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Squadron Unleashed, or Squadron Unleashed 2 is a Long War mod by szmind which greatly enhances the air game. In short: multiple ships can engage UFO's, they have two weapons equipped, they can go short/long range at user's request or automatically as defined. Pilots are separated from ships, they gain experience, choose career paths, and gain unique traits. They also get experience outside combat, in the Training Center. From version 1.10, also UFO's can get escorts, meaning multiple ships engage on both sides! Basically, it should have been part of Long War in the first place, and you are missing a lot by not installing it.

You can download and also read some basic documentation here: Current version: 1.12.


It is probably true that the Mod overall gets the air game easier compared to vanilla, as you get multiple ships engaging single UFO, you get two weapons per ship, pilots get more powerful as they level up, and you get more control during the air combat. It is balanced somewhat by UFO's getting bonus Aim for Short range, ships getting Aim penalty for being damaged in combat, Credit costs for pilots (and Training Center, but you can choose to ignore that), pilots getting only +1 Aim per kill, and adding XP requirements for pilots to level up.

The Mod is highly configurable though, so for example setting UFO_HP_MODIFIER_GLOBAL=1.5 should get you roughly the vanilla difficulty.

New Aircraft Weapon

Vulcan Cannon - is available from the start, in an unlimited quantity, has stats of Phoenix Cannon but with only 75% damage and no Armor Penetration. It is a Short range weapon - it can't fire at Long range by default. This weapon is Secondary slot only, it can't fit in the Primary slot. Furthermore it is limited to 12 shots per engagement.

Game Start

You start the game with 4 Interceptors, already equipped with Avalanche Missiles in the Primary slots and Vulcan Cannons in the Secondary slots, and 4 pilots already assigned to the Interceptors.


After the Mod is properly installed, the Hangar menu appears with 4 items.

View Aircraft List

View and edit all fighter craft owned by XCOM.

This provides access to the management of XCOM air forces (ships). Possible operations:

  • Order new Interceptors Delivery time is 3 days, cost is 200 Credits (150 with NA continent bonus). It comes equipped with Avalanche Missiles and Vulcan Cannon, and no pilot assigned initially.
  • Distribution of your ships by continent There are 5 continents, each of which can have up to 6 ships. You can also transfer ships under repair, but those on rearmament cannot be moved. Transferring a ship from one continent to another takes 36 hours.
  • Selecting a specific ship opens its menu, in which you can:
    • View performance characteristic of the ship's equipped Primary and Secondary weapon, and the ship itself.
    • Re-equip both Primary and Secondary weapon - note that you cannot remove a weapon - all ships are always equipped with two weapons. Equipping Avalanche or Stingray Missiles takes 12 hours, Vulcan Cannon 6 hours, other weapons take 7 days to equip.
    • Dismiss Ship - beware that the installed weapons disappear, but the pilot will just become unassigned. You should probably never do that.
    • Change Pilot - you can assign new pilot from the Pilot Roster to the ship, or you can Remove the pilot from the ship. Note there is no rename option: ships have no names, only pilots do. All ships with no assigned pilot are just referred to as --NO PILOT ASSIGNED--.

View Pilot Roster

Manage your pilots, assign career paths, transfer between continents.

This is a list of your pilots, independent of your ships. Note there is a monthly costs of your pilots displayed in the upper part (by default each pilot costs 1 Credit per month) - this cost is NOT displayed in the View XCOM Finances menu. Possible operations:

