UFO - Enemy Unknown : the FAQ! (version 1.22)
If there are errors or you have new stuff to add, drop me an e-mail.
This FAQ conatins info that you may prefer to find out by exploring and
researching yourself. If you want to play the game "in the dark" then
read on with care or not at all!!
1a What is UFO : Enemy Unknown?
1b What spec PC do I need to run it?
1c Is there a patch available?
2a Base facilities
2b Non-combat equipment
2c Ship types
2d Ship weapons
2e Soldier weaponry
2f Alien races
2g Alien missions
2h Manufacturing costs
Questions (this is a FAQ after all :)
3a Overall strategy
3b Combat questions
Odd and Ends
4a Tinkering with saved games
4b The saved alien containment file
4c Diplomacy file
--------------------------- GENERAL -------------------------------------
1a What is UFO : Enemy Unknown?
The game places you in charge of X-Com in the year 1999; alien UFO's have
been sighted around the globe and your newly set up organization has been
charged with intercepting them, recovering any alien artefacts, and finding
out where the aliens are coming from and what they are after.
The strategic level is centered on a screen with a rotatable/zoomable 3D
globe, with buttons to manipulate your bases, check UFO activity, check
your funding levels from the 15 sponsoring nations, and to look up data in
your online ufopedia. At the tactical level you control troops/tanks in
a 3D combat mini-game which is quite similar in appearance to Ultima 7/8.
1b What spec PC do I need to run it?
According to the box, you need a 386+, 20Mhz+, 2Mb RAM+ and a mouse; on a
486/DX33 with 8Mb RAM, mouse and 8-bit soundblaster it is pretty slick.
Base memory requirement is listed as 560K, with 1Mb EMS/XMS also required.
It comes on only 3 disks, and occupies about 13Mb of hard disk (including
the saved games). The copy protection is a code at the bottom of each
odd-numbered page of the quite well written 128-page manual. The manual
supplement does *not* guarantee that the game will work with DR DOS,
Novell DOS7 or OS/2.
Microprose have released a patch to bring UFO up to version 1.2; the patch
is now available at
This is an upload of a patch received in the post direct from Microprose.
The correct patch file size should be 634063 bytes. This patch does NOT
work with XCOM (US version) as XCOM is essentially UFO 1.2. There is
another CD release called "UFO" which is a multimedia UFO encyclopedia,
not this game, so make sure exactly what you're ordering if you order your
copy of UFO:Enemy Unknown on CD! (This may be why the game is called XCOM
in the USA).
The patch readme file lists the following points:
* Please start a new game to eliminate all possibilities that the
new version of the game fixes the bugs which you have seen so far.
* This update contains a new version of the DOS Extender, DOS4GW to
fix some compatibility problems seen with the earlier release.
DOS4GW is not a MicroProse program and we were not aware of these
compatibility problems until after UFO was published. If you had a
problem running UFO, this update will fix that.
* Corrupt tiles that caused multiple images to appear have been fixed.
* Action points have been limited to 80 to prevent the "wrap-around"
problem seen with the original release.
* Mission variety has been improved to allow access to all types of
missions when playing.
* Alien intelligence has been improved to allow a tougher game.
* UFO encyclopedia has been expanded to include missing entries.
* The corrupt game file, UBASE_07.MAP which caused problems when
entering the Alien Bases has been replaced.
* There is no PC Speaker support within UFO.
* The Environment Space error has been fixed.
It doesn't seem to be necessary to start a new game after applying the
patch; the old save files still work, though the soldier stat screens
can look messy. You'll also miss a few ufopedia entries.
The aliens in version 1.2 do appear to shoot back a lot more than before,
and often have much better weaponry. Your base(s) come under attack
earlier too (which in a way helps as you get some artefacts if you win!)
There are still some bugs in UFO 1.2. The worst is the "green text bug":
"A common bug, I've seen many posts here, but just to re-iterate. If you
have an air combat window minimized while you go into a ground combat
mission, leaving the ground combat mission will spit out a pile o' green
text errors in 40 col. mode, and kick you backed to your last save game.
The work around for this is to make sure that you have no air combats
minimized when you go to ground combat. This bug is a real pain."
