Phoenix Point is the new strategy and tactics game from Snapshot Games and Julian Gollop, the creator of the original X-COM. The game takes its cues from both Gollop’s 1994 version of X-COM and the more recent ones from Firaxis, while adding in a healthy dose of originality. Like those games, Phoenix Point is an unforgiving and tough-as-nails experience that’s equal parts rewarding and devastating; one bad decision can derail your entire campaign.
To that end, we’ve put together this brief guide on the game’s three basic soldier classes: Assault, Heavy, and Sniper. Each class serves a different role in combat, and has access to a suite of unique skills and perks. In addition, once your soldiers reach level 4, they can spec into a second class, basically doubling their effectiveness. Below, we’ve run down the basics of the three starter classes, their preferred stats (Strength, Willpower, and Speed), the most important skills, and offered up some general tips to guide them as they grow.
Before we get started, here’s what each stat does:
- Strength – Dictates how much you solder can carry, and your soldier’s pool of hit points.
- Willpower – Your primary resource for special actions. Also defends against psychic damage.
- Speed – How far your soldier can move during their turn.
Phoenix Point Assault Class Tips
The Assault class is your jack-of-all-trades, an all-rounder that fits into any combat scenario. They wield an assault rifle, a weapon that is effective at both medium and short range. They don’t have a preferred stat, so feel free to spread your attention out across all three. In combat, Assault troops are the most mobile, which makes them ideal for scouting for enemies early in battle. Their damage output is also respectable, especially if you equip them with grenades.
Best Assault Skills
- Dash – This allows the soldier to spend Willpower to instantly dash to a nearby tile. Dash is usable even after all action points have been expended. This skill is useful for taking pot shots at enemies and making a quick getaway on the same turn.
- Return Fire – A necessary skill for any Assault soldier, Return Fire lets you shoot back at an enemy they’ve shot at you. This skill is a great way to clear the battlefield even while it’s not your turn.
- Rally the Troops – This skill gives your soldier the ability to refund an action point to their allies. It’s most useful if your Assault soldier is the last one to move on your turn, after everyone else has expended their actions.
Phoenix Point Heavy Class Tips
The Heavy class specializes in enormous burst damage, and can take a hit better than anyone else. Strength is the primary stat for Heavies, as their health pool allows them to hold the front lines with ease. Their major drawback, though, is their poor movement range. We recommend putting at least a few points into Speed just so they can travel a bit further in combat. This is important because many of the Heavy’s skills rely on them being very close to enemies. Ideally, you’ll want your Heavies to be right next to the opponents.
Best Heavy Skills
- War Cry – This skill reduces enemies’ action points to 2 for the turn, making it tough for them to move and shoot in the same turn. War Cry is the flagship skill for the Heavy class.
- Brawler – Since your Heavies will likely be close to the enemy troops, the Brawler skill is a no-brainer. It increases the damage from bash and melee attacks by 50%. Pick this up as soon as you hit level 2.
- Rage Burst – If you’re looking to do as much damage as possible all at once, Rage Burst will definitely appeal to you. The Heavy unloads all the ammo in their gun at an enemy. Of course, you’ll have to spend the next turn reloading, but it’s worth it to take down that Arthron in one turn.
Phoenix Point Sniper Class Tips
The sniper is your go-to long range damage dealer. You best bet is to position them up high, someplace with a good view of the battlefield. Willpower is the preferred choice for a Sniper because shooting their weapon require more action points than the other classes, so you’re likely to supplement movement with special actions more often. Speed is also a viable stat because their base movement range is rather small.
Best Sniper Skills
- Extreme Focus – Overwatch is one of the Sniper’s most important abilities, so reducing the action cost of it makes a lot of sense. Get your sniper up high, and set them in Overwatch, and you’re good to go.
- Master Marksman – This skill increases your Sniper’s accuracy by 50%, which can help eliminate those frustrating misses.
- Sniperist – Increases your Sniper’s damage by a flat 25% at the cost of 4 Willpower. The tradeoff will be worth it, though, once your Sniper starts dropping stronger enemies in one shot.
And those are the three basic classes in Phoenix Point. There are other classes that unlock later in the campaign, as well as faction-specific variations on these, but at the start of the game you’ll only have access to these three. Which one is your favorite? Let us know in the comments section!