Wish List (EU)

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X-Com is a great game and as evidence just look to the fact this wiki exists even though the game pre-dates the internet. In all it's greatness X-Com has some elements and behaviors players wish they could change. This is a repository of those desires. Some day a fan mod may make your wish come true...

I Wish...

State what you want AND what X-com does normally. Sign your name if you think "Oh man! That would be great!"

Geoscape and Strategic

Geoscape Location

  • X-Com bases only being able to be built within the borders of the Funding Nations. amitakartok


Smarter Aircraft Movement Around Globe

I wish all craft understood the shortest distance between two points on a globe is a curved path towards the poles. Normally a craft goes in the opposite direction than it should (towards the equator). Pain in the ass when the base in the UK sends a craft to Siberia. --Brunpal

Smart Interception

Aircraft intercepting a UFO just head straight toward the UFOs current position at all times. Unless the UFO is already on a head-on course, this results in the interceptor travelling through a closing parabolic spiral path, and often missing the UFO and ending up in a tail-chase, and then just falling further behind unless the UFO stops or reverses course. This is pretty basic stuff, fighter pilots have known how to do this better for nearly a hundred years. It is particularly important if the aircraft you are trying to intercept is moving faster than you (eg if you are flying an Interceptor).

What is needed is to plot the UFO's current course and speed (which X-Com has from radar data), and plot an intercept course. The maths for this is pretty easy (the intersection of 2 vectors) and can be implemented in a few lines of code, if we can find out where the current interception algorithm is, and patch it.

Actually the radar bearing shown on screen is only accurate to within 45 degrees. I presume that X-Com does actually know the UFO's bearing, since it can clearly track the UFO's movements. Finding where that variable is located might be different.

While we're at it, it would be nice if the UFO detection information displayed the actual bearing in degrees, rather than just the compass direction (North East, South, etc).

Even if the improved intercept algorithm only used a bearing accurate to within 45 degrees, that would still be better for remote UFOs. You might need to switch to "head straight for it" once you get to very close range. Spike

All Aircraft Weapons Useful

In a balanced game, all weapons should have their uses, or at least a niche, but sadly this is not so:

The Cannon is only useful for shooting down Small Scouts, and even that is practically impossible, due to the difficulty in closing to 10km range with any UFO, particularly the fast-accelerating Small Scout. The fact that its ammo takes 96 hours to arrive, when all other craft ammo types only take 48 hours, is a bizarre anomaly making the Cannon marginally even less useful - particularly since the time you would use it most is at the beginning of the game, when you do not have enough ammunition even to deploy the Cannon you already given.

The Stingray is only really useful for forcing down Small Scouts (it usually avoids destroying them) and otherwise the Avalanche is better in every meaningful way. The Stingray also takes twice as long to rearm for some odd reason, making it operationally much worse than the Avalanche.

The (unmodified) Laser Cannon is inferior to the Avalanche for more or less everything, apart from running cost. It does have a higher payload but this is hardly relevant (except perhaps in allowing the aircraft to remain on station longer, performing multiple engagements before entering the time-consuming refuel/re-arm cycle). If attacking a UFO that you would struggle to kill with Avalanches, you are unlikely to own an aircraft that would survive long enough to inflict more damage than an Avalanche when mounting Laser Cannon instead.

The Fusion Ball Launcher has a possible niche in fighting Battleships when mounted on Interceptors. Even then, it is difficult and expensive to have aircraft configured to fight only one enemy.

Unfortunately, the optimum path for craft weapon development is all-Avalanche followed by all-Plasma Beam. This is a shame.

Suggestions to 'tune up' the other weapons (see link below for latest suggestions/detail):

  • Cannon - Increase the damage to 15 and 50% hit. So at least there is a pay-off if you manage to get in close.
  • Stingray - Raise Stingray accuracy to 80% but drop Avalanche to 60%. Double the rearm rate so it can be reloaded as fast as an Avalanche launcher.
  • Laser Cannon - increase accuracy to 50% and damage to 100.
  • FBL - increase the ammo from 2 to 3.

It might be worth considering 'tune down' the Plasma Beam as well, particularly its stand-off range. It seems odd that humans copy alien plasma weapons and right away improve the range. It would be reasonable if the human plasma cannon had shorter range than the UFO plasma cannons, and more consistent with the ranges of other cannon weapons. (One could ask how X-Com even developed a targeting system that is accurate for direct fire at or beyond the extreme range of self-homing missiles - even if the plasma cannon itself is that accurate, how do you exploit that accuracy by aiming it?).

Spike 04:02, 20 September 2012 (EDT)

An alternative to tweaking the stats, is to tweak the costs. Realistic costs such as $386K for an Avalanche and $125K for a Stingray will put some pressure to use weapons that are cheaper to operate. And XComUtil has an option that substantially increases the effective build costs of Plasma Beams, making them less optimal.

See also: User:Spike#Balancing_Aircraft_Weapons

I'd like to submit a slightly different proposal.
  • Making the Cannon pure murder at knife-fight range is a good idea, I second it.
  • Swap the respective ranges of the Stingray and the Avalanche. The smaller a UFO is, the sooner it tries to make a run for it, so longer-ranged weapons can get more shots off before this happens. By giving the Stingray a range advantage over the Avalanche, the weaker but longer-ranged Stingray is now better for hunting scout UFOs by way of having a larger time window in which it can dish out its damage. Against medium and large UFOs, the more generous escape timer means the Avalanche comes out on top, making both weapons useful in their own respective situations rather than the Avalanche being objectively superior.
  • Swap the respective ranges of the Laser Cannon and the Plasma Cannon. With this, the Laser Cannon can comfortably shoot down everything smaller than a Terror Ship - but the idea is that everything an Interceptor with a Laser Cannon does not outrange, it does not have the firepower to reliably kill before getting shot down, which is where the Plasma Cannon comes in as a higher-risk-higher-reward alternative.
  • Increasing the FBL's ammo count is a good idea, but I'd personally also give its range a tiny little notch upwards so that it just very barely outranges a Battleship without having enough ammo to shoot it down. The idea here is to make the FBL a safe-but-insufficient-by-itself support weapon, being able to soften the Battleship up from standoff range with 100% guaranteed damage but needing something else to deliver the killing blow.
An alternative option to the above is to re-tool weapon damage/accuracy values to make missile-type weapons your primary damage dealers and cannon-type weapons a backup option for delivering the killing blow if the missiles fail to do the trick - though in this, I'm admittedly biased due to the fact that I always use missile + cannon combo loadouts on my crafts (Stringray/Cannon on Interceptors with Stringray/Laser as an upgrade, Avalanche/Plasma on Firestorms, FBL/Plasma on Avengers) because simply dual-wielding the hardest-hitting gear I have at the moment is boring.
amitakartok (talk) 19:27, 10 May 2020 (UTC)
Swapping the ranges of the Avalanche and Stingray would just make the Avalanche even more useless than the vanilla Stingray. The Stingray has more total firepower per hardpoint (70*70%*6 = 294 > 240 = 100*80%*3) and more firepower per dollar (70*70%/$3000 = 163 damage/$1000 > 89 damage/$1000 = 100*80%/$9000), while the Avalanche has only marginally better DPS (100*80%/72=1.11 damage/frame >~ 1.02 damage/frame = 70*70%/48). The Avalanche's only real advantage over the Stingray is its range - it's just that range is by far the most relevant attribute of weapons (the Small Scout/Medium Scout/Large Scout run away fast, so short-range weapons have much-reduced time to fire, the Supply Ship/Terror Ship have powerful weapons of medium range, so short-range weapons = dead interceptor, and the Battleship's a moot point; the Stingray actually is a slightly better choice against the two UFOs I haven't mentioned - the Abductor and Harvester - but they're rare as hen's teeth). The solution in TFTD was to narrow the gap in range between the AJAX and DUP Head while making Survey Ships not an escape risk, and IMO it worked; the two torpedoes are quite balanced against each other.
Giving the Laser Cannon the Plasma Beam's range and vice versa (with no other changes) doesn't have it quite as bad, as the Plasma Beam would still have far more DPS and total firepower. However, a 52km Laser Cannon is still good enough to be the "I-win" loadout on Interceptors - it gets standoff against everything except Battleships, it has the same DPS as the Stingray (only slightly less than that of the Avalanche), and while its total firepower per hardpoint is less than that of the Plasma Beam it's still more than enough to crash any UFO in the game. The only time you'd want anything else would be when dealing with Battleships (when you'd want either advanced craft with the 21km Plasma Beam, or FBLs, both at a much higher price than the Laser Cannon). Magic9mushroom (talk) 06:00, 11 May 2020 (UTC)

Score for retaliation Battleships

When a Battleship on retaliation attacks your base and is shot down, you get no score for it. This is completely illogical and it discourages any use of base defences. You should get normal 700 (or even 1400) points for it. --Kyrub 14:05, 30 August 2008 (PDT)

I'm not sure about this. Yes it's illogical, but it could also be a licence to get a huge score if you have a strong enough base. Spike 12:16, 3 September 2008 (PDT)
The impenetrable base setup would turn into a cheat. As the aliens will keep hammering the base with a battleship until one breaks through, you'll have a steady supply of points without having to really do anything. Some balancing, such as paying to rearm your defence modules, ought to be thrown in to balance things out. -NKF 23:13, 13 September 2008 (PDT)
A better fix would be to remove the retaliation flag when a battleship is destroyed. If someone can post a savegame with a never-ending flow of base attacks, I may have a look at the fix. Seb76 01:05, 15 September 2008 (PDT)
Ummm, it seems the best solution (I, for one, can't think of any better), but wouldn't it assume that only the BattleShip really locates the player's base? All those scouts for nothing? [Still the best solution, though] n 15:01, 16 August 2010 (GMT+1)

Tougher UFOs

The Problem

So let me get this straight. The first hybrid airborne weapon that humans ever build, and it immediately outclasses every weapon the aliens ever built, including their Battleship weapon? After all the Aliens have only been building plasma weapons for a few million years, us humans have been doing it for months!

