How do I avoid or reduce the time my soldiers are out due to “wounded” status?
Sometimes when I return from a mission, my soldiers return, but can’t be used for a few days afterwards – my squad roster lists them as “Wounded.” I assume this has something to do with them taking an amount of damage during combat.
Is the amount of time they are out fixed? Is there anything I can do in-mission to reduce the duration of this? Is there any way I can change or upgrade my base to speed up their recovery?
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The amount of time spent in the hospital after being wounded depends on the amount of damage you take. This means that healing heavily wounded soldiers with a medkit before they leave the mission will not reduce the amount of sickleave your squaddies get — what matters is how much they take in, not how much they leave with.
How much damage they can take in without being wounded depends entirely on what armor they’re wearing. Armor provides bonus health – if they take more damage than the health bonus provided by the armor, they become wounded.
This means that adding Nano-weave Vests to your soldiers reduces the chance they need hospitalizations, even after being shot, as it gives an additional 2 hitpoints worth of “fleshwounds” they can suffer.
How much “Bonus HP” your units have is shown on the loadout screen – for example, they’ll be displayed as HP 10 + 3 (combat armor + nanoweave vest).
In general, there is also an Officer Training School bonus that reduces hospital time.
That said, the simplest answer to your question? Don’t get shot. The more damage you take, the longer the time off. Avoid damage as much as possible to minimize hospitalizations.
In addition to what Raven said, one of the upgrades at the Officer Training School decreases the amount of time it takes for wounded soldiers to recover after battle by half. It costs $150, or $75 if you have the Future Combat perk (earned by establishing your base in Japan or putting up satellites over all Asian countries)
As a counterpoint to both of these – remember that ‘Wounded’ and ‘Gravely Wounded’ are states which draw from a random dice pool.
As in, it doesn’t matter if your soldier takes 1 damage or 4, they will be in sick leave for 4-9 days depending on RNG. So if you desperately want to cut down on your sick leave, you can simply savescum the mission ending until it gives you a more favorable time-frame.