XCOM: UFO Defense
Unofficial Strategy Guide and FAQ
by Kasey Chang (email@example.com)
released January 17, 2002
0.1 A WORD FROM THE AUTHOR
Thanks for the tremendous response all over the net! The guide
was uploaded to practically to wherever XCOM and UFO are sold
(and probably far beyond), and many people have provided helpful
feedback that were incorporated into this and previous revisions.
This is a FAQ, NOT a manual. You won't learn how to play the game
with this document, and I'm NOT about to add it to ease the life
of software pirates.
This USG only covers the PC version since that's the only version
that I have. Other versions should be SIMILAR but may not be
This version replaces any earlier versions previously released.
0.2 TERMS OF DISTRIBUTION
This document is copyrighted by Kuo-Sheng ďKaseyĒ Chang (c) 1994-
2002, all rights reserved excepted as noted above in the
This document is available FREE of charge subjected to the
1) This notice and author's name must accompany all copies of
this document: "XCOM:UFO Defense Unofficial Strategy Guide and
FAQ" is copyrighted (c) 1994-2002 by Kasey K.S. Chang, all rights
reserved except as noted in the disclaimer.Ē
2) This document must NOT be modified in any form or manner
without prior permission of the author with the following
exception: if you wish to convert this document to a different
file format or archive format, with no change to the content,
then no permission is needed.
2a) In case you canít read, that means TXT only. No banners, no
HTML borders, no cutting up into multiple pages to get you more
banner hits, and esp. no adding your site name to the site list.
3) No charge other than "reasonable" compensation should charged
for its distribution. (Free is preferred) Sale of this
information is expressly prohibited. If you see any one selling
this guide, drop me a line.
4) If you used material from this, PLEASE ACKNOWLEDGE the source,
else it is plagiarism.
5) The author hereby grants all games-related web sites the right
to archive and link to this document to share among the game
fandom, provided that all above restrictions are followed.
Sidenote: The above conditions are known as a statutory contract.
If you meet them, then you are entitled to the rights I give you
in 5), i.e. archive and display this document on your website. If
you donít follow them, you did not meet the statutory contract
conditions, you have no right to display this document. If you
still do so, then you are infringing upon my copyright. This
section was added for any websites who donít seem to understand
For the gamers: You are under NO obligation to send me ANY
compensation. However, I do ask for a VOLUNTARY contribution of
one (1) US Dollar if you live in the United States, and if you
believe this guide helped your game. If you choose to do so,
please make your US$1.00 check or $1.00 worth of stamp to "Kuo-
Sheng Chang", and send it to "2220 Turk Blvd. #6, San Francisco,
CA 94118 USA".
If you don't live in the US, please send me some local stamps. I
collect stamps too.
This USG is only released to Gamefaqs (http://www.gamefaqs.com)
though it should also be available from other major PC game
websites (such as gamesdomain.com, gamespot.com, etc.).
To webmasters who wish to archive this FAQ on their website,
please read the terms of distribution in section 0.2. It is quite
clear. In case you canít understand it, it says ďno
modificationsĒ. This means you may NOT modify any bits of it!
Modifications include (but not limited to):
* Cutting up the FAQ into pages (so you get more banner hits)
* Adding your site's name to the list above
0.4 OTHER NOTES
There is no warranty for this unofficial strategy guide. After
all, it depends on YOU the player. All I can do is offer some
PLEASE let me know if there's a confusing or missing remark... If
you find a question about this game that is not covered in the
USG, e-mail it to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I'll try to answer it and
include it in the next update.
UFO: Enemy Unknown users should be able to use this supplement
with minimum changes. Most tips will apply to both versions, esp.
the tactical tips. The charts on the other hand may have
different numbers, so compare it carefully please.
XCOM was ported to many platforms including the Sony Playstation.
Other versions of XCOM can probably use this guide without
modification, but that cannot be guaranteed.
0.5 THE AUTHOR
I am just a game player who decided to write my own FAQs when the
ones I find donít cover what I want to see. Lots of people like
what I did, so I kept doing it.
Previously, I've written Unofficial Strategy Guides (USGs) for
XCOM, XCOM2:TFTD, Wing Commander 3, Wing Commander 4, Fade to
Black, Spycraft, 688(I) Hunter/Killer. Mechwarrior 3, MW3
Expansion Pack, Need for Speed: Porsche Unleashed, and many more.
Most of them should be on gamefaqs.com, the biggest FAQ site
If you need to write me, send e-mail to email@example.com. (Any spam
will be reported to respective authorities). You better specify
what game you wish to talk about though. With over 20 FAQs
archived I don't want to spend the brain cells to guess what
you're talking about...
0.6 DISCLAIMER AND CREDITS
XCOM is a trademark of MicroProse. XCOM was developed by Mythos
This USG is not endorsed or authorized by MicroProse, Hasbro
Interactive, Infogrames, or Mythos Games.
Thanks to MicroProse and Mythos Games for bringing us such a nice
game. It surely deserved all those "Game of the Year" award and
all those "Best Games Ever" awards!
Thanks to all the people who have contributed to previous
releases of the XCOM:USG, whom include but are not limited to:
William Kang, CMDR; Tim Chawn, CMDR; Doug Osborne, SG; Stuart
Lamble, SG; Seth Cohn, SG; Bill Soo, SG; Jeff Shaffer, Economist;
Rob Eiben, SG; Jim Muchow, SG; Menachem Pasteich, architect; Paul
Close, publicist and simulation expert; and fellow XCOM players
all over the world discussing the game on USENET, America On-line
Some strategies and tactics here first appeared in Computer
Gaming World and Computer Game Review magazines' strategy
articles on XCOM. Thanks to Jeff James (CGW) and Kevin Perry
(CGR), we honor you as XCOM Strategists.
0.7 REVISION HISTORY
??-???-1994 Initial Release
01-MAY-1995 Last tracked update, revised to match
official strategy guide chapters
17-JAN-2002 Fully revised edition
0.8 THE MOST FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Q: Can you send me XCOM: UFO Defense (or portions thereof)?
Q: But you can't buy it any more!
A: Not my problem.
Q: But it was given away with magazine _______!
A: So order the back issue. Or go buy the Collector's Edition.
Q: Can you send me the manual (or portions thereof)?
Q: My manual was ________. Can you tell me the codes in the
A: No. Apply patch V1.4 should remove it.
Q: Can you tell me how to play the game?
A: Read the manual.
Q: How do I launch the "final mission"? I got everything built
A: Select the craft you got for intercept... See the extra button
next to CANCEL?
Q: What do you know about the non-PC version of XCOM?
A: Absolutely nothing, other than they exist.
Q: Whatís the latest version?
A: V1.4 for the PC version. This fixes some sound issues.
Q: Where are the cheat codes?
A: XCOM is a STRATEGY game.
Q: I have Collectors Edition, but I can't run it in Windows!
A: Try reducing or eliminating "video acceleration" in your
systems applet, control panel. If that does not help, go into
DirectX and turnoff video acceleration there as well.
Q: Why is your FAQ shorter than other similar FAQs?
A: I donít repeat the stuff thatís already in the manual. You can
read that yourself. I also will NOT EVER include the information
from the Official Strategy Guide unless the information can be
gleamed from the game itself.
0.9 ABOUT THE OFFICIAL STRATEGY GUIDE
Now that the official strategy guide is out in stores (XCOM : the
Official Strategy Guide, by David Ellis, Prima Publishing, ISBN
1-55958-764-4, US$19.95, hereby known as OSG), this Unofficial
Strategy guide (USG) is now patterned after the official one,
with similar table of contents. You can use this guide along with
the official strategy guide (OSG), or you can use this by itself.
While OSG has all the neat charts and tables and stuff only
available from the source, I've found its tactics and strategy
section sorely lacking. In fact, all the the strategy and
tactics are condensed into ONE chapter, with the rest of the book
as simply a reprint of the manual and UFOpedia and the underlying
That's where USG come in. USG will help you make informed
choices. Instead of showing you a table of numbers, I'll actually
show you what had been recommended by fellow XCOM players. After
you read each chapter in the OSG, read that chapter's supplement
here. You will understand more about how the game runs and the
tactics to beat it.
You do NOT have to have the OSG to use this supplement, but you
will get more out of both if you do.
According to Prima, the OSG is currently out of print.
About organization of the guide... The sections are patterned
after the official strategy guide. However, as all parts of XCOM
are interlinked, it is best to read through the entire guide to
see how all the sections relate. When you see the part about air
combat, you should read the part about XCOM crafts and Alien
UFOs, for example.
1 Game Information
1.1 WHAT IS XCOM: UFO DEFENSE?
[Excerpt from XCOM manual page 6]
It is the year 1999. Unidentified Flying Objects (UFOs) have
started appearing with disturbing regularity in the night skies.
Reports of violent human abductions and horrific experimentation
had struck terror into the hearts of millions. Mass public
hysteria has only served to expose Earth's impotence against a
vastly superior technology.
On December 11, 1998, representatives from the world's most
economically powerful counties gathered secretly in Geneva. After
much debate, they decision was made to establish a covert
independent body to combat, investigate, and defeat the alien
threat. The organization would be equipped with the world's
finest pilots, soldiers, scientists, and engineers, working
together as one multi-national force.
This organization was named the Extraterrestrial Combat Unit.
You are in overall command of XCOM. You will perform the
* detect and track marauding UFOs
* launch and control interceptors to attack marauding UFOs in
* send soldiers (in transports) to attack crashed or landed
* raid alien bases on Earth (if you can find them)
* keep the sponsor nations happy and UFOs out of their skies
and aliens out of their land
* buy the ammo and weapons you need in the war
* research weapons and ammo as your troops bring in captured
alien artifacts for analysis
* build the alien weapons and ammo, as well as advanced crafts
* build defenses for your base(s)
* research the aliens themselves
* pay for everything by contributions from sponsor countries
and selling stuff
Eventually... figure out the alien threat's origin and end the
threat once and for all.
1.2 HOW DOES XCOM PLAY?
The game is divided into two main segments: GeoScape and
GeoScape is a 3-D view of the globe, rotate-able and zoom-able.
This is where you control your various bases around the world
(with radars), your fighters and transports (carrying your
soldiers), your inventory at each base, the UFOs and alien bases
currently in sight, and so on. Once ground contact is made
(transport landed next to UFO, you attack alien base, aliens
attack your base, etc.), the game switches to Battlescape.
Battlescape is an isometric tile-based 3-D combat with viewpoint
similar to SimCity 2000 and Transport Tycoon. The combat is turn-
based with opportunity fire on the opponent's round (provided you
have enough TimeUnits [TUs] and reaction), with plenty of weapons
and terrain to choose from. When the battle concludes (either
side is annihilated or retreated) you go back to GeoScape.
Everything is mouse-driven so game is very easy to learn yet hard
1.3 WHAT IS UFO: ENEMY UNKNOWN?
UFO: Enemy Unknown is the European version of XCOM. The game was
designed by Mythos Games, and was distributed by MicroProse UK.
It was imported into the US later as XCOM. XCOM is equivalent to
In fact, XCOM installs into \MPS\UFO directory. :-)
1.3.1 Why the name change?
The official strategy guide (OSG) has no explanation, but I
believe that SubLOGIC (the original Flight Simulator
people) had a game called UFO, and MicroProse couldn't register
the same name, so they picked XCOM.
XCOM is the official name of the series. XCOM2 will be sold as
XCOM2 in Europe.
1.3.2 What is the difference besides the title?
Quite small, mainly price changes for items, and some spelling
1.4 WHAT TYPE OF PC DO I NEED? IS A DEMO AVAILABLE?
Requirements listed on XCOM is: 386/486 (Pentium?), 4 MB RAM,
VGA, Mouse, MS/PC-DOS 5.0 (or higher?).
(There are Amiga and CD32 version, PlayStation version, and many
One person reported that he was able to run XCOM with 2 MB RAM,
though it is SLOW. Your mileage may vary.
It comes on 3 3.5" HD disks, and needs about 12MB of hard drive
space to install (double that if using disk compression software
such as Stacker or DoubleSpace).
There's a CD version, which is the same as the floppy version
except only the saved games reside on the hard drive and all of
the data files stays on the CD.
You CAN install the CD version onto the hard drive if you have
enough space. There may be a HARDDRIVE directory on the CD with
a separate install program. Use that to do the full install.
The original release uses 32-bit protected mode, so it would not
run under Windows. No compatibility claims was made to any other
versions of DOS such as DR DOS, Novell DOS 7, or even OS/2.
There is a Collector's Edition which includes XCOM, XCOM: Terror
From the Deep (TFTD), and XCOM: Apocalypse (APOC). XCOM and TFTD
have been converted so they are now Windows DirectX friendly.
They will run in Windows.
There is no patch to upgrade the regular install to the "CE"
release. To get CE, you must buy CE.
1.5 WHAT ABOUT ANY BUGS? ANY PATCHES?
The OSG has no list of bugs, so here is a list of bugs that are
known to exist in XCOM/UFO (PC version, of course).
1.5.1 Green Text Bug
Symptom: Game suddenly displays 40-column Green text [DOS
Extender Error]. Usually happens right after a battle, and after
a bit it takes you back into the battle you just finished
(infinite repeat), and sometimes the computer hangs.
Cause and Solution: This is usually caused by attempting to save
a game while UFO interception is in progress. Another possibility
is you have multiple crafts in the air and one of them is
intercepting while another is landing and attacking a downed UFO
Unfortunately, the saved game is corrupt. You must restore from
an earlier saved game. [OSG only mentions this as "trust me,
don't save when intercept minimized"]
Further info: someone commented on the net that usually there is
this ONE UFO that you did not shoot down before XCOM crashed. If
you do NOT destroy it after you reload the game, the same thing
will happen again.
Another has reported that by not maximizing (minimizing?) the
GeoScape screen before going into combat cuts down the chances of
Green Text bug, but this is unconfirmed.
1.5.2 16-bit Sound bug
Symptom: Game has compatibility problems with most 16-bit sound
cards such as SoundBlaster 16 and PAS-16 (and Gravis UltraSound
as well). Music and sounds are often played as static, or no
sound at all.
Cause and solution: remember that the setup asks for the DMA
channel, NOT the interrupt as most setup programs do. If it still
doesn't work, it's a program bug. You can always play with the
sound off, but it's not as much fun having no alien screams when
they got hit and die... V1.4 patch should fix this.
WARNING: If you have a SoundBlaster 16 and the Waveblaster
daughtercard, do NOT select 16-bit digital sound with General
MIDI. Select 8-bit sound instead.
1.5.3 One-shot blaster bug
Symptom: Once you fired off a blaster launcher, sometimes there's
still a shell in there so you can't reload it, but you can't fire
Cause and solution: This is caused by programming only one
waypoint for the blaster bomb. If you program two or more
waypoints for the bomb this won't happen.
You can also attempt to UNLOAD the "empty" shell. See manual.
1.5.4 Flying Frozen bug
Symptom: Enemy hit a unit near the edge of the map. When it is
the unit's turn to move, it is off the edge of the map (totally
outside). It can move up/down, but not back onto the map. It
can still shoot, and it will return if you win the battle.
Cause and solution: no idea, this seems to be random. Don't put
your units near the edge.
1.5.5 "SMOKBIT.DAT not found"
Symptom: the game complains that a SMOKBIT.DAT cannot be found in
your saved game directory.
Cause and solution: no idea, since the file is not in all of the
saved games directories that I have (I have it only in 2 of 10
saved games). MicroProse chalked it up to computer
incompatibility and recommends a refund if you run into this
problem. (saved game during combat? Incendiary grenades?)
1.5.6 Stacked Equipment bug
Symptom: When you access the alien's inventory (see exploit)
you found that they have multiple items stacked in one
location (usually one of the legs). If you do not have enough TU
for that unit and you tried to move one item, you cannot put it
back, and you are TOTALLY STUCK.
Solution: just don't do it, or you'll have to reboot. There is no
other way around it. Maybe that's why we were not supposed to
access alien inventory?
1.5.7 Cyrix incompatibility
Symptom: when starting XCOM/UFO, the program freezes after the
title splash animations finished.