  • Order new Pilot New pilot appears immediately, but starts working after 24 hours. The cost for hiring 1 pilot is 10 Credits (configurable). The new pilot starts at level 0 (F.O.) with zero experience and kills, and has no ship assigned.
  • Distribution of your pilots by continent There are 5 continents, each of which can have up to 10 pilots (configurable). Transferring a pilot from one continent to another takes 24 hours. Note that if you transfer a pilot which is assigned to a ship, he is first unassigned and then transferred, leaving the ship with no pilot assigned.
  • Selecting a specific pilot opens its menu, in which you can:
    • View the pilot's current stats, such as days of service, number of interceptions, total interception time, kills, experience, chosen career (at the top), current bonuses to Aim, Defense, Damage, Squadron Size (the number of ships he can command), Squadron Aim, Squadron Defense, and his Traits and their limitations if any.
    • Rename the Pilot. You can create custom names for pilots just like for soldiers. You have to confirm the rename after pressing the Close button.
    • Custom Voice There are around 17 voices to select from. You can even have female pilots!
    • Change Career. As pilots gain experience and UFO kills, they earn levels (level 0=F.O., level 1=Lt, level 2=Cpt, 3=Maj, 4=Col, 5=Cmdr). From the Lieutenant level, their air combat skills differ based on chosen career. Pilots can choose to pursue one of the three different careers: ACE, GUNNER, or LEADER. ACE is the default career. Each career focuses on different aspect of air combat: ACE focuses on Aim and Defense, GUNNER on Aim and Damage, and LEADER on Aim and Defense of the whole squadron, and squadron Size. Changing a career at Lieutenant level or later is possible, but it will mean the pilot will be unavailable for 7 days plus 7 days per level already obtained. More details on careers later.
    • Dismiss Pilot - Simply removes the pilot from the roster, saving 1 Credit per month. You should probably never do that.

Air Force HQ - Combat Tactic

Adjust combat tactics.

Here you just define how the ships behave in air combat, based on selected stance (Aggressive, Balanced, Defensive) as selected before each air engagement.

Auto-back off, Auto-abort. By default, ships will Auto-back off at 67/50/25 (DEF/BAL/AGG) percent of their HP. Backing-off means going Long range if the ship was Short range. Ships will Auto-abort (disengage from combat) at 33%/25%/10% of HP (DEF/BAL/AGG). You can define any values here, my recommendation is being a little more cautious: DEF: 70-35 BAL: 50-25 AGG: 30-15.

Start Combat Close. This means go Short range immediately at the start of combat. It is by default ON for AGG and BAL stances. Fortunately from 1.08, you can choose starting distance before engagement. Remember to always do that! Even if this is turned off and you leave "Auto" at UFO Contact screen, it actually selects distance according to DPS. If you use all Long weapons as is recommended, this will always be Close as you get small bonus Aim for Close distance. You might still want to start Long most of the time, especially against UFO Squadrons, so make sure you manually select Long distance before every engagement!

Stance Back-off Abort Start Close
Default Recommended Default Recommended Default Recommended
DEF 67% 70% 33% 35% OFF OFF
BAL 50% 50% 25% 25% ON OFF
AGG 25% 30% 10% 15% ON OFF

Air Force HQ - Training Guidelines

Adjust training guidelines.

Here you define the Training Center parameters. It has 4 parameters:

  • Training Cycle XP Bonus defines how many XP does a pilot gain per training cycle spent in the Training Center.
  • Training Cycle Duration defines how long in days the training cycle lasts.
  • Training Center Capacity defines how many pilots can train simultaneously.
  • Upper Limit of XP defines the upper XP limit a pilot can be trained to. For example, if the limit is 200 XP, bonus is 20 XP and the pilot already has 190 XP, he can train but will only gain 10 XP at the end (up to the limit) instead of 20 XP.

The first two parameters are defined by Training Programs; Training Facilities determine the Capacity, and finally Training Staff determines the XP Limit. Increasing Training Programs (level 0-4) cost Credits, increasing Training Facilities (level 0-5) costs both Credits and monthly Credits, increasing Training Staff (level 0-5) costs only monthly Credits. This can also be downgraded to save on monthly costs. Note that the total monthly Credit costs is displayed in the View XCOM Finances menu next to the Hangar item (the first item in the list).

