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:
Recent:
Very Positive (18 reviews) - 94% of the 18 user reviews in the last 30 days are positive.
Overall:
Very Positive (1,869 reviews) - 90% of the 1,869 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Jun 16, 2014

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Recent updates View all (37)

February 4

Xenonauts 2 confirmed and expected in 2017!

We have now officially confirmed we are working on Xenonauts 2, and we're currently hoping for a 2017 release for the game!

The full statement and some basic details on the sequel can be read here (with more to follow in the next couple of months): http://www.xenonauts2.com

Thanks to everyone that has supported us by buying the first game - the experience we've gained making it and the feedback received from the community should allow us to create something even better second time around!

95 comments Read more

January 19

Xenonauts V1.65 Experimental Released!

We've released a new version of Xenonauts for Windows on the Experimental branch, V1.65. It contains some gameplay updates, but it will need some testing to see if it is stable before being rolled out to the default Stable branch for all Steam users, so if anyone can test it that would be appreciated.

To access the Experimental branch, please follow the instructions here: http://www.goldhawkinteractive.com/forums/showthread.php/5958-Xenonauts-Experimental-Builds-Instructions

We will also merge these fixes into the native Mac / Linux builds in the future if they prove to be stable.

Most of these fixes are drawn from improvements to the game made by the Xenonauts: Community Edition team, so a public thank you to those who contributed to X:CE in general and to Solver specifically for putting this patch together for us.

Changes:

  • Miss shots should no longer go through walls; the trajectory code has been updated so they should only hit tiles that a "hit" shot would be able to hit.
  • Grenade scatter calculation updated, so "miss" throws can actually miss by a meaningful amount. This applies to both Xenonauts and aliens throwing grenades.
  • Stunned zombies (which appear dead) will no longer spawn zombies. This will eliminate the bug where Reapers apparently spawn from thin air, and occasionally were also invulnerable for reasons that remain unclear
  • Damage from base defence turrets now correctly reduces the number of attacking aliens it fails to destroy an attacking UFO.
  • Soldiers now gain Bravery from taking suppression damage, as it was virtually impossible to train up before.
  • Soldier Strength now updates correctly, as there was a bug in the formula before.
  • Manufacturing screen now displays the number of required items in your stores when previewing a project, rather than just the number of required items.
  • Saviour Medal and Crux Solaris medals can now be awarded and displayed correctly.
  • Alien bases are now correctly destroyed if you blow the Cores and then suffer a squadwipe.
  • Fixed an issue in the air combat where the aircraft throttles would sometimes not work properly.
  • Geoscape performance has been optimised on some systems.
  • Game startup speed has been improved.
  • Fixed crash when a building collapses with a drone inside.
  • Minor revisions to game manual.
This is likely to be the final gameplay update for vanilla Xenonauts, but Xenonauts: Community Edition is still under ongoing development so be sure to keep up to date with their progress in the future!

9 comments Read more

Reviews

“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 the native Mac / Linux versions of the game are still in beta, however older WINE-wrapped "ports" are available and known to be stable whilst development of the native ports is still ongoing.

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

Windows
Mac OS X
SteamOS + Linux
    Minimum:
    • 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
    Recommended:
    • Memory:2 GB RAM
    • Graphics:512 MB DirectX 9.0c Compliant Video Card
    • Hard Drive:Solid State Hard Drive
    Minimum:
    • OS:OSX 10.6 or better
    • Processor:Intel 2 GHz
    • Memory:1 GB RAM
    • Graphics:Integrated Graphics
    • Hard Drive:3 GB HD space
    • Sound:Integrated
    • Monitor:1280x720 pixels minimum
    Recommended:
    • Memory:2 GB RAM
    • Graphics:512 MB DirectX 9.0c Compliant Video Card
    • Hard Drive:Solid State Hard Drive
    Minimum:
    • OS:Any Linux distribution since 2010
    • Processor:Intel 2 GHz
    • Memory:1 GB RAM
    • Graphics:Integrated Graphics
    • Hard Drive:3 GB HD space
    • Sound:Integrated
    • Monitor:1280x720 pixels minimum
    Recommended:
    • Memory:2 GB RAM
    • Graphics:512 MB DirectX 9.0c Compliant Video Card
    • Hard Drive:Solid State Hard Drive
Customer reviews
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Recent:
Very Positive (18 reviews)
Overall:
Very Positive (1,869 reviews)
Recently Posted
ScottyWired
( 40.8 hrs on record )
Posted: June 24
This game is the chinese food of strategy. Ugly as hell, it's kinda hard to approach, and if not prepared right it'll make you sick. But a few awkward bites and you'll be scoffing it down.
This is basically XCOM but losses feel like your own fault. The tactical depth created by line of sight, orientation, diablo-style inventory, weight and ammo management, and flexible turn-based combat means you'll be spending more time fighting aliens instead of fighting the dice.