More to the point, once you get Plasma Beams, downing UFOs is like shooting fish in a barrel. Even Battleships aren't that exciting if you show up with enough ships.

What is needed is to push up the range, damage, and rate of fire of all the UFO weapons, particularly the UFOs you will be fighting by the time you have plasma beams. At a minimum, the weapon on a Battleship should be at least as powerful as, say, 2 Plasma Beams (as found on the XCom craft it is fighting)? Instead of slightly less than half as powerful? Compared to a single Plasma Beam, only the Battleship weapon has better range. It has double the accuracy, slightly higher damage, but half the fire rate. Net 5.7% more firepower than one Plasma Beam, but no match for 2. And the Battleship weapon of course is the most powerful in the alien arsenal.

Possible tune ups for UFOs:

  • Battleship - increase to 255 weapon power, improve reload rate to 12 (from 24). Now roughly equivalent to 4 Plasma Beams in total firepower (on Beginner difficulty). Increase range to 69km, so that the Battleship commences fire as soon as an XCom craft begins its attack run. Or better, increase range to 70+km, the limit of the interception window, so that the Battleship starts firing immediately the XCom craft enters air combat range. This would disrupt XCom aircrafts' ability to form up into a flight of 4, prior to commencing their attack. Overall, this would make it much harder to down Battleships. Increasing weapon range to 70+km would also make it much harder to tail a Battleship - manual control in the Geoscape would be needed to hold off outside of combat range. Really, the Battleship should not sit there like a sitting duck. Does it think XCom are friendly?
  • Terror Ship - increase range to 52 (or decrease Plasma Beam range to 42), so stand-off kills are not possible with Plasma Beams?
  • Actually maybe all the larger UFOs should have weapon range 69-70+km, so they behave very aggressively toward XCom craft.

NB: Strange effects occur if weapon range goes over 70km so it's probably best to leave it at 70km rather than 75km.

NB: Also, changes to rate of fire need to be looked at carefully though because Difficulty Level also reduces reload rate for UFOs. Between Beginner (Difficulty 0) and Superhuman (Difficulty 4), rate of fire (and thus firepower) for Battleships, Terror Ships and Supply Ships increases by 24/(24-4x2=16) or 50%. But if the base reload rate for these weapons was reduced to 12, the transition from Beginner to Advanced would increase firepower three times for these 3 UFOs (less so for the smaller UFOs). It is less risky to increase the weapon power. Unfortunately there are only 2 firepower variables to play with - damage and reload rate - so there are not a lot of options, especially for the Battleship which already has weapon strength 148 out of a probable maximum of 255.

More detail on this. For Medium Scout, Large Scout and Abductor, with nominal reload rate 48gs, the rate of fire improves +20% between Beginner and Superhuman. For Harvester (32gs) it improves one third. For Large UFOs (Terror Ship, Supply Ship, Battleship - 24gs) the improvement is +50%. Spike 20:28, 14 February 2010 (EST)

I think we should assume that the Battleship, which is bigger than the entire XCom base, is engaging XCom craft with its secondary weapons rather than its main armament, which could probably destroy Manhattan with a glancing hit.

I would really like to see the hypothetical Mega-Battleship go up against XCom's finest - a flight of 4 Avengers armed with dual Plasma Cannon or dual Fusion Ball Launchers. With the Battleship having 70+km range, 255 weapon power, and an effective fire rate on Superhuman triple that of the PB, it would have the firepower of 11 Plasma Beams - 36% more firepower than the whole attacking XCom force combined. To be honest I think that would be carnage, not sure XCom could win. So that would be tuning the Battleship up too much. The 3-fold increase in rate of fire when on Superhuman is just too much. Maybe just max out the damage to 255 and range to 75. This gives a 72% increase in firepower, and a challenging tactical problem for XCom (forming up and approaching under fire).

The smaller UFOs can probably stay as they are. It is not until later in the game that XCom advances so that even large UFOs are easy pickings. What is the crossover point? Maybe the medium UFOs. So it might be good to reduce the reload times of the medium UFOs from 48 / 32 to 24, a good increase in firepower.

In general I think all UFOs energy weapons should have at least as good range as the XCom energy weapons, even the Medium Scout. Again, they have been using these weapons for millions of years and we only just figured out how to copy them from the aliens, how could our weapons be better than the aliens? How did our first plasma weapon out-range and out-perform all but the hugest UFO plasma beam? And on an airframe the size of a Small Scout we mount two such weapons? On the battlefield we only are able to replicate alien weapons; how is it that in the air we are able to improve on them masssively?

Perhaps there should never be a stand-off advantage, except possibly with missiles -which should be less accurate with longer range. The XCom stand off advantage is really unfair because as far as I have seen the UFOs never attempt to close to effective range, even when they are getting killed. They don't break off much, either, though I think I have seen that happen on occasion.

Specific Proposals

No Standoff Beam Attacks

Increase all UFO plasma weapon ranges to at least 55km (compared to 52km for the XCom plasma weapon). Now only launched XCom weapons (Avalanche and Fusion Ball) have standoff advantage. Probably also reduce the accuracy of the Avalanche to 60% and buff Stingray accuracy to 80%, providing both weapons with a useful niche role.

No Standoff Attacks

Increase all UFO plasma weapon ranges to 66km (compared to 52km for the XCom plasma weapon). Now no XCom weapon has standoff advantage. (The benefit of a longer range weapon is simply spending less time being fired on by the UFO.)

Twitchy Aliens

Increase all UFO ranges to 69km. They will attack as soon as XCom aircraft commence any attack run.

Hostile Aliens

Increase all UFO ranges to 70km. They will attack as soon as XCom aircraft enter intercept range. UFOs now fire first, and tailing them unchallenged is impossible.

Improved Medium UFOs

Reduce (improve) the nominal reload time of Medium UFOs, Abductors and Harvesters, from 48gs and 32gs to 24gs. This increases the challenge in the early-mid game, when XCom might first be deploying advanced weapons.

Improved Battleships

Increase damage to 255. They're firing (bigger) Fusion Balls! A Battleship now has the same firepower as one XCom Craft with dual Plasma Beams (gosh wow!). It's a start, but what if we...

Super Battleships

... also reduce nominal reload time to 18gs. Giving a further one-third extra firepower on Beginner, 60% more on Superhuman.

Mega Battleships

... or for a real challenge, reduce reload time to 12gs. A further doubling of the firepower on Beginner - a further four times increase on Superhuman. Now Superhuman Battleships out-gun the biggest fleet XCom can throw at them!

Spike 00:25, 19 February 2010 (EST)

the flip side of this is weakening Xcom craft - apart from firepower issues there is also the issue of range: the ranges of the transport craft are such that really no more than 1 manned base is necessary to cover the globe for terror site defense. Setting e.g. the fuel capacity of the Skyranger to 500 results in roughly 1 base per continent required. This has interesting strategic consequences: need for more bases makes the ecomics more challenging (and thus slows down research). Emphyrio 08:43, 9 August 2010 (EDT)

Enforced Variant Games

Various people like to play various variant games, such as No Alien Technology, or No Detection, or No Lethal Weapons - see for example Scott Jones' notes to XComUtil. It would be nice to have options on the game executable to enforce these scenarios. Self restraint is hard! Spike 12:06, 3 September 2008 (PDT)

Some of these variant scenarios have been implemented in UFO Extender by Seb76.

Recruit Certain Alien Types

Consider that not all aliens are loyal to their master (most TFTD alien has a device lodged to its brain), it would be interesting (or at least cool) if we could recuit such aliens to the XCOM cause. Maybe we can remove the controling devices from captive aliens after research on that species. Or convince the head of the Snakemen that it would be far more benefit to his race to help us instead of the Ethereals L-Zwei 23:25, 12 September 2008 (PDT).

