Height advantage

Maybe I missed a discussion already discussed “height advantage”
I did expect height advantage for Soldiers standing on the roof or other elevated.

Is there really no Bonus or Malus standing upper or lower to the opponent?
Hopefully this is to come in future

Due to the shots being simulated, based on cover and line of sight, there is an inherent bonus to height advangate, as your foes will typically be more visible behind their cover down low, than you are up high.


my thoughts exactly. +1

I’m guessing that height/elevation will confer an attack/defence bonus (or penalty) simply because JG used this system to great effect in his last TBS game. Plus it’s fairly standard for an Xcom style game to factor in any height advantage/disadvantage when calculating accuracy.

Okay, in that case.
Of shure, body parts look out of the shield if you look from above.
I simply missed that anouncements during Combat, if you know what I mean.
I am ok, when this Phonix Point try another ways, as it is not a direct follower of XCOM 2, which I sometime forget.
Forgive me Julian Gollop :slight_smile:

But they don’t use ballistic system like Phoenix Point. No need for this kind of bonus here.

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Ballistics is just the physics of the bullets. There’s a difference between line of sight/bullet trajectory and att/def/accuracy modifiers based on elevation.

Yes, using different terrain heights will alter the LoS on enemies. Shots, no matter what their angle/trajectory, are still RNG based, it’s only natural that the inherent advantages of having the high ground incur an aim modifier (on the RNG calculation).

Conferring bonuses for elevation is just a way of making height advantage a tangible thing tactically, just like in real warfare where height advantage is huge.

JG’s previous tactical games usually emphasise the use of height tactically, it’s tangibly a lot harder to lose engagements with high ground superiority (due to modifiers). Without the use of these accuracy modifiers based on height the combat tactics wouldn’t be very realistic.

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I have heard complaints that attaining the high ground in the backer build is a disadvantage to one’s soldiers…because it puts them in view of far more enemies than would otherwise be able to see them. Which leads to high-up soldiers experiencing much more gunfire, and a higher probability of dying.

Or, in other words:

“It’s over, Anakin! I have the low ground!”

Which will be lessened when perception-range will be implemented, because then they will be not visible to every enemy. Some still might spot them, but they should be nowhere near the numbers you can have right now.

Well, that is why I said “in the backer build.”

Height advantage provides :

  • Greater visibility over obstacles
  • Lowers the impact of frontal cover as a higher proportion of the target’s body is exposed (Won’t do much against lateral cover like a corner)
  • Enhances your own cover as it’s easier to hide from somebody shooting from below
  • Can make you much harder to reach in melee depending on the situation

All of these are simulated by PP’s system so far. As long as the angle’s not crazy, it’s not that much easier to shoot higher or lower. There are of course other advantages outside ballistics (for example, it’s easier to drop something on somebody’s head than toss it upwards) but these are another story.

With this in mind, why would we bother with an aim bonus?

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Again people are confusing the difference between LoS and accuracy. I think a possible reason as to why people are quite often confusing the two is because the devs are partially attempting to give the impression that shooting is less about RNG this time round.

The benefits of height advantage on LoS, which you correctly identified, are obvious. This thread is about the possible effect of height on accuracy.

As far as I can tell shooting is still based on a %chance to hit. If free-aim is implemented correctly the diameter of the bloom on the cross-hair should change depending on the calculated %chance to hit e.g, tight circle for high chance, wide circle for low chance.

Let’s say you place a unit on a roof so it can see different parts of the target (due to the change of perspective), the unit may also have reduced LoS on other parts from this elevated position, meaning for some shots a lower position would be more advantageous.

The OP is asking will there be an aim bonus for shooting down upon targets from elevation (and therefore also a penalty for shooting uphill). This is something which is pretty fundamental to tactical games which is why I assume it is already in place or at least will be…

…you would assume that even in cases where moving a unit to an elevated position doesn’t greatly affect your LoS on the target that the mere action of getting above the target would confer a bonus (whether it be a higher critical hit chance or just to boost the initial %chance to hit from ground level).

My thinking is, aim-bonus is in other games because they don’t care about LoS as much. If you can’t show the superiority of higher-position due to better LoS, you “have to” give something else to make it worth the effort of going there.

If you have a nice advantage of LoS (more enemies in sight, bigger parts of the enemy is in sight), then adding a “gamey” +5% hit chance is kind of strange to me.

I have never shot a rifle, do you aim more precisely downwards than upwards in real life if everything else (posture, etc.) is the same? Because I got the feeling that higher ground is advantageous for snipers due to not showing yourself (lying prone on the roof) while watching a relative large area, and not due to higher accuracy for actually hitting someone.


the accuracy and precision of a rifle, or any weapon for that matter is unaffected by being on higher or lower ground.

High ground grants a range bonus and a negligible acceleration bonus from ravity working with the bullet rther than against it.


You tend to shoot high (or at least I do).

One other thing to consider when shooting either up or down hill is that you’re also increasing the shot distance because of the fact that you’re shooting at an angle… you’re firing along the hypotenuse, to that end any given shot should potentially be less accurate than the same shot fired along a horizontal path.

well, so far its a disadvantage to be on an elevation as the buildings are like card-houses, the first shot destroys them and your soldier is either up on the top without any cover or he simply falls into the death… again a typical xcom copy. and they dare to say they are not using the jake-kind of code. sure

We won’t put an aim bonus for shooting from above - although in practice it will be easier to hit targets behind low cover from above because a greater area of their body would be exposed compared to shooting from the level. In other words the bonus is simply part of the system. In real life snipers don’t usually want to be on top of structures because they are more easily spotted as a silhouette against the sky. Spotting/perception nuances are not in the game yet, but there will be some.


Thanks for using an universal “simulation” approach in PP! The simplified, board-game like gameplay systems of the new XCOMs were a huge regression compared to the complex simulation approach (BattleScape and GeoScape) of the original X-Com. I am glad I backed PP on a high level. The demo build already shows that it will be a great game; miles ahead of the new XCOMs…


Sad that in the moment guns can just demolish buildings in no time this “default bonus” will quickly turn against the one with height advantage…