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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.
Release Date: Jun 16, 2014
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Xenonauts V1.09 Released!

July 23rd, 2014

We've just released Xenonauts V1.09, which contains all of the fixes from the reverted V1.08 and V1.08HF builds and some new fixes for the soldier equipment screen issues in V1.08HF.

As far as we are aware it is stable and working properly - but please let us know if you find any additional issues caused by the update. If does prove unstable we will just return to V1.07 again until we can fix the issues.

CHANGELOG: (combined from V1.08, V1.08HF and V1.09)

  • We have added the Developer Diary / development postmortem to the game, which is found in the launcher (under the Extras button).
  • The Mac game now show install instructions when you try to run it.
  • We have made performance improvements on many of the maps.
  • Harridans no longer occasionally fly out of the map and crash the game.
  • Fixed some Soldier Equip screen crashes.
  • Fixed a crash when dragging one soldier's equipment into the inventory of another.
  • Reapers no longer have a 0 reaction fire modifier.
If you are playing a modded game, you will likely have to reapply any mods that affect "weapons_gc.xml" (i.e. anything with custom weapons) as this file is being updated in this patch.

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V1.08 HF Reverted!

July 18th, 2014

We've reset the Stable branch back to V1.07HF, as it seems V1.08 HF had some problems in it to do with soldiers and dropships. We attempted to hotfix them, but this hotfix appears to itself be causing a new crash.

We could try another hotfix, but there is no guarantee that would be any more successful than the first. Instead, we're rolling back to the older V1.07HF and will re-release V1.08 HF next week when we've had time to test it better.

V1.08HF will still be available on the Experimental branch if you'd prefer to keep playing that. Instructions on how to access it can be found here: http://www.goldhawkinteractive.com/forums/showthread.php/5958-Xenonauts-Experimental-Builds-Instructions

Sorry for the confusion!

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“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 the 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!

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
264 of 288 people (92%) found this review helpful
221 products in account
2 reviews
18.7 hrs on record
Early Access Review
If you're looking for a game that captured the feeling of the original X-Com then look no further.

With stellar 3d to 2d rendered sprites, an art style and design the is reminiscent of an older generation of games though I think it would be going too far to call it "retro". Its both pleasing to the eye and has excellent clarity, all the information you need at the tip of your eyeballs and fingers to make the best strategic and tacticle decisions to defeat the disgusting xeno threat.

The gameplay is heavily inspired by the bygone days of the past, with enough updates, improvements and modernizations that streamline the drudgery of the past (like the micromanagement intense menu screens of the original X-Com that are themselves evoke thoughts of Dwarf Fortress un-modded) into a lighter area by trimming back the intensity of the learning curve (such as buying ammo, etc) leaving the player with the same amount of depth and variety without leaving newer players in quicksand googling guides.

If you're looking for a game where no one dies, aliens are made of paper and losing is impossible - look elsewhere. Your best men can be cut down like wheat by the advanced alien troops, who can at times seem to be made out of 40ft thick brick walls with angry faces painted on them.

The risk of having your best men enhances the gameplay so much more than I would have thought, I truly cared about each soldier and shook my fist at the alien menace when my important men were gunned down mere feet from the landing craft.

Theres a lot to this game, and if you're still on the fence there are plenty of videos on Youtube of people playing it - go look there and you'll find some great gameplay videos for the most part!

Just be wary, some of the videos are old and may be on outdated builds that have bugs which no longer exist in this release and if I do have anything negative to say about this game its that it isn't a fully polished release and bugs do crop up from time to time, the majority of which aren't gamebreaking but once in a while I've seen a bug cripple someones game despite myself not having seen one.
Posted: February 8th, 2014
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106 of 116 people (91%) found this review helpful
156 products in account
1 review
69.0 hrs on record
Xenonauts – a remake of a game of old.

UFO: Enemy Unknown is one of the most influential games ever made. This is clearly visible by the amount of games that tried to mimic its gameplay like Altar’s UFO series or UFO Extraterrestrials and XCOM Enemy Unknown to name a few. Still some people were not satisfied by the above and wanted to recreate the know experience to their liking. One such project is Xenonauts.

