The Council consists of the group of 16 countries that created XCOM and who continue to fund and support the organization. The Council, represented by its mysterious shadowy spokesman, will make regular contact with the Commander (the player) via the Situation Room.
The Council has three primary reasons to contact XCOM:
- Propose a new Council Mission.
- Present a special request from a member nation asking that XCOM supply them with certain items in exchange for a generous reward (Credits, engineers, scientists, or a new, highly ranked soldier). This request will remain available for fulfillment for 20 days.
- Deliver the monthly report that evaluates and rewards XCOM's actions.
|“||The Council - a collective of nations that fund the XCOM project - are represented by a single spokesman. They constantly monitor the effectiveness of XCOM's response to the alien threat. Most interactions with the Council will occur in the Situation Room, although you may occasionally be contacted within Mission Control.||”|
– XCOM Database, XCOM: Enemy Unknown
|Africa||Asia||Europe||North America||South America|
At the end of each month, The Council issues a report that details the XCOM Project's successes, failures and the global panic levels. Each council member nation has a 5 bar panic level scale which increases if alien activity occurs in that country or parent continent that the player ignored or failed to contain. This scale can never go below 1 bar or go beyond 5 bars.
The Council Report is transmitted to XCOM at 0000 hours (12:00AM) on the first day of each month. Upon receiving this report, the in-game clock is paused while the transmission is decoded and the player reads the results. Once the report screen is dismissed, the clock is unpaused.
Once the panic level of a Council Nation reaches 5 bars, the player will be warned that their panic is at a critical level. Council Nations with critical panic levels for at least 14 consecutive days including the end of the month will pull out from the XCOM Project permanently upon the Council Report and all other Nations with critical panic levels will have a high chance to pull out too. Losing any Council Nation is detrimental to the XCOM Project.
Aside from the loss of potential income, losing any nation disqualifies the player from the continental bonus of the continent the nation was part of; the host continent the XCOM Project is based in being the exception, as all Council Nations in the host continent need to pull out before its continental bonus is lost. If at least eight Council Nations pull out of the XCOM Project, the game ends in a defeat.
Launching a satellite over a Council Nation will lower its panic level by two. A satellite already deployed over a Council Nation has a chance (depending on game Game difficulty) of reducing the panic level by 1 at the end of each month, if the panic level is at least 4 bars. Once a continent has full satellite coverage, abduction missions will no longer spawn for that continent. Current panic levels and satellite coverage can be monitored via the Situation Room.
Coinciding with the monthly Council report and letter grade, the Council distributes funding to XCOM; these rewards are based primarily on which Council nations have satellite coverage and have not left the Project.
If you allow eight countries to leave the XCOM project, the game will end, and you will see a cutscene; the council spokesman will call this entire endeavor ill-conceived and will terminate the project by pressing a button while Vahlen, Shen, and Bradford look at the Situation Room screen turning off, defeated. It is revealed the spokesman is under Mind Control by a Sectoid Commander, and a Thin Man places its hand on his shoulder before the scene ends.
In this timeline, XCOM is unable to defeat the alien threat, resulting in a global invasion of the planet. Subsequently, the Council chooses to terminate XCOM either before or after the organization's headquarters is attacked and destroyed by the aliens, resulting in the kidnapping of the Commander. The Council Spokesman and his fellow Councilors swear loyalty to the ADVENT administration, receiving lofty positions within the organization as a reward.
Unbeknownst to his colleagues, the Council Spokesman continues to remain loyal to XCOM's cause, becoming their Informant within the administration once XCOM returns to fight for humanity twenty years after Earth falls. Bradford comments on the Council at random during the campaign, noting that he is actually happy about the Council's disbanding, since there is no need to keep them satisfied anymore, XCOM now has significantly more freedom in how to operate.
Near the climax of the game, it was soon revealed that ADVENT Troopers are attempting to breach into The Council's hideout, with The Spokesman brandishing his handgun and fending off ADVENT Troopers before the signal abruptly cuts off.
- Evidence found in the DefaultGameCore.ini file indicates that at some point during the game's development there were 36 Council members. The countries that were cut are: Belgium, Colombia, Greece, Indonesia, Iran, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Pakistan, Portugal, Saudi Arabia, Scotland, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Turkey, Ukraine, and Venezuela.
- The 2014 Scottish independence referendum ended with Scotland remaining part of the United Kingdom. The developers had anticipated an independence win, hence why the nation appears as a separate entity to the United Kingdom in game's setting of 2015.
- Even though these countries were struck from the Council list, players will often obtain soldiers from a number of these countries.
- The Council spokesman is voiced by Jon Bailey.
- During the development of XCOM 2, the Councilman used the codename Cato in reference to Cato the Younger. This was cut in the final game except in a single line spoken by Lily Shen heard randomly aboard the Avenger.