I've been reading over this excellent explanation of how Covert Ops work in Beyond Earth.

So far I've been working with a policy where, if one of my agents is "detected" whilst performing a covert mission and there is a counter agent in that city, I move that agent out of the city and replace him with another. This takes advantage of the raised Intrigue level for that city, but at the same time places another Spy in that city, a Spy that has not been detected, so they can continue performing missions without the increased risk of them having been detected.

But now that I've been reading how Covert Ops work, it seems the only historical factor involved in Covert Ops calculations seems to be the Intrigue level. In other words, the fact that my agents are "detected" appears to makes no difference to their future missions in that city.

Is this correct? Is the "detected" notice you get once a mission is completed relevant to the game at all?

If being "detected" does have an impact on future missions, can somebody explain how, and if my original tactics are sound.

If being "detected" does not have an impact on future missions, what is its purpose? Why does the game go to such lengths to say "Your agent was detected / undetected" when this detection has no bearing on the game mechanics themselves.

  • 3
    Good question, putting a comment as I have no actual proof for my answer, just a 'feeling' from playing. Anyway I always assumed that the "...Detected.." notice was for a couple of reasons. 1) To increase tension between you and the other civ, 2) to throw a dice roll in order to determine the fat of your Agent, be it caught but escape, caught and executed, etc. I'm also fairly sure, though again I have no proof to offer just that feeling again, that being detected interupts your Agents actions, costing you time having them restart.
    – MattR
    Feb 24, 2015 at 14:05

1 Answer 1


There are some things you should know when your Agents are detected. In this site, it states that:

... Also, the more factions that dog-pile into a city the more likely a spy will be caught or detected to counter-balance the rapid increase in city intrigue (the Casablanca Effect).

I don't play the game (Sorry!), so I don't quite know what the effect is, but the Casablanca effect can be used to counter-balance the rapid increase in city intrigue.

As said in the comments (no proof has been given, thanks @MattR!), your agent could be captured but escape without injury or capture and be interrogated, executed, tortured, etc. If the other civilization finds out, the tension will increase and victory through war is more likely.

Now in the Civilization Wiki which is probably the proof for @MattR 's comment, it states that the following can happen:

If there is a defending agent in the city and the attacking agent is discovered:

  • 1/3 of the time, the attacking agent will be identified and killed.

  • 1/3 of the time, the attacking agent will be identified (but not killed).

  • 1/3 of the time, the attacking agent will be detected (but not identified).

If there isn't a defending agent, the attacking agent can only be identified.

Extra Info

The risk of anything happening to your agents in terms of being identified, killed, or detected is stated in the wiki as well:

Risk is measured in percent chance for an agent performing an operation to be discovered and is computed as follows:

  • The base risk is equal to the base difficulty for the operation.

  • Each rank of the attacking agent reduces risk by 7%.

  • Each rank of a defending agent (if any) increases risk by 10%.

  • If Operations Support is selected as the National Security Project, each agent at HQ reduces risk by 1%.

  • Other agents in the city increase risk by ?

  • Risk cannot be below 10% nor above 90%.


It seems that the fact your agents were detected really doesn't have a noticeable effect other than higher tensions and enemy agents are alerted. There seem to be no source stating any effects in which your agent has been detected. The fact your agent was detected has no effect on gameplay.

I hope this helps you!

  • Thanks for the answer! If this is all the information out there, is it safe to assume that you agents being detected has absolutely no bearing what-so-ever on any game mechanics at all? That break down of 1/3 of the time the attacking agent will be... should be a quarter instead of a third, because agents can also go undetected. It seems like that third/quarter of the time that your agent gets detected (but not identified) is exactly the same as when your agent goes undetected...
    – Jimmery
    Mar 11, 2015 at 16:30
  • Well, you do have risk. Check the wiki I provided to find out more! Mar 11, 2015 at 16:31
  • Both on your answer and the wiki it doesn't mention anything about agents being detected when the risk is calculated. It seems like the risk ignores if the agent has been identified, detected, undetected. Unless I'm missing something?
    – Jimmery
    Mar 11, 2015 at 16:34
  • Did you read all the extra info I posted? Mar 11, 2015 at 16:37
  • I dont want to know how an agent gets detected, I want to know the effects of being detected. Sorry, I feel like I am being blind here, Ive read and re-read your entire post several times - is there something in the extra info along the lines of "If the attacking agent has been detected it raises the risk by 10%" or similar? Because I cant find anything related to agents being detected inside the risk calculation.
    – Jimmery
    Mar 11, 2015 at 16:48

You must log in to answer this question.

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