Mission Types

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There are a number of different Mission Types that can occur during you campaign against the aliens, and while there are a large number of similarities between them in the way they work, each has at least some moderate differences that are likely to require tactical adjustment, and a few require fairly radical changes in the way you go about things.

Mission Variants

These missions become available whenever you shoot down a UFO over land without destroying it during a UFO Interception.
You can assault a landed UFO from the ground, as long as you can get your strike team there before it takes off. If it hasn't landed yet, have a Skyranger tail it so you'll be ready for when it does.
The aliens will regularly attempt these missions in an attempt to pull your teams into a fight where you cannot afford a slow and patient attack plan.
Occasionally the Aliens will try to set up local bases on Earth, if they do you can opt to go in and flush them out.
If you are doing well, and shooting down lots of UFOs, the aliens will come searching for your base every now and then. If they find it, you may find you get visitors to your base - and they are a bit more worrying than Jehovah's Witnesses.
Eventually you can research a way to defeat the alien threat, and go and engage them on their home soil.

General Tips

UFO Badge X-COM: Enemy Unknown/UFO Defense
Mission Types:Crashed UFOLanded UFOTerror SiteAlien BaseBase DefenceCydonia