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If I managed to capture an alien with Arc-Thrower I think I get its weapon intact. If I don't have it researched yet

  • Will I be able to use it? (I assume answer is no but not sure)
  • Will It give me any research benefit? (It is logical to think it will be easier to research on an intact plasma rifle over weapon fragments)
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Your logic is right - researching an intact weapon is infinitely easier than researching fragments, as you absolutely can not reconstruct any alien weapon from frags :) –  Orc JMR Nov 19 '12 at 14:11

4 Answers 4

up vote 8 down vote accepted
  • You cannot use any weapon until you research it
  • Intact weapon is prerequisite for research
  • If you captured more weapons of a kind before researching it, you'll still be able to use all of them once you researched it.
  • In case of alien grenade, there is a Foundry Project, which gives you infinite supply. You only need one alien grenade for that.
  • There is absolute no point in capturing more than 6 of particular kind. In fact, for most it's even less (heavy can't use pistol nor rifle, sniper can't use rifle)
  • Capturing weapon means no weapon fragments, which are necessary for most research and foundry projects.
  • On rare occasions Council Request for weapons will appear. You have absolutely no control over when and which weapons.
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Does one alien grenade really give you infinite supply? Sounds wrong, because if not, what is a foundry project "upgrade all grenades to alien ones" for? –  Orc JMR Nov 19 '12 at 14:08
    
@OrcJMR: you're right, it's a foundry project. –  vartec Nov 19 '12 at 15:24
1  
No, one alien grenade allows a single soldier to use alien grenades. It is "indefinite" in that the single grenade doesn't get consumed, but you need one grenade per soldier you want to equip - or else use the "upgrade all grenades" project. –  Dan Puzey Nov 19 '12 at 15:25
    
@DanPuzey: right, they've made that part bit confusing. –  vartec Nov 19 '12 at 15:29
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You cannot sell captured weapons and live aliens in the grey market unlike in X-COM:Apocalypse. I hope Firaxis would allow this feature in future updates. Otherwise, the Arc Thrower feels redundant during later stages in the game. –  Augustus Thoo Nov 20 '12 at 4:55

A bit of a corner case but you may get lucky and have a country request for weapons. When I play I will MC or stun aliens if there's no risk & a couple of times I've been lucky like this, plasma weapons in particular sell for a lot of money. Then that money may buy you research labs that you may not have been able to afford before.

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Yes, you will be able to use the weapon, but only after you've researched it.

And yes, intact weapons do give some research benefits.

In order to research plasma pistols or light plasma rifles, an intact specimen is a prerequisite.

Obtaining an intact plasma rifle or heavy plasma rifle allows those weapons to be researched without first researching prerequisite weapons, so you could for example skip researching light plasma rifles entirely, or outfit your heavies with plasma weapons without having to first research regular plasma rifles.

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Can you give any example of price reduction? Everything I see online says research costs are fixed. –  Orc JMR Nov 19 '12 at 14:07
    
You're right, I must have been mistaken. Editing that out. –  Theodore Murdock Nov 19 '12 at 15:05
    
Then it turns out that intact weapons do not give any research benefits :) Captured Plasma Rifle / researched Light Plasma Rifle are two prerequisites, but no "benefits" as in "research credits". nitpick –  Orc JMR Nov 19 '12 at 15:48
    
I think the ability to skip researching light plasma entirely, and get to sniper or heavy weapons faster could be seen as a research benefit. If you're doing better than average financially and can afford to build enough regular plasma rifles, it enables you to move your research schedule forward by somewhere around 14 days, and saving the material costs of light plasma research. But I'll admit that, so far, I've always researched light plasma rifles first because I usually have more of them, and not enough resources to build rifles. –  Theodore Murdock Nov 19 '12 at 23:45

You cannot use an intact weapon until and unless you've researched it. However, if you haven't researched it yet, recovering an intact weapon will unlock the research project that goes with it. (Mind, if you recover an intact plasma weapon early in the game it'll take a long time to research; I recommend researching the interrogation first, because it's quicker and it may apply a research bonus to certain fields)

Once you've researched everything, captures are still useful because an intact weapon means alloys and elerium you don't have to spend on building it in the workshops -- and because in some cases zapping a wounded alien with the arc thrower at close range has a higher success chance than shooting it from a distance.

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