Two operators using their abilities in XDefiant
Image via Ubisoft

XDefiant Faction Ability Tier List

The abilities you can use in XDefiant can be major tide-shifts in a match, and our tier list...lists the best of them.

Abilities in hero shooters have never been my bag, mostly because they’re usually unbalanced and annoying. Faction abilities in XDefiant, however, are pretty alright, as most aren’t too intrusive, and you can deal with them more easily if you know they’re coming. This tier list covers the best abilities available to each Faction and why.

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S-Tier Faction Abilities in XDefiant

The Echelon faction in XDefiant
Screenshot by GameSkinny

Intel Suit — Echelon Faction

I don’t think there’s any arguing that the Intel Suit, usable by the Echelon Faction, is probably the most busted ability in the game. The reason is simple: it gives legit, non-cheat, in-game wallhacks. In an objective-focused game like XDefiant, knowing where your enemies are coming from in real-time with a bright red outline through walls is simply absurd. And the fact you can have more than one Echelon agent on a team means your squad can keep actual hacks active permanently.

Mag Barrier — Phantoms Faction

Oh, I’m sorry, you wanted to shoot toward an objective or high-priority sightline? Nope, the Phantoms disagree. While the Mag Barrier doesn’t have a busted amount of HP, it does have enough to be annoying. Add in your ability to shoot through a barrier you created, and suddenly, an annoyance becomes a problem the entire team might need to deal with. A smart Phantom player can effectively lock down an entire portion of the map themselves if they place their Barrier well. It’s nasty.

BioVida Boost — Libertad Faction

Medics are battlefield force multipliers, and in most hero shooters, they’re much less focused on offense to balance them. The Libertad’s BioVida Boost, um, soda(?), and passive healing aura mean your team can effectively stay in battle longer and be safer doing it. Plus, the Libertad agent has access to the same guns as everyone else, making them vital to any concerted push for an objective.

A-Tier Faction Abilities in XDefiant

The Cleaners faction in XDefiant
Screenshot by GameSkinny

Incinerator Drone — Cleaners Faction

I would have put the Incinerator Drone in the S-tier thanks to its ease of use, damage output, and short cooldown, but the problem is it lacks synergy with your teammates and is rarely going to turn the tide in a team fight. That said, because it’s so easy to use and you can use it in such quick succession — and can delete anyone it hits — puts it easily in my top spot in the A-tier.

El Remedio — Libertad Faction

Though El Remedio lacks the “use anywhere to benefit everyone” utility of the Libertad Faction’s other ability, there are very few better choices for holding down a position alongside your team. Mag Shield notwithstanding, of course. The healing field it creates is fairly sizeable, it lasts longer than you might expect, and it’s small enough that you can easily hide it behind some cover while it heals within its radius.

Firebomb — Cleaners Faction

No, it’s not as universally useful as the Incinerator Drone, but for my money, the Firebomb is even more annoying. It deals massive damage to enemies, whether they’re right next to you or at the end of a throw arc. The number of times I’ve been in a fight with a Cleaner only to be point-blank Firebombed is much higher than I’d like to accept, adding another powerful and easy-to-use tool to their arsenal.

B-Tier Faction Abilities

The Phantoms faction in XDefiant
Screenshot by GameSkinny

Blitz Shield — Phantoms Faction

Riot Shields have rarely actually been “good” in any real sense of the term, and the Blitz Shield is no different. It’s a minor annoyance that takes a gun out of a fight for an extended period, but the tradeoff is that you can hit things with the shield, and its ability to deflect bullets makes it a powerful distraction. As frustrating as it is, if you have a player running around with the Shield up, you have to deal with them or risk taking shots from one side and a heavy steel plate slap to the back from another.

Hijack — DedSec Faction

I don’t think DedSec has much worth using, but a clutch Hijack, allowing you to coopt enemy deployed equipment, can turn the tide of a fight. If El Remedio is causing your team duress, or there are entirely too many Mag Barriers on the field, hack them and make your foes deal with the very same annoyances they set up.

I don’t think the other Faction abilities in XDefiant are worth mentioning beyond needing to use as part of a challenge, as they don’t do enough for the team in the long term to be viable.

For more content, check out our XDefiant guides hub, including how to unlock other Factions characters.

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John Schutt
John Schutt has been playing games for almost 25 years, starting with Super Mario 64 and progressing to every genre under the sun. He spent almost 4 years writing for strategy and satire site TopTierTactics under the moniker Xiant, and somehow managed to find time to get an MFA in Creative Writing in between all the gaming. His specialty is action games, but his first love will always be the RPG. Oh, and his avatar is, was, and will always be a squirrel, a trend he's carried as long as he's had a Steam account, and for some time before that.