This other question got me wondering:

Is it better to spread out my satellites or concentrate them in one area?

It simply asks:

Should I try to strengthen one area on the map to make travel times shorter or try to cover as much of the globe as possible?

I've added the emphasis as it forms the basis for my question. So far as I can tell, only positive things happen while your troops fly to and fro:

  • Time passes
  • Possibly events are completed

That's all I can think of, but I've only witnessed the first. That being said, the simple passage of time during early stages of the game will get you that much closer to your council report, and therefore much-needed credits. A possible strategy might be to specifically target distant countries for your satellite launches (as panic permits) to maximize travel time (when UFO's are detected) and therefore minimize time spent subject to alien activity. Or maybe that small amount of time is insignificant; I'm still pretty new.

Has anyone ever returned from a mission to find events were completed (i.e. a Foundry project is finished)? Or maybe they complete the instant you begin scanning for activity? Can anything else occur during travel time?

  • 1
    I can't think of any negative events that happened during travel time. I'm not sure if its possible.
    – l I
    Aug 28, 2013 at 0:59
  • Me neither. I thought it might be an interesting strategy, but it may be that time passes too slowly during travel to be significant. That being said, the game might only offer battle events when it knows you will have enough time to travel without completing an event. And if that's the case, then an alternate tactic may be to strategically stagger your events such that events cannot fit between them... but I don't know if that's even plausible.
    – bpcookson
    Aug 28, 2013 at 1:09
  • 3
    You definitely see things complete while the Skyranger travels (i.e. soldiers come out of the infirmary, interceptors are repaired, satellites completed). However, I have never seen anything bad happen, primarily because the bad things are very scripted in number (i.e. you get 2 UFOs and 2 abduction missions in a specific month). I wouldn't worry about travel time. Money and panic reduction drive your satellite choices.
    – au revoir
    Aug 28, 2013 at 3:49
  • I think that other question has a wrong premise: Adding satellites does not influence the already negligible travel times
    – Zommuter
    Aug 29, 2013 at 9:10
  • And amazingly enough, in my current game, I've had two bad things happen while my Skyranger was en route to a mission. You just get a message and another button for the new UFO / Council Mission at the top of the Mission Control page.
    – au revoir
    Sep 8, 2013 at 4:58

2 Answers 2


I have not experienced any other negative events during travel time (excluding your own actions like research completion, though that's not negative anyway). But the more fundamental thing you should know is that you cannot send interceptors to other continents. So if you don't have a spare interceptor to transfer or the money to buy another one, a satellite on another continent will "only" yield the income (and bonus on filled continents) but will not allow you to shoot down UFOs discovered there until an interceptor is locally stationed.

  • 1
    You definitely can discover UFOs when you don't have interceptors there. Your only choice is to ignore it, after which panic immediately goes up in that country.
    – au revoir
    Sep 5, 2013 at 21:43
  • @JasonBerkan Thanks for the input, then I can remove that last part
    – Zommuter
    Sep 6, 2013 at 6:31

The only drawback is time spent.

However, time spent is the biggest drawback in this game. Let's assume your base is in Europe, and you have to fly to India. The time it takes for the trip to and from India passes, and any researches or constructions will also be completed. This is a positive thing.

A big negative thing is UFOs. While the game won't let UFOs attack while you're on a trip, it won't stop current attacks, meaning, Terror Attacks, Abductions, Intercepting UFOs or even Boarding downed UFOs may not be possible if the event already triggered, and you are not responding.

Usually in most playthroughs this is rare. However in higher difficulties, there may be some cases where due to several injuries of your squad, you're not able to tackle a downed UFO and you take the time to deal with an easier Abduction Mission. This of course can be the downfall of your game due to terror levels rising if enough time passes.

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