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Milestone 3 (v3.0.8) Released!

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Our Milestone 3 update to Xenonauts 2 has now officially been released! This update will break existing saved games, but if you want to keep playing your existing campaigns please switch to our Legacy branches where Milestone 2 is still available (instructions on how to do so here).

This initial version of Milestone 3 is an "developer" build with additional logging that causes slower performance and occasional flashes of red debug text while you play. We'll switch back to a normal "release" build without this extra logging by the end of the week.

We've decided to do this because we want to ensure anyone suffering issues from our upgrade to Unity 2022 can easily provide us the information to fix them - we'll be watching the forums / discord / Steam forums carefully for feedback and bug reports, so please let us know if you encounter any bugs or other problems!

As we've made a LOT of changes to the game in this update, I'll start by highlighting the most important improvements here with a little developer commentary.

New Content:
Additional content is always nice, and Milestone 3 contains the new Cruiser UFO which unlocks a lot of new technology for the player to play with! Although is still not possible to complete the campaign (that will be Milestone 5 as there's two more UFOs yet to come), the playable time for the campaign has been extended significantly.

The playable time for the campaign has been extended to 260 days (up from 180 days in Milestone 2), during which time the Cruiser UFO will begin to spawn. This contains or unlocks several new pieces of content:

  • Cruiser UFO (with two interior layout variants)
  • Alien Fusion Weapons
  • Xenonaut Fusion Weapons
  • The Gemini interceptor
  • The Pegasus dropship
  • The ARES (an improved version of the MARS)

Unity 2022:
Players have been requesting two major improvements that were struggling to deliver on our outdated version of Unity - faster load times, and proper support for borderless windowed mode. We therefore upgraded to Unity 2022 so we could give you those things in Milestone 3!

Borderless Fullscreen mode should now be properly supported in the settings menu. The monitor resolution settings are now handled natively by Unity rather than through our own code so please report any strange behaviour as a bug so we can look into it (particularly if you have multiple monitors or some kind of unusual hardware setup).

Load times should now be reduced by about 30% across all sections of the game, we're hoping to reduce this by another 10%-20% in Milestone 4 (NOTE: this won't be apparent for the next few days, as all the extra debug logging from a "developer" build cancels out the improved loading speed).

The tactical mission briefing is now also shown on the loading screen, rather than at the start of the mission, which gets you into the action faster once the load is complete!

AI Improvements:
Many players found the primitive AI in earlier versions of the game a bit immersion-breaking or easy to exploit. We've made significant AI upgrades in Milestone 3 that mean enemies should be more intelligent and civilians should be less suicidal. We're continuing to work on this, but personally I think a major improvement is already visible.

We've upgraded the general decision-making of the AI, and also addressing various specific issues including:

  • Civilians are now much less suicidal.
  • Melee units (especially Reapers) should make better decisions.
  • AI units will no longer just stand in fire / smoke until they die or pass out. 
  • The AI will now open doors even if the tile on the other side is blocked by another unit, allowing them to shoot at Xenonauts camping doors.
  • Cleaner reinforcements will now act more aggressively on most maps, and move quickly towards your dropship / extraction area.

Bleeding Wound Healing & Bleeding Aliens:
Community feedback suggested it was unfair that aliens did not suffer bleeding wounds like Xenonauts did - so now they do (although Sebillians heal them immediately). We've also added a heal chance to all Bleeding Wounds, so they're no longer a guaranteed death sentence if there's no Medikit nearby.

Aliens now suffer Bleeding Wounds when they take damage in the same way that Xenonauts do. However, each Bleeding Wound now has a 25% chance of healing and disappearing after it inflicts damage at the end of the turn.

Unconscious units will now also continue to suffer damage from any bleeding wounds they suffered while conscious, and may die as a result.

Usability Improvements:
Although Milestone 3 was focused on adding new content, we also added a couple of usability features that were frequently requested by the community to make soldier management and item management easier.

Pre-Mission Soldier Equip / Arrangement - we've added a button on the pre-mission Soldier Equip screen that allows easy access to the screen where you can set the positions of your soldiers within the dropship, allowing you to easily switch back and forth between these screens prior to launching a dropship.

"Sell Junk Items" button - we've also added a button on the base stores screen that will set all "junk" items (e.g. items that are not used in research / engineering projects) to sell at maximum quantity. We're likely to expand this system in future.

