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Dark Events are a game mechanic in XCOM 2 that represents the aliens' progress toward completion of their Avatar Project or counter-insurgency activities efforts aimed at disrupting XCOM's activities.

At any given time, the aliens can be working towards up to three Dark Events, each with an individual timer. Which ones are currently active can be viewed on the global map under the Dark Events button at the top, along with estimated timers until next Avatar facility construction and next Resistance Strike crackdown.

Dark Events can be countered by Guerilla Ops, of which typically one will be offered per month. Choosing which ones you will have to let go and which ones you can't stand seeing fire can be just as important as the reward offered for each individual Guerilla Op.

Dark Event Types[edit | edit source]

  • ADVENT Alloy Padding: ADVENT invests in improving their battle gear, adding armor to some of their soldiers in the field for a month.
    • Give random ADVENT enemies one additional point of armor on missions.

"ADVENT scientists seem to have taken note of our own soldiers' advances and strive not to be outdone." - Dr. Tygan

  • ADVENT Midnight Raids: ADVENT cracks down on Resistance recruitment, increasing the cost of recruits by 100% for a month.

"XCOM is nothing without the fighting spirit of willing men and women." - Central Officer Bradford

  • ADVENT Rural Checkpoints: ADVENT stifles the movement of Resistance resources, decreasing the supplies of the next supply drop by 50%.

"Looks like ADVENT isn't content to just sit behind their city walls anymore." - Central Officer Bradford

  • Alien Cypher: Increases all intel costs by 100% for a month.
    • This includes costs of contacting resistance regions and buying items in the black market.

"The Aliens have come to realize the power of information and seek to safeguard it from prying eyes." - Dr. Tygan

  • Alien Infiltrator: The Aliens hide in ambush among the populace, placing hidden Faceless aliens on most missions for a month.
    • These Faceless only appear on missions featuring civilians, such as Guerrilla Ops and Council Missions. They act as they would on Retaliation missions: two Faceless will hide as civilians before revealing after a random number of turns, or after all other enemies are dead.

"It all used to be so simple... See your enemy. Know your enemy. Shoot your enemy." - Central Officer Bradford

  • Avatar Project: Minor Breakthrough: Alien scientists make great strides on the Avatar Project, instantly adding 1 block to the progress meter.
    • This block is applied to a random Alien Facility on the map. If no facilities exist, it is applied to the Alien Fortress— represented by the statue in the ocean—instead.

"I'm afraid they are not just experimenting anymore. They are excelling." - Dr. Tygan

  • Avatar Project: Major Breakthrough: Alien scientists make a huge amount of progress on the Avatar project, instantly adding 2 blocks to the progress meter.
    • These blocks are applied to a random Alien Facility on the map. If no facilities exist, they are applied to the Alien Fortress—represented by the statue in the ocean—instead.

"The level of efficiency at which our enemies are able to operate is truly terrifying." - Dr. Tygan

  • Hunt XCOM: A UFO hunts the Avenger.
    • A UFO, represented by a red disk, will appear on the geoscape. It will travel across the globe hunting the Avenger, lingering around different regions periodically. When the UFO makes contact with the Avenger, evasive manoeuvres must be undertaken. These manoeuvres have a 50% chance of success, and a 50% chance of failure, resulting in an Avenger Defense mission. The UFO will persist until either a month has passed or an Avenger Defense mission has been initiated.
    • Note that UFOs spawned by story missions cannot be successfully evaded and will only disappear after an Avenger Defense mission, but are otherwise identical to their Dark Event counterparts.

"If they keep imprisoning and torturing people, eventually someone's gonna talk." - Chief Engineer Shen

  • Infestation: The Aliens seek to overrun XCOM, placing extra Chryssalids on most missions for a month.

"All the threats we face are fiendish in their own right, but these... these creatures are truly the stuff of nightmares." - Dr. Tygan

  • New Construction: The Aliens step up their construction efforts, reducing the Alien Facility counter by 2 weeks.
    • 4 weeks on Legend.

"If the Aliens go any faster, well... this whole thing could get out of hand pretty quickly.” - Chief Engineer Shen

  • Rapid Response: The Aliens improve their threat response procedures, guaranteeing reinforcements on all Guerrilla Ops for a month.

"The last thing we need is more ADVENT dropping in on top of us." - Central Officer Bradford

  • Resistance Informant: The Aliens find a mole within the Resistance, reducing the Retaliation counter by 2 weeks.
    • This only affects one Retaliation mission, making it occur early. All future Retaliation missions will happen when they normally would have had the dark event never occurred.

"What do you do when the people you're trying to protect, that my dad died to protect, turn against you?" - Chief Engineer Shen

  • Show of Force: ADVENT aims to crush XCOM through numbers, adding more enemies to each mission.
  • Vigilance: The Aliens are on high alert, making it harder for XCOM to catch them unaware.
    • Increases the detection radii of all enemy units. No increase in detection range of Reapers in Shadow.