Cause and solution: you probably have a very old Cyrix CPU. The
version of DOS4GW XCOM used (version ends with a 5) is somehow
incompatible with Cyrix CPUs. The fix is very simple: run DOOM
or another DOS4GW program (Raptor, Heretic, Descent, ROTT, etc.)
1.5.8 Can't find a leader!?!?
This is also known as the "Alien Containment Bug"
Symptom: when at a crucial phase of the game, when one needs a
captured alien leader, the leader was successfully captured but
never was available for research. Maybe the alien containment is
Cause and solution: It appears that the alien containment is
limited to ten race/rank combinations of aliens. If you brought
back a eleventh combo, it will be "dumped" and you'll never see
it. Therefore, research each race/rank combo of aliens ASAP.
Note: this is NOT related to "cannot research a captured
commander from UFO". That is NOT a bug. You have to research
commander that was nabbed from a BASE.
1.5.9 Unsaved proximity grenades
Symptom: if you save a battle in progress with proximity grenades
on the ground, and later restore the game, the grenades are gone.
Solution: none... (does not happen in all versions)
1.5.10 The 80-item Limit
This is technically not a bug, but a limitation. When fighting a
battle, only the first 80 distinct items (weapons or ammo) are
used in the battle. If you kept old weapons around this can
seriously affect your combat readiness. So get rid of old useless
1.6 OTHER VERSIONS / SEQUELS
XCOM : Terror From the Deep is the official sequel, built by
MicroProse with the engine licensed from Mythos. Story goes
like this: the destruction of the alien base on Mars has
triggered a last-ditch signal sent to Earth's ocean... Ten years
later, a new threat faces Earth... XCOM was reactivated, and now
you must combat the aliens on land, in the air, and most of all,
underwater... TFTD is virtually identical to XCOM except for
much higher difficulty.
XCOM: Apocalypse is the third in the series, also created by
Mythos. Fifty years after the last Alien War, civilization on
Earth have retreated to the huge "city-state" known as
Megalopolis, and one day, a strange portal appeared in the sky...
And out came UFOs... APOC is best known for neo-retro graphics,
and the possibility to select either real-time or turn-based
XCOM: Interceptor is created by MicroProse. After the second
Alien War (TFTD), mankind spread among the stars, thanks to the
alien technology. However, as human influence spread, the aliens
made themselves known again, and they may be planning
something... The strategic consideration is almost just like
XCOM, but it is fused with a 3D space combat engine.
Em@il XCOM is the last XCOM title from Hasbro (who bought
MicroProse). Email XCOM is a tactical combat game that is not
quite isometric and not quite top-down. You plot your moves on
several battlefields and mail your turn to your opponent, and
when he made the moves he will mail back until the battle is
resolved. The game is supposed to run through Hasbro servers, but
Hasbro has shut down that part of their operation.
Infogrames, who took over Hasbro's Interactive Division (and
MicroProse, by extension) has since released XCOM: Enforcer,
where you play a cyborg shooting at all the different aliens on
Earth. It's a PURELY arcade title complete with powerups and
XCOM: Genesis, supposed to be a "revised XCOM, updated with
latest graphics", was cancelled sometime in 2000.
XCOM: Alliance, supposed to be based on Unreal Tournament engine
and 3 other squaddies following you intelligently, was apparently
cancelled in early 2001, after MicroProse was dissolved.
1.7 FUTURE OF XCOM SERIES
XCOM itself seem to be dead, or in deep hibernation. Infogrames
seem to have no interest in producing another title in the
franchise it inherited from Hasbro/MicroProse.
Mythos Games was trying to develop Freedom Ridge, but they went
bankrupt doing it. However, another company seems to have picked
up the project. Only time will tell if they will succeed. Freedom
Ridge is a full 3D tactical combat, but still turn-based.
Basically, Earth was invaded by aliens and you are the last
freedom fighters remaining.
1.8 XCOM-LIKE GAMES
Jagged Alliance Series (Sir-Tech) -- similar combat engine, with
realistic weapons, but more about mercenaries and a bit of role-
playing and adventure than pure combat. The battles are randomly
generated based on the conditions.
Commandos / Commandos 2 (Eidos) -- more of a puzzle game, it lets
you control several commandos with different specialties and
undertake operations in WW2 behind Axis lines.
S.W.A.T. 2 (Sierra) -- Terrorists vs. Counter-terrorist units in
isometric format. Very old game, currently only available as
Fallout Tactics (Interplay) -- the combat in Fallout (post-
nuclear RPG) universe made into a full game by itself. Building
the characters is as important as the fights.
Star Trek: Away Team (Activision) -- this game is more "Commandos
Does Star Trek" than XCOM. You control a special away team and
perform special missions in isometric view. Most missions are
stealth-based, very little combat.
MechCommander / MechCommander 2 (Microsoft) -- in a distant sort
of way... MechCommander series is related to XCOM. MechCommander
let you take the battlemechs (tm) of BattleTech (tm) universe in
a campaign. The missions in MC are fixed, not randomly generated
like XCOM. They are more related to RTS than a turn-based title
like XCOM, but it is tactical combat.
1.9 HOW DO I WIN? HOW DO I LOSE?
You win by finding the source of the alien threat and "deal with
it" once and for all on a "final mission".
You can lose by several ways:
1) You were in debt for over $1,000,000 for two months. Your
sponsors had had enough of your mismanagement and terminated the
XCOM project. Earth was conquered by aliens not long after.
2) You had two consecutive "badly losing" months (big negative
score, see next section), and your sponsors had had enough and
terminated XCOM project. Just how bad is a "badly losing" month
depends on your score and difficulty level (Scoring is explained
in OSG Chapter 1 and next section).
3) You lost all of your bases to the aliens.
4) You failed to complete the "final mission" (see above).
1.10 HOW IS SCORING CALCULATED?
Score is kept for both sides.
You get positive score for
* conducting successful research
* capturing and/or killing aliens
* grounding and/or destroying UFOs
* destroying alien bases
* grabbing alien equipment
You get negative score for
* losing XCOM soldiers, crafts, HWPs, and civilians
* ignore terror raids
Aliens score points by:
* overflying Earth
* lands on Earth (whatever purpose)
* build and keep bases on Earth
* conduct terror raids and hoping that you ignore it (so NEVER
do so since this REALLY scores big for them!)
* sign pact with funding countries (which means those
countries don't pay you any longer!)
* conduct harvest and/or abduction mission on Earth. (for
exact numbers, see OSG)
Your net score is (your_score - alien_score), which is the score
you see on the monthly performance report (and the graph).
The funding changes are affected by your total score, and are
explained in OSG:Chapter 5.
For exact numbers on how much you can win or lose, see OSG
To summarize, the aliens score by performing their "missions".
Your job is to prevent them from accomplishing their missions.
2 The Geoscape Screen
The GeoScape screen is where you will control the interceptions
and provides access to the BattleScape and the base controls.
2.1 AIR INTERCEPTS
Always attack UFO over land. If you shoot it down over water no
one can get to it. Therefore, when you are over water, minimize
the window, and select 1-minute step until you get back over
land, then switch back to 5-second steps and start attack.
[Whether you want to attack smaller UFOs is up to you]
If you send multiple crafts after one UFO and the UFO gets shot
down or destroyed, the shooter will go home, but other crafts
will continue onto the crash site, THEN return to their base. So
make them return to base manually. They will return faster, and
thus be refueled/rearmed/repaired for next sortie faster. Click
on its icon on GeoScape and select "return to base".
If UFO has landed, keep a fighter on top of it. That way, if it
takes off before your transport get there, you still have a
chance of taking it down.
Since the best weapons have a chance of blowing a smaller UFO
totally to pieces, you may want to keep one fighter armed weaker
than the rest for intercepting smaller UFOs, if you even WANT to
go after small UFOs.
See also the XCOM Crafts section and the UFO section for more
2.2 FINDING ALIEN BASES
Watch for high alien activity (check the graphs) in an area of
the world yet no interception: there's probably a base in the
Send something slow but long-range like a Skyranger to patrol the
area. An empty Skyranger has excellent range and therefore is
perfect in spotting alien bases.
Watch UFOs, esp. where they land. If you see a "Supply Ship", do
NOT attack it. Trail it and follow it to their base. After it
lands, patrol nearby and you'll see the base.
Hyperwave decoders (research item) can find UFOs on supply runs.
Follow that UFO will usually lead you to a base.
Of course, you do NOT have to take out that base... You go after
the supply UFOs instead will net you a lot of supplies. Of
course, can you survive the retaliation raids?
XCOM agents have a chance of finding an alien base for you, but
chances are pretty slim. So do not rely on that. This happens
as a "bonus" for you if you failed several missions and had a bad
2.3 XCOM BASE MANAGEMENT
[also see 3.0 for XCOM Bases]
Since it takes several weeks before additional modules to the
base can be brought online, you need to build them ahead of time.
See the base status to see how full are your facilities getting.
If they are getting close, start building additional facilities
so that they'll be ready by the time you need them.
Examine base status at least twice every month, check living
quarters, workshops and labs, etc, and determine your expansion
schedule. Dismantle extra stuff before end of month so you don't
pay maintenance on them.
Hire engineers and scientists at the last hour of the month so
that they get delivered early NEXT month, so you get maximum
research from them while not paying an extra penny in salary.
2.4 GEOSCAPE TRICKS AND TIPS
Many people don't realize that click on the UFO icon will bring
up all known info about the UFO. If you detected it via
Hyperwave Decoder, you'll know A LOT about it.
UFO Crash Sites usually disappear in a few days. If you have no
soldiers available, you can let it sit for a day or two.
Landed UFOs will take off in a few hours (less than a day).
Terror Sites disappear in less than a day (which mean you have to
get to one ASAP, even if it means skipping UFOs and landing at
Landed/crashed UFOs still has info, such as size. Use that to
determine whether you want to hit it or not.
2.5 TARGET SELECTION
If several targets presents itself, which one should you attack?
Here are some of my general guidelines:
2.5.1 UFOs in flight
Attack the biggest UFO you can handle. Supply ships are easy.
Terror ships are okay. Battleships are death unless you have
Firestorms and Avengers and can attack with multiple crafts
Launch from the closest base FROM UFOs INTENDED TARGET if it is
known or can be deduced from UFO path. Launching from the
closest base at the time of contact will result in a tail chase,
resulting frequently in lost tracking and waste of fuel and time.
If the landing site is on the dark side, you may want to patrol
nearby and wait for light. Of course, in the meanwhile the
landed UFO may take off again.
Keep a fighter on top of a landed UFO in case it takes off before
your transport can get to it.
2.5.2 Downed/Landed UFOs
Attack the biggest UFO you can handle. Terror ships have annoying
terrorists (esp. Chrysalids!) and Battleship simply have lots of
enemies (and terrorists, depending on mission). Supply ships are
okay if you watch the grav- lifts closely
Larger UFOs have more aliens and more artifacts to recover, so
risk and reward are proportional.
If you have a choice, attack a landed UFO instead of a shot-down
UFO. Landed UFO is undamaged and therefore has more artifacts
(plus 50 units of E-115 per engine) but of course has more
Some veterans have reported that they can finish game faster by
attacking landed UFOs only. While score may not be as
spectacular, they also have less risk of retaliation and can get
more research done and have more money (from the extra booty)
Don't follow an UFO around with a loaded transport (with soldiers
and equipment). They are wasting fuel and time and they may not
have enough endurance to finish the race and thus, not able to
respond to a different emergency (such as a terror site suddenly
popping up elsewhere)
2.5.3 Terror sites
Attack one ASAP, no exceptions. Divert from other UFO or base
attacks if necessary, and definitely attack at night. The penalty
for ignoring a terror site is simply too large to ignore.
2.5.4 Alien bases
Depending on your soldiers, you should attack a base as soon as
you are able to (don't take rookies though). You should not
allow more than one alien base on Earth since you can't really
afford the penalty.
You may want to consider leaving a base alone nearby so you can
keep attacking the supply UFOs that drops by. Just make sure you
can handle the alien retaliation.
3 X-COM Bases
3.1 WHERE SHOULD I PUT MY FIRST BASE? ADDITIONAL BASES?
There are several things to consider while placing your first
base. Keep in mind that your first base will be your only base
for a while, so make sure you place it where you get maximum
coverage of the sponsoring countries, who also pays the most.
Also see 3.8 for base startup costs.
The problem you need to solve is how to maximize the coverage
WHILE maximizing the covered countries' total payment. We know
that the US pays the most (always), and second most is Japan,
while Europe has a lot of sponsor countries in a cluster. Third
best paying is South Africa.
According to OSG's Chapter 5, the finance changes depend on your
score. If your score is positive, and you did a lot of stuff in
the sponsoring country (see XCOM Activity in Graphs), then they
will raise their payment by a random percentage. Now, would you
rather have 10% of $100,000, or 10% of $800,000?
OSG recommends Northern US as a good starting place, which is
okay, since US is the largest paying XCOM sponsor. On the other
hand, a base in US can only cover US and Canada. A base in
Central Europe can cover UK, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and a
piece of Russia (though most of Russia would need a base in Asia,
covering Japan, China, and maybe India as well). My vote is a
toss-up between Europe and Northern-Central US. Both can work
If you build your first base in Northern-Central US, build your
second in Europe, and vice versa. The third base should be near
Japan to cover Japan, China, Russia, and hopefully India (maybe
not), and fourth base should be in Africa covering Nigeria and
South Africa (an important contributor). If you build a fifth
base, it should go in South America, covering Brazil. If you
want a sixth base, built it in New Zealand or Northeastern
Australia to covering most of the Pacific (covering Australia).
Check your graphs regularly to determine where to build your next
base. Watch for sponsor countries with high alien activity with
high-paying sponsor(s), then check how much did they pay you via
the Funding screen and see if they are worth defending.
Do not build additional bases until you have enough money in the
bank to pay for its initial construction AS WELL AS the two
months' worth of maintenance. Negative balance for two months
means the end of your XCOM tenure!
3.2 HOW SHOULD I NAME MY BASES?
I personally name bases based on the continent they are on, plus
the COM suffix (stands for Command), except for the US base,
which is CentCom. Europe is EuroCom, South America is SoAmCom (or
SouthCom, if you want to be authentic), Asia is AsiaCom, Africa
is AfriCom, and so on. Sounds military. :-)
Naming bases is important because it means less confusion on the
Intercept screen on choosing which base to launch the fighters
and transports. Launching from the wrong one means the craft
will not get there in time, run out of fuel before getting there
(never get there since it will come back first), etc.
3.3 WHAT TYPES OF BASES SHOULD I BUILD?
The OSG recommends that you build every base to be as full
fledged as possible, as to be ready in the unlikely event that
all other bases fell to the aliens. While I can sympathize with
the approach, it is very difficult to implement.
The main problem is in research. Each base research independent
of each other. Decentralized research slows discoveries and makes
duplicate research possible (efforts are NOT cumulative).
The only way to make things work like recommended is limit
yourself to about three or four bases, covering North America,
Europe, East Asia (Japan, China, Eastern Russia), and Africa
(South Africa, Nigeria, and Egypt).
I believe in a multi-stage base building. Your bases will
probably evolve as follows:
3.3.1 Radar base
The radar base just have radars, and later, hyperwave decoders.
Remember to put in a storage space (for HWPs and their ammos) and
a living quarter (for expansion and a few guards). Stock it with
several HWPs (plasma hovertanks are ideal) for defense, add one
defense station when you can afford it.
Each radar has a 5 percent chance of detecting UFO within its
detection radius (just like the UFOpedia says), so you don't need
both small and large radars, just large will do (unless you run
out of money!). Ten radars mean 50% chance of detection, etc.
Usually though you only need like 3 to 4 per radar base.
When you researched hyperwave decoder, you can replace all the
radars with ONE hyperwave decoder. Hyperwave decoder detects
100% UFOs in range. Dismantle the radars to save on maintenance
3.3.2 Intercept Base
Radar base with a hangar housing a fighter (Interceptor or
Firestorm) or two. Watch the storage space since fighter needs
its own weapons and ammo. Add one if needed.
