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Getting Started
Character Development
Classes and Skills
Mission Types
Final Mission (Spoiler!)


The pace in Phoenix Point on the Geoscape is very fast: on any day you can do any number of missions with the same squad, and as you assemble more squads, you will do even more missions each day. The War against the Pandorans can be won within around 2 months, and in that time you can do a hundred tactical battles, or even more. Chances are you will never press the fast forward button.

Time is the most important commodity in the game not only because you are running against the Doomsday Clock, but also because you need time to explore the world, acquire resources, build facilities, manufacture items, research technologies, etc.

You also want to be always doing those things that don't cost any resources, like exploration, improving diplomacy rating through special missions, scavenging ops, and research.

When considering on what to spend resources, such as whether to activate bases, build or repair facilities in them, manufacture equipment or vehicles, or recruit additional operatives, you should bear in mind that you want to invest in that, which allows you to do more in less time, and that means fielding a second team with its own aircraft as soon as possible (and later a third and possibly a fourth) - you can do twice as many things in the same time with two teams.

Some players have reported beating the game with a 1.5 team setup - one full team to go on missions and a single aircraft with an Infiltrator Infiltrator or just a 'disposable' operative to explore the Geoscape (so that if they run into an ambush they will either hide, or lose an operative they don't care about). Beating the game like this without ever reloading a save or restarting a mission must be quite a feat!


There are 3 main resources in Phoenix Point:

  1. Tech.png Tech
  2. Materials.png Materials
  3. Food.png Food

Tech.png and Materials.png are mostly used for building facilities and manufacturing, as well as implanting bionics. Food.png is mostly used for recruiting and feeding operatives: each operative consumes Food.png 1 per day, and if you run out of food they will start to lose HPs and eventually die of starvation.

In addition, there is a Mutagen.png mutagen resource used to acquire mutations, and the Legacy of the Ancients DLC has 3 resources that are only required for manufacturing special weapons.

Where do resources come from?

  1. There are specific missions for acquiring resources: scavenging ops and raids.
  2. Resources are also given as rewards for sabotaging, defending havens and completing special missions (spoilers: main, diplomacy and side missions) and achieving certain reputation milestones with the factions for the first time.
  3. You also have a chance of acquiring resources from Exploration Events (spoilers!) and Anu.png Anu Haven events (spoilers!), NJ.png New Jericho Haven events (spoilers!) or Synedrion.png Synedrion Haven events (spoilers!)
  4. You can scrap excess equipment to get back half of their cost.
  5. Capturing Pandorans: Once you research Pandoran capture and containment and build a Containment Facility you will be able to harvest them for Mutagen.png (if you have mutagen harvesting technology) or Food.png (with food harvesting technology).
  6. A Food production facility: You can build them after researching or otherwise getting from Anu.png fungal food production, but their yield is so low that it may not make any sense to build them.
  7. Trade, after you research haven trade protocols you can trade excess resources of one kind for resources of other kinds:

Anu.png has the cheapest food NJ.png has the cheapest Materials.png and Synedrion.png has the cheapest Tech.png

Not only that, but you can engage in some Commodity arbitrage; you can take advantage of trade to turn a very substantial profit, just have empty aircrafts flying from haven to haven and trading. As you can see below, it is impossible to make a trade at a loss unless you acquire Tech.png from Anu.png or from NJ.png to trade it to Synedrion.png

Anu.png gives ⇓ NJ.png gives ⇓ Synedrion.png gives ⇓
1pp.png gives ⇓ Tech.png Materials.png Food.png Tech.png Materials.png Food.png Tech.png Materials.png Food.png
Tech.png 2 10 12 12 10 9 9
Materials.png 4 6 6 5
Materials.png 9 2
Materials.png 10 2
Materials.png 8 2
Food.png 4 6 6 5
Food.png 8 2
Food.png 9 2
Food.png 10 2


There are several ways of getting new recruits, besides your initial team. And, while we are on the subject, losing one or even a couple of these recruits in the first missions is not a big deal, they are easily replaceable (their equipment less so, however, and you will lose it if they die on a mission requiring evac and you don't pick it up manually). Having said that, if you are finding the combat too difficult, then you should definitely restart at a lower difficulty. The difficulty curve in Phoenix Point is actually pretty good (at least for the first half of the game) - the game starts easy and becomes harder.

Recruiting from Base

After you complete the haven recruitment protocol research roughly every 3 days you will be presented with a choice of up to 3 LVL1 recruits that can be of any class that you have already researched (so at first only Assault, Sniper and Heavy). The advantage of recruiting from base is that you can see the latent personal perks of each recruit. These recruits come without any weapons or armor (that is, they are 'naked') and only cost Food.png. Since Ambrose, note that they have the lowest starting stats

The cost is random within a certain range.