The campaign is equally deep as the combat. Rather than waiting for aliens to turn up, you must build several bases and actively send aircraft on patrol to areas with UFO sightings. The aircraft have fuel range and ammunition, as well as speed which means they might not always catch up to your target. Even the helicopter that transports your squads has travel time and should be escorted to the crash site in case a UFO shoots it down along with your soldiers.

Soldiers don't have XP, but their stats go up depending on what they do. A soldier that carries lots of equipment gains strength stat and can carry even more as a result. This makes soldier rotation extra important, as you can have multiple squads en-route to raid crashed UFOs. Soldiers can be literally any role you want with how the equipment and inventory systems work (my favourite is when a sniper is buff enough to casually carry a spare bazooka. Also try riot shield + 25 grenades in backpack inventory + another 8 grenades on belt inventory. Mix incendiary, frag, smoke, flash and gas grenades for maximum tactic00l flexibility. Heck, you can even have a weaponless soldier who's sole job is to carry spare ammo and rockets).

Also appealing is the hardcore Cold War SWAT feeling. Getting hit without armour usually means death, but once you nail the pattern of suppressing fire, flashbangs, and other confined-space-tactics, you'll feel like you're raiding these aliens instead of fending them off.

Downsides are the learning curve and functional but slightly ugly graphics.

The right way to play this game is with the Community version (opt in through beta). It's been modified and fixed up by players, and includes a bunch of essential mods by default. The map packs will save you from being exposed to the same layout over and over again.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
dvicofirn / first catdog
( 5.3 hrs on record )
Posted: June 24
Started game normal-iron man.
Have to understand what to do by my own, only by the experience from xcom eu.
Everything is getting worse too soon.
Accidentally shot my own soldier.
Delete game.
10/10 would shoot my own soldier again.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
kennethsw
( 21.0 hrs on record )
Posted: June 22
Just found this on steam recently. Enjoying it very much. Challenging game but plenty of mods available to help. ' or make it even more of a challenge ' Looks like I should get lots of hours out of this game.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Dosh!
( 84.9 hrs on record )
Posted: June 22
A little rough around the edges, but definetly a sign that there are good things to come from Goldhawk.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
JII
( 91.4 hrs on record )
Posted: June 20
This far out performs XCOM and even the newest ones because of its depth of play and unrelenting difficulty to survive.

IF you are up for a challenge than this is your game, if your up for replaying the same level 3-20 times to get it right this is your game. IF your up for replaying that same level 20 times and you still can't do it without losing 2-3 squad members thats pretty much the best your going to do.

The only drawbacks, if you pick up alien weapons you can use them but with huge penalties and they dont go to your inventory which is strange. And the explosives I wish the C4 got more powerful because honestly levelling buildings is entirely too fun.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Zizka
( 31.8 hrs on record )
Posted: June 16
Personally I think this a the best and true remake of classic X-com. Not only dose this game improve on everything the classic X-com, but this definitely for the seasoned veterans who loved the feel of the old game.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
JimDeadlock
( 10.3 hrs on record )
Posted: June 16
Unlike some of the other reviewers I have no nostalgic tendencies towards games of this sort, I'm just a new user coming to it fresh. I found the graphics clunky and then spent an hour trying to work out how to kill some aliens at a crash site, with my soldiers shooting each other, before giving up. The rest of my steam playtime was idling for the trading cards.

