I just finished assaulting the alien base. I feel like I'm getting close to the end of the game, though, and I don't like it when the ending comes up abruptly with no warning. How many priority missions are left, so I'm prepared for the ending?

For the sake of completeness, it would be nice to have a list of all of the priority missions, in order.

  • Storywise? Gameplaywise? Heck, distancewise? Why do you want to know how close to the end of the game you are?
    – Frank
    Commented Oct 12, 2012 at 19:31
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    As in, what approximate percentage of the storyline has been completed by that point.
    – enneract
    Commented Oct 12, 2012 at 19:38
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    its probably more reasonable to ask how many more priority missions are there after the alien base mission.
    – l I
    Commented Oct 12, 2012 at 19:42
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    I think your use of "priority" may be misplaced. I'm not an xcom expert, but my search seems to associate that term with ME3, but not XCOM. (If that's right, someone should edit to, "How many missions are there, on average, after the assault on the alien base"?) The following link seems to suggest that you just did the first of 3 fairly standardized levels, with the others being randomized to some degree: ign.com/wikis/xcom-enemy-unknown/Essential_Missions
    – Jaydles
    Commented Oct 12, 2012 at 20:05
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    @Jaydles In-game, the word PRIORITY appears next to these "essential" missions, research items, and facilities.
    – Sterno
    Commented Oct 16, 2012 at 16:58

2 Answers 2


Capture Any Alien > Research > Capture Outsider > Research > Skeleton Key > Assault base > Research Item > Make facility > Scan with Facility > Down Overseer Craft > Assault Craft > Research Item > Build Facility > Create a Powerful Psionic > Use Device (POINT OF NO RETURN) > Assault Temple Ship > Win Game

You're at the start of mid game but it depends on how much time you spend setting your guys up for future missions.

Spoiler Version:

Capture Any Alien > Interrogate Alien > Capture Outsider > Research Outsider Shard > Skeleton Key > Assault base > Research Alien Communication Device > Make Communication Facility > Scan with Communication Facility (Typically around a month) > Down Overseer Craft > Assault Craft > Research Psionic Device > Build Facility to protect and use the psionic device > Create a Powerful Psionic (Max rank) > Use Psionic Device (POINT OF NO RETURN) > Assault Temple Ship > Win Game !

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    For the first mission you can capture any alien, not necessarily a Sectoid. Mine was a Thin Man.
    – SIMEL
    Commented Oct 13, 2012 at 17:45
  • @Shykin Could you elaborate on this answer a bit and spell out which "items" and "facilities" are being built? I understand you are probably trying to avoid spoilers, but in this case, the spoilers are probably what people are actually after.
    – Sterno
    Commented Oct 16, 2012 at 16:56
  • Sure, I'll add a specific one under a spoiler tag
    – Shykin
    Commented Oct 16, 2012 at 17:21
  • For what it's worth, getting to the base assault took me about as long, or longer, than the rest of the game. I was OCD about interrogations, though, which made the late-game research times close to zero. My point is that the rate of progression through the game doesn't linearly map to progressing through the list of required objectives.
    – jprete
    Commented Oct 18, 2012 at 0:04

There is a comment from the developers indicating that an average playthrough on normal difficulty should take between 15-20 hours. A playthrough on classic difficulty takes "a lot longer."


"How long will a normal playthrough of XCOM: Enemy Unknown take?

Garth: Anywhere from 15-20 hours on normal, and a lot longer on the higher difficulties. From day one, we did build this to be completely replayable. In this regard, it’s kind of long for a replayable game. We totally expect people to replay.

Jake: The difficulty level changes. If you play on normal, it will take 15-20. If you bump up to Classic (a higher difficulty) not only is it longer, but it’s going to be a completely different experience because you’ll need to focus on different elements to overcome the same obstacles."

Source: http://xcom.wikia.com/wiki/User_blog:TheBlueRogue/XCOM:_Enemy_Unknown_Developer_Interview

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    This is information which I did not have before! That being said, I've never found 'hours to complete' to be a very good metric for any game's length, especially ones which aren't completely on rails. How much time you spend doing side missions or otherwise dragging things out (in this context, not focusing on priority research) would significantly impact that figure.
    – enneract
    Commented Oct 12, 2012 at 19:45
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    howlongtobeat.com is an interesting resource on this topic. They have a completionist, just story, and average metric. Commented Oct 13, 2012 at 21:40

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