When recruits become available the Personnel tab will start flashing on the Geoscape, click on it and then on Recruits to see the available recruits. You can choose on which base you want the new recruits to (instantly) appear.

Recruiting from Havens

After you complete the haven recruitment protocol research you can hire recruits at havens.

Depending on difficulty level, recruits from havens will come with weapons and armor, just armor, or nothing, and the price of the weapons and/or armor will have a discount or not (see Differences between difficulty levels - Acquisition of recruits and rate at which they improve)

To have a recruit available, the haven must have a training facility district (for Assault, Sniper, Heavy or Berserker) or an elite training facility (for Priest,Technician or Infiltrator). The haven can also offer vehicles as recruits.

You can see which havens have available recruits and what type of class in the Geoscape (though you cannot see their latent personal perks), but you have to travel to the Haven with an aircraft in order to recruit.

Recruits in havens can be of any level, the later in the game, the higher the chance for higher level recruits.

They can come with augmentations (mutations or bionics).

The price of the recruit depends on:

  1. The game difficulty level. Weapons and armor have to be paid for, but there is a 20% discount on Rookie, and rather counterintuitively the cheapest haven recruits are found on Legend and Hero, with the most expensive on Veteran and Rookie. (note that on any difficulty level Technician Technician recruits from New Jericho Havens sometimes come with 1 or 2 Technician_weapons#watcher Watcher AT that have to be paid for when recruiting them)
  2. The level of the recruit - the higher the level the higher the cost)
  3. Whether they have any mutations or bionics, because these have to be paid for.
  4. Certain faction researches. (pending completing)

Note that you cannot recruit if you have negative rep with the Haven leader.

Haven defense survivors

since Hypnos (October 2021) There is a chance that one of the surviving (fully equipped) defenders after a successful haven defense mission will join Phoenix Project. The chance is highest on Rookie and lowest on Legend.

Rescue Scavenging missions

See scavenging missions.

Exploration and haven events

!!!Spoilers in the links below:

Exploration events: Sometimes You Get Lucky, Technician Technician, In the Ruins Assault Assault

Haven events: Convictions (Anu) berserker Berserker, Safe Haven (Anu) Assault Assault, Common Cause (New Jericho) Assault Assault, Misty Days (New Jericho) Assault Assault, The Accused (Synedrion) sniper Sniper


You do not have to build anything right away in your starting base and you will probably want to spend the resources elsewhere, most likely to remote activate a second base sooner rather than later.

Remote Base Activation

Once you complete the Phoenix archives research you will be able to remotely activate any of the 17 inactive 1pp.png bases, which appear on the Geoscape as Inactive Base

You can activate the bases remotely: you do not have to travel to the base with an aircraft and you can activate bases that are outside your reach.

Hovering with the pointer over each base provides information on the facilities currently there, which of them are damaged (Damaged facility icon.png) and how many spaces to build additional facilities are currently available

Activating the first base costs Materials.png 300 and Tech.png 50, and activating each new base costs increasing amounts of resources. The formula is initial cost (so Materials.png 300 or Tech.png 50) + number of previously activated bases x increase in cost (Materials.png 60 or Tech.png 10).

For example, activating the 4th base will cost 300 + 60(3) = Materials.png 480 and 50 + 10(3) = Tech.png 80, while activating the 10th base will cost 300 + 60(10) = Materials.png 900 and 50 + 10(10) = Tech.png 150.

Bases in areas covered by the Pandoran Mist are 'infected' and after activating them you will have to complete a mission to clear the infestation (during this mission the Pandorans will focus on destroying facilities at the base, so the faster you dispatch them the less damage the base will suffer).

By activating a base that has a Satellite Uplink or building it if it doesn’t have one, you can discover new Points of Interest (POIs).

This is essential for building POI chains to distant or remote locations, or ‘bridges’ between North America and Europe or Asia, South America and Antarctica, and sometimes South East Asia and Australia.

In fact, there are 3 bases that you should probably get on any playthrough - the one in Greenland to bridge between America and Europe, the one in the bottom tip of Southern America (Tierra de Fuego) to access Antarctica and the one in Alaska to bridge East Asia and America.

The pro-strategy for discovering many POIs quickly that every experienced Phoenix Point player knows is to advance ASAP to supportive diplomatic rating with all the factions, as once you achieve supportive status with a faction all its havens (around 30) will be revealed to you. changed in Behemoth

The main reason you want to activate bases is to scan the surrounding area using the Satellite Uplink facility to find POIs and Pandoran structures (see the War Against the Pandorans). However, you also want them as resting points for your squads (see Stamina) and to build or repair facilities.


