I've been contemplating restarting and skipping the 'tutorial' so that I can choose my base layout, go through the first mission without losing 3 units, that whole thing, but, now that I've done a few missions, I get the sense I'm still actually in the tutorial. As I was building the Containment Facility (under direction from the main dude in HQ), I noticed some areas were strictly 'Disabled for Tutorial', and I think when choosing the next thing to Research, there was still stuff marked in red.

Which leads me to my question: just how long does the tutorial actually last?

If I restart, and skip it, am I really just allowing myself more freedom in base location, layout, and the first mission, or am I also just totally set free after that with no direction, instead of still having a bit of a guiding hand? Put another, what might I be 'missing' by skipping the tutorial?

4 Answers 4


It took me 3 or 4 missions to get out of the "controlled tutorial" mode. See spoiler below.

The tutorial mode seemed to end (everything was unlocked) when I captured and investigated my first alien.

  • I believe that part depends on how long it takes you. See my own answer; I've definitely gotten out of the tutorial before without researching the arc thrower.
    – Nissa
    Commented Nov 29, 2017 at 17:22

The tutorial (as far as I know) ends after these missions:

  • Operation Devil's Moon (where 3 soldiers die)
  • First Alien Abductions (only 2 sites, blah blah blah rocket launchers destroy cover)
  • Council mission to extract Anna Seng (removed in Enemy Within)
  • The Meld tutorial (EW only, optional, can be enabled without the rest of the tutorial)
  • A UFO Crash Site for a Small Scout (not sure what happens if you fail the interception, or if that's even possible)

As for the practical differences of disabling the tutorial:


  • You'll be dropped into the game without knowledge of extremely important mechanics such as cover, construction, panic control, and flanking, and more. No, seriously, if you want your soldiers to survive, you'll need to know how cover works.
  • If you're playing on Classic difficulty, then you won't get the free Satellite from the Council. On Easy and Normal difficulties, you get one anyway.
  • The first Alien Abductions will have 3 sites instead of 2.
  • You won't get the achievement for doing the tutorial.


  • You'll be able to locate your base on any continent you want, instead of just Europe or North America.
  • You'll be able to arrange your first four Satellite Uplinks in a 2x2 square and get more adjacency bonuses.
  • You'll be able to do any of the initial research projects, in any order.
  • w.r.t. Disadvantage #1: OP clearly indicated they are restarting, so I'd wager they already knew the mechanics of the game :-)
    – pepoluan
    Commented Sep 25, 2017 at 17:17

As for differences between tutorial and not turorial: The Turorial gives you a free satellite which is pretty darn good.


I started on the tutorial mode and it is definitely guiding me along the way (ie, build a containment facility, assault this base, research this device.) I get the feeling that the linear components of the game play are going to be presented to me throughout the full game. I'm looking forward to starting again in Hard difficulty without the tutorial for a more open game play option.

Research will be marked in red if you don't have the required components to complete the research. This is usually a combination of materials and personell. You start with 5 scientists and eventually research requires 20 or more scientists on staff to begin. If you are choosing missions which aren't getting you scientists you might eventually find a lot of things aren't available.

  • That's called plot. The tutorial is pretty short.
    – kotekzot
    Commented Oct 14, 2012 at 15:12

You must log in to answer this question.

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