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Chris

Free Xenonauts Updates, and Xenonauts-2!

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With such a large influx of new players experiencing Xenonauts for the first time, this post is here to explain the  free additional content players can download for Xenonauts 1 and to talk a little about our plans for Xenonauts-2 (for which there will be a Kickstarter very soon!)

The free content for Xenonauts 1 consists of the semi-official Xenonauts: Community Edition update and the various mods it enables - the best known being X-Division, which is a complete rework of the game that adds a LOT of additional complexity and content. A lot of experienced users recommend jumping straight into Community Edition rather than playing vanilla Xenonauts because of the usability improvements and extra mod content available for it.


Xenonauts: Community Edition ("X:CE")

So, what is X:CE? Shortly after we finished development on Xenonauts and released it, we made the source code of the game available to a group of professional coders within the community who wanted to continue to update and improve Xenonauts without changing the fundamental gameplay experience. Over the past few years they've made a lot of improvements to the base game with regards to usability and stability, and X:CE also includes the most popular community map pack and a community-made mod that includes additional "lore" research that appears throughout the game.

Given most players do not win their first Xenonauts campaign, I recommend people play vanilla Xenonauts for their first campaign but then switch to X:CE for all future campaigns. X:CE is widely regarded as a straightforward upgrade for vanilla Xenonauts, but I personally feel it's important for the player to play a bit of the vanilla game so they have a sense of where the official content stops and the community content begins. The community content is great and adds quite a bit more variation to the game, but it's not strictly canon within the Xenonauts world. Similarly, the vast majority of people enjoy the new maps but the occasional person has a problem with them so you may not want to throw them into the mix until your second playthrough!

A summary of the changes made in X:CE can be found here along with instructions of how to download it via Steam, whilst non-Steam users can download the files here.


X-Division:

There are lots of mods for Xenonauts, and there's several mods that are major overhauls of the game that add significant amounts of extra content. Currently the best-known conversion mod is probably X-Division (although there are others out there), which I guess could loosely be described as the Xenonauts equivalent of the Long War mod for XCOM.

You can read about it in the mod release thread here, but it involves a LOT more of everything. I wouldn't recommend this as a first playthrough given it's meant to be significantly harder than the normal game, but if standard vanilla Xenonauts starts to get a bit dull then X-Division adds in 900 new research projects, 22 new aircraft, 186 new weapons, 13 new sets of armour and 9 new vehicles. If that sounds like your sort of thing then head over and check it out!

Please note that X-Division requires Community Edition to be installed because of the extra mod support the community coders have added in over the years!
 

Xenonauts-2:

The last thing to mention is that Xenonauts-2 is on the way, and we're planning a Kickstarter for the game later this month and it should be hitting Early Access this year. Although we're proud of what we produced when we made Xenonauts, there are quite a few areas where we think we can improve on the game for the sequel - so if you enjoy Xenonauts 1, we hope you'll be willing to check out the sequel too!

If you want to hear about our Kickstarter when it launches or get a notification when Xenonauts-2 is released, the best way is to sign up for our mailing list here. A free public alpha demo of a single ground combat mission can also be downloaded via GOG Galaxy from the post here if you want to check out how our new 3D battlefields are shaping up! 

 

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