Weapon Fragments (EU2012)

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Project Sagaris Results
Weapon Fragments

Although the alien weapon fragments provide a limited glimpse into the systems utilized in their equipment, we've seen enough to confirm my worst suspicions about their technology... that it is vastly superior to our own. However, I have been encouraged by the rapid developments the research team has made in studying the damaged circuitry and electronics we recovered. Our initial efforts have already yielded a successful outcome. The new integrated sighting module created for our weaponry was heavily influenced by the aliens' own targeting system.

Source: XCOM: Enemy Unknown (2012) Research Archives

Grey Market Description

Based on our experience in the field, it seems the alien weaponry is designed to self-destruct when the operator dies. These fragments are all that we've managed to recover from the remains.

Source: XCOM: Enemy Unknown (2012)


Number of Fragments

Alien Weapon Weapon Fragments Alien Grenade? (+1 WF) Total Weapon Fragments
Sectoid Plasma Pistol 2 - 2
Sectoid Commander Plasma Pistol 2 Yes 3
Outsider Light Plasma Rifle 2 - 2
Thin Man Light Plasma Rifle 2 - 2
Floater Light Plasma Rifle 2 - 2
Heavy Floater Plasma Rifle 3 Yes 4
Muton Light Plasma Rifle* 2 Yes 3
Plasma Rifle* 3 Yes 4
Muton Elite Heavy Plasma 5 Yes 6
Drone Drone Beam 1 - 1
Cyberdisc Cyberdisc Weapon 4 Yes 5
Sectopod Sectopod Chest Cannon 6 - 6
Numbers tested in vanilla unmodded EU 2012 current as of January 2014 (v.
* Regular Mutons use a Light Plasma Rifle the first month they are seen, and a regular Plasma Rifle thereafter.

Some enemies produce no weapon fragments on dying (Berserkers, Chryssalids, Ethereals, and Zombies).

Seeker does not produce any weapon fragments, whereas Mechtoid produce 3 Weapon Fragments.

Affected By

Ordinarily, fragments appear as shown above when aliens are killed. But there are exceptions:

  • As Dr. Vahlen warns, there won't be any fragments if you kill an alien with an explosion. (But you can freely hurt them with frags first.)
  • This appears to apply to any explosion, including, e.g., being next to exploding Cyberdiscs, Sectopods, or even cars, gas pumps, etc. The death explosion of a Cyberdisc or Sectopod does not destroy its own fragments, however. (Watch for the message about fragments being produced. If you don't see it, they weren't produced.)
  • Explosions in the vicinity of a previous kill do not destroy fragments. Unlike the original XCOM, subsequent explosions will not destroy existing corposes or fragments (but will damage UFO structures such as Power Sources).
  • Sometimes creatures will leave the map, such as drones that "fall through the cracks in the map" if they are flying between platforms when you kill them in a base assault. In such cases, the corpse is lost - but weapon fragments are still recovered. (Apparently the variable is tracked in a simple way.)
  • If aliens use their grenade, they will still produce 1 fragment for the grenade when killed. This includes if you mind-control them and throw it. Once again, fragment tracking seems to be handled simply.
  • However, if you stun an alien or they are killed while mind controlled (both of which cause their weapons and grenades to be recoverable), they will not produce fragments.
  • In EW, killing alien using Flamethrower destroys fragments. KSM does not destroy fragments.

The message blurb about Fragments being produced seems to always be correct. So it gives "instant feedback", even for tricky situations. You can also use the after-battle summary report to correlate the number of dead aliens to the number of fragments received based on the table above (and with the exceptions noted above).

Note that some aliens give a somewhat misleading fragment message when they die. For example, Heavy Floaters give the message "Floater Heavy Plasma Rifle has produced weapon fragments". Here, the "heavy" is actually referring to the Floater; you can clearly see they are not actually carrying Heavy Plasma Rifles. Likewise, regular Mutons will give the message "Muton Heavy Plasma Rifle has produced weapon fragments" after the first month. In this case, the "heavy" apparently refers to the higher class of rifle they carry after the first month (in other words, the regular Plasma Rifle, not the Light one they carry in the first month).


  • Researching Weapon Fragments allows for production of a new item, the S.C.O.P.E. as well as unlocking the Experimental Warfare, Beam Weapons, Plasma Pistol and Light Plasma Rifle research projects.
    • Research benefits from the following Research Credits: Beam Weapons, Weapons Technology.
  • Weapons research requires large amounts of fragments, which can create bottlenecks for your scientific research.
    • Be especially careful of using fragments for marginal Foundry projects before you complete important Research projects. The many minor Foundry projects can consume a large number of fragments. In particular, you might skip S.H.I.V. Foundry projects and Laser research to save fragments.
  • You can see how many fragments you have on the Gray Market.

EU2012 Badge XCOM: Enemy Unknown (2012): Research
Initial:Xeno-BiologyAlien MaterialsWeapon FragmentsMeld Recombination (EW DLC)
Lasers:Beam WeaponsPrecision LasersHeavy Lasers
Plasma:Plasma PistolLight Plasma RiflePlasma RiflePlasma SniperHeavy PlasmaAlloy CannonGuided Fusion LauncherPlasma CannonEMP CannonFusion Lance
Armor:Carapace ArmorSkeleton SuitTitan ArmorArchangel ArmorGhost ArmorPsi Armor
Technology:Arc ThrowerExperimental WarfareEleriumUFO Power SourceAlien Nav ComputerNew Fighter Craft
Interrogations:Interrogate SectoidInterrogate FloaterInterrogate Thin ManInterrogate MutonInterrogate Sectoid CommanderInterrogate Heavy FloaterInterrogate BerserkerInterrogate Muton EliteInterrogate Ethereal
Autopsies:Sectoid AutopsyFloater AutopsyThin Man AutopsyMuton AutopsyChryssalid AutopsyDrone AutopsyCyberdisc AutopsySectoid Commander AutopsyHeavy Floater AutopsyBerserker AutopsyMuton Elite AutopsySectopod AutopsyEthereal AutopsySeeker Autopsy (EW DLC)Mechtoid Autopsy (EW DLC)
Other:Research CreditsResearch Codenames