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Vanilla Rebalanced
Vanilla Rebalanced aims to improve the balance of the original game without adding any new stuff. Air combat is more difficult, research requires interrogations, infantry weapons have clear roles etc., ultimately resulting in a more challenging game for experienced players without making things difficult for new players. For discussion, see the forum thread.

Mod Information

MediaFire download

GitHub page


Vanilla XCOM is pretty great, but with experience it soon becomes clear that some things just aren't worth using, and others are too amazing to not go for right away unless you want to deliberately handicap yourself. This mod attempts to solve these issues. Briefly, the most important stuff:

Manufacturing no longer yields infinite money, as this broke geoscape balance.

Research requires interrogating aliens, so you can't just skip to blaster launchers and psionics.

UFOs all have the same long range now, so interceptions are tense rather than risk-free. 

Small tweaks to infantry equipment.


In more detail:


Motion scanners and medi kits are now bought instead of being researched and manufactured. Laser weapons require Elerium to produce. Plasma ditto.

As such, there are no longer any items that produce a net profit (unless you don't mind indirectly selling Elerium) until the very end game with fusion ball launchers. The ability to get exponentially more money from your workshops completely broke the game, so this had to go. Alloys are closest to breaking even, if your Engineers have nothing else to do.

Tanks and hovertanks can now be rebuilt if the wreck is recovered, for a fraction of the original cost. Makes them a reasonable option now that your budget is a concern.


Air game:

All UFOs now have the same range. In vanilla, range was the most important stat as it allowed you to fight without any fear of taking damage. Now a higher range stat just means spending less time taking damage, just like with the other stats. Also makes interceptions more tense; even if you survive, each bit of damage suffered means more time in repairs...

Craft armaments are more expensive. Cannon rounds are cheap, and lasers still get infinite free ammo, but with all other weapons you have to take your budget into account when deciding if to use them. Including plasma, which now uses ammo: Plasma Beam Rounds(x10).

Lightning is now researched before Firestorm. The Lightning is still pretty lame - particularly the Battlescape aspect is unchanged, as I decided to leave that to other mods since it requires more extensive changes than just the rulesets. It's got a bit more fuel and a bit more speed, allowing it to catch up to any non-terror UFO. The Firestorm and Avenger swapped speeds, leaving the Firestorm a lategame role as the only craft capable of catching Battleships, while the Avenger is still overall best.



Auto shot is unchanged, as the UfoExtender range-based accuracy option handles that well enough on its own. Use according to taste.

Heavy/Auto cannons now have arcing shots, giving them a distinct role of indirect fire. Blanket an area in explosions with Auto Cannon spam from behind a building! Heavy is very slightly buffed (aimed shot especially), Auto very slightly nerfed; range-based accuracy makes or breaks this choice already.

Heavy Laser got an accuracy buff. Pretty good as a high-powered sniping weapon. Tank/Laser cannon got an even bigger buff, continuing the trend of later lasers being bigger, better, albeit more cumbersome.

Tank/Cannon ammo is now HE. Safer than the rocket tank, but useful without having to get direct hits (which is just as hard as in vanilla with the poor inbuilt accuracy of tanks).

Pistols no longer have auto shot, but the laser and plasma pistol got their TU usage reduced to that of the conventional pistol, making them pretty spammable.



Research is now to a large extent gated behind interrogations. Soldiers unlock weapons for research, Engineers unlock UFO components, with Navigators being a second requirement for UFO Navigation and the three XCOM crafts. And Medics for Small Launchers. Later alien species' unlock higher tiers, so interrogating a Sectoid Engineer isn't as useful as interrogating a Muton ditto.

On top of this, some initial research - Alien Artifacts and Alien Biology - is required before you can even begin building a containment facility, and an autopsy must be done on a species before it can be interrogated. These two flavor-text-only research topics also serve to explain how the new research system works (for any player who didn't already read all this).

Engineers and Navigators now unlock research on UFOs and alien missions respectively instead of giving one random choice of those for free, as the functionality for that ("getOneFree") caused a bug where autopsies could be skipped. Medics also had to get that functionality removed, but sadly couldn't get a replacement in functionality. Terrorist aliens are still useless.

Elerium remains researchable on its own, being a simple element rather than a complex alloy or piece of equipment. Gives the player a second track of research, as it unlocks Alien Weapons, which is Laser Weapons renamed. It too gets some flavor text, explaining the elerium requirement and accuracy changes to new players.

Psi amps and blaster launchers were crazy OP and as such now require interrogating an Ethereal Commander. If you can manage that, the game might as well tell you to hurry up and go and fight the final boss already!

However, Psi labs are still researched as normal, so you can still winnow out your troops or decide on who to bring on Ethereal missions from relatively early in the game. Hyperwave Decoder also requires psi to be researched now.





That's about it.


I'm still undecided on whether the aliens themselves should be changed - add snakeman medics, make sectoids smarter but weaker, bravery not always at 80 so psi panic isn't useless, that sort of thing. For now they're unchanged. If anyone has any criticism, I'm all ears.

Install Instructions

You can just extract the .zip into the same folder your OpenXCOM folder is and it should automatically put the ruleset in the right folder - failing that, put "Vanilla Rebalanced.rul" in your OpenXcom/data/Ruleset folder.

 Then enable the mod from the in-game Options->Mods menu.



Please leave comments in the forum thread.


License Information

Feel free to modify the ruleset to your liking; I'd rather you didn't claim credit for it, but it's no big deal.



   Vanilla 02/22/2017 1.0a 2017_02_22_1211 <p>New metadata text.</p> 0 6.33 KB

Filename: Vanilla
Uploaded: 02/22/2017
File Size: 6.33 KB

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Updated: 8 months ago
Author: Align
Added: March 21, 2015 12:48 PM

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