Without an effective global strategy, the Xenonauts are doomed to fail. This page contains tips and strategy that can help.
When you begin the game you are told where to place your initial base. You will want to place your first base in a area that encompasses as many funding nations as possible. There are three optimal base locations that you can select, it may be wise to eventually set up bases in these three areas at some point.
- Southern North America/Cuba: Covering most of the United States, all of Central American and the northern parts of South America. North America is one of the biggest contributors to the Xenonauts program alongside the Soviet Union. Positioning the base near the middle of the landmass ensures full coverage and optimal interceptor response times.
- Middle East/South East Europe: Seen as the best starting position, covers most of Europe, half of the Soviet Union, the Middle East, North Africa, some of South Africa and even the tip of Indochina. The Soviet Union is one of the biggest contributors alongside the United States.
- Indochina: Situated around Indonesia or China, this ensures the coverage of most of Indochina, half of the Soviet Union and some of Australia, but not all.
Generally going for Europe/Middle East is a good choice, though you can get away with placing your base anywhere in the world if you desire.
Setting up shop.
Your base begins with the following buildings.
The layout is fine, but not optimal.
You will want to construct the following buildings at minimum
- Medical Center : For healing wounded soldiers significantly faster than otherwise.
- Two Hangars : You're going to need to expand your air force soon.
In addition, several optional buildings can be constructed now, these are not as pressing but still something to consider.
- Radar : The more radars you have, the larger your detection radius is. Building at least one radar is a good investment. You can only use a maximum of three radars.
- Living Quarters : Soldiers, engineers and scientists all need somewhere to live.
- Laboratory : Scientists are vital to winning the war, getting more lab space will make research go much faster.
- Missile Turret : Not as important, usually a good idea to place on ancillary bases that don't house soldiers. At least three of these are needed to reliably resist an assault.
In addition, it can be a wise decision to immediately use your funding to establish a secondary base from the start, this will allow you to get more global coverage as fast as possible, if you do this however you should reign in your spending so you can at least establish a radar dish, several hangars, and about two Condors before the end of the month (Total cost of the base will be about $1,000,000), though you should get a good income from crashed UFOs.
Of course this is a risky endevour. At bare minimum you should look at establishing a second base at the start of the second month.
The Air Force
In order to get anywhere, you will need to actually shoot down UFOs. You start the game with two F-17 Condor Interceptors, for the early to mid game these will form the backbone of your air force. A good strategy is to have two Condors and two Foxtrots at every base. This will allow you to easily intercept most early to mid game UFO's, though at the later stages it may require some smart juggling of resources in combat to keep up with the UFOs until superior interceptors are researched.
For most of the first month your starting Condor Interceptors will be more than adequate in dealing with the initial UFO waves, however as Scouts and Corvettes alongside Fighter patrols and escorts become the main stay of the Alien UFO force the usage of Mig-32 Foxtrots will be paramount in dealing with the more powerful UFOs, leaving the Condors to deal with Fighters and escorts.
When X-37 Corsairs become usable, they can make a great addition and replacement to Condors. While the Corsair loses the ability to carry Missiles, it instead gains increased health, agility, speed and dual cannon slots. It can easily and single-handedly deal with most Fighter patrols. At this point you can consider selling off your fleet of Condors and substituting it with one or two Corsairs per base, assuming you can afford the Alloy and Monetary cost.
However, once the X-59 Marauder appears, that can effectively replace your entire Air Force in one fell, if not affordable, swoop. Not only is the Marauder far more powerful than any previous aircraft, it can hold both light and heavy missiles allowing it to deal with both Fighters and Heavy UFOs. It is essentially a multirole aircraft that is everything you wanted.
In the very late game the X-120 Fury can be constructed, the ultimate human interceptor capable of reaching any point on Earth in under 2 hours, and single-handedly capable of destroying any UFO instantly. However the drawback is that the Fury is extremely expensive, costing $600,000, 60 Alenium and a Singularity Core, the core being found only on board a Battleship. In addition any UFO destroyed by the Fury will not leave any wreckage to recover. However by the time the Xenonauts can afford a Fury they've likely won the air war.
A lot more straightforward than Interceptors. Each successive drop ship carries additional soldiers into battle, while increasing the dropship's health and speed.
- CH-48 Charlie : Holds 8 Soldiers, or 6 Soldiers and 1 Vehicle.
- D-42 Shrike : Holds 10 Soldiers, or 8 Soldiers and 1 Vehicle.
- D-54 Valkyrie : Holds 12 Soldiers, or 10 Soldiers and 1 Vehicle.
Do note, the Valkyrie is unique in that unlike the prior Drop ships, the Valkyrie simply drops all the Soldiers onto the battlefield via drop pods. Depending on personal preference this could deter certain commanders from using the Valkyrie over the Shrike.
The biggest threat to drop ships are Alien Air Superiority patrols which appear by the mid game, if one of these patrols catches your drop ship they will easily shoot it down. While the soldiers on board can still survive the crash landing, you will still want to avoid this. Attaching a interceptor to escort the drop ship or clearing the skies first can prevent this from occurring.