Some things to bear in mind about buildings in Phoenix Point:

- The effects from facilities are cumulative, e.g. each Living Quarters replentishes 2 stamina per hour to each operative at the base, so 2 Living Quarters will give +4 stamina, and 3 Living Quarters +6 stamina to each operative. Same with Medical Bay (that heals +4 HPs per hour) and the Training Facilities (+2 Experience Points per hour).

Experience Points unlock levels, which give 20 Skill Points (SPs) and access to skills (more on that in Character Development).

- The operatives receive the benefits from the facilities as long as they are at the base, regardless of their condition (so an injured or a Tired Tired operative will continue to gain Experience Points from the Training Facilities at the base), or if they are assigned to an aircraft (as long as it is at the base).

- Research Labs and Fabrication Plants shorten the time needed to research and to manufacture, respectively, so you will research twice as fast with two Research Labs, and manufacture twice as fast with two Fabrication Plants, but you can only research one technology and manufacture a single item at a time.

The above means that to maximize the effect of Training Facilities, Living Quarters and Medical Bays you may want to have them all at the same base. Particularly, you may want to have a bunch of Training Facilities at a single base where you keep your troops during rotation, together with at least one Living Quarters and a Medical Bay (this kind of base is sometimes referred to as the 'Stables'). You will want to have Living Quarters in other bases spread around the globe because its the only way to recover stamina, but as health can be restored with a medkit, Medical Bays are by this fact optional.

However, there is no reason to group Fabrication Plants or Research Labs together, as their utility is global.

- The one 'must have' building at any base and which you should build ASAP if the base doesn't have one is a Satellite Uplink. Research Labs, Fabrication Plants and Living Quarters are nice to have, and as mentioned above you will want one base with a bunch of Training Facilities - the Stables, where you put in rookies to train them to make new squads/draw replacements for casualties.

- All bases come with a Generator (which is necessary to power the facilities: you only need one per base), a Hangar (repairing aircraft is largely unnecessary, as they can only get damaged during exploration or haven events, but sometimes you may want to repair land vehicles), and an Access Lift (allowing you to evac from a base defense mission). When activating a new base that has damaged facilities, as a rule it is unnecessary to repair the Hangar or the Access Lift, if they are damaged at the moment. In fact, the best thing you can do with an Access Lift, including the one at your starting base, is to demolish it to get back some resources

- You are unlikely to ever need more than one or two Stores among all your bases.


Each technology costs a number of Research Points (or RP). Each research lab and each cybernetics lab generate 4RP per hour.

There is no increase in output of RP for grouping research labs together, whether adjacent to each other or at the same base. See Buildings for more information

Some exploration events and some haven events provide additional research points to the player.

Choosing a technology for research in the 'RESEARCH' tab will allocate the research points being generated by all the research labs to that project.

You will not see the cost in RP of the technology, but you will see the time it will take with the current amount of RP generated every hour, though you also cannot see that number: you are only shown the number of research buildings (research labs and cybernetics lab) that you have

Research is necessary to win the war against the Pandorans and to gain access to new weapons and equipment.

You will want to have many research labs (at least 7 or 8) as the latter research takes quite a bit of time.

Research is also a source of resources, as some technologies when researched provide some amount of Tech.png, Materials.png and/or Food.png.

Since Hypnos (October 2021), faction technologies become available for research at 50% RP cost once certain attitude milestones are reached

How to develop new weapons and equipment

One important idea to bear in mind is that tech progression in Phoenix Point is mostly horizontal, as most of the stuff you will research will be different, not necessarily better.

However, there is some verticality - some items are actually just better - and also the new different items open up new tactics.

For example, the grenade launcher, or the shotgun, while not replacing any of the starting weapons, are not less useful because of it.

You unlock technologies that when researched allow manufacturing new 1pp.png weapons and equipment by

  1. Performing autopsies on new Pandoran types. To do autopsy of a Pandoran type only requires killing it in any tactical mission and then researching it as any other technology in the 'RESEARCH' tab (spoilers:here all the autopsies and here all the technologies that can be obtained from them).
  2. Obtaining certain technologies from one or more factions. See Faction research below for how to acquire faction tech. (spoilers:here all the technologies derived from combinations with faction research).
  3. Engaging with Legacy of the Ancients DLC content (spoilers!) Discovering how to make these powerful weapons is part of the fun and the process is described in detail in the link above

You can also Reverse Engineer faction weapons, equipment and armor if you recover it after combat or acquire it from somewhere else (that is, recruiting from havens or from exploration events or haven events) in order to be able to manufacture them (as well as their ammo/charges).