Only certain alien types should be recruitable. Ones that should NOT be include Mutons (as they are directly controlled by Ethereals), Chrysallids (unbalancing), etc. It would be nice to be able to reverse-engineer Cyberdiscs or Sectopods, or make it that a Cyberdisc must be researched to build hovertanks/etc. MagicJuggler 13:32, 18 September 2008 (PDT)

It's pretty obvious which ones should be recruitable: non-robotic terror units that are captured alive. Chryssalids should simply do melee damage instead of impregnating (as the resulting spawn would not be mind-controlled and therefore XCOM wouldn't do it). Silacoids would be pretty ineffectual, and reapers slightly less so, but both would be disposable scouts. Celatids might actually have some use (eating through hulls with acid, and arcing over walls) but are fragile. All of these would require capturing a terror alien alive after researching Psi Amp. The two robotic units should require a live alien Engineer researched as well as UFO Construction, and the materials for building one would be one corpse of the appropriate type, Alien alloys and Elerium (to repair and refuel the husk). The Sectopod should probably be nerfed somewhat, so that it isn't quite so invincible to Heavy Plasma shots - after all, it was probably a twisted and melted modern art piece by the time it finally went down). Stubbs


Game option: sell only researched items

The fact that you may sell the alien items for the best price once you get them, without any research, is illogical. Such staff would never get on the market, being top secret and potentially dangerous to the humanity.

Selling without proper research does not help the replay value of the game either: once you know the "right path" to get the best items, you simply sell anything else immediately and ignore the unnecessary research. Too easy.

Therefore I wish for this game option: unknown items are sold for 0 (including the alien corpses), the known ones for their full price. This makes the sustainable economics much harder to develop and it gives sense to the "useless" research. Last but not least, it adds a lot of depth to the gameplay: will you choose research of a new weapon you need on the field, or of a mind probe that will earn you millions in sales? --Kyrub 15:55, 6 April 2009 (EDT)

I really like this option, it's a great idea. Makes the game harder and makes it more interesting, more varied. Gives extra value to the otherwise "useless" research paths. Good thinking! Spike 15:06, 24 August 2009 (EDT)
I'd prefer that unresearched artifacts/corpses sold for a fraction of their original value (no more than 25%). It makes no sense that nobody would pay to research them for themselves. Additionally, Laser Cannon sell price needs to be nerfed. Stubbs
This would have the added benefit that you would know if it was 'safe' or not to sell an item research wise. Coloring the un-researched items differently on the Sell/Sack screen would be good too ~ Renegrade 13:30, 19 August 2010 (EDT)

New Research Mechanics

The above comments spurred some ideas to make the research more realistic and the path to victory less obvious.

For flavor reasons, give research options vague names instead of exact names. This already exists in some research topics, such as "New Fighter Craft" instead of "Firestorm". So, research topics might read "Alien Hovertank Wreck" instead of "Cyberdisc Corpse", "Grey Alien Corpse" instead of "Sectoid Corpse" or "Alien Pistol" instead of "Plasma Pistol". The names would be revealed in the UFOpaedia entry, and certain items would then be renamed as per common sense.

Hide the ranks of aliens in captivity until they are researched (so you'd see Live Grey Alien #1, Live Grey Alien #2 if you had two Sectoids available for research). However, if you happened to have two Soldier ranks in containment, you'd only see one topic. The same rank/race combination would never appear again, but you might have to research several specimens of the same species to get the useful one you want. The alternative would be to have researched Mind Probe, which would tell you exactly what you had in containment (just as it does on the battlefield).

Once an alien or its corpse is researched, then all other instances of that alien or its body are renamed appropriately. For example, research a live Muton and Muton corpses become obvious, and vice versa. "Live Green Humanoid Alien" is also renamed to "Live Muton".

Finally, there should be a few more prerequisites in place to make less useful research more necessary. As someone else has mentioned, you should need a Cyberdisc Corpse to research Hovertanks. I'd also suggest that Psi Amp and Mind Shield require the research of Mind Probe (seeing as both entail scanning for minds as a logical first step), and that Flying Suits require Floater Corpse, Cyberdisc Corpse or a live Floater researched as an additional prerequisite (not Ethereals, as they fly with the power of their huge brains). Stubbs

These are all good suggestions and make a lot of sense. An alternative explanation of the names (seen in some fan fiction) is that these names are not the real names, but are made up by XCom troops based on some limited battlefield experience of them. But revealing the "real" alien race names through Research is a fun idea. Spike 08:44, 1 September 2009 (EDT)

TFTD Extender now provides options for improvements to the TFTD Research tree, to make research more logical (and less buggy). A similar exercise is possible with UFO Extender now that the location of the Research tree in the code is known. Spike 03:48, 20 September 2012 (EDT)

Dismantle researched items

Beginning a research project on an item should immediately remove that item from your storage. Currently it's possible to begin research on Heavy Plasma and Sectoid Corpse, then immediately sell those items, which makes no sense. Instead, we should assume that the eggheads need to dismantle an item to study it, thereby making it useless.

Completing a research topic on a live alien should create an appropriate corpse in storage, but this is less noticeable. Or do X-Com give all researched aliens diplomatic immunity and $20 for a cab fare?

+1 to these suggestions. Spike 16:51, 29 November 2012 (EST)


  • After buying the first cannon or rocket tank, that particular HWP becomes available for manufacture. Accordingly, either must be available for manufacture before laser tanks can be built (the chassis design has to come from somewhere).amitakartok

Base Managemet

Inventory management

I only want to keep 1 (or 0) sectoid corpse. If I have any more, sell them immediately and automatically. Sometimes having to sell all the stuff you've captured is just a chore.

Also, let me automatically repurchase goods when my stores get too low.Lobster Dan 13:18, 25 January 2011 (EST)

Monthly maintenance fees

Later in the game, when you are way beyond what the sponsor nations are paying you and are instead selling captured/manufactured items to fund your operation, the end of the month can be a real PITA, because you need to build up a reserve of cash to avoid being shut down for financial problems. (This was worse with the misreported funding bug.) At the least, show us in one place exactly how much we need to raise at that time.

Or make payments be done on a weekly/daily/hourly/continuously basis. This also means that I don't have to pay a same salary to someone who I hire on the 2nd or I hire on the 27th.

Oh, and the cheat of "soldiers/scientists/engineers in flight don't need to be paid" needs to be squashed while we're at it. (But watch out fixing this one without making salary payments continuous; my current strategy is to hire most people just before the end of the month, which I would need to modify to hiring just after the start of the month.)Lobster Dan 13:18, 25 January 2011 (EST)

Day Rates

Financial planning in the game is distorted by the fact that Engineers, Scientists and Soldiers receive a full month's pay for their first month, even if they only work one day in that month. This leads to bursts of hiring at the beginning of each month, and worsens the cash squeeze at the beginning of each month.

It would be nice if you could hire personnel at any time during the month, and they would only cost you their hiring fee (one month's salary in full), plus only as much of the first month's salary as they actually worked during that first month. Spike 06:48, 20 September 2012 (EDT)

Change date

1999 looks quite silly now, 13 years later and I don't think mankind has even laser weapons now. So if it's not hardcoded for some alien actions in further years, I'd move game at least to year 2020, more likely even later. mikiqex 10:30, 12 January 2012 (CET)

As a matter of fact, we do have laser weapons now, to some extent: Humvee-mounted ground-to-ground laser, aircraft-mounted anti-ICBM laser and ground-based point-defense laser that can shoot down a variety of incoming ordinance from missiles to mortar shells, all in the experimental phase and expected to hit mass-production in a decade. But yeah, I agree with this suggestion.--amitakartok 13:30, 21 March 2013 (EDT)

Active Alien Bases

Right now, alien bases don't do anything aside from increasing alien presence in a region and attracting Supply Ships. This should be remedied and I know just how to do it.

  • All alien bases have a "readiness level". Initially, this is at 100% but can be reduced via base assaults. Every alien killed and certain equipment destroyed decreases this level but if the base isn't destroyed (the mission fails or gets aborted) and subsequent Supply Ships aren't intercepted/attacked on the ground, then 24 hours after a successful resupply the base's readiness level will be back at maximum. Then and only then will killed aliens respawn and destroyed/taken equipment get replaced, not before. This reduces the profitability of "base milking" smash-and-grab operations but is not the primary purpose of the mod.
  • Like the name indicates, alien bases should have a more active role. That is, alien bases will frequently dispatch Small and Medium Scouts on Research and Abduction missions, crewed by the same race the base belongs to. How often this happens depends on the base's readiness level, ie. a busted-up base will be barely hanging on but a fully-functional one will be a real beehive.
  • Optional: if a base is present in a country, it significantly increases the chance of the country being successfully infiltrated.
  • If a base goes unmolested for too long, it will become fortified and spawn two or even three times as many aliens (as many as the tileset allows) plus it takes on a more aggressive role:
    • Launches Infiltration missions into nearby areas.
    • "Leave us the [PRESUMED ALIEN EXPLETIVE] alone!!!": if attacked several times in rapid succession (depending on difficulty level; happens after a single invasion attempt on Superhuman), it sends out Retaliation scouts in the general direction the attacks are coming from, looking farther and farther away after every attack.
    • "Oh no, you don't!": if it had been attacked at least once, the base will attempt to intercept X-Com craft passing nearby. It does so by dispatching a scout that follows the intruder at top speed and, once within a certain distance, forces it to engage the UFO in Aggressive mode. If the UFO is faster, all other modes and the Disengage button will be disabled as well. Even if the X-Com craft can run away, the UFO will follow it everywhere unless shot down or the craft lands, in which case the aliens dispatch Retaliation scouts to find the intruder's homebase.
    • The above three options all make the base more dangerous but will also increase the payoff and provide an alternative to the nerfed "base milking" tactic.

I have NO idea if these are even possible but they would be highly interesting.--amitakartok 17:44, 19 September 2012 (EDT)

+1. This is a great set of suggestions. I think the necessary manipulations of MISSION.DAT are fairly well understood. Spike 03:48, 20 September 2012 (EDT)

Battlescape and Tactical

Equipment Management

All wishes are currently implemented!

Fog of War Improvements

I'm sure most of these would be an absolute PAIN to implement, but I figured I'd toss the ideas out here.

Prior Recon of Battlefield

One thing that has always irked me is X-COM has no terrain knowledge when it lands, despite having probably circled the place two or three times before landing and thus they should know at least some of the area. This would be nice, but isn't too important. Probably would be a pain to implement so X-COM would have all knowledge of external features but no knowledge of building interiors, anyways. Arrow Quivershaft 22:38, 7 August 2008 (PDT)

Yes at the very least, when you splash the UFO, it could tell you (via some miracle technology such as "satellite reconnaisance") what the terrain type is of the landing zone area. Then you could adjust equipment accordingly. And adjust your uniform camouflage (if using one of the uniform mods). Spike 12:16, 3 September 2008 (PDT)
Geoscape: center on the site, then maximum zoom. Aside from having to disambiguate forest from jungle, this works fine for knowing the exact terrain you're getting into. -- Zaimoni 10:17, 4 Sept 2008 (CDT)
This is already present in the game. To center the Geoscape on a specific location, right-click on the target spot. To do maximum zoom in, right click on the Zoom-In button(and the same works for Zoom-Out). Also, Jungle and Forest use the same display algorithm, but are easy to differentiate; Forest occurs NORTH of the equator, and Jungle occurs SOUTH. Arrow Quivershaft 13:23, 4 September 2008 (PDT)
Returning to AQ's original suggestion, it wouldn't be too hard would it for the dropship to "radar map" the target, and then have the basic map show up on your scanner on Turn 1? Spike 12:22, 24 November 2008 (CST)

Dynamic Fog

The Fog of War in X-COM is clumsily implemented, compared to modern expectations. Everything starts out black, but after exploring, is shown...and it's kept in the same showing, regardless of whether you actually have LoS to that area anymore. It would be nice if when you no longer had Line of Sight to a particular map area, it would be cloaked in a way so that you knew the terrain, but not the units there. Since I've sometimes spent over half an hour trying to hunt down that last alien hiding in area I'd already explored. Arrow Quivershaft 22:38, 7 August 2008 (PDT)

Maybe greyscale explored but out-of-LOS areas?--amitakartok 17:45, 19 September 2012 (EDT)

Deactivate Object Radar

Currently, in X-COM, any objects dropped in a given square show on your Battlescape, regardless of whether you have Line of Sight to the square or not. In regards to dropped weapons/grenades/equipment/dead soldiers/dead aliens, this doesn't make a large difference. But in the case of STUNNED aliens, a quick scan across the Battlescape can tell you whether the alien you stunned 10 turns ago is still down, or stood back up(the stunned alien object will disappear from the stack). Of course, since aliens which have revived from stun are almost always disarmed(and the ones that aren't probably should've been killed instead), the usefulness of this 'exploit' is reduced mainly to finding out that the last alien you're looking for is just wandering aimlessly and unarmed. Perhaps leave stacks showing the same until you regain LoS to that area? Arrow Quivershaft 22:38, 7 August 2008 (PDT)

Crushed Buildings

Why don't we see any crushed or destroyed buildings? Does a UFO always fall like a rock, perpendicular to the ground? No marks on the ground? Such impact would do massive damage to the land (a small meteor can do much if it has a high speed...). (Also, at the [debatedly] "real" UFO crash zones UFO parts were scattered over miles)

I'd like to see chopped buildings, entering UFO's through a barns; entering an abductor from a immediate house's roof if I have plasma and no flying suits yet. - n 15:01, 16 August 2010 (GMT+1)

The Pocket PC remake of the game did this, though it seems the site it concern has vanished off the face of the net. Could probably find a copy if you're interested.
By the way, you can generate a time/date stamped signature by typing four tildes (~~~~). - Bomb Bloke 23:04, 16 August 2010 (EDT)
Amazingly enough (is it Truman Show of me or just a coincidence :)?), my GF found a low-tech palmtop (with/in a case)... on the pavement. With no personal data and means to find the owner; when I laid my hands on it, I actually found and installed Ufo:EU there, but it wouldn't run :(. [And thanks! again for the 4 tildes name/timestamp trick] - n 19:18, 18 August 2010 (EDT)

Restore Game from Battlescape

It would be nice to be able to reload a saved game directly from the Battlescape "?" screen, rather than having to go through the process of Abandoning to the Geoscape. Would you need to check it was a Battlescape save and not a Geoscape save? Maybe, maybe not. Spike 12:06, 3 September 2008 (PDT)


  • Stun Grenades: I want flashbangs.--Brunpal 22:59, 11 September 2008 (PDT)
Instead of stunning, I'd see more effect if it would remove some TUs to units having line of sight (to be fare it should affect xcom units too). It would help against reaction fire (which is the point of flashbangs). Given that grenades detonate at the end turns, it would require a good coordination to have the grenade detonate exactly at the end of the alien turn, and just before your attack. Being able to open doors à la xcom2 would also help to throw flashbangs just before a craft assault... Seb76 22:03, 12 September 2008 (PDT)
That would be good. Hard to program, potentially extremely unbalancing, but good. I considered a "debuff" kind of ability (as you suggest) for flashbangs, vs the more obvious substitution of stun for HE damage. In the end, I picked "I want flashbangs."--Brunpal 03:32, 13 September 2008 (PDT)
Maybe flashbangs dont' work on Aliens - otherwise, XCom would use them, right? :) But seriously, I too would like flashbangs, and stun grenades / concussion grenades. Both of these would make the game easier, though. With flashbangs, you might have to compensate by just giving the aliens more TUs. Spike 13:33, 13 September 2008 (PDT)
More options for the player is going to make it easier for any kind of game. Particularly of games like XCOM where the computer can't take advantage of the changes. However I don't believe a weak stun grenade (like 44 stun damage, comparable to AC-HE) would change the game much because the 80 item limit remains.--Brunpal 22:21, 13 September 2008 (PDT)
  • Rudimentary IFF recognition in proximity grenades, ie. it checks the unit ownership variable (the same one that gets flipped during mind control and used to cause the Hostile Civilians bug) of everyone who wanders into its sensor range and only explodes if it doesn't match the ownership of the unit that threw it. Naturally, it would be fooled by mind control and would also blow up civilians but it would minimize mine-related friendly fire...
...which makes me wonder: if a proxy kills a friendly unit, does it count as friendly fire caused by the guy who planted the proxy? If not, would you make it so, just for the hell of it? amitakartok

Night Vision

I don't want to add night vision equipment to the game. I assume that either (1) all XCom units already have night vision gear as standard, but it's not as good as alien night vision, and the visibility that XCom units have at night is based on their standard-issue night vision gear, or (2) night vision gear does not work on Aliens. Either they do not appear on night vision, or maybe worse - maybe the aliens can manipulate night vision equipment, causing worse than normal vision, or hallucinations, and even tricking XCom units into firing on each other. Spike 13:33, 13 September 2008 (PDT)

Wouldn't it be nice though if it had gradients other than "day: 20 squares" "night: 9 squares" ? Like.. "early morning/late evening: 10-19 squares" ? I find the cut off from full daylight to full night kinda disturbing. ~ Renegrade 10:41, 19 August 2010 (EDT)
I originally thought of this when dreaming of a Stargate-themed patch for X-COM -- but what about enemies that are invisible unless you are facing them while wielding a certain weapon designed to spot them? (Stargate fans: I'm thinking of the TERs.) Lobster Dan 13:18, 25 January 2011 (EST)
Turning off the aura of light around soldiers during night missions, making the player see about as much as the soldiers do.
Thoughts about NV equipment:
  • 2x1 item that needs to be placed into a shoulder slot.
  • Vision range with NV would depend on the ambient light levels:
    • During daytime, they would see as far with NV as in complete darkness without.
    • The darker it is, the greater the vision range, up to a maximum of 15 hexes...
    • ...but complete darkness still incurs a minor penalty as most NV gear are image intensifiers, NOT infrared goggles. That is, they still need ambient light to work properly.

--amitakartok 13:50, 21 March 2013 (EDT)

I think that, after a few turns in a night mission, a soldier's visual range should be increased due to natural nightvision. This does, of course, assume that all the weapons have flash suppressors, but it would make at least some sense, although would probably be difficult to implement. If it became possible, it would be even more realistic to decrease a soldier's accumulated nightvision if they are near electroflares, streetlights, or explosions. --BenWaters 05:15, 6 April 2013 (EDT)

Throwing over stuff

(Moved to Talk, as this is not a bug and so does not need fixing.)

Assault Time Limit

One of the cool things about UFO Defence is there are no time limits on the scenarios. This is great as it allows for a totally different kind of tactics and much more flexibility. It's more of a "thinking man's game" as a result. But... arguably this is not very realistic for UFO Assault missions. If the Aliens are getting creamed, they should try to make a getaway if they can (just like XCom would). A simple way to implement this would be a hard time limit (say 20 turns?) on a UFO Assault. Another way would be to base it on Alien Morale. At a certain Morale level the aliens decide to dust off. Give the player say 3 turns warning while they rev up the engines. Then if there is still a Navigator or Engineer in the Control Room alive, the ship takes off. Any XCom troops still aboard are MIA.

You might run into problems if the UFO took off but then landed again or was shot down, generating another ground mission with potentially more Aliens than were still alive at the end of the Assault. (Still, maybe they hatch some more clones if they get time to....) Spike 09:51, 4 September 2008 (PDT)

It strikes me as justified they don't do that. Troops loose in the vessel could be seriously bad. It would be nice if they dusted off on the condition that their morale was low enough or 3 X-com soldiers had the door in their sights without aliens alive outside in the latter case and no X-com soldiers on board in either case. also, if the UFO has a hole in either the command or engine room, it would have to set down before leaving the atmosphere. (name here)

Taking off with troops onboard would be perfectly safe (for the aliens) and justifiable if one assumes that alien ships in flight are inherently inhospitable for humans. This is easily done by saying that they undergo accelerations that humans can't withstand (splat), can't withstand for any length of time (pass out), or that they intentionally make rapid accelerations in different directions, either normally or just if they're trying to bash some intruders around. Naturally, the aliens themselves would either be immune to these (tough physique / their built-in antigrav devices?), or be in acceleration chairs, safe from all this.

Alternatively, when you get the warning that the UFO is going to take off, you've got a certain amount of time to either get everyone off the UFO, or to get everyone on it (or as many as you can). There could be a follow-up mission that takes place in "sky" terrain, where the outdoors is either impassable (the easy way) or else instantly withdraws units from combat (flying suits / parachutes). The soldiers' goals would be to either take out the aliens and presumably safely land and salvage the UFO, or take out the UFO's means of flying (power cores / navigator?). In the latter case, they might have a certain number of turns to withdraw or be caught in the crash, with possible casualties just like the aliens, mitigated to some degree by their armour and maybe where inside the UFO they are.

In the case of a crash, there could be a final mission to finish off the surviving aliens, using the X-COM soldiers that survive the crash, and no landing craft (it's still back at the old landing site). Alternatively, you could say that there is an X-COM landing craft parked outside (with all remaining members of the original landing party), since the in-flight time / distance was presumably low and the original X-COM craft quickly packed up and flew to the new landing site. — Wisq 17:11, 18 April 2010 (EDT)

Either side could try bringing in reinforcements -- if I can bring two interceptors to a fight in the sky, why can't I bring two troop transports? This starts to get complicated, but it's come up in discussion of making X-COM into an onlime multiplayer game... :) Lobster Dan 13:18, 25 January 2011 (EST)

Alien AI

  • Aliens cannot pick up items, but I wish they would. If an alien has no useful weapons in inventory they should either head for cover or head for a plasma weapon. Panicked aliens drop their weapons but never seem to pick them up when they managed to pull themselves together. It would be nice if they tried to arm themselves again. --Brunpal 13:55, 19 September 2008 (PDT)
Even if it's too hard to make aliens head towards weapons (is it safe?, could it be used to trap them, not to mention the complexities of route finding) - it would still be good if an unarmed alien checked for usable weapons in every square it moved through, and at least picked up one loaded weapon or grenade per turn. Spike 12:22, 24 November 2008 (CST)
Fixing the AI for this could be really hard. Apart from all the possible exploits by XCom, the AI is probably a really hard part of the game to reverse engineer. You could say that an unarmed alien is no threat anyway (we are only concerned about aliens without psi or built in weapons). So nothing is lost even with an exploitable method of re-arming. By exploitable I mean the XCom player can manipulate re-arming, e.g. by leaving weapons out in the open as bait for traps.
Maybe the simplest modification would be to not drop weapons when the alien panics? This does not require delving in to the AI, just intercepting the panic effects. Dont make aliens drop any weapons when they panic. It would be reasonable to return the weapon in hand to inventory, so there is a TU cost for the alien to bring the weapon back into play again.
This would not work for aliens who were stunned and wake up, or who were mind controlled by XCom and made to drop their weapons. But it would probably catch 80% of cases.
Another cheat, short of fixing the AI, is just to pick up weapons that the alien walks over. It could also pick up "spare" weapons from adjacent aliens (cheating on TUs - basically just teleporting the items to the unarmed alien). Spare alien weapons are almost invariably grenades. I have not had a lot of success in getting unarmed aliens to use grenades, so more research is needed here. Maybe only certain types of aliens use grenades, or only in certain circumstances?
Really, really cheating would be to teleport any weapon laying around the battlefield into the alien's inventory. But I think it is more fair just to say panicked aliens dont drop their equipment. Spike 16:13, 13 February 2010 (EST)
Interesting research! Volutar found a disabled function in the code that makes aliens pick up items! Talk:OBDATA.DAT#Field_0x2D
  • Depending on the aliens' intelligence stat, they can deliberately blast away cover with autofire if they saw any of your soldiers taking cover behind it. They already sort-of do this with grenades but not with other weapons. amitakartok
  • Aliens actively using sniper-spotter tactics, taking the high ground whenever possible. amitakartok

End Psi Bullying and Psi Baiting

When the aliens use psi attacks they always go for your guys with the most chance of failing the attack and going nuts. Is it possible to make those pesky aliens attack random soldiers, regardless of their psi skill/strength?

Not a bad idea to randomise this a bit, because while initially this tactic helps the aliens, it becomes so predictable that it can be used against them by deploying unarmed "Psi Bait" soldiers to draw off all the attacks. (Or make aliens avoid controlling/panicking soldiers who have no loaded weapons. But then folks would just give them pea shooters and wear armour.) Spike 12:22, 24 November 2008 (CST)

80 Item Limit on Base Defense Mission

Well you get the 80 item limit on every mission, but it hurts more on a Base Defence as you have more limited ability, or sometimes no ability, to manage what goes into those 80 items. I was thinking about a couple of (theoretical) ways to fix this and I hit on a new one (new for me anyway): Why not take the 80 items from the Transport(s), first Transport then second Transport until you run out of items or hit 80. This has a few benefits:
  • Ready made interface to manage the 80-item limit, the Stores <> Craft (Equip Craft) Screen.
  • If you have no warning at all, the 80 items will probably make good tactical sense in general terms, even if they are are not totally optimised for Base Defence (no proximity mines, etc).
I think that copying the Transport inventory into the Battlescape inventory would be relatively to implement (though what do I know?). As a simplification, you could move only the inventory in the first available Transport that is present in the Base, into the Battlescape, and not bother looking in more than one place (other Transports, Base Stores) to get up to 80. It would then be a bit of a drag if your Transports are all out on a mission when your Base gets attacked though. Or perhaps inspect the inventory of Transport 1 (wherever it is in the world), and then attempt to copy its inventory, using equipment present in the Base?
Another way of doing it which has been mentioned elsewhere is to try to reverse the order of the items in the Stores list. This has the effect of putting the more advanced weapons first, rather than the more basic weapons. There could be all kinds of unwanted side effects of this, depending on various programming issues.
Actually there is already a fix for the 80-item limit in XComUtil. XComUtil records a standard assign weapon set for each of your troops, and then teleports those weapons to the Battlescape from your Base Stores, regardless of the 80-item limit (but still subject to the Battlescape's 170-item limit). Not 100% sure if this works for Base Defence missions though.
Spike 13:22, 24 November 2008 (CST)

Collision Detection Bugs

I have noticed that sometimes you can shoot through hard objects, for example, recently I had a soldier up on the roof of a house overlooking a large scout craft. When a Sectiod moved through one of the inner doors of the UFO, my man shot him straight through the intact ufo roof!

