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XCOM: Chimera Squad Breach Mode guide

All about Breach Mode, Breach Abilities, and Breach Items

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XCOM: Chimera Squad Breach Mode explained Image: Firaxis Games/2K Games via Polygon
Jeffrey Parkin (he/him) has been writing video game guides for Polygon for almost seven years. He has learned to love just about every genre of game that exists.

Every Mission in XCOM: Chimera Squad starts with Breach Mode where you’ll set up your turn order on the Timeline and use Abilities and Items. In this guide, we’ll help you understand everything happening when you kick in a door and the effects it has on the rest of combat.

Breach Mode is your first step in managing the Timeline

Every Encounter (the subsections of Missions) starts with Breach Mode. This is where you assign your Agents in the order they burst through the door.

First, Breach order determines turn order (where your Agents end up on the Timeline). The first one through the door is the first to act on the Timeline, and so on. This means you’re actually setting up your turn order in advance, not just deciding who kicks in the door.

Using Breach Order and Abilities is how you’ll manage enemies in the Timeline as well. There are two ways to do it: You can focus every Agent on the same strong or dangerous target to remove them from combat before they get a shot off, or you can land hits on multiple targets to make them easier to kill during turn-based combat. Both ways have their benefits, so it depends on the Encounter which choice is better.

Breach Points effects

Breach Points may have effects Agents that use them. You’ll see these effects when you’re reviewing the Breach Points. Knowing that the first Agent through the door won’t be able to move for a turn or the last Agent in will get extra damage should influence your order. Think about how each Agent works, and what those buffs or debuffs will do.

Multiple Breach Points

Breach Points have a turn order, too. You control this with the numbers next to their names. Agents get added to the Timeline based on their Breach Point first, and then order through the door.

Not every enemy is visible from every Breach Point. This means that if your goal is to focus on tough enemies first, you’ll want to keep your team together since you can’t be certain that every Agent will be able to fire on every target.

Breach Abilities and Items

Some Agents will have Breach Abilities that are only used during Breach Mode. If you want to use these Abilities, you’ll need to account for when those Agents go through the door(s). For example, Verge has the Levitate Breach Ability that lifts an enemy into the air (and out of cover). If Verge goes first, this will give every Agent that follows a better shot on that target. If Verge goes last, though, the Ability will be wasted.

If you have Breach Items in your Loadout(s), this is where you’ll use them. The first Agent through the door, however, can’t use Breach Items (only Abilities) because they’re busy kicking in the door. That means you’ll have to place your Item users later in the Breach order.

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