Starting a Mission (Apocalypse)

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Starting A Mission

Unlike the first two X-COM games, Apocalypse allows the player to initiate tactical missions freely. You can choose to RAID any building or SEARCH it for an alien presence. However, if no aliens are detected during a search, then a tactical mission will not start.

Moving Agents To A Building

You can move an agent(s) to a building by using vehicles, or you can let them walk there by using the people tubes. To assign Agents to a vehicle - select the X-COM Vehicles bar, select the vehicle, click the Vehicle/Locations button, highlight one or more Agents by dragging across their names, then drag the square icon of one of the highlighted Agents onto the square icon of the vehicle, and release. Then, back on the Vehicles bar, select the vehicle and click the Go To Building button. For a more detailed explanation, consult your X-COM Apocalypse game manual.

Tip: Don't ever unload troops at the mission site. To select which agents go into a mission, just highlight them before picking the attack or investigate button or click on the vehicle name to select them all. Don't drag them off the vehicle and into the building itself, it's not necessary. Get into this habit - always.

The reason why will become incredibly apparent if you play long enough to do an alien dimension building. The moment you complete the mission, the alien building will collapse and your ship will take off automatically (as per standard practice). However, the kicker is that you'll never be able to land at the building site again. This will result in forever stranding any troops that did not get killed by the building crashing down around them.

Searching a Building

Searching a building is used to look for aliens. It is automatic once you have initiated it and it won't start a tactical mission unless aliens have been found within the building.

Searching carries two small risks:

  1. If you selected too few agents to scan the building expecting not to find anything, your agents may be overwhelmed if aliens are found.

    It is recommended that when selecting the agents to go into the mission, select the vehicle title to select everyone on the ship as opposed to the individual agents. If any agents that were not mean to be included appear in the battle, they can step off the map at the exit points that you normally start next to.
  2. If there are no alien forces present, X-COM's relations with the corporation will deteriorate slightly due to the search disturbing the peace within the building.

Raiding A Building

Raiding is used to cause damage to the internal structure of the building, to injure/kill the security forces present and to steal anything you can find. Raiding immediately starts a tactical mission and is a good way train troops - as long as they don't die.

Raiding a corporation and causing damage to the building or its guards will cause it to become more hostile towards X-COM. The corporation's allies will also be angered by X-COM's actions.

Openly attacking enemy guards will cause them to instantly become hostile if any of their hit points are lost. Hit points lost through their own fault or through indirect damage such as fall damage will not be counted. Indirect damage to any guard while under X-COM mind control will initiate the hostilities.

If the aliens are present inside the building when it is raided, there is a very likely chance that they will appear during the raid, forcing you to contend with a mixture of aliens and guards. Guards are also likely to appear when searching premises owned by hostile organizations.

Advanced Search And Raid

  • If an organisation is under alien control, searching for aliens does not always start a tactical mission. And, raiding a building will sometimes involve fighting aliens and security forces.
  • If you are raiding a building and you do not destroy or kill anyone, then the corporation does not become hostile. To end this tactical mission, you must either stun everyone or retreat from the map via the blue exit squares or press ESC. Keep in mind that any form of damage to the building will be noticed, even if you are not responsible.
  • Multiple raids do not affect a corporation's ability to equip its security forces with weapons. It only angers them more and if you are successful, it gives you something to sell and gives you an increased score at the end of the month.
  • Only works with air vehicles: Immediately after the completion of a tactical mission, you can click the building again and find that your agents and vehicles are still present at the building. You can do multiple raids before the vehicle actually clears the launch tube.

Vehicular Attacks

Using vehicles to attack a building before going in for a raid or search does not affect the floor plan of the tactical mission, nor does it affect the potency of its security forces. All it does it anger the corporation and cause it to launch defenders. It also decrease you score at the end of the month due to city damage.

Note: it is possible to flatten a building that you can no longer perform searches or raids. Launch tubes can also be destroyed to prevent ships from landing or taking off. Do not rely on this all the time as some extreme cases allow enemy ships to launch directly off the ground.

The First Mission

As soon as you start the game you'll have work to do. There is an alien infestation in one of the buildings. If you select the Ultra-Fast time speed, then it will appear as an Alien Alert and the building will be circled on the overhead map.

Unless you save and reload, there is no way you can guess the location of the first mission. Searching for the site will be counter productive and may cause unneeded hostility between the companies.

The first mission can be troublesome (Brainsuckers!) or it can be extremely easy.


Equip all your agents with any available projectile weapons and spare clips (armour is optional). Place them onto the Valkyrie and go to Alien Alert when it appears. Once it starts, direct your fire onto the Brainsuckers as they approach. If a pod lands at/near your agent's feet, quickly access their inventory and pick up the pod. Doing so will stop the pod from bursting open. Hang onto the pods or hatch them in a controlled manner. You do not have any means of capturing live aliens at this stage, so kill all of the aliens.

Extremely Easy

Hire one Android, if available. Equip this robot with a weapon. Grenades and armour are optional. Send this one agent to the alien alert. After the mission starts, run around the map and find the brainsuckers. Since your android does not have a brain, brainsuckers pose no threat whatsoever, and since the Anthropods are carrying brainsucker launchers, they cannot harm your agent. Shoot all aliens at point blank range to conserve ammo.

Warnings About First Mission

  • If your score total is higher than 1000 before you start this mission (from raiding), some aliens might carry disruptor guns.
  • a score above 2500 before you start: aliens can use boomeroids.
  • score above 8000: devastators, vortex, shields.
  • above 25000: devastators, entropy, dimension, teleporters, cloak, shields, vortex.

Searching your own buildings

Sometimes, alerts can appear in your own buildings if an alien drop site is close to or directly in one of your buildings. You can investigate (but not raid) your own buildings as you would any other buildings owned by other organisations.

If aliens are detected, you will initiate a mission. If not, there will be no relation penalty as you are searching your own premises. You also cannot anger yourself by causing damage in your own buildings.

This also applies to any non-base X-COM owned buildings, such as the X-COM Recyclotorium on the superhuman city map.