Xenonauts 2, a unique strategy game, places you at the helm of a global organization, thrusting you into a clandestine battle against extraterrestrial threats. Amid the 2009 Cold War backdrop, alien sightings surge, international tensions mount, and the stakes to save humanity rise. Much like its predecessor, Xenonauts 2 reinvigorates the tactical elements from the ’90s that modern XCOM versions removed, broadening the player’s control over the squad and emphasizing the importance of every decision.
With its added complexity and heightened stakes, Xenonauts 2 challenges players to protect the world anew. Here, each victory feels hard-earned, and every loss becomes a valuable lesson. This is where this beginner’s guide comes into play, explaining the basics for new players.
Understanding the Game Basics:
At its core, Xenonauts 2 is a blend of strategic planning and tactical combat. You control an international military organization tasked with defending Earth from an alien invasion.
Geoscape: This strategic layer of the game presents a rotating globe. Here, you’ll manage your bases, monitor alien activities, direct your interceptor aircraft, and deploy squads for ground missions.
Battlescape: The Battlescape represents the game’s tactical layer, where your squads of soldiers engage in turn-based combat against alien forces.
Effective Base Management:
A well-managed base is vital for your success. This involves constructing appropriate facilities, managing resources efficiently, and making strategic decisions on where to establish new bases.
Choosing a Base Location: Your first base will be located in North America but as the game progresses you’ll need to establish additional bases in other parts of the world. Choose these locations wisely, focusing on regions with high UFO activity and those that provide substantial funding.
Building Facilities: Construct a diverse range of facilities to support your operations. Radar Arrays are used for detecting alien UFOs, Hangars for housing your interceptor aircraft, Laboratories for speeding up research, Workshops for improving engineering capacity, and Living Quarters for accommodating personnel. Be mindful of the upkeep cost and construction time of each facility.
Research and Engineering:
You must research alien technologies and engineer new equipment to ensure the survival of humanity.
Prioritizing Research: From the onset, focus on researching alien technologies to unlock new weapons, armor, and aircraft. Autopsies and Interrogation should be prioritized as they reveal important details about your enemies, including their strengths and vulnerabilities.
Engineering Projects: Once you’ve finished researching, you can engineer the new technologies. This is how you’ll develop better weapons, more protective armor, and advanced aircraft. Remember, both completed research and available resources are necessary to engineer something.
Mastering Aircraft and Air Combat:
Maintaining air superiority is crucial in Xenonauts 2. Your aircraft are the first line of defense against alien invasion, intercepting UFOs before they can cause too much harm.
Choosing Your Aircraft: Different aircraft have varying attributes and roles. For example, fighters are excellent for taking down UFOs, while dropships transport your soldiers to battlefields. It’s important to balance your fleet for optimal effectiveness.
Understanding Air Combat: Engaging UFOs in air combat is a crucial part of the game. Successful encounters rely on a mixture of the right aircraft, appropriate armaments, smart positioning, and well-timed maneuvers. Learn from each encounter, adapt your tactics, and always strive to minimize losses.
Soldier Management and Tactical Combat:
Your soldiers are your most valuable asset. Careful management, correct equipment, and tactful deployment in the battlefield will determine your success.
Recruiting Soldiers: Maintain a healthy roster of soldiers to replace any fallen comrades. Focus on recruits with high accuracy and strength, as these attributes are invaluable in combat.
Equipping Your Team: Allocate weapons, armor, and equipment based on your soldiers’ strengths and roles. For instance, a sniper should be equipped with high accuracy weapons while a heavy gunner needs strong armor and a high-capacity weapon.
Tactical Combat: Combat in Xenonauts 2 is turn-based. It’s important to understand how Time Units (TU) work. They represent the number of actions each soldier can perform in a turn. Use cover, maintain line-of-sight, and coordinate your troops to gain the upper hand.
Managing Morale and Stress:
A new addition to Xenonauts 2 is the stress system. High-stress levels can have detrimental effects on your soldiers’ performance.
Managing Stress: Stress builds up after each mission. If a soldier’s stress level becomes too high, they may panic in combat or require a period of rest. Keep an eye on this metric and rotate your troops accordingly.
Improving Morale: Morale naturally boosts with success in battles and missions. High morale decreases stress buildup and improves your soldiers’ overall performance.
The Global Strategy:
Your task is not just defending a base; you’re safeguarding the entire world. A strategic outlook is needed to respond to the alien invasion effectively.
Managing Relations: The funding you receive from nations will be contingent upon how effectively you protect them from alien activities. Keep an eye on the panic levels. If a nation’s panic level gets too high, they might withdraw their support.
Responding to Incidents: Alien activities occur worldwide, and you must respond accordingly. Incidents might range from small scout ships that can be easily taken down to large-scale invasions. Prioritize based on the threat level and the strategic importance of the region.