Comprehensive Intelligence Officer Guide

(Still a WIP but 90% done)


This is a comprehensive guide to being an Intelligence Officer for the USCM. This guide will include discussions around the role of the IO, what your goals and objectives are, and how you can best help the Marine force, both in terms of acquiring intelligence but also in fighting the xenomorphs.

Outmanned, outnumbered, outgunned, IO’s still get the job done.

As an IO, you are essentially an over-glorified breaking and entering specialist. Your job is to scour the combat zone for “intel”, collect it, return it to the Almayer and process it. In exchange for this, you will accrue ‘Intel’ that the CIC can spend on special assets. This can range from more points for requisitions, marine reinforcements to an outright nuclear warhead.

Your ability to survive and collect intel could make you one of the single most impactful roles for the marines. Assuming both you and the marines survive long enough to make use of your efforts.

What it takes to be an IO.

The reputation of Intel Officers varies, and the community as a whole has a wide range of positive and negative expectations. IOs are often seen as the people who die quickly and provide no real benefit to the team. Conversely good IOs can be seen as the people who actually can get stuff done, being loved by the researchers, as well as providing a wealth of information for CIC. In order to be seen as one of the “good” IO’s, you need a wide range of personal skills.

You need the skills of a Medic. While you lack the in-game skills to perform advanced medical tasks, you still need knowledge on assessing your own health, how to tend to your own wounds by yourself with limited supplies, you also need to be able to gauge other people’s health. A IO can be surprisingly effective as a make-shift medic and dying/dead body recovery specialist.

You need the skills of an Engineer. You have the same engineering skills as a Comtech (minus the ability to make barricades). Critically, you can repair and construct APCs, repair the power generators and restore the colony communications array. You will be surprised how often an IO will be called on to repair comms because none of the present engineers seem to know how to do so.

Finally, and perhaps most vitally, you need good game-sense. You need to have a good idea of the ebb and flow of a round, to know when the marines are pushing, when the aliens are advancing, when an area is secure or if there are hugger traps in hiding, when it is safe to be scouting and when it’s time to fall back.

To be a better Medic or Engineer, you will learn those skills with time, and it’s best to learn them as a Corpsmen and Comtech. But for game sense, you will only learn that skill with time and practice in any combat role.

The actual tasks of being a IO are fairly straightforward in comparison.

Intelligence. What is it?

Not all intelligence is useful.

Intelligence, or Intel, are objects of value to the USCMC and Almayer. The items or tasks can be divided into several types. All of these give intel points when they are processed and returned to the Almayer and placed in their respective storage area. Intel points are used to purchase assets by CIC.

  • Physical Objects: Paper, disks, high value items, you take these with you to the IO Department for processing and intel reward.
  • Corpses: Dead colonists and perma marines get sent to the morgue, dead Xenos are placed in the Research Containment area for intel reward.
  • Safes: Unlocking a safe will grant intel, the safe may contain further intel.
  • Upload Terminal: Restoring power, and entering the correct password, will upload data to the Almayer that grants intel reward.
  • Restore Communications: Repairing and syncing USCM comms into a comms arrays will provide intel.
  • Restore Power: Restoring the powernet of the colony will provide intel.

Rough flowchart of how intel objects work in relation to each other.

Physical Objects

There are five types of physical objects for you to retrieve, most of these items, sans high value items, must be ‘read’, by interacting with the item, to glean information for conducting further intel work. Placing these objects inside the IO department will reward you with intel after you have processed them.

These items are:

Paper Scraps and Progress Reports
Basic intel item. Can be read at any time. Reading these will provide you the location, and ability to read, Folders.

Folders will provide you the location of data disks, and the password to process them.

Data Disk
You need to place the disk inside the ‘disk analyzer’ in the IO department to be able to process this. Requires a password, provided by a folder. Once processed, it may provide you with a Technical Manual or high value item to recover.

Technical Manual
Must have processed a corresponding data disk to read this. Provides a flat amount of intel when read and stored.

High Value Item
Special items that must be stored in the IO department to provide an intel reward. Processing Data Disks may provide the IOs info on which HVI to store. These items take on the appearance of either a health analyzer, autopsy scanner or advanced mass-spectrometer. There is no penalty to simply taking all HVIs and stashing them in the IO department, as you will be automatically rewarded for its recovery once you process a data disk telling you to locate the item.