Abduction missions:
Abduction missions have been updated to address player concerns. They are now explained better, and no longer end immediately when the timer expires - but the Panic gain or reduction of the mission is now tied to the number of freed civilians, so the result should feel less arbitrary (now the civilian AI is improved, you're also expected to protect the civilians and you will get reduced rewards if they die).

  • Abduction missions no longer end immediately when the timer expires and the abduction tubes disappear; the mission will now continue until all alien forces are eliminated (effectively these are now deathmatch missions with an additional time-limited objective). 
  • The timer on abduction tubes has been reduced by 2 turns (from 8 turns to 6 turns).
  • There's now a teleport animation when the tubes disappear.
  • You still gain Alien Alloys for each abduction tube you disable, but the Panic increase or reduction from the mission depends on how many of the 10 civilians you rescue:
    • If you don't attempt the mission at all, you get +20 local panic
    • +2 panic for each civilian remaining in an abduction tube when the timer runs out and the tubes teleport away
    • -2 panic for each civilian freed from an abduction tube that survives the mission
    • +0 panic for a civilian freed from the tube who is killed before the end of the mission

Data Raid missions:
These are the missions where you have to capture Data Sticks from the Cleaner office. Relatively minor changes here, just some UI improvements and a tweak to the objectives that means if a soldier carrying Data Sticks is killed you don't necessarily have to send another soldier to recover the Data Sticks from their body if you don't want to (this was mostly done for reasons of lore consistency).

  • Victory is triggered off the number of computers you have interacted with (i.e. sabotaged), rather than how many Data Sticks you have brought back to the dropship.
  • We've added a new UI element for this mission that shows how many Data Stick items are being carried by each soldier.
  • The objectives now show how many turns remaining until the enemy reinforcements start appearing.
  • Enemy reinforcements timer reduced by 1 turn, unless the mission is encountered in month 1.

Extract VIP missions:
The changes made to the Extract VIP mission have all been around player convenience; making it more obvious where you need to go and when the enemy reinforcements will be arriving, etc.

  • At the start of the mission, the camera shows the empty dropship you are trying to reach before panning to the starting positions of your soldiers.
  • The VIP is now automatically added to your team at the start of the mission (rather than the player having to click on them).
  • The VIP now has 50 TU rather than 40 TU.
  • Enemy reinforcements timer reduced by 1 turn (from 9 to 8)
  • The objectives now show how many turns remaining until enemy reinforcements start appearing.

Soldier Rescue missions:
Not all players understood that you were expected to leave 3 free slots in your dropship on this mission so you had space to pick up the 3 soldiers that needed to be rescued. To make this more obvious, we've added placeholder soldiers in the dropship that fill these slots (this also means you can view their stats prior to the mission).

  • Added "ghost" soldiers to the dropship when launching towards the Soldier Rescue mission.
  • Updated the logic about which soldiers are recovered if the player does not leave those 3 free slots in their dropship. The game will now always pick living soldiers over dead soldiers (irrespective of their origin), and will prefer your existing soldiers to those you are supposedly trying to rescue.

Eliminate VIP mission:

  • On Eliminate VIP missions, the camera will now pan to the VIP and show a message reading "VIP Sighted" when you see the target. It will also show a "VIP Eliminated" or "VIP Stunned" message at the appropriate points.
  • The objectives now show how many turns remaining until enemy reinforcements start appearing.


Soldier Progression:

  • We found that soldiers were becoming too strong too quickly in previous builds and this problem was just getting worse as we extended the length of the campaign. We've therefore taken several steps to slow down soldier progression a little:
  • Starting values for soldier attributes are now capped at 65 (previously 70)
  • Starting soldiers are now Privates rather than Corporals.
  • Reduced the speed at which soldiers gain combat experience to about 60% of the previous level.
  • The training speed of the Training Room has been halved (both the starting value and the gain from completing Interrogation projects).
  • However, the soldiers you can rescue on the Soldier Rescue missions now have +3 to all their base stats, in addition to the +3 to all stats they get for being a Sergeant rather than a Private.