Consider adding defense now (or assign more guards and HWPs)
since aliens may get mad seeing their UFOs destroyed in your
3.3.3 Strike Base
Intercept Base with a hangar housing a transport (Skyranger,
Lightning, or Avenger). Remember to add storage (weapons and
ammo, plus loot) and alien containment (prisoners) when needed.
This would usually mean a THIRD hangar module in the base.
Consider adding more defense, esp. when the aliens get really mad
when attack more of their UFOs and/or bases in the area.
3.3.4 Research Base / Manufacture Base
Base should specialize in either research or manufacture, not
both (doing so is putting too many eggs in one basket). Add
living quarters and either workshop or laboratory as needed.
Don't forget to assign guards.
Manufacture base needs more storage space or an empty hangar (if
building crafts) so make you have enough or use TRANSFER a lot.
Manufacturing base may need to watch out for the 80-item limit on
If you have two research bases or two manufacturing bases you can
use the salary transfer trick. [See personnel section]
You shouldn't have to build a lot of defenses here, esp. if you
build the 3.3.5 variant.
3.3.5 Special Research Base or Manufacture Base
As OSG mentioned, UFOs will start looking for your base if their
brethren's keeps getting attacked and destroyed in the area.
This suggest that if you build a base at North or South pole,
only stock it with soldiers and needed equipment (no crafts or
radars, or maybe a hyperwave decoder), and wait until UFOs enter
a different zone before attacking them, you can keep a base
Many people have employed this tactic and it seems to work quite
well. This is also great for psi labs.
3.4 HOW DO I DESIGN SECURE BASE EASY TO DEFEND?
The most secure base design that I can think of is this one:
This base has only ONE access point: by the access lift (A). Any
other way (such as through the hangars, marked by H) actually
takes LONGER. The long corridor spanning FOUR sections makes
EXCELLENT choke points and impromptu minefields with proximity
grenades are great for defense in this kind of situations. If
you don't need three hangars, you can trade the right one for
three more structures down the right side.
Basically, put the access lift off to one side of the map and try
to isolate that and hangars from the rest.
There is one catch: sometimes, there's a bug in the game that
eliminates some doors that leads you to the rest of the base.
Without rockets and blaster bombs to "dig", you can't kill the
aliens in the other section and thus cannot finish the battle at
3.5 WHAT SHOULD I ADD TO MY BASE AT FIRST? LATER?
Initial additions would probably be alien containment
(prisoners), general stores (ammo and captured artifacts), and
long range radar (detection). Later, with more money, add living
quarters, labs, workshops, and defenses, in approximately that
Defenses come last usually since you can defend with soldiers and
HWPs. Of course, don't clog up the 80-items list (see
Try to keep a hangar available so you can build more crafts.
Transferring crafts is free, so you can build in one, then move
it to another.
3.6 HOW SHOULD I DEFEND A BASE? HOW MUCH DEFENSE IS ENOUGH?
WARNING: previous versions of this guide listed that HWPs at an
empty base (i.e. no soldiers) can defend. I copied this hint
from _Computer Game Review_'s strategy article. I have received
at least two angry statements telling me that this is NOT so.
Each had lost at least TWO "undefended" bases.
Defending a base against alien raids is tough. Fortunately,
unless you are doing terribly well, aliens usually don't bother
your bases for a while. But near the end, alien battleships will
come after your bases, then you have a problem...
To defend against that, you need a high defense rating. I would
recommend over 3000, maybe 3500, plus grav shields, if you don't
like fighting inside your own base. Three fusion-ball defenses
plus grav shields is usually enough.
During a hectic month, total of twelve battleships came after my
base. Only one made it through my 3500 pt defense (with grav
shield, of course), and its remaining landing parties are easy to
wipe out with only HWPs and a few defenders.
On the other hand, if you don't have equipment to fight
battleships in the air, you may want to let it land and take it
out on the ground (i.e. at your base). Remember you will see A
LOT of aliens on a base raid, I hope you have a lot of USABLE
equipment (i.e. GOOD stuff in the first 80 items)...
Small UFOs usually scout ahead of the large UFOs that will
actually raid your base. If you can destroy the scout before it
detects your base, you can prevent the base attack.
In V1.0 of UFO (not XCOM and not later versions of UFO), you can
gain hundreds to thousands of units of Elerium if you win a base
Clean out old inventory! Old inventory will prevent you from
getting to the GOOD weapons since you are still limited to 80
items during base defense, and base have lots of stuff...
The 80 items are pulled from inventory in the order on the SELL
screen, top to bottom in order. So if you have lots of lasers
you'll never got to plasmas and blaster bombs.
If you really ran out of space and do not want to conduct a fire
sale, stuff the extras into the transports, though selling them
is much easier and gains you money.
Proximity grenades are vital in base defenses. Dump a few near
entrances and doors, and get ready for the alien death screams.
3.7 BASE MODULES
Name DaysBuild Cost Maint Usage
Access Lift 1 300k 4k (Entrance to underground base)
Alien Containment 18 500k 15k (Holds 10[!?] live aliens)
Fusion Defense 36 1800k 14k (Def value 1200, Accuracy 80%)
General Stores 10 150k 5k (Holds 50 units of equipment)
Grav Shield 38 2300k 15k (Gives defenses an extra shot)
Hanger 25 200k 25k (Maintains 1 craft)
Hyperwave Decoder 26 2000k 30k (Evaluate UFO missions)
Laboratory 26 750k 30k (Allows 50 research)
Large Radar 25 800k 15k (450nm range, 5% detect/10mins)
Laser Defense 24 900k 10k (Def value 600, Accuracy 60%)
Living Quarters 16 400k 10k (Sleeps 50)
Mind Shield 33 1300k 5k (Minimizes aliens finding base)
Missile Defense 16 200k 5k (Def value 500, Accuracy 50%)
Small Radar 12 500k 10k (300nm range, 5% detect/10mins)
Plasma Defense 36 1200k 12k (Def value 900, Accuracy 70%)
Psi Lab 24 750k 16k (For troop psi training)
Workshop 32 800k 35k (Allows 50 manufacture)
Fusion Defense, Grav Shield, Hyperwave Decoder, Laser Defense,
Mind Shield, Plasma Defense, and Psi Lab require respective
topics to be researched before they can be built, see  for
NOTE 1: In a workshop, the object being manufactured takes up
some space. So you will not be able to cram all 50 engineers in
NOTE 2: You can dismantle a facility, even when it is under
construction. Simply click on the facility, and the program will
ask you do you wish to dismantle it, select OK or Cancel.
NOTE 3: To dismantle a base, you must remove all facilities
(transferring all people and equipment elsewhere if needed) then
finally remove the access lift itself.
NOTE 4: What the manual does NOT tell you is Hyperwave Decoder
detects 100% of the UFOs within its range, and it has a range
LONGER than Large Radar. Once you have this, you don't need any
3.8 BASE STARTUP COSTS, COMPILED BY IRWINNY@AOL.COM
base location lift cost Covers
Africa, South 550,000 South Africa
Africa, North 650,000 Nigeria, Egypt
Atlantic, North 500,000 (Really Greenland)
America, North 800,000 USA, Canada
America, South 600,000 Brazil
Asia, Central 500,000 Western China
Asia, South East 750,000 Japan, Eastern China
Australasia 750,000 Australia
Europe 1,000,000 Eastern Commonwealth, UK, France,
Germany, Italy, Spain
Pacific 600,000 (really Hawaiian islands)
Siberia 800,000 Western Commonwealth, India
3.9 HOW DO I DISMANTLE A BASE?
Remove all modules, then remove the lift.
4 X-COM Hardware
Here's the comprehensive list of all the toys you get to play
with. Of course, most of them require research.
4.1 XCOM CRAFTS AND THEIR WEAPONS
XCOM crafts comes in two flavors: traditional, and UFO-based.
Traditional, besides using conventional jet engines, also
requires MONTHLY RENT, so replace them with UFO-based crafts as
soon as possible.
XCOM weapons comes in two flavors: built vs bought.
4.1.1 XCOM Crafts
Speed Accel Fuel Weapons Hull Cargo HWPs Note
Skyranger 760 2 2000 0 150 14 3
Interceptor 2100 3 1000 2 100 0 0
Firestorm 4200 9 20(E) 4 2 500 0 0 (1)
Lightning 3100 8 30(E) 6 1 800 12 0 (2)
Avenger 5400 10 60(E)12 2 1200 26 4 (3)
(E) Uses elerium-115 for fuel (1) new fighter
(2) new fighter/transport (3) ultimate craft
Speed : maximum speed of craft, determines if it can keep up
with UFO during interception.
Accel : maximum acceleration of craft, determines whether UFO
will stay in range
Fuel : amount of fuel carried, endurance terms
Weapons : number of weapon pod mounts available
Hull : amount of damage the craft can take
Cargo : number of "spaces" craft can carry. Each soldier is
one space and each HWP is four spaces (see HWPs also)
HWPs : maximum number of HWP this craft can carry.
Note: for the Elerium fueled crafts, you need to divide by 5 for
the actual units used. Avenger takes actually 12 units of E-115
for refuel, instead of 60 as written. The alternate number is
listed next to the fuel number.
General advice: If you are short on money, replace Skyrangers and
Interceptors ASAP to save on monthly lease. On the other hand,
Interceptors have longer range than Firestorms, and with twin
plasma cannon, they can attack anything except battleships.
Lightning is almost useless. Just forget it and research for
Avenger. Lightning has four ONE-space doors which means it cannot
carry any HWPs.
Do NOT use Avengers exclusively since you put too many eggs
(soldiers and equipment) in one basket. They are also extremely
expensive to build.
4.1.2 Craft Weapons
Damage Range Accuracy Reload Shots
Cannon 10 10 10% 2s 200
Stingray 70 30 70% 15s 6
Avalanche 100 60 100% 20s 3
Laser Cannon 70 21 70% 4s 99
Plasma Beam 140 52 140% 6s 99
Fusion Launcher 230 65 230% 25s 2
Damage: damage done to target if hit
Range: max range of weapon
Accuracy: hit probability when fired
Reload: second needed to fire next shot
Shots: number of shots available
NOTE 1: Match the weapon to the target. You want to force the
alien to land so you can board it and recover artifacts and
prisoners, not blow it into smithereens (though it might make you
feel good). Don't use the heavy stuff on the wimpy UFOs.
NOTE 2: The long range weapons, like Avalanche, Plasma Beam, and
Fusion Ball Launcher, gives you advantage since UFO usually do
not fire back until you are quite close. See 7.5 for UFO weapon
NOTE 3: It is possible to miss with weapons that have accuracy }
100%, esp. when target moves out of range.
General advice: You don't want Stingray missiles and cannons
after the first two months. They can handle only very small or
Use Avalanche missiles in the early game to take on medium or
large UFOs. With two to three interceptors you can take down
terror ships or supply ships easily.
Switch to plasma cannons later in the game and forget fusion ball
launchers (not enough damage overall, only 2 shots each)
Forget laser cannons except for selling (see section 5)
4.2 XCOM GROUND WEAPONS
Ground weapons accuracy is further modified by free hands,
kneeling /standing, and soldier's shooting accuracy. Time Units
used is always expressed as a percent of a soldier's total TU.
Also see 8.6.X on battle notes for each type of weapon.
(Accuracy / TU% needed)
Aimed Snap Auto Dam Type Ammo (Capacity)
Pistol 78/30 60/18 26 AP Pistol Clip (15)
Rifle 110/80 60/25 35/35 30 AP Rifle Clip (20)
Heavy Cannon 90/80 60/33 56 AP HC-AP (6)
52 HE HC-HE (6)
60 I HC-I (6)
Auto Cannon 82/80 56/33 32/40 42 AP AC-AP (14)
44 HE AC-HE (14)
48 I AC-I (14)
Rocket Launcher 115/75 55/45 75 HE Small Rocket
100 HE Large Rocket
90 I Incendiary Rocket
Grenade 50 HE
Smoke Grenade 60 Smoke
Proximity Grenade 70 HE
High Explosive 110 HE
Laser Pistol 68/55 40/20 28/25 46 Las
Laser Rifle 100/50 65/25 46/34 60 Las
Heavy Laser 84/75 50/33 85 Las
Plasma Pistol 85/60 65/30 50/30 52 Plas PP clip (25)
Plasma Rifle 100/60 86/30 55/63 80 Plas PR clip (30)
Heavy Plasma 110/60 75/30 50/35 115 Plas HP clip (35)
Blaster Launcher 120/80 200 HE Blaster Bomb
Small Launcher 110/75 65/40 90 Stun Stun Bomb
Alien Grenade 90 HE
AP = Armor piercing HE = High Explosive I = Incendiary
Note 1 : Accuracy for two-handed weapons is decreased 20% if
other hand is not empty (i.e. holding something like grenade, psi
Note 2 : Accuracy is increased 10% if the soldier is kneeling,
which takes only 4 TUs
Note 3 : Grenades and Blaster Bomb have 3-D explosions (despite
what many people claimed)
Research and build laser pistol and laser rifle ASAP, then
research heavy plasma, skipping plasma pistol and plasma rifle
(go back later when you have time), then blaster launcher.
Forget heavy cannon and heavy laser as they are not worth the
weight without auto (three-round-burst) mode.
Autocannon would be your "heavy" weapon early on, along with a
rocket launcher. Replace them with laser/heavy plasma and
blaster launcher when available.
4.3 HWP TYPES
Cost Shots Dam TU ArmorF/S/R Health
Tank/Cannon 450K 30 60 70 90/ 75/ 60 90
Tank/Rocket 480K 8 85 70 90/ 75/ 60 90
Tank/Laser 500K 255 110 70 90/ 75/ 60 90
Hover/Plasma 850K 255 110 100 130/130/100 90
Hover/Launcher 900K 8 140 100 130/130/100 90
HWPs should be your scouts, extending your visual range and keep
your soldiers out of enemy's visual (and lethal) range. Don't use
them to get kills, as they don't advance in skills. Instead, use
them to scout and draw enemy fire. Use your soldiers to sniper
the aliens they flushed out of cover.
Early in the game, get the latest and greatest HWPs ASAP,
buy/build them. You need the extra TUs and ammo of the HWPs
early in the game, when you are short on trained soldiers.
When you have lots of veterans, HWPs lose their importance. A
veteran can move faster, see further, and is armored just as
well, and you can carry FOUR veterans in place of one tank.
You must buy enough ammo for HWP that requires them for them to
be available for deployment. Tank cannon, Tank/Rocket, and
Hover/launcher each require their own ammo in the quantity
indicated under "Shots". Make sure you get the right ones.
None 5/ 5/ 5/ 5
Personal Armor 50/40/30/30
Power Suit 100/80/70/60
Flying Suit 110/90/80/70
General Advice: Personal armor just need "alien alloy", so
research that ASAP. That will improve your chance of survival by
quite a bit. After that, research UFO power source and you
should get Power Suit, and finishing a hovertank should get your
Power suit is the most "efficient" armor. Flying suit requires a
lot of Elerium, so reserve them for scouts and officers.
Equipments are non-combat items that you may need to use in
Electroflare 25% Use at night for illumination, reusable
Medikit 10 heal fatal wounds, raise morale, revive
unconscious people (see UFOpedia)
MotionScanner 25% registers movement within 8 squares radius
Mind Probe 50% allows you to see alien's status screen
(ID, TUs remain, health, + other stats)
General advice: Carry one electroflare and one medikit on each
soldier. You need the light at night (just in case) and the
medikit means no more bleeding to death.
Medikits are not quite as useful when you don't have good armor,
because even a weak hit becomes a kill with bad armor. Before
then you can probably distribute less medikits.
You can pick up a thrown electroflare and throw it again. So you
don't need to carry too many of those around.
Motion Scanner is useful to look behind doors or for hunting down
that last alien.
Mind Probe is for knowing who to capture. Take them if you have
room, but they are not essential to a ground battle. At 50% of
your TU, you should use it only when you're in cover and have
other soldiers guarding your back.