Research Items

Research items are divided into two items, chemicals and research papers. Both of these are useless to you but are extremely important to Researchers on the Almayer. Simply deposit these at Research when you are able to.

You can store research papers on a clipboard (which can fit in your document pouch) to save on space.

Research chemicals come inside 30 unit vials that are placed inside a vial container. Each container can carry up to 6 vials. Each container may contain any number of empty or filled vials, ergo it’s important to check if they are full or not.

Use a reagent scanner to check what the contents of a chemical is, sometimes research chemical vials are filled with a non-useful liquid. There is no reason for you to carry a chem vial full of welding fuel.

Data Terminal

Special computers strewn around the combat area. Will provide a large intel reward if the data inside it is uploaded to the Almayer. To do this, you must locate the terminal’s password from a decoded data disk. Then you need to restore power to the area the terminal is in and enter the password. After a short delay, the date will be uploaded automatically to the Almayer.

You must maintain the local power supply while the upload is in progress, if the upload is interrupted this could break the console, so be wary.


All corpses will provide a small intel reward when returned to the Almayer.

Deceased NPC colonists, and permanently deceased player colonists or marines, will provide intel if placed inside the Almayer’s morgue, this can be done by Medical personnel.

Deceased xenomorphs will provide intel if put inside the Research Containment area by Research personnel. It should be noted the corpse does not need to be placed inside a containment cell, only inside the actual containment area.


On most maps a small series of safes are strewn around the combat area. If the safe is opened a large amount of intel will be rewarded. The safes may contain intel, but this is not guaranteed.

Decoding intel may provide you with the safe code, however it is possible to brute force the safe in a reasonably fast manner. This method is described in the ‘intel gathering’ section.

Power and Comms

Restoring the colony communications, and restoring colony power, will grant an intel reward.

For comms, you will need to ensure at least one of the communication arrays are repaired and brought online for the full reward.

For power, the powernet has to be generating a minimum level of power (typically 30,000) for the intel reward to be granted. This will require at least two SMES cells to be brought online, it is possible for a high explosive attack to destroy a SMES cell thus rendering it impossible for this objective to be complete.

You can perform both of these tasks yourself. Once the reward is unlocked there is no penalty if either comms or the power go offline, intel wise.

What Intel Gets You

Find the right stuff and you can be directly responsible for spawning Predaliens for the Researchers.

The decision of what intel assets are purchased are typically made by the Commander or acting Commander of the operation. However as an IO you may have some sway to make suggestions on what CIC should purchase.

If CIC is unable to make intel purchases, you have the rank and access to make purchases from the CIC as well. In either case it is good to know what to get.

Generally speaking the most valued purchases are Foxtrot and the Nuke.

Foxtrot is a tier 3 unlock which requires a minimum of 10 intel to reach before you can purchase it, and either 6 intel to purchase a 5 man Foxtrot squad, or 8 intel to buy a Specialist. The base Foxtrot can be purchased multiple times but at an increasing cost of +6 intel each purchase, the Specialist is a one time purchase.

A nuclear warhead can be purchased at tier 4, thus requiring a minimum of 15 intel to reach, and a further 5 intel to buy the actual nuke for a total cost of 20 intel. A nuke can only be bought 2 hours into a round (when the ‘Round Time’ reaches 02:00). The nuke is intended as a way for Marines to end a stalemate assuming they can control both groundside comms towers, if Marines are unable to do this then purchasing the nuke is a waste of intel that could go towards a Foxtrot squad.


You need to accrue intel. You need to be able to carry a large amount of intel, you need to be speedy enough to finish this quickly, you also need to be able to detect and evade or destroy backline xenos. This section will discuss all of the equipment a IO can make use to accomplish their mission.

There are no major restrictions in your IO loadout, as most items you take will work for your job. The only real restriction is you need to take a Document Pouch, and you need to fit some engineering tools and/or breaching tools on your person.


A major point of discussion is the armour you take. You have three choices, your standard issue XM4 IO armour, a service jacket or a non-standard issue set of light armour.

