Strategy (Long War)

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Long War's economy is very different to vanilla. While launching satellites will increase your income, satellite spam is not the answer to all your problems like it is in vanilla. Satellite uplinks give only one satellite per uplink plus adjacency and satellites are more expensive, so the cost of increasing your satellite coverage is much higher. The extra income you gain from each satellite is lower, since a country will already fund you 50% without a satellite. Your satellite network must be protected by interceptors, and interceptor maintenance is expensive - in fact it's likely your single biggest expenditure each month. Even with good interceptor coverage, eventually the aliens will get annoyed enough to send battleships after your satellites, so you will need to occasionally replace them. With all of these factors combined, launching more satellites will only marginally increase your income. You can improve this aspect of your income by thinking about efficiency - cover high income countries and cover whole continents to improve the efficiency of your interceptor placement. Prioritising aerospace research will also help, since it will allow you to reliably shoot down UFOs with fewer interceptors and less damage taken, meaning less interceptors needed and less maintenance.

A large amount of your income will come from the sale of alien artifacts. Long War presents you with a lot of missions, which means a lot of alloys, elerium and corpses to sell - chances are you'll have considerably more of these things than you can sensibly use in the early game. While satellites don't give you so much direct income, the extra UFOs you can assault with more satellite coverage will mean more artifacts to sell, and hence more income indirectly.

In fact, with the Foundry projects that increase the amount of Alloys and Elerium you recover from raided UFOs: if you can confidently do so with regularity, particulary with landed Barges, selling the two can be an extra means of income. And with an array of Workshops giving you refunds on them on projects, it is not too difficult to reach a sustainable balance between selling and using, even with the occasional Council request giving additional personel and credits in exchange. In contrast, you may find that Meld may become hard to come by if you're doing "too well", so selling it or giving it by Request should not be done.


The two main sources of panic in the Long War are Terror Missions, where an excellent mission only minimizes the Panic raise that will occur, and public UFO sightings in uncovered countries.

For satellite coverage, since Uplink and Nexus capacity has been halved, you'll need more to fully cover all Council nations. The ideal satellite facility configuration is now a 2x3 block, with 4 Uplinks and 2 Nexi; this will allow you to cover 15 countries, which is all you really need since one country will defect in the first month (though you can liberate it). Still, coverage as soon as possible is ideal, so at least you can manage any smaller craft that come into covered airspace and temper down panic. Even if you can't shoot down the larger UFOs, even intercepting them will reduce the panic increase. But try to keep some extra satellites in reserve, for when the inevitable Battleship comes for your satellites.


Due to the fact that aliens can now conduct research themselves, it is recommended to have a general direction towards which to focus your efforts in order not to fall too far behind them and avoid researching projects that may not prove immediately necessary at the present moment.

With the way fatigue and injury are handled in Long War, armor becomes a much more valuable asset to your troops as only hits that manage to successfully penetrate a soldier's armor can grant him a vacation in your sickbay. Skipping Laser Weaponry entirely is not recommended on higher difficulties unless especial care is taken to maximize scientists through Council Requests and Satelite Coverage in addition to having a healthy amount of laboratories, as the both the accuracy bonus and damage are highly desireable in the early stages of the game. Even later on, handing a Rocketeer a Laser Carbine may even be better than having him use advanced weaponry as this improves his ability to hit bullseye with his launcher and results in less scatter.

Furthermore, it is very important to put research effort into your airspace capabilities if you wish to preserve your satellite coverage. When given the choice whether to buy additional Interceptors or upgrade existing ones through foundry projects, weaponry or even temporary boosters, it is almost always recommended to go for the latter. The more UFO's you are able to successfully shoot down with your Interceptors, the more materials and money you will be able to salvage in the long run.

The pace at which the aliens conduct research is dictated both by difficulty level and player action. Soldiers that are MIA (left behind) at the end of a mission will significantly boost alien research and should at all times be avoided unless if by doing so more are likely to meet the same fate. As of Beta 14, this will still be in effect, albeit in a much lesser fashion (1/4 of its original value). To date it has been impossible for the strategy game to distinguish a live one from an MIA, so a corpse provides less bonus research than a live capture (sort of a parallel to XCOM corpse and capture research). If you lose a soldier but win the mission, the aliens don't get research.

They don't gain research for shooting down an interceptor.

They don't gain research for shooting down a satellite.

They do gain a little research for each non-air raid UFO that escapes undamaged.

They have a chance to gain a little research if a UFO escapes lightly damaged.

They gain a good bit of research if a landed UFO on a research mission is not defeated.