I have a crack for UFO 1.2, but it's not included here in case anyone
gets shirty about legalities.
--------------------------- GAME INFO ----------------------------------
As you research more tech, your on-line UFOPEDIA will have more information
added automatically. None of this is included in the game manual; some of
the info here might be spoiler(s).
2a Base Facilities
You can have up to 8 bases around the world. There are 36 (6x6) locations
to place rooms in. Only the hanger takes up more than one location (2x2).
Costs apear to vary in XCOM to what they are in UFO (below).
Days Build Cost Cost/month
Access Lift 1 300k 4k (Entrance to underground base)
Living Quarters 16 400k 10k (Sleeps 50)
Laboratory 26 750k 30k (Allows 50 research)
Workshop 32 800k 35k (Allows 50 manufacture)
Small Radar 12 500k 10k (300nm range, 5% detect/10mins)
Large Radar 25 800k 15k (450nm range, 5% detect/10mins)
General Stores 10 150k 5k (Holds 50 units of equipment)
Alien Containment 18 500k 15k (Holds 10(?) live aliens)
Hanger 25 200k 25k (Repairs/refuels/rearms 1 plane)
Laser Defence 24 900k 10k (Def value 600, Accuracy 60%)
Plasma Defence 36 1200k 12k (Def value 900, Accuracy 70%)
Fusion Ball 36 1800k 14k (Def value 1200, Accuracy 80%)
Grav Shield 38 2300k 15k (Gives defences an extra shot)
Mind Shield 33 1300k 5k (Helps stop aliens finding base)
Psi Lab 24 750k 16k (For troop psionics training)
Hyperwave Decoder 26 2000k 30k (To evaluate alien missions)
To dismantle a base, you must remove all facilities (which means transferring
all people and equipment elsewhere if needbe) then finally remove the access
2b Non-combat equipment
Most of this you need to research, some you get at the start.
Motion scanner - detects movement in the near vacinity
Medikit - heals fatal wounds (heal), revives unconscious soldiers
(stimulate) and boosts morale (painkiller)
Stun rod - has a chance to render an alien unconscious
Electro flare - essential for night time operations. Thrown.
Elerium 115 - only found on alien ships/bases, and needed for many
important weapons and power units.
Mind probe - when used on an alien tells you his stats and rank
(useful to find an alien commander or leader).
Psi amp - required to allow soldier to use psionic attacks on
aliens (attempting to cause panic or get mind control).
2c Ship types
The XCom craft at your disposal throughout the game are:
Max Weapon Hull Max
Speed Acceln Fuel Pods Damage Cargo HWPs
Skyranger 760 2 2000 0 150 14 3
Interceptor 2100 3 1000 2 100 0 0
Lightning 3100 8 30(E) 1 800 12 0
Firestorm 4200 9 20(E) 2 500 0 0
Avenger 5400 10 60(E) 2 1200 26 4
The firestorm is the new fighter craft you can research, lightning the new
fighter transport and the avenger is the ultimate craft. (E)=Elerium fuel.
The UFOs are as follows (from interogated alien navigators):
Max Hull Weapon Ship
Speed Damage Power Range Crew Width
Small Scout 2200 50 0 0 1 3 Like an Apollo capsule
Medium Scout 2400 200 20 120 3- 6 9 1 level, small square
Large Scout 2700 250 20 272 7- 9 ? 1 level, cross shaped
Harvester 4000 500 40 176 11-15 16 3 levels, 11 windows
Terror Ship 4800 1200 120 336 10-15 30 2 levels, narrow top
Supply Ship 3200 2200 60 288 10-16 30 3 levels, wide middle
Battleship 5000 3000 140 520 11-13 30 3 levels, no windows
Abductor 4300 500 40 160 10-? 30 2 level octagonal star
Base - - - - 13-15 - -
Ships will usually carry additional material as follows (Michael Lewchuk):
Nav units Power supplies Extras
Small Scout 1 1 -
Medium Scout 2 1 -
Large Scout 2 1 -
Harvester 10 2 Surgery, food
Terror Ship ? ? -
Supply Ship 10 4 Surgery, food, entertainment
Battleship 4 4 Entertainment (!)