Strategic Layer Balancing:

  • Duration of crash sites reduced from 72 hours to 32 hours.
  • Reduced the completion time of the initial research project, so you can now begin work on the new research immediately after winning the ATLAS Base mission.
  • Delayed the first possible alien retaliation mission, as it would frequently spawn in the same wave as the first Destroyer (meaning the player had often just fought a battle when it happened and had a damaged squad).
  • Reduced the number of Cleaners in the Cleaner Base to make it a bit more manageable if you manage to unlock it early.
  • Wraith Destroyers now contain 1 fewer enemy.
  • Increased Alloys gained from Observers, Abductors and Cruiser UFOs by 50%.
  • Increased Alenium / Alloys gained from Alien Base missions by roughly 100%.
  • Warden Armour now requires 6 Alloys to build (up from 4).
  • Accelerated Weapons now require more Alloys to build, with the most expensive weapons requiring 6 (up from 4).
  • Laser weapons now require more Alloys and Alenium to build, with the most expensive requiring 6 of each (up from 4).
  • Swapped the Alloys and Alenium cost of advanced building upgrades; these generally now require twice as much Alenium as they do Alloys.
  • Construction time of Radar Array reduced from 20 days to 15 days.
  • Training Center building increased in cost from $250k to $350k.
  • Doubled the duration of Corpse Analysis II engineering projects.

Tactical Combat balancing:

  • It is no longer possible to see doors opening or closing under the fog of war, as this made the position of alien units very obvious. These doors will now only visually update when one of your units sees them.
  • Sectons now trigger their Psionic Triangulation accuracy bonus from being near Psyons, not by being near other Sectons. However, if the Psyon is killed (and no other Psyon is nearby) the Secton will now immediately panic and lose all remaining TU.
  • Using a healing item will no longer trigger enemy reaction fire.
  • Medikit weight increased to 25 (from 15).
  • Reaper Zombies now have 70HP (up from 40HP).
  • Mentarch can no longer crouch or be suppressed.
  • Slight Accuracy reduction on MARS Cannon weapons.
  • Alien melee weapons can no longer gib units through overdamage.
  • Enabled reaction fire on the various alien melee weapons (mantids, sebillians, reapers, mentarch, zombies).

Air Combat balancing:

  • Alien missiles in the air combat now have a 0.35x damage against units that can do evasive roll; this means alien Fighters and alien Interceptors are now a bit weaker when autoresolving air combat battles.
  • Reduced construction cost of missiles / torpedoes by 20%
  • Reduced upkeep for Angel from $100k to $75k per month
  • Reduced upkeep for Phantom from $150k to $120k per month
  • Bomber UFO weapons updated. The main cannon now fires faster and destroys armour more quickly, and the secondary weapon now has a much smaller fire arc but can rotate to cover the rear and sides (but not the front) of the UFO. Unescorted Bombers are therefore now weaker against agile planes like the Phantom, but keeping away from the rotating turret can be more challenging if there are escort UFOs present.
  • Destroyer UFO increased to 200HP (from 175).
  • Fighter UFO turn rate increased by 50%.
  • Fighter Cannon armour destruction increased to 2-5 (from 0-3).
  • Abductor UFO increased to 275HP (from 250).
  • Abductor Cannon range increased by 10%, armour destruction increased from 1-3 to 3-5, and reload time reduced from 0.75 sec to 0.5 sec. Projectile speed slowed down by 33%.
  • Alien Interceptor Missiles armour destruction increased to 3-7 (from 0-4).


  • Added a number of new maps for Terror Sites / ATLAS Base / Cleaner Data Raid / Convoy Ambush / Rescue VIP missions. 
  • Added new 3D models for the Cleaner Accelerated Rifle, Accelerated Shotgun, Accelerated LMG, Alloy Shield, Stun Gun and Stun Baton.
  • Added new 2D inventory tile art for the melee knife and the HEVY Smoke Rounds.
  • Added Fusion weapons to the game. For any Kickstarter backers who saw the old incarnation of these weapons, we've updated the designs of the Shotgun and LMG and also given each weapon a unique ammo battery design.
  • Added proper melee animations for the Mantid and Sebillian units.
  • Units now play an injury sound and injury animation when struck with a stun weapon that does not inflict damage.
  • Soldiers should now hide their carried weapon when performing their ladder climb animation.
  • It is now possible to use any combination of uppercase and lowercase letters in soldier / aircraft / base names.
  • Moved a check that was preventing a player launching an empty dropship from the Launch Aircraft screen to the pre-mission Soldier Equip screen instead (i.e. after you've had a chance to fill the dropship with soldiers).
  • Stopping chance 0% objects are no longer highlighted on the fire path.
  • Added a basic sort order system to the soldier loadout profiles.
  • Units that can crush terrain now do not crush an open double door when they pass through it (most noticable inside UFOs and in Alien Base missions).
  • The MARS now shows a custom "cannot interact" cursor when hovering over a mission objective item (like a computer desk) that soldiers can interact with but vehicles cannot.
  • Double clicking an empty slot on the Soldier Equip screen will bring up the soldier assignment menu directly, so you don't need to select the slot and click the button any more.
  • Clicking a weapon in the soldier inventory on the Soldier Equip screen will select it in the Armory, allowing you to add more ammo quickly (let us know if this ends up being annoying).
  • Set the large rock mesas in the Polar and Desert maps to be significantly tougher, and added proper destruction states to the Polar one.
  • Updated the Soldier Equip screen so items in the inventory and in the base armory panel now both have a slight highlight on mouse hover.
  • There's now a small animation when soldier pawns switch places in the dropship (on the Aircraft screen), which makes it easier to understand what's happening.
  • Added tooltip description text to the Stalker Armour and Exosuit Armour.
  • Improved the performance for the Farm cabbage fields, as some players were experiencing FPS drops there.
  • Updated the sort order on several items in the soldier armory and in the base stores so things are grouped more sensibly.
  • Abduction tubes and the various Stealth unit shaders (Wraiths / Stealthsuit) no longer draw under the shroud.
  • Security guards in the dockyards now have little hats so they don't look quite so much like Cleaners.