My first encounter with this game was not a rather positive one. I saw it at a friend. The game was half finished with tons of missing graphics and an unfinished campaign. After this experience I forgot about this game for several months until some sale on Steam and since I had some extra cash I gave the game a second chance (I’m a sucker for his kind of gameplay and own every commercially released UFO game and their clones for PC).

The game itself is almost a direct clone of UFO: Enemy Unknown though there are several differences. Setting wise, the game is set in 1980’s during the cold war. As a bonus to the game you get a free novella in a PDF format, titled “Crimson Dagger” by Lee Stephen, which serves as an introduction to the game setting and describes in detail the first human contact with the aliens (quite a nice read). Apart from the setting, the most obvious difference is seen as soon as you start the game – there is no rotating globe, just a flat map of the earth. Than again the graphic design of the game is very nice, esthetic and functional. The core gameplay is identical to the original – you start with one base, some interceptors, a troop transport, soldiers, scientists and engineers and slowly advance the story by assaulting shot down or landed ufos, researching alien tech, acquiring new weapons, armor, craft and vehicles up until the final mission when you save the earth for good. And this all works pretty well. A nice touch is the casualties counter which track the number of people killed due to alien activities and also the on map reports of various event like forest fires, tidal waves, strafing runs ets. which might help to track a ufo outside of radar range. Some people might not like that certain parts of the game are more streamlined. There is no need to buy the basic weapons or ammunition, for both soldiers and jets. All is provided free and in unlimited quantity. Furthermore, jets have a fixed set of armaments per jet type and all upgrades to weapons installed on them are done automatically after researching certain technology, also free of charge. This take a lot of base management of ones mind though it comes at a price in ingame currency. First, funds are scares and getting stuff from ufos for sale is a must. Second, loosing a country is quite easy as building a new base is expensive, not to mention the prices for manufacturing new craft, armor or weapons for you troops. Furthermore, there is no possibility of self funding your efforts by selling weapons that you manufacture as the selling prices are way below the production costs.

As for the combat part of the game, there are two types – dog fighting ufos in the air and ground combat in the form of assaulting grounded ufo, alien bases or defending cities in terror missions. The air combat is the part I like the least about this game. Its done with a pseudo radar view of the situation where a squadron (1 to 3 jets) you sent to deal with a ufo is under your direct command in an RTS like manner. You have to manage the position of your craft, range of your and enemy weapons, represented by cones projected from craft silhouettes, fuel reserves and craft health. The key it to either take out the enemy with your long range missiles or to try to get you planes in the ufo’s blind spot and use you short range weapons. If you get in trouble you can press special keys to dodge incoming fire or use the afterburners to fly quicker but use more fuel. If things get nasty, you can order your jets off the combat field and run away. All in all I’m very glad that the creators of the game gave players the option to auto resolve this part of the game. For me it’s a blessing as I really didn’t like this particular air combat system.

The ground combat, on the other hand, is done extremely well. The graphics are sharp, clean and present different types of object on the map in a way that players will immediately understand. The animations of units, both your and aliens are nicely done and you rarely have problems distinguishing units one from another. Terrain sets are varied and depict farmlands, cities (in Eastern European, US and middle east styles), military bases, forests and sub-polar regions. The alien craft themselves are varied and interesting on their own. The combat itself is done in turns using a time units system for performing actions. What is nice is that the game will inform you how many points an action costs before performing it (e.g. little numbers by the target indicator before a shot is fired) or how many time units will be left after moving a desired distance. Furthermore, a cover system is implemented, not unlike the XCOM Enemy Unknown, which has to be always taken into consideration when positioning your troops. It works by reducing chance to hit a target that is obstructed by a peace of cover, be it a bush, a fence or a fridge inside a kitchen (the game show which objects reduces the to hit chance by how many %). But its done only when you actually want to take a shot and you never know how good your soldiers cover actually is. Another interesting feature is the suppression system. Every weapon has a chance of suppressing an opponent and machineguns excel at that. A suppressed unit immediately looses all time units it currently had (especially dangerous when your soldier is suppressed by reaction fire), and on their next turn their starting time units are reduced by half. Add riot shields to the mix, which soak up damage very nicely and leave one hand free to fire a pistol or use a stun baton, and you can get a lot of combat options unavailable even in other remakes. On the down side, grenades have no primer regulation. Regular ones explode at the end of the turn while smoke or stun ones immediately after they land on the ground. Additionally, in certain situations the units can get behind object which the game engine does not make transparent. This is annoying as it is difficult to position your men to you liking or you can just “loose” them on the battlefield and not use them for a turn or two. But still, tactical combat should satisfy most of the old UFO fans. As with the air combat, there is also an option not to go and clean up a shoot down ufo and just air strike it. This way you get a fixed amount of cash, dependent on the ufo type. The downside is that you don’t get any special resources from the ufo and after performing a ground mission you always get more cash.