Abductor 5 2 Surgery, food, examination room
Base 0 2-4 Entertainment, food
E115 is roughly Power Supplies * 50
Bases are constructed out of random "components" including an alien park,
a command area, a 2-story 3x3 tower (watch tower?) in the middle of a bunch
of alien food containers, alien food/display rooms, and elevator rooms, so
what you get from a base changes from base to base. But don't expect to
ever get navigation units from a base.
To see a picture of the UFO in flight just click on the UFO icon on
the airborne combat display. To keep tracking the UFO until it is over
land you can minimise the airborne combat window to an icon (making sure
you are in "standoff" mode :) and then accelerate time to 1-min slices;
when you're over land open the window and shoot!
2d Ship weapons
You initially start with cannon/stingray/avalanche missiles, but you can
research more stuff:
Damage Range Accuracy Reload time
Cannon 10 10 10% 2s
Stingray 70 30 70% 15s
Avalanche 100 60 100% 20s
Laser Cannon 70 21 70% 4s
Plasma Beam 140 52 140% 6s (uses Elerium)
Fusion Ball 230 65 230% 25s
It is important to match the weapon to the target as usually you want to
force the alien to land (preferably intact) to be able to recover artefacts
and prisoners on the ground. If you intercept over the sea, it doesn't
really matter though.
2e Soldier weapons
Your soldiers can be equipped with a hue arsenal of weaponry; either by
equipping their transport ship, or in the case of a base defence when the
attack starts. Many weapons can be loaded with different ammo types.
Aimed Snap Auto Dam Type Dam Type Dam Type
Pistol 78/30 60/18 26 AP
Rifle 110/80 60/25 35/35 30 AP
Heavy Cannon 90/80 60/33 56 AP 52 HE 60 I
Auto Cannon 82/80 56/33 32/40 42 AP 44 HE 48 I
Rocket Launcher 115/75 55/45 75 HE 100 HE 90 I
Laser Pistol 68/55 40/20 28/25 46 Laser
Laser Rifle 100/50 65/25 46/34 60 Laser
Heavy Laser 84/75 50/33 85 Laser
Grenade 50 HE
Smoke Grenade 60 HE
Proximity Grenade 70 HE
High Explosive 110 HE
Heavy Plasma 110/60 75/30 50/35 115 Plasma
Plasma Pistol 85/60 65/30 50/30 52 Plasma
Plasma Rifle 100/60 86/30 55/63 80 Plasma
Blaster Launcher 120/80 200 HE
Small Launcher 110/75 65/40 90 Stun
Alien Grenade 90 HE
(AP = Armour piercing HE = High Explosive I = Incendiary)
The pairs of numbers indicate accuracy and TU cost to shoot. Note that
the TU cost is always a percentage of the soldier's total TUs, not a fixed
amount. Accuracy for two-handed weapons is improved if one hand is empty,
and overall accuracy is better if the soldier is kneeling. The autofire
option gives you three shots, but these are the least accurate (they are
effective with area effect weapons like autocannon).
Grenades are thrown, and the accuracy of where it lands is based on the
soldier's own throwing accuracy stat.
Many people suggest that the laser rifle is the best overall weapon; cheap
to produce, rapid fire rate, quite accurate and doesn't use Elerium. Laser
weapons do not require ammo clips (which take up avenger space!). No aliens
are resistant to lasers, and sectopods are affected more by them.
2e Alien types
Attacks with Resists Weakness Notes
Sectiod Weapons & Psi Likes cattle abduction
Snakemen Weapons fire/heat Carries up to 50 eggs
Ethereal Weapons & Psi Physically weak/blind
Muton Weapons AP Strong & intelligent
Floater Weapons Likes terrorising
Silacoid HTH fire/incend Works with mutons
Chryssalid HTH HE Turns humans to zombies
Reaper HTH incend Two brains and hearts
Sectopod Weapons plasma laser Highly armoured
Cyberdisc Weapons explosives Works with sectoids
Zombie HTH Dies -> Chryssalid
You can get info on particular alien stats by using a mind probe on them.
From doing this it seems average stats on aliens are as follows. Some of
the stats vary a lot between the races!
