|Classes and Skills|
|Final Mission (Spoiler!)|
- 1 Overview
- 2 Resources
- 3 Recruiting
- 4 Bases
- 5 Research
- 6 Manufacturing
- 7 Diplomacy
- 8 Pandoran Evolution
- 9 The War against the Pandorans
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 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:
and are mostly used for building facilities and manufacturing, as well as implanting bionics. is mostly used for recruiting and feeding operatives:
each operative consumes 1 per day, and if you run out of food they will start to lose HPs and eventually die of starvation.
Where do resources come from?
- There are specific missions for acquiring resources: scavenging ops and raids.
- 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.
- You also have a chance of acquiring resources from Exploration Events (spoilers!) and Anu Haven events (spoilers!), New Jericho Haven events (spoilers!) or Synedrion Haven events (spoilers!)
- You can scrap excess equipment to get back half of their cost.
- Capturing Pandorans: Once you research Pandoran capture and containment and build a Containment Facility you will be able to harvest them for (if you have mutagen harvesting technology) or (with food harvesting technology).
- A Food production facility: You can build them after researching or otherwise getting from fungal food production, but their yield is so low that it may not make any sense to build them.
- Trade, after you research haven trade protocols you can trade excess resources of one kind for resources of other kinds:
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 from or from to trade it to
|gives ⇓||gives ⇓||gives ⇓|
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 , and ). 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 . 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
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)
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.
The price of the recruit depends on:
- 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 recruits from Havens sometimes come with 1 or 2 Watcher AT that have to be paid for when recruiting them)
- The level of the recruit - the higher the level the higher the cost)
- Whether they have any mutations or bionics, because these have to be paid for.
- 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:
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 bases, which appear on the Geoscape as
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.
Activating the first base costs 300 and 50, and activating each new base costs increasing amounts of resources. The formula is
initial cost (so 300 or 50) + number of previously activated bases x increase in cost ( 60 or 10).
For example, activating the 4th base will cost 300 + 60(3) = 480 and 50 + 10(3) = 80, while activating the 10th base will cost 300 + 60(10) = 900 and 50 + 10(10) = 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).
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 changed in Behemoth
once you achieve supportive status with a faction all its havens (around 30) will be revealed to you.
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).
- 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 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.
- 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.
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
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 , and/or .
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 weapons and equipment by
- 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).
- 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).
- 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
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"?
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.
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.
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 and now you have a weapon that can shred armor from multiple targets so that you can attack them with assault rifles or shotguns; throw in boom blast and your heavy can now shoot the twice per turn at nearly 40 tiles range; give your assault dash and he can close the distance to the targets to finish them with the shotguns, and give him 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).
- starts with 7 research districts
- starts with 8 research districts
- starts with 9 research districts and a technology that increases generation of research points by 25% (minor spoiler!)
Research by factions is important because
- 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
- you can jointly research a technology that the faction is researching once you are allied to it
- 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
- have the patience to mess about with acid and virus weapons
- favors brute force of piercing and explosives, as well as the cleansing powers of fire
- 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, 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.
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 and with each other:
War and Peace
However, for all intents and purposes the three factions can either be at war or at peace with each other, and with . In addition to that, at three different stages of information sharing and collaboration: supportive, aligned or allied.
Also, as faction attitude largely determines the attitude of haven leaders towards , 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 (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 in the top right corner.
- Pending review for HypnosWhen Aligned the faction will share all its completed faction research with .
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 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 , 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.
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, + 8 for destroying a lair and +12 for destroying a citadel with all factions).
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!).
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.
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:
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.
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.
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 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!!!||to||to||to||to||to||to|
|Mutog War Beast||-6|
|Advanced Tiamat Development||-4||-3|
|Missionary Center Technology||-8||-12|
|Neural Implant Technology||None||-3||None||-6|
|Walls of Jericho Project||-10|
|Mist Repeller development||-15|
|Food Harvesting Tech||None||-2|
|Elite training centre||-2||-2|
|Elite training centre||-2||-2|
|Elite training centre||-2||-2|
|The Games We Used To Play||+3||+4|
|Anu Haven Events|
|New Jericho Haven events|
|Synedrion Haven events|
|The A Word||-8||-8|
|Yearning to Breathe Free||+4||+4|
What's in a Haven?
A Haven has:
- An Affiliation ( or ), a Name, a Leader, an Attitude towards and a Motto.
- Population (and, if an insufficient food supply, a daily attrition rate).
- 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).
- 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 100 and nearby Havens with a factory 50 + population / 1000 rounded up.
- Food Supply is derived from Food Production Facilities within the Haven, or in Havens with the same affiliation within its operating range. Havens generate 6000 at every Food Production facility and receive 3000 from each friendly Haven within operating range with Food Production Facility.
- Mist Status is either covered or free (affects daily starvation rate).
- Different types of Districts: Energy Generation (all), Residential, Food Production, Factories, and Training Facilities.
- Operating range is the range at which the haven can act (for example, attacking other havens, and, in the case of , Pandoran structures) and otherwise exert its influence, in particular increasing food supply, military strength and industrial output in friendly havens.
Grand Theft Helios
A favorite tactic (some call it exploit) is to steal one or two Helios from 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.
(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.)
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!
At the start of the game there are only melee Pandorans with little to no armor. The Arthrons (aka Crabmen), the Triton Strangler (aka Fishmen), other Poisonworms and Mindfraggers (aka facehuggers). The Pandorans evolve very fast, so chances are you will be receiving your first intelligence report on Pandoran evolution within days.
How does Pandoran evolution work?
- Pandorans evolve in 3 main ways: new types of creatures (for example Chirons), new specialists within the type (for example, Arthron Tyrant, wielding an MG and a Shield), and new improved strains of specialist (for example, 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.
- 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 you encounter in the first 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, Nests, then Lairs and finally Citadels. They will launch attacks against havens and eventually active 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 base or a 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 will become a lair, a Lair will become a citadel) and will continue to attack nearby havens and 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
- On the battlefield, Pandorans will hide inside the mist making them very hard to detect, while any 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:
- Research some critical technology.
- Completing special tactical missions, whether as part of the 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).
- 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).
First, you need to find one and they can only be reliably found in Citadels.
Read here how to capture Pandorans.