Xenonauts is a strategy game in which you control a multi-national military organisation defending a Cold War-era Earth from alien invasion, using small squads of persistent soldiers to eliminate the extraterrestrials and recover their technology in turn-based ground combat.
User reviews: Very Positive (1,353 reviews)
Release Date: Jun 16, 2014

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Recommended By Curators

"With deep strategic systems, omnipresent dread, and clean turn-based combat, Xenonauts is a triumph of rebooted game design."
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Recent updates View all (32)

April 13

Xenonauts V1.59 Released!

We've just released Xenonauts V1.59 for PC and Linux, and will be releasing the Mac version shortly if no bugs appear in the next 24-48 hours.

V1.59 is the revised version of V1.58, which we rolled back a week or so ago because we were concerned about stability issues. V1.58 included several fixes over V1.56, the biggest of which was a fix for an annoying AI hang.

Thanks for your patience!

7 comments Read more

March 29

V1.58 Rolled Back to V1.56

As we've had a few reports of a bug within V1.58 that may be worse than the bugs fixed by the patch (it prevents some people loading ground combat), we've now rolled back the default branch to V1.56 while we look into it.

This should not affect save games etc, but if it does or if you are playing V1.58 with no problems at all and want to continue using it, it is available on our Experimental Steam branch (under the Betas tab of the Steam game options). Just switch over to that and you can keep playing.

For everyone else, we're planning on investigating the reported bug in more detail over the next few days and will put out an updated version once we fully understand the situation.

2 comments Read more


“The result is a deeply engaging, indie version of an alien invasion that stands toe-to-toe with X-COM—the classic and the reboots.”
85 – PC Gamer

“Xenonauts is a faithful modernization of a classic. It retains the features that made X-COM such a tense and memorable game, with base invasions and a gigantic open-ended campaign of depth and freedom. If Firaxis' revamped take on the series felt a little too directed and linear for you, then Xenonauts is likely to delight.”
80 – Strategy Informer

About This Game

Xenonauts is a strategy game in which you control a multi-national military organisation defending a Cold War-era Earth from alien invasion, using small squads of persistent soldiers to eliminate the extraterrestrials and recover their technology in turn-based ground combat. A detailed strategic layer allows you to co-ordinate the defence of the planet, using your interceptors to shoot down UFOs and researching captured artefacts to learn about your foes and unlock new combat equipment to use on your missions.

Xenonauts is a spiritual successor to the classic X-Com strategy games from the 1990s. We aim to improve the graphics, add new content and streamline the interface whilst still retaining all of the key mechanics of the original games. Devoted fans should love this game, but we're also keen to introduce the joys of old-school grand strategy to a whole new generation of players who might not otherwise experience it!

Please note that Mac / Linux platforms are not officially supported. Files are available for download via Steam (using a WINE wrapper) but we cannot guarantee compatibility.

Key Features

  • Ground Combat: Xenonauts delivers tense turn-based combat across realistic, varied and fully-destructible battlefields, against almost fifty different variants of enemy. Missions range from capturing crashed UFOs or alien bases to defending cities (or even Xenonaut facilities) against alien attack. You'll experience the chill of encountering a new alien for the first time and the joys of test-firing a new weapon for the first time. Deeply asymmetric combat keeps the battles interesting - after all, you're fighting intergalactic invaders with 1970's ballistic technology!
  • Strategic Management: You will also be managing the defence of the planet, dealing with the invading alien UFOs with your customisable interceptors. You need to balance the needs of your funding nations with your own. Your funds are limited - are you going to spend them on battlefield equipment, more scientists, or expanding your coverage of the planet? Your priorities must be balanced carefully if you are to win the war.
  • Research Tree: Xenonauts has an extensive research tree with almost a hundred projects to unlock, each with its own unique description and painted artwork. It slowly reveals the intentions and origins of the invaders, while also unlocking new battlefield equipment, aircraft and vehicles for you to use as you harness alien technology and turn it against them.
  • Persistent Soldiers: Soldiers in Xenonauts are persistent from mission to mission, improving their stats and gaining ranks with combat experience - but their deaths are always only a single bad move away. You will grow to care about the brave men and women under your command as they slowly grow from green rookies into hardened veterans, but that only makes it more painful when their heroic tale is cruelly cut short by a burst of plasma fire...
  • Detailed, Emergent Simulation: Xenonauts contains no scripted missions, just broad rules setting the pace of the invasion. As such, no game plays out the same twice. If you shoot a Scout UFO down over a polar area, you get a Crash Site mission where you can capture a crashed Scout UFO in an Arctic tileset. Commence a battle at night and you'll be fighting the mission in the darkness with reduced sight range. If your base is attacked, you fight the defence in a perfect replica of your base. A lot of time has gone into weaving the two very different halves of the game together into something that feels both natural and enjoyable.