The process destroys the item you are reverse engineering.

Reverse engineering allows you to manufacture the specific item and ammo and charges for it, but it doesn't actually give you the underlying technology. This means that even if you reverse engineer all the items that a faction technology allows to manufacture, you will still be forced to steal that technology if you carry out a steal research raid against that faction

The available reverse engineering projects appear at the end of technologies available for research in the 'RESEARCH' tab. To be able to reverse engineer an item it must not be equipped by an operative; otherwise the project will be greyed out

Note that you will obtain access to faction technology that you can research at 50% RP cost as you reach various milestones in the attitude with the faction (see Diplomacy for more)

How do I get BETTER weapons and armor?

In Phoenix Point you are never going to experience something like going from 'basic' weapons to laser to plasma, or from no armor, to armor, to advanced that you do in X-Coms and XComs.

A common question is "how am I supposed to beat increasingly dangerous enemies when I'm not getting any better equipment"?

In Phoenix Point your operatives improve their performance as they get better stats, new skills and, most importantly, as you learn to make better use of them.

New equipment is usually different, but not better, and even in the cases when it is flat out better than the old one, it's not better by that much.

For a look into weapons and armor and their characteristics in Phoenix Point, see About weapons and Armor - what is it good for? in the Combat section

However, the new equipment allows for different tactics, which can be devastatingly effective especially in combination with skills.

In broad terms, at the start of the game Pandorans are easy to deal with using any weapons or tactics, because they have low armor, low HP and limited offensive capabilities. Humans and humanoid enemies (the Pure and the Forsaken) present a greater challenge because they can have a lot of armor.

However, as the Pandorans become more dangerous (see Pandoran evolution) some tactics become obsolete (for example, using assault rifles to shoot at centre mass).

Some tactics remain useful, but less effective and render your operatives more vulnerable to certain enemies (for example, sniper rifles can always deal with armor because they have high damage per projectile, but their damage per second or per action point is low so enemies with a lot of HP are problematic).

So you want new tactics, and this is where research and character progression come in: for example, research the Goliath GL-2 Goliath GL-2 and now you have a weapon that can Shred Damage shred armor from multiple targets so that you can attack them with assault rifles or shotguns; throw in Boom Blast boom blast and your Heavy heavy can now shoot the Goliath GL-2 twice per turn at nearly 40 tiles range; give your Assault assault Dash dash and he can close the distance to the targets to finish them with the shotguns, and give him Rapid Clearance rapid clearance and he can keep killing and recovering AP. This is a just an example: the variety of tactics and combinations that players have come up with are simply astounding.

Some of these combinations are too effective ('OP', in the parlance of our times), even allowing clearing the whole map with a single operative in one turn; see Terminators


A captured Pandoran can be vivisected to increase damage done to that Pandoran type by 10% and sometimes to allow manufacturing items to counter certain Pandoran abilities (spoiler: see here all the possible vivisections and the bonus effects they grant).

Faction research

Each faction research district generates 1 research point per hour.

  1. Anu.png starts with 7 research districts
  2. NJ.png starts with 8 research districts
  3. Synedrion.png starts with 9 research districts and a technology that increases generation of research points by 25% (minor spoiler!)

Research by factions is important because

  1. you can gain access to the technologies a faction has researched by reaching higher attitude levels with it, raiding one of its research districts or reverse engineering items that you acquire in combat or when recruiting at a haven
  2. you can jointly research a technology that the faction is researching once you are allied to it
  3. technological progress by the factions impacts the attitude between the factions (see Events that adjust attitude betweeen factions), Pandoran evolution and of course the kind of equipment that the factions will wield in combat missions, whether as friendlies or as enemies

Faction basic technologies allow manufacturing items that are as a rule superior to those of 1pp.png. For example, 1pp.png armor is flat out inferior to those of the factions. They also have unique 'themes':

  1. Anu.png have the patience to mess about with acid and virus weapons
  2. NJ.png favors brute force of piercing and explosives, as well as the cleansing powers of fire
  3. Synedrion.png focuses on weapons that stun or incapacitate enemies, or poison them

You also get a lot of buffs from faction technologies (like massive boosts to the output of facilities, including research labs, but also buffs for tactical combat, such as resistances/immunities to certain damages).


You can build vehicles, armor, weapons and equipment. Some items, like ammo and medkits can be made instantly. Everything else takes time. On Rookie and Veteran difficulty levels recruits from havens come with their own armor and weapons, but you might want to build some basic weapons and armor for your 'naked' recruits from base.