----- Armour ------
TUs Ene Hea Bra Mor Rea Fir Thr Str PSt PSk Fro Lef Rig Rea Und
Sectoid 55 90 30 80 100 65 30 60 30 - - 2 1 1 1 1
Ethereal 70 100 60 80 100 75 40 80 50 50 40 17 17 17 17 16
Snakeman 40 80 45 80 100 45 30 65 50 - - 10 9 9 8 6
Muton 58 90 90 80 100 60 30 60 70 - - 10 10 10 10 5
Floater 50 90 35 80 100 50 25 60 40 - - 4 3 3 2 6
Celatid 70 90 70 90 100 40 50 0 70 - - 10 10 10 10 10
Silacoid 40 80 115 100 100 40 0 0 70 - - 25 25 25 25 5
Chryssalid 110 140 95 100 100 70 0 0 110 - - 17 17 17 17 17
Sectopod 60 90 95 110 100 65 30 0 90 - - 70 65 65 50 45
Cyberdisc 60 90 120 110 100 65 30 0 90 - - 17 17 17 17 17
Zombie 40 110 85 110 100 40 0 0 85 - - 4 4 4 4 4
Leaders tend to have slightly higher stats than other ranks in each race,
for example an ethereal leader has 20-rated armour all round and a psionic
strength of 60.
The high TUs on chryssalids allows them to move a long way and often surprise
troops from behind, turning them to zombies before you can react. When
killed, zombies shed their skins to become new chryssalids. This can make
the chryssalid one of the hardest aliens to deal with.
2f Alien Missions
There are many mission types. The nasty ones are terror and infiltration.
Supply is handy because it can lead you to an alien base, and in turn to
an alien leader.
Research: Small vehicles, least threat to earth and Xcom
Harvest: Any size ships, great concern to governments
Abduction: Causes great alarm
Infiltration: Make pact with earth govt, greatest threat to Xcom
Base: Build alien base (you need to let them build one to win game)
Terror: Causes hysteria, troubles govts
Retaliation: Attack Xcom base
Supply: Supply alien base
A hyperwave decoder is very handy to work out mission types. Later in
the game you are probably safe to leave ships on research missions alone
and concentrate on the dangerous ones.
2h Manufacturing Costs
This chart shows which items need alien alloys and Elerium for production;
all of them need to be researched. You could use the info to work out
which item is best to produce for profit if your engineers are idle ...
(an initial glance suggests personal armour is good if you have the alloys
to spare, or power suits if you have Elerium coming out your ears too :)
Thus setting up personal armour "factories" could be a way to pile up some
decent reserves of cash.
Sale prices are apparently different in XCOM (or perhaps at the highest
difficulty levels) but I have no hard facts on this (yet). If you have
XCOM rather than UFO, you may wish to chart the figures and let me know :)
Engineer Workshop Alien Sale
Hours Cost Space Elerium Alloys Price
Motion scanner 220 34k 4 - - 45600
Medikit 420 28k 4 - - 46500
Psi amp 500 160k 4 1 - 194700
Personal armour 800 22k 12 - 4 140000
Power suit 1000 42k 16 5 5 310000
Flying suit 1400 58k 16 16 5 420000
Alien alloys 100 3k 10 - - 6500
Elerium-115 - - - - - 5000
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
Mind probe 1200 262k 4 1 - 334000
FIRESTORM 14000 400k 30 - 65 -
LIGHTNING 18000 600k 34 - 85 -
AVENGER 34000 900k 36 - 170 -
UFO power source 1400 130k 22 16 5 250000
UFO navigation 1600 150k 18 - 3 80000
Fusion ball l'cher 400 242k 6 - - 281100
Fusion ball 600 28k 6 4 - 53300
Laser cannon 300 182k 6 - - 211000
Plasma beam 500 226k 8 15 - 267300
Tank/laser cannon 1200 500k 25 - - 594000
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
(The three aircraft all need 1 UFO power source + 1 UFO navigation
unit, except the AVENGER which needs two UFO power sources).
Clearly you should never sell Elerium for cash. You'd be much better
off making either power armour or flying suits and selling that (or
possibly fighter laser cannon).
