In XCOM: Enemy Unknown there was a small window of time between when a mission was assigned to me and when I could respond to it before it disappeared. This was helpful because sometimes I needed just a little more time before finishing a useful bit of research, and could wait a few hours before heading off to slay the alien menace.

However, when I try to wait in XCOM 2, I get a warning popup that seems to indicate that the mission will be ignored unless I respond to it right now. This happens with guerilla, council, and reprisal missions. Still I find that sometimes I'd like to wait a few hours before dealing with the mission. Am I able to do so safely, or will I always forfeit the mission? If I am able to wait before starting a mission, how long do I have?

  • 1
    You can wait at least a little bit. I've finished a scan that had less than a day left before taking off and still made it. Not sure how long you can wait.
    – DCShannon
    Feb 9, 2016 at 23:07
  • I'm not sure how long the wait is though. I flew to a mission, and accidentally clicked back to HQ. By the time I could fly back to the mission a final time it had expired.
    – Kexlox
    Feb 9, 2016 at 23:37
  • 1
    There's now a mod that adds countdown timers: steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=626589171
    – user131854
    Feb 18, 2016 at 15:04

2 Answers 2


This took a little hunting around to find, but here's a quick breakdown.

Guerrilla Ops, Supply Raids, Landed UFOs, Retaliation Strikes, and Council missions last for a random amount of time, between 18 and 26 hours. This time is determined when the mission is first created and presented to the player. For Guerrilla Ops, where you have 3 missions to choose from, they will all last for the same amount of time.

Other missions, including Alien Facilities and story missions, do not expire.

A "Point of Interest", which is the name for the rewards generated after completing a mission, will last between 9 and 18 days.

Missions will not expire while the Avenger is in the air, but the only effect this has is that you can't expire a mission you're flying to. If you're flying somewhere other than to a mission site, then missions can expire as soon as you land and aren't interacting with some other dialog.

Anyone interested can find the majority of the relevant code in X2StrategyElement_DefaultMissionSources.uc and XComGameState_MissionSite.uc.

  • I tried to wait on a Supply Raid and after the warning, the mission expired almost instantaneously. Far quicker than 18 hrs at any rate.
    – T Nguyen
    Mar 12, 2016 at 7:54

You should try and wait at a little bit so be patient. I am not sure how long you can wait,but wait it would work.If you wait too long for the council missions (something like a couple days) they'll go away.However, in the case of slingshot missions, if you miss out on it you'll have the same mission pop up for you next month- at least.I think it's roughly 12-24 hours. If you only needed several hours you could take the risk, but 2 days is too long.

  • 1
    In response to your edits, it looks like you're answering based on XCOM: Enemy Unknown. I'm asking about XCOM 2, which has different mission types.
    – Aurelius
    Feb 9, 2016 at 23:18

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