As to vehicles, you can build a Scarab Scarab, which in the early game is very powerful - it has a lot of armor and shoots devastating rockets. However, you can also acquire ground vehicles on scavenging missions and given that scavenged vehicles cannot be converted into resources, perhaps it is best not to manufacture them to avoid wasting resources

In addition, a vehicle occupies half the slots in the Manticore, meaning you can only bring 3 soldiers on a mission. The main problem with that is that soldiers gain skill points per mission (the amount depending on the difficulty level), so you want to bring as many of them as possible and the vehicles take too much space.

Sooner rather than later you will want to build a second Manticore, to field two teams simultaneously. Or you can just steal an aircraft from a faction.

Shrödinger's bag: inventory in Phoenix Point and teleportation

At least as of the time of this writing (September 2020), items in Phoenix Point are instantly transferable to and from an operative's inventory to a common inventory, regardless of location. An operative midflight somewhere in South America can drop all the items he is carrying to the common inventory and another operative midflight somewhere in Siberia can instantly equip it.

Therefore, it is entirely possible to share the same set of equipment between 2 or more teams at the price of excruciating tediousness (there is no unequip button, nor role templates to quickly assign the equipment to another operative).

This is known as 'equipment sharing' and many players refuse to make use of this teleportation property (or at least claim so in public, including this author) (and I really don't share equipment between my squads) (except when I really need to) (or want to).


There are three Factions that have diplomatic relations with the Phoenix Project Phoenix Project and with each other:

Anu.png Disciples of Anu
NJ.png New Jericho
Synedrion.png Synedrion

There are no diplomatic relations with the 'Subfactions' - the Pure and the Forsaken

War and Peace

The status of diplomatic relations among the three factions and of each of the factions with Phoenix Project Phoenix Project is expressed as Attitude that goes from -100 to 100, with the following milestones:

War Aggressive Hostile Unfriendly Friendly Supportive Aligned Allied
<-74 <-49 <-24 <1 >1 >24 >49 >74

However, for all intents and purposes the three factions can either be at war or at peace with each other, and with Phoenix Project. In addition to that, at three different stages of information sharing and collaboration: supportive, aligned or allied.

- When at War factions will attack each other's havens.

Note that a faction at war with Phoenix Project could now attack your bases and you will face it as an enemy during scavenging ops and ambushes!

Also, as faction attitude largely determines the attitude of haven leaders towards Phoenix Project, a negative attitude from a faction can make it impossible for you to trade or recruit at its havens, even if you are not at war.

- When Supportive, the faction will share the location of all of its havens with Phoenix Project (changed in Behemoth update) any POI that is a haven of the faction will be revealed as such, without the needs to first exploring it. Havens revealed this way but not yet visited by the player will appear with this sign Unexplored haven icon.png in the top right corner.

This is important as unvisited havens can generate 'events'.

- Pending review for HypnosWhen Aligned the faction will share all its completed faction research with Phoenix Project.

To access the faction research obtained from achieving the aligned status you need to complete the Disciples of Anu research, New Jericho research or Synedrion research, as appropriate. Each of these researches will become available the first time you discover one of their havens. Then just click on the research tab on the Geoscape and on each of the technologies shared by the faction (they will be identified as 'SHARED').

How factions generate research: Each research district in a haven belonging to the faction generates 1 research point per hour (for comparison, each Phoenix Project research lab generates 4 research points per hour), so the more havens with a research district the faction loses, the slower their research will be.

- When Allied, the faction will share the whole of its research tree with Phoenix Project, making available for research other faction technologies not yet researched by the faction itself. You will be able to see what the faction is researching and assist in researching the same technology to progress faster.

Note that you can achieve allied status with all of the factions at the same time, even though they are at war with each other.

Attitude Adjustment (or how to make everyone stop worrying and love Phoenix Project)

Pending review for Hypnos, to include additional modifiers to attitude adjustment for destroying Pandoran colonies and letting them be

The main way of gaining favor with the factions is fighting the good fight the war against the Pandorans. Specifically, successfully defending havens (you get between +6 and +12 with the faction whose haven you are defending, depending on threat level) and destroying Pandoran colonies (you get +4 for destroying a Nest icon.png nest, + 8 for destroying a Lair icon.png lair and +12 for destroying a Citadel icon.png citadel with all factions).

You also get minor positive adjustments for completing certain critical researches necessary for winning the war against the Pandorans.

You will also be getting many opportunities to adjust the attitude of the factions towards you by making choices during exploration events and haven events and accepting, refusing or completing Independent Haven missions (⇐ spoilers!).