----------------- GAME TACTICS/STRATEGY ----------------------------------
3a Overall strategy
Where should I build bases?
Build a few bases at the start, make sure they all have long range radar.
Spread them around the globe; you only get 8; note the groupings of the
richer funding countries and defend them early on. You can also build
bases on both poles. The following eight locations have been suggested
to maximise radar coverage of the globe:
i) North Pole
ii) South Pole
iii) Southern California
iv) Persian Gulf
v) North-eastern Australia
vi) Right most tip of South America (Brazil??)
viii) right most Russia (near japan??)
Probably the best starting place is central Europe (lots of rich countries)
or possibly slightly further east towards Israel. Then you can later
expand to America or SE Asia, or wherever the UFO activity chart suggests
there are some UFOs to nail.
How can I make money?
The main income at the start is from the funding countries, so you should
maximise your efforts to win their favours early on. As the game
progresses you can sell off artefacts for cash. If you set up workshops
and have engineers with nothing to do have them make something like laser
weapons and sell them; you can sell for more than it costs to make them.
You can sell off weaponry and artefacts that you capture on UFO missions,
in particular sell off any technology you can't use (keeping at least 1
to research on), but keep any plasma clips or bombs you find as they take
Elerium to make and later the Elerium will be valuable elsewhere.
Why is Elerium important?
Elerium is only found on alien ships; you can't make it yourself (you can
make alien alloys). If you are running short of elerium use interceptors
with laser weapons from multiple bases and give your troops laser rifles
(laser rifles are very effective in any case). If you feel confident let
the aliens attack your base, you can get lots (sometimes 1000+, on one
occasion 3000+) elerium in a single battle (under UFO v1.0 at least :)
How do I win the game?
The ultimate aim of UFO is to research (interogate) live aliens to find
out where they are coming from and why. The best prisoner you can get
is an alien commander; there should be one in an alien base. Once you
interogate a commander you should get a big clue as to how to win the
battle once and for all! The earliest win I've seen claimed was in
about 15 months (ie. late March 2000).
What should I research?
You start off with just pistols and rifles, which are not very effective.
Early on your main goal should be to get laser weaponry (rifles) and
the personal armour. These combined help make missions much easier.
As the game progresses, your options will be more open ... you'll want
to make the better intereceptors, get flying suits and be able to use
the heavy weaponry, so investing in research (scientists) is money
Here is the research tree for UFO (as first written by William Kang, but
with minor corrections included):
Laser Weapons Heavy Heavy Plasma Plasma
| Plasma Plasma Clip Rifle Rifle Clip
Laser Pistol |___________| |__________|
| | |
Laser Rifle | |
Heavy Laser |
Laser Cannon Plasma Cannon
(Tank/Laser Cannon) _______|_________
| | |
Laser Defense Plasma Defense (Hovertank/Plasma)*
Alien Alloys Blaster Blaster
| Launcher Bombs
Elerium 115 Personal Armor UFO Power Source |___________|
| Fusion Ball
Power Suit UFO Navigation | |
|_________________| Fusion Ball (Hovertank/
| Defence Launcher)*
Alien Elerium UFO UFO
Alloys 115 Power Source Navigation
* - Learning new fighter craft lets you build hovertanks.
There are some steps you can bypass (eg. laser pistol) if you wish.
To find out about ship stats research alien engineers, to find out about
missions research navigator.
To learn and build Hyperwave Decoder, interrogate a navigator.
To find out about Psi research ethereals (or a sectoid leader/commander)
To win the game, you need start by researching alien origins, then an
alien commander, and from there, figure it out yourself :)
Don't research the same thing at different bases, there is no benefit;
the research seems independent at each base (as manufacturing is).
Why do I never see any large UFOs?
On missions like retaliation, base and terror, small ships scout before
the larger ships come in. If you destroy the scouts no larger ships will
appear. It is thus important to let them land! (else you'll have a
long game :) By using the hyperwave decoder you can detect the alien
mission; it can pay off to let aliens build a base so you can capture
one of their leaders for interogation.
How does my radar work?
