactical Sense – Ranger – Sharpshooter
Again, your choice here mostly depends on previous (and future) perk selections. Tactical Sense is better for Strike Rifle scouts, and combines well with Low Profile. Since your Sniper will be closer to the enemy, Tac Sense will aid their survival. Sharpshooter, meanwhile, combines well with Executioner, Aggression, and Lone Wolf, and is better for long rifle users. Ranger is generally not as good as either.
Gunnery Sergeant: Lock-n-Load – Bring ‘Em On – Vital Point Targeting
All three perks here have their uses and ideal situations. Lock-n-Load is an excellent perk; it extends your weapon’s ammo by 1 (stacks with the Extended Capacity Mags item) AND allows you to reload your weapon for free at the beginning of a turn. Essentially, this means your sniper will almost always have the ability to fire their weapon.
BEO adds +1 damage to critical hits for every enemy within sight of the Sniper, up to a maximum of +5. Note, however, that this is critical damage, not critical hit chance. So, if your shot doesn’t land a critical hit, you won’t benefit from the additional damage. However, the Sniper has other perks that increase critical hit chance (DGG, Lone Wolf, Aggression, Sharpshooter); combined with these perks, BEO is deadly.
VPT is useful for snipers, but is even more useful combined with Ranger and Mayhem (more on Mayhem below). I usually default to LnL, however, because it stacks very well with ITZ.
Master Sergeant: In the Zone – Double Tap – Mayhem
This rank is all about previous choices. In the Zone combines well with LnL; if you empty your magazine killing multiple enemies with ITZ, you can reload for free at the beginning of your next turn and start chaining kills again. Double Tap is good, but it’s even better on a Gunner because it can apply HEAT ammo twice to strong robotic enemies; the sniper does not benefit from special ammunition types. Mayhem has been changed in LW; for Sniper Rifles/Strike Rifles, it provides a +2 damage increase. Combine with with Ranger and VPT, and you’ll be doing +5 additional damage to enemies you have autopsied. Of course, you would probably do more damage anyway with Double Tap or ITZ. Double Tap is a nice option, though, because it can be used regardless of whether an enemy is flanked/exposed or not, and does not have to target the same enemy (although it does have a one turn cooldown.)
Squadsight – Low Profile – Disabling Shot – Executioner/Aggression/Damn Good Ground – Tactical Sense – Lock ‘n Load – In the Zone
This is my standard Strike Rifle build. I favor this build because it provides flexibility to the Sniper; you still have great long-range shots, but you can also move and shoot without penalty. Low Profile is great with Strike Rifles, because anywhere you take cover will provide high cover bonuses. Disabling Shot is the default choice, because Precision Shot is almost useless, and Snap Shot is useless for Strike Rifles. The next rank is a matter of preference; I typically use Executioner because my Sniper is on the move a lot, and thus cannot always take advantage of DGG. Aggression, meanwhile, provides benefits regardless of enemy health level. Tac Sense is a requirement because your Sniper will often be in range of enemy attacks, although if you feel like gambling you can opt for Sharpshooter. LnL is great for ITZ snipers, and Strike Rifles are great for ITZ because you can move, flank enemies, then unload with ITZ. Long rifles are better off with Double Tap, usually, because they do more base damage than Strike Rifles.
Squadsight – Lone Wolf – Precision Shot/Disabling Shot – Executioner/Damn Good Ground – Sharpshooter – Bring ‘Em On – In The Zone/Double Tap
I call this build the “classic” Sniper because it is most similar to snipers in other media; this soldier is a “Lone Wolf” who is capable of killing or maiming enemies from long range with long sniper rifles. This build works best with long rifles and requires some preplanning and positioning, but is deadly in the right hands. It sacrifices Low Profile for Lone Wolf (this Sniper is usually not in range of enemies and doesn’t draw shots) and Tactical Sense for Sharpshooter (Tac Sense is obsolete for the same reason, and Sharpshooter is great for long rifles). DGG is preferred, because ideally you’ll be parking your sniper on a roof or hill for most of the mission. BEO stacks with Squadsight, so the enemies do not have to be in sight of the sniper, just the squad. LnL is still good, but less useful in this case. ITZ/Double Tap is a matter of preference: do you want your Sniper to specialize in crowd control? ITZ is the choice, then, because you can kill multiple enemies per turn. However, it is harder to use with long rifles because you cannot move and shoot, so you will need to rely on cover destruction to set up your ITZ sprees. Double Tap is great for dealing massive damage to one tough enemy.
