Recon (a.k.a. Reconnoiter) is the preliminary survey of an area by a military group to gain information, or to supplement existing intelligence.
In R.U.S.E., Recon refers to a specific class of units, available to all seven factions in some way, shape, or form. Recon units are denoted on the Factory Menu by a rectangular, blue icon depicting a pair of binoculars. Recon units typically have very weak weapons, or none at all, but compensate for their weak offensive abilities with speed and stealth; most Recon can be hidden in forested areas, and a few can be hidden in cities.
Recon units, when selected, will have two 'rings' surrounding them. The wider ring is their perception ring, or how far they can see enemy units. This is typically much farther than heavier, weaponized units can see. The second, smaller ring is their threat zone, or how far they can fire their weapons (if, indeed, they have any).
While most Recon units have very poor weapons, if any, they can be extremely useful on the offensive. Long-range units like Tank destroyers and Artillery benefit from Extended Range when firing on enemies within sight of a friendly Recon unit. This can give the player an edge on enemy units with equal, and even longer-range weapons.
The United Kingdom has a unique Recon unit, in the form of a permanent bunker, which can be deployed from the H.Q. like any other building. Italy also possesses a unique Recon unit, in the form of its Sahariana Infantry team. The Japanese also have a paratrooper recon. It seems that all the Recon planes are outdated and would be fighters or bombers if they weren't outdated.
- Willys: This unarmored military jeep possesses no weapons, high speed, and can be hidden in forests and cities.
- Greyhound: An armored recon unit. Slightly slower than the Willys, the Greyhound has some weapons.
- Grasshopper: Slow unarmed surveillance plane.
- Kübelwagen: Unarmed, unarmored German Recon jeep.
- Sd.Kfz. 222: Armored Recon Vehicle. Slower than the Kubelwagen, but more heavily armed and armored. Weakest of all armored recon, sharing the title with the Autoblinda 40.
- Storch: Fragile, lightweight, unarmed surveillance plane.
- Puma: Prototype Heavy Armored Recon. Much more heavily armed than the Sd.Kfz. 222.
- Outpost: Unique Recon Bunker. Sandbagged observation post armed with .30-caliber machine guns.
- AC Mk.1 - Armored Recon. 2-pounder anti-tank gun and .30-cal machine guns.
- Coventry Mk.2 - Upgrade of AC Mk.1. Thicker armor, 75mm cannon, and a slightly faster engine.
- Anson: Fragile twin-engine recon armed with a set of 7.7mm anti-aircraft machine guns.
- Panhard: Armored Recon.
- Potez: Twin-engine surveillance plane armed with 7.5mm anti-air guns.
- EBR: Prototype Heavy Armored Recon; inspired by German 'Puma' design. Most heavily armed recon.
- Sahariana: Infantry Recon.
- Autoblinda 40: Armored Recon, very weak.
- Autoblinda 43: Advanced Armored Recon.
- Falco: Unarmed reconnaissance bi-plane, fastest recon plane in the game.
- Kurogane: Unarmed Japanese Recon jeep, rather slow.
- Susie: Unarmed reconnaissance bi-plane.
- Giretsu Kuteitai: Paratrooper infantry Recon.
- A.O.V.: Prototype reconnaissance vehicle, unarmed but with level 4 armor and speed of a medium tank.
- Recon units should be used to patrol cities and to ambush infantry from forests and towns. Of course, these tactics should only be used by ARMED recon units. Unarmed recon units should stay hidden and spy on the enemy from far enough not to be seen themselves or destroyed by enemy units. Many of the armed recons can act as anti-recons.
- Recon units can spot concealed units hiding in Woods or Cities, but the density of cover provided by these areas prevents Recon from seeing too far past them. Aerial Recon units do not have this limitation, but are instead vulnerable to Anti-Aircraft fire, as they cannot gain Concealment, except from a Radio Silence ruse. Recon units should be positioned so that they can cover as much territory as possible, including monitoring concealed areas, but so that doing so doesn't hamper the range of the unit's perception.
- Don't put Recon units in cities except if you're hiding from the enemy or if the city has an opening that you can see through, otherwise that defeats the point.
- Armed recon units, with the exceptions being the Puma and EBR, should not be used against enemy armored units. Pumas and EBRs can take on enemy light tanks out of cover, but if placed in forests they can ambush enemy medium and heavy tanks with a high chance of success as well, especially if used en-mass.