For a direct point by point comparison, the values of the items are as follows

  • Service Jacket (No Slowdown): 10 Melee/Bullet, 2 Inv Slots, NO MOUNTED FLASHLIGHT
  • Light Armour (35% Slowdown): 15 Melee/Bullet/Bio, 2 Inv Slots
  • XM4 Intel Armour (55% Slowdown): 20 Melee/Bullet, 25 Bio, 4 Inv Slots

The discussion regarding armour comes down to a choice between Light armour or the Service Jacket. Personally, I believe the best choice for an IO is light armour, however the Jacket offers some strong advantages.

The light armour offers a balance between good movement speed and survivability, its main advantage is that should you take damage, mostly from friendly fire but also xenos, you’ll have a far better chance to avoid fractures, internal bleeding or other major injuries. The slowdown is tolerable and still lets you keep pace against xenos when off weeds.

The service jacket does offer you no slowdown, but your loss of armour means even a few stray bullets have a high chance of causing fractures or organ damage, especially in the new era of full-auto gun spam. You must be extremely careful to avoid damage as even two stray bullets will land you next to a doctor for surgery, as even a single fracture will massively impact your movement speed to the point you may as well wear light armour.

Furthermore, the jacket has no mounted flashlight and magnetic harnesses won’t work with it.

Because it has no mounted flashlight, so you will need to either be diligent in keeping your NVGs topped up with power, or mount a flashlight on your gun to maintain visibility.

The main advantage of XM4 armour is the four inventory slots and its strong armour. These are very nice to have, but are a steep price to pay for the extra slow down. One consideration is that this armour means should you suffer grievous injury, or death, your injuries will generally be less crippling than if you had worn any other armour items.


IOs are issued a unique pouch item, the Document Pouch. This is unique compared to the normal pouches, in that it can hold up to 28 intel items. Most IO loadout considerations afford you wide latitude in picking what you want, but for the pouch, you are going to want at least one of your pouches to be a Document Pouch.

Many IO’s state it is wise to take two document pouches, and this is a strong choice. Furthermore, taking only a single pouch forces me to return to the FOB more often to drop off intel, I find this quite useful for my play style.

You have wide latitude in selecting your second pouch, my thoughts are as follows.

  • First Aid Pouch: At minimum you want to fit some bandages and splints in your loadout somewhere, this provides that and a Tricord injector.
  • Tool Pouch: Holds 4 engineering tools. Slightly better inventory economy than a First Aid Pouch since you may only want to carry two to three medical items whereas this can hold four. This is my preferred pouch item.
  • Sling Pouch: You can use this to hold either your Data Detector, or Motion Detector. Keep it in your hand, and if you run into an enemy you can instantly drop the item, or wield your gun that is in your off hand, and it will snap back to you.
  • Magazine/Shell Pouch: More ammo is useful. You do not generally need as much ammo as a Marine due to your preference to avoid combat.
  • Autoinjector Pouch: You can just “steal” injectors from a hacked medical vendor.


Real Spec Ops Stuff

Most firearms are viable for an IO to take.

I would suggest you take a M41A Mk2 Pulse Rifle, I would then strongly suggest you use a Underbarrel Shotgun, a Magnetic Harness and a Bayonet.

The Bayo lets you quickly clear fields of resin, which you will be doing frequently, while the harness ensures you won’t lose your gun. Do note if you take a service jacket, the harness will not work, in this case you may want to take a rail light.

The underbarrel shotgun (UBS) deserves a very special mention. As an offensive weapon it deals middling damage, its main boon in this regard is stunning an enemy before firing off a burst, this is a very strong combination that will net you kills on many a xeno.

However, Its real strength is its ability to instantly destroy doors and quickly destroy walls. A single shot at close range will destroy any door in the game (outside of reinforced doors on the Almayer), a regular wall can be destroyed in ~5 shots, and a reinforced wall in ~10 shots. As an IO, a UBS can save a lot of time and allow you to quickly clear out a structure with many locked or welded doors (see Science Dome on LV-624).

Furthermore, thanks to your NVGs, you can make effective usage of your M41A to fire on targets on the edge of your vision. This can allow you to ward off xenos before they engage, or get sneaky kills on resting/dying xenos who think they are safe. Many xenos do not expect a Marine to be able to see them in the dark.

