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Note: This information is based on 3.17 balance, and future patches may change the situation.

Scouts are extremely fragile, but also one of the fastest units in the game. They can be upgraded with a Scout Sergeant to provide detection capacity and frag grenades, and one of two possible weapon upgrades (combat shotguns for additional anti-melee power or a sniper rifle for long-range support fire). Scouts can infiltrate, but the ability must be purchased separately.

Scouts are an essential Space Marine unit, especially in 1v1 matches, where a player with no Scouts usually loses decisively. Most builds incorporate 2 Scout Squads in 1v1, and 1–2 squads in 2v2 and 3v3 games (1 is sufficient, but sometimes 2 can be advantageous). Builds with 3+ Scout Squads are risky and generally require good skill, with the possible exception of Scout sniper spam.

In 1v1, the Scouts are the main Space Marine capping unit, and in conventional builds one Scout Squad is used for capturing (and decapturing enemy Requisition points behind lines) while the other one provides shotgun or sniper support for the main fighting force.


Scouts have some anti-melee capacity out of the box because of their speed, which allows them to kite most melee units safely. Using them to protect another unit (Tactical Squads and Devastator Squads), however, requires shotguns. The Explosive Shot ability will knock down and suppress an approaching close-combat unit, which will be severely wounded by the time it gets back up – or if the situation is too dangerous, the blast will allow the Space Marine squad to retreat or reposition.

Squishy early-game melee units like Slugga Boyz, Hormagaunts and Howling Banshees make excellent targets for the combat shotguns.


Scout snipers are not quite as good as Eldar Rangers (they do slightly more damage per shot, but fire slower and need another upgrade to infiltrate), but they are still quite effective in causing attrition. Snipers are best deployed against low-membered squads such as Guardians, Banshees or heavy infantrys such as Warrior Brood, CSM, Tac. Marines.


A Scout Squad with Advanced Infiltration Training can also function as a counter to suppression squads like Chaos Havocs or Shuriken Cannons. The infiltrated Scouts can sneak close and engage the suppression team in melee, tying it up for the critical seconds your other units need to close in. This can be combined with a surprise grenade from infiltration or a shotgun blast.