TRAINING CENTER Level Upgrade Cost Monthly Cost XP Bonus Duration Capacity XP Limit
Training Programs 0 0 0 20 20 -- --
1 50 25 18
2 150 30 15
3 300 35 13
4 500 40 10
Training Facilities 0 0 0 -- -- 3 --
1 100 5 4
2 300 15 6
3 500 25 8
4 700 35 10
5 900 45 12
Training Staff 0 0 0 -- -- -- 200
1 20 400
2 40 700
3 60 1100
4 80 1600
5 100 2200

It is best to do any changes to the Training Center in the last day of a month, since all changes are applied only from the beginning of the next month. Also note that any ongoing training cycle uses old levels even in the new month. Only new training cycles in the new month use the new levels.

Training Center

Sign-up pilots for additional training when idle.

Here you finally sign-up pilots for training. Pilots on training can engage in air combat normally, their training will just be paused. Their training is also paused when they recover after combat (by default 1 hour only), when they are on transfer to another continent, or when they are injured.

You can remove pilots from training, but no XP is then gained. Usually there is no reason to do so.

Before Air Combat

On UFO Contact Screen, you can choose which ship or ships would engage the UFO(s). If the selected ship has no pilot assigned, you are given a choice to assign a pilot, otherwise the ship cannot be used. The maximum number of ships for current engagement is defined by the best Squadron Size parameter of selected pilots.

Ship Card

There are 3 buttons on a ship card:

  • Stance: DEF, BAL, AGG. As in vanilla Long War, this defines whether the ship prioritizes UFO destruction (AGG) or safety (DEF). Basically, DEF means -15 Aim but +20% Dodge (20% chance to change hit into miss), AGG means +15 Aim but 25% chance to change miss into hit (recommended to change to this to 20% in the configuration (AGG_JET_FORCE_HIT_CHANCE) to keep symmetry). Stances have also defined maximum hit chance that can ever be achieved - this is 75%/85%/95% DEF/BAL/AGG.
  • Weapons used. Use both, only Primary, or only Secondary. Well, the author says that disabling a weapon might lead to longer engagement leading to more XP, or that disabling high damage weapon would increase the chance of UFO not being destroyed but shot down, or that by going EMP Cannon only means less alien artifacts will be destroyed. While all this is true, the main goal in every engagement is to outgun and destroy the UFO as fast as possible while suffering ideally no damage to your ships. So you should definitely always use both your weapons, no exceptions.
  • Distance. Select the ship's starting distance. Can be Short, Long, or Auto. Auto sets the starting distance according to better DPS, if the Start Close option is off. This will actually always be Close if you use the recommended vanilla LW weapons balance. Beware Close range ships are primary UFO targets and even get targeted by the whole UFO squadrons with bonus aim! So remember to set this before every engagement!


Ship type, equipped weapons, stance, and Defense stat all contribute to the ship's Aggro stat, which is also displayed on the ship's card, next to ship's other stats like DPS, Aim, Defense. How exactly is Aggro computed is explained in the documentation and tutorials. The UFO will target a ship that is Close (=Short range), then one with highest Aggro.


One of the pilots in the squadron may be designed as Leader, indicated by a golden star. This pilot then provides bonuses to Aim, Defense, and possibly also contact time to the whole squadron. If you select another pilot who can provide better bonuses, then this pilot will become the new Leader. However, even without a designated Leader, the squadron works just fine, only there will be no squadron bonuses. Unlike Squadron Unleashed 1, the UFO will not target the Leader particularly, as it has other preferences (distance and Aggro). If the Leader aborts or is shot down though, the bonuses are lost. Note that despite there may be another pilot who allows for bigger squadron size, the Leader will be the one who provides best squadron bonuses.

UFO Stance

UFO also picks a stance, randomly. You are informed about the UFO's stance on UFO Contact Screen, along with other UFO information (number, location, altitude, size, type, HP, escorts). Aggressive UFO is more dangerous - expect higher than normal risk of getting damaged. It increases the engagement time by 50%. Defensive UFO has lower damage potential but is also harder to shoot down. The engagement time is reduced by 33%.

After everything is set, press the Launch Fighter(s) button to start engagement.

