If you're new to USC, you might want to check out the Step-by-Step Tutorial, too!
With the sole exception of Armor Rating, which is a somewhat “stand-alone” property, all prime attributes (AP, HP, MP) and other very important combat- and interaction-specific properties are derived partially or in whole from one or more of the nine Secondary Attributes (Skills) every unit has in USC.
Aliens have these attributes in a “hidden” way, specific to their strength and type. For Commandos, however, these are more likely skills you can change, experiment with, with which you can train your soldiers in a way you see fit for your strategy.
Commandos have a few hundred Skill Points depending on their rank. When you start a Campaign, most of these are already spent, but new ones can be acquired when a unit advances in rank. In non-Campaign game modes, the number of Skill Points a unit has depends on player (squad) handicap. With no handicap (standard setting), your commander will have 800 Skill Points, the others 700-500, respectively (a squad consists of 4 commandos).
Skills are measured from 0 to 100. “Purchasing” 1 point of proficiency costs a different amount of Skill Points depending on the level of the proficiency (skill), as the following table states:
|Level of proficiency||Skill Point per level|
E.g. to gain level 50 in a skill, you will need 20×1 (1-20) + 20×2 (21-40) + 10×3 (41-50) = 20 + 40 + 30 = 90 Skill Points. Level 100 costs 300 Skill Points. Thus you have to decide between training your soldier with many low-level skills, some mediocre skills, or a few expert skills.
Do not frail, in non-Campaign game modes you may change your soldier's skills even if you're playing progress with the same team!
On the Squad Assembly screen, skills can be increased by left-clicking on them, and decreased by right-clicking on them. They can also be increased in-mission on the Character Records panel.
Below follows the detailed description of the skills. The symbol “%” stands for the actual level of the skill (0-100). Fractions are always floored.
|Determines damage, Attack and Defense Value in close combat.|
|Min. damage done in melee is % percents of actual max. damage.|
|%/20 (0-5) to Attack Value in melee.|
|%/10 (0-10) to Defense Value in melee.|
|100%, adds +5 percents to Critical Chance in melee.|
|100%, equipping melee weapons costs only 3 APs (instead of 5).|
|Determines damage and Attack Value with small arms.|
|Min. damage done with small arms is % percents of actual max. damage.|
|Adds %/20 (0-5) to Static Precision with small arms.|
|At 100%, adds +5 percents to Critical Chance with small arms.|
|At 100%, equipping small arms costs only 3 APs (instead of 5).|
|Determines damage and Attack Value with heavy arms.|
|Min. damage done with heavy arms is % percents of actual max. damage.|
|Adds %/20 (0-5) to Static Precision with heavy arms.|
|At 100%, adds +5 percents to Critical Chance with heavy arms.|
|At 100%, equipping heavy arms costs only 3 APs (instead of 5).|
|Determines the Maximum Health a unit can have.|
|Commandos have a minimum of 25 (100 HPs).|
|Maximum Health (HPs) = 50 + %×2.|
|Determines Maximum Morale and reduces the chance of psychic misbehavior.|
|Commandos have a minimum of 25 (25 MPs).|
|Maximum Morale (MPs) = %.|
|Adds %/10 (0-10) to maximum damage in melee.|
|At 80%, renders the unit “immune” to becoming berserk.|
|At 100%, renders the unit “immune” to panic.|
|In general, the greater the level is, the smaller the chance the unit will panic.|
|Increases Attack Value and determines base reaction chance in Defense Mode.|
|Adds %/20 (0-5) to ranged Dynamic Precision with firearms (small & heavy).|
|Adds %/20 (0-5) to ranged Dynamic Defense Value (evasion).|
|Adds %/20 (0-5) to melee Attack Value.|
|Adds %/10 (0-10) to melee Defense Value.|
|Base reaction chance in ranged Defense Mode = %.|
|Chance of AP rebound when scoring a critical hit = %.|
|Max. quantity of rebound APs possible is 1/2/3/4 if 1%/30%/60%/90%.|
|Reduces the usage AP cost of the phasing device by %/25 (0-4).|
|Determines maximum Action Points and helps dodge special hazards.|
|Maximum Action Points (APs per turn) = 15 + %/10 (0-10).|
|Reduces the chance and severity of becoming tranquilized out of any reason.|
|Reduces the chance of being knocked back or losing APs to hard hits.|
|Gives bonuses in regards of any electronical or mechanical gadgets.|
|Reduces the usage AP cost of any electronic device by %/25 (0-4).|
|Reduces the AP cost of salvaging servers / databanks by %/20 (0-5).|
|Reduces the AP cost of beginning a circuit override by %/20 (0-5).|
|Reduces the AP cost of circuit override actions by %/50 (0-2).|
|Reduces the AP cost of closing blast doors by %/12 (0-8).|
|Adds %/33 (0-3) to protection against corrosion and to its wear-off rate.|
|Completely determines the Attack Value and damage of deployed turrets*.|
* only applies to turrets deployed by the actual unit
|Increases the effectiveness and decreases the usage AP cost of medical items, and protects against various related hazards.|
|Reduces the usage AP cost of medikits by %/25 (0-4).|
|Reduces the usage AP cost of stimulants and anti-rads by %/50 (0-2).|
|Reduces damage caused by biohazard (radiation) by %/20 (0-5).|
|Wear-off rate of biohazard per turn = %/20 (0-5).|
|Chance of bleeding wounds to heal by 1 per turn = %.|
|% percents bonus to the effectiveness of all chemicals (incl. medikits).|
|Increases the bio-damage and healing output of the bio-rifle by % percents.|
In addition to skills, every commando may choose a specialization out of the nine. These are generally “linked” to their respective skill, though some are quite “stand-alone” (i.e. useful without any levels in the skill). Specializations have no prerequisites, and in non-Campaign modes can be changed just like skills. They give additional bonuses or special abilities.
|Melee combat mastery||-5% Critical Chance for melee attackers.|
|Small arms mastery||+1.0x Critical Damage Factor with small arms.|
|Heavy arms mastery||+5% Critical Chance with heavy arms.|
|Survival expertise||Bleeding and rad poisoning will heal without any ranks in Biochemistry.|
|Psi-conditioning||The unit will never go berserk and has a much smaller chance to become panicked.|
|Hit & run||The Reaction-based AP-rebound from critical hits has a greater chance to be more.|
|Iron man||The unit cannot be knocked back and is more resistant to tranquilization.|
|Master hacker||Initializing a doorlock hacking doesn't cost any APs, and critical fails only reset the circuit.|
|Stimulant hero||Using stimulants costs only 1 AP, regardless of (no) ranks in Biochemistry.|
The specialization can be selected or changed by clicking on the “!” button next to the unit's portrait on the Squad Assembly screen, then clicking on the appropriate skill.
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