Best Base Xcom Enemy Unknown

Elaine Sutton
• Tuesday, 05 January, 2021
• 8 min read

And as you've probably realized from our COM review, it's brilliant, capturing everything we loved about the original game, but with lots of clever modern ideas thrown into the mix. After spending many, many hours in the game, I've assembled this guide, collecting all the best tips I can offer to help you deal with the alien menace.

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What's more, you can also find Chris' video guide to surviving Iron man mode embedded above. Starting again after you've finished it will give you the freedom to plan your base how you like, and ensure you don't lose three men on the first mission.

There are no second bases in EnemyUnknown, so it's vital that you launch satellites and buy interceptors in order to spot UFOs around the Earth. Conversely, a single scientist can research everything in the game, extra ones just make it go faster.

If you're dealing with a squad of rookies (often the case if you're an Iron Man player) then I'd go for weapons instead. You can improve experience gain, increase your squad size and make your soldiers more likely to survive.

Always have at least one or two men on overwatch to cover the rest of the squad before moving or ending your turn. The only reason not to have someone on overwatch is if you've already spotted the enemy and are busy filling him full of laser death.

You can exploit this movement by putting your whole team on overwatch before moving the last man forward, this way if you provoke an enemy, they'll run right into your firing arcs and get horribly slaughtered. This means that by using a Ghost Suit's invisibility, or the Sniper's Battle Scanner you can spot the aliens while they're still clustered together, and they won't react until you've dropped a grenade right in the middle of them.

enemy base xcom unknown
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First things first: The number and location of steam vents and pre-excavated spaces will be random each game, and the optimal building strategy will depend on that, to a degree. If you can reach a large area of already excavated spaces by extending the lift down, this can save you valuable time and credits early on.

If you want to make full use of the adjacency bonuses provided by the new Genetics Lab and Cybernetics Lab facilities, you will have to prioritize between them, the Officer Training School, Foundry and Alien Containment as you won't have the space to build all of these facilities early on, while leaving enough room to make full use of the adjacency bonuses. There are four types of adjacency bonuses, in descending importance: Additional satellite capacity from Satellite Uplinks and Nexuses build next to each other, Money and resource refunds from Workshops, the Foundry and the Cybernetics Lab, increased research speed from Laboratories and the Genetics Lab, and extra power from the three Generator facilities.

In order to not lock yourself out of Abduction missions completely, you should leave two countries on your starting continent without satellite coverage. If you want to build more than one satellite in the first month, you usually have to construct a Workshop on the right side of the access lift for the additional engineers.

With Enemy Within, you can now construct either the Cybernetics Lab or the Foundry in the next space, providing you with your first refund bonus, while leaving room to expand downward for a 2×2 or 2×3 grid. Unless you get lucky with your steam vent placement, you will have to build quite a few regular Power Generators as you expand your base.

I tend to build three or four on the right side of the base, and maybe some more on the third level beneath the Satellite Uplink, depending on how early I can get an Delirium Generator. To gain access to the Secret Base mission, you will need to construct Alien Containment, and then capture and research both a Second (or Thin man) and an Outsider.

enemy unknown xcom base secretsfiles assault alien minute
(Source: secretsfiles.com)

Doing so will reveal the location of a hidden alien base and allow you to create the Skeleton Key necessary to unlock the entrance. The narrow corridors channel you into nasty bottlenecks where waiting Chrysalis often attack out of nowhere.

His Mind Control ability has a very long range and can tear your squad apart by turning allies into enemies. The most reliable tactic against this single Commander is therefore an all-out attack concentrating your entire squad’s fire, even if this means breaking cover.

In order to compensate the technological gap with the aliens, it is necessary to carry out research on new weapons, armor or vehicles. At the top of the list, you will usually find elements that are necessary to develop in order to continue the main storyline and thus move forward the action of the game.

This is a list of completed research projects along with their detailed description and unlocked objects or buildings. The last tab (Review Credits Research)shows you if you can perform the test in a shorter time.

For example, Seconds facilitate our development of laser technology and Floaters reveal information that help produce body armor. Each available project costs a number of resources: Delirium, Alloys or Weapon Fragments.

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In addition, to start some studies, such as the plasma weapons, you need to get at least one copy of the equipment. For this purpose it is necessary to develop two projects: Exobiology (available from the start of the game) and the Arc Thrower (appears after researching Exobiology). Then you can just make a copy of Arc Thrower (i.e. large taser) and give it to the soldier in the slot available for grenades.

After sending troops to the mission, we have to isolate one of the aliens from the rest, then weaken it for two or three points of life. Unfortunately, this weapon has a limited range, and if an alien uses Overwatch mode, coming close to him can be deadly.

Therefore, the best way is to force a shot from the enemy (Assault -class soldier with the Lightning Reflexes ability is best suited for this purpose, as he automatically avoids the first alien attack) and then use another soldier to run to the enemy and use the totalizator. The hit alien stranger falls to the ground and will remain unconscious to the end of battle.

Carrying out continuously scientific research and speeding up the arms race is a must-do in COM : EnemyUnknown. If you fail to keep up with the aliens, it is possible that at some point you'll meet so powerful enemies that your obsolete weapons will not be able to cause them significant damage. Clashes with Futons will be a nightmare if you don't have at least laser weapons, and Crystals will kill your squad instantly.