It can pay off to have more than one large radar system at a base. As
the manual says
"XCom radar systems, while very long ranged, rotate very slowly -
once every 10 minutes. This means that your base will detect UFOs
more effectively if more than one radar system is in place."
Thus a fast UFO is more likely to be spotted by multiple radars, as
each radar has a 5% success rate every 10 minutes. Short range radar
is cheaper and faster to build, and cheaper to keep maintained, but
if you can afford the long range, go for it.
3b Ground combat questions
Who/what should I take on missions?
A nice combo on a Skyranger is a couple of tanks and 6 troops; the
hovering plasma tanks are particularly effective. Tanks lose out as
they cannot enter most alien ships (terror ships being an exception).
Tanks can be left in bases to defend them from alien attacks. Flying
suits give your troops a lot of versatility and save a lot of TUs in
many terrain types. If a soldier dies though you lose the armour (but
keep his other equipment if you win the battle). Try to always take a
couple of rookies along to give them experience to boost their stats.
On night missions always carry electro flares. Medikits are important
as in addition to healing fatal wounds they can raise morale if used
on panicing troops.
What type of tactics work best?
Teamwork and patience are usually the key. The only exception to this
are terror missions, where civilians need to be saved quickly. Group
your troopers into teams of size 3-4, and advance slowly. Make use of
any available cover (even the skyranger wheels when disembarking) and
be prepared to spread out slowly. If you try to send single men out
after aliens, they're highly liable to get picked off. If you keep
your teams too tightly packed they're vulnerable to alien grenades (on
the higher difficulty levels). Use tanks to draw alien fire. Use smoke
bombs to give cover if the disembarking zone comes under fire. Take out
any "suspect" buildings with heavy rocket launchers or autocannon.
Later in the game you get better armour, and can afford to take more
risks but in general slow, safe teamwork pays dividends. Remember that
as soldiers survive missions, they get better; you can always keep a
couple of "expendables" (like the Star Trek security guards :) but you
need experienced soldiers as well.
Why do I lose ammo that I never use?
After combat all clips loaded in weapons are lost, whether or not they
have been used (not a great piece of design!). Thus you should unload
any weapons that uses valuable ammo before the battle ends. To unload
click on the weapon over the "rifle" icon on the soldier's equipment
screen (this can also be used to select alternate ammo before battle).
Why should I need grenades when I have autocannon?
An autocannon has very impressive firepower. However it is very heavy
to carry, and can reduce a soldier's TU total. A soldier equipped with
a laser rifle can carry a couple of grenades and use them to flatten
small buildings or other targets without needing a bulky cannon. You
can also lob grenades over obstacles, giving you some "artillery" support.
If the UFO's roof is damaged, you can throw grenades directly into the
damaged hull to kill off any lingering survivors.
How can I fire on aliens in their movement phase?
You can carry out opportunity fire on aliens as they make their moves.
To do this, leave enough TU's after your move for at least a snap shot,
then if your trooper sees an alien and has good enough reactions (s)he
will automatically fire on the alien. You can use the 4 icons near the
bottom left of the screen in your movement phase to reserve the TUs.
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. Troops unconscious when the battle
ends seem to survive.
How do I open spaceship doors?
Simply target your soldier to move to the "square" behind the door and
(s)he will then automatically open it (using some TUs). It's wise not
to open doors without plenty of spare TU's or without using a motion
How do I use a medikit?
If the victim is unconscious, you must be standing *right over* the
wounded trooper, then you use the midikit. If the victim is conscious
but has a fatal wound, stand next to them and face them, then use the
medikit on the wound.
How do I counter psi attacks?
Ethereal and sectoid races have psionic abilities. This means they are
able to amke a number of psionic attacks on your troops for which they
do not need line-of-sight on the target. There are two types of attack:
Panic - if your trooper succumbs (s)he will panic, possibly dropping
equipment and then running, possibly also going beserk.
Control - potentially worse; aliens can control targets, thus getting
your troops to fire on each other. The effect is usually
temporary, and can be reduced in effect by not bunching
potential victims too close together.
When you research psionics and build psi labs, you can evaluate each
soldier's resistance to psi attacks (his/her psi strength) and train them
in psi skills (which allows your troops to make psionic attacks if they
have a psi amp on them in battle). Yes, you can leave troops in the
transport and use HWP's to scout for aliens to attack with psionics!