Finally, and an often neglected (by me at least, I used to completely ignore these missions) source of positive rep with the factions is to do sabotage missions on their behalf against each other.

Changed in Hypnos

These missions are excellent early game attitude boosters: you get +15 attitude from the faction on whose behalf you carry out the sabotage, and only -6 from the targeted faction, plus a bunch of resources comparable to what you would get from a haven defense.

What's more, you can easily offset the -6 penalty by doing more sabotage missions. By doing one on behalf of each different faction you will gain +9 attitude net gain with each one completed.

To reach supportive status with a faction you have to complete a special story mission on its behalf, that will become available once you hit +24 attitude. You will not be able to go beyond +24 before you complete this mission: any positive adjustments to attitude will be completely wasted until you do. The same applies to achieving aligned and allied status: to go beyond +49 and +74, respectively, you will need to complete the corresponding faction story missions.

These story or special missions are often called Diplomacy Missions, see here description (with spoilers) of all the missions for each of the factions:

  1. Anu.png Disciples of Anu missions
  2. NJ.png New Jericho missions
  3. Synedrion.png Synedrion missions

You should complete all diplomacy missions ASAP once they become available.

There are two mystifying aspects to diplomacy in Phoenix Point: the first is that a faction will share its deepest secrets with you even as you are allied with its sworn enemies, and the second that it won't mind you raiding its havens provided you keep destroying Pandoran colonies.

Needs review:

Once you grasp the abstract meta-rules governing inter-faction relations in Phoenix Point and familiarize yourself with the rhythm at which attitude is adjusted, it will take dedication and neglect to make a faction really hate you.

However, if you are not there yet, bear in mind the following:

- You want to achieve supportive and aligned status with all the factions as soon as possible, because the first saves you time (4 hours) needed for exploring a POI to discover it's a havens and the second gives you all the technologies that they have researched so far (and will continue to give you their technologies as they research them).

Not only that, but you get a lot of resources just from progressing in your attitude rating with a faction. It is absolutely worth it (and easily achievable without much effort) to reach +100 attitude with all the factions.

- As soon as you get a diplomatic mission, you should give it top priority, because all the positive attitude adjustments that you get before you complete it will be wasted.

- Defending havens and destroying Pandoran colonies is the most reliable way of raising attitude.

- Raiding factions is absolutely fine as long as you don't overdo it; they will be cool with it because hopefully the things you do for them will compensate for the things you do to them.

It is also entirely possible to go through the whole game without ever raiding factions: there are plenty of other ways to obtain enough resources. Of course it is likewise possible to beat the game without being allied to all (or any) of the factions, and without obtaining their technology through other means.

War never changes

War is inevitable. The factions hold irreconcilable views on what humanity is and what it should be.

In gameplay terms, it means that there are many things that adjust attitudes between the factions downwards and very few that can improve them.

In short, total war is guaranteed once factions complete their final projects (each of them opening the way to one possible ending), but it can happen much sooner.

Events that adjust attitude betweeen factions

!!!all links below contain spoilers!!! Anu.png to NJ.png Anu.png to Synedrion.png NJ.png to Anu.png NJ.png to Synedrion.png Synedrion.png to Anu.png Synedrion.png to NJ.png
Best Worst Best Worst Best Worst Best Worst Best Worst Best Worst
Anu.png Mutation Technology -4 -8
Anu.png Mutog War Beast -6
Anu.png Advanced Tiamat Development -4 -3
Anu.png Missionary Center Technology -8 -12
NJ.png Neural Implant Technology None -3 None -6
NJ.png Armadillo development -4 -6 -3
NJ.png Technician Development -4
NJ.png Walls of Jericho Project -10
NJ.png Project Vulture -10 -12
NJ.png Command Fortress -8 -15
NJ.png Centralized AI -8
Synedrion.png Mist Repeller development -15
Synedrion.png Project Domovoy -15 -8
1pp.png Food Harvesting Tech None -2
1pp.png spoiler! -5
1pp.png spoiler! -5 -5 -3
TOTAL -41 -43 -30 -36 -40 -11 -16 -3 -42 -48
Anu.png Elite training centre -2 -2
NJ.png Elite training centre -2 -2
Synedrion.png Elite training centre -2 -2
Anu.png Missionary Centre -4 -4
NJ.png Satellite Uplink -4 -4
Synedrion.png Mist Repeller -4 -4
Anu.png Spoiler! -20 -20
NJ.png Spoiler! -20 -20
Synedrion.png Spoiler! -20 -20
Exploration Events
Best Worst Best Worst Best Worst Best Worst Best Worst Best Worst
1pp.png Aftermath none -7 none -7
1pp.png The Games We Used To Play +3 +4
1pp.png Listen Up none -6 none -7
1pp.png Lake Placid none -4
Anu.png Anu Haven Events
1pp.png Haunted +4 +4
NJ.png New Jericho Haven events
1pp.png Shadows +3 -6
Synedrion.png Synedrion Haven events
1pp.png Reconstruction +4 +4
1pp.png The A Word -8 -8
1pp.png Yearning to Breathe Free +4 +4

What's in a Haven?