The M41A Mk1 is essentially a less flexible Mk2. You can still mount the aforementioned UBS and Mag Harness ergo this is a strong option for you if you can get to req and requisition one. The primary advantage of the Mk1 is the larger magazine size, which is a strong benefit for a IO as you will likely not have many inventory slots for ammo.

Regular shotguns can prove effective in deterring and killing your average xeno backliner (Runners and Lurkers) but it lacks effective ranged damage and leaves you very vulnerable to a good Warrior. It also is not as strong in punching through regular doors compared to a UBS, requiring many shots.

An SMG or M4RA can be situationally useful due to their lack of movement slowdown, if paired with light armour or the service jacket. I would not suggest them as they simply lack the raw damage to ward off backliners, and they offer no way to quickly destroy doors.

Engineering Tools

You are going to need to carry a standard set of engineering tools in order to effect repairs on broken APCs, comms towers and power generators. You generally do not need to deconstruct doors or walls but you may also be called on to repair barricades. You also want some form of welding protection, this can be acquired by either vending a free set of welding goggles from an engineering vendor, or purchasing a 5 point welding visor from your vendor.

IO Vendor Equipment

This is a quick overview of my opinion regarding the items you can purchase from your IO vendor. You have 45 points to spend.

  • Green items are extremely valuable and can not be acquired elsewhere.
  • Blue items are very valuable items, but can be found from req for free.
  • Yellow items are luxuries, nice to have but can be skipped if you need to buy something more valuable.
  • Red items are those that are either too expensive for what they offer, or can be found elsewhere for free. This does not mean they are not useful, but they are too expensive.

You will notice most of the items in your vendor are trash.

Night Vision Goggles
Can only be acquired through a vendor.

Extremely important. The ability to see xenos in the dark increases your survivability by orders of magnitude, it can also open up opportunities to punish over-extending xenos or hunt down off-weed or critically wounded xenos for easy kills. Most xeno players don’t expect a human to see them in the dark.

Be wary, in my opinion it is slightly harder to spot a cloaked Lurker with NVGs due to the fuzzy effect of the green visor. You’ll learn to overcome this, but it’s still worth being aware.

Power drain is the main drawback to NVGs. However all you have to do is keep a spare high cap power cell on your person (which you should always be doing) and you can recharge the NVGs for free at all times.

Medical Helmet Visor
Can only be acquired through a vendor.

Being able to ascertain how wounded other marines (or yourself) are is good info to have. Furthermore you can use this to tell apart revivable and perma marines, useful for fultoning out corpses for intel. Furthermore, as a IO you are in a position to possibly recover a dead marine for revival, knowing if someone can actually be revived can save you time in picking who to help.

Welding Visor
Can only be acquired through a vendor.

Provides a free welding visor on command. Your helmet can hold two visors so you can afford to mount this alongside a medical visor. The main benefit to this is it saves on your limited inventory space. Worthwhile to take.

Motion Detector

NVG’s help, but MDs help even more. It won’t help you if you run straight into a runner, but the audible ping of a MD can give you those critical few seconds of heads up to start retreating or preparing for combat. Self-explanatory otherwise, you need this.

You can get this for free from req.

Plastic Explosive

Being able to blast your way into a secure area, or open up firing lanes on a marine frontline, can be situationally useful. You should always try to have at least one piece of C4 on you. You can get some for free from req, but they are usually in high demand.

Fulton Recovery

You get 1 for free, it can be a good idea to get a 2nd kit. However you can usually get a second kit for free from req.

Non-Standard Issue Equipment

Engineer Kit

You can find these in engineering tool vendors. These items are very strong in allowing you to carry a lot more items, you can use a kit to hold power cells, APC boards, cable coils, C4 explosives and reagent scanners.

Reagent Scanner/HUD

These let you check the name of an unknown reagent (which can be important for IOs, and will be explained further below). The scanner is a hand held item that you must click on a vial to check, whereas the HUD lets you simply examine the item to discern this so long as you wear it. You can fit these items in your helmet or an engineer kit.

You can source a reagent scanner from any engineering tool vendor, the reagent hud has to be acquired from a Researcher.


A clipboard can hold a large amount of research papers at a time, it fits inside your document pouch. You can use this to save on space and slap all those RnD papers in it. You can source these from across the entire ship, one can be found in the IO prep room, others can usually be found in reception areas. Sadly these don’t fit regular intel papers.