Psi skills can be trained, psi strength is constant, so don't waste time
on psi training troops with low psi strength. Psi training allocations
happen at the *end of each month* at bases that have psi labs.
Even if you don't train psi abilities, knowing which troops are resistant
to psi attacks can be very valuable information. You can then choose to
simply sack anyone with a low psi rating (below (45-50).
Can I blow holes in the sides of spaceships?
This should be possible with a blaster launcher (BL). BLs are great
destructive weapons, but this also means you must try to equip your
(psionically) strongest trooper with the BL as a mind-controlled BL is
no fun :)
Should I have any different tactics at night?
Of course you should equip with flares (which are reusable, and you can
also pick them up in battle and lob them elsewhere). At the start, throw
flares out all around, as it seems most aliens can see in the dark, while
you cannot, so you have nothing to lose. You can try to avoid night
missions by landing at crash sites at daytime (hover at the site until
it is daylight there).
Are stunrods worth using?
Stunrods are very risky ... if you try to stun an alien make sure you have
some backup troops who can drop the alien if your stun fails (and beware
if you fail a stun you will be in the line of fire :) Small launchers
and stun bombs are much safer to use. It can be worth putting your small
launchers on psionically weak troops as if they get mind-controlled at
worst they'll just stun your other troops.
Can I pass equipment to another trooper?
Not directly. You can drop the equipment for him/her to pick it up, or
if they're closeish you can throw equipment to another trooper. Thrown
equipment does not appear to do any damage if it's thrown accurately :)
Can I put a soldier into "overwatch" mode?
Sadly no. Ideally you could have a button to say "don't come back to
me unless I see an alien or get shot at" but this isn't the case. So
if you have 18 squaddies on a mission you have to "move" each trooper
on every game turn.
How do I know if an alien is dead or unconscious?
Usually a dying alien gives a death squeal, but it has been known for
some aliens to only go unconscious even then. If you stand over an
alien on the ground, if it's dead it will be labelled 'corpse' else
it is labelled as an alien. Be very wary of carrying unconscious
aliens (especially chrysallids) as they can wake up on you with nasty
results! The death sound (and the sound of doors opening in the hidden
movement phase) means that you really need sound to make the combat
easier to win.
Can I take tanks into the final battle?
Yes. Although it seems the doors on the elevators that lead to the
final combat are only wide enough for troops, you can shoot away the
earth/door to make it wide enough to take tanks into the climactic
conflict. Of course, you don't NEED tanks, but they help. If you
lose the final conflict you lose the game ... no second chances.
Why do my soldiers rarely get promoted?
To have promotions after battle you need to have a certain number of
troops around all your bases for the promotion to be possible. This
little charts sums it up:
Rank Sergeant Captain Colonel Commander
Troops needed 5 11 23 30
There can be only one commander. So if you have 35 troops around the
globe in theory you should have 1 commander, 1 colonel, 3 captains,
7 sergeants and 23 rookies/squaddies.
Can I rename my soldiers?
Yes. You can click on the name when the soldier info screen is up at
a base and change the name. It can help to put in the soldier's stats
into the name, so that in combat and in pre-combat equipping you know
which guys can handle the big weaponry (for example). So if you add
firing accuracy, throwing accuracy, and strength you might have names
like: Alexander 69-70-55
What is the Microprose helpline number?
In the UK (where the first release was made) the number is 0454 329510
and is open Mon-Fri 2-5pm. Or you can fax on 0454 329507 from 9am-5pm.
----------------- ODDS AND ENDS ------------------------------------------
Note all info in this section you use at your own risk!!
4a Tinkering with saved games
The format of soldier.dat (which holds your troop stats) appears to be
like this, with 68 bytes making up each soldier (thanks here to Gunnar
Haukur Stefansson :)
Byte What it does
1-2 Beginning of a soldier ( always FF FF )
3 Number of missions
5 Number of kills
7 Number of days until healed
9 - Unknown ( these values puzzle me !)
