I've been looking for a way to take down a UFO without doing any (or little damage) to it as possible. I haven't found any research that would help me either. My question is, is there some weapon that I can research that will act like an EMP against UFOs? It's quite difficult to get Elerium-115 in the game and I was hoping that I could just EMP or do something that can take it down without destroying all of the Elerium-115.

4 Answers 4


In original version of UFO Enemy Unknown/ Defense there is no EMPs. Best strategy to get UFO without damage is raid them when landed. You can send Skyranger, Avenger or Lightning to purse UFO but minimize the fight screen when you catch the UFO. So your ship will follow them and if landed the UFO Mission will start right away.

Using weaker fire power weapons could also help you to more likely get UFOs down without blowing up their Power Sources. This if of course against smaller UFOs. Larger UFOs still might have some intact power sources even if some of them are blown up. *Note: No resarch done, just my own intuation from years of playing*

  • Ufopedia refers that there is 75% change that Power Sources will explode. So it's best just trying to raid UFOs when landed.
    – Nurkka
    Commented Mar 20, 2014 at 8:40

I did a little testing by purchasing cannons and equipping one plasma beam and one cannon on each interceptor. I downed the same UFO 40 times: 10 in aggressive, 10 in standard and 10 in cautious with the plasma beam and 10 in aggressive with the cannon.

The core was never intact when I arrived at the scene. However, when I timed my arrival time 7 hours after my original testing, the core was intact each time. I think the core has a chance to be intact and that chance is rolled when you arrive at the scene.

Also I noticed the map is generated depending on the interception itself. When I approached with the aggressive and standard attack, the UFO went down in 7 shots every time, and the map was identical down to enemy placement.
However, the cautious approach downed the craft in 6 shots and generated a different map with enemies in different places. Both power sources were destroyed.

This testing was done on open Xcom with the save scumming option turned off. I will do a little more testing on variables in the future.


Like Nurkka mentioned it is not possible to crash an UFO undamaged. Personally i never noticed any relation between weapon types and damage. If you have the ability yo identify what type of ship it is you can tell if it will land in a random location (scouts), create a terror site (terror ship) or dock in an alien base (supply ship).

Always crash a supply ship or it will disappear in an alien base, you can also tell if there is a base if these ships suddenly disappear of radar.

Terror sites can yield a good amount of points so it is your choice to down a terror ship or not.

Scouts will most likely land somewhere so you could just chase them with a "crew" ship and once they land you enter the site.

Other then that, if you are after huge amount of alien supplies you can build a base fairly close to one of the alien bases. You will pickup all there supply ships and they offer tons of goodies for you.

  • "Always crash a supply ship or it will disappear in an alien base" that's not true. Supply ships will take a period of time before disappearing at alien bases. If you have scouted out the alien base ahead of time, its sometimes advantageous to leave it alone so you can harvest elerium and power sources from the constant stream of landing supply ships.
    – l I
    Commented Mar 20, 2014 at 14:50
  • @z- Afaik they will hover above the base then disappear. Are you actually saying they land inside a base and you can attack just the supply ship at that time?
    – Madmenyo
    Commented Mar 20, 2014 at 16:58
  • yes, I remember very clearly harvesting landed supply ships since that guarentees the maximum number of power sources and elerium. This was on the PC version (non steam).
    – l I
    Commented Mar 20, 2014 at 17:50
  • Supply ships do land. And sometimes exactly inside alien base. But then you can pick which you assault. Some tools like XCOMutil might change behaviour tho. I haven't never used those so I can't tell.
    – Nurkka
    Commented Mar 21, 2014 at 6:24
  • It has been a while for me too, played the original PC version as well, not even sure what version.
    – Madmenyo
    Commented Mar 21, 2014 at 7:29

You could always do this the somewhat cheating method. Just save right before you get there, and keep landing. Find an instance where the ship isn't destroyed, and you'll have it.

Of course, this could take some time to identify, but it's at least worthy of thought.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .