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I know that that I need to do an alien base assault in order to unlock the full tech tree, and that the earlier I do it the easier it will be. However, I'm not sure on the best way to actually track down Alien Bases. I know that flying over a base with an interceptor will reveal it, but scouting the entire map to find alien bases doesn't seem very efficient, especially since I'd need to do it repeatedly since new alien bases are built as the game progresses.

Are there any methods which will allow me to narrow my search area? Are there any other ways to track down Alien Bases aside from just flying over them with interceptors?

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The only method I know of that works is flying interceptors over them.

That said, the game's default configuration is to auto-reveal alien bases 5 days after they are built, so I wouldn't worry overly much about trying to find them. 5 days isn't all that much time in the scheme of things.

Note that if your concern is that you want to raid alien bases but aren't seeing any, the problem is not that you haven't found them, but that you're too good at shooting down UFOs. I find that once I have 3 bases up and running with full radars, there isn't a lot of room left for aliens to land where I won't see them. It does still happen, but it only seems to happen once every few months. Since a successful raid on an alien base yields the nice Base Upgrade research option, you might consider letting some of the larger UFOs through if you get to December or January and still haven't seen a base.

Once you do the appropriate research and build the Quantum Cryptology Center, you can see what mission a UFO is on and specifically let those which are trying to build an alien base land, should you wish to raid more of them. Unfortunately, to gain the ability to research this upgrade, you must first sack an alien base, so there's a bit of a chicken and egg problem here if you simply aren't ever seeing them appear.

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    Do you know if there are specific alien crafts which build bases? If not, I might take a look through the XML to see if I can find anything. – Wipqozn Jul 14 '14 at 20:47
  • I'm sure there are, but I don't know the list. The most reliable way (mid-game) is to build the Quantum Cryptology Center, which will tell you what a UFO's current mission is. – Sterno Jul 15 '14 at 1:10
  • Just following up on my question: Every UFO will only perform certain types of mission (e.g. base building, research), and the types of mission it performs will change based on the month. A complete list of UFO missions, and which missions they engage in every month, can be found here. – Wipqozn Jul 15 '15 at 12:12

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