Base Defence Systems Cause Alien Casualties

I don’t know if this is already implemented in the game? When the aliens attack your base and you defend it with base defense measures does the following occur and if not a mod maybe? When you hit the battleship with your weapons but it still gets through (e.g. you hit the battleship with some missiles before it lands) can the number of attackers be reduced accordingly. For example if you hit it with some missiles then maybe they could have a couple less soldiers attacking (could be random small amount) or when you hit with loads of stuff like plenty of fusion balls and the battleship just makes it then their attack could be reduced to a few aliens (all others got killed in the defense). As I say not sure if this is already there to some degree (not played in a long time and I’m not at that stage yet this time round).

The general view is probably that Base Defence missions are a boon to XCOM already, so why make them any easier. At very least there would need to be more damage to the loot than there was to the Alien's combat effectiveness, otherwise this unbalances the game in favour of XCOM. Spike 12:22, 24 November 2008 (CST)

Alien vs Alien

This one is way out there. Alien v Alien battles out with main game, just random battlescape maps. Sectoid and their terrorists against Floaters and theirs etc. One side human controlled the other computer. Choice of ships involved etc.

I actually love this idea. It might just about be possible using XComUtil, if someone is a total XComUtil guru.

There was a utility to do this from Devisraad. it has long since been removed from his site, but someone may still have it. The basics was you renamed unit and it automatically replaced graphics flag to swap out the units. Didn't work on the Large Aliens but still was a fun mod --BladeFireLight 02:20, 6 January 2010 (EST)

Aircraft in Base Defence Battlescape

New graphics for the Interceptor and Firestorm on the battlescape. All your ships could remain in their hangers when the aliens attack your base. Don’t understand why Mythos did not do this originally.

Simply for one reason: the limit on the size of the battlescape. UFO maps are usually limited to 10000 tiles (50x50x4), on Bases you have 9600 (60x60x3), the last level one being dirt. You need 3 levels to display X-COM craft. Hobbes 14:28, 23 September 2008 (PDT)

Could you not do it but clip off the top level of the craft - leaving the ground level and 'deck' level? It would be a cool terrain area to fight in. I like the fact that in TFTD you can still see your subs during a base defence. Spike 12:22, 24 November 2008 (CST)

It is possible to edit the map files to include the Skyranger, but you'll have to use Xcomutil to play with that terrain and I think it would never launch during base defense missions (but I'm not sure on that - never tried editing the X-COM base terrain). Hobbes 19:25, 4 December 2009 (EST)

This could be done by creating new "hangar" map modules, each containing one of the five possible X-COM craft. Bung the modules into GEODATA.DAT at index 0C, and you're done. The catch is you can't have all craft or the MCD array will overflow. The base terrain uses ~160 tiles as it is (out of the max of 256), while the craft use about 60 each (on average). Putting them all in would take the table above 300 entries (that is to say, the game'd crash).

'Cause XcomUtil already provides us with an Intercepter design made up of SkyRanger parts, I suppose the way to go would be to only implement those two craft. If you have any alien technology ships, they could either be left out ("they were fast enough to escape") or rendered as SkyRangers.

It should also be noted that bases are made up of two levels, not three. Luckily, all the craft are only three levels high, so cutting out the landing gear still works. - Bomb Bloke 19:56, 4 December 2009 (EST)

Very true about the MCD limit, that's why I only mentioned the Skyranger but the Interceptor could be added as well (and would not make much sense to have your first defense mission with a nice Avenger parked on the hangar while your Interceptors are being blow to bits by Battleships). The bases are 3 levels but you can only modify two of them. The game engine automatically adds a layer of 'dirt modules' either at top or bottom. Hmmm, this just gave me an idea for the wish list... Hobbes 20:29, 4 December 2009 (EST)

Both alien and X-Com bases are only two levels. There must be something screwy in your game; XcomUtil maybe?

It occurs to me that removing landing gear and stuff might make it just possible to jam in the Lightning tiles as well (as the MCD requirements would also shrink slightly). That'd make it possible to add the Firestorm, too. Seems a shame to get that far then leave out the Avenger, though...

- Bomb Bloke 21:30, 4 December 2009 (EST)

Nevermind, I completely misread your previous post. Yes, they are two levels only, could be Xcomutil that adds the 3rd level.

- Hobbes 22:30, 4 December 2009 (EST)

You may be able to get 3 levels in an X-Com Base but not 4. EU has a smaller amount of memory alocated. I dont know the limit but 60x60x4 will crash EU. TFTD has no problem --BladeFireLight 02:25, 6 January 2010 (EST)

I got partway through this and then decided to change my methods entirely and start from scratch. So I thought I might as well post my progress anyways, as it's already about on par with the crude TFTD implementation: You always have the same craft appear in your hanger regardless of what is (or isn't!) there.

File:Skyranger In Hanger.rar

- Bomb Bloke 05:40, 17 December 2009 (EST)

Hey BB, a while ago I have modded the plane terrain files so that the Skyranger appears facing east instead of south. If you want to use that one (to make it a little different) let me know. Hobbes 08:23, 17 December 2009 (EST)

Thanks, but don't worry about it for now: it'll make the MCD arrays larger still, so I'll consider it when I get all the other stuff done.

- Bomb Bloke 17:01, 19 December 2009 (EST)

The completed mod is now included in my toolpack. As usual, I've only done cursory testing on it, but I'm pretty sure it's stable enough.

- Bomb Bloke 06:40, 20 January 2010 (EST)

Fixed firing TUs

Something that always bugged me was how the weapons used percentages for firing TUs. It doesn't make sense that the faster a soldier got, the longer it would take to fire a weapon.

This is because you can't fire an automatic weapon any faster than it will shoot. However, it otherwise makes minimal sense, as you point out. I suggest two alternative solutions. Firstly, that only automatic fire modes use a fixed percentage of a soldier's time units, and other modes use a fixed number of TUs. This would entail the newer soldiers spraying and your most elite taking fast, selective single shots. The alternative is that each firing mode for each weapon entails its own formula (revealed in the UFOpaedia but essentially hidden during the battlescape) along the lines of "X% of TUs + Y TUs". Snap fire would be a low % of total plus a low fixed cost, Aimed would be a low % of total with a high fixed cost, and Auto would be a high % of total with a low fixed cost. While this is somewhat complex, in-game you wouldn't have to worry, and it accounts for what can be reduced (i.e. aiming speed) and what can never be improved by a soldier (i.e. cyclic rate of fire or time for a missile to lock). Stubbs
These observations are very sensible. However we also need to consider the impact on game balance. If you implement this in an even-handed way, alien rates of fire will increase as they have high TUs. Or, if you fudge it so that alien rates of fire remain the same, then X-Com's advantage will increase as the game progresses. Neither of these are desirable. It would be extremely hard to implement this and still maintain game balance. Spike 08:41, 1 September 2009 (EDT)
Each turn has the exact same duration, but is divided into TUs separately for each soldier. That's a simplification that works well in a turn-based game and reflects the fact that a soldier is fast or slow. However, weapons need to be aimed and will not fire faster than normal, thus they require a fixed percentage of the turn duration. In other words, soldiers gain movement speed, but fire at the same rate. This is both desirable and logical, just not self-explanatory. Thus, I would definitely stick to how TUs consumption is solved currently. mingos

In-flight Interception

Yes, I know that this idea is nigh-impossible, but I was thinking, wouldn't it be awesome to infiltrate a battleship, kill the aliens inside and escape, with the geoscape being shown zooming past underneath? Also, in a similar vein to the "aliens dust off after 3 turns" idea, after killing the aliens ( or blowing up the power cores, maybe?)you would have to get as many troops as possible to the drop ship in 3 turns(in retrospect I guess that you could only do this with the Lightning because of the doors) or the ship crashes and all troops not in the dropship are missing in action. Yes, this idea is impractical and would be really hard to program, but the idea of blowing a UFO up from the inside just seems epic to me. WolfenMage

Impose cost to using Psionic attacks

I think everyone agrees Psi attacks are too powerful. I would propose to impose a cost to using Psionic attacks. This could take the form of decreasing the physical stats after using a PSi attack (after all all: the psionic races are physically weak). This could for example lead to a soldier becoming a weakling or even fainting or dying from using psi-attack. Another possibility is to decrease mental stats (in this case the ratio would be that humans are not really being adapted to psi: you could be expected to go crazy playing mind games) leading to a decrease in psionic powers or maybe panicking or beserking the soldier using psi. Together with limiting psi attacks of MCed units proposed elsewhere this would rebalance the later game somewhat... Emphyrio 07:22, 9 August 2010 (EDT)

UFO Extender implements some limitations on X-Com use of Psi, making attacks Line of Sight based. Spike 03:48, 20 September 2012 (EDT)

Make losing a base less costly

My friends would often quit and reload after losing a base because it was so costly. It should definitely be a kick in the teeth, but even the game text suggests some ways you can recover: 1. Scientists and engineers have already been evacuated -- on a defense loss, let me transfer them to bases with open living quarters. 2. Likewise, move any ships at that location to another open hangar. (Maybe doing this requires that I have gotten advanced warning of the attack.)

