I have constantly heard that the aliens cannot attack on their first sighting. I discovered that rule does not apply to melee enemies, apparently.

I had a Berserker show up, do his intro dance, and crush my soldier from the other side of a wall. I have had a Chryssalid show up, do his spitting intro, run up to my veteran soldier, and kill him.

I'm playing on Classic Ironman, so is this something that's specific to my difficulty? Or do melee enemies do this regardless?

  • @Oak enemies usually shouldn't be able to attack on the turn they are exposed, but maybe this doesn't apply to melee or could be a glitch.
    – l I
    Commented Jan 18, 2013 at 14:22
  • I think melee is different in the fact that they run towards your squad, not into cover. I think the AI works off of the thought that if you're close enough for melee to get to you when you find them, you're being reckless.
    – Frank
    Commented Jan 18, 2013 at 14:27
  • As @Oak pointed out, this seems more like a rant than a question, and therefore I've voted to close it as "Not A Real Question." Could you try and clarify your question? If so, it's possible for it to be re-opened.
    – Wipqozn
    Commented Jan 18, 2013 at 14:29
  • I reviewed the ini files for something specific to difficulty and turned up nothing.
    – Amy B
    Commented Jan 18, 2013 at 14:51
  • 2
    Are you dashing with your last available soldier this turn when you discover them?
    – Steinin
    Commented Jan 18, 2013 at 15:00

2 Answers 2


It has never been the case that enemies can attack the player's squad members during the activation sequence. However if the enemies are activated on the very last available squad turn during a dashing move, the game will automatically progress from the activation sequence to the enemy's turn. A chryssalid or berserker can, during an activation sequence, move towards the player as part of their free move. If they end up next to a squad member, they can attack immediately on their next turn. If the game progress to their turn directly after activation, this gives the impression that the aliens attacked as part of the activation sequence.

  • 1
    Ladies and Gents, I play this game almost 2 hours a day. My routine is to put everyone on Overwatch at the end of my turn. No movement. I am certain the melee enemies appeared, danced, and destroyed my high level soldier. My emotions were hurting for this soldier. I will receive the answer that "it was a glitch". I know there are others who experienced this. By the way, I play the PS3 version often. I have not had this experience on my PC version yet.
    – G_Glock
    Commented Jan 22, 2013 at 16:01
  • Played the game through 5 times and never seen what you are describing happening. If it really did happen as you say it did, it must have been the result of some bug. The intended behaviour is that enemies can never attack you during an activation sequence.
    – Steinin
    Commented Jan 23, 2013 at 8:40
  • 1
    Indeed, it must be a PS3 bug. I am really good at the game, and it shocked me the way this happened. (twice) The Chryssalid and Berserker are laughing it up in "video game world". Similiar to the old cartoon where the assumed dead frog would get up and dance when no one was around. Thanks everyone for your help in diagnosing this as a bug.
    – G_Glock
    Commented Jan 23, 2013 at 15:39

Enemies are not able to attack on the same turn as they are found. However, if your last soldier dashes and finds new enemies, the discovery animation is played and then game proceed to next alien turn, giving these new aliens chance to attack.

However, if the alien plays the discovery animation AND attacks, whenever during Alien Activity and/or during your turn while you still haven't ended the turn, then you have encountered a bug. It is relatively rare bug, but when it happens, it can ruin your day.

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