4.6 HOW DO I USE...
Check your UFOpedia. Below are some additional tips:
Electroflare: You can pick up an electroflare on the ground and
throw it out again, illuminating another area. Chuck one inside
the building through a window to see inside. You may have to
kneel to angle one in.
Medikit: Heal fatal wounds first and worry about unconscious and
morale later. If necessary, use TWO medikits. To revive a
person, keep administering stimulant until s/he no longer shows
up on the ground in the inventory screen. Should appear next
turn at an adjacent square.
Motion Scanner: Remember the top of display is always north (like
the overhead map) and YOUR facing is the middle arrow. Use this
to look around corners and behind doors. Aliens hardly ever stay
still between rounds.
Mind Probe: Usually you would use this to ID a target for capture
but here's a trick that you can use if you do NOT have one: try
to pick up the unconscious alien on the ground will also identify
alien's rank and position.
4.7 STUFF THAT CAN BE BOUGHT, HIRED, OR LEASED
These are the stuff you can buy, usually not very interesting.
Item Category Cost Note
Soldier Personnel 40000 monthly salary
Scientist Personnel 60000 monthly salary
Engineer Personnel 50000 monthly salary
Skyranger Craft 500000 monthly lease
Interceptor Craft 600000 monthly lease
Stingray l'cher Craft Weapon 16000 6 rounds
Stingray missile Craft Ammo 3000
Avalanche l'cher Craft Weapon 17000 3 rounds
Avalanche missile Craft Ammo 9000
Cannon Craft Weapon 30000
Cannon Ammo (x50) Craft Ammo 1240
Tank/Cannon HWP 420000 30 rounds
HWP Cannon Ammo HWP Ammo 200
Tank/Rocket HWP 480000 8 rounds
HWP Rocket HWP Ammo 3000
Pistol Weapon 800 20 rd/clip
Pistol Clip Ammo 70
Rifle Weapon 3000 25 rd/clip
Rifle Clip Ammo 200
Heavy Cannon Weapon 6400 6 rd/clip
HC-AP Ammo 300
HC-HE Ammo 500
HC-I Ammo 400
Auto Cannon Weapon 13500 14 rd/clip
AC-AP Ammo 500
AC-HE Ammo 700
AC-I Ammo 650
Rocket Launcher Weapon 4000
Small Rocket Ammo 600
Large Rocket Ammo 900
Incendiary Rocket Ammo 1200
Grenade Weapon 300
Smoke Grenade Weapon 150
Proximity Grenade Weapon 500
High Explosive Weapon 1500
Stun Rod Weapon 1260
ElectroFlare Equipment 60
4.8 STUFF THAT MUST BE RESEARCHED AND MANUFACTURERED
See 5.4 for profitability study of these items. Keep in mind
that UFO:Enemy Unknown may have different prices.
Engineer Workshop Alien Sale
Hours Cost Space Elerium Alloys Price
Motion scanner 220 34k 4 - - 45600
Medikit 420 28k 4 - - 46500
Mind probe 1200 262k 4 1 - 334000
Psi amp 500 160k 4 1 - 194700
Personal armor 800 22k 12 - 4 140000
Power suit 1000 42k 16 5 5 310000
Flying suit 1400 58k 16 16 5 420000
Tank/laser 1200 500k 25 - - ?
Hovertank/plasma 1200 850k 30 30 5 980000
Hovertank/launcher 1400 900k 30 25 8 1043000
HWP fusion bomb 400 15k 25 5 8 31500
Laser pistol 300 8k 2 - - 20000
Laser rifle 400 20k 3 - - 36900
Heavy laser 700 32k 4 - - 61000
Plasma pistol 600 56k 3 - 1 84000
Plasma pistol clip 60 2k 4 1 - 4440
Plasma rifle 820 88k 4 - 1 126500
Plasma rifle clip 80 3k 4 2 - 6290
Heavy plasma 1000 122k 4 - 1 171600
Heavy plasma clip 80 6k 4 3 - 9590
Blaster launcher 1200 90k 5 - 1 144000
Blaster bomb 220 8k 3 3 - 17028
Small launcher 900 78k 3 - 1 120000
Stun bomb 200 7k 2 1 - 15200
Alien grenade 200 6.7k 2 2 - 14850
FIRESTORM 14000 400k 30 - 65 -*
LIGHTNING 18000 600k 34 - 85 -*
AVENGER 34000 900k 36 - 120 -**
Laser cannon 300 182k 6 - - 211000
Plasma beam 500 226k 8 15 - 267300
Fusion ball launcher 400 242k 6 - - 281100
Fusion ball 600 28k 6 4 - 53300
Alien alloys 100 3k 10 - - 6500
Elerium-115 - - - - - 5000***
UFO power source 1400 130k 22 16 5 250000
UFO navigation 1600 150k 18 - 3 80000
* needs 1 UFO power source + 1 UFO navigation
** needs 2 UFO power sources + 1 UFO navigation
*** Elerium can ONLY be captured as parts of UFO or base,
which makes it extremely valuable, so NEVER sell or waste
any of it
5.1 WHAT REALLY EATS UP MONEY AT XCOM?
Maintenance, and salary. If you have 100 scientists, their
monthly salary is $6 million (!). Add that to your bases (the
BARE MINIMUM radar base costs over $1 million a month to
maintain!), and you will go broke pretty quick.
Sponsors' money barely makes a dent in your expenses, as they
only pay you a few million, probably not even enough for base
5.2 HOW DO I EARN MORE MONEY?
Three (real) ways to make money in XCOM:
Make your sponsoring countries happy -- so they will increase
their payments. Unfortunately, they don't pay much to start
with, and their increase is just enough to sneeze at. Their
payments may be enough to buy some ammo and stuff, but don't
expect much of an increase.
Manufacture arms for sale -- 5.4 shows you what to make to really
make money, but usually you need the weapons and other stuff for
yourself, so that leaves us to:
Sell captured/surplus equipment -- most of your money will be
made this way. Dump off all your obsolete equipment (pistols,
rifles, etc) and surplus and you will get LOTS of money. You
will usually end with plenty of surplus heavy plasma, and those
fetch very good prices on the market. :-) Doing this also means
you need less storage space (and less maintenance) and more
"real" weapons on base defense (due to the 80 item limit)
Keep only one item of each type for research, sell the rest,
unless you need it for building something else. You need the
money and the space for more useful stuff. After you have
researched the dead bodies, sell them all. Yes, there's a market
As a last resort, you can always cheat. See the last section for
Oh, and NEVER EVER sell Elerium unless you have a SERIOUS
surplus. Those are pretty hard to come by.
5.3 HOW DO I CUT EXPENSES?
In general, there are three ways without using "exploits" (tricks
that exploit bugs in the program)
* Cut Maintenance -- dismantle any unused facility (see 5.6)
* Build your own crafts -- Skyrangers and Interceptors have a
monthly rental fee, your own crafts do not. Of course, this
means you have to research UFO construction and things, and have
enough Elerium to run them.
* Minimize salary -- Hire just enough people to do the job, and
fire those you don't need.
If you want to use an exploit, use the salary transfer trick!
5.4 WHAT DO I MANUFACTURE TO MAKE MORE MONEY?
X-COM Profitability study -- by Jeff Shaffer [edited]
Recently, we at the XCOM Business Institute (our motto: "If it's
worth doing, it's worth analyzing to death") spent all last night
to bring you the following table. The basic assumption is that
you are willing to support engineers long-term in order to make a
profit. I calculated results for a hypothetical 2 workshop
operation. You would get slightly better results with larger
facilities, due to the economy of scale.
[some numbers are rounded to the nearest 1000 for space]
Work Eng Raw Sale Unit|Monthly|Net
Item Space Hrs Material Cost Price P R O F I T
Motion Scanner 4 220 - 34K 45K 11K 3765K 1275K
Medikit 4 420 - 28K 46K 18K 3146K 656K
Psi Amp 4 500 1E 160K 194K 29K 4242K 1752K
Personal Armor 12 800 4A 22K 54K 6K 491K -
Power Suit 16 1000 5E+5A 42K 85K - - -
Flying Suit 16 1400 16E+5A 58K 115K - - -
Alien Alloys 10 100 - 3K 6K 3K 2343K 3K
Elerium 115 - - - - 5K - - -
Laser Pistol 2 300 - 8K 20K 12K 2916K 376K
Laser Rifle 3 400 - 2K0 36K 16K 3049K 534K
Heavy Laser 4 700 - 32K 61K 29K 2958K 468K
Plasma Pistol 3 600 1A 56K 84K 21K 2586K 71K
Plasma Pistol Clip 4 60 1E 2K 4K - - -
Plasma Rifle 4 820 1A 88K 126K 32K 2787K 297K
Plasma Rifle Clip 4 80 2E 3K 6K - - -
Heavy Plasma 4 1000 1A 122K 171K 43K 3078K 588K
Heavy Plasma Clip 4 80 3E 6K 9K - - -
Blaster Launcher 5 1200 1A 9K0 144K 47K 2797K 332K
Blaster Bomb 3 220 3E 8K 17K - - -
Small Launcher 3 900 1A 78K 120K 35K 2846K 331K
Stun Bomb 2 200 1E 7K 15K 3K 1166K -
Alien Grenade 2 200 2E 6K 14K - - -
Mind Probe 4 1200 1E 262K 304K 37K 2202K -
UFO Power Source 22 1400 16E+5A 130K 250K 7K 310K -
UFO Navigation 18 1600 3A 150K 80K - - -
Fusion Ball L'cher 6 400 1A 242K 281K 39K 6836K 4396K
Fusion Ball 6 600 4E 28K 53K 5K 617K -
Laser Cannon 6 300 - 182K 211K 29K 6760K 4320K
Plasma Beam 8 500 15E 226K 267K - - -
Tank/Laser Cannon 25 1200 - 500K 594K 94K 4371K 2406K
Hovertank/Plasma 30 1200 30E+5A 850K 980K - - -
Hovertank/Launcher30 1400 25E+8A 900K 1043K - - -
HWP Fusion Bomb 25 400 5E+8A 15K 31K - - -
First six columns are just basic information from my version of
XCOM. (Editor-- I have seen posts stating that UFO:EU has higher
sale prices for some items, notably armor! However, this has NOT
The 'Unit Profit' column is sale price minus cost, minus the cost
of any E-115/Alloy used in manufacture. A '-' means a net loss,
no further analysis.
'Monthly Profit' column is based on "XCOM Month" of 24*31 = 744
hours. The calculation is number of engineers that fit in two
workshops times 744 times unit profit, divided by the hours
required to make one item. For example, the monthly profit for
Motion Scanners is 96*744*11600/220 = 1275993 (1275K).
The 'Net Profit' column is the bottom line. Monthly expenses are
the salaries of as many engineers as fit in the workshops times
$50K, plus the maintenance on 2 workshops and 2 living quarters.
As you can see, Fusion Ball Launchers are the winner, narrowly
edging out Laser Cannons. A profit can be made early in the game
on motion scanners, however. However, fusion ball launchers
require alien alloy, while laser cannons do NOT.
One final note: It costs roughly $7M to hire engineers and build
the facilities, so you'll need to 'borrow' some money (preferably
from alien supply ships :) to get started.
[Editor's note: don't forget the "transfer salary trick" below]
5.5 THE "TRANSFER SALARY SAVINGS" TRICK
Note: This may not work on all versions. This is an exploit of a
"bug", so don't expect this to always work.
As explained on page 131 of OSG, if you sack scientists and/or
engineers before the end of the month, you don't have to pay
their salaries. However, there's ANOTHER way to exploit this.
Have two bases approximately equivalent to each other, like both
research (or manufacturing), about same living quarters, and
scientists (or engineers). Just before end of the month (last
day, last hour), transfer ALL of the scientists (engineers) to
the other base, and do the same on the other base (i.e. they swap
their contingent). When the end of month comes along, NEITHER
base has their scientists (engineers) (they are in transit),
therefore no salary is paid. If you have like 100 scientists
moving each way, you save $60,000x100x2 = $12 million!
5.6 WHEN DO I DISMANTLE UNUSED BASE FACILITIES?
The OSG was rather unclear on what to dismantle. Basically, you
should do the following:
* When you get hyperwave decoder, build only one at each "radar"
base, and dismantle all the radars there. One hyperwave decoder
detects 100% of UFOs within range, so no radars are needed.
* When you no longer need alien prisoners (i.e. you are ready to
undertake the "final mission"), zap the alien containment (though
by that time, it doesn't matter any more, unless you are waiting
for your Avenger to be built)
* When you no longer need more research or manufacturing (i.e.you
are ready for the "final mission"), lay off all the scientists
and/or engineers, and zap their living quarters and working
5.7 ALIENS SIGNED PACT WITH XXX WHO STOPPED PAYING ME!
Nothing you can do. One of the Infiltration UFOs got through.
(See 9.8 UFO Missions) and now the country stopped paying you.
Consensus on the net is you can NOT get them back (i.e. nullify
the pact). The OSG confirms so.
On the other hand, some UFO players have reported that certain
countries (very few though) have returned. Any XCOM players have
their countries coming back from an alien pact?
6 Research and Manufacturing
6.1 WHAT SHOULD I START RESEARCHING FIRST?
OSG and I have different priorities on research...
I recommend laser weapons, medikit, laser rifle, and alien alloy
(which allows personal armor) for the starting projects. Pistols
and rifles are pitiful against plasma rifles and alien grenades.
Laser rifle, which does not use ammo, should even up the odds a
bit, and personal armor should save you from a grazing shot
(which would have killed with no armor). Medikit will save you
from the grazing shot that caused fatal wounds.
The rest is up to you, but I recommend researching heavy plasma,
small launcher and stun bombs, then heavy blaster and blaster
bombs. Then research Elerium, UFO power source, so you can build
nice armor and the crafts. Eventually, you will need to research
6.2 OVERALL RESEARCH STRATEGY
Keep roughly 100 scientists in your employment. You need that
much research to discover things in reasonable time, though you
can probably get by with 50-75.
Due to the way research works, concentrate on one project at a
time so you can start on later topics faster.
Research prisoners ASAP. See 9.3 for benefits you can gain from
each type of prisoners. Grab a navigator would mean that you can
reap significant saving in radars (after you get the hyperwave
decoder, of course) and better interception.
6.3 RESEARCH TREE
[OSG has chart on man-hours needed for each discovery]
Laser Weapons Heavy Heavy Plasma Plasma
| Plasma Plasma Clip Rifle Rifle Clip
Laser Pistol |___________| |__________|
| | |
Laser Rifle | |
Heavy Laser |
Laser Cannon Plasma Cannon
(Laser Tank) (Hovertank/Plasma)*
Laser Defense Plasma Defense
Alien Alloys Blaster
| Launcher Bomb
Elerium 115 Personal Armor UFO Power Source |___________|
| Fusion Ball
Power Suit UFO Navigation |
|_________________| Fusion Defense
Alien Elerium UFO UFO
Alloys 115 Power Source Navigation
New Fighter Craft
(Firestorm) * = [Hovertank / Plasma]
Grav Ultimate Craft
* Need "New Fighter Craft" before you can build the plasma
** Need fusion ball launcher before you can build the fusion ball
6.4 ANY HINTS ON MANUFACTURING?
Only manufacture thing that you REALLY need, like crafts, etc.
almost NEVER manufacture ammo since most require Elerium, which
is always in short supply. Captured ammo is much cheaper and
doesn't use your precious E-115 supply.
Of course, you need to make ammo for your HWPs, so those would be
NEVER let any engineers go idle. If you don't need anything
built, build something that makes money.
7 Intercepting UFOs
Don't forget to check section 4 for info on XCOM crafts. Some of
these hints and related hints are also listed in Section 2.
Also see for UFO recognition chart (and floorplan)
7.1 TRACKING UFOS
Remember that UFOs have specific targets and they do NOT change
missions or targets in mid-air. They head STRAIGHT for their
targets on the inbound leg unless they are scouting, in which
case they will follow random course near the target area.
If you see UFO and lost tracking, try to extrapolate its course
and send interceptors to their estimated NEXT location instead of
going toward the last known location.