System Requirements

    • OS:Windows 8 / 7 SP1 / Vista SP2
    • Processor:Intel 2 GHz
    • Memory:1 GB RAM
    • Graphics:Integrated Graphics
    • Hard Drive:3 GB HD space
    • Sound:Integrated
    • Monitor:1280x720 pixels minimum
    • Memory:2 GB RAM
    • Graphics:512 MB DirectX 9.0c Compliant Video Card
    • Hard Drive:Solid State Hard Drive
Helpful customer reviews
50 of 51 people (98%) found this review helpful
73.3 hrs on record
Posted: November 25, 2014
This is as close to a completly faithful remake of XCOM that we're ever going to get. And boy, is it faithful. It even adds a few new things, like a dogfighting minigame that's leagues better from we had in either the old XCOM or the remake.

Combat is nice in balanced, and my only real nitpicks are that grenades are overpowered and clearing ships is a meatgrinder, since unless you outright destroy the door, UFO entrances will close every round, forcing you to play whack-a-mole.

If you ever played UFO Defense, or even just Enemy Unknown, you owe it to yourself to buy this and give it a whirl. I give it a hearty recommendation to anyone.
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41 of 47 people (87%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
68.7 hrs on record
Posted: November 30, 2014
This is new version of old classic XCOM serie.
Is this as good as original? It's even better. And I know what I am saying - I'm a big fan of original game.
Developers just took classic game and developed it again trying to improve every aspect. And they achieved their goal.
It's still complex and complicated game but some aspects are wisely simplified.
Game feels very finished but developers still work on that title - BRAVO.

If you're fan of original XCOM, you must try this, you will probably love it.
If you are a fan of new XCOM version, you should also try it. There is huge chance you will like this game too.
If you are just a fan of good games, you should try this one, because it's just great game.
But if you are fan of modern super graphics ultra simplified 3D games, don't try this. You won't understand what this game is.
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27 of 29 people (93%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
65.8 hrs on record
Posted: December 28, 2014
Play it on Normal + Ironman, read a couple of guides, accept that you'll lose a couple times before you put a solid run together, and Xenonauts will stand up as one of the best strategy games you've ever played. More than anything it's the way that Xenonauts keeps tireless pace with me -- I might get an economic or technological edge, only to have my veteran soldiers wiped out by a new enemy type or a bad decision. I adore XCOM -- it's probably my favorite game of the past five years -- but Xenonauts is deeper, tougher, more personal, more detailed, more PC, and a better strategy game if you play it with a bit of patience.
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17 of 19 people (89%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
112.1 hrs on record
Posted: November 19, 2014
Loved this - Played the recent X-COM release and that was good fun, but didn't properly recapture the experience of the original.

Xenonauts is much closer to the original in my opinion, with enough enhancements in simple animations and the way the graphics have been done that if you're a big fan of the originals, this is a must have!
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11 of 12 people (92%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
81.6 hrs on record
Posted: January 20
I am pleasantly surprised.

The original X-Com was best known for its punishing difficulty. But it was also known, among people who played it much, for its annoying idiosyncracies and irritations. Xenonauts does away with many of these, simplifying things while keeping much of the difficulty. For example, you can define soldier classes that have no game effect, but allow you to set default equipment. Standard-issue gear costs nothing and takes up no space, because a base commander has better things to do than count rifle clips. Base defenses are automatically upgraded, because really, who wants to rebuild base components every time you research a new tech?

Some things are harder: The tech tree seems to keep things a little more out of reach, and funding is absolutely brutal. Some things are easier: Riot shields. Oh my God, riot shields. Instead of ablative rookie shields, lead your squad with a guy with a shield and a pistol. Why the hell didn't we have these in the original X-Com. It feels so good (and it won't help at all when a Chryssalid, or whatever they call them in Xenonauts, comes knocking). Also, if you crash an interceptor, your engineers will recover it and put it back together in a week or so. Losing an expensive ship near the beginning of the game is no longer painful enough to make you want to start over.

