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What is XcomUtil?

XcomUtil is an utility written by Scott T. Jones to enhance both UFO Defense and Terror From The Deep. It works with either both the DOS or the CE (Windows) version of each game. Quoting from Scott T. Jones page: "XcomUtil is a game enhancer. It is not really an editor and it is certainly not a cheat program. The original purpose of XcomUtil was to make the game more difficult, because there was a bug in the original game that forced all games to the Beginner difficulty level, regardless of what level you chose."

Scott T. Jones has been working on this program for years and the latest version (9.60) can be downloaded from his page.

XcomUtil's features

  • Fixes the difficulty bug mentioned on the above quote.
  • Allows for hybrid games, where UFO's maps can be played on TFTD and vice-versa.
  • Sorts your soldiers by stats and rank and saves their equipment configuration.
  • Has an option for a enhanced set of the original weapons.
  • Allows to play only day/night missions.
  • Allows to choose the terrain and UFO for the tactical mission.
  • Makes research more difficult by making it dependent on captured aliens.
  • Allows for all 5 X-COM ships to carry troops.
  • Allows to change the aliens and their weapons during tactical missions.
  • Adds an AutoCombat feature to automatically resolve a combat.
  • Allows for world terrain randomization.
  • Permits players/modders to use new terrains and other features.

For a complete list see the XcomUtil.txt file included with the program.

How to use XcomUtil

Warning: this indications are merely for a quick use/explanation of some of its features. For full documentation read the XcomUtil.txt file included with the program. It is always recommended to make a backup copy of the game to restore it to its original configuration.

First, you will need to download XcomUtil from Scott T Jones site and unzip it to your UFO/TFTD folder. Afterwards run XcuSetup to configure it and choose the options you want (there's an explaining list below). For more advanced options you will need to use the xcomutil command (instructions on that below). Finally, to load the game with XcomUtil fully working you will need to use the RunXcom command.

The XcuSetup configuration program

The easiest way to run XcomUtil is to run the XcuSetup program. It will then prompt you to choose a number of options:

  • Do you want to enable f0dder's loader? - This is in case you are having video problems with the Windows edition.
  • Do you want to use the improved starting base? - The starting base will have a different configuration better suited for defense, plus the scientists and engineers will be increased to 50 each. It will also upgrade the Small Radar to a Large Radar and build an Alien Containment
  • Do you want to use the alternate starting base? - If you have answered No to the previous prompt this query will appear. Your starting base will have the defense configuration but not the other improvements.
  • Do you want to use the improved tanks? -The HWP will have the same stats as the Hovertanks, if chosen Yes.
  • Do you want to use the improved weapons? -Pistol, Heavy Laser and High Explosive will have better stats.
  • Do you want to use the new laser weapons? -Lasers now require Elerium to be built, plus it is not possible to build Plasma weapons (with the exception of the Plasma Cannon and clips).
  • Do you want to get research help from captured aliens? - This will greatly increase the research times for all technologies, and you will need to capture aliens to speed up your research.
  • Do you want stat strings added to the names of your troops? - To help distinguish them on combat. Other suboptions will appear if you choose Yes.
  • Do you want your troops automatically sorted before combat? - Places the rookies and high reaction soldiers at first to disembark the craft.
  • Do you want to automatically re-equip your troops before combat? - Saves the equipment for each soldier at the end of each mission and reequips them on their next mission.

There are more options available, these are only some of them.

The XcomUtil command

The second way to use XcomUtil is by running the xcomutil command to change a saved game. This command allow for specific modifications to the files (XcuSetup makes nearly all general modifications), especially to games saved while on tactical.

How to use the command

The syntax for the command is :

XCOMUTIL path [flags] [WRT]

path Where your game is located. If xcomutil is on the same folder then you will simply have to specify which saved game you want to be changed

[flags] These are the specific commands. More on those below.

[WRT] To make changes permanent you will need to put WRT at the end, otherwise XcomUtil will simulate only the effects (which is great to practice).

An example of a command would be:

XCOMUTIL GAME_1 DXC WRT - This would eliminate all extra clips carried by the aliens on the first saved game.

Flags affecting tactical missions

These flags will change only elements of a saved tactical game. There are other flags that affect also Geoscape, although most of those changes can be made already with XcuSetup. For more information on the flags consult the XcomUtil.txt file.

  • DXC - This flag deletes all of the extra plasma clips carried by the aliens to make more room for extra aliens.
  • S2B - Changes stun launchers (SL) to blaster launchers (BL). Other similar flags include B2S (changes BLs to SLs); W2H which changes alien pistols and rifles to heavy plasmas; W2R changes alien weapons to rifles; W2P changes alien weapons to pistols.
  • CHG:old:new - This will change objects carried by the aliens from old to new. As an example it is possible to change plasma weapons to lasers or any other object on the inventory.
  • DEL:name - Deletes all objects carried by the aliens of the name type.
  • RPL:oldrace:newrace:oldrank:newrank - Allows to replace aliens and to change their ranks.
  • typ:# - This will add new alien units, if there is space for them. The possible flags are SEC, FLO, SNA, MUT, ETH, CEL, SIL, CHR, CIV or ALL. It is not possible to add large aliens.
  • VIS - Makes the entire battlefield visible, including the aliens.
  • WIN - Kills all alien units at the end of your turn.