Slingshot DLC (EU2012)

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Available as of December 4th 2012, the Slingshot pack is the second DLC pack released for XCOM: Enemy Unknown. It offers three new council missions, a unique soldier, extra achievements, and additional soldier customisation options.

With Slingshot installed, when the first council mission of the game is triggered you'll be prompted whether you wish to use the Slingshot missions or the default random set. If you do not accept the use of the Slingshot missions at that point, you'll continue to be prompted with the choice whenever a new council mission comes up.

In Enemy Within, it is no longer the only council missions you retrieve – You can now get others in-between, or before due to Friends in Low Places being scripted into April rather than March


Zhang Face2.png Friends in Low Places Shaojie Zhang, a Triad operative from China, has decided to defect to XCOM and is requesting pickup. He brings with him a mysterious briefcase containing alien technology.

Zhang must be escorted to the extraction zone through a graveyard. Completing this mission sees Zhang join XCOM as a Heavy Class Lieutenant. Opposition consists of Thin Men, Sectoids and a Chryssalid. (See Note)

Note: The Chryssalid is replaced with a Muton on Impossible for EU and Classic and Impossible for EW. It is also replaced if you undertake the mission later into the campaign no matter the difficulty.
Confounding Light.png Confounding Light The equipment provided by Zhang proves to be navigational aids for an alien battleship approaching China. XCOM must plant these beacons on a train to send it off-course.

This mission plays very similar to bomb disposal, in that your units must "activate" transponders on the train before finally heading to the engine cabin and having it leave the station. There is a time limit of 10 turns (which is not extended as you proceed). Opposition consists of Thin Men and Mutons.

Gangplank.png Gangplank The alien battleship has been brought low, and XCOM plans to capture the whole thing from the air. Your squad must move through the ship, disabling its engines to bring it to the ground with minimal damage. This can either be done in a manner similar to bomb diffusing or via the use of explosives.

Completion of this mission nets you a large amount of resources in return, some of which are not otherwise available until much later in the game. Of note is the Fusion Core required for certain advanced research projects. Opposition mostly consists of Sectoids, Thin Men and Chryssalids, though a Cyberdisc and Muton will also appear.


This DLC can bring a number of changes to early-game progress & decision-making:

  • If accepted, the 3 Slingshot missions replace all other Council Missions until completion.
    • None of them offer Panic Reduction as a reward, and the rewards themselves are fixed (not altered by the Second Wave option, High Stakes). Keep that in mind when abductions occur, particularly in Asia.
  • In Classic and Impossible (on vanilla EU, not the EW DLC), rescuing Zhang in the first month unlocks the ability to build the Officer Training School, as he will probably be the first to have the required level.
    • Thus, with luck and some micromanaging, it's possible to unlock both Squad Size upgrades before the second mission, making it significantly easier.
  • As the first Slingshot mission will be the third or fourth mission you receive overall (in vanilla EU), and Zhang himself is a reward as a stat-boosted Heavy: you may not want to get attached to any Rookie that gets promoted into a Heavy beforehand. In fact, if you don't mind save scumming at the end of the first mission, you may want to allow a weak-willed soldier become the first Heavy, so you can swap them out for a soldier you do want to raise, such as leveling a Sniper or two to get Squadsight (which would make the second Slingshot mission much easier).
  • Mutons equipped with Plasma Rifles appear in all three missions (difficulty-dependent in the first one): a capture/interrogation can give you an early lead on Plasma weaponry, months before Mutons normally appear (with Light Plasma Rifles)--- if you have Alien Containment and the Arc Thrower available first.
    • If playing with the Marathon option, this can lead to a massive head start, if Scientists and Laboratories are acquired early.
    • If you cannot/are not interested in a capture, then the Muton corpses can go to the Ammo Conservation Foundry project. You'll need 7 corpses total: one for the Autopsy to unlock the project, and 6 more to complete it. Don't forget that you do get the corpse after an interrogation, so there's no reason not to go for at least 1 capture.
      • Friends in Low Places: 1 appears in Impossible in EU, Classic or Impossible in EW.
      • Confounding Light: up to 5 in Classic and Impossible.
      • Gangplank: 1 on all difficulties.
    • If you wish to change the difficulty to alter the number of Mutons, you must do so before the mission appears on the Hologlobe (You can change it back once you arrive on-site).
  • The first mission has a reward of §200, and selling some of the captured materials from the third can provide a significant credit resource early in the game.


Main article: Achievements (EU2012)
Image Name Description Xbox Gamerscore PS3 Trophy Notes
The following five achievements require the Slingshot DLC.
New Friend (EU2012).jpg
New Friend
Complete Friends in Low Places. 10 Bronze
Bait the Hook (EU2012).jpg
Bait the Hook
Complete Confounding Light. 10 Bronze
The Bigger They Are (EU2012).jpg
The Bigger They Are
Complete Gangplank. 20 Silver
Rising Dragon (EU2012).jpg
Rising Dragon
Take your new ally into the final challenge. 30 Gold Shaojie Zhang must attend the final mission of the campaign, but does not need to be The Volunteer. To make him more viable for endgame, purchase OTS's Iron Will before leveling him. Using the Second Wave option, "Hidden Potential", can also give him bigger stat increases, thus making him even more viable.
All Aboard (EU2012).jpg
All Aboard!
Complete Confounding Light with three or more turns left. 30 Silver Not all aliens need to be killed: simply place the 4 transmitters, and get 1 soldier into the train conductor's cabin.

Unit Customisation

The Slingshot pack includes alternate forms of all XCOM armors, hats for the default body armour, helmets for all the others and a few additional hairstyles too.



Additional Notes

  • The initial release of the Slingshot DLC revealed a bug where previously saved games could no longer be loaded. This has since been resolved.
  • The appearance of the unique unit, Shaojie Zhang, cannot be modified. This block also applies to the appearance of his armour.
  • Although this DLC gives very early access to the otherwise late-game Fusion Core, the time spent researching it could be better spent on other projects at that stage of the game.
  • Slingshot armours and helmets may be tinted to different colours with the Elite Soldier Pack installed. They are available at all times, so long as you have access to the base forms of those armours and regardless as to whether you've performed the Slingshot council missions.
  • By default, the files for this DLC are stored at: C:\Program Files\Steam\steamapps\common\XCom-Enemy-Unknown\XComGame\DLC\PCConsole\DLC_Day060

See Also