How is enemy progression handled in Xenonauts? Do enemies get harder with time, or is enemy progression locked until you research certain technologies or meet some other criteria?

If technologies are involved, what are the threshold technologies you should look out for?

  • Just a guess, but it may be connected to the milestones the game sets for you. You can see them in the lower right of the Geoscape screen.
    – magnattic
    Commented Jul 17, 2014 at 18:09

1 Answer 1


This is almost certainly triggered by the reaching the objectives the game sets for you. They are shown on the map in the lower right corner.

In my current playthrough I waited a long time to research "Alien Interrogation", which was suggested as my goal after capturing an Caesan alive.

I played several missions before that and they all were equal in difficulty, featuring the same UFOs and the same aliens with the same equipment. Neither time nor other research nor the second base I set up in the meantime changed anything about that.

After researching "Alien Interrogation", I instantly faced new enemies with new equipment and a new UFO type.

So while I cannot be absolutely sure that the game won't progress after an unknown period of time which I simply have not hit yet, I am pretty sure you should be safe from enemy progress as long as you don't do what your mission requests.

  • 1
    It's a lot more complex than this, but I don't have all the information to leave a good answer yet. Suffice to say, the aliens will get more powerful over time no matter what. Your particular objectives may (or may not) give them a large power boost, but they'll go up on their own through many other means, the principle among them being the simple passage of time.
    – Sterno
    Commented Jul 19, 2014 at 2:01
  • 1
    After taking a look into the gameconfig.xml, I believe you are correct. There are a whole lot of "Ticker" variables that seem to influence the rate of alien progress. Nevertheless certain events seem to boost that. Without seeing the source code itself it will be hard to tell how the system works exactly, though.
    – magnattic
    Commented Jul 19, 2014 at 2:43
  • 1
    Have a look at this thread: goldhawkinteractive.com/forums/archive/index.php/t-756.html Chris said that: "The alien ships are unlocked when their ticker reaches a certain score, which is gained by their ships completing missions etc and possibly just over time."
    – Emiliano
    Commented Aug 25, 2014 at 17:50
  • So by preventing the UFOs to complete their missions you can somehow delay their technological progress.
    – Emiliano
    Commented Aug 25, 2014 at 17:53

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