During Air Combat

In vanilla Long War, the only thing you can do during Air Combat is to use Modules or Abort the engagement entirely.

In Squadron Unleashed 2, you can also manage the ship's distance. Select the ship by clicking it, then double click to change distance from Long to Short or vice versa. Alternatively, use Up/Down keys to select ship then Left/Right keys to change distance. Ships will also change distance automatically (basically just go Long) based on the settings in Combat Tactics. Space or Enter keys abort. Aborting is valid for the active ship only; the engagement continues until either party is destroyed/shot down or if all ships aborted. Modules are used by all ships.

If a ship is shot down by the UFO, it is destroyed together with both its weapons. However, the pilot can survive. The chance is 50% at F.O. +5% for each pilot level, but Cmdrs survive always. If the pilot survives, there is another 50% chance that he will be injured - thus unavailable for both training and combat - for 14 days.

Generally you should avoid losing your ships, especially if equipped with expensive weapons. It is always better to Abort the engagement and let the UFO go, than risk losing your ship. Beware that especially large UFO's can critically hit and almost one-shot your Interceptors, so losing one is sometimes unavoidable.

Weapons Rebalance

In Squadron Unleashed, by default all air weapons are hugely rebalanced. They get somewhat random bonuses or penalties by going Short or Long distance, can fit to only Primary or only Secondary weapon slot, or have limited ammo. In the recommended (or alternate) configuration, we try to preserve the original Long War air weapons balance.

Long vs Short Distance

In vanilla Long War, you have no control over the distance, as it plays literally no role there. It is selected automatically based on the equipped weapon.

  • Short Range Weapons are: Vulcan Cannon, Phoenix Cannon, Laser Cannon, EMP Cannon.
  • Long Range Weapons are: Avalanche Missiles, Stingray Missiles, Plasma Cannon, Fusion Lance.
  • UFO Weapons do equally well at both ranges.

Now distance is of critical importance in Squadron Unleashed. By default, UFO's get huge +20 Aim bonus towards Short range ships, making Short range weapons severely disadvantaged. Not only that, but also the fact that Short range weapons cannot shoot Long range at all (hardcoded), while Long range weapons can always shoot Short: they either get a penalty to Aim or sometimes even a bonus Aim. With the default setup, you might quite often see your ships playing sitting ducks not shooting at all, just taking damage. You don't want this to happen at all. I think the weapons are pretty well balanced in vanilla LW - no need for such drastic changes.

Thus I recommend to change the defaults, so that all weapons are Long range, making sure they can fire. They will all fire with no penalty at Long range. The player can then decide to go close with any weapon for an Aim bonus, at the cost of being targeted by UFO(s) with the same bonus! This way the vanilla balance between weapons is maintained, still the player has a choice to switch ranges.

For Vulcan Cannon though, as it was added and it will never be the only weapon, let's make an exception and leave it as the only Short range weapon, which cannot fire long.

Primary vs Secondary

In the default settings, some weapons fit only Primary slot, while others fit only Secondary slot, with the exception of Plasma Cannon, which fits both slots. There is no reason for such restrictions, with some exceptions:

  • The Vulcan Cannon is hard-coded for Secondary slot only.
  • The starting Avalanche and Stingray Missiles should go to Primary slot only, otherwise the Vulcan Cannon would serve no purpose - why not go double Avalanche then? The early game would then be unbalanced.
  • The Fusion Lance is Primary only; it's a very late game and also very rare weapon which would be a waste to fit into Secondary slot and also way too powerful to fit both. It is so large that a ship - Firestorm only - can only carry one such weapon, that makes sense.
  • All other weapons should fit both slots, as there is no reason for them not to.

There are two configuration parameters worth mentioning here: XCOM_DMG_MODIFIER_GLOBAL and SECONDARY_WPN_DMG_MOD. As now all weapons can fit Primary slot (except the added Vulcan), the Secondary slot can be thought as simply unnecessary additional weapon, doing only half damage. You may as well leave the Vulcan Cannon there for the whole game for all ships not using the Secondary slot at all. It would simply serve as an added bonus for going close. Or use it only when you can afford it. After all, the weapons are quite expensive for all ships to have two. To balance this out, we leave the global modifier at 1.

Parameter Value
Default Recommended


So, you can run out of ammo by default. Then what? One would expect an automatic Abort, so the ship is not a sitting duck. We really don't want that. Unfortunately with the default settings, we get a sitting duck. I think the concept of air weapons ammo is really an unnecessary addition. Now some weapons have limited ammo, some unlimited. If we want to stick with Long War weapon balance, limited ammo makes it impossible to achieve, so we set all ammo to unlimited.

Let's make an exception for Vulcan Cannon though, as it's not present in vanilla, it's never the only weapon equipped, it's basically just a bonus to going close, so we leave it with its 12 ammo.

Recommended Config Settings

Weapon Weapon Slot Distance iAimMod iAimModClose Ammo
Default Recommended Default Recommended Default Recommended Default Recommended Default Recommended
Vulcan Secondary Secondary short short 0 0 0 0 12 12
Avalanche Primary Primary long long 0 -15 5
Stingray Primary Primary long 0 -15 5
Phoenix Secondary Both short 0 0 10
Laser Secondary Both short 0 0
Plasma Both Both long -20 20 15
EMP Secondary Both short 0 0
Fusion Primary Primary long 0 20 12
UFO N/A long 0 20

iAimMod is an Aim modifier under all circumstances. iAimModClose is Aim modifier when the ship is Short range. So at Short range, these bonuses stack. We then set AIM_BONUS_CLOSE_DISTANCE_GLOBAL=5. With recommended settings, this will be applied to all weapons except Vulcan for close range.

So here is the recommended weapons table. You can copy-paste it to your config file (DefaultSquadronUnleashed.ini).

AIM_BONUS_CLOSE_DISTANCE_GLOBAL=5		;applied to ALL non-short-distance weapons at close range, including UFO weapons

;Vulcan Cannon: short range - will NEVER fit primary slot (ignores bPrimary setting) - this is hardcoded to avoid CTDs and overall bugs with "none" primary weapon
ShipWeapons=(iWeaponType=0,  bPrimary=FALSE, bSecondary=TRUE,  bClose=true,  iAmmo=12, RearmHours=6,  iAimMod=0, iAimModClose=0, iCritChanceMod=0, fDmgMod=0.0, iDmgMod=0, fCritDmgMod=0.0, iCritDmgMod=0)
;Phoenix: short range
ShipWeapons=(iWeaponType=1,  bPrimary=TRUE,  bSecondary=TRUE,  bClose=false, iAmmo=-1, RearmHours=0,  iAimMod=0, iAimModClose=0, iCritChanceMod=0, fDmgMod=0.0, iDmgMod=0, fCritDmgMod=0.0, iCritDmgMod=0)
;Stingray: long range
ShipWeapons=(iWeaponType=2,  bPrimary=TRUE,  bSecondary=FALSE, bClose=false, iAmmo=-1, RearmHours=12, iAimMod=0, iAimModClose=0, iCritChanceMod=0, fDmgMod=0.0, iDmgMod=0, fCritDmgMod=0.0, iCritDmgMod=0)
;Avalanche: long range - will ALWAYS fit primary slot (ignores bPrimary setting) - this is hardcoded cause new ships have this as starting weapon
ShipWeapons=(iWeaponType=3,  bPrimary=TRUE,  bSecondary=FALSE, bClose=false, iAmmo=-1, RearmHours=12, iAimMod=0, iAimModClose=0, iCritChanceMod=0, fDmgMod=0.0, iDmgMod=0, fCritDmgMod=0.0, iCritDmgMod=0)
;Laser: short range
ShipWeapons=(iWeaponType=4,  bPrimary=TRUE,  bSecondary=TRUE,  bClose=false, iAmmo=-1, RearmHours=0,  iAimMod=0, iAimModClose=0, iCritChanceMod=0, fDmgMod=0.0, iDmgMod=0, fCritDmgMod=0.0, iCritDmgMod=0)
;Plasma: long range
ShipWeapons=(iWeaponType=5,  bPrimary=TRUE,  bSecondary=TRUE,  bClose=false, iAmmo=-1, RearmHours=0,  iAimMod=0, iAimModClose=0, iCritChanceMod=0, fDmgMod=0.0, iDmgMod=0, fCritDmgMod=0.0, iCritDmgMod=0)
;EMP: short range
ShipWeapons=(iWeaponType=6,  bPrimary=TRUE,  bSecondary=TRUE,  bClose=false, iAmmo=-1, RearmHours=0,  iAimMod=0, iAimModClose=0, iCritChanceMod=0, fDmgMod=0.0, iDmgMod=0, fCritDmgMod=0.0, iCritDmgMod=0)
;Fusion: both ranges
ShipWeapons=(iWeaponType=7,  bPrimary=TRUE,  bSecondary=FALSE, bClose=false, iAmmo=-1, RearmHours=0,  iAimMod=0, iAimModClose=0, iCritChanceMod=0, fDmgMod=0.0, iDmgMod=0, fCritDmgMod=0.0, iCritDmgMod=0)
;UFO Plasma I
ShipWeapons=(iWeaponType=8,  bPrimary=FALSE, bSecondary=FALSE, bClose=false, iAmmo=-1, RearmHours=0,  iAimMod=0, iAimModClose=0, iCritChanceMod=0, fDmgMod=0.0, iDmgMod=0, fCritDmgMod=0.0, iCritDmgMod=0)
;UFO Plasma II
ShipWeapons=(iWeaponType=9,  bPrimary=FALSE, bSecondary=FALSE, bClose=false, iAmmo=-1, RearmHours=0,  iAimMod=0, iAimModClose=0, iCritChanceMod=0, fDmgMod=0.0, iDmgMod=0, fCritDmgMod=0.0, iCritDmgMod=0)
ShipWeapons=(iWeaponType=10, bPrimary=FALSE, bSecondary=FALSE, bClose=false, iAmmo=-1, RearmHours=0,  iAimMod=0, iAimModClose=0, iCritChanceMod=0, fDmgMod=0.0, iDmgMod=0, fCritDmgMod=0.0, iCritDmgMod=0)

Pilot Careers

Career means different bonuses as pilots gain levels. They are detailed in the following table. To get a level, the pilot must gain both the required XP and kills (either proper kills or team kills). There are 3 careers defined: ACE, GUNNER, and LEADER. Though careers can be changed, it is best to choose the pilot's career at F.O. level and leave it at that for the entire game.

Career Title XP Req. Kills Req. +Aim +Def +Damage Sq.Size +Sq.Aim +Sq.Def Trait
any F.O. 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 --
ACE Lt. 200 1 4 4 0 2 0 0 --
Cpt. 500 3 8 8 0 2 0 0 Ninja
Maj. 900 6 12 12 0 3 0 0 --
Col. 1400 10 16 16 0 3 0 0 --
Cmdr. 2000 15 20 20 0 4 0 0 Maverick
GUNNER Lt. 200 1 4 0 10% 1 0 0 --
Cpt. 500 3 8 0 20% 2 0 0 Slash
Maj. 900 6 12 0 30% 2 0 0 --
Col. 1400 10 16 0 40% 3 0 0 --
Cmdr. 2000 15 20 0 50% 3 0 0 Hammer
LEADER Lt. 200 1 0 0 0 3 2 2 --
Cpt. 500 3 0 0 0 5 4 4 Maestro
Maj. 900 6 0 0 0 6 6 6 --
Col. 1400 10 0 0 0 6 8 8 --
Cmdr. 2000 15 0 0 0 6 10 10 Wingman

To compensate for these bonuses, pilots only get +1 Aim per kill (down from +3) with a +20 Aim maximum (down from +30). With UFO squadrons, kills requirement is rarely a limiting factor.