If you have hyperwave decoder, you can see UFO destination
directly as it comes into range.
7.2 AIR-TO-AIR ATTACK METHODS
Once you got a craft in range of the UFO, it's time to attack.
While the OSG explained what the different attacks REALLY mean,
it STILL doesn't explain what good is each for. Here's my
* Cautious Attack: causes least damage per attack but remains
at the longest range and therefore has the least chance of
getting counter-attacked. Useful when you want a not too badly
damaged UFO (just enough to crash it), but may take a while, and
the enemy can pull away.
* Normal Attack: average damage per attack, enough for most
attacks if your weapon outranges the UFOs. Enemy can still pull
away, but less likely.
* Aggressive Attack: close to point-blank and let them have it
in the face! Causes the most damage per attack, but exposes
craft to counter-fire. Good for brave/suicidal charges (toward
an alien battleship, for instance). Unlikely for UFO to pull
OSG has a typo: Table 7-2, Fusion Ball Launcher holds TWO, not
three shots as stated. Section 4.1 is correct.
In case you haven't noticed, Plasma Beam is the BEST craft weapon
in the game. It has 100 shots, 70 damage per shot, AND range of
52 km, which outdistances almost all UFOs except battleships.
Even though Fusion Ball Launcher causes more damage per shot, you
only get two shots for each launcher.
In any case, try to replace Stingrays and regular cannons ASAP,
since they are worthless once you see large UFOs.
7.4 UFO NOTES
Please also see 9.6 for UFO floorplans, though that is of more
interest to ground assault.
7.4.1 Small scout
Very small, practically NEVER found on the ground, as there's
only ONE alien as crew. Mainly used as scout only.
Don't use heavy weapons on it... Use Stingray or machine gun
7.4.2 Medium scout
Up to 9 crew, but usually not that many (depending on the
mission). You only find these on the ground early in the game.
Mainly used as scout only.
Use Avalanche or plasma beam on these.
7.4.3 Large scout
Up to 12 crew, sturdier hull and weapons. This is the first multi-
purpose UFO you'll see. May carry a leader occasionally. Flies
all UFO missions, though more recon than other types.
Avalanche or plasma beam is good.
Up to 20 crew, plus a leader, Harvester is only used for
Harvesting (see Alien Missions). This is essentially a double-
sized large scout with extra cargo room for the harvesting.
Usually carries a leader. Harvester annoys the sponsors, but not
as much ad abductor, terror ship, or battleship.
Avalanche or plasma beam is good.
Up to 18 crew, similar to Harvester, but more about abducting
humans and cattle. Kill those ASAP as governments REALLY hate
these ships (in addition to terror ships and battleships).
Usually carries a leader.
Avalanche or plasma beam is good.
7.4.6 Terror Ship
Up to 24 (about half crew and half terrorists), Terror Ship is
twice as large as Harvester or Abductor, and quite powerful. The
terrorists can be really nasty to handle. Kill those ASAP, as
they are out to create terror sites.
Avalanche or plasma beam is always good...
The biggest UFO alien makes... Up to 28 aliens (some are
terrorist units), including a commander. This ship is multi-
purpose... Flies any Alien Mission. It also is the only alien UFO
used to attack your bases. Extremely dangerous (see next section
for special notes).
Everything you got!
7.4.8 Supply Ship
Supply ship is mainly used to build alien bases, and after that,
re-supply the base. It can carry up to 20 crew, including 1
leader. It can be easily shot down, with firepower only
comparable to the Large Scout.
Trailing a supply ship should lead you to an alien base.
Avalanche or Plasma beam is always good.
7.5 SPECIAL NOTE ON ALIEN BATTLESHIP
Battleship is THE most dangerous UFO, period. It outranges ALL
XCOM craft weapons. Only Firestorms and Avengers can stand up to
it, NEVER use Interceptors (or you WILL lose them). ALWAYS
attack Battleships in groups to minimize damage and the resultant
repair time, and use aggressive attack, since you don't want the
UFO to fire back that often. I've found that aggressive attack
reduces damage against Battleships.
7.6 UFO SIZE CLASSES AND WEAPONS RANGE
If you read table 7-3 in OSG or the UFOpedia, the Weapon Range of
the UFO is a rather large number (ex. Battleship = 520). That
number means nothing by itself. To get a more meaningful number,
divide that by 8 for the range in kilometers. (EX. Battleship is
520/8=65 km). That forms the revised weapons range table below.
Revised range table:
UFO TYPE Weapon Range (km)
Small Scout 0
Medium Scout 15
Large Scout 34
Terror Ship 42
Supply Ship 28.5
Plasma beam, with 52 km range, can attack any UFO except
battleship with impunity. UFO Battleship, with range of 65 km,
can shoot back at even crafts armed with Fusion Ball Launchers
(which also has a 65 km range).
7.7 METHODS OF ATTACK
The safest way to hit large or very large UFOs is to have
multiple Firestorms and/or Avengers to converge on them. You can
have up to FOUR crafts intercept the same target.
UFOs are dumb and does not concentrate on one target, so the more
targets you present, the less damage each will receive. Of
course, if you send up Interceptors against Battleships, don't
expect many to come back, since Battleships can destroy an
Interceptor with ONE shot.
Plasma beams will make your Interceptors useful again, so get
7.8 GO HOME EARLY
When you send multiple crafts after one UFO and the UFO gets shot
down, the shooter will go home, but other crafts will continue
onto the crash site and THEN return. Instead, click on them and
turn them back early (Return to base). They will return earlier,
thus be refueled and rearmed faster for the next mission.
7.9 KEEP LANDED UFOS COVERED
Even if UFO has landed, keep an interceptor on top of it until
your landing craft arrives for the action. That way, if the UFO
takes off, you still have a chance to shoot it down.
7.10 WEAPON VS UFO ANALYSIS
Before attacking, click on the VIEW UFO button to take a look at
your target before deciding whether to attack or not. Attacking
with wrong weapons means either the loss of the interceptor or
the UFO totally destroyed so that nothing can be recovered.
For this reason, if you WANT to go after the smaller UFOs, keep a
fighter around with "wimpy" weapons.
7.10.1 Very Small / Small UFOs
Interceptors with Stingray missiles and cannons can only handle
very small or small sized UFOs. Attacking larger UFOs means
heavy damage or even destruction. Laser cannons are not much
better, sharing the short range flaw. Plasma beam may blow small
UFO into pieces.
7.10.2 Medium UFOs
Interceptors with Avalanche missiles or plasma beams can handle
medium UFOs easily. On the other hand, one Avalanche will blow a
very small UFO into pieces.
7.10.3 Large UFOs
Interceptors with Plasma beam and/or Avalanche missiles can
handle large UFOs.
7.10.4 Very Large UFOs
Multiple Interceptors with plasma beam and/or Avalanche are
needed to attack very large UFOs, and you'll probably lose a few,
since one shot from battleship will at least cripple an
interceptor. Just don't do it.
The only way to "safely" attack alien battleships is to use
Firestorms and Avengers (up to four, the more the merrier!) with
twin plasma beams. Even then you will probably be heavily
damaged (as in 20% to 60% damage), which is not a good trade.
Many have suggested that you should let them land and attack them
on the ground.
7.11 ALIEN REACTION
Aliens will react to intercepted UFOs. Their responses can be of
* They will ignore you (esp. if you didn't intercept that
* They move their mission elsewhere (sort of good)
* They put their plans on pause to reevaluate (pretty good)
* They are sufficiently annoyed they start sending out scouts
to locate the interceptor's base ("alien retaliation") so they
can attack you
Basically, the higher difficulty level you play, the more chance
the aliens will retaliate instead of reconsider or ignore.
8 Soldiers, Weapons, and Movement
8.1.1 Recruiting Soldiers
If you have the budget, hire a lot of soldiers, then fire the
* high strength (above 60)
* high reaction (above 50)
* high bravery (above 45)
* shooting accuracy (above 60)
when you get psi, you want high psi strength (above 70).
High strength means they can carry more (and heavier) stuff.
High reaction means they can get opportunity fire (reaction
shots) while enemy is moving. High Bravery means they are less
susceptible to panic, and shooting accuracy is obvious. :-)
Other characteristics are not as important.
Recruit lots of rookies and use them for scouts (they are cheap
when compared to HWPs). If they survive, keep them, else, oh,
well, they've done the world a great service. :-)
Soldiers only get promoted if there are enough of them to warrant
a promotion. So hire a lot of rookies, send them out to
missions. The ones that survive are squaddies, and when you have
enough squaddies, you have officers. Feel free to sack the bad
squaddies later to save on salary.
8.1.2 Soldier Statistics
We recommend that instead of using the default names, you adopt a
naming system for your soldiers that will help you to know at a
glance who to take on a mission.
System One reflects a trained specialty, such as scout (SC),
heavy weapons (HW), demolitions (DM), psi combat (PS),
sharpshooter (SS), etc. For example, "Steve Rogers HW/PS" has
lots of strength and nice time units for carrying the heavy
weapons (and shooting them). His PsiStr and PsiSkl is also
pretty high so he also carries a PsiAmp for psi combat.
Here are some suggested specialties
Scout (SC) -- carry motion sensor, light weapons, move
Medic (MD) -- carry Medi-Kit
Intelligence (IT) -- carry mind probe
Heavy Weapons (HW) -- carry "heavy" weapons... rockets, blaster
PsiCorp (PSI) -- carry psi amp for psi attacks *
* PsiCorp is named after the organization in Babylon 5
You can also cross-train, of course. There's no limit in the
number of spots each person can hold... And real-life SEAL teams
are all cross-trained any way.
System Two just places the numbers in the name. For example,
"Steve 64/44/36/71/46/62/16", for which the numbers are Time
Units, Health, Reactions, Firing Accuracy, Strenth, Psi Strength,
and Psi Skill. You'll probably need to update after every
mission. (contributed by Seth Cohn)
To change the name, go to the soldier screen (base display) that
displays their stats. Click on their name, and a cursor comes
up, allowing you to change them.
8.1.3 How do I improve stats of soldiers?
In XCOM, you learn by doing. You want more strength? Carry heavy
stuff. More accuracy? Take more shots or throw more grenades.
Want more reaction? Leave more TU's for opportunity/reaction
fire. Soldiers with kills gain more than those without kills.
After the battle, some stats will go up.
Try to always take a couple of rookies along to give them
experience to boost their stats.
8.1.4 Dividing up specialties
Assuming 10 soldiers and 1 HWP (normal for a Skyranger) you
should have the following:
2 soldiers as a heavy weapon squad
3 soldiers in squad A
3 soldiers in squad B
The two highest strength soldiers should be the heavy weapon
folks, who would be carrying autocannon and rocket launcher in
the early game, and blaster launchers later.
The scout should have the highest TU (low strength is okay) and
will be carrying pistols and grenades and maybe stun weapons.
The two squads can go after different targets, one squad lead by
officer and supported by HWP, while the other squad supported by
scout and heavy weapons.
8.1.5 How do I get more officers?
Officers come from squaddies, and squaddies come from rookies who
survived a mission and gotten at least one kill. Please also see
XCOM Manual Section 3.2.4 Promtions. That explains how many
soldiers you need for officers to show up.
8.1.6 Standard Loadout
Everybody plays differently, so everyone's loadout will be
different. Here are some suggested loadout though...
Regular trooper: best armor, best rifle, at least 2 reloads (4 if
possible), 3-5 grenades, medikit, any other equipment you like
Scout: best armor (flying if possible), one to two pistols, each
with 3 reloads, multiple grenades, medikit, motion detector
and/or mind probe
Heavy Weapons: best armor, rifle or pistol with 3 or more
reloads, heavy weapon in hand, loaded, with at least 3 reloads in
backpack, preferably more, some grenades and medikit. As these
guys do a LOT of damage, make sure they are psi-resistant! (i.e.
high psi-strength, high bravery, and high morale)
If you use designated medics, load him like a regular trooper
except he carries TWO medikits. You'll need one medic every three
to four soldiers. Then no one else will need medikits.
8.2.1 Deployment from Transport into Battle
The OSG fails to mention that you CAN see the outside through the
windows in your transport. If the last soldier turn around in
the Skyranger or Avenger, you can see A LOT beyond the cockpit.
Of course, since you are on Level 1, (Level 0 = ground) you can't
see things that are right next to you on ground.
After that, send out a HWP just on the ramp, turn to face right.
If there's no enemy, turn to face left, and you've just cleared
the surrounding area. If there is enemy, get off the ramp and
Consider priming a grenade for most soldiers and be ready to
throw it as you get off the ramp. This can work if there are no
snipers nearby. However, it is risky.
Move the initial soldiers a few squares away before deploying the
next two so you don't invite grenades and/or blaster bomb.
8.2.2 Use the terrain!
You can use the terrain in other ways than just hiding behind
something. Use secondary explosions to your advantage! If alien
is standing next to volatile object like fuel drums, gas pumps,
those red things in UFOs or bases, etc, blow THAT up.
Aliens DO shoot through each other, so if you have NOWHERE to
hide, hide BEHIND an alien and pray. (It was reported that one
alien shot itself when attempting to shoot down the gravlift)
Kneel whenever possible. It increases your accuracy and
decreases the enemy's (make you a smaller target)
Always hide behind something; it could mean the difference
between a wound vs. death! Of course, that also means that you
have to have enough TUs
If you have flying suit, do not stay in mid-air unless you have
something to hide behind also.
8.2.3 Alien Movement and visual range
Do the aliens have better night vision? They do NOT.
Why they can shoot at you but you don't see them? Depending on
the difficulty level, they "remember" where you are from previous
turns for several turns (on higher levels they remember longer).
They can ONLY shoot at you IF they had seen you before and still
Aliens capitalize on this by moving forward, spot you, then move
back out of range. Then for next X turns, those aliens in range
shoot at you out of your visual range.
This is why soldiers may get mind-blasted even if no aliens are
Aliens cannot continue to see if you move though. So if you duck
in and out of rooms, the aliens will have a hard time targeting
8.2.4 Listen and watch
Watch carefully in alien movement phase. Sometimes you CAN spot
them moving around. TRY to remember the surrounding terrain,
then go to overhead map and see if you can spot where that was.
Watch carefully where the shots came from.
Sound can give you important clues to alien locations. If you
hear door sounds, you know alien moved in/out of a door.
Different door makes different sounds.
Aliens also have no manners. They leave doors open after they go
through. Watch farmhouses carefully.
The length of the alien movement phase is proportional to the
number of hostile aliens left on the map. Just keep in mind that
stunned aliens can wake up.
8.2.5 Spread out and cover each other
Bunching up invites enemy attack you with grenades, or worse,
blaster bombs. Stay about four to eight squares apart.
Aliens DO attack from behind sometimes, so try to have two
troopers who can watch each other's back. This is ESPECIALLY
important when going up against Chryssalids, who moves extremely
fast [~120 TUs!] It will turn your soldiers into zombies in a
blink of an eye... One player reported losing the entire squad
to a single Chryssalid on a terror mission! It pays to watch
each other's back!
In a 4-person fireteam, A and B moves forward, leapfrogging C and
D. C and D would look forward when A and B move, ready to shoot
at any spotted enemies. When A and B has stopped, C and D would
turn around and watch the backs of A and B, who would also turn
8.2.6 Retreat (Tactical withdrawal)
Sometimes you can't win and it's time to cut your losses.
To retreat from a landing assault (UFO recovery or assault,
terror site), move any many units as you can back into the
transport, then hit the dust-off button. Any units left behind
are "missing in action".
If the only solider onboard the transport is unconscious and you
select dust-off, s/he's also missing in action, and you lose the
To retreat an attack on an alien base, you must pull every one
that you can back into one of those green-floor rooms that you
came down in. Soldiers on gravlifts (even if they are in the
green-floor room) as well as soldiers elsewhere are MIA when you
To retreat from a base defense mission, just hit dust-off. You
will lose the whole base to the aliens, of course, including the
crafts (no home elsewhere for them)
8.3 GENERAL COMBAT TACTICS
8.3.1 HWP usage
HWPs should be used for "beating the bush" and flush aliens out
for soldiers to shoot. That makes rocket launcher tank and
fusion ball launcher hovertank more useful than their cousins.