You can do all of this immediately prior to the attack, which is a small trade off if you win and a great benefit if you lose. I'm not sure you should be able to do it for free, at the instant of losing, and keep your options open until the last second. I think the game is fair and balanced as is. Well OK, maybe an option to do transfers after seeing the Base Attack screen, but before combat, would be user-friendly - it is sometimes hard to get to the Base screen fast enough to perform an evacuation before the base assault starts. Spike 03:48, 20 September 2012 (EDT)

Have captured aliens be present in base defense

The alien containment unit could have all my captured aliens present in jail cells. But this requires other things to happen first.

On one hand, I think it would be cool if the attackers can rescue their friends and bring them into battle. So aliens would need to be able to pick up weapons. Psi powers would suck -- it would seem nuts if a captured ethereal suddenly started brainwashing my crew right away. Maybe they all start with -50 stun, or maybe (can we do this?) psi-powered enemies have it disabled if they start the game captured.

Another issue is that each containment supposedly holds 10 aliens according to the game text, but there is no real limit in the game. Maybe we fix that 10-limit bug (which would mean that we would need to be able to kill overflow aliens), maybe we only take the first 10. And it definitely runs into tile issues.

Would the enemies in containment need to be killed/re-stunned to end the mission? Maybe being in a locked jail cell automatically counts as captured.

The problem here is that Alien Containment works entirely differently from how it's stated. Alien Containment is instead a file of aliens captured with, IIRC, 50 slots, and it is shared across ALL bases. So you'd have to figure out some way to change the file to flag aliens as 'belonging' to a specific base. And of course, on higher difficulty modes, the aliens and their terror units already spawn most or all of their UNITPOS.DAT slots anyways. Arrow Quivershaft 08:19, 12 January 2012 (EST)

Grenade Launchers

Is the US army being obstructive? Why can't we buy M79s or M203s? Shooting a grenade through a wiindow/gap is sorely missing, because of the need to arc. There is the small launcher, but that stuns. 30mm grenades come in HE, WP, Smoke, Incendary, AP and flechette (think shotgun with a 30mm bore!)

They're not being obstructive, in fact they gave us automatic and semi-automatic grenade launchers, which we call the Auto Cannon and Heavy Cannon. See Realistic Equivalents#Weapons. Spike 17:46, 20 March 2011 (EDT)
In that case, why not make the Heavy Cannon and Small Launcher fire in a ballistic trajectory, a la Celatid spit? It would make the HC even more useful until the advent of the Blaster.--amitakartok 17:45, 19 March 2013 (EDT)

80 item limit

The space available should be treated more logically; using the system base stores does. At the moment craft treat 1 heavy weapon as the same size as 1 grenade.

This has nothing to do with item size but the size of the database responsible for keeping track of all available items in the battle. This database size if fixed and just about every routine throughout the program that references this database is written with the size in mind. Fixing this would require rewriting a majority of the program. - Tycho

"Integrated" Inventory

There are no Hands, Legs, Shoulders and Belt in a soldier’s inventory, only the Backpack to store everything he carries to the battlefield. So if he wants to fire a gun or throw a grenade or use a tool, simply open the Backpack to select the weapon/equipment, then select the target/function/mode.

Each object has a certain "capacity value" in inventory, for example a Heavy Plasma has 6, a Medi-Kit has 2. A rookie only has very limited inventory capacity, maybe 20 to 30. As his rank rises, his inventory capacity also expands. Armors can give him additional capacity to carry more items. Lixiaofossil (talk) 11:22, 12 April 2024 (UTC+8)



  • An option for modifying how many times can the medkit's various features be used. According to the site, it's not stored in OBDATA but inside the executable.
  • Editable starting soldiers attributes.
  • Editable HWP stats of chassis and their weapons.
  • Editable fire/stun damage of equipment that does this type of damage.
  • Editable fatal wound system.
  • A critical hit chance system.
  • Option to chose % chance of aliens having a weapon over another.
  • Creating and using a custom research tree.

This is pretty much impossible without massively rewriting the way the game handles research. The "research tree" is just a long list of hard-coded if-then statements.-Tycho

  • Trigger Discipline: soldiers (and aliens under X-COM mind control) do not reaction-fire at unarmed targets. Psionic aliens and terrorists are considered armed at all times; soldiers under alien mind control are only considered a threat if they have a LOADED weapon (laser or a weapon AND ammo; smoke grenade/small launcher/stun rod doesn't count as weapon). This eliminates psi-induced friendly fire incidents but also removes the possibility of reactions training.
  • Beware the Ethereal: Ethereal Commanders gain maxed-out Psi Strength and Psi Skill. Lower-ranked Ethereals also gain increases to these stats.
  • Exponential Psi: mind-controlled soldiers can use psi-amps. If set to 1, only panic attacks are launched. If set to 2, mind-control is also permitted.
  • Join Us: all psionic aliens deliberately target amp-wielders before everyone else. Combine with Exponential Psi and Beware the Ethereal for maximum effect... and prepare to sweat blood.
  • Human Shields: psionic aliens deliberately mind-control civilians on terror missions to use them as scouts/cannon fodder. If killed, mind-controlled civvies count against the mission score. If the Tactical AI mod is active, mind-controlled civvies pick up weapons as well. If Trigger Discipline is active, soldiers will not reaction-fire on civvies under any circumstances, even if being shot at by them.
  • Battle Royale: on terror missions, a random number of civilians spawn with Pistols. Optionally, the Tactical AI mod makes them pick up dropped weapons and use them. Thing is, they shoot at not just the aliens but X-COM too!
  • Field Commander: alien commanders can only be found on Battleships. Bases only have leaders.
  • Conservation of Energy: plasma cannons of both flavors (craft and HWP) consume Elerium as ammunition. The first full reload is included in the construction cost, further reloads are deducted from base stores after each deployment (similarly to ammo-using craft and HWP weapons). Makes the game significantly harder.
  • Elerium Recycling: selling plasma weapon clips won't turn in any money but returns some of the Elerium used for production. Elerium is more plentiful as a result but an important source of funding is removed, making the early game a bit harder. Additionally, you never get back all of the Elerium used in production, making it inefficient to recycle your own clips.
  • Volatile Elerium: plasma weapons can be set to self-destruct as makeshift explosives. The blast force depends on how many times the current clip was fired; if the clip is empty, the weapon item is removed and the tile merely set ablaze for a few turns... but if it's a full Heavy Plasma clip, it goes off with the force of a blaster bomb.
  • About the idea above, maybe all plasma armaments are energized by standardized “Elerium-enriched cells”, a single cell can provide 80 rounds to a Plasma Pistol, 40 rounds to a Plasma Rifle, but only 20 rounds to a Heavy Plasma. And these cells have safety latches that once turned off, will render them unstable and will detonate like Alien Grenades, and the radius and lethality of detonation are decided by how many rounds remaining.

Fix All Bugs

Oh no Seb76 already did this! :) Spike 12:06, 3 September 2008 (PDT)

I Wished (And My Wish Came True)...

Geoscape and Strategic

Fuel Ready always

Implemented - here

I wish that I could send out craft at any fuel or ammo level. Normally craft can only leave a base if fully "ready". Craft is only "ready" at 100% fuel (or 0% fuel using an exploit) but there's no logical reason why a full tank and full ammo is required. Fully repaired... that's fine. I can live with pilots refusing to fly a plane missing a wing even if it means England is lost to aliens. 15 hours to fill a tank? Retarded but I can live with that too if I can send out a craft at 20% fuel. --Brunpal

Actually, many modern aircraft do require the fuel tanks to be full on takeoff, and fairly empty on landing. The weight of the fuel is figured into the takeoff aerodynamics, and the tank being full prevents fuel 'sloshing' in the tanks and not actually making it to the engine. (Conversely, many aircraft need to have dispensed of much of that fuel weight before landing.) This holds for most runway-takeoff craft, but may not apply to anything with VTOL capacity; I'm unsure there.
I do agree that non-full weapons aren't as critical, though. But from a logical standpoint, most modern aircraft should not be launched on an empty fuel tank. I also should noted that an Elerium-fueled craft with 50% fuel or less remaining will automatically return to base, regardless of distance from base. Of course, given that such craft fuel up quickly, its less of an issue there. Arrow Quivershaft 22:05, 7 August 2008 (PDT)
Hum, maybe you can try this? Seb76 13:01, 8 August 2008 (PDT)
Thanks! But I can't try it. I've not been able to get my copy of Xcom to run properly except on a Win98 install. VC2008 requires a more modern OS. I'm sure I could eventually figure out a way to get it running, but I tried once and wasted too much time before giving up.--Brunpal 14:45, 8 August 2008 (PDT)
AFAIK VC2008 binaries should run OK on Win98 as long as the runtime is deployed. Anyway, the loader uses CreateRemoteThread API which is not available in Win98 so don't even bother. However, you can manually patch the binary if you want ;-) Data to patch (all in hexadecimal):
offset 0x41752: 2A0075 -> 18207C
HTH. Seb76 14:56, 8 August 2008 (PDT)

Base Build Stacking

Implemented - here

At the moment you are only allowed to build next to a finished module, and you aren't allowed to plan ahead in your base construction. It would be nice to at least be able to plan more than one phase of construction in advance. This would be pretty easy to implement. There is no need to code any new "queuing system". Just place the new module next to an existing under-construction module, but increment the build time to the normal build time + the time remaining on the under-construction module (the lowest time remaining that would make the square you are building in, a legal square to build in). As a premium for build stacking, you have to pay the costs up-front. As with normal construction, all costs are non-refundable if you change your mind. (There would probably need to be some on-screen feedback for how long the module would take to build, before you were committed to building it.) Spike 12:06, 3 September 2008 (PDT)

See also: Discussion on Talk page.