Squadsight – Lone Wolf – Precision Shot – Executioner/Aggression/Damn Good Ground – Ranger/Sharpshooter – Bring ‘Em On/Vital Point Targeting – Mayhem/Double Tap
This is more of a class philosophy than a single build because you can really create two different builds designed around dealing massive damage: a Critical Hit build or pure Damage build. I’ll show both paths and how they use perk synergy to maximize effectiveness.
Critical Hits: Squadsight – Lone Wolf – Precision Shot – Aggression – Sharpshooter – Bring ‘Em On – Double Tap
Using a long rifle, you will receive the following bonuses: +10% aim and +10% crit chance with Lone Wolf; +30% crit chance and bonus crit damage with Precision Shot; up to +30% crit chance with Aggression; +10% crit chance against all enemies, plus +10% aim against enemies in high cover with Sharpshooter; up to +5 critical hit damage with BEO; 2 shots every other turn. For maximum benefits, you would receive +80% crit chance if there are no allied units within 7 tiles of the sniper and three or more enemies in sight of the squad with Precision Shot, plus additional damage per critical hit (varying amount based on tech level with Precision Shot, plus +1 damage per enemy in sight of squad from BEO), plus 10% aim (+10% more aim against an enemy in full cover).
Pure Damage: Squadsight – Lone Wolf – Precision Shot – Executioner/Damn Good Ground – Ranger – Vital Point Targeting – Mayhem/Double Tap
This works best with long rifles, but you could also use Strike Rifles (although Precision Shot would be much worse; in that case, go with Disabling Shot just for versatility). You receive +1 damage from Ranger, +2 from VPT on autopsied enemies, and +2 from Mayhem, for a total of +5. You also receive 10% aim on enemies if there are no allied units within 7 tiles of the sniper, and +10% aim and crit chance against enemies with 50% health or lower with Executioner (or +10% aim and crit chance if you have an elevation bonus on an enemy with DGG, in addition to the standard elevation bonus). These bonuses combine to provide boosts to aim, crit chance and base damage, although your crits aren’t as deadly as the previous build option. You could swap out Mayhem for Double Tap; you would do 2 less base damage but have an extra shot every 3rd turn.
The Sniper is useful from the beginning of a campaign to the end; although she won’t be your primary killer most of the time, she is definitely useful as a supporter and in emergency situations.
Your Sniper should target the most threatening enemy if possible. Long War provides many options for your Snipers, and you could even deploy two different snipers builds in the same mission if you wanted. She doesn’t rely on items as heavily as any other class; I usually slap a Scope on for even more accuracy and critical chance, plus either Alloy Plating for Strike Rifle scouts or Extended Cap Ammo, Smoke grenades or even a Medkit in the other slot. A respirator (or Chitin Plating) is also a good idea for long range snipers, because it provides immunity to strangulation.
Welcome to the XCOM: Long War wiki, a part of UFOPaedia.org. Long War is a mod designed for XCOM: Enemy Unknown with the expansion XCOM: Enemy Within that introduces more than 700 changes, large and small, to the vanilla version of the game. It is longer and, with default settings, harder than the vanilla version but gives you many more tools to combat the alien threat.
This wiki is meant to explain the big and small changes introduced by the mod to the game and it is mostly done. Nevertheless, everyone can contribute by creating an account and editing the pages. Please use the Talk button to discuss any aspects of this wiki. If you want to discuss the mod with its creators, please use the Nexus forums or the Pavonis Interactive forums.
If you would like to contribute and are looking for what to do, please consult our To Do List.
All information on this wiki relates to the latest version of Long War, which is Long War 1.0. To download Long War use this link.
There are some bugs, most remnants from the vanilla game. You can find the complete change log and known bugs list here. Always keep a recent save file, as the game may unexpectedly crash. The developers recommend switching on Autosave and playing Iron Man at your own peril.
If you're looking for the sequel mod for XCOM 2, see Long War 2.