Hovertank is even more useful since it can go high and thus cover
more ground. They can also hover in mid-air and thus avoid hand-
Use their shots to take down walls of orchards, barns, and stuff
like that so you don't have to go inside and clean up every room.
8.3.2 Grenade usage
Grenades should be used for temporary boost in firepower and for
clearing obstacles in view. Blow a hole in the walls instead of
going through the door. Can surprise your enemies.
Rookies can be effective grenadiers since grenades are area
weapons and grenades don't miss by very far.
High Explosive is just a very heavy grenade, and you will have
problems tossing it. Toss it a short distance or drop it on
ground, then RUN away from the area. They are great opening up
houses and barns, and may be able to punch through inner (maybe
outer?) UFO walls.
Proximity grenades are great for traps. Use them to prevent
aliens coming up behind you, and/or pin aliens (toss one on
either side of it and it can't move without setting one off)
Just remember where you threw them (check the map) and don't walk
near them yourself.
You can toss grenades to upper levels and through windows, though
you may have to kneel down to do it.
8.3.3 Blaster bombs tactics
Blaster bomb and launcher is the second best weapon in the game
(the best is heavy plasma). It can shoot around corners, has
wonderful damage (200 points!) and is very effective. Of course,
it is also EXPENSIVE, and so is its ammo. So, use them carefully
(don't save them either).
Use them to take down cover is a waste, use grenades instead
(unless you got bombs to waste).
Remember that blaster bomb do NOT explode when they reach their
last waypoint. They explode when they actually HIT something.
If you just fly a BB into an empty field, it will NOT explode.
Instead, you should make it come in from one or two level up,
then head straight down. Then it will go off as it hit the
Blaster bombs is great for UFO ground assaults. Use them to
punch holes in the UFO's outer hull for a new door. Target square
next to main door to enlarge door for HWPs. One shot will clear
most of the corridor. Unfortunately, aliens love to shoot
blaster bombs down gravlifts.
Lachlan Atcliffe observes: "I tend to leave my blaster [launcher]-
equipped troops in the transport until the final moments of an
assault - the waypoint system means they can still hit things,
plus there is less chance of them being inconveniently
8.3.4 Rookie Plasma Fodder
One possible if cruel tactic is to use rookies instead of HWPs as
scouts. It is a smaller target, though have less armor and a lot
less TUs. On the other hand, they cost about 1/10th as much.
8.3.5 Leave opportunity for shots
To make opportunity shots in the enemy movement phase, you need
TU's left unused, as well as a high reactions rating (over 50
preferred). So leave enough for a shot while moving and still
get in cover, or don't move at all.
Have soldiers kneeling close to UFO doors is a good way to get
better reactions, if they have plenty of TUs left to shoot any
aliens who comes out.
8.3.6 Saving ammo
XCOM has a peculiar way of counting ammo usage: any clip that was
fired (even just one round!) is consider "spent" at the end of
the scenario UNLESS unloaded from the weapon. So, if you just
fired one round, unload it when the end of battlescape is near
(you DID time the alien movement phase, didn't you?)
Interestingly, the same thing applies to the aliens as well! If
you panic the aliens and they drop their weapons, you should pick
them up and unload them, toss the ammo clip aside. That way you
gain a clip independent of the gun you got (plus clips the alien
[Note, this does NOT happen in all versions.]
8.4 CAPTURING ALIENS
8.4.1 How do I capture an alien?
You can capture aliens in four ways, so let's discuss advantages
1) Shoot an alien and hope it drops stunned instead of dead:
Since smoke inhalation produce stun damage, if alien had inhaled
smoke for a while, and you shot it later, it may drop stunned.
This is too much of a guesswork though, and is dangerous if alien
2) Use stun rod on the alien: Extremely dangerous since stun rod
is a hand-to-hand weapon, but it's all you have early on.
Remember to stand RIGHT NEXT to the target, and DIRECTLY FACING
the target, or you cannot stun!
3) Use stun bomb and small launcher: safest way to capture an
alien, shoot and scoot.
4) Keep dumping smoke grenades on an alien. After it inhaled
enough smoke, it'll drop stunned: takes too long.
8.4.2 So what's your recommendation?
Double/triple-team on capture: at least two soldiers should carry
stun bombs and ready to fire in salvoes in case the alien does
not drop after one hit.
Combine psi combat with capture: Panic it with psi to make it
drop its weapon (repeat if necessary), then stun it. Be careful
since alien WILL pull out any other weapon that it has on it.
After it is out of weapons, and if it does not have HTH attack,
you can use stun rods on it safely.
WARNING: release mind control on the alien (wait one full turn),
THEN stun it, or otherwise it is NOT captured! (somehow computer
counts mind-controlled alien as "friendly" and not "captured")
(confirmed by Bill Soo)
If a stun attempt fails, shoot the alien with a light weapon like
a pistol. The addition damage may cause the health to drop below
stun damage, which ALSO counts as "stunned". Just don't kill it
8.4.3 Stunning aliens without stun weapons
Found an alien that you need to capture but have no stun weapons?
You have to use smoke. Hopefully the alien had panicked and
dropped its weapons (if not, and you have psi, panic it). Keep
him in an enclosed space (a room?), dump a smoke grenade into the
room, and keep something to block the door (rookie, HWP,
whatever), and wait for choking sounds. :-D
As you can probably tell from the pictures, Power Suit and flying
suit are immune to smoke damage (has built-in environmental
8.4.4 Other uses for stun weapons
At a terror site, Chrysalids turning civilians into zombies?
Stun the civilians if you see them near Chrysalids! Stunned
civilians will not be attacked.
Unfortunately, many have reported that the civilians get MAD when
they wake up and you have to kill them, so finish mission fast if
you do stun one.
8.4.5 Do you HAVE an alien containment facility?
Does the home base of the transport have alien containment
facility available? If not, all aliens you captured will DIE
upon end of ground battle.
8.5 PSI COMBAT
To gain psionic power, you must capture a Sectoid Leader or
Commander, or any Ethereal, and successfully research
(interrogate) them. Then you need to build psi labs and send
your soldiers to be assessed and trained. Then you can use your
psi powers in combat with psi amps.
General observation: aliens do NOT pick up dropped weapons.
8.5.1 Offensive Psi Combat
Panicked aliens drop their weapons (just like panicked XCOM
soldiers) Of course, they will pull out anything else they got
left on them as well as use their natural abilities (HTH or Psi
attacks) if any.
Aliens under mind control then stunned does NOT count as
captured. One player reported that he saw a commander but had no
stun weapon, so he threw a smoke grenade and kept the commander
in the smoke (with mind control) until it passed out. He was NOT
captured. It appears that the computer counts mind-controlled
aliens as "friendly", which they sort of are.
EXPLOIT: You can access inventory of an alien under your mind
control even though the inventory button does not work. Select
one of YOUR soldiers, then use scroll button on top to scroll to
the alien. (Watch out for the 1.5.6 bug/feature!)
After you mind control the alien, have it throw its weapon toward
you then use it to spot other aliens for your Psi team.
EXPLOIT: To get more ammo, mind control an alien, then have it
drop its inventory on the ground.
Panic has a much better chance of success than mind control.
Psi strength is more important than psi skill. PsiStr determines
resistance to psi attacks as well as potential with training
(actual formula is in the OSG)
8.5.2 Defensive Psi Combat
The only way to protect yourself against psi attacks is to kill
the attackers quickly. While some soldiers at the beginning may
be more resistant to psi attacks (i.e. high psi strength),
without psi labs to help you identify them it is all by chance.
If a solider was mind-controlled more than once in a battle and
s/he survives, sack him/her immediately after. S/he probably has
low bravery and/or low psi strength.
Get rookies with high bravery ensures they are more resistant to
alien panic attacks (though they may not be as resistant to mind
control, that has a inherent lower chance of success)
8.6 BATTLE NOTES ON WEAPONS
8.6.1 General Weapon Notes
Most pistols and rifles holds 20 rounds or more, so ammo is
usually not a problem unless you fire a lot on auto or you carry
something like autocannon (14) or heavy cannon (6). Usually one
extra clip should be enough. In case of plasma or laser weapons
one/none is enough.
Use HWPs (and rookies?) to "beat the bush" and spot enemies.
THEN shoot them. Once an alien is visible, everybody can take a
shot as long as there's nothing in the way.
If you can, take a aimmed shot while staying in cover. You want a
kill, not spraying shots all over the place. "One shot, one kill"
is not a bad motto. On the other hand... If you have the ammo,
use auto shot whenever you can. Why? It ensures a kill. Let me
Auto shot fires three rounds, but is the least accurate of the
three shots. On the other hand, when you use the laws of
probability, you actually come out ahead using an auto-shot,
since each shot is calculated independently.
For example, let's say chance of hitting in auto shot is 25%, and
snap shot is 30% (average). The chance of getting at least one
hit out of three is 1-(chance of no hits). So 25% hit prob AND
no hit in three tries is 0.75 * 0.75 * 0.75 = 0.42
Chance of getting at least one hit is then 1 - 0.42 = 0.56, or
56% which is much better than 30% (but no higher than the aimed
percentage). When your accuracy improves, you increase your
chances of hitting the target multiple times, which ensures a
kill, and you use less TUs than ONE aimmed shot.
It is not unknown to see three aliens line up in a row, you fired
auto, and each shot killed one alien.
8.6.2 Pistols and Rifles
Use them only when you have to, sniper style. Dump them for
lasers as fast as possible. They use clips and don't do much
damage. They may be enough to use against Sectoids, who has very
little armor, but not against tougher enemies (and
8.6.3 Heavy Cannon and AutoCannon
Heavy Cannon is slightly more accurate than the AutoCannon and
slightly more damage, but a lot less effective with only six
shots and no auto-fire mode. I'd rather use the AutoCannon.
AutoCannon is probably the most effective weapon in the early
game, with auto mode, three types of ammo, and 14 shot magazine.
Still, 14 shots are not much in auto-mode, and three magazines
can run out on you pretty quick. It is also VERY HEAVY. (more
than twice of heavy plasma)
8.6.4 Rocket Launcher
Rocket Launcher packs your biggest punch in the early game, and
being an area weapon makes it invaluable in dealing with nasty
Reavers and Cyberdiscs. On the other hand, you can only carry
three reloads, and they only fly in straight lines.
Try to have another team member carry more reloads. When you got
to a good firing point, have that guy drop the reloads on the
ground, then you stand/kneel on top of the reloads.
Don't give rocket launcher to rookies with low morale. If they
go berzerk, you may lose a lot of people.
8.6.5 Laser Pistol, Laser Rifle, and Heavy Laser
Forget the heavy laser. The 35% more damage that it does is
offset by having no auto mode and decreased accuracy. You can
probably forget the pistol also, but you need to research it to
get laser rifle.
Laser rifle is arguable the best squad weapon in the game,
needing no ammo, with decent accuracy and damage. On the other
hand, some veterans prefer heavy plasma.
8.6.6 Grenades and High Explosive
Get alien grenades when you can, but regular grenades would do.
Use them to flatten small buildings and take down walls so aliens
have nowhere to hide.
Proximity grenades should be used to block off doors and stuff so
nothing can sneak up behind you. They appear to have a 2-square
blast radius and 1-square sensing radius, so do NOT throw them
next to the door! Throw them one square away from the door so
when the alien have to come out before it blows up. When Alien
steps through the door, BOOM! Jim Muchow has a similar variation
for use on UFO doors.
I haven't found smoke grenades to be that useful. I've tried it
in covering my deployment, but it doesn't seem to work that well.
You can try to use it as a stun weapon alternative, but it's
bound to be slow.
I've yet to use any high-explosive in any of the games I played,
but [NET] has reported that they are very useful taking out
Cyberdiscs in tight urban settings, due to more blast power,
useful before you get alien grenades.
Sometimes kneeling down will allow you to throw where you cannot
8.6.7 Plasma Pistol, Plasma Rifle, and Heavy Plasma
Plasma weapons are excellent weapons, and the heavy-plasma is the
only "heavy" weapon in the game with auto mode. Heavy Plasma
should only carried by a few select members, due to possible
shortages in clips early on and its weight (later you'll find
PLENTY of reloads so no problem).
Heavy Plasma can punch through inner walls of UFOs when auto-
fired a couple times, useful for pincer attacks in Supply Ships,
when one lift goes straight to third level while another lift
goes only to second. The guys take the high lift can punch
through the walls on second level and attack both sides of level
2 at once. [see the Supply Ship deck plan]
8.6.8 Blaster Launcher
Blaster launcher is probably one of the greatest weapons in the
game. It is expensive, its ammo is expensive, but it is VERY
useful. You can blow up things in ANY direction, turn around
corners, go up and down stairs, flatten entire barns, even punch
a hole in UFO's outer hull! Each solider can carry up to 5
reloads (2 on belt and 3 in backpack).
[NET] One trick is to leave the soldier and the launcher inside
the craft kneeling on top of the ammo on the floor. That way
there's more than 5 rounds available. Or you can have other
soldiers carry more ammo, drop them on the ground, then have the
launcher guy stand/kneel on top of them. You can use this trick
on rocket launcher too, but it's not as useful.
[NET] You can also blow open parts of UFO and go in that way
instead of through the door. Many have reported that wrecking
the bridge first with a well-placed blaster bomb or two into the
upper level will decrease casualties by a large amount. Of
course, you risk wrecking the UFO of salvage.
[KSC] Use blaster bomb to enlarge a standard door so you can fit
a tank through by targeting the wall next to the door. You can
also try this with heavy plasma as those can sometimes punch
through walls. This is great for battleships since the large
central lift allows tanks to go up to any level, and they also
have 2-space corridors wide enough for tanks.
[Lachlan Atcliffe] Use blaster bomb to nail a hill or walls to
improve your line of sight.
8.6.9 Small Launcher
This is the only weapon that gives you standoff stun capability.
Get this when you need to stun aliens and do not rely on stun
rods. Try to back this up with another stun bomb or a pistol.
Stun damage counts against alien's health, and a hit can drop its
health low enough so it gets stunned.
9 The Aliens
Most information here can be accessed via the UFOpedia.
9.1 AVERAGE ALIEN STATS (ON EASIEST LEVEL!)
------ Armor --
TUs Ene Hea Bra Rea Fir Thr Str PSt PSk Fro Lft Rgt Rer Und
Sectoid 55 90 30 80 65 30 60 30 40 * 2 1 1 1 1
Reaper 60 90 145 80 60 0 0 90 35 - 14 14 14 14 2
Floater 50 90 35 80 50 25 60 40 - - 4 3 3 2 6
Cyberdisc 60 90 120 110 65 30 0 90 - - 17 17 17 17 17
Snakeman 40 80 45 80 45 30 65 50 - - 10 9 9 8 6
Cryssalid 110 140 95 100 70 0 0 110 - - 17 17 17 17 17
Zombie 40 110 85 110 40 0 0 85 - - 4 4 4 4 4
Ethereal 70 100 60 80 75 40 80 50 50 40 17 17 17 17 16
Sectopod 60 90 95 110 65 30 0 90 - - 70 65 65 50 45
Muton 58 90 90 80 60 30 60 70 - - 10 10 10 10 5
Celatid 70 90 70 90 40 50 0 70 60 - 10 10 10 10 10
Silacoid 40 80 115 100 40 0 0 70 - - 25 25 25 25 5
TUs = time units Ene = energy/stamina Hea = health
Bra = bravery Rea = reaction Fir = firing accuracy
Thr = throwing accuracy Str = strength PSt = Psi Strength
PSk = Psi Skill Armor = front/left/right/rear/under
* Only Sectoid leaders and commander have Psi Skill, with avg of 55.