An Officer and a Gentleman

As an IO you are an enlisted Officer of the USCMC, conferred the rank of second lieutenant. This puts you in the unique position that you will be the highest ranking personnel in the field during the normal course of events.

You can attempt to exercise your authority by ordering other marines to accompany you whilst performing intel gathering.

However, trying to order someone to follow you will likely return a negative response, people don’t like to be dictated towards, furthermore server rules allow most squad marines to ignore orders. If you wish to corral other marines, you are better off trying to politely ask them.

If I am being honest, your ability to attract marines is going to hinge more on your personal reputation.

Intel Squad

Those who stay together, slay together.

It is far easier to convince a fellow IO to stick with you, someone who actively wants to collect intel, versus convincing a Rifleman. It is generally good practice for Intel Officers to remain together as a cohesive team. A single good Runner or Lurker might be able to kill a solo IO, but the same xeno might struggle to kill two or three IOs.

I suggest you try to operate with allies when possible.

Intel Gathering

Discretion is the better part of valor.

The process of collecting intel is fairly straightforward, but bears some discussion.

If you encounter hostile xenos, it is better to retreat than commit to a fight. Most xenomorphs you encounter in the rear line are typically ambushers (runners or lurkers) thus they prefer to not get into a straight up fight against someone who is aware of their presence, furthermore many xenos are just as scared of you as you are of them to a degree.

It’s best to operate off of weeds as this gives you a big speed advantage, be very wary of moving into weeded areas, it may be best to clear weed nodes and hold back until the weeds dissipate before moving in. You will not outrun any xeno if you are caught on weeds.

My general rule of thumb is if you encounter a significant xeno presence in an area, simply disengage and go to another area of the map to loot for intel. You can always return to the area later.

Facehuggers And You

Screenshot 2023-09-22 18.19.20

Remain alert at all times

Always assume every weeded area you are entering contains face huggers, NPC or player ones. Every door has a hugger under it, every table or random piece of trash has a trap under it, every corpse has a player waiting to facehug you.

Whenever you enter any weeded area, be certain to scan every single tile that might contain a hidden trap or player facehugger. You can do this by hovering your mouse over the tile as well as right-clicking the tile to check.

If you get facehugged in the rearline, odds are you are dead.

ID Cards

Dead colonist ID cards have varying levels of access to the colony you are operating in, usually all access but sometimes not. It is worth while to loot dead colonists for their ID cards to open up your access and minimize the amount of ammo you need to expend to open up areas.

Many lockers can be unlocked by using a colonist ID card.

Some maps and areas may not have an access or a colonists ID may not have access to a certain area, use common sense in this regard (a chef is not likely to have access to security).

Body Recovery

Should you encounter deceased corpses in the area, it is typically best to evacuate them via a fulton pack. You should coordinate with the Pilot Officers via the JTAC channel to ensure they are in a position to extract a fulton.

Pilots may often forget to check for fultons so make certain a pilot is aware you are sending up bodies before you actually commit to sending them.

If the corpse is close enough to the FOB you should consider simply dragging it to the FOB. Always try to carry a roller bed for this task. Be aware roller beds can also carry T1 and T2 xenos, although you will still need to drag T3 xenos.

HIGH PRIORITY BODIES to extract are Praetorian and Queen corpses. Both of these bodies contain chemicals that are of extremely high value to Research.

If there are no corpses, make your own.

Cracking Safes

Safes can only be opened via entering the correct code to unlock it, they can not be shot open or blasted open with explosives. Processing intel will eventually give you the code, however it is possible for you to brute force a safe’s code and open it without knowing the code.

Whenever the correct code is input, the safe will produce a ‘CLANK’ noise in your chatbox, this lets you know you’ve unlocked it. You DO NOT NEED to spam the ‘open safe’ button as this CLANK noise is produced automatically.

Each safe has two dials you set independently, these each increment by 5 and range from 0 to 50. That’s 11 different variations for each dial. The trick is to keep one of these dials as a single number and use the second dial to test each combination, only incrementing the first dial if the second dial does not produce the code.

For example.