Example of a typical Anu.png Haven. Note how it is already losing population at the start of the game

A Haven has:

  1. An Affiliation (Anu.png NJ.png Synedrion.png or Independent haven site.png), a Name, a Leader, an Attitude towards 1pp.png and a Motto.
  2. Population (and, if an insufficient food supply, a daily attrition rate).
  3. Military Strength is derived from the Population and Training Facilities within the Haven, or from Havens with the same affiliation within its operating range. Military strength is population/1000, rounded up. +4 from Training Facility, +2 from nearby Haven with Training Facility (pending check bonus from elite training facilities).
  4. Production Capacity is derived from the Population and Production Facilities within the Haven, or in Havens with the same affiliation within its operating range. Each factory generates Materials.png 100 and nearby Havens with a factory Materials.png 50 + population / 1000 rounded up.
  5. Food Supply is derived from Food Production Facilities within the Haven, or in Havens with the same affiliation within its operating range. Havens generate Food.png 6000 at every Food Production facility and receive 3000 from each friendly Haven within operating range with Food Production Facility.
  6. Mist Status is either covered or free (affects daily starvation rate).
  7. Different types of Districts: Energy Generation (all), Residential, Food Production, Factories, and Training Facilities.
  8. Operating range is the range at which the haven can act (for example, attacking other havens, and, in the case of NJ.png, Pandoran structures) and otherwise exert its influence, in particular increasing food supply, military strength and industrial output in friendly havens.

Grand Theft Helios

Helios gta.png

A favorite tactic (some call it exploit) is to steal one or two Helios Helios from Synedrion.png in the first week (why Helios? Because they are fast!)

The number of things that you can do at the same time are limited by the number of planes that you have. So having more planes very early on in the game greatly accelerates your progress.

You can use the extra aircraft to trade (engaging in commodity arbitrage to obtain unlimited resources), or to explore the Geoscape and do tactical missions, once you get a second team going.

(If you savescum you can explore the Geoscape without any risk - just save before each exploration and reload if it turns out to be an ambush.)

The diplomatic penalty for stealing is not really an issue, as you can easily offset the negative reputation by doing other sabotage missions on behalf of Synedrion.png

And if you need to offset the penalty from the sabotage missions, just do more of them against other factions, because the reputation reward is much higher than the penalty. The more sabotage you do against all the different factions, the happier they will all be with you!

Pandoran Evolution

At the start of the game there are only melee Pandorans with little to no armor. The Arthrons Arthrons (aka Crabmen), the Triton Strangler Triton Strangler (aka Fishmen), Poisonworms other Poisonworms and Mindfraggers Mindfraggers (aka facehuggers). The Pandorans evolve very fast, so chances are you will be receiving your first intelligence report on Pandoran evolution within days.

The first evo report on a Legend playthrough, new Arthron icon.png and Triton icon.png on January 4th

How does Pandoran evolution work?

- Pandorans evolve in 3 main ways: new types of creatures (for example Chiron icon.png Chirons), new specialists within the type (for example, Arthron Tyrant Arthron Tyrant, wielding an Machine Gun MG and a Shield Shield), and new improved strains of specialist (for example, Arthron Tyrant Alpha Arthron Tyrant Alpha).

- The variations between the different specialists of the same creature type and the different strains within each specialist are expressed in their names, descriptions, stats, weapons and mutations.

- The descriptions are mostly for flavor, the stats follow the same rules as those of humans, and so do the weapons (see about weapons).

As to the mutations, some of them are actually skills or abilities available to human characters, like Return Fire return fire, while others (like Triton Triton Pain Chameleon Torso Pain Chameleon Torso) are unique to Pandorans.

- You will only meet in the field Pandorans that you have previously seen in the Pandoran Intelligence Report (the only exception to that is the Chiron icon.png Chiron you encounter in the first Anu.png mission on Legend, which is described as "The Source of the Infestation").

Though the evolution is always producing more and more dangerous Pandorans, in the field you will meet both higher and lesser evolved strains.