NOTE 1: you can get info on particular alien stats by using a
mind probe on them. Leaders and commanders are 10 to 20% higher,
and there appears to be random modifiers, depending on rank and
position. Stats are also higher on higher difficulty levels
NOTE 2: higher rank aliens also have higher "intelligence", which
means they will remember your location longer. Some alien
species are also more intelligent than others. For example,
Ethereals and Sectoids have higher intelligence than Mutons and
9.2 ALIEN ATTACK/DEFENSE SUMMARY
Alien Attack Defend Vulnerable
Celatid Acid Spit none none
Chryssalid HTH none IC, stun *
Cyberdisc Plasma beam AP, HE none
Ethereal Psi,weapons IC,stun none
Floater weapons none none
Muton weapons AP psi
Reaper HTH none IC
Sectoid Psi,weapons none none
Sectopod Energy beam PL,HE laser
Silacoid HTH IC HE
Snakeman weapons IC none
Zombie HTH Psi,AP,Las,Pl,HE none **
HTH=hand to hand combat IC =incendiary/fire
AP =armor piercing PL =plasma
HE =high explosive Las=laser
Alien : alien name
Attack : attack method
Defend : resistance to type(s) of attack (takes less damage)
Vulnerable : esp. vulnerable to type(s) of attack (takes EXTRA
* When Chryssalids succeeds in HTH attack, the subject attacked
becomes a Zombie unless the subject is a HWP.
** Zombie in a few turns becomes a Chryssalid. If killed, the
new Chryssalid hatches from the zombie IMMEDIATELY.
9.3 ALIEN SPECIALTIES AND INFORMATION POSSIBLE FROM THEM
Alien Soldier ----- mission (harvest, base, etc)
Alien Medic ----- Species information *
Alien Navigator ----- Hyper-Wave Decoder
Alien Engineer ----- UFO stats (of that UFO)
Alien Leader ----- The Martian Solution
Sectoid Leader/Commander ----- Psi Lab, which leads to
psi amp and mind shield
Alien Commander ----- Cydonia or Bust **
* alien medics can give information on species other than
** commander can be found in bases, or UFOs on Base missions
however, only commander from a base can be researched (?)
9.4 ALIEN MISSIONS
Research Generally small vehicles, least threat
Harvest Great concern to governments, usually cattle
Abduction Abducts humans, causes great alarm
Infiltration Infiltrates countries and try to make pact with
government, big threat as countries that sign
pact cease to fund XCOM!
Base Survey and establish alien base, may contain alien
commander, esp. higher levels
Terror Creates terror sites when lands at city, so get
Retaliation Scout / attack XCOM base, greatest threat
Supply Supply alien bases. Trail them and patrol nearby
to find alien base
9.5 BATTLE NOTES ON INDIVIDUAL ALIENS
Chrysalid, Reaper, Silacoid, and Zombie are hand-to-hand only,
which means if you have flying suit, take off and shoot them from
the air. They cannot attack things in mid-air nor through a
window. Reaper, being double-wide, cannot attack through single-
Celatids are VERY dangerous and causes A LOT of damage if you
don't have good armor. Kill them ASAP.
Kill Chrysalids ASAP at a terror site. Kill them ASAP, even if
it means wiping out the civilians near it. Use rockets and
blaster bombs and grenades on it freely.
If you are REALLY worried about Chrysalids, have everyone carry a
PRIMED grenade around (prime it first). If your soldier got
turned into a zombie, all equipment gets dropped, and the grenade
should go BOOM at the end of the turn. On the other hand, if you
get psi-attacked and panicked, it'll go BOOM also. Weigh the
Usually you only find floaters flying (i.e. on higher levels), so
if you can fly, you do gain an advantage, esp. if you go on top
of buildings and start sniping.
You cannot stun a Cyberdisc. Just destroy it.
9.6 UFO FLOORPLANS
Following floor plans are for references only, and are probably
NOT to scale.
D/Dr = Door Gr = Gravlift (Up/Down)
Gu = Gravlift Up Gd = Gravlift Down
P/Pw = Alien Power Unit S = Alien Surgery
F = Alien Food X = Alien Examination
Small Scout 123 Looks like an Apollo Capsule...
(Very Small) /=\ 2 level, 1 square each UFO
Medium Scout (Small) 123456789
| Pw |
Large Scout (Medium) 123456789012
| | |
| D |
// | \\
// | \\
+----/ +---------+ \----+
| | | |
| D P | D
| | | |
+----\ +---------+ /----+
\\ | //
\\ --D--| //
| D |
| | |
Terror Ship (Large) 123456789012345678901234567890
Level 0--Menachem M. Pastreich (mpastrei email.ir.miami.edu)
/// ______ \\\
+--------+ /// __| |__ \\\ +--------+
| | | __| |__ | | |
| | | __| Pw |__ | | |
| |____| | | |____| |
| | | |
| | Pw Gu Pw | |
| ____ | | ____ |
| | | |__ __| | | |
| | | |__ Pw __| | | |
| | | |__ __| | | |
+--DrDr--+ \\\ |__Dr__| /// +--DrDr--+
Terror Ship Level 2 -- Pastreich
/// | | \\\
/// D D \\\
///--| | | |--\\\
| | |____Dr____| | |
| | | |
| | ____Dr____ | |
| | | | | |
| D | Gd | D |
|____| |__________| |____|
| E NNN NNN E |
\\\ NNN NNN ///
Battleship (Very Large) 123456789012345678901234567890
Battleship Level 1 -- Pastreich
| Gu |
| Pw |
/ \ +------+ / \
| | |GuGuGuD | |
| GuPw | |GuGuGuD | PwGu |
| | |GuGuGu| | |
\ / +DrDr--+ \ /
| Pw |
| Gu |
Battleship Level 2 -- Menachem M. Pastreich (mpastrei
./ | | | \.
./ D | Gd | _____\.
./ | | | | \.
//----- --| +--+ +--+ | \\
./ | | | __| \.
./| +------| | | \.
./ | | | | \.
/ | +--------| | D \
| +--Dr--+ | | | | |
| Gu | | | | |____ |
| | D | | | |
+------+ | | +--+ +-- | +------+
| | | | | | | | |
| +------Dr------+ GrGrGr +--Dr----------+ |
| Gd GrGrGr Gd |
| +--Dr------Dr--+ GrGrGr +--------------+ |
| | | | | | |
+------+ |___ +--+ +--+ +--Dr--+
| | | | | |
| | | | | |
| | | | | |
\. | | | __| ./
\. D | | | ./
\. | D | __ ./
\. | | | | ./
\\ +--Dr----+--+ +--+-------+ //
\. | | | ./
\.| | Gd D ./
\. | | ./
Battleship Level 3
./ | | \
./ | | \
./ | +---Dr---+ | \
// | | | | \\
./| | | | | \
./ | D | | | \
./ D | | | | \
/ | | | | | \
| | | | | | |
| Gd +----------+ +--------+ +-----Dr---------|
| | |
|______|__________ ___________ |
| | | +---Dr---+ | | |
| | | | GdGdGd | | | |
| D | D GdGdGd D | D |
| | | | GdGdGd | | | |
| |___________| +---Dr---+ |___________| |
|-------+ + -----+ +---------+ +----------------|
| | | | | |
\. | | | | ./
\. | | | | ./
\. | | | | ./
\. | | | D ./
\\ | | | | //
\. | +----Dr---+ | ./
\. | | ./
\. | | ./
(Medium) (?) /---|------|---\
Level 0 Level 1
/ SS \ / | Empty | \
/ SSSS F \ / | Room | \
/ \ / | Up to | \
/ FF F F \ / Gu | this | Gu \
+ + +___DD___ | level
| +----------------+ | | +---DD---+
| | Pw Pw | D | FF
| +-------------DD-+----+ | F F +------
+ | | + + F F | |
\ F F | Gu | Gu / \ F D Gd D Gd /
\ F | | / \ | | /
\ | | / \ +--DD--+ /
/ | | \
/ +--DD--+ \
/ | | \
/ Gd D D Gd \
+ | | +
|N NNN NNN |
+ NNN NNN +
Supply Ship (Large) 123456789012345678901234567890
// Gu \\ // Gu \\
/ \\ // \\
/ --------- \+--+/ --------- \
| | | | | |
| | ---------------- | |
| D Pw Pw Pw D |
| | ---------------- | |
| | | | | |
\ --------- /+--+\ --------- /
\ // \\ //
\\ // \\ //
// ------ \\ // ------ \\
// | | \\ // | | \\
// F | Gu | \+--+/ | Gr | F \\
/ | | | | \
| F F --DD-- ---DD--- ------ F F |
| | S | |
| F F F F | | F F F F |
| | S | |
| F F --DD-- ---DD--- --DD-- F F |
\ | | | | /
\\ F | | /+--+\ | | F //
\\ ------ // \\ ------ //
\ // \\ //
// \\ // | Gu | \\
// \\ // --DD-- \\
/ +----------+ \+--+/ \
| | | |
| | |------+------+------DD------+---|
| D NNNN | | | | |
| | NNNN | D | D |
| | | | +--+ +--+ |
\ +----------+ /+--+\ | | /
\\ // \\ +--------+ //
\\ // \\ //
(Medium) (?) /---|------|---\
Level 0 Level 1
^ +----+ ^ ^ +----+ ^
// \\ | | // \\ // \\ | | // \\
// \\/ \// \\ // \ / \ / \\
/ \ / +-+ \
\ / \ +-DD-+ /
\\ ______DD______ // \\ +---+ +---+ //
+--/ | | \--+ +--/ +-+N N +-+ \--
| | | | | | N |
| Pw | XX XX XX | Pw | | |N N|
| | XX | | | | |
+--\ | | /--+ +--\ +-+ +-+ /--
// |_____DD_____| \\ // +---+ +---+ \\
/ | | \ / +----+ \
\ Gu | | / \ Gd /
\\ / \ / \ // \\ //\ /\\ //
\\ // | | \\ // \\ // | | \\ //
V +-DD-+ V V +-DD-+ V
9.7 UFO SPEED, RANGE, ETC.
Max Hull Weapon* Ship Max**
Size Speed Damage Power Range Width Crew
Small Scout VS 2200 50 0 0 3 1
Medium Scout S 2400 200 20 120 9 9
Large Scout S 2700 250 20 272 12 13
Harvester M 4000 500 40 176 16 21 (1L)
Abductor M 4300 500 40 160 12 18 (1L)
Terror Ship L 4800 1200 120 336 30 14/10 (1L)
Supply Ship L 3200 2200 60 288 30 20 (1L)
Battleship VL 5000 3000 140 520 30 22/6 (1C/1L)
* Weapon Range should be divided by 8 for range in KM, see 7.5
** Maximum crew is absolute maximum reported in one mission.
Number is in format of X/Y (Z) where X is host race (race the UFO
belongs to), Y as terrorists and Z as number of leaders (L) or
commander (C) in the host race. Any 4-space creatures count as 4
aliens for this.
10 Ground Assaults
10.1 PACKING ADVICE
First, let us explain the 80-item Crunch (80-item limit).
GeoScape takes the local tactical situation (take the type of
terrain and local time), enemy and friendly composition, and mix
up a randomly generated battlefield based on some existing
components like buildings and streets and desert and such. Then
it transfers the enemy and friendly into the Battlescape terrain
with the first 80 distinct items of inventory it sees. It was at
the time thought 80 items for a full squad is plenty, but
apparently not when you're dealing with a full complement of
veterans on an Avenger... This can cause a lot of the "good"
weapons to "disappear" or become inaccessible.
The 80-item limit is always a problem, especially on an Avenger
and Lightning when you can carry LOTS of soldiers. While the OSG
gave some hints on what to take, here's a couple more hints to
see you through the 80-item Crunch:
* If you are short on ammo clips, use laser weapons, which
require no ammo at all.
* Carry only ONE clip for your plasma weapons. You should be
able to find plenty of reloads during battle, esp. for heavy
plasma (which seems to be used by all aliens near the end of the
game) With 20-35 rounds in each clip, your should not run out
unless you use auto-fire a lot
* Carry the same weapons for everybody. Don't mix pistols and
rifles, plasmas and slug-throwers, etc.. Instead of a pistol/clip
and rifle/clip, bring an extra clip for the rifle.
* Bring less misc. equipment such as mind probes, medikits,
motion detectors, psi amps, and so on. You don't need everything
on every person (except Medikits)
* Bring HWPs. HWP is one item yet has plenty of firepower. Too
bad it takes FOUR soldier's space. Still, they are quite useful
in the early parts of the game
* Don't fight at night so that you need to take along all those
stupid electro-flares which you end up throwing all over the
place (exception: Attack Terror Sites ASAP)
10.2 THE GREAT PISTOL VS RIFLE DEBATE
Rifles more powerful use more TUs
more accurate two-handed weapon
Pistols uses less TUs less powerful
one handed weapon less accurate
As you can see, they are exact complements of each other. Very
often, using a pistol is called for, since using a pistol would
mean you still have enough TUs to duck into cover. Give pistols
to heavy weapons people for when they ran out.
10.3 THE GREAT PISTOL VS RIFLE DEBATE II (BY PAUL CLOSE)
Not being ad handy with theoretical statistics as I am with
discrete simulation, I wrote a very simple program to simulate
100,000 turns where each weapon was used in as many times as
possible, up to 80% of the turn. Since the time to use the
weapons is also a percentage of the turn, simple subtraction
sufficed. :-) In each case where an auto mode was available, it
was used instead of snap shot. I felt that 70-80% was a good
compromise between some movement, but still inflicting maximum
TU average +/- 1 std dev
A/S % hits dmg hits damage
Pistol 0/4 72 2.4 62 1.4-3.4 36- 87
Rifle 2/0 70 2.1 63 0.9-3.3 28- 98
Heavy Cannon 0/2 66 1.2 67 0.5-1.9 28-105
Auto Cannon 2/0 80 1.9 80 0.8-3.1 32-128
Laser Pistol 3/0 75 2.5 115 1.2-3.9 53-177
Laser Rifle 2/0 68 2.8 165 1.5-4.0 92-238
Heavy Laser 0/2 66 1.0 84 0.3-1.7 24-145
Plasma Pistol 2/0 60 3.0 155 1.8-4.2 92-219
Plasma Rifle 2/0 66 3.3 263 2.1-4.5 166-361
Heavy Plasma 2/0 70 3.0 344 1.8-4.2 203-485
A/S : number of shots taken, Auto/Snap
TU% : TU% used for the shots taken
+/- 1 std dev : average +/- one standard deviation, roughly
covers 66% of the possibilities
Conventional Weapons : Pistol is a tie with rifle. The pistol
can be shot one-handed, but in the early stages of the game,
you're not likely to have anything in the other hand :-) The
rifle holds more ammo, but is slightly less accurate (huh?).
Each has a clip that will last three rounds at this firing rate.
Take your pick.
Cannons: This seems like a no-contest, but the higher damage of
the heavy cannon makes it not so simple. The lower accuracy of
the auto cannon in auto mode makes it a more erratic weapon.
Still, it's more satisfying to shoot off six shots instead of two
:-) The clip holds 14, which will only last two rounds at this
rate compared to three of the heavy cannon (which holds 6 shots)
With only one shot, the three shots of the auto cannon improve
the odds of at least one hitting to 69% vs. 60% for one snap shot
of the heavy cannon.
One final consideration is that the auto cannon takes 80% TU for
its two auto shots, compared to 66% for the heavy cannon. With
weaklings early in the game, you may need the extra time...
Lasers: As you may expect, the heavy laser sucks due to the lack
of an auto fire, and a rather slow snap shot. The pistol and
rifle get about the same number of hits, and the rifle does 30%
more damage. The rifle gets the nod in this case. Even with a
20% penalty for one-handed use (not shown in table) rifle gets
1.0-3.4 hits and 62-204 damage, still better than the pistol. So
forget the laser pistol and the heavy laser.
Plasma: What can you say? The heavy plasma is king! With pretty
much the same accuracy and firing time as the rifle and pistol,
over 40%/120% more damage (respectively), and bigger clip,
there's no reason not to use the heavy plasma. The only down
side is the ammo takes 3 elerium to manufacture, but with careful
unloading of weapons, you'll get all you need during recoveries
[Editor's note: the advantage of heavy plasma is even greater
when you realize that it weighs exact the same as a regular
rifle. That explains why even those Sectoid weaklings can tote
10.4 BASIC LOADOUT FOR TRANSPORTS
Skyranger: 2 HWPs / 6 soldiers or 1 HWP / 10 soldiers
The HWPs early on carry more firepower and has more TUs than
soldiers, which makes them good scouts, and more survivable.
