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I remember someone telling me in-game that using explosives (grenades, rockets, etc.) has some drawbacks, in that I get less "loot" after the mission. But it seems that all the aliens' weapons self-destruct anyway... so what are the drawbacks of using explosives?

In particular,

  1. Does it mean I get less weapon fragments / Elerium / alloys?
  2. Does it mean I no longer get the alien's corpse?
  3. Can explosives kill neutralized enemies or destroy their weapons?

Also, if I use explosives to injure aliens but not kill them, do I still lose anything?

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If I've learned anything from Mythbusters, it is that there are NO drawbacks to using explosives. – au revoir Nov 2 '12 at 21:49
up vote 10 down vote accepted

When an alien dies from an explosion, you will still get the corpse, but you will be unable to acquire any of the other loot. If an alien is only injured by an explosion, then killed normally, you will get all the loot you normally would.

The alien's weapon self-destructing is what results in the weapon fragments you normally find. The explosions instead vaporize it entirely.

As @RavenDreamer said, stunned aliens can be killed by explosions, which will destroy their weapons.

Considering the danger of losing alloys and elerium (and also functional UFO hardware like flight computers and power sources) you might want to be careful with explosives on UFO raids, since you might destroy parts of the UFO when using explosives inside of it and lose this loot (which you might need to build stuff like Satellite Nexus or Elerium Generator).

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Finally, if an explosion detonates near a stunned alien, they die too. – Raven Dreamer Nov 2 '12 at 21:44
it should also be noted that cars exploding, and ufo power sources exploding, also results in no weapon fragments. – TheShiftExchange Nov 3 '12 at 4:45
@TheShiftExchange Does this relate to point 3? Will an explosion near a dead alien destroy those weapon fragments? – therefromhere Nov 3 '12 at 21:21
@TheShiftExchange Agreed. My hunch is that once they're dead they're the fragments can't be destroyed later, but would be good to test. – therefromhere Nov 4 '12 at 0:13
@Fadeway - Chryssalids, and possibly Muton Berserkers. Maybe Ethereals as well; I can't remember whether they use a pistol. Essentially anything which uses melee or psionic exclusively. – SaintWacko Dec 17 '12 at 14:48

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