What I mean by rush victory?

Win the game as fast as possible, without wasting any time on side-quests/other objectives.

Based on this chart of tech tree we can say that the "order" would be:

  1. Start the game
  2. Kill an Alien
  3. Xeno-Biology TECH
  4. Arc Thrower TECH
  5. Arc Thrower WEAP
  6. Capture an outsider
  7. Ethereal Device TECH
  8. Gallop Chamber
  9. Psi-Armor TECH
  10. Psi-Armor ARMOR

But, here are the problems:

  1. It's hard to kill aliens without advanced tech.
  2. It's hard to survive the aliens without advanced tech.
  3. It's hard to collect resources (money) to build the necessary items.
  4. It's hard to go to advanced missions with low rank soldiers.

What's the faster way to finish the game?

  • Do I need to wait until full squad advancements + gear?
  • Do I need to avoid losing countries?

PS: I know that with the gear and upgrades it's "easier" to do so.

  • 1
    its much easier to rush imo if you have the EW DLC, mimetic skin is OP
    – l I
    Feb 13, 2014 at 16:04
  • Just to add a link to your comment @z- XCOM: Enemy Within
    – Michel
    Feb 13, 2014 at 16:06

1 Answer 1


The whole point of a "challenge" is to make it harder on yourself, or to see how much grinding you can skip and win on pure skill alone.

Here are the things you will absolutely need:

  • Autopsy (unlock arc thrower project)
  • Arc thrower designed and built
  • Alien Containment built
  • Live capture of Outsider via ARC thrower
  • "interrogation" of outsider to detect alien ground base.
  • Destruction of ground base, capturing ethereal comm device
  • Sectoid Commander autopsy (unlock psi potential)
  • Build psi lab and start testing soldiers for potential
  • Hypercomm research
  • Shoot down the overseer UFO (it might be possible for an interceptor with anti-air missiles to stay in range long enough for a kill if you burn through every single boost you've managed to create from captured alien corpses; if not, you'll need to segue into Alien Nav Comp, Alien Power Source, and New Fighter Craft to build the Firestorm)
  • Research the Ethereal device
  • Build Gollop Chamber
  • Have one psi-active soldier wearing psi-armor and have them use the chamber
  • Complete the temple mission.

As to your additional questions:

  • You don't get a game-over until and unless eight countries drop out of the program. Of course, losing a country means losing potential income and continent bonus, and by powering through everything as quickly as possible you'll likely be critically short on, well, everything, most of the time.

  • You don't need to wait until you've got maxed out soldiers and the best possible gear, but while it is theoretically possible to beat the temple mission with just starting equipment, especially if you've done it before and know what's waiting for you at each juncture, expect it to be brutally hard.

You'll be up against two Sectopods simultaneously in one chamber, for instance.

EDIT Come to think of it, I'd absolutely recommend playing the Slingshot DLC if you have it at all. It nets you a high level soldier and a big chunk of resources very early into the game if you succeed, and potentially lets you bypass a number of dangerous interceptions.

  • Nice answer! Two minor points: 1. Shooting down the overseer UFO using only boosts requires you to have done some autopsies to get the boosts. Probably less research effort than getting the Firestorm, but not research-free. 2. I'm pretty sure the psi soldier doesn't have to be at max rank; I think they get automatically promoted for the temple ship mission.
    – Flyto
    Feb 13, 2014 at 15:14
  • Great answer. I was thinking about the skills of my soldiers. If there is a good one that will help "prevent" kills. (as the sniper shoot at ally sight)
    – Michel
    Feb 13, 2014 at 15:35
  • 1
    its definately not possible for an anti air missile interceptor to shoot down the overseer ufo on classic and higher difficulties. I couldn't manage it even with all 3 boosts and plasma cannon. The time is so short you have to do a ton of damage, and you won't get a second chance most of the time as the second interceptor will take too long to reach it if its no where near a base.
    – l I
    Feb 13, 2014 at 16:03
  • 3
    You don't actually need someone at max psi rank. They just need to be wearing psi armor. Feb 13, 2014 at 16:10
  • On my last playthrought with classic difficulty I shot oversear ship down with interceptor. But I used EMP cannon it still required to resarch new fighter class. I think that with Fusion Lance it could also be possible to shoot oversear down with Interceptor. (using all BOOSTs)
    – Nurkka
    Feb 14, 2014 at 6:47

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