Miscellaneous XCOM Tips

Here are a whole bunch of notes from playing through XCOM Ironman Classic (and preparing for Ironman Impossible) that may be helpful if you’re trying to do similar stuff in XCOM. I didn’t craft into a detailed guide, just typed up a list.



  • Starting goal is to get your first round of satellites (up to 5) launched in month 1. To do this, you need to 1) abduction by 3/7 to get bonus Engineers, 2) start workshop by 3/7, 3) start 4 satellites by 3/11 by selling loot from your first UFO, 4) start an Uplink as soon as Workshop finishes, by 3/17. Then launch 4 satellites by 3/31.
  • You can then either reinvest fully in satellites in month 2 (going up to 8), or put off the second round until month 3 to have money for Officer Training and some better gear in month 2.
  • Getting the satellites up in month 2 takes some planning, since you now not only need the Workshop and Uplink, but an Access Lift and two Power Generators. The uplink and second generator have to be on level 2. Working backwards: need to start uplink by 4/16, second generator on 4/11, excavating for second generator on 4/6, access lift on 4/1, so first power generator in March to be done by 4/1. There’s some variation in all this based on which holes are pre-excavated and how much you care about adjacency bonuses, but point is, to make it all work, you have to sell more things in March to make a power generator in advance.
  • Just to highlight one sticking point: in order to have 15 Engineers to start a Workshop on 4/6, you might need to get 1 from a Satellite bonus at the end of month 1. You’ll do so anyway if you cover Africa in month 1 as I recommend below.
  • In month 3 you can get to 12 satellites (or at least 8) without much difficulty since you have money to do it and get your combat upgrades, but again, make sure you plan your digging/power needs in advance so you don’t miss the end of the month.
  • Remember that selling early UFO Computers/Power is no big deal; you don’t need them for anything until Firestorms way down the line. For scrounging up more, most early corpses are fine to sell, just keep ~7 Floaters for dodge modules and 5 Thin Men for medkits later on. ┬áTry your best to avoid selling Alloys/Fragments/Elerium; they will the limiting factors on your later research.

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