XCOM: Enemy Unknown Beginner’s Guide


Base-Building and Administration

Field Ops

Though there are other things to consider, the most important purpose of XCOM’s strategic element is supporting your troops in the field. To accomplish this purpose, make these upgrades a priority:

  • Medpacks
  • Don’t leave home without them. Better than a grenade or other item in pretty much every situation. As soon as you can, research Advanced Medpacks in the Foundry for added peace of mind.

  • Defensive Upgrades
  • While the basic weapons issued to your soldiers do a decent job for much of the early game, the basic armor leaves a lot to be desired. Research Carapace Armor as soon as possible to add some much-needed survivability.

  • Officer Training
  • The Officer Training School base expansion provides a number of crucial upgrades. Set money aside for Squad Size I and II, which will increase your maximum squad size to 6, as well as Wet Work, which increases experience gain from kills. The sooner you can unlock Wet Work, the more benefit you’ll get out of it.

Staff Ops

The life-blood of XCOM — its funding — comes from sponsor countries, which must be carefully managed. To increase the amount of funding you receive each month, you’ll have to build satellites, which are time-consuming and require a number of prerequisites. Reserve cash at the beginning of each month to spend on satellites, and try to stay ahead of the curve when it comes to Satellite Uplinks, which much be built at a rate of one for every two satellites. These uplinks will require a minimum number of in-house engineers, as well as enough power and, of course, empty, excavated space in which to build them. Once the satellites are in the air, they’ll need to be protected by Interceptors. To succeed at the game, you’ll have to stay ahead of the curve in all these areas, or risk inevitable failure. Don’t spend too much money on toys for your soldiers without neglecting this crucial aspect of the game.

XCOM strategy and tactics, of course, could support a much longer article. For the time being, though, we hope these tips will help you in your fight to defend the Earth. Happy hunting!

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