  • Fixed a crash that could occur if you tried to run a building upgrade project when having a large number of buildings (most commonly occurred with the Gauss Battery Upgrade project).
  • Fixed a bug where the text on UFO information pop-ups was not being displayed for users playing in Chinese / Japanese / Korean.
  • Fixed a bug where Unassigned soldiers are not showing certain items on their paperdoll image on the Soldier Equip screen (jetpacks, MARS weapons, etc).
  • Fixed soldiers sometimes not being removed from the dropship even when reduced to below 50% HP
  • Fixed a bug where the Autofill Dropship button on the Soldier Equip screen could bypass the dropship vehicle limit.
  • Fixed reloading a weapon in the tactical inventory not playing the reload sound.
  • Fixed the tactical camera getting stuck at a weird angle if you were halfway through rotating it and something else tried to take control of the camera (sighting an enemy, etc).
  • Fixed a bug where Senty Guns were incorrectly showing on the Soldier Equip screen in secondary bases (they should only appear before Base Defence missions, as that's the only time they can be used).
  • Fixed a bug where the soldier paperdoll could get blurred if a certain combination of items were equipped.
  • Fixed a bug where the soldier portrait could disappear on the dropship soldier arrangement screen.
  • Fixed the Autofill Drosphip button not appearing immediately if you used RMB to unassign a soldier from a full dropship.
  • Fixed the bug where grenades could get stuck displaying a 0% hit chance.
  • Fixed a bug where units could stand in mid-air at the top of a ladder.
  • Fixed a bug where you could place two soldiers into the same destination tile if one of them was using a jetpack.
  • Fixed a bug where unconscious units could not be revived with a medikit,
  • Fixed a bug where the shoot/move preview hit calculations was not accurately updating the value for Wraith Cloaking Field based on the new soldier location being previewed.
  • Fixed a bug where TU values could end up with a decimal point after a Berserk action.
  • Fixed a bug where suppressing an enemy unit with reaction fire would not stop them finishing their planned movement.
  • Fixed a bug where crouching during the pre-battle deployment phase on cerrtain missions cost TU, and did not refund it if you stood up.
  • Fixed a bug where the crouch keyboard shortcut ("C") did not work during the pre-battle deployment phase.
  • Fixed a bug where the combat shield was not disappearing after being destroyed.
  • Fixed a bug where certain weapons could not be picked up from the ground after being dropped.
  • Fixed certain objective items (mostly the computer desks) being incorrectly rotated in some situations.
  • Fixed the Bleeding Wounds counter being displayed vertically if the unit has more than 10 Bleeding Wounds.
  • Fixed the open door mouse cursor remaining active on the menu if you press Esc while hovering over a door.
  • Fixed a visual issue where the green deployment area tiles could sometimes remain after the end of the deployment phase.
  • Fixed throwing a grenade / flare onto the roof of a building causing windows on the floor below to shatter.
  • Fixed some visual issues with the restaurant sign in the Western Town terror maps.
  • Fixed a number of bugs with the Ultimate Power achievement (bring all Colonels to a mission).
  • Fixed a few types of aliens not correctly showing the red obstruction shading when they are hidden behind an object.
  • Fixed a minor issue with fire paths where shooting round corners was more permissive if you were shooting through an adjacent unit.
  • Fixed a typo in the Electroshock Pistol name.
  • Removed some incorrect tooltips from the Mod Manager panel.
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  • Chris changed the title to Milestone 3 (v3.0.8) Released!

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