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Today we're going to talk about Laboratories in XCOM 2: War of the Chosen, a facility that is typically overlooked by most players due to its perceived weakness and its actual weakness in the classic XCOM 2.
The laboratory has changed dramatically, because of the introduction of Research Breakthroughs, which allows you to dramatically improve your existent technology pushing it to its very limit. A breakthrough has a chance of occurring every time you complete one of the research items on the list, chances of which is further increased by building a laboratory.
Amongst the things that you can upgrade using the new breakthrough system are:
Reduce the cost of a specific Avenger facility, or facility upgrade, by 50%
Unlock the ability to instantly excavate a room within the Avenger
Permanently reduce the cost of all subsequent projects in the Foundry
Add an additional upgrade slot to a specific class of weapon
Unlock the ability to reuse weapon mods or PCSs for the remainder of the campaign
Permanently increase the damage output of a specific weapon class
Permanently increase the damage output of a specific weapon technology (such as conventional firearms)
Permanently increase the health bonus of an armor class (such as light armor)
Relevant wiki page: http://xcom.wikia.com/wiki/Breakthroughs_and_Inspirations
The research time of a breakthrough remains constant regardless of a number of scientists employed and is not reduced by your laboratory, remaining at 5 days for Commander difficulty and 10 days for Legend difficulty.
The idea here is not to go crazy on the number of scientists, but to get your laboratory as soon as you can, purely for the Breakthrough chance and try to reach the desired technology as fast as you're able.
Good luck, Commander! The 🌏 is counting on you!