In UFO: Enemy Unknown/X-COM: UFO Defense, sometimes when you shoot down an enemy ship in the Geoscape, it will have a hole at the top of the ship. Is it possible to use, for example, multiple heavy explosives to put such a hole in a ship from the Battlescape?

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    Argh! Apologies for the XCOM:EU (2012) answer. I have now ignored this tag so I don't go making the same mistake again :P
    – agent86
    Oct 29 '12 at 0:13

Not Heavy Explosives, no.

The floor of UFOs (including the outside roof, which counts as a floor, as far as the game is concerned) are definitely destructible, but are quite durable. The internal floors / walls are slightly less durable.

As you've seen yourself, shooting down a UFO causes one (or more) of their engines to explode, which has a chance to destroy the roof.

Unfortunately, terrain destruction requires a certain threshold of damage to trigger, and the only item in X-Com's arsenal strong enough to breach the hull of a UFO is the Blaster Launcher.

It is worth noting that explosives always do a fixed amount of damage to terrain, so if one HE explosive didn't blow it up (and/or change the tile to an alternate, "Damaged" tile), the second one won't either. Terrain can't take partial damage, so you can't detonate several HE's over a couple of turns to get around this, either.

Finally, Explosives in cannot stack. It is not viable, for instance, to throw 3 HE onto the same tile to increase the damage dealt; the terrain will only take damage from the first.

This page in the UFOPaedia has more.

  • I just found out that XComUtil has a setting to make the High Explosives powerful enough to blow open the sides of UFOs. That's probably why I was hearing about that. :) Thank you.
    – Eagle-Eye
    Oct 30 '12 at 17:32
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    I seem to recall directed full-auto heavy plasma fire being capable of tearing a (small) hole in Alien Alloy.
    – Zibbobz
    Feb 18 '14 at 15:00
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    @Zibbobz Internal walls, sure. Outside hulls, not so much. (Unless it's a "Vulnerable Wall", see the UFOPaedia article) Feb 18 '14 at 15:56

In the original game, if you used the Blaster Launcher twice in the same spot on the outside hull of the UFO, it would make a hole. This made the game very easy to clear out any aliens hiding inside.

  • Which game do you mean by the "original" one?
    – Vemonus
    Dec 24 '16 at 5:35
  • @Vemonus X-COM: UFO Defense / UFO: Enemy Unknown, without any of the popular fan mods such as XComUtil.
    – Eagle-Eye
    Dec 28 '16 at 4:05

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