Lastly, sound and music. As for the sound design all is done OK. Every alien, weapon, action has its own distinct sound and after w few hours into the game you will know what happened just by the sound produced, which is especially important in ground combat missions. The part that made a really big impression on by was the music, especially the one in tactical missions. For some time I was looking for a good modern version of the track played on the original – this creepy midi, with a heart beat motif and loads of strange sounds accompanying it. Well, Xenonauts delivered 11 very good tracks made by Aleksi Aubry-Carlson which you can linsten here . Ground Combat Day 2 is the one I had looked for.

All in all I am really happy with my purchase of Xenonauts. It’s a very good take on the classical UFO formula, faithful to the original concept but still bringing its own setting and story that drive you forward to uncover the alien secrets and save the earth once more.
Posted: June 17th, 2014
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73 of 77 people (95%) found this review helpful
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2 reviews
387.1 hrs on record
This is a solid strategic game. Sure, it doesn't have the eye-popping 3D graphics of the current XCom games, but what it's lacking there it more than makes up for in challenging gameplay. And by challenging, I don't mean aliens picking you apart while you hide in full cover and wonder what the point was. The aliens here will find ways to flank you with the same type units that at other times often would hole up defensively instead. Sometimes it takes carefully placed explosives / flashbangs / stun gas into an area just to give you a leg up vs. them. It is also a difficult game to master in terms of having a good gameplan finance-wise. Will you spend a pile of your initial funding on science research to get a better technological balance vs. your foe, or will build extra hangars to combat the increasing ufo assault? How much of that funding will go to engineers to help you build better weapons & vehicles quickly enough to be of real use, and how much of it will you spend on soldiers to have enough to stop terror missions while still defending your own base? Or I should say, 'bases', because one will not be enough, as the threat is ongoing and everywhere. It's a fine line to walk (and I'm just talking about normal difficulty here).

So if you get distracted easily, or you're looking for a lot of gloss and entertaining Wow - factor, this game might not be for you. If you're into a game that'll hand you your ♥♥♥♥ the first few times you play it and demand that you improve your strategy, well then you've come to the right place. :)
Posted: June 16th, 2014
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90 of 144 people (63%) found this review helpful
67 products in account
1 review
52.6 hrs on record
A few scattered ideas to sum up my dissapointment, what's not mentioned here is probably good in the game, but not enough to recommend it:


The ground combat really kills it.
Seriously, the line of sight/fire issues are horrible. I like playing games like this without saving (I did so with JA2) but here, to me, it seems impossible. It's just not intuitive. If I have a soldier crouch in the center on a warehouse rooftop, he shouldn't be able to get shot by someone hugging the warehouse wall. Or all the times I've moved a heavy for a slightly better position, only to be informed I now have 0% chance to hit, or something silly like a windowpane blocking 50% of my shots and not enough TUs to get back to my original position and fire. Also, I think the entire MG spray hit chance is calculated when you fire, because I've tried firing through those silly waist high walls with screens on them that you get in UFOs, which give you 0% chance to hit your target, because I figured ok, 1 round blows them away and the rest spray the alien behind... well, no, they all randomly hit the air where the screen used to be. This stuff kind of breaks a tactics game. JA2 didn't have these issues and that was 15 years ago...

Also, you can't store extra gear in the dropship. I can't be the only one who used to go back to the ship to get the heavy explosives every now & again in a difficult mission. I miss that.

Mission variety:
There really isn't any. I know there wasn't that much in the original game either, but if there's one aspect where I think the game could've evolved, it's this one.
There was just so much wasted potential here, extraction missions, coming to enforce local forces battle lines (I think they promised a static tank emplacement at one point), pilot rescue missions, I don't know, anything?