Keep one of the dials set to 0, and increment the other dial.
0,0 - 5,0 - 10,0 - 15,0 - 20,0 - 25,0 - 30,0 - 35,0 - 40,0 - 45,0 - 50,0
If none of the above work, you’ll move on to the next set.
0,5 - 5,5 - 10,5 - 15,5 - 20,5 - 25,5 - 30,5 - 35,5 - 40,5 - 45,5 - 50,5
Continuing this until the safe is unlocked.

Sending Intel Shipside

Generally, dump any intel you have accrued inside FOB crates and leave them at the landing zone to be returned to the Almayer. Be sure to inform the pilots or the Auxillery Support Officer of this so the crate can be removed from the Alamo when its returned to base.

You can optionally place intel in a crate and place a fulton on the crate to send it shipside. Just be certain to coordinate this with the pilot, you do not want the intel crate to be forgotten, dropped back to the planet and for some runner to drag the crate to the furthest hidden corner of the map.

Processing Process

Processing collected intel is quite straightforward, it is important to have a process to cut down on time. The most important aspect to processing intel is organizing where you place the intel, making sure you separate intel that has been processed from intel that is to be processed. Mixing up intel that has and has not been processed can slow you down significantly.

All research items (research paper, grant or chemicals) should be deposited to the Research department.

The following is how I prefer to process intel, feel free to follow.

  • Red Zone: The red zone is where I place any items that are yet to be processed
  • Green Zone: This is where processed items are placed.
  1. Beforehand, if you brought up any high value items, throw them in the green zone. You will be given an intel reward for these items automatically once you are instructed to bring them back up, there is no penalty to storing items you don’t need in your lab.
  2. First, read all paper scraps/progress reports, throw these into the green zone. You will always be able to read a paper scrap
  3. Read all folders, if a folder can not be processed, place it in the red zone as a reminder to check it later. If you can process it, throw it in the green zone.
  4. Check your objectives tab and compare whatever Technical Documents you have with the Technical Documents in your objectives tab. TD’s take a long time to read so you don’t want to waste time reading a TD only to find out you can’t process it. Read all TD’s that you can, place the TD’s you can’t read into the red zone
  5. Check your Data Disk objectives tab and compare it with all Data Disks you have one at a time. To speed this up, copy the 3 number code at the end of a data disk you have, then use ‘Ctrl-F’ on the objective tab to see if you have the passcode for the disk. If you have a code, process the disk, if not then put the disk in the red zone. Once a data disk is processed, toss them to the green zone.
  6. Finally, find the nearest Intel Computer and click it, this will update the objective database with all the information you have accrued. All IO’s are updated with new objectives automatically, but non-IO’s won’t. If you do this all non-IO’s can see what objectives need to be done, this is useful information to have (mostly for the ASO).

Once you have completed this, your objectives tab may be updated with objectives instructing you to either upload data from the planet or crack open a specific safe. Make sure to check this and instruct any groundside IO’s to attempt to perform these tasks.

Non-Intel Duties

As an IO you may often find yourself in circumstances where you can or are required to perform non-intel duties.

Sometimes you just gotta do it.


You lack the skills to construct barricades, however you have the same engineering skills as Comtechs, meaning you can construct APCs, repair comms or fix/hack/decon doors. As an IO you should always have the tools necessary to construct or repair an APC, this practically means you should be carrying at least a single high-cap power cell and an APC board, since you should already be carrying most standard engineering tools.

Because you should have a welder and some form of welding protection, you are also well positioned to repair damaged barricades. This can prove invaluable during sieges or general defensive actions.


You have no medical skills, however you can still work your way around a bandage. You very likely should have access to a medi-visor so at a glance you can see the health status of any other marine.

As an IO you are well positioned to drag crit or dead marines out of harm’s way and into the hands of a Corpsman. While you can not fireman carry, you should have a roller bed on standby to better facilitate this.

If you can fit a health analyzer in your loadout, you can tend to basic wounds on marines who are not in a position to do so themselves.


While you are not a squad leader, you are an officer, and your speech text is slightly more prominent than the average marine. Furthermore, your access to the command and all squad channels gives you access to a broad amount of information regarding the state of the battlefield.

Because of this you have the ability to somewhat influence events during a large-scale fight. If you think the marines need to attack, or retreat, you can shout directives which may convince people to follow your lead.

