Alien Research (Long War)

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Alien Research increases the power of the alien air and ground forces in a variety of ways. Specifically:

The aliens gain one point of research every day; this ensures a baseline progression for the aliens that can't be halted or stopped short of ending the campaign. That said, aliens can also gain Bonus Research via a variety of other methods, so under-performing at the strategic or tactical level can accelerate their progression.

The formula for research points is: Alien Research = Bonus Research (if greater than 0) + Days Passed

iMonth

Alien Research directly correlates to an internal variable called iMonth. Each 28 points of Alien Research (Base + Bonus) increases the iMonth counter by 1.

iMonth = Alien Research / 28, rounded down.

iMonth is directly used to calculate the aliens that can appear in missions.

Bonus Research

Bonus Research starts at -90, and while it remains negative it has no effect - alien development will progress as normal. It can be increased by the following events:

  • +2 per month per country under alien control
  • +20 for successful raid on XCOM HQ
  • +1 for a non-air-raiding UFO that takes no damage on a mission
  • +1 (50% chance) for a non-air-raiding UFO that takes less than 50% damage on a mission
  • +3 for a successful research mission by a landed Scout
  • +5 for a successful research mission by a landed Raider
  • +8 for a successful research mission by a landed Abductor
  • +10 for a successful research mission by a landed Terror Ship
  • +1 per lost XCOM soldier on a failed mission (killed or left behind)
  • -15 per successful assault on an Alien Base
  • +50 per incorrect accusation of a country of harboring the EXALT base

Pod Size

The number of aliens allowed in each pod is directly dependent upon current Alien Research:

  • Small (Research >0): 2-4 aliens per pod
  • Medium (Research > 120): 3-6 aliens per pod
  • Large (Research > 240): 4-8 aliens per pod

Alien Progression

Air Forces

All UFOs gain an additional 75 HP, 8 damage and 2 aim (capped at 95% of accuracy) for every 30 points of alien research, to a maximum of 960 points. Some UFOs will also gain upgraded weapons over time:

UFO Weapon Upgrades
UFO Initial Weapon Upgraded Weapon Alien Research
Fighter 1x Single Plasma 2x Single Plasma 330
Raider 1x Single Plasma 2x Single Plasma 570
Destroyer 1x Single Plasma 1x Double Plasma 270
Abductor 1x Double Plasma 1x Double Plasma
1x Single Plasma
390
Terror Ship 1x Double Plasma 1x Double Plasma
1x Single Plasma
390
Assault Carrier 1x Double Plasma
1x Single Plasma
2x Double Plasma ???

See also

Head red 2.png Long War: Aliens 
Aliens

Alien Life FormsAlien MissionsAlien DeploymentAlien ArtifactsAlien ResearchAlien ResourcesUFOsXCOM Threat