Switch to more/only soldiers later.
Lightning: as many soldiers as you can fit
Lightning doesn't take HWPs, too bad. At least you can deploy
from all four sides at once. Send rookies out first...
Avenger: 14 soldiers / 3 HWPs or 18 soldiers / 2 HWPs
As the end of game draws near, your best soldiers should be as
fast as HWPs and carries just as much (if not more) firepower.
HWPs are there to simply scout ahead. Feel free to add more
soldiers if you can distribute 80 items okay.
10.5 GENERAL COMBAT NOTES
You should save the game in BattleScape as soon as your turn
There is no penalty for destroying civilian property, so go ahead
and wreck the whole place if you have enough weapons.
If the only person inside the craft is unconscious and you abort
mission, s/he's MIA and the transport is lost as well.
In the early game, you want rocket launchers and/or autocannon as
your heavy weapons, and plenty of grenades (mix of regular and
Later in the game, you want almost exclusively heavy plasma or
laser rifle (except for the heavy weapons people carrying blaster
launchers, who would carry plasma pistols or laser rifle)
In an open battlefield, you can use a skirmish line (just spread
your guys out in a "front", and advance together). In tighter
battlefields you should use hunter-killer groups of 3-4 soldiers
In general, you need to kill or capture ALL the aliens to win a
battle. Plan for it accordingly.
General tactics... you need two groups soldiers. One of
"beaters/flushers" to beat the bush and flush out the aliens and
one group of shooters to shoot the aliens when they've been
Use HWPs and rookies to flush or spot enemies. Shooters should
engage from long-range. Use heavy-weapons to flatten obstacles to
improve line of sight. When you get psi power, control the alien
you can spot and use that alien to spot MORE aliens for you to
control or shoot.
10.6 UFO RECOVERIES AND ASSAULTS
[Definition: attack on UFO shot down is "recovery", attack on
landed UFOs (not downed) is "assault"]
UFO crash sites last anywhere from 24-96 hours. Therefore, you
should wait until daylight. This can relatively easy as the UFO
was already damaged in the crash and hopefully quite a few of the
aliens have died upon impact. You do get less loot though.
UFO landing site will last anywhere form 4-12 hours. On the other
hand, you can always shoot down the UFO later and get more time.
UFO assault is a bit harder, as the aliens are all living and
spread all over the place. On the other hand, you get more loot.
If this is a night battle, bring 1-2 electroflares per soldier,
and incendiary ammo and weapons. However, there really is no
reason to fight UFO recovery or assault at night. Wait until
HWPs CAN enter UFO with a single-width door if you help make the
door wider with a blaster bomb. Just target the panel beside the
door for a blaster bomb, and make sure no one is near the impact
HWP is very useful in a Battleship on the third level, where the
corridors are wide enough for HWPs except the doors leading from
the elevators. Open one up with a blaster bomb, send another one
or two down each end of the corridor, then send up the HWPs to
scout, then send in your troops.
In UFO navigation centers, there's usually some octagonal purple
"tables" that EXPLODES when hit. If you can catch aliens
standing next to them, hitting THAT is a lot of fun. Those "red
barrels" are also explosive.
Blaster bombs and/or high explosives can be used to punch a hole
in the outside wall of UFO, creating an alternate entrance. This
will allow you to surprise the aliens inside since usually they
gather by the doors waiting for you.
Corollary: on a multi-level UFO, attack from TOP down by blasting
a hole in the roof or top level, posting guards near the UFO
doors or use proximity grenades.
Post guards outside UFO when attacking inside. Any aliens
outside will attempt to return, and getting shot from behind is
If the UFO Power Units exploded, and UFO's ceiling may be damaged
(single-level UFO have top blown open). In that case, stand on
the edge and kneel will allow you to see inside. In larger
UFOs, holes in the ceiling will allow you to see above, but you
may have to kneel to get a good look (someone may be hiding up
there!) Of course, you'll need flying suit to get up there in
the first place.
One trick you can pull is ALLOW an alien base on Earth once
you've pinpointed its location, and keep assaulting the supply
ships that comes to keep the base supplied. They just keep
coming and coming, and the UFOs you take out more than offsets
the "base on Earth" penalty, not to mention all the Elerium and
other goodies you get that you can sell later. Of course, watch
out for the retaliation missions...
Consider using blaster bombs and flying suits to attack from TOP
DOWN instead of bottom up. Blow a hole in the ceiling, send
another bomb inside the hold, go in and spread out, work your way
down, pick off aliens coming up one by one.
When attacking battleships, consider going up one of the engine
"legs" instead of through the central elevator. On assaults, you
may need a blaster bomb to punch through.
10.7 BASE ASSAULTS
You always choose to assault alien base, and as this is always
"in-doors" the time-of-day does not affect your visibility.
The only way to "win" base assault is by killing or stunning all
The trick in base assaults is to use a lot of grenades and
blaster bombs. Use grenades to clear corners, proximity grenades
to block corridors so no one can come up behind you (esp.
Chryssalids!), blaster bombs to open walls so you don't have to
go extra distance around things. Once you find the control
center, you have pretty much won the game.
Alien bases are randomly generated based on specific "tiles".
Certain sections are randomly joined together to form a base.
However, there will always be a base command center, which always
looks like this: (D=door, WW=window, ground/level 0 only)
| +--------------+ |
| +-+ +-+ |
| | | |
D | D |
D | D |
D | D |
| | | |
| +-+ +-+ |
| +--------------+ |
Instead of going through the doors, go through one of the SIDE
walls (^) with a blaster bomb, send a couple grenades through the
hole for the guards inside the door (or another blaster bomb).
Charge in, leaving proximity grenades behind to cover your back,
go in the inside door, and you'll find a huge grav-lift taking
you to the second level of command center. The base commander
(and his deputy leader) should be there. Use more blaster bombs
to nail them. Then you can pretty much wait here for the enemies
to come to you.
10.8 ANTI-TERROR MISSIONS
Terror sites lasts anywhere from 4-10 hours. You must attack
ASAP, even if it's at night.
Your top priority is self-preservation. Killing 9 out of your 10
soldiers to save a city is NOT worth it. If given a choice to
save your soldier or to save a civilian, save the soldier.
Bring flying suit is you have them. Being able to fly give you
significant advantage when fighting an urban battle when a lot of
the aliens use HTH (hand-to-hand) attack. Also bring a lot of
If this is a night battle, bring 1-2 electroflares per soldier,
and incendiary ammo and weapons.
Stunning the civilians makes them "unpalatable" to the alien
terrorists, and they count as saved at the end of the mission if
they remain stunned by the end of the mission. HOWEVER!!!!!!! If
they wake up during the mission, they count as ENEMY and you must
Do NOT mind control any of the civilians. They count as ENEMY
after you release control and you must kill them!
Kill Chryssalids ASAP. If necessary, kill the civilian near it
so that the civilian will not be turned into a zombie that will
attack you. Have two persons watch each other. NEVER send out a
soldier alone at a terror site. Always send out groups, with
sufficient firepower to deal with chryssalids.
Consider this drastic tactic: carry a primed grenade one each
person. If the person becomes a zombie, all equipment is
dropped, INCLUDING THE LIVE GRENADE. (boom!) Of course, if the
guy gets mind controlled or panicked, the grenade goes boom also.
Aliens that use HTH (hand-to-hand) combat only such as Reavers
and Chrysallids cannot attack someone in mid-air (by a flying
suit or hovertank). They also cannot attack someone through a
window. Reavers cannot attack through a one-space-wide door (they
Feel free to blow up gasoline pumps or anything that's explosive,
esp. with aliens next to one. They make great secondary
10.9 XCOM BASE DEFENSE
You DID plan your base as mentioned in Chapter 4, didn't you?
Base defense happen immediately. You don't need to choose
anything. As soon as an UFO penetrated your defenses, base
defense is on.
First priority is blockade the lift. Dump prox grenades near the
doors (close enough so that there are no spaces in between to
walk through) and wait back for aliens to emerge. Hide in rooms
and grab your weapons.
Second priority is clean out the hangars. Fusion Bomb Launcher
Hovertanks and/or blaster launchers are great for this, but a
rocket launcher will do if you hit explosive stuff like fuel
drums and so on.
Third priority is reclaiming your base module by module. Use
prox grenades to guard your back.
Proximity grenades are priceless here, great for blocking
corridors, limiting movement into kill zones, etc.
Anssi Saari sent in this observation: "Apparently the aliens
won't shoot the bombs if they can't see you. So if you always
hide your men in those numerous small rooms and only pop out,
look around and step back in, you're safe from blaster bombs."
11 Mastering Cydonia-- The Final Assault
For those of you who watch shows like ENCOUNTERS or SIGHTINGS,
there IS a Cydonia on Mars, and there are "pyramids" and a "face"
there... And there's a big rumor of a NASA cover-up and recent
Mars probe going there ALL malfunctioned... Hmmm...
Don't bring any psi-weaklings. You'll be meeting a lot of
Sectoids and Ethreals, who will be mind-blasting you a lot.
Bring your best weapons and all of your blaster launchers and
blaster bombs, plus rockets and all the grenades you got. This is
not time for captures, so leave all stun stuff at home. This is
a fight to the death, preferably theirs.
Bring a pair of electro-flares each for the Mars surface battle.
It'll be dark there, so toss a few of those around. The doors at
each face of the pyramids are especially important as Sectoids
may come out and play. You also want to spot Cyberdiscs as far
away as possible.
11.2 PYRAMIDS OF MARS
Lots of Sectoids and Cyberdiscs around in this one. Soldiers with
flying suits are nice for recon, just don't leave them in the air
for Sectoid target practice. Use pyramids for cover.
Move slowly, toss electroflares at base of each pyramid, esp.
near exits so you can see if a Sectoid comes out. Use grenades
and/or blaster bombs on the cyberdiscs.
11.3 BASE INTERIOR
You do NOT want to clean out the whole base. Find the
distinctive command center (see below, NOT to scale, first floor
only), run for it (sacrificing HWPs and rookies in the process),
let blaster bombs and rockets fly, protect your back with prox
[not in scale!]
| _ |
| | | |
D__________________ | |
| |L| |
| |_| |
Once you found it, send a blaster bomb to hit the end, then one
more up through the grav lift (either side) to get rid of the
Ethereal Commanders (the elite guards), then ONE MORE on the top,
and it's all over.
12 Misc. Questions and their answers
* Why do I lose ammo that was fired only a few times?
After combat all clips that had been USED in the battle and left
in their rifles/pistosl/cannons are lost, no matter only 1 round
fired or totally empty. UNUSED clips are NOT affected (even if
they are loaded), as are clips separate from weapons.
HINT: You should unload any weapons that had fired and use
valuable ammo before the battle ends.
HINT: You can tell when the battle is almost over by judging how
long the alien movement phase takes.
HINT: You can get MORE clips if you unload captured alien weapons
that you come across
* How do I reload weapons? How do I unload ammo from weapons?
See section 2, Chapter 3.1 of XCOM Manual.
* Why should I need grenades when I have autocannon?
Autocannon weighs A LOT. For the same weight you can carry a
lighter weapon plus a couple grenades, and move faster and
further as a result.
* How do I wake up unconscious soldiers?
See UFOpedia on Medikit.
HINT: Heal any fatal wounds first before attempt to revive.
HINT: After applying shot of stimulant, exit medikit screen and
check your inventory. If "body" is still on ground, apply
another shot of stimulant until the "body" is no longer on
ground. S/he should appear in an adjacent square at beginning of
* How do I use Medi-Kit?
See UFOpedia on Medikit.
* How do I use motion scanner?
See UFOpedia on Motion Scanner
HINT: They are useful to detect that one last alien you can't
find, esp. at night when visibility is less, or city blocks (but
there you have civilians)
HINT: They are somewhat useful for looking behind closed doors
that you would like to enter.
* How do I use Mind Probe?
See UFOpedia on Mind Probe
NOTE: ANY one can use a mind probe, no psi power is required.
* How do I use the Blaster Launcher/Bomb or Fusion Hovertank?
When you select Launch Missile, you can specify a series of up to
9 "waypoints" which can go around any thing, climb and dive, even
fly in circles. The final waypoint is the explosion point,
UNLESS it runs into something solid first.
NOTE: There MUST be something solid at the last waypoint or the
"missile" will NOT explode! You should come in from high and aim
straight down if possible.
HINT: You can UNset a waypoint by right-clicking
* Some of my soldiers have TU's used before I moved them. Why?
Each soldier has a physical weight limit to the amount of "stuff"
he or she can carry, usually known as "emcumberance". If you
carry less than or equal to the emcumberance, no penalty is
assessed. For each weight unit over the limit, you get a TU
penalty. Carry too much and you can't move at all!
OSG has the complete weight chart for all items (Table 8-4).
Interesting observation: heavy plasma weighs the same as a
* How can I fire on aliens in their movement phase?
This is called "opportunity fire". Leave enough TU's after your
move for at least a snap shot, then if your trooper saw an alien
and has good enough reactions s/he will fire at the alien.
HINT: Use the 4 icons near the bottom left of screen to reserve
the TUs. Reactions usually need to be above 50.
* How do I open doors?
Target your soldier to move to the "square" behind the door and
s/he will then automatically open it (using some TUs) and move to
the square you specified.
HINT: Do not open doors without plenty of spare TU's or expect to
DIE. Using a motion scanner will help to see if any aliens moved
beyond the door.
HINT: Right-click beyond the door will open the door as well, but
without the solider moving inside.
HINT: When you are not sure, create another door! Either shoot a
hole in the wall or blow up the entire wall with grenades, HE,
HPlas, or BBomb.
* How do I get psi power?
See Section 8.5
* What is psi strength and psi skill?
Psi strength is a person's physical talent for psi (esper
sensivity) and cannot be improved. It is also a measure of
resistance against enemy psi attacks.
Psi skill is a person's skill at USING the psi strength. It can
be improved with usage and training at a psi lab.
* Help! My soldiers kept getting mind-blasted!
Fight harder, make more kills. Low morale invites more psi
attacks. If you survive the fight, sack the ones who's not very
good and kept getting panicked or controlled.
* What's with troops missing in action (MIA)?
If one of your troopers in under alien control at the end of a
battle s/he counts as MIA; therefore try to wait until s/he is no
longer in control before finishing off aliens.
If you abort a mission, any soldiers you leave behind is MIA. On
missions with a transport, any one not on the transport is "left
behind". On an alien base assault, any one not in the green
rooms (on the gravlift does NOT count) is "left behind".
Yet another way to get people MIA is to try (abort mission) with
only an unconscious soldier in the transport. You'll lose that
person as MIA as well as the transport
HINT: use MediKit to wake them up (stimulant) then march them in
if that happens to you.
* How do my soldiers improve?
By doing things. They improve firing accuracy by shooting at
things, strength by carrying more things, and so on. Those
getting kills will improve more than those who did not.
Therefore, try not to let HWP get a kill since you will lose a
chance to let a soldier improve, and leave the easy shots
(against panicked aliens, for example) to the rookies. Psi skill
also improves with use.
* How do I get more officers?
See Section 8.1.5
* How do I cheat?
If you REALLY want to cheat, here's how to add TONS to money into
your accout. Yes, you are embezzling the world to support XCOM.
You are twisting arms, and it is for a GOOD cause. :-D
Use a sector editor (such as Norton DiskEdit) and edit LIGLOB.DAT
in your saved game's directory. Overwrite the first 8 bytes with
64 64 64 64 00 00 00 00...
You should get about 1.68 billion dollars. (In case you are
wondering, 64646464h is a hexadecimal number. In decimal it is
1,684,300,900.) You can also use
FF FF FF 7F 00 00 00 00...
Which will give you about 2.1 billion dollars. (7FFFFFFFh =
Please don't ask me where to find a sector editor or Norton
DiskEdit. I can't send it to you, nor do I support such programs.
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