Scouting is a tactic which involves sending a unit/units towards an enemy base with the intention of intelligence gathering. The following are useful things to know:
- Which side the enemy is playing.
- See the base (structures, units, base tier).
- Removing the shroud to use support powers.
- Discover weak spots in base defenses.
Good scout units can have the following characteristics:
- Cheap: Buzzer ($200).
- Fast: Attack Bike.
- Versatile and can get there by the shortest way: Hammerhead (KW only) or Venom.
- Stealthed: Stealth Tank.
Any good scouting unit should be fast-moving and cheap. Versatile units are usually more expensive but are harder to destroy and get information fast. Stealthed units are harder to detect so you can see a base without getting detected.
Almost all of GDI's units aren't suited for scouting. The Radar Scan support power is used instead and as this is instantaneous it means that no units are endangered.
- Pitbull: GDI's scout unit. It's fast enough to be a scout vehicle and is fairly cheap. It's armed with a missile launcher which is good against vehicles and aircraft but lacks the armour to slug it out with anything. The Mortar upgrade enables it to deal with infantry and it can detect stealth units which is also a good attribute for a scout unit.
- Rifle Squad: A poor choice but they are GDI's cheapest unit at $300. Rifle Squads can be trained very quickly but aren't too fast on their feet and are prone to fall to anti-infantry defenses before penetrating to far into an enemy base.
- Hammerhead: This is what versatile means. The Hammerhead is an air unit with twin machineguns which can be improved with the AP Ammo upgrade and a garrison slot for troops. It's fast and well armoured although it is slightly expensive at $1500. An excellent advanced scout unit should one be needed later in the game.
Nod units' nature seems to be either fast and cheap but weak or efficient but expensive. Nod has the best scouting units because of good stealth capabilities and that Nod has many fast units.
- Attack Bike: Nod's primary scout unit. It's very fast and agile, costs only $600 and its missile launchers can be upgraded with Tiberium Core Missiles.
- Shadow Team: Nod's Shadow Team is the perfect scout unit. It's stealthed, it can fly and it can lay explosive charges inside buildings (in KW they can also lay artillery beacons for Specter artillery). Their stealth and ability to fly means they never have to directly engage the enemy however, they do have to take care when overflying enemy bases as their stealth can be negated and in the open they are VERY prone to damage from AA fire.
- Militia Squad: Militia Squad is $100 cheaper than the GDI equivalent but are weaker and slower than GDI Rifle Squad (which is already quite slow). Almost instantly available but it's too slow to be a proper scout.
- Venom: The Venom is an air unit that's weak but fast. Costs $900.
- Stealth Tank: The Stealth Tank is a more powerful version of Attack Bike. It is mostly used for hit-and-run tactics but is also useful as a scout due to its stealthing. Downsides are Stealth Tank's high price and late availableness.
- Reckoner: Reckoner's scouting tactic is based on its bunker deploying ability - by loading a Reckoner with a Black Hand and a Militia Rocket Squad, sending them to enemy base and deploying to bunker state you get precious information about the base and you maybe destroy something important. This costs $2200 (the cost of an Avatar) but it's worth it.
Scrin has only few usable scouting units in TW, but in KW there is the Ravager. Scrin has Tiberium Vibration Scan, which shows radar on all Tiberium Fields, but it doesn't show the base.
- Buzzer: Cheapness and fast availability makes Buzzer one of the most used Scrin scouts although Buzzer isn't very fast.
- Stormrider: Scrin lacks of fast-moving units, and Stormrider is maybe the fastest unit that Scrin have. Compared to Venom, Stormrider is stronger but much more expensive and slightly slower.
- Ravager: Ravager is surprisingly fast infantry unit (with Advanced Articulators it becomes to fastest infantry unit in the game) and it's special ability is useful against any Tiberium contained units. Too bad Ravager costs $1200.