|“||I got what you need, and if I don't, I will...!||”|
The Saboteur's main role is espionage: stealing important intelligence from enemy labs and facilities. Able to disguise himself as enemy infantry and slip past defenses, he is similar in that aspect to an Allied Spy. There is one major difference between the Saboteur and your regular espionage agent.
The Saboteur wears a vest with a low-yield nuclear bomb embedded within. The bomb's trigger is directly connected to a small heart rate monitor, which detonates the bomb when the Saboteur's heart stops. This contraption results in a localized explosion in the event the Saboteur is discovered and killed, either grievously wounding or killing the attacker.
Serving as the Soviet's main espionage unit, the Saboteur's main purpose is to infiltrate enemy bases providing substantial benefits. Like other espionage units, they can disguise themselves to what infantry the commander needs in order to slip past enemy lines. Employing Borillos and Halftracks/Tigr APCs are recommended to ensure the safety of the Saboteurs, as these transports are armed and can deal with the Saboteur's common countermeasure, Attack Dogs and Spooks, easily.
Although the Saboteur explodes upon death, the damage dealt is relatively minor as the blast is unable to kill even Attack Dogs and Spooks unless they are already moderately injured. This makes the ability a trivial one at best, unless he detonates near a critically damaged structure or unit.
As with other espionage infantries, the Saboteur can enter an enemy building but the effects will vary depending on the building:
- Barracks: All infantry will be trained as veteran.
- War Factory: All War Factory units will be produced as veteran.
- Radar: Battlefield will be reshrouded for the radar's owner.
- Power Plant: Owner's power will be shut down for 1:30 (2:00 for Nuclear Reactors).
- Ore Refinery: Steal $5000 from the refinery's owner.
- Ecobooster: Can see owner's money count.
- Tech Center/Palace/Battle Lab/Atomheart/Pandora Hub/Cloud Piercer: Partial prerequisite for additional technology.
- Superweapon/support power structure: Resets the countdown of the superweapon/support powers.
- Construction Yard: Partial prerequisite for additional technology.
- Field Bureau: Owner will lose all captured infantry technologies.
|“||Now that the brainwashed Allied pilot has brought our Saboteurs to the position, you have to infiltrate the Comm Tower used by the Euro Alliance to communicate.||”|
|—Soviet intel during Operation: Idle Gossip|
In the campaign, Saboteurs are never trainable from the player's Barracks, while the enemy can train them normally. It's possible to gain access to an indefinite amount of them via mind control or abduction with Drakuv Prison Vehicles, but they are still unavailable to train by sending them to Field Bureau. In addition, they are prohibited from infiltrating labs and Construction Yards in the campaign, unless if that's a mission objective.
- In Peace Treaty (except on Mental difficulty), soon after the player gains control of the base, an AI-controlled Saboteur will come to sabotage the Tech Missile Bunker. The player needs to escort him to the Missile Bunker.
- At the beginning of Idle Gossip, two Saboteurs are dispatched to the player and tasked with infiltrating the European Alliance's Comm Tower before the MCV arrives. After the base is established for a period, 5 more Saboteurs will be paradropped along with Pyros to support the player, and can be used freely.
- In Warranty Void, after the bridge has been repaired and defended to allow the four Demolition Trucks to cross and aid the player, a Saboteur will join and become controllable as well. He can infiltrate a Tesla Reactor to instantly cut power from the Psychic Beacon and free the separatists, but it's also possible to do this normally by destroying and/or capturing the Tesla Reactors and Wind Plants.
- In Sunlight (except on Casual difficulty), a Saboteur is hiding in the camp at the farthest northwest of the player's base, he will infiltrate the player's Power Plant during the battle. If the player destroys the camp in advance or garrisons it with infantry units, he will appear directly.
- At the beginning of Unshakeable, two Saboteurs, disguised as Pacific Front GIs, are smuggled on a Voyager and delivered to a Pacific Front complex where they have to infiltrate their Tech Center.
- At the start of Dragonstorm, Chinese Saboteurs are instructed to infiltrate the player's Barracks and War Factory, giving the Chinese veteran units. This cannot be prevented in any way.
- In Exist to Exit, four Saboteurs will be sent after Morales evacuates, can be used freely.
- In Firewalking, three Saboteurs will be sent later in the mission, can be used freely.
- In Heartwork, after the destruction of the first Nanocentrifuge, two Saboteurs will appear and are tasked with infiltrating the Chinese Atomheart. They must be protected from Attack Dogs and Terror Drones along the way.
- In Thread of Dread, after 10 minutes, a team of four Saboteurs arrive at a designated point on the left edge of the map. 5 minutes after that, four more Saboteurs arrive at another point on the top edge. The player can freely use them.
- In Meltdown, the Soviet General starts with two Saboteurs in his disposal and can use them freely.
- In Eclipse, if the player completes the optional objective to bring the Technician to the designated Robot Ops Control Center and then defend him for 2.5 minutes, six Saboteurs will arrive. They can be used freely, and can infiltrate a Robot Ops Control Center to instantly destroy it, although this is optional.
- In Thunder God, both players will get 3 Saboteurs for each in the mission and can use them freely.
- In Ego Ergo Hax, the 1st player will get a few Saboteurs later in the mission and can use them freely.
- In Combustion, a Saboteur is required to infiltrate a Shield Command to shut down the Force Shields that protect enemy defenses. He must survive before the infiltration is done.
- In Money Source, several Saboteurs will be dispatched to the players when the bases established minutes later, and can use them freely.
- In Cyberanatomy, Krukov and Reznov have to contact a Saboteur in the northern camp, at which point he'll fall under control of the player controlling Krukov. The Saboteur points out an unguarded opening in the Chinese complex and must be brought there so he can plant explosive barrels on the wall, allowing Krukov, Reznov, the Saboteur and the Engineer accompanying them to get inside. Once they reach the central part of the complex, they'll find their way blocked by four Tesla Coils, but the Saboteur will say that he's skilled enough to disable them by infiltrating the nearby Field Bureau (which no other Saboteur can), and must be tasked to do so.
Behind the scenes
- In version 3.0, the Saboteur left radiation along with the explosion when killed, which made it deadlier against Attack Dogs and other detectors that were not immune to the radiation; that feature was removed as it made the Saboteur immune to radiation and that was deemed overpowered.
- Previously, the Saboteur's original SHP sprite (named Comm Guy) was available for public download. Downloads are no longer possible as there are no known links that are still working.
- The Saboteur's death cries are used from the in .
- In version 2.0, the Saboteur previously used the voiceset of GLA Saboteur in Command & Conquer Generals: Zero Hour. However, his death cries were from the Spy's prior to version 3.0.
- The Saboteur is slightly less durable than its counterparts (130 HP vs 140).
- The sprite of Saboteur's airborne gesture is relatively smaller compared to other action frames.