The enemies on a given mission are deployed according to a budget, where each Pandoran is worth a certain number of points, and the more evolved types are more expensive. The game 'rolls' the Pandorans that will appear on the map initially and also each reinforcement, so you can get a few 'expensive' Pandorans, many 'cheap' Pandorans, or a mix of the two.

I think the Pandorans are mutating/deploying to counter my strategies!

Nope, unfortunately it's just chance (or RNG, in the parlance of our times) and our innate desire as humans to explain it as something more meaningful.

There are currently some random variations in the Pandoran evolution, so the creatures you are seeing in this playthrough will be slightly different from the ones you will see on your next one.

Also, there are plans to bring some reactivity to Pandoran evolution in the future.

The War against the Pandorans

Once you research atmospheric analysis - the first and only technology available for research at the start of the game - you will see a red blob denoting the appearance of Pandoran Mist on a shore near your first base, Phoenix Point.

The mist is not actually red - as you will see in the tactical battles - and it does not cover the land uniformly, but rather that the red blobs on the Geoscape signify that it is present in those areas.

The mist spreads and new blobs can appear on any shore. Inside the mist and hidden from view, Pandoran Structures (or colonies, or bases) grow. At first, Nest icon.png Nests, then Lair icon.png Lairs and finally Citadel icon.png Citadels. They will launch attacks against havens and eventually active 1pp.png bases.

It goes as thus:

Every once in a while, a haven, usually inside, or close to an area covered in mist, will get attacked by the Pandorans. The attack will have a numeric value, and so will the defense, determined by the military strength of the haven. If the defense is higher than the attack, the attack will fail even if the player doesn’t come to the rescue. If the attack is higher than the defense, the attack will succeed unless the player sends a squad and wins the haven defense mission.

A successful haven defense mission has a chance of revealing the location of the Pandoran base from which the attack was launched. If the Pandoran base is within the scanned area of a 1pp.png base or a 1pp.png base was attacked, this chance is of 100%. If not, it has a 20% chance of being revealed on the first successful defense, 50% on the second, 80% on the third and 100% on the fourth. Note that this is true for attacks coming from the same Pandoran structure.

The player can then send a squad to destroy it.

If the player procrastinates, the base will evolve to the next stage (a Nest icon.png nest will become a Lair icon.png lair, a Lair will become a Citadel icon.png citadel) and will continue to attack nearby havens and 1pp.png bases.

Now, you will not win the game by destroying all the Pandoran bases, but you will lose it if you don't keep them somewhat in check. The attacks on the havens are staged from the Pandoran bases, and the destruction of havens decreases the Human Population Census and accelerates the Doomsday Clock.

In addition, destroying the Pandoran structures is the main way of gaining positive rep with all the Factions and it is also necessary for accessing some research.

However, winning the game requires accomplishing a series of milestones (mainly key missions and researches, which in turn can require capturing Pandorans and completing a faction's quest line), within a number of predetermined routes, each of them leading to a different ending. For a spoiler filled walkthrough, check out Phoenix Point victory.

For a few tips with minor spoilers in case you are lost, see I am lost below.

Practical implications of mist

To say that the haven is 'covered' in mist might be a bit of an overstatement

- Havens covered in mist suffer a higher attrition rate and missions in these havens will have one or more (very small and non-threatening) patches of mist on the map.

- Ambushes and scavenging ops taking place in POIs covered by the mist should be more difficult.

- On the battlefield, Pandorans will hide inside the mist making them very hard to detect, while any 1pp.png operatives will be automatically detected. Starting the turn inside the mist makes Pandorans recover 1 WP, while humans starting the turn inside the mist lose 2 WPs.

I am lost

There are 3 kind of things you need to do to advance in the game, and you will be doing them alternately all the time:

  1. Research some critical technology.
  2. Completing special tactical missions, whether as part of the Phoenix Project Phoenix Project main questline (walkthrough with spoilers here) or on behalf of one of the factions, to achieve its ending (walkthroughs with spoilers for each faction: Disciples of Anu walkthrough, New Jericho walkthrough and Synedrion walkthrough).
  3. Capture Pandorans.

There is no great mystery nor challenge about the first two. They will appear as objectives on the left side of the Geoscape screen, and if you don't know what to do next you can look at the walkthroughs or Sheepy's Tech Tree (a little outdated, but mostly still accurate).

Some players do find it difficult to capture Pandorans, especially the Scylla Scylla.

First, you need to find one and they can only be reliably found in Citadel Citadels.

Read here how to capture Pandorans.

*Note that you can win the game with Anu.png without pursuing the Symes questline.