One of the biggest novelties in the second installment of the XCOM franchise is the option to upgrade the weapons of your soldiers, by installing various attachments to them, increasing their effectiveness, or giving them new properties. You can install up to two upgrades on a single weapon, but you can't install two of the same kind - and just like with the case of PCS, once an upgrade is installed you won't be able to get it back (it can only be replaced by a new one).
Types of weapon upgrades
+5% chance to critically hit
Advanced Laser Sight
+10% chance to critically hit
Superior Laser Sight
+15% chance to critically hit
+5% to Aim
+10% to Aim
+15% to Aim
+1 to clip size
Advanced Expanded Magazine
+2 to clip size
Superior Expanded Magazine
+3 to clip size
+5% chance to instantly kill a target
+10% chance to instantly kill a target
+15% chance to instantly kill a target
Missed shots still deal 1 point of damage.
Missed shots still deal 2 points of damage.
Missed shots still deal 3 points of damage.
Allows for 1 free reload during a mission. Free reloads are used first.
Advanced Auto Loader
Allows for 2 free reloads during a mission. Free reloads are used first.
Superior Auto Loader
Allows for 3 free reloads during a mission. Free reloads are used first.
5% chance that the shot won't cost an action point
Advanced Hair Trigger
10% chance that the shot won't cost an action point
Superior Hair Trigger
15% chance that the shot won't cost an action point
How to acquire weapon upgrades
The main source of weapon upgrades are fallen enemies - one, sometimes twice during a single mission an enemy will drop an item which can be picked up, and most often of one of those dropped items there will be a weapon upgrade piece. Obviously, the rarer and more powerful an upgrade is, the less are the chances of picking up one, which is why you should think twice before installing a Superior-rank upgrade.
The second choice is to use the Black Market, but similarly to PCS, it's quite an expensive source of weapon upgrades, as it requires you to spent a lot of Intel points, which are better spent elsewhere during the first weeks of the game.
Recommended upgrades for specific classes
Each of the classes can use any upgrade on their weapon, but some of them are more useful than others, such as:
- Ranger - this class benefits the most from the Laser Sight attachment, which increases the overall high critical chance of the soldier, as well as from the Repeater upgrade, which gives a chance to instantly kill an enemy. Repeater can be swapped for Hair Trigger, giving you a chance of an additional action.
- Sharpshooter - Expanded Magazine and Scope. The former one will give the soldier additional ammo, which is extremely useful while using the Serial ability, whereas the latter will increase the chances of hitting the target. If you want, you can swap the Extended Magazine for the Auto Loader, which gives you the option to reload for free.
- Grenadier - Expanded Magazine and Hair Trigger. The first one will come in handy when using a lot of Grenadier's abilities, which consume a lot of ammo, and the second one gives a chance to have an additional action, allowing the soldier to use two powerful abilities during a single round.
- Specialist - Scope and Repeater. The first one will increase the aim, which is extremely crucial for this class, as the Specialist is the class that depends mostly on weapon attacks. The second upgrade allows the soldier to instantly kill an enemy.
- Psi Operative - Hair Trigger and Scope. A chance for an additional action will allow the soldier to shoot and then use one of many abilities of this class, whereas the Scope will increase the chances to hit the target. Both of those upgrades are quite optional, as the Psi Operative depends mostly on his / her psi abilities, not on regular attacks.