Soldiers are the backbone of war and the Second Tiberium War is no different. Light infantry units are the basic combat units of both factions, equipped with automatic rifles and standard combat gear, consisting of environment-resistant suits, body armor, and other equipment necessary to survive in the environment ravaged by Tiberium. The mass-produced equipment offers similar performance in the field, though the factions use distinct aesthetics: Nod prefers uniforms and armor in black and red, with face-obscuring helmets and organic curved shapes, while GDI uses utilitarian, mass-produced designs with angular edges and helmets with a translucent faceplate. Both sides use a single weapon system, the M16 Mk. II automatic pulse rifle family, using pulse-fired .22 caliber rounds and integrated with a projectile launcher.
Each side uses a different philosophy when it comes to their deployment. GDI uses light infantry units in combined arms operations, together with disc throwers, medics, and combat vehicles. Light infantry veterans may also qualify for training as jump-jet troopers or jump troops deployed to the surface through orbital drop pods, providing GDI with the ability to react to guerrilla attacks at a moment's notice. Brotherhood light infantry will usually act as skirmishers or screening troops, due to the availability of cyborgized shock troops.
Light infantry is the cheapest and most expendable unit in the game, capable of being easily massed in a relatively short amount of time as long as a Barracks or a Hand of Nod are present. These traits make them perfect for scouting and rushing early in multiplayer games, or as probing units in both singleplayer and multiplayer modes.
Otherwise, light infantry units have limited utility, lacking the specialized firepower or abilities of other infantry units. Like them, they go to the ground when attacked, trading speed for increased durability. At Elite status, if they survive that long, light infantry will scatter when engaged.