XComEW Mission - Site Recon.png

Site Recon is a new type of Council Mission introduced in XCOM: Enemy Within. There is only one Site Recon mission, a special mission to investigate a fishing village in Canada.


This mission is offered following XCOM's first encounter with Chryssalids (typically a Terror Site mission) during the game's first playthrough, and becomes part of the random pool of Council Missions in subsequent playthroughs. It is initiated by a Council transmission received at the Situation Room:

Our sources report a developing incident in Newfoundland, up the coast from St. John's. A fishing village has gone dark; reports from intel sources suggest alien involvement. We should send in a team to investigate the site and figure out what happened.

– Council Transmission, XCOM: Enemy Within

Mission Brief[]

The fishing village still shows no signs of life. The nature of the aliens' involvement is unknown, as is the type and level of resistance. Extreme caution is warranted.

– Mission Brief, XCOM: Enemy Within

XCOM(EW) SiteRecon Docks.jpg



▪  Investigate the site
▪  Identify and eliminate all opposition
– Mission Objectives, XCOM: Enemy Within


▪  Investigate the response team's disappearance.
▪  Find the source of the infestation.
▪  Reactivate the ship's transponder to initiate airstrike then report to EVAC.
▪  Reach the EVAC zone before the strike craft arrive.
– Mission Objectives, XCOM: Enemy Within


XCOM(EW) SiteRecon ChryssalidHive.jpg

This mission plays out on a large new map which details a portion of the fishing village's docks and market area. As the squad investigates they will first encounter Zombie villagers and then Chryssalids who have mysteriously overtaken the town. Advancing along the docks, the squad will come upon a large wrecked ship that appears to be the source of the alien infestation. Boarding the vessel, the squad discovers the Chryssalids have turned a whale carcass into a breeding hive. Upon the whale corpse being revealed, a new Chryssalid will burst from it each turn; prior to and after this event, solitary Chryssalids may also be encountered erupting from sharks or large fish hanging on the docks or aboard the boat.

XCOM(EW) AirstrikeDocks.jpg

With the source of the infestation identified, the squad is tasked with turning on the ship's transponder (located on the ship's bridge) so an airstrike can eliminate the threat. Once the transponder is activated, the squad will have 8 turns to reach the evacuation zone before the airstrike hits. To further complicate matters the number of Chryssalids that burst from the hive increases as time goes on to as many as three at once. If the airstrike timer expires, any squad members in the EVAC zone will survive, while anyone outside the zone will not.


  • A squad member equipped with the Mimic Beacon can delay and concentrate the enemies with ease. Use when the team is retreating. It is one of the few, and best uses of the item in the game.
  • When approaching the large ship from the broadside, on the seaside, a squad member with the Skeleton Suit can grapple hook near the transponder, activate it and return quickly, while the squad waits ouside the ship, on the docks, overwatching emerging enemies.
  • Since all of the enemies encountered during this mission are melee units, the use of cover is unnecessary during combat and while fleeing to the extraction point. Additionally, as these enemies don't drop weapon fragments or other artifacts, explosives may be used without negative repercussions.
  • Mobility and firepower play a much bigger role in this mission than do armor or healing.
  • Positioning one or two Snipers with Squadsight atop the high building at the beginning of the mission (or on the topmost deck of the first boat) may be advisable, as he/she will be nigh invulnerable to the Zombies, force the Chryssalids to use Leap before moving into position to attack (providing additional time to react), and will be able to hit nearly anything the squad can see due to the height advantage. Also, if things go south, the player will at least be able to evacuate a Sniper (and possibly complete the mission) instead of losing the entire squad.
  • Assault soldiers with Close Combat specialization can, if placed strategically, shoot multiple chryssalids during a single turn.
  • The hanging sharks and fish can be annihilated by any attack that destroys cover (grenades, rockets, Collateral Damage, Kinetic Punch, etc.), killing any Chryssalid inside before it becomes a threat.
  • Chryssalids hatching from a fish/shark/whale will not take any actions on the turn they hatch; however, their emergence will trigger soldier Overwatch attacks. Chryssalids hatching from zombies do not have such a limitation and can take full actions on the same turn they hatch.
  • Only one soldier is required to activate the transponder, therefore it's viable to keep the rest of the squad near the whale carcass, or even outside the ship (ex., on the upper deck of the nearby boats), focused on distracting and killing the emerging Chryssalids. A Support with the Sprinter ability is an ideal candidate to make the run for the transponder. Once the transponder is enabled, the entire team should make its way to the exit, while the snipers take care of any chryssalids that get too close (it's generally not necessary to kill more than one or two).
  • This mission can be extremely difficult if the player is ill-prepared. In some cases it might be necessary to sacrifice a squad member (or even multiple members) in order to evacuate as many troops as possible. When heading for the evacuation zone, dash your soldiers as much as possible and try not to waste squad actions by engaging Chryssalids unless absolutely necessary.
  • It is perfectly possible to win the mission without any advanced weaponry and extract all squad members if one is aware of the movement options and has a retreat planned out.
  • If every member of the squad is equipped with Archangel Armor, this mission becomes almost trivial, as a flying soldier is effectively invulnerable to melee units. Enemies can be shot at leisure, and evacuation after transponder activation is simplified.
  • It's possible to completely "deplete" the whale of Chryssalids before activating the transponder. This would allow for all but one member of the squad to move most of the way back to the EVAC zone while one soldier (preferably a Support with the Sprinter ability) activates the transponder before dashing repeatedly to catch up. However once the transponder is activated enemies start spawning again, and it is possible to lose the soldier who stayed behind to activate the transponder.

