1.1 Geoscape Summary
1.2 Air Combat Overview
1.3 Ground Combat Overview
1.4 Hotkeys


The Geoscape is the central screen of Xenonauts, controlling all events on the strategic map and allowing the player to access all other parts of the game. It displays a flat map of the world on which all the player’s bases and interceptors are displayed, along with all detected UFOs and available missions.

Key Information: The world is split into ten regions, each of which is a separate entity which provides monthly funding to the Xenonauts. If you protect them from the aliens, they will increase their funding at the end of each month, but if you leave them undefended then their funding will fall and eventually cease entirely when the nation signs a peace treaty with the aliens.

Along the top of the screen are a series of tabs which allow you to manage your organisation in detail, from constructing new rooms in your bases to controlling your research and manufacturing efforts and equipping your soldiers, vehicles and aircraft. These screens are covered in detail later in the manual.


The air combat in Xenonauts occurs when alien UFOs and Xenonaut interceptors close to combat range on the Geoscape. Generally the player will have the option of whether to engage the alien craft or to disengage fighters, but alien craft on aggressive air superiority missions will actively seek out and attack Xenonaut aircraft.

Key information:
The idea of the air combat is to outmanoeuvre the enemy and destroy them without losing your own aircraft. The aircraft in the air combat are imported from the Geoscape, so they will be equipped with whatever you issued them with on the Aircraft Equip base screen. They will also be permanently destroyed if they are shot down in combat.

As well as the standard manoeuvres, players can control the speed of their interceptors using the throttle beside each craft. There are also two additional manoeuvres, Afterburner and Evasive Roll, which can be triggered either using the buttons on each aircraft’s information panel or through the right-click contextual menu.

Aircraft can be ordered to disengage from combat by clicking the Retreat button. This can be cancelled by issuing the aircraft a new order.

The keys F1-3 allow quick select of aircraft, and F4 selects all. The number keys 1-4 allow fast-press of the appropriate weapons slots for the selected aircraft, and 5 fires all weapon slots for the selected aircraft.


The ground combat takes place when a dropship is sent to a mission that appears on the Geoscape – a UFO crash site, a terror site or an alien base. The soldiers carried on that dropship will appear in the mission, equipped with whatever they were equipped with on the Soldier Equip screen. There are no reinforcements, and no extra equipment is available in the battle unless captured from the enemy. Be sure to bring everything you need!

Key information:
The ground combat makes up the core of Xenonauts. There is a large variety of alien units to fight and an equally large amount of battlefield equipment to do it with. As larger and larger UFOs appear, more and more powerful alien units will appear on the battlefield. It is vital that you continue to research and develop new technology else the battles will become virtually impossible.

Soldiers gain experience in battle and level up their attributes (they gain stat points by using those stats, so for example you gain Accuracy points by firing your weapons at aliens). Unfortunately, they can also be killed, so be careful.

Your 12 starting soldiers have been with the Xenonauts for some time before the start of the game, so they start at Corporal / Sergeant rank and have +5 to all of their attributes compared to a newly recruited rookie soldier. Be particularly careful with them!


The game includes a variety of hotkeys to make the game easier to play. Most can be remapped on the Game Options screen, but the default values are listed below: