I'm on my first XCOM: Enemy Unknown playthrough on Normal and am just about to enter the end game. I've finished the Gollop Chamber and got one of my soldiers ready to use it.

However... I'm kind of an achievement wh*re, as such I'd like to complete as much achievements as possible on this easier run. I'm planning to start a Classic Iron Man after I've finished my current one.

I haven't captured all possible aliens yet (like Sectoid Commander & the Outsider) but as I'm currently in the end phase, I'm not encountering them (although I seem to run in a lot of thin men).

Does anybody know whether it's still possible to get my hands on those types of aliens this late in the game? Thanks!

  • 1
    afaik it's not possible to reach the end-game without capturing the Sectoid Commander and the Outsider...
    – Ian
    Commented Mar 18, 2013 at 10:03

4 Answers 4


No, you won't encounter Sectoid Commanders and Outsiders in the end game, as they are replaced in their post of "commanding aliens" by Ethereals.

But you have already researched at least an Outsider, as there is no way to reach Gollop Chamber without it. A "live" Outsider is an Outsider Shard that you need to locate the Alien Base. Sectoid Commander interrogation provides you with Psi research credit, which is not required to reach the end game.

  • But if you capture the first Outsider, you'll get the skeleton key, but you're not interrogating the species, hence no science bonus is gained?
    – thomaux
    Commented Mar 18, 2013 at 10:35
  • I just checked the wiki and apparently there's no research bonus for a live Outsider. My bad!
    – thomaux
    Commented Mar 18, 2013 at 10:59
  • 2
    When you capture the first outsider, you get the Shard, research it, and develop a skeleton key. They are not possible to interrogate per se, as they just "switch off" their physical manifestation and all that's left is the projector crystal.
    – Orc JMR
    Commented Mar 18, 2013 at 13:34
  • But sectoid commanders do appear later in the game. In the last mission. False answer. Commented Apr 23, 2013 at 10:57
  • Wiki was updated and Orc JMR answer is the correct one, Sectoid Commanders are replaced by Ethereals after the Overseer UFO crash site.
    – thomaux
    Commented May 17, 2013 at 5:49

My experiences differed a bit from OrcJMR's.

The Sectoid Commander's autopsy unlocked the Psionic Labs facility.
Interrogating the Sectoid Commander provided a psionic research credit.

You can also run into groups of Sectoid Commanders in later missions. I remember one particular mission I had against Ethereals and Sectoid Commanders in the smallest UFO type at the same time on iron man. However I do not have a screenshot to substantiate my claim :-/

  • I knew something felt wrong about the other answers. It is possible to get to the end game without interrogating the Sectoid Commander.
    – au revoir
    Commented Mar 18, 2013 at 16:07
  • Hmm.. this is what I thought, I need to have some evidence to prove this. Also, I believe capturing a second Outsider also yielded a specific research bonus (as with a second Sectoid Commander)
    – thomaux
    Commented Mar 18, 2013 at 17:58
  • Confirmed on the wiki, here: xcom.wikia.com/wiki/Sectoid_Commander
    – thomaux
    Commented Mar 19, 2013 at 1:04
  • @Anzeo Actually it depends on if you have The Greater Good enabled or not. Commented May 16, 2013 at 21:38

Just to consolidate the right answers into a single one (and I take litte credit for most of the content):

  • The only alien type that you will definitely not see again is the Outsider, as they are never seen after you do the base assault mission. However, you must have captured an Outsider to have progressed the story this far.

  • Sectoid Commanders have been replaced by Ethereals as UFO commanders, but still appear in groups on normal missions.

  • Sectoids are rare, but do sometimes crop up on normal missions in late game. Ditto for (non-heavy) Floaters.

  • Thin Men are plentiful if you can wait for a council special mission, and do sometimes appear in other missions too.

It's not spoilering anything to say that you have a good chance of meeting most of the above after activating the Gollop Chamber, but for reasons that would be spoilery I don't know whether captures after that point count towards the achievement :-)


Sectoid commanders do appear in the very last mission where you take over the alien base. There's a bunch of standard sectoids, and also 1 or 2 sectoid commanders as well.


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