Traits are unique bonuses pilots gain at Captain and Commander levels, depending on chosen career. The two traits stack - the combined bonuses are displayed in the table. By default, certain traits are very powerful, but with many complicated limitations.

  Recommended Default
Career Trait Bonus Limitations Bonus Limitations
ACE Ninja +10 Dodge none +20 Dodge DEF stance
Maverick +20 Dodge, +10 Def Firestorm, DEF stance +30 Dodge, +20 Def Firestorm, BAL stance
GUNNER Slash +20% Crit Dmg none +25% Damage close range
Hammer +40% Crit Dmg, +20% Crit Chance Firestorm, AGG stance +25% Damage, +50% Crit Dmg, +10% Crit Chance Firestorm, AGG stance
LEADER Maestro +5s contact time none +5s contact time none
Wingman +10s contact time, +5 Sq.Aim, +5 Sq.Def Firestorm, BAL stance +5s contact time, +10 Sq.Aim, +10 Sq.Def Sq Size exactly 2

Just copy-paste this trait table into your config file to have cleanly defined and only moderately powerful traits, as in the above table.

;career ACE
;NINJA - gains extra +10 dodge (stacks with DEF_JET_DODGE_CHANCE)
m_PilotTraits=(iTraitType=2, iBonusDodge=10)

;MAVERICK - requires FIRESTORM and DEF stance: gains +10 def and +10 dodge (for a total +20 dodge)
m_PilotTraits=(iTraitType=4, iBonusDef=10, iBonusDodge=10)
m_TraitReqs=(iTraitType=4, bFireStorm=TRUE, iTactic=2)

;career GUNNER
;SLASH - gains +20% crit dmg
m_PilotTraits=(iTraitType=1, iBonusCritDmgPct=20)

;HAMMER - requires FIRESTORM and AGG stance: grants +20% crit chance and +20% crit dmg (for a total +40% crit dmg)
m_PilotTraits=(iTraitType=6, iBonusCritChance=20, iBonusCritDmgPct=20)
m_TraitReqs=(iTraitType=6, bFireStorm=TRUE, iTactic=1)

;career LEADER
;MAESTRO - gives +5s contact time always
m_PilotTraits=(iTraitType=3, iBonusTime=5)

;WINGMAN - requires FIRESTORM and BAL stance: grants +5s contact time (for a total +10s contact time), extra +5 aim and +5 def for the squadron
m_PilotTraits=(iTraitType=5, iBonusTime=5, iBonusTeamAim=5, iBonusTeamDef=5)
m_TraitReqs=(iTraitType=5, bFireStorm=TRUE, iTactic=0) 

New in 1.10

Team Kills

Pilots receive Team Kills as a shared percentage 1/N, where N is the number of ships in a squadron. This is separate from Kills, displayed in parenthesis after Kills, rounded down. Team Kills only matter for promotions - a pilot requires to have either Kills or Team Kills at least 5 to be promoted to Major, for example. This allows Leaders to have the same promotion scheme as other careers. Team Kills do not increase Aim or Damage, only Kills do.

UFO Squadrons

Depending on XCOM Threat and Number of Ships on a continent, aliens will deploy 0-3 extra UFOs to protect the main UFO performing an Alien Misison. The formula is Min(3, XComThreat + NumOfShipsOnContinent - 5), where XComThreat is 0-4, NumOfShips is 0-6. Aliens also need to reach certain Alien Research and have enough Alien Resources level to launch specific escorts (configurable). Escorts always pick Aggressive stance (by default), and grant some extra engagement time. Killing escorts only grants experience and kills for pilots, they do not provide any cash or alloys (by default), and never spawn a crash site.