Maybe I should have spent more time on it before writing a review but the bottom line is that I just couldn't be bothered. A game has to appeal to new users as well as experienced ones, and this fails miserably.

I'm afraid I can't recommend this as I've been spoiled by the far superior turn-based strategy game, Frozen Synapse.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Shubah
( 3.3 hrs on record )
Posted: June 16
I have now been playng this game in access of over 3 hours and still feel I have only scratched the surface.

The game is simple and quickly takes you back to the old X-Com games without making it too complicated and advanced.

My only negative comment would be that I woudl wish for an alittle more options and tutuorial during combat. Otherwise a really good game! <3
Helpful? Yes No Funny
sulfrasta
( 52.4 hrs on record )
Posted: June 14
Frustrating at times. It improves on elements of the original XCOM series, though the AI is extremely predictable and sees everyone and everything. Easy to counter after a few games, but that can be worse.

Overall, it is good. The AI issue isn't so bad that it's a dealbreaker (for me) but if you're not sure maybe wait for Xenonauts 2.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Stratt76
( 38.1 hrs on record )
Posted: June 9
I've only played 25 hours at the time of this blurb but I have to say as a hardcore fan of the original xcom series that this game is really cool. I would not take the similarities between this and the original xcom as an insult but rather as a major compliment. It's just like the original xcom but with much better graphics and so far looks like more depth of gameplay as well. You guys get my thumbs up and I look forward to the next release next year.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Most Helpful Reviews  In the past 30 days
14 of 14 people (100%) found this review helpful
Recommended
535.0 hrs on record
Posted: June 4
I have always said the old Microprose X-COM UFO Defense is one of the greatest games of all time. I had started to worry i was just being nostalgic about an old MS-DOS game, but Xenonaughts cured me of that concern by being objectively and subjectively superior to the old X-COM game. I now know that my feelings about X-COM UFO Defense are genuine and that Xenonaughts has surpassed it.

Excellent game, maximum recommedation for anyone who likes tactical turn-based games, and a strong recommendation for everyone else.
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6 of 6 people (100%) found this review helpful
Recommended
107.8 hrs on record
Posted: June 2
As for as XCOM knock-offs and/or remakes go, this is one of the best... if not the best. If you enjoyed the original XCOM (or UFO Enemy Unknown) series, you'll love this one.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
Recommended
31.8 hrs on record
Posted: June 16
Personally I think this a the best and true remake of classic X-com. Not only dose this game improve on everything the classic X-com, but this definitely for the seasoned veterans who loved the feel of the old game.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
Recommended
30.3 hrs on record
Posted: June 1
Xenonauts is hard and unforgiving. I made the mistake of playing it my first 2 times on normal difficulty and took a real beating as a result. It also has great steam workshop mods and a supermod of its own like Xcom\'s longwar which I\'ve yet to check out but heard it\'s great.
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
Recommended
38.1 hrs on record
Posted: June 9
I've only played 25 hours at the time of this blurb but I have to say as a hardcore fan of the original xcom series that this game is really cool. I would not take the similarities between this and the original xcom as an insult but rather as a major compliment. It's just like the original xcom but with much better graphics and so far looks like more depth of gameplay as well. You guys get my thumbs up and I look forward to the next release next year.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
Recommended
84.9 hrs on record
Posted: June 22
A little rough around the edges, but definetly a sign that there are good things to come from Goldhawk.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
Recommended
52.4 hrs on record
Posted: June 14
Frustrating at times. It improves on elements of the original XCOM series, though the AI is extremely predictable and sees everyone and everything. Easy to counter after a few games, but that can be worse.

Overall, it is good. The AI issue isn't so bad that it's a dealbreaker (for me) but if you're not sure maybe wait for Xenonauts 2.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
Recommended
91.4 hrs on record
Posted: June 20
This far out performs XCOM and even the newest ones because of its depth of play and unrelenting difficulty to survive.

IF you are up for a challenge than this is your game, if your up for replaying the same level 3-20 times to get it right this is your game. IF your up for replaying that same level 20 times and you still can't do it without losing 2-3 squad members thats pretty much the best your going to do.

