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XEU Satellite

Satellites are deployed by XCOM to globally monitor human activity in XCOM: Enemy Unknown.

In-Game DescriptionEdit

EngineeringEdit

An advanced reconnaissance satellite modified to detect the unique gravitational distortions caused by alien craft in flight.

– Engineering description, XCOM: Enemy Unknown

XCOM DatabaseEdit

Proper satellite coverage is crucial to managing global panic levels. Each Satellite Uplink facility within XCOM HQ is constantly monitored by our engineers, and is capable of supporting two satellites. Assuming uplink facilities are available, additional satellites can be assembled in Engineering. Once manufacturing is completed, the new satellite can be launched via the Situation Room.

– XCOM Database, XCOM: Enemy Unknown

Production RequirementsEdit

Prerequisites: None
Time to Complete: 20 days
Engineers: 5
Production Cost: §100


Additional information: 2K Forums about Satellite Coverage vs Bonus from Continents.

Country and Continent Bonuses per Month (Easy/Normal)
Satellites Africa Asia Europe North America South America
1 +1 engineer +2 engineers +2 scientists +1 scientist
+1 engineer
+1 scientist
2 +1 scientist
+2 engineers
+3 engineers +3 scientists +2 scientists
+2 engineers
+2 scientists
+2 engineers
3 +2 scientists
+3 engineers
+6 engineers +6 scientists +4 scientists
+4 engineers
4 +8 engineers +8 scientists
Bonus All In
Monthly XCOM funding increased by 30%.
Future Combat
All projects in the Foundry and the Officer Training School cost 50% less money.
Expert Knowledge
Laboratory and Workshop cost 50% less to build and maintain.
Air & Space
All aircraft and aircraft weapons cost 50% less to purchase, build and maintain.
We Have Ways
Autopsies and Interrogations are completed instantly.
Country and Continent Bonuses per Month (Classic/Impossible)
Satellites Africa Asia Europe North America South America
1 +1 engineer +1 engineer +1 scientist +1 scientist +1 scientist
2 +1 scientist
+1 engineer
+2 engineers +2 scientists +1 scientist
+1 engineer
+1 scientist
+1 engineer
3 +1 scientist
+2 engineers
+3 engineers +3 scientists +2 scientists
+1 engineer
4 +4 engineers +4 scientists
Bonus All In
Monthly XCOM funding increased by 30%.
Future Combat
All projects in the Foundry and the Officer Training School cost 50% less money.
Expert Knowledge
Laboratory and Workshop cost 50% less to build and maintain.
Air & Space
All aircraft and aircraft weapons cost 50% less to purchase, build and maintain.
We Have Ways
Autopsies and Interrogations are completed instantly.

Importance of SatellitesEdit

Satellites provide several crucial game play benefits:

  • A country's panic level receives an instant reduction when a satellite is deployed above it.
  • Countries with active satellites are not subject to Alien Abductions which are the game's main panic-increasing mechanic, so if all countries (or all countries but one to three — see Stalling with satellites) have a satellite, the player can effectively stall panic nearly indefinitely, allowing time to research different projects and build items. Note that a country may still be affected by an Alien Abduction once after a satellite is launched as a result of the game mechanics pre-selecting that nation for the next Abduction mission prior to the satellite coverage being registered.
  • Satellites secure funding and rewards from each country with coverage:
    • Each country with a satellite provides a monthly cash reward to XCOM. These rewards constitute the Project's main source of income.
    • Each country with a satellite also contributes a monthly reward of Scientists and/or Engineers, depending on the continent.
    • Each continent with full satellite coverage grants a special bonus reward. (NOTE: The player automatically receives the bonus for the continent on which they based their headquarters.)

Satellites should be given priority over everything else in the game because they are the only recurrent source of income and because they can help countries whose panic levels are alarmingly high. Do note, however, that even with a large number of engineers, building a number of satellites will still take a default 20 days before it is finally built.

In the DefaultGameCore.ini config folder, satellites are listed to lower panic in the countries they are deployed over once a month, depending upon what the panic level is: level 5 panic, and each month the panic has a 100% chance of decreasing; level 4 panic, and each month there is a 50% chance of lowering panic; levels 2-3 panic ("low") and there is a 25% chance of lowering panic in the month. These numbers are for Easy and Normal difficulties: in Classic and Impossible, the percentages are 50%, 25%, and 10%.

Building Satellites and UplinksEdit

  • Satellites are built in Engineering and launched from the Situation Room. The number of active satellites XCOM can have is limited by the number of satellite monitoring facilities available to them. Headquarters starts with one Satellite Uplink prebuilt, so the construction of additional Satellite Uplink and Satellite Nexus facilities is required to increase XCOM's monitoring capacity.
  • As the number of Engineers required to build a monitoring facility increases with each uplink created, procuring more Engineers each month is a priority during the early game.
  • Remember about the adjacency bonus for both Satellite Uplinks and Satellite Nexuses. The adjacency is both vertical and horizontal; for example, you can have a 2x2 arrangement with three Uplinks and one Nexus.
  • There is no need to wait for construction of a satellite to finish before building more; they can be ordered at any time and there is no limit to the number of orders in the Engineering queue.
  • Engineering should start building satellites during the first 9 days of each month, as the production takes 20 days. This will allow the deployment of satellites before a monthly meeting with The Council, increasing income for that month.
  • It is beneficial to delay satellite deployment until right before the monthly debrief with the Council. This grants the player a few advantages, such as:
    • You can monitor panic levels in countries, and deploy satellites in those whose panic levels reach 5 at the end of the month, preventing them from withdrawing support for the project.
    • Among random requests from countries, such as requests for alien corpses or equipment, it's possible to get a request to launch a satellite above a specific country for a hefty fee.
  • Panic reduction and the increase in monthly income take place immediately when a satellite is launched, despite satellites taking a few days to become operational (protecting against Alien Abductions).
  • Since satellites need to be protected by Interceptors, it can be helpful to get the Air and Space bonus from North America either by selecting the continent for XCOM headquarters or providing satellite coverage for the continent's three countries. It cuts the costs of purchase (or construction, in the case of Firestorm) and maintenance of these aircraft in half, which can save a few credits on the initial stage of satellite deployment, when you need them most.

Stalling with SatellitesEdit

The player can manage satellites in a number of ways to maximize their benefit.

  • The Stealth Satellites Foundry project improves the overall effectiveness of satellite stalling, although it's unnecessary when the player is able to intercept every UFO.
  • 16 out of 16 satellites can be deployed to effectively erase abduction events.
    • Even if some countries have withdrawn from the Council, abduction events can be effectively erased from the game as long as every remaining country has a satellite.
    • Once satellites are maxed out, an extra satellite should always be kept in reserve in the case of an established satellite's destruction.
  • Satellites can be manipulated in such a way that all abduction events appear on a single continent (e.g., Europe — U.K, France, Germany, and/or Russia). When completing the mission, panic level is reduced in the chosen country of engagement, while the panic increase in other countries is negated by the general continental panic reduction. This is especially useful in the three-country continent of Africa. This form of satellite stalling not only allows for panic management but also allows the player to farm abduction-event rewards (such as Engineers, Scientists and Meld).

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