So satelite coverage seems to be the main factor in keeping countires happy. Can you not loose countires? At least on normal? Any tips on that?
How to not loose countries?
On Normal, I only lost Canada. And I could've saved it if my satellite had finished one day earlier.
Honestly, the hardest part is the early game. Clearing the alien base reduces global panic by 2 across the board, so that can be a last minute save if you have no council missions or satellite coverage. Other than that, satellites decrease panic by 2 in the country you launch it in, so you can also use that if you've planned ahead. As the game goes on, it becomes easier and easier to keep it down. I went into the final mission with every country at 1/5.
I'm playing on classic and what feels like approaching endgame. All countries still with me.
There are several ways to maintain control:
- do not fail missions
- down every UFO
- when there is a choice of missions deploy to the one with the highest panic rating, as you can't decrease it below 1 anyway (or one with engineers more on that below)
- satellites seem to stop natural panic growth completely
- satellites also drop the rating down the first time they are deployed so using them on the most panicked countries helps
- while on topic of satellites, ensure you have enough engineers to keep building satelite uplinks, this means building workshops and choosing to do engineer missions if necessary
- the first alien base (like already mentioned) decreases panic worldwide, so that can also be used at an opportune moment to your advantage
- get lucky with a panic reduction mission from the council now and again
The biggest consideration you need to do is to remember that when you choose abduction missions the ones you don't choose affect those entire continents, so make sure you don't focus on a single continent and check the panic levels before you start scanning. Other than that you just need some luck with the random special missions, some strategic satellite placement and then pop the base at the right timing.
From the start of the game you have to build an uplink almost straight away and that will take around 10 days or more depending on whether or not you need to excavate or dig + the 20 days it'll take to build the satellites + the 5 days it'll take to actually deploy them.
In that span of time it's very likely that you'll have more than one country in the red. It'll be another ~40 days till you can get another 2-5 satellites up in the air so you have to choose your first 2 deployments wisely.
If keeping every country on the council was achievable through pure decision making I'd bet there'd be an achievement for it. As it stands there are too many random elements involved for it to be achievable in every playthrough. Also you have to devote such a large portion of time, money, and effort to keeping all the panic levels low that maybe it's better to just let a country or two slide.
I'm in my first playthrough now, about 12-15 missions in, and I still haven't been able to deploy a new satellite. I haven't lost any missions but panic is spreading faster than I can do anything about it...I just didn't have enough engineers to build the uplink until way later in the game than probably intended, this seems like a design oversight to me.
I just didn't see how it was possible to have gotten enough engineers early enough in the game to launch new satellites. At this point I'll be lucky to keep one or two continents.
Someone in another thread suggested having a spare satellite in reserve for when a country reaches a 5 panic rating and deploying that satellite there. And, as mentioned above, when you have a choice as to where to do a mission, don't necessarily choose the one with reward that you want, choose the one that will help reduce panic rating in that area. It's unfortunate that every time I get an option of where to go, the reward is always a leveled up sniper where the panic is the worst. I want a money mission, but if I can't have that, give me a heavy soldier or an assault. I already have enough snipers.
@Tennmuerti: I know how it's supposed to work - up until now I've only encountered a couple of missions that give engineers that were worth choosing. They have always been in very low panic areas that didn't seem like it made sense to choose those missions over areas that were higher up on the scale. If I did choose those missions, other countries would have been lost earlier anyway and I would have been in the exact same position I am now. I'm just going to restart.
@MB: Well it's a bummer choice to have to make, but in terms of overall strategy I would always choose to go for engineers early on if lacking them for the uplinks, even if it means losing a few countries. Engineers are basically essential to overall base expansion and workshops will only get you partly there. Loose a few countries to early panic or lose more later on without satellites :(
I lost 3 countries on my current play because I fell behind hard on satellite production. You should get 2 Uplinks adjacent to each other as soon as you have the time or money. Also don't dilly dally on main story beats like capturing certain aliens. Completing main objectives typically result in reduction of panic. All the other countries are under control now as I move ever closer to the end game.
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