The only drawbacks, if you pick up alien weapons you can use them but with huge penalties and they dont go to your inventory which is strange. And the explosives I wish the C4 got more powerful because honestly levelling buildings is entirely too fun.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
Most Helpful Reviews  Overall
384 of 395 people (97%) found this review helpful
6 people found this review funny
Recommended
101.6 hrs on record
Posted: July 22, 2014
I finally completed my first Normal Ironman run in Xenonauts after many rage quits, forced restarts... and forgetting to deactive my C4 explosives only to pink mistify half my squad (way... waayyyy too many times). There were many moments that had me mumbling at my screen in frustration or outright had me getting up from the computer, going to the gym, and lifting things up then putting them down over and over again to get the angst out.

It was incredibly frustrating to have some of my wet-behind-the-ears soldiers survive a few missions and pulverize some Xeno scum, only to watch them get one shot by a well placed shot or devoured by a Reaper I didn't plan for. Cover isn't intuitive (or at least for me it wasn't) and there were multiple times I took position only to watch the alien turn, smirk at me, then plant a plasma bolt square between the eyes of one of my soldiers. Refer back to the rage and lifting portion.

Eventually, after epic (and possibly unhealthy) amounts of nerd rage and QQ'ing over cheating alien scum, how insanely difficult breaching UFOs is (Corvettes! I'm specifically hating on you!), and having to make aggrevating economic decisions... I learned from my mistakes (gasp!), had to learn to accept losses, and got better.

I actually started using squad level tactics like hugging walls, throwing down smoke grenades if I absolutely had to turn a blind corner with no indication of what could be waiting on the other side, NOT sprinting down the middle of the street with my entire squad, then getting upset that I got sniped from a random window, making liberal use of explosives even if it meant I lost some money breaching UFOs, and generally just accepting I'm supposed to be out gunned.

The game is remarkably well paced, freakishly so. Due to the ticker implementation RIGHT when you finally have outfitted your fighter jets or soldiers with the appropriate gear new bigger, badder aliens show up that almost make your hard fought gains obsolete. One step forward, two steps back is a common theme throughout the game that makes you BETTER because you have to actually think about WTF you're doing and why.

I'm a father of three, married, and I have a job that has me at work anywhere from a standard 40 hours a week to almost 60, so it took me a month to get through the game. I guess I could've used the common complaint/logic "I don't have that kind of time" or "I want something I can sit down and beat in a few days" but this was far more rewarding. Yes, there were days where after a 12 hour shift I certainly didn't come home and boot up any games, but the time invested was worth it.

I'm glad I stuck with Xenonauts despite my initial frustrations and will be putting many more hours into it either by tweaking the config file or by downloading mods. I actually tried playing XCOM: EU again and couldn't bring myself to do it.

If you've made it through the wall of text (hurray!) I guess I'd split it into three categories:

The Good:

-Excellently designed game that gives you total freedom, no ♥♥♥♥ty tutorials shall be thrust on you here.

-The pacing is genius! I don't know how long it took them, but the game ups the difficulty at the right moment. (unless you're playing bad, then you'll never catch up)

-Soldiers have no role, you determine what they do based on what equipment you give them. Have a guy with high TU (action points)? Make him your scout! Have a guy with amazing accuracy but maybe his HP is kind of low? Sniper! Found a meat shield with high HP and incredible strength, but he couldn't hit the broad side of a barn at point blank range with a fully automatic weapon? Give him a metal shield and let him be a bullet sponge! Or don't do any of those things, it's up to you.

-Aliens appropriately out tech you through out pretty much the entire game. You genuinely feel an overwhelming sense of dread as you play the game.

-You will take losses, but that doesn't mean you'll lose the game. You can have pretty substantial set backs and still come out on top. (kind of like how life is!)

-Using squad level infantry tactics ACTUALLY works and is necessary.

-Well thought out tech tree and research progression.

-You can mod and edit the crap out of the game to your liking.

-Music is well done and adds to the setting.

The Bad:

-Even on Easy this game will be too much for a lot of people. This will be viewed as an "elitist" comment, but I think that's more indicative of the gaming industry as a whole and not to Xenonaut's detriment. Nintendo games were soul crushingly difficult and only had one mode, now many games I can hand my six year old that he can beat without having to read any of the text.

