Defending Mega Primus from Evil Space Aliens, a Beginner's Guide

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Getting Started With X-COM 3

This page is a rough guide based on my first few weeks with X-COM 3.

The names of the following sections are just filler for the time being.

Early Game

Things that are new from X-COM 1 and 2

Before you start

  • Map scumming

Week 1

I Want Some Action Now!
  • Skip to alien encounters or stun raids

Day 1

  • Think about how to make your base easier to defend.
  • Look around for buildings you'd buy for future bases. Having a well organized set of bases can make things a lot easier. Aliens are not your biggest enemy in the game, organization is. :)
  • Buy hoverbikes and outfit them with lasers, which are the most cost effective weapon early on. Their starting guns are decent, but using lasers will save you some money, provided they don't get shot down. Also, capturing UFOs is important...
  • Sell all your land vehicles and extra craft weaponry.
  • Assign researchers
  • Construct buildings: You'll need biology labs initially, once you get a bio transport module, there will be a lot of aliens to research. Physicists will not be needed until Week 2 when transporter UFOs start to show up, though you can hire some to stock up on them because there are only so many scientists available for hire each day. Be aware you'll have to pay salary for them at the end of the week though.
  • Stun raiding for practice and money is a good idea, if you don't consider it cheating. It will give you some time to get familiar with the combat engine in a safe environment as well as give you some extra cash. Be careful not to overdo your stun raids though. Keeping your overall tactical score to a reasonable level will prevent you from facing powerful alien weapons before you're ready.
  • Equip your soldiers. Dual machine guns and snipers work well. Motion sensors are handy too.
  • Dealing with brainsuckers: order your soldiers to lie down... (there's a possible bug where some of them won't lie down however).
  • This first mission: There is one building already infiltrated by the alients. You can fast forward in time and reload to figure out which building this is and raid them before the get established and spread. Send a lone android to deal with the brainsuckers.

Day 2 onwards

  • Dealing with UFOs: Capturing UFO type 3 is important so make sure you don't blow them all up. After capturing them though, you have the option of using heavier weapons such as janitor missiles if you prefer to blow them up and avoid a ground mission.

Week 2

  • New UFO types appear. Having a Valkyrie or other large air transport is very important at this point if you want to be able to capture Type 3 and above UFOs. You can use a hovercar, but this limits you to sending four soldiers to each UFO capture mission. Also, hovercars do not have room for both cargo and bio-transport modules, which means you'll sacrifice either items or the chance to collect extra aliens.

Mid Game

Late Game

Tips and Tricks

Getting Organized

Stun Grapple Raids

  • Raid the gangs for cash.
  • Raid Marsec for power swords and flight armor.
  • Other groups you can raid for fun.
  • Raiding party size
  • Knocking everyone unconscious is the quickest way to get all the items.
  • Establishing a separate base to raid from.

Raiding the Cult of Sirus

Research Tree Snafus

  • Research projects you must not miss

Base Layout

Base Defense

Spawning areas

  • Scientists / Engineers (and perhaps your soldiers) spawn with less frequency in empty corridors.