Keyboard shortcuts at bases

I wish we had (customised, maybe?) keyboard shortcuts at the base screen. Numbers (at the "base information" screen as well) would switch bases, R for research, E for equip craft, T for transfer, M for manufacture, S for soldiers, B for build new base, P for purchase+recruit (or "B" for "buy" - let people double-bind if they need it), I for base information. The doubles (soldiers/sell+sack) could be solved by using the key under the primary one (x for sell+sack). - n (16:26, 16 Aug 2010 (GMT+1))

Keyboard shortcuts are implemented in UFO Extender. Spike 03:48, 20 September 2012 (EDT)

Soldier table

Soldiers should be listed in a sortable table, so I can sort them based on rank, ship order, firing accuracy, psi skills, in psi training, etc. If I want to find out my best shooters, it should be a very fast operation.

At a more advanced level: do it across bases; have filter options; sort based on formula (so I can find the soldiers with the best reaction+firing, or the best psi strength + psi skill).Lobster Dan 13:18, 25 January 2011 (EST)

Sortable soldier list is implemented in UFO Extender and XComUtil. Spike 03:48, 20 September 2012 (EDT)

Battlescape and Tactical

Equipment Management

Soldiers remembers THEIR equipment

Implemented - here

I wish soldiers remembered what equipment they LAST used and start with that gear when they land. Normally soldiers grab various gear and put lots of crap on their belt. I put most things on the shoulder slots, and keep many things spare things on the ship just in case I need them. (I only want IN rounds if it's night. Stop picking them up before I shoot you in the back!) Takes forever to sort out the gear so the weakling isn't carrying all the rockets etc. --Brunpal

This is already available in XcomUtil. Arrow Quivershaft 22:07, 7 August 2008 (PDT)

Access to Stats screens during equipment allocation

Mostly implemented - here

In Battlescape you can get to Stats screens by right clicking on one of the unit's status bars. However you can't do this in the Equipment screen. Things like Statstrings and (even more so) Seb76's modified Equipment screen with actual/max weight help. But it would be nice to be able to see exact stats. Spike 12:06, 3 September 2008 (PDT)

Decrease Accuracy for targets out of sight

Brilliantly implemented - here

How come you can easily shoot on something you do not see? I find the over-used scout-sniper tactic is a cheap exploit of the X-COM. The tactical game should describe a combat, not a cowardly shooting practice. It would turn into a nice feature, if there would be a penalty of (let us say) -20% to the accuracy of anybody who is firing on a target out of his current sight. This can greatly enhance the tactical depth of the game. (Seb around? ;-) --Kyrub 14:20, 30 August 2008 (PDT)

...discussed here

Enough Smoke

Implemented - here

It would be nice to increase the current limit on smoke/fire hexes. This is due to their locations being stored in a small, fixed length array. In effect you can only get about 3-4 smoke grenades worth of smoke or fire on the map at the same time. Being able to use smoke liberally would really open up new tactics. At the moment all you can really do is cover the LZ in smoke when you exit the transport, and maybe cover one advance over open ground. Spike 12:06, 3 September 2008 (PDT)

I did something for that on my loader. Heavy testing is required because it is hard to be make sure smoke still works as before (testing is the hardest part actually). Seb76 14:09, 18 September 2008 (PDT)

Alien AI

Aliens better with explosions

Partly implemented here (waypoint bug fix) and here (Blaster drift). (Possibly move this to talk, as notwithstanding these 2 bugs, apparently the Aliens are fairly safe with lethal explosives.)

I wish that aliens using grenades or blaster bombs or stun bombs (anything that goes boom) would use more sense. They should not want to use items that go boom when they are guaranteed to be caught in the blast radius. The alien can use grenades and blaster bombs by going out of line of sight before the explosion goes off. That may not save them if the explosion blows out the walls. At least it would be less stupid then firing a point blank blaster bomb vs taking 5 steps and setting up another waypoint. Units with morale above 100 or mind controlled should still be suicidal as normal.--Brunpal 13:55, 19 September 2008 (PDT)

Actually, the aliens are quite careful with their explosives, they just seem to be prone to the occasional accident. They're not likely to fire off a blaster or grenade too close to them - as evident by the strategy where if you see an alien with a BB but can't shoot back, the safest place is to stand next to it. The blaster bomb vertical waypoint fix in the loader also eliminates the 'oops' moments where they plot a vertical right angle too close to themselves and there just happens to be a wall to the south. However, they do need more care with stun bombs as you often get to see an alien fire a stun bomb point blank into a HWP parked next to it. But I guess we are talking about three different weapon types here, so they may not be as careful with a standard firearm as they are with grenades and the BB. Wish the Apocalypse aliens at least had as much sense as the UFO/TFTD aliens. In that game, they're utterly psychotic with explosives and ignore nearby allies. -NKF 14:34, 19 September 2008 (PDT)

Mind Controlled then Hostile

If you mind control a human (civilians) in a terror mission, they become enemies when you lose control (meaning you have to kill the poor idiots to finish the mission). Any chance that they could revert to friendlies/non enemies again when you lose control.

Now fixed by the Seb76 loader Spike 19:13, 11 December 2009 (EST)

Mind Controlled then MIA

Men who are under alien control when you win become MIA, any chance they could be saved (you will have killed all the aliens after all).

I believe XComUtil fixes this MIA issue. Spike 12:22, 24 November 2008 (CST)
XcomUtil 9.6 also restores all DOA if you win to. Not what was intended. This feature has been removed as of 9.7 until I can fix it. --BladeFireLight 02:27, 6 January 2010 (EST)
Now also fixed by the Seb76 loader Spike 19:13, 11 December 2009 (EST)

Open Doors But Don't Enter/Exit

Open doors like they do in TFTD (I know this is mentioned above with the good stun grenades idea).

Now fixed by the Seb76 loader Spike 19:13, 11 December 2009 (EST)

Warm Grenades

Currently when you set the timer on a grenade (or HE pack), the timer runs down every turn regardless of whether the grenade is worn, held, or dropped. Then, when the timer runs out, it explodes unless it is held or worn. There is no real grenade or explosive that works this way. Once the timer (fuse) starts running, they explode regardless. However for most hand grenades, the timer (fuse) doesn't start until after you throw/drop the grenade. It would be nice to have both of these real world behaviours, and lose the game's default behaviour. Spike 12:06, 3 September 2008 (PDT)

Technically the way the game implements grenades, they don't have a timer. At least, not as such. When you set a grenade, the game just assigns it a turn to blow up on. Once the turn has passed, the game checks to see that it's on the ground and blows it up if it is, otherwise it doesn't. I believe Seb76 has already addressed this in his patches where there's an option to make grenade blow up regardless whether they are in inventory or otherwise the moment the timer is set. X-Com Apocalypse does a good job of this. The moment the grenade is so much as moved after the timer is set, it counts down. - NKF 23:01, 13 September 2008 (PDT)
To simulate an actual timer, you would need to do something like: Every turn that a primed grenade is being held by a unit during the "explode" check, increment by +1 the turn when that grenade is going to explode. Spike 19:10, 14 September 2008 (PDT)
I think I would change quantity2 (OBPOS.DAT) to a countdown instead of a turn, and use quantity3 as a flag indicating if the count has started. This flag is set any time a turn ends and the grenade has no owner. Taking it back in your hand once the timer has started won't help and the thing must be thrown... quantity2 is decreased if quantity3 is set, and the grenade blows up as usual. Seb76 01:35, 15 September 2008 (PDT)
That would be great. It would be exactly consistent with a 'spoon' type hand grenade. The timer only starts when you release the grenade, but after that it explodes at a definite time regardless of whether you pick it up or not. Spike 12:22, 24 November 2008 (CST)

Implemented in UFO Extender. Spike 03:48, 20 September 2012 (EDT)


The page needs to be listed in various categories, which ones I don't know. Also links on other pages to this one would aid people finding it.

OK how about this one: Spike 12:21, 3 September 2008 (PDT)