11-32 Name (not clear how long this is)
37 Initial Tu's
38 Initial Health
39 Initial Stamina
40 Initial Reactions
41 Initial Strength
42 Initial Firing Accuracy
43 Initial Throwing Accuracy
44 - Unknown (does not seem to matter what I put in here)
45 PSI Strength
46 PSI Skill
47 Bravery (00 = 100, 01 = 90, 02 = 80 .. 09 = 10, 0A = 0)
48 Tu's gained
49 Health gained
50 Stamina gained
51 Reactions gained
52 Strength gained
53 Firing Accuracy gained
54 Throwing Accuracy gained
55 - Unknown
56 Breavery gained ( 00 = 0, 01 = 10, 02 = 20 ....)
57-68 Something to do with sex, rank and base ?
(67 is sex, 0=male, 1=female)
(69-70 Beginning of the next soldier)
(A number of different people have different opinions on the offsets of
the info in bytes 1-36 inclusive!)
The format of base.dat is something like this (credit Tony L. Hayes):
Bytes 1 - 22 are for the base name.
Bytes 23-58 are for the construction starting in the upper left and
going across the site to the left, just like writing
1 2 3 4 5 6
7 8 9 10 11 12
31 32 33 34 35 36
Hex Value Construction Type
FF Bare ground (no construction)
00 Access Lift
01 Living Quarters
04 Small Radar
05 Large Radar
06 Misile Defense
07 General Stores
08 Alien Containment
09 Laser Defense
0A Plasma Defense
0B Fusion Ball Defense
0C Grav Shield
0D Mind Shield
0E Psi Lab
0F Hyperwave Decoder
10 Hanger, Upper Left
11 Hanger, Upper Right
12 Hanger, Lower Left
13 Hanger, Lower Right
Bytes 59-94 are either FF for bare ground, 00 for completed constructions
or the number of days remaining for completion.
The remaining bytes are for your base stores, eg.
Byte 95 is the number of engineers
Byte 96 is the number of scientists
4b The saved alien containment file
From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Michael Lewchuk)
Okay guys, wanna edit your save files so that you get a commander/leader
or whatever the game decided died off even though you had PLENTY of
I've been playing with ASTORE.DAT and it seems to be the right file.
Aliens are stored starting at offset X'0C' (12) and each alien takes
up X'18' (24) bytes. The first 3 bytes are important. They are:
Alien race, alien profession, unknown - probably alien containment unit #
or which base the alien is at or something. The numbers are:
Race: 01 - Sectoid, 02: snakeman, 03: ethereal, 04: muton, 05:floater
06: celatid, 07:silacoid, 08:chryssalid, 09:reaper, 0a:sectapod, 0b:cyberdisk
Profession: 01:commander, 02:leader, 03:engineer, 04:medic, 05:navigator
06: soldier 07: terrorist
Values of 00 00 mean "no alien". All other values, including 00 xx and xx 00
and values of 8 or higher for profession, or 0c or higher for race, result in
rather weird errors (like an alien being classed as a Chryssalid cyberdisk or
a Muton UFO Power Source).
Once an alien gets researched, its race changes to 00. It is possible that
the cleanup routine has problems with it, but the alien allocation routine
certainly does. I attacked a base and suddenly an alien in transit was
changed from a "sectoid navigator" to an "alien navigator" - race was gone.
4c Diplomacy file
From: email@example.com (Michael Lewchuk)
Diplomacy file (incomplete):
A series of 18 words of 2 bytes each for each country. Offsets listed
below. When using debug add Hex 100 to each number.
USA 000 Russia 024 UK 048 France 06C Germany 090 Italy 0B4
Spain 0D8 China 0FC Japan 120 India 124 Brazil 168 Australia 18C
Nigeria 1B0 South Africa 1D4 Egypt 1F8 Canada 11C
1 - unknown
2 - status (00-pact, 01-?, 02-?, 03-paying member)
3 - current funding $
4 - unknown, probably a funding field
5 - unknown, probably a funding field
6-13 - unknown
14 - previous month's funding
15 - Net change
16 - 01 - pact, 00 - no pact THIS MONTH. Will change word 02 to "pact" and
cut funding AT THE END OF THIS MONTH.
17 - unknown
18 - unknown