I don't mind the direction they took or the lack of female soldier models or lots of stuff that could've been. In fact, I was pleasantly surprised by the variety of local forces and civilians and stuff, but the game has next to no animations, the characters don't sway, don't move, they don't anything. Everything is frozen until you take an action and then it's all very mechanical.

No option to toggle off centering on selected soldiers starts giving you headaches when you have to move 10 of them through multiple levels like in a UFO or building.
You can't reorganize your squad order, which is a mindnumbing oversight. I can't have No. 1 be the shield, 2 & 3 be assault and so on. Was it so hard to let me drag the ground combat squaddie tabs around?

I would've preferred scroll up/down to change height levels instead of selected squaddies. I guess tab & tilda work well enough, though. You can change the key bindings but you can't bind them to scroll up/down. I guess you probably can if you start tinkering with the game files but I shouldn't have to do that.

I generally love the descriptions in games like this, even Aftermath caught my interest with their alien types and whatever, but here, it feels too... textbook. I read all the entries but they felt dry and the attempts at humor seemed forced. There was 1 funny joke somewhere in there, though.

In all, it's a real shame and it taught me a lesson about buying into this kind of stuff. Maybe that gives the pricetag some worth.
Posted: June 20th, 2014
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233 of 422 people (55%) found this review helpful
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3 reviews
298.1 hrs on record
I was involved -- for certain definitions of the word "involved" -- in the beta/early access phases of Xenonauts over the course of several months, maybe even a year or so.

During that time, the developer consistently showed little to zero willingness to consider alternate ideas of game design, overreacted when balance changes were needed, forced certain game tactics onto the players, and had a very scatterbrained approach to overall game philosophy. And, they committed the absolute worst crime a developer can commit during a paid early access/beta period: They refused to listen to bug reports on several occasions if the bug didn't repro in the dev build. At one point I had to spend over an hour painstakingly summing alien TUs and making a YouTube video just to prove a bug existed, despite it being reported by a half-dozen different people, most of whom encountered it on their very first mission in a new game.

In terms of the game design: At early stages, your troops will be shot and killed. On your turn. The AI is highly defensive and usually spends under 1/3 of their own AP during their turn unless humans are visible. If no humans are immediately visible, the AI will not hunt for them, they will take defensive positions and wait. The reaction fire system is poorly coded, being based on what % of a characters' TUs are remaining: If an alien is sitting around the corner with 100% of their TUs (and this happens a lot), as soon as a soldier turns the corner they will almost certainly get shot at. Usually two or three times. With weapons that have a very high chance to instakill a human.

As humans design new and better weapons, such as laser or plasma replacing standard ballistics, you do more damage but have smaller clips. That's it. There are no other changes from one tier to another, despite developer promises that more interesting design would be implemented later in the process. There are a ton of forum posts where players debated back and forth how the various tiers ought to be balanced against each other, with each tier shining in certain regions and maybe being lackluster in others. For example, I was a proponent that plasma weaponry ought to do massive damage but have ammo and range drawbacks, while lasers have voluminous ammo stores and long range but only moderate firepower.

Attack TU costs are based entirely on percentage of total TUs, meaning those soldiers who can move faster can't actually fight any more effectively, they are just more mobile. This was a late change in the development process, being added with only a few months to spare. When I tried it and disliked it, I was insulted by the community as well as the developer, being told that he "wouldn't go over the reasons [for switching to a percent TU system] again."

The entire ground combat design (about 60% of the game) is tilted in favor of the AI. Elements like % TU costs for firing and reaction fire require constant calculations and re-calculation to know whether or not a given troop can, say, reach cover and fire a shot. There is no simple mechanism in-game to simplify this for the player.

In the end, I don't recommend this game, unless you have a particular desire to fill a pad of paper with calculations, spending your time reading the xml files to figure out how things actually work, and getting your people shot.

If you really, REALLY want to re-play the original X-COM... just go and replay X-COM. Get DOSBox running on your computer and replay the classic. Xenonauts is a game that wants to be X-COM but fails to either properly modernize it or recreate it.
Posted: June 16th, 2014
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