XCOM: Enemy Unknown is a tricky game because it requires you to carefully balance multiple different types of resources. Even at the easiest difficulty, it is possible, and even likely, to run out of money or time if you aren’t familiar with the game. At the hardest difficulty, even the best players have money troubles. The following five tips will help you save money and time in XCOM: Enemy Unknown.
Skip the Tutorial – If you complete the tutorial level, three of your four soldiers will die and the remaining one will be promoted to a heavy. On the other hand, if you skip it, all four soldiers will survive, though each will remain a rookie. You save money that is critical to the later portion of the game by keeping them alive and a heavy isn’t that critical a class.
The First Mission – On the first real mission you will have four rookies. If you are careful, you can end up with four squaddies after this mission. You just need to make sure that each soldier gets a kill. Save before playing the mission. Since classes are assigned randomly to squaddies, this is your best chance to try to control your class selection. If you don’t like the randomly assigned classes after the mission, reload your game and keep trying until you get a set you like. Later in the game missions get harder and it is a lot more difficult to assure that rookies will be promoted, so this is your best chance to dictate your soldiers’ classes.
Two Arc Throwers – One of the story critical events involves researching, building, and using an arc thrower. The arc thrower is used to capture an enemy commander. The game only requires that you create one arc thrower, but you will find life much easier if you make two. Arc throwers are difficult weapons to use and the mission that allows you to capture the enemy commander is pretty much critical to succeeding at the game. If you have one equipped on two different soldiers, the mission is a lot easier to succeed at and the cost of the extra arc thrower is more than made up for by the extra income you will earn for completing the mission and lowering panic.
Equipment Swapping – Money is an incredibly scarce resource in the game. Anything you can do to save money is useful. If you are willing to take a little extra time before battles, you save lots of money on equipment. Rather than equipping all of your soldiers with armor, only buy as much armor as you can bring soldiers on a mission and then swap that armor to whichever soldiers are going on the mission. The same can be done with weapons. This saved money can then be applied to research or projects that will increase the efficacy of your soldiers.
Deploy Satellites at the End of the Month – Satellites cost a lot of money to deploy and they only protect against alien abductions if they start the month orbiting a country. Thus, you are better off waiting until the end of the month to deploy. That will let you keep your meager money supplies for as long as possible, in case an emergency requires you to spend it on something else. And, if you do deploy a satellite, by deploying it before the month ends, that satellite will protect the country from abductions almost from the day it is deployed.