Important facts not mentioned in mod description:

  • The escort UFOs can only be Scout, Fighter, Raider or Destroyer, nothing bigger is possible (though you can configure in bigger escorts).
  • By default, you always get the maximum escorts possible, so if you have 4+ ships on continent and 4 Threat, expect 3 escorts with every UFO.
  • By default, all the exports are always the same highest type as Alien Research and Alien Resource levels allows.
  • Ships going Short range get hit by everyone - including the main UFO! - while at Long range you fight all Ufo's one at a time.
  • Ufo's not directly targeted by XCOM don't get Close range bonus when they fire at a Close range ship.
  • Escort is never a bigger class UFO than the main ship
UFO Alien Research Alien Resources
Default Recommended Default Recommended
Scout 90 90 1 1
Fighter 270 180 2 2
Raider 90 270 3 3
Destroyer 270 360 3 4

This is recommended way to configure the UFO Squadrons (1.10):

PossibleEscort=(iUFOType=4, iReqResearch=90, iReqResourceLvl=1)

PossibleEscort=(iUFOType=10, iReqResearch=180, iReqResourceLvl=2)

PossibleEscort=(iUFOType=11, iReqResearch=270, iReqResourceLvl=3)

PossibleEscort=(iUFOType=5, iReqResearch=360, iReqResourceLvl=4)

Randomization Options

;set TRUE below to make the number of escorts randomized in range 0-N rather than set to N always (N is max escorts before clamping to max 3)

;set TRUE below to allow the escort consists of different types of UFO (eg. 1 Fighter + 2 Raiders) - the requirements for Research/Resources must still be met for the type to be available

;set TRUE below to allow random stance for escorts (otherwise escorts are always AGG)

I recommend to set the options to true to add more variation to UFO escorts.

Escort Rewards

It makes sense that when the other UFOs provide cash and small amount of alloys rewards, why not escorts.

;set to TRUE to enable rewards for the escorts (FALSE by default)
;Scout / Fighter
EscortReward=(iCategory=1, iCash=100, iAlloy=4)
;Raider / Destroyer
EscortReward=(iCategory=2, iCash=200, iAlloy=6)

Other Config Changes

;VulcanCannon=(eType=eShipWeapon_None, iDamage=45, iArmorPen=0, iToHit=25, iAvionicsBonus=10, iCooldown=40)

Don't forget to comment out this line. The default setting (Phoenix Cannon stats but with 0 ArmorPen and 75% of Phoenix' damage) is better.

VulcanCannon=(eType=eShipWeapon_None, iDamage=105, iArmorPen=0, iToHit=40, iAvionicsBonus=10, iCooldown=75)

This allows for longer battles with less damage to both ships and UFO.


Slow the battles down so you can actually influence anything during them.


To keep symmetry with DEF_JET_DODGE_CHANCE. These is no reason for this to be higher. Then we also get the lone bullets back.


To keep things rather symmetric. The double fire rate for AGG UFO is just too much, causing you to ignore all such UFOs.


The lone bullet mechanic was abandoned from Squadron Unleashed 1. I like it back, however toned down, to balance things out. So now AGG/BAL ships have 20%/10% chance to be hit by a missed UFO shot for 50% damage. I believe only 1 ship could be hit like that.


15 is little too much. There is no reason to make battles against large UFO so much easier compared to vanilla LW.


This is not to add damage (0.0001 is nothing), but for display purposes. So 1 kill gets displayed as +1% dmg, not 0.


With 25 Aim penalty, damaged ships are basically unusable. If ships damaged during combat also get this penalty, it should definitely not be that high. 15 is just the standard bonus/penalty, so we keep it simple here. Alternately, set this to 0, but then don't allow using damaged ships for new interceptions, getting vanilla behavior (set DAMAGED_JET_HP_PCT_CAN_FIGHT=1)


Make sure to set this to 1 to avoid any bugs.


Makes it more realistic. Pilots needs some rest after combat.


Losing experienced pilots is very painful. This translates to 100% survival at Cmdr.


With the introduction of UFO squadrons, the XP gains need to be toned down, as there are much more shoot down opportunities. This also means the Training Center investments serve any purpose at all.

Just Squadrons

Need more vanilla Long War? Don't want to bother with all the new features, just want to see XCOM and UFO squadrons to play it out? Look no further: