Dynamic War (Long War)

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Dynamic was is a Second Wave option which replaces the Marathon option from Enemy Within. It allows scaling of how long a campaign takes by scaling the number of alien missions per month. Many other things are scaled accordingly. It includes a new alien strategic AI, scaled number of alien missions and adjusted economy. By default, selecting this option generates 50% of number of missions that standard Long War would, but this can be adjusted with a setting in the LongWar.ini file which is 0.5f at default, for half the amount of alien missions. Values below 0.2f and above 2f are not advised, but even with extreme scaling some unbalanced shortcomings of the scaling can be overcome by editing other settings in .ini files.

Things that scale with Dynamic War

  • Alien missions: Number of alien missions per month scales, but not the number of EXALT or council missions per month.
  • Resources gathered: Resources such as credits/alloys/elerium/meld gathered per mission.
  • Xp per mission: however at very low scales, the Xp per mission hits a cap.
  • Fatigue & injury: timers scale.
  • Stay frosty this perk allows officers to reduce fatigue by one "point". This deduction is applied before Dynamic War scaling.
  • Weapon fragments required: the amount of weapon fragments required for things scales.
  • Alien artefacts required: Alien artefacts for research, rewards, etc.
  • Alien corpses required: for research, rewards, etc.
  • Item repair: the repair times in the Repair Bay scale.

Things that don't scale with Dynamic War


  • EXALT missions: Number of EXALT missions per month. The same amount of clues is required to locate EXALT headquarters. The player therefore gets the same amount of missions per month as without Dynamic War enabled. This puts an unbalanced strain on the soldier roster when playing at higher speed.
  • Council missions: The number of council missions per month doesn't scale.
  • Xp per mission beyond cap: there's a maximum Xp a soldier can earn per mission, up to a level per soldier.
  • Weapons captures from enemies: you still get one weapon per captured alien but the opportunities to catch enemies do scale (except for exalt and council missions). This is unbalanced. Exalt weapons form an exception because the amount of exalt missions doesn't scale.
  • The amount of randomness: in a default "double speed" scaling you can get more unlucky with more missions shortly after each other with an exhausted soldier roster. In contrast, a good mission, for example where you grab three meld canisters and lots of resources, can have a major positive effect. However there is a variable in an .ini file for how clumped up missions are. Higher numbers mean missions of each type will tend to occur on a more regular, "clockwork" basis based on alien supply and aggro. Lower numbers mean more clumping of missions, more variance in missions per month, and longer dry spells for each mission type.


  • The cost of things: the resources (credits/alloys/elerium/meld) cost of items, training, etc doesn't change. The altered income per mission is already balanced out by the altered number of missions. The exception is the cost in alien corpses and weapon fragments, which does scale. Note that the cost of things did increase in beta 15, which might be mistaken for scaling of costs because of Dynamic War.
  • Weapon fragments gathered: the amount of weapon fragments gathered from missions does not scale, but the amount of weapon fragments required for things does scale.
  • Artefacts gathered: The amount of alien artefacts rewarded per mission doesn't scale, but the cost in artefacts of research, items, etc. is scaled.
  • Aliens gathered: The amount of alien corpses and live aliens gathered per mission doesn't scale, but the cost in corpses of research, items, etc. is scaled.
  • Base building: base facilities building times and power required do not change.
  • Exalt weapon captures: because the number of exalt missions doesn't scale, you get the same opportunities for exalt weapon captures.