A personal favorite feature of mine is airstrikes. Are there four small crashed UFOs on the map at once? Do you need cash? Do you cringe at the thought of playing them all out? Just hit the airstrike button and the local military will blow it away, recover the scrap, and pay you for your donation...less than you'd get from a raid, but well worth the savings of player time. Also, intercepting alien ships is pretty rad. New dimension that X-Com never had, and it might not be your thing; you order your planes around in realtime, outflanking and gunning down the enemy with nifty fields of fire. Personally I could take it or leave it, but there's an autoresolve button, and since you can recover crashed ships it won't instantly ♥♥♥♥ you over!

If you've ever heard me complain about Galactic Civilizations II, you know I hate bad humor, especially in tech trees. I know...I'm weirdly specific that way. Well, your lead scientist in Xenonauts has an irritating intellectual superiority complex, but it's written *just right*, enough that you get a wonderful, subtle characterization just from the tech reports, no cutscenes required. You want to deck him in the face, not turn him off entirely. Well done, Goldhawk.

Anyway, I've played to the point where I'm through the first terror mission, and I gotta say there's a huge difficulty spike. Just as it should be. If you think the first month is too easy, take another look at your funding, and wait for some pain to roll into tactical. As a big fan of the original X-Com, I heartily endorse this game: Cleaning up all the annoyances and adding a few new features has truly made it new again. It's the game we loved, without the trappings of retro. Clear your calendar.
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10 of 12 people (83%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
33.1 hrs on record
Posted: February 17
Truly great
tactical turn-based game. Clearly a must-have if you're a fan of the genre!
Similar to: X-Com series, Jagged Alliance series, Door Kickers, Fallout Tactics, UFO series, Deadline, Breach & Clear, Arma Tactics, and more.
Xenonauts is a spiritual successor to the classic X-Com series and it does that very well. Very challenging game where you often need to truly be tactical in order to succeed.

What's the game about?
Aliens are invading and only You can defend us!
.. well, something like that.

What makes it a challenging game?
It's incredibly easy to die, especially in the early game and you have to be careful, tactical, in order for your soldiers to survive. Don't let anyone go alone, don't rush in without cover, don't be stupid.

This YouTube video has some nice tips if you need help getting started, I think that he explained things briefly but thoroughly :)
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7 of 7 people (100%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
19.0 hrs on record
Posted: February 23
One of the best UFO Defense inspired games on the market. While it doesn't have the cinematic or graphical flair of the XCOM Reboot, it's layered with love, detail, and a whole bunch of badassery, not to mention with just as much punishment as any UFO or XCOM game. Worth every penny and then some. Oh, and Friendly Fire is enabled, js.
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12 of 17 people (71%) found this review helpful
23.7 hrs on record
Posted: November 9, 2014
This game felt like the original. Very good graphics and gameplay. I was very impressed by this game, much better then other clones like UFO Extraterrestrials or the new X-Com: Enemy Unknown. I would give this game 9 out of 10.
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5 of 5 people (100%) found this review helpful
59.1 hrs on record
Posted: February 22
If you like the original XCOM, this is a very good game. Very similar, with some enhancements to the UI and all.
Set in the early Cold War, it fits pretty well in that setting.

Most of my complaints would be nitpicky and minor. The art and graphics are kinda bland, but do fit the 60s theme fairly well. The invasion does seem to ramp up pretty quickly (though it might be pegged to research?), and keeping up the income and trying to expand bases is something I find difficult.

Things like aircraft armaments and grenades upgrading automatically, not having to manufacture ammunition and grenades, those are helpful updates to not get bogged down in as much minor micromanagement.

Now that it's open for modding, there's getting to be some good options to enhance. The latest patch was helpful too.

If you like the tactical turn-based combat, it's definitely a good game to play.
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6 of 7 people (86%) found this review helpful
81.1 hrs on record
Posted: November 26, 2014
It plays like X-COM without being a direct copy of X-COM. Xenonauts offers you a lot more in the way of tactical planning and decision making, while still leaving room for you to fall into your own pattern and strategy for successful missions. The variety of weapons is a huge upgrade from X-COM's typical Pistol/Rifle/Heavy weapon, and the balance between the weapons is pretty spot-on; you can use whatever you like, provided you plan accordingly, a strike team of pure pistol-wielding xenonauts is totally viable.