Status Updates[]

The following status updates are received from Central Officer Bradford during the mission:

Event or Condition Update
Mission begins "Commander, we've been asked to investigate some unusual activity taking place near a small fishing village on the island of Newfoundland. Local government officials were responding to a mayday signal when all contact was lost...from the ship, the village, and the rescue team itself. Strike-One will need to move in and secure the area... let's see if we can find out what happened here."
Approach a Zombie

"You've got zombies near your position Strike-One...which means the Chryssalids aren't far behind. We need to find out where these things are coming from on the double."

Approach a Zombie (If no Zombies were encountered in previous missions)

"What the hell is that thing?! Take it down Strike-One! We need to find out where these things are coming from before this gets any worse."

Approach shark "I'm no fisherman, but something about that shark just doesn't look right..."
Chryssalid emerges "Well, that's new... we should probably let Dr. Vahlen know about this. I doubt one Chryssalid in a shark was enough for them to overrun this town though. Keep an eye out for anything else the Chryssalids might be nesting in."
Approach ship "That ship didn't just run aground... it looks like it was overrun. I'd say that's the likely source of our Chryssalid problem... I guess we should just be thankful it wasn't a cruise liner."
Approach ship "I'd say we found the source of our infestation, but this is worse than we could have imagined. If the Chryssalids are using that whale as some sort of "hive," who knows how many offspring they could produce."
Approach ship "Strike-One, our sensor readings are picking up a whole lot of activity from inside the hold of that ship. I think you're about to have a lot of company headed your way, but nothing you've got on-hand is going to be enough for this one. What we need is an airstrike... if you can reactivate that ship's transponder, we can have air support pinpoint your location."
Activate transponder "The ship's transponder is active and transmitting...you need to get moving Strike-One, that whole place is going up in a matter of minutes and anyone left behind is as good as dead."
Four turns remaining "Strike-One that airstrike is closing on your position. You need to get to the EVAC point before it's too late.
Two turns remaining "You're running out of time, Strike-One! The airstrike will be there any minute! Get moving!"
One turn remaining "This is it Strike-One, that airstrike is imminent. Get to the EVAC point NOW!"

Mission Debriefing[]

We've got a hint of how at least one of the aliens would transform the Earth, if given the chance. We'll have to assess future risk to the world's oceans from the Chryssalid reproductive processes the squad documented. The threat appears to be over, for now. Good work, Commander.

–Council Transmission, XCOM: Enemy Within


Panic reduction in Canada.


  • None of the Chryssalid corpses can be salvaged since they are destroyed by the airstrike, so don't expect to farm corpses for Chitin Plating or Needle Grenades.
  • It's possible to completely "deplete" the whale of Chryssalids before activating the transponder. However once the transponder is activated, enemies start spawning again. If you have a MEC with Proximity Mine Launcher, mines can be placed around the carcass and the ship's exits before triggering the transponder for some easy kills while safely retreating to the evac site.
  • Even if every single Chryssalid is killed, the airstrike will happen on its scheduled turn, killing any soldier who is not in the EVAC zone.
  • It is possible to cheat the airstrike: if a soldier is bleeding out and either everyone else is able to reach the EVAC zone before they die; or the airstrike will occur before the soldier bleeds out, do NOT try to save the soldier, they will be fine and somehow survive an airstrike.
  • Inside the large building at the start of the mission, there is a map of West Virginia on the right wall (from the beginning of the mission). It is unknown why there would be a map of West Virginia in a town in Canada.
  • It is possible to move one soldier into the EVAC zone right before the airstrike cinematic plays if close enough. That soldier will survive the airstrike.


  • The line "I guess we should just be thankful it wasn't a cruise liner" is a reference to the original X-COM sequel, Terror From the Deep that occasionally featured Terror Missions on Cruise Liners
  • The map for this mission is available to play in multiplayer