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Xenonauts-2 Closed Beta Build V12 Released! (Experimental Branch)

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Closed Beta Build V12 has now been released on Steam and GOG. Note that this build is only available on our Experimental branch so you'll need to switch over to get this update (instructions on how to do that here).

This build expands on the new MARS vehicle, and formalises the Orbital Bombardment and Signal Uplink mechanics we added in the last build into proper systems. Annoyingly, several new bits of content were close to being complete but didn't quite make it into the build - aerial terror sites, the new armour / penetration mechanics, and a new early-game escort UFO. Instead, they'll be coming in the next build.

After this release and the various hotfixes we'll need to put out for it, we're going to take a bit of time to fix some backend stuff that's been causing us problems for a while, and perhaps also add the final Geoscape mechanics still required before we can call the Geoscape feature complete. This is quite a bit of stuff to get through, so it might be a month or so until the next update - but I think it's going to be a cool one, as there's also some new art incoming too. More about that in a proper developer update though!

Key Changes:

  • Relations becomes Panic: to make things easier to understand, each region now has a Panic score instead of a Relations score. This changes very little except a region is lost when Panic reaches 100, so any effects that reduced Relations (e.g. Orbital Bombardment and UFO activity) now increase Panic instead.
  • Orbital Bombardment Notification: you now get a notification when the aliens destroy a city from orbit. Setting this system up also involved adding cities to the Geoscape and giving them all a population (and priority score for how likely the aliens are to blow them up).
  • Signal Uplinks: these are now proper Geoscape objects rather than hacked-together Strategic Operations. You no longer need to assign a soldier to them to complete the mission, and the costs and effects are shown more clearly.
    • You have an Uplink Capacity which controls how many uplinks you can have operational at once; there is a new base building called the Comms Room which increases this.
    • In the next major build aliens will be able to attack and destroy these signal uplinks, so it's a bad idea to construct them in areas that your interceptors cannot cover!
  • MARS / ARES tech tree: the MARS support vehicle we added in V11 has undergone some changes and now has a tech tree associated with it. Note that most of these changes are experimental so they're not yet reflected in the artwork of the game - it's all still pretty placeholder!
    • The ARES becomes available in the mid-game. This is a small hovertank (currently represented by the X1 Hyperion) that is slightly less tough than the MARS, but has better Accuracy and more TUs.
    • The MARS and ARES now recieve armour upgrades whenever your aircraft get armour upgrades, meaning they get tougher as the game goes on.
    • Both the MARS and ARES have an optional armour module that fits extra armour plating, boosting their HP but reducing their TU (this is independent from the researchable armour upgrades). You can therefore choose whether you want your vehicle to act more like a scout or a tank.
    • Vehicles now have a Primary and a Secondary slot, but no Belt.
    • Vehicles can no longer equip infantry weapons, and must choose a Primary and Secondary from the following list:
      • Primary:
        • HMG: this is a stronger version of the infantry LMG.
        • Cannon: a powerful weapon with a small blast area and decent ammo capacity.
        • Rocket Launcher: fires powerful rockets with a large blast area, but has limited ammo capacity.
      • Secondary:
        • SMG: this is a 100-round version of the infantry SMG, designed to be a backup weapon if the primary runs out of ammo or is inappropriate for the situation.
        • Smoke Launcher: this is a 4-shot grenade launcher that can only fire defensive smoke rounds.
        • Rangefinder: this is not a weapon that can be used in combat, but it boosts the Accuracy of the vehicle by +10.
    • You are now limited to one vehicle in the starting dropship, and the advanced dropship can carry two.


  • Bases now have a "radar tracking" value, which is larger than the "radar detection" value. What this means is that a detected UFO can be tracked for some distance beyond detection range, preventing the detection alert spam that could occur when a UFO was flying in and out of a base's detection range.
  • You can now get your hands on the Tactical Visor armour module by completing the Alien Electronics research.
  • Added proper map co-ordinates to the bottom right of the Geoscape screen.
  • The "pop-up" text on the Geoscape (e.g. region names, "construct new base" text, etc) now appears in a set location at the bottom of the map.
  • The cost of building a new base is now displayed when the construct new base mode is active.
  • Tooltips can no longer get stuck to your mouse cursor.
  • Repeatedly clicking the Funding Report button no longer queues up lots of copies of the same pop-up panel.
  • Exosuit now has some armour modules, although there's no art for them yet because we're still painting up the final Exosuit design.
  • Kickstarter soldiers should now be fully set up and any soldier generated by the game has a 10% chance of being picked from the custom soldier pool.
  • Soldier hair should now work properly with helmets (this turned out to be a lot more work than you'd expect!)
  • The names of save games should be slightly easier to read now, and ground combat save files now print the turn number in their file name.
  • There's been quite a few performance improvements on the strategy layer.
  • The Exosuit now boosts your soldiers TU by 12. Equipping the heavy variant removes this bonus, but provides extra armour and boosts your soldiers' Strength to 100 instead.
  • Countries now start at 20 or 30 Panic, rather than at 50.

Ground Combat:

  • The MARS should now be able to crush vaultable objects; previously the vault logic was taking precedence (and as vehicles can't vault, it was preventing the MARS from driving through fences).
  • In an alien base, if you clear the Command Room of aliens and have one of your own units present, all remaining aliens on the map will be revealed at the end of the turn.

As always, please let us know if you encounter any issues with the build by posting in our bug reporting sub-forums and we'll do our best to patch the issues out!

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