You can also give ‘orders’ thanks to your leadership skill. These orders are as effective as a Squad Leaders. Never forget you can do this. Generally speaking you want to issue move orders when you are trying to either chase down a target, escape a target or reach somewhere quicker, hold orders when either the queen is screeching or nearby marines are tanking a lot of damage, or fire orders when you want more damage output.


My Generalist Loadout

As I noted earlier, you generally have a wide degree of latitude in how you construct your Intel Officer loadout. The only stringent requirements you should ensure your loadout fulfills are…

  • Be able to carry a large amount of intel items.
  • Carry a Data Detector.
  • Have some way to get through bolted/locked doors.
  • Be capable of repairing damaged APCs, rebuilding destroyed APCs and repairing power generators.

So long as you can service those requirements you can generally get away with anything else.

The above image is my loadout setup I generally defer to, it is a time tested setup that works well for my playstyle, that being a passive IO who returns to the FOB very often, typically runs from any signs of the enemy but can stand and fight if needed and with the ammo reserve to punch above my weight.

Generally, I will rush to Requisitions at the start of the operation to request a Mk1 kit and a Motion Detector at minimum, this lets me save my IO points to buy a welding visor and other ancillary items. I generally get C4 if I am going to a map that really benefits from using it (LV-624 for the Secure Storage for example).

I just spawned, what do I do?

  • Go to your prep room and vend your standard issue equipment from the Equipment Rack.
  • Vend the XM4 armour, Expedition Pack, XM12 Officer Helmet and a Toolbelt.
  • Vend the Document and First Aid (splints, gauze, ointment) pouches. Vend a webbing vest.
  • Go to your toolbelt, put the screwdriver in your ear slot, place everything else in the webbing vest except the cable coil, place that in your backpack. Ditch the toolbelt.
  • Go to the Gear Rack, get your ‘Essential Intelligence Set’ and put all of it in your backpack except the crowbar, ditch the crowbar
  • Purchase a M2 Night Vision Goggles and Medical Helmet Optic, put them in your helmet. Buy a Motion Detector, turn it on and put it on your belt slot.
  • Go to the Weapons Rack, get a M41A Mk2 and a knife, attach the knife. Slot in a M41A magazine. Grab four additional magazines and place them in your armour.

You’re done, this is a basic and quick to setup IO loadout that covers your bases, and does not require you to go to any other department.

If you want to improve it, take these actions in any order

  • Go to Requisitions, ask for a Mk1 M41A kit and replace your Mk2 with it.
  • Get a Underbarrel Shotgun and Magnetic Harness from either Requisitions or from a Squad Vendor (you have access to their vendors). (you can place some buckshot ammo in your helmet for this).
  • Go to Engineering Storage/Pilot Bay (in hanger) or to Engineering. Hack a Tool Storage Vendor and an Electronics Vendor (don’t be spotted by a MP). Vend a Engineering Kit, place two high-cap power cells, two APC circuit boards, a reagent scanner and your leftover cable coil inside it. Place it in your backpack.
  • Find a clipboard and place it inside your document pouch, useful to hold research papers.
  • Go to a squad prep room and replace your XM4 armour with Light Armour (Optional).

I don’t think disks give code to manuals; you get those from folders. What you get from manuals are locations for analyzers and terminal codes. I could be wrong though.

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The guide looks great and definitely has useful info in it for sure! I think you undersell the XM4 armor a bit since yeah its a little slower but extra pocket space is always useful and if you work with another IO or Marine which you honestly should then the slowdown doesn’t hurt as much. It also cuts down on injuries that can really hamper your work in the field and can be a boon.

Also as a suggestion for something to consider is the Technician helmet, it fits two headslot items, has a built in welding visor and is super easy to get at requisitions making it a no brainer to me.


I have been wanting to play IO for a long while so this will make it easier in actually trying without having to learn how to play marine backliner

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Seems IOs got hit with another nerf bat in the form of the NVG changes.

NVGs can only be recharged at a recharger, no more using a power cell to recharge in the field.

More changes are apparently planned, but this does gut the NVG significantly. I’ll have to wait and see before I start re-writing things. I’d suggest being even more conservative now.

Always wondered which is faster the XM4 Intel Armour or the staff officer one that they get from cic armory

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Solid guide!

this guide is good but please add that the XM4 has an inbuilt motion detector (same as SG’s) but cannot be used with webbing vests

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