The research text is flavorful and a nice addition, immersing you more in the world and the reality of the invasion while still offering some form of believability. The geoscape is far more lively, with alien activity being broadcasted as "casualty reports" around the globe when left unchecked, and rather than a single UFO or a few on the same mission appearing, you get swarms of UFOs appearing all over the globe simultaneously, each operating on its own agenda. This makes having a competent airforce not a luxury but a necessity.

While the game is far from perfect, it still gave me literal days of playtime fun, along with a few agonizing losses and times of near rage-quitting. Definitely a must play if you enjoyed any of the X-COM games, including the newer reboot.

Just remember to close the door before you end your turn and keep your eyes peeled for reapers.
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6 of 7 people (86%) found this review helpful
350.0 hrs on record
Posted: December 21, 2014
Don't be fooled by the simple looking graphics from the screenshots: few games offer such a great deal of entertainment and deep gameplay as Xenonauts does. If you enjoyed UFO/X-Com as one of the best games of the 90's, then THIS is the remake you always dreamed of. If you didn't play UFO/X-Com, then what are you waiting for? :). None calling himself "strategy gamer" should miss it. The guys of Goldhawk Interactive have retained and enhanced the original deep gameplay and excellent progressive flow of game from the original, one of the best all-time game designs.
Manage your squads of marines and learn to deal with unwanted casualties; intercept flying UFOS all over the world; research and craft captured technology from crashed or captured UFOs; defend cities and your own bases...

A final recommendation: from the start activate the "Community Edition" version of the game (easy instructions found on the game launcher). It enhances the gameplay and fixes some minor glitches.
And a tip: try to build at least 2 bases from the start ;)
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6 of 7 people (86%) found this review helpful
12.6 hrs on record
Posted: December 29, 2014
Loaded up my troops with extra flashbangs, smoke 'nades and frags.

Flashbanged the ♥♥♥♥ out of a Caesan until he collapsed on my very first mission.

Captured him.

Can't do that in XCOM:EU, can ya?

10/10. 11/10 with rice.
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4 of 4 people (100%) found this review helpful
85.7 hrs on record
Posted: December 30, 2014
It is fun and challenging but too prone to total party wipes.

This is your father's X-Com.

First playthrough was Save Scum city to 'learn' the game. Second playthrough on Ironman is going not too badly, but keep losing tons of soldiers and equipment, setting me back months and months.

1) Active defense vs Psionic powers or severe range penalties to said powers.
2) Had to consult wiki too much, more ingame resources needed.
3) Advanced drop ships need defense vs interceptors.
4) Less enemy rocket launchers, who would guard their own base with mostly these?
5) The lizard aliens with the crazy regen should charge more instead of trying to ambush all the time.
6) Needs a chance to run and heal someone that fell between 0 and -10 hp, putting them out of the mission of course.
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4 of 4 people (100%) found this review helpful
11.9 hrs on record
Posted: January 18
I was a little too young to appreciate X-com when it first came out, so I got to enjoy Xenonauts for it's own,
I did enjoy the new x-com and can see the similarities, but I really like Xenonauts,
despite it's simple look I think the graphics are pretty, clean, and well drawn.
I'm not far in the game, but I enjoy how this game actually feels like a simulator and not so much just a flashy interface,
Losing every xenonaut is tragic. In the beginning my squad was more dangerous to each other than any alien, I've had some poor grenade tosses, rocket launcher mishaps that have been pretty amusing, alot of WTF was I thinking moments.
Cutting down half my squad with the m60, and then having my sniper berserk over it in the middle of a firefight is well...lets just say I'm glad I save often, but i'm also glad I get to experience a game that doesn't hold my hand one bit, and just lets me well simulate what an alien invasion might be like.
I hate the space sound music, sometimes its ok, but most of the time...its terrible.
Otherwise great game,
harder than most, mediocre air combat(let down) a steep learning curve
(The game comes with excellent written tutorials, and links to help you, but there is alot of reading, I like how accesible the documentation is)
and a high random FUBAR factor in combat.
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6 of 8 people (75%) found this review helpful
200.4 hrs on record
Posted: November 20, 2014
I played the original UFO defence back in the grim and dark days of the mid and late 90's. This, is what X-COM should be, should have been, not the flashy remake Sid Mierer's did. For me, that one was all show and no go, even with the expacs. This however, feels like X-COM, and I am fighitng for my life as hard in it as I was in UFO Defence. This is what I remember, the fear, and, the fustration.
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6 of 8 people (75%) found this review helpful
190.5 hrs on record
Posted: November 30, 2014
If you love XCOM you should already own this.
If you don't love XCOM (like me) you should own this anyway.
The game is extremely satisfying when things go your way and very infuriating when ♥♥♥♥ goes down the drain.
10/10 would die to save humanity again.