-Still some glitches/bugs, namely shooting through walls. It doesn't happen too often, but it can make a huge difference to how that one map will play out.

-The game doesn't explain a lot of the mechanics adequately. This can amplify frustration or make it more rewarding as you progress, depends on your perspective.

-Mind control late game is a bit out of whack. I thought it added a great deal of intensity and dread, but it was depressing to watch two of my colonels that had managed to survive +30 missions get possessed and murder each other. I think it's a great (and necessary) part of the game, but still needs tweaking in either lower % success rate (which you can do yourself) or a turn delay the same way Wraiths can't teleport and shoot in the same turn.

The Ugly:

-Graphics. Eventually they grew on me, but it was admittedly jarring at first.
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373 of 385 people (97%) found this review helpful
7 people found this review funny
Recommended
70.7 hrs on record
Posted: October 31, 2014
Xenonauts. It's greatest strength is that it's X-com. It's greatest weakness is that it's X-com.

If you're an older gamer, played the original X-coms, and just wanted them to get a graphics update and maybe some mods on being able to better organise your units and maybe a few updates, look no further. You've found it.

If you don't know what this "X-com" business is about, both X-com and Xenonauts are tactical and strategic games where you defend earth from an alien invasion through a specialised organisation and squad who deals with the aliens.
You'll respond to the aliens by shooting down the UFOs using regular human fighter aircraft, and then landing a squad of soldiers with just plain old human guns near them to clear out the survivors. After that, you'll begin to research better technology. Laser rifles, faster aircraft to take down the UFOs, armour that protects from the alien weaponry, and so on.

You will meet several different kinds of aliens, each with their own strengths and weaknesses, and figure out why they're invading. But most importantly, you're going to stop them. You're going to take all their technology and make it your own, and you will end up with several bases across the world to find, and destroy any intruders who push into your atmosphere.

As for the changes between this and X-com, they are mostly good. You have an airstrike option on alien crash sites so that you don't need to do everything or have them expire when you've been too busy dealing with other sites, though it will provide you with far less rewards than if you send in a squad of soldiers. There are new pieces of equipment, such as the shield. You'll no longer need to micromanage every last clip or laser battery in your arsenal and order the construction of small things like two laser batteries - Just keep track of the ones you bring into combat so you don't run out. There are now more involved air battles, along with air terror sites. And cover, along with range, now actually provides a bonus or penalty to your shots. You don't have to worry about this turning into a chest high wall simulator though, it works out well and you don't have to stay in cover. It's just a suggestion that increases your soldiers' lifespan. There are some others but they are mostly positive. One I'd say is slightly negative is that you can not land on a UFO and blast a hole in the ceiling to enter it as you could in the original X-com, though if you never played that game(And even if you did), you might not even notice that option isn't there.

Mechanics wise, it works out very similar to X-com, with an isometric view and tile based map. I've found some maps had too little vertical space sometimes but often this wasn't a big problem, the controls are pretty good, mainly just using your mouse to command your units. It's turn based, with a world map to place your bases on and do your air battles, and a base overview where you can build out your base by modular rooms.
Interestingly, I've found that the difficulty settings actually changes AI behavior, rather than the lazy way of just giving the AI more armour or damage. I'm not sure if it also gives the aliens more stats or makes it more difficult to get money for the player, but the fact difficulty settings actually improve the AI is something that many AAA games completely fail at.

In the end, it's X-com. It has most of the strengths of X-com, but it also has the flaws of X-com. You may need to restart several times if you're new and you might get discouraged. A random lucky shot could kill off your best soldier and send the nearby rocket launcher guy into a berserk panic state right into your own squad. If you're not used to it, you'll wonder just how long the campaign keeps going and it may turn into a game of 'whack-a-UFO' for you with slow or barely noticable progress. Or you may simply not have a clue what's going on until the aliens are already in a better position than you.

Even then, it's a very good game. I would say it's worth grabbing it at some point if you want to see what the fuss is about, or because you want some more of the X-com from long ago (Without looking at Interceptor or Enforcer for now)
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