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Game exploits (XCOM: Enemy Unknown)

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This is the list of all exploits that found all over the Internet or has been tested & confirmed.

Quick Save and Load Edit

Save Scum Second Wave option allows a cheat in aiming. Just quick save before shot and reload if missed or done too little damage.

Quick save and load mechanism allows also safe dashing scouting of map. Quick save before any movement and load if aliens encountered for optimal placing or to unawaken any extra alien groups encountered.

Obviously these cheats won't work in Ironman mode.

Would be even easier cheat if the game would have quick load.

Not Created Equally Edit

Not Created Equally Second Wave option creates another nice exploit. When you have no shortage of funds (later in game or with fund cheat), you can farm for high stat level soldiers. Simpy recruit full batch and when they arrive, immediately fire all Rookies who have less than 50 Will and 70 Aim and when you have 10+ of these, start firing all Rookies who have less than 50 Will and 75 Aim. Again when you have 10+ of these, start firing everything with less than 50 Will and 80 Aim and last when you have Iron Will and New Guy unlocked, start recruiting only Squaddies with 80 base Aim (for Squaddies meaning 82 Heavy, 85 Assault and Support, 90 Sniper) and 60+ Will (can go as high as 68 for Iron Will Squaddies).

This will hugely help your late game as you get usually one or two 80 aim and 50+ will soldiers per recruiting cycle (3 days) and 80 aim means +15 increase from the basic 65 aim that equals 1.5 S.C.O.P.Es. This means that your Assaults can snipe enemies from longer distances even with shotguns, Snipers basically never miss and your Heavies can actually hit something. Also training Squaddies is actually much easier when you don't need to babysit them as much, them being able to hit enemies from medium distances with reasonable certainity and high Will means they won't panic immediately when fired upon, taking slight damage or even if somebody is killed next to them. Later game with Iron Will and this recruiting method you will guarantee all your soldiers have over 100 Will and thus very high chances of being Psions and being very hard to control when facing enemy Psionics.

OverwatchEdit

Action Effects
Overwatch and not flanking The aliens will not move, but will take Overwatch or shoot if your unit is in cover have total less than 50% chance.
Overwatch and flanking or alien has no cover The aliens will not move and not take any action, but
  • will shoot if:
  1. any of your unit is in the open or flanked
  2. alien at higher ground
XCOM Overwatch Exploit -- Capturing Aliens02:33

XCOM Overwatch Exploit -- Capturing Aliens

XCOM Overwatch Exploit01:19

XCOM Overwatch Exploit

SniperEdit

Move & Overwatch with Sniper Rifle without Snap Shot skill[1][2]

  1. Overwatch with Pistol
    • Select that unit again then change weapon to primary.

Get the Plasma Pistol on the first missionEdit

This exploit relies on how getting items from a mission works.  Basically: you get the alien weapons by default, and when the alien dies the weapon changes to be weapon fragments; conversely, you get the alien corpse by default, and when you use the Arc Thrower it changes to be a live capture--likewise the Arc Thrower attack causes the Outsider Shard to come into existence.

The catch is that the alien dying is part of the script for them taking damage, i.e. the script for causing the aliens to die and their weapons to be destroyed is part of the weapon damage routines, not an inherent property of the alien class.

Rather having 0 HP causes the alien to stop moving and the game to identify it as 'alien corpse.'  So if an alien using Mind Merge or Mind Control hits 0 HP without being hit by anything, the game will classify them as dead, but the mind control/merge effect won't end, and the other alien won't take damage; as that is part of the dying routine.

The other factor that's important here is that the game seems to count 'HP' and 'damage,' rather than 'total HP' and 'current HP.' e.g. if a Sectoid has 1 hp remaining, then internally it has 4 'HP' and 3 'damage.'  Meaning that if the difficulty setting changes from a setting where a Sectoid has 4 'HP' and 3 'damage' to a setting where it has 3 'HP', it will still have 3 'damage' and it's HP will be 0 without it having been hurt.

The result of this are:

  • the alien freezes.
  • hovering over it identifies it as 'deceased'
  • if there is a minimap, such as during a Council mission, it is still indicated as a red dot.
  • the alien is still indicated as something you can shoot at, in some cases.
  • you get the weapon and the corpse at the end of the mission, rather than weapon fragments.

Oddly, however, setting the difficulty back to a higher setting so the alien should have positive HP again, does not resurrect it.

Cheat Engine Edit

Cheat Engine allows easy hacking of funds and other resources. After loading your game, use Cheat Engine to select the Xcom process, check your amount of funds and search for that value with Cheat Engine. Then spend some funds and search again for the new value and you should find the right memory location. If your search gives you more than one result, buy or sell something to change the value and search again. Once you have found the right memory location you can edit the value to whatever you want.

The same thing works with Alien Power Sources, Weapon Fragments, Alloys, Meld, Alien Corpses etc. Easiest way to change their amount is selling one or few in the Gray Market. With some practice, it is possible to find the memory offset with as few as two units of the wanted item by changing the sell amount in Gray Market without actually selling searching for the inventory value, but it is far easier to find items in memory if you have at least three of them.

Always remember that changing the wrong memory offset may have disastrous results for game stability and may corrupt the game, so always save the game before editing any values. Also, when you change values in the memory, test you found the right one by refreshing the game values (moving out and in from Gray Market for example) and if you didn't, simply reload the game and search the memory again instead of taking the risk of changing something that may corrupt the game from playthrough.

A video of using Cheat Engine in XCOM: EU/EW for fund cheat can be found here.

ReferenceEdit

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