"Things are going to get a lot tougher if we can't even sneak up on the bastards." - Central Officer Bradford

  • Viper Rounds: ADVENT incorporates Viper poison into their weaponry, giving some ADVENT soldiers poisonous rounds for a month.

"It takes all we have to keep up with enemy weaponry as it is, without them causing our troops to asphyxiate." - Dr. Tygan

War of the Chosen Dark Event Types[edit | edit source]

The XCOM 2: War of the Chosen expansion introduces a number of new dark events, in addition to the above:

  • ADVENT Bending Reed: Stun Lancers have a chance to move after performing a melee attack.
    • Affect ADVENT Stun Lancers in XCOM squad (from Double Agent Resistance Order or mind control) as well. The mobility stat of an ADVENT Stun Lancer in your squad could be increased permanently until the end of the mission when Bending Reed triggers -- likely a bug.
  • ADVENT Lightning Reflexes: Overwatch shots will always miss ADVENT Troopers.

"My memory may be fuzzy, but do they seem a little faster to you?" - Central Officer Bradford

  • ADVENT Return Fire: Missed shots on ADVENT Officers and Priests will trigger return fire.

"Sounds like ADVENT's upper echelon is tired of us taking potshots at 'em. Try not to miss." - Central Officer Bradford

  • ADVENT Sealed Armor: All ADVENT soldiers are completely immune to environmental hazards like poison, fire, and ice.

"So ADVENT has an armored hazard suit? I should probably look into that." - Chief Engineer Shen

  • Barrier: Enemy Tech and Psionic Defense are doubled.

"They're running some sort of new security protocol, it's a lot like the Psionic encryption we saw used in the Codex." - Chief Engineer Shen

  • Collateral Damage: ADVENT troops carry more explosives.
    • ADVENT troopers carry an extra grenade.
  • Counterattack: ADVENT units have a chance to enter overwatch upon being revealed.
  • Dark Tower: XCOM soldiers suffer greater losses to Will in combat.
  • Gone to Ground: Black Market is closed for 6 weeks.
  • High Alert: You no longer start missions concealed.
    • Reapers and Soldiers with the Phantom ability still start with concealment.
  • Left Behind: All Covert Actions have a risk of a soldier being captured.
    • The risks of capture and/or ambush disappear after the rival Chosen of the faction of said Covert Action is defeated at their stronghold.
  • Lost World: The Lost swarm may occur on any mission.

"For years humanity was entertained by colorful stories of aliens and zombies. Not so humorous anymore, is it?" - Dr. Tygan

  • Loyalty Among Thieves: When any Chosen gain knowledge about XCOM, a portion is passed along to (one of: The Hunter, The Assassin, The Warlock) as well.
  • Made Whole: The Chosen no longer suffer from any weaknesses.
  • Show of Force: The Aliens try to snuff out XCOM through brute strength, adding more enemies to every mission for a month.
  • Signal Jamming: The Aliens scramble the Avenger's radio signals, greatly increasing all scanning times for six weeks.

"They're hitting us with massive amounts of interference, and they're not being subtle about it." - Chief Engineer Shen

  • Spider and Fly: There is a risk of ambush on all Covert Actions.
    • The risks of capture and/or ambush disappear after the rival Chosen of the faction of said Covert Action is defeated at their stronghold.

"ADVENT has their goons hiding in every bush from here to the furthest city center. They must really be getting worried about the strength of our alliance." - Central Officer Bradford

  • Stiletto Rounds: Some ADVENT soldiers are equipped with rounds that can cause the "Bleeding" status effect.
    • Only some ADVENT Troopers in a mission are affected, and are marked with a green "buffed" arrow in the UI.

"I guess I should get started on a few more Medikits." - Chief Engineer Shen

  • The Collectors: The Chosen double their efforts to hunt the Commander, seeking to capture XCOM soldiers at every opportunity.

"The Chosen are getting more aggressive about taking our people captive, maybe it's time we restarted our own interrogation program." - Central Officer Bradford

  • Undying Loyalty: All ADVENT soldiers now have a chance to reanimate as Psionic zombies after they die.

"Even in death, their control chips leave them susceptible to the power of Psionics." - Dr. Tygan

  • Wild Hunt: The Chosen are much more likely to appear in combat.

"The Chosen were persistent before, but now it's just getting ridiculous." - Chief Engineer Shen

Upcoming Dark Events[edit | edit source]

After each monthly debriefing, the player is informed about Dark Events currently being prepared. If an event has successfully been triggered, it will be replaced with a Hidden Event in the upcoming month. The player is given a chance to invest 20-30 Intel to reveal what type of event is coming up, this cost can also be paid at any point until the event is set in motion. These Intel costs are subject to any active Intel-cost penalties. If the player opted not to reveal the nature of any Hidden Events, it will not be until the next month that the opportunity to do so returns. In addition, each monthly report only allows for one Hidden Event to be revealed.

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