That is, if I start with Asia but then lose India, I still keep Future Combat. Personally, I agree with the common sentiment that SA is disposable, and We Have Ways is pretty useless; most autopsy and interrogation researches aren't *that* great anyway, and you wouldn't have the money for all the foundry research until your science is fast enough to only take a couple of days per, anyway.

skeleton ign key xcom enemy unknown
(Source: www.ign.com)

All In likely has the highest potential, but since you only need to launch three SATs to secure it, you might still be better off with Future Combat or Expert Knowledge. Expert Knowledge seems to have a better help early on, though Future Combat likely edges it out by late game.

The correct answer is Asia, it saves you the most amount of money early/mid-game but at the same it's not really worth covering the entire Asian continent with satellites due to the low money giving countries (specifically India and Australia) unlike Europe. It's not worth starting in North America and Africa you can easily get their bonuses with satellites. And lastly South America is a joke, it gives little money and the bonus is poor so ignore it.

Rivers posted... Africa is the best continent buff but is also not the best place to start. And there's no reason whatsoever to put sat son Egypt or South Africa until very late game.

And there's no reason whatsoever to put sat son Egypt or South Africa until very late game. Whereas, someone who starts in Europe and wants the Africa bonus would have to “waste” two of his satellites on low-income countries to get it, and the amount gained would barely offset the difference.

It's great being able to put your first few extra satellites over high-income countries like the US or Russia, and stacking the African +30% on top of the US's 180 income is tremendous. )Europe and North America are good to start in, due to the high per-country income; Europe's okay to get for the long term, but NA's just not very important unless your air strategy is to keep lots of cheap planes with Avalanche Missiles instead of developing better weapons. Asia's decent to start in, but if you don't start there it's not important to get its bonus (because by the time you do, you will have bought most of the stuff already).

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And South America just stinks, period; its only real advantage is that as a 2-country continent, you can pretty safely ignore abduction missions in countries there, but that doesn't help if you start there. And there's no reason whatsoever to put sat son Egypt or South Africa until very late game.

Do everywhere else first. Europe and North America are good to start in, due to the high per-country income; Europe's okay to get for the long term, but NA's just not very important unless your air strategy is to keep lots of cheap planes with Avalanche Missiles instead of developing better weapons. Asia's decent to start in, but if you don't start there it's not important to get its bonus (because by the time you do, you will have bought most of the stuff already). NA made it possible for me to provide stated continents with extra cheap interceptors, and on normal, cheap interceptors can bring anything down in sufficient numbers, at least until you do the base mission.

It's probably the biggest help early on in keeping unnecessary panic down without breaking the budget. After Russia, I diverted to SA by the time I had the arc thrower, and I'd been saving up most of the corpses.

Personally I love the Europe buff because I spam the **** out of workshops but what I've been thinking of recently concerns trying to maintain all the member nations. South America's bonus is underwhelming but one thing to consider starting there is that if you do and put ONE satellite over the other nation you will NEVER lose either (providing you shoot down all the ships and raid landed ones) as abductions will not occur there. Similarly, for other 3 nation continents as they require fewer satellites to prevent abductions on them.

The fewer continents you need to cover the more you can calculate your management of panic and future placement of satellites. A base description of ‘turn-based, squad-based cover shooter’, whilst indicative of some of its core mechanics, its true beauty and brilliance cannot be confined to a simple tagline descriptor.

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COM begins life with as 4-person squad, largely faceless men and women, touting assault rifles and chucking grenades, a slightly underwhelming introduction which simply cannot prepare you for what lies ahead. XCOM’s strength lies in its ability to weave an entirely unique narrative for each play through, even with a voiceless gaggle of international marines.

Whilst each can be customized to a degree, the magic lies in the ones left untouched, especially when the game forces your hand in order to preserve the greater good. What COM does superbly is that efficiently conveys both close, personal nature of the soldiers and combat, whilst still making the overall ‘global’ threat relevant.

In having its cake, eating it and asking for seconds, the gameplay is so delicately poised it creates for some very tense firefights and frantic battles, each casualty means so much more than just a meaningless statistic. Each continent, containing several key countries, has a panic level attached to it, rising with subsequent alien attack and falling when COM step in and do their thing.

Even the ‘standard’ alien enemies are a force to be reckoned with, the tide of battle can easily be turned with but a solitary soldier out of place an entire campaign can be irreparably damaged. XCOM’s also brimming with nods and hints towards the retro: fog of war takes an unconventional approach, rendering the undiscovered or unsifted black and white, 50s sci-fi at its very best.

The standard ‘second’ aliens exude a similar vibe, with disturbing arachnid eyes and no mouth to speak of, or the Thin Men, like a preying mantis wearing the skin of Yoko Ono. The cinematic also possess a similar retro charm as the seconds, reminiscent of the poorly-rendered Avis of 90s gaming, now rendered in glorious high definition.

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(Source: www.kotaku.com.au)

The AI is not only rather smartly dressed, but also presents as a very aggressive and rather intelligent threat, flanking at any given opportunity and simply cannot wait to make you pay for your crimes. In trading platoons for individual soldiers, Fir axis have created but a much more personal, yet at the same time more ‘global’ game with an immense degree of re-playability even before you reach the multiplayer.

Intelligent in its punishment, COM deliberately doesn’t want you to complete first, second or even third time around, teaching you valuable lessons and forcing you to adapt, and failure to do has catastrophic consequences.

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