P.S you should upgrade to the community edition as soon as you get this game, as there's more content.
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28 of 51 people (55%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
56.2 hrs on record
Posted: January 3
As a veteran of X-COM UFO Defense, Terror of the Deep, Apocolypse as well as the more recent remake XCOM Enemy Unknown/Enemy Within, I was very excited to play this.

I just finished it on Normal difficulty and I have to say I'm disappointed.

While its extremely faithful to the original (UFO Defense) and improves several things which I'll list in a bit, this iteration did not have the same charm as the original. While the finale was abrupt just like the original, it offered even less closure if thats possible.

The gameplay was very similar to the original.


-Riot Shields offered new options for troop deployment
-Weapon diversification worked very nicely. In the original you could easily get by with everyone just using rifles.
-Some UI improvements
-Research flavor text was amusing


-Manually controlling the interception portion of the game wasn't fun. I wound up auto-resolving all of them after some time.
-Music was atmospheric like the original, but wasn't as good. Some parts were extremely noisy and hard on your ears. Yes its supposed to be unsettling but it was almost painful.
-Time period: While an interesting idea I don't think it did enough with the concept. It was basically just a different art style.
-Lack of psionic attacks

A nice change of pace from the original...but not one I'd play again.

What I wanted was just the same X-Com UFO Defense with a better interface, and this failed to meet my expectations.
But if you enjoy UFO Defense, theres no reason you won't enjoy this.

I'm just disappointed it didn't offer more.

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3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
67.4 hrs on record
Posted: November 17, 2014
I will start by the negative then lead to the good.

At first my men were falling like flys, I was losing parts of the world so fast that my bank account for my funding was in the red 10 days into the new month, all in all I was not having too much fun my men all ways seemed to drop their weapons on the floor and run or turn and shoot their fellow man in the face. All in all I was getting bored with this game and was going to mark this up as another wast of money spent.
I decided to give it one more try, I restarted the game and this time looked and making more bases, my team I always made shore one of my team was at high rank so the rest dont spazz out and that I have a hell of alot of saves as i go through a mission.

All in all this game turned from a pain in the ♥♥♥, to a dimond I have had so much fun and am so glad I gave it a second chance, I like the over all line of the tec and the building of items/bases but was a little ♥♥♥♥♥♥ with the ending they could of made that a little more better easly or left it open don't want to go to much into the ending becasue of spoilers.

Has a feel of X-Com but feels alot more like UFO, all in all liked the game and will keep an eye out for more of Goldhawk games.
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3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
96.6 hrs on record
Posted: January 18
Such an awesome game, very similar to the old old xcom ones, but with better balance. Finally passed it on the insane level after 96 hours :)
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3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
72.2 hrs on record
Posted: January 31
Gist of the game:

Build air bases around the world to try to achieve air supremecy over nations so they continue to fund you.

Recruit and equip ground troops to investigate crash sites, enemy bases, and alien terror attacks.

Perform research and to learn about the aliens and build new advanced planes and battlefield support equipment (guns/tanks/armor)

Manage budget and upkeep over investments in winning on the battlefield VS winning in the air.

What got me to recommend the gmae:

I. Ground combat feels dynamic;

Alien got your squad penned down? Blast a hole in the wall with c4 and flank him!
Use machine gunners and flash grenades to suppress enemies.
Use anti-ballistic shield to make an assault on an alien UFO.
Do you toss c4 and rockets into the UFO to soften up the enemy or do you go in without the explosives in order to salvage alien items?
One wrong turn (the ground combat is turned based) in which you leave soldiers exposed in the open leaves the possibility that one alien machine gunner can mow down half your squad.
Many different kinds of grenades with different uses.
Fight a diverse variety (but not excessive) of aliens.

II. Somewhat dynamic air battles

just go watch a youtube video for this one.
The air battles are fun but sometimes very repetitive.

III. Difficulty

I like the difficulty a lot. The game has 4 options I believe: easy, normal, hard, insane.
I play on normal and it is very much a fun challenge. I have to do a lot of thinking.


I predict this game is an instant classic and will be played long after its release for many years.


i put 9.5 instead of 10 because I think multiplayer ground combat would be really awesome and I think air combat is neat however it maybe could have been done better
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