Unlock your inner mental powers in XCOM 2 to earn the special Psi Operative class. This powerful unit can’t be found naturally through promotions like regular soldiers. Instead, you’ll need the right resources, Avenger facilities, and research to obtain the Psi Operative. If you want this awesome class early, learn all the steps it takes right here.
The devastating Psi Operative should be familiar to fans of XCOM: Enemy Unknown, but there is one major difference. This time, it’s very possible to unleash the Psi Operative before the late game. Thanks to improvements in XCOM technology, the Psi Operative becomes available relatively quickly if you’ve got a spare Avenger room. It takes a lot of resources, but these psychics can change the tide of bottle by sapping Alien will with a variety of unique attacks. Keep scrolling to access our full guide on the subject.
Check out the glowing XCOM 2 review on The Escapist to see how the sequel compares to the stellar original. For more behind-the-scenes info, browse our interview with XCOM 2 senior producer Garth DeAngelis and learn about new systems, features, and how the character customization has improved.
Psi Operative Class Guide
The powerful Psi Operative is a unique class in XCOM 2 that harnesses alien mental abilities – much like the Sectoid – to demoralize, disorient, mind-control, or just ruin ADVENT’s day.
The Psi Operative is not available at the start of your campaign, but with the necessary facilities and research they can be unlocked relatively early. The Psi skillset is not locked to the end of the campaign like in XCOM: Enemy Unknown.
How to Unlock the Psi Operative
Follow these steps to start training soldiers in this class.
Step 1: Obtain a Sectoid Corpse
The Sectoids are the large, fleshy aliens with mental powers. No matter what difficulty level you play on, the Sectoids will appear on you first, second, or third mission.
Not all missions allow you to collect alien corpses after the fighting is done. Sectoids are a common enemy, so it is likely you’ll get lucky and grab a Sectoid early.
Step 2: Research – Sectoid Autopsy
After collecting an alien corpse, the body can be researched to progress the technology tree. On the Avenger, click the “Research” tab or select the large green room on the left side of the ship.
At the Science Lab, select to “Choose New Research” then select “Sectoid Autopsy” to begin. Research Projects require multiple days to complete. With 2 Scientists on staff, it should only take 2 days to complete the Sectoid Autopsy.
Go to the GeoScape and scan the different points of interest to pass time. When the time is up, an alert message will pop-up to reveal that the Sectoid Autopsy is complete.
Step 3: Research – Psionics
This research option becomes available after completing the Sectoid Autopsy. Like the previous step, you’ll need to pass time until the research is complete.
Psionics should take longer than the Sectoid Autopsy, so be prepared for a wait if you don’t have many scientists. Check the Black Market, Guerilla Ops, GeoScape events, or XCOM HQ on the GeoScape menu to acquire new scientists.
Step 4: Build the Psi Lab
Completing the Psionics research will unlock the Psi Lab. This is a facility that can be constructed over an empty space on the Avenger.
Make sure to clear a room and acquire enough power to run the Psi Lab. Assign engineers to room clear to speed up the process, or assign engineers to a power room to boost output. They can also be upgraded to produce more power if you can’t spare another room square.
Once construction begins, assign an engineer to the under-construction room to speed things up and get the room done faster.
Step 5: Train a Rookie to Become a Psi Operative
Now that the Psi Lab is finally finished, select the room to zoom-in and you’ll see a new button at the top-center of the screen.
Press it to select a Rookie that is not injured or otherwise busy. Only Rookies can be trained into Psi-Operatives and anyone can become one. No worrying about random psionic sensitivity this time.
Engineers can also be assigned to the completed Psi Lab to improve training wait time. Once a Rookie is training in the Psi Lab, they cannot go on missions. This is similar to training Rookies to become a specific class in the Guerrilla Tactics School.
Another unique change; Psi Operatives do not gain new psi skills by leveling up like other classes. Instead they need to be trained in the Psi Lab. Their abilities are unlocked in random order, so you’ll need to put the same Psi Operative through multiple rounds of training to gain every psionic ability.
Check out even more XCOM 2 Easter eggs and unlockables on The Escapist:
Kevin Thielenhaus is a freelance writer for The Escapist. Find him on Twitter here.