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XCOM 2 Dark Events Guide – All Dark Events, How to Counter, Tips
Dark Events are special game-changing enhancements in XCOM 2 applied by the aliens to counter XCOM’s and resistance’s operations. These are basically schemes that are executed by the ADVENT, and can change the game experience quite drastically.
XCOM 2 Dark Events
It is important for you, as the Commander, to inform yourself of the various Dark Events in the game, and which ones you should prioritize countering first. Certain Dark Events when left ignored have the potential to end your campaign entirely if you do not prepare for them.
Dark Events Initiation
At the start of each in-game month, you will be informed of three Dark Events the enemy is preparing to execute. These will appear as cards, with each card explaining which Dark Event it is and what the effect is.
In addition to the Dark Events, you’ll also be shown how long it will take for the ADVENT to implement the Dark Event. There will also be a time given alongside all this information that estimates the next Alien Retaliation attack (the missions during which you must save civilians).
After the first couple of in-game months, you’ll notice that certain Dark Events are hidden when the screen for them pops up. You can spend Intel to reveal the Dark Event. It usually takes 20 Intel.
Since Intel is rare, earned slowly, and extremely important to make contacts to locations with revealed Blacksite Facilities, it’s advisable not to spend your Intel on revealing hidden Dark Events unless you have excess amount.
Dark events that are active and implemented are shown in red on the left side of the screen on the world map screen, just below the primary objectives. In general, Dark Events last for one month.
Countering Dark Events
Dark Events can be countered primarily through Guerilla Ops. You can initiate Guerilla Ops by scanning outside of your Resistance HQ.
You are usually offered 3 Guerilla Ops at once, each one countering one specific Dark Event. Often, one on the Guerilla Ops is easier than the rest, but it also counters the weakest Dark Event.
Choose very carefully when selecting a Guerilla Ops. Weigh in the importance of the Dark Event that it counters, the mission’s enemies, your available soldiers, and also the mission objective’s difficulty.
Remember, all Guerilla Ops have some form of turn limits, so you will need to have good strategic manage.
Note though that not all Dark Events will have guaranteed Guerilla Ops offered to you. This is because Dark Events are regional – each Dark Event has an origin at a specific region. This region is not shown to the player, but is often either an unlocked region or a locked region with a Blacksite Facility in it.
If you wish to have options to counter all possible Dark Events that have been initiated, you should unlock all regions with constructed Blacksite Facilities.
Types of Dark Events
There are numerous types of Dark Events in the game. Some are much more dangerous than others. We’ve discussed each Dark Event in the game below, and also suggested which ones you should prioritize when it comes to choosing Guerilla Ops.
ADVENT Midnight Raids
This Dark Event increases the cost of all recruits (which can be made at Resistance HQ) by 100%.
Recruits are generally very expensive as it is, and it’s not recommended that you spend Supplies on recruiting from the Resistance HQ. Instead, try to recruit through rewards from Guerilla Ops, Council VIP Missions, and scans.
For this reason, this is one of the Dark Events that should be way at the bottom of the priority list.
This Dark Event increases all Intel costs by 100%. This applies to all Black Market prices as well as Intel used to make contact to new regions around the globe. The importance of this Dark Event depends on a number of factors.
Is your AVATAR doom counter dangerously close to filling up? If so, check if you’ve made contact with a region that has a Blacksite Facility. If you haven’t, chances are you’ll want to prioritize this Dark Event.
An indirect way to make this Dark Event more manageable is to establish Comms in different regions of the world you have unlocked. Communication uplinks greatly reduce the amount of required Intel to unlock a region directly connected to the one where you have established it.
Additionally, reserve your Alien Data Caches to decrypt them for a good amount of Intel when required. These Data Caches become even more important if the Alien Cypher Dark Event is active.
ADVENT Rural Checkpoints
With this Dark Event, the aliens will stifle the movement of resistance sources. This will reduce the amount of Supplies of the next monthly supply drop by 50%. Towards mid and late stages of the campaign, this Dark Event can be altogether ignored.
There are a large number of ways to acquire Supplies, and while Supply Drops tend to give you the most, you can more than make up for it by conducting special Guerilla Ops, Council VIP Missions, and also spend Intel at the Black Market if needed.
In early game you’ll want to look out for this Dark Event. Supplies are essential in early game to get your soldiers the best gear and to construct necessary facilities. The importance and impact of this Dark Event dwindles as you progress further.
Avatar Project: Minor/Major Breakthrough
This Dark Event will instantly add one or two pips to the AVATAR doom counter, depending on whether it is a minor or major breakthrough (respectively). The importance of this Dark Event depends on how filled or empty your counter is.
If you’re near your last few pips, prioritize this Dark Event when choosing Guerilla Ops at all costs. If you’re sitting fairly comfortably, simply ignore it.
The aliens will insert a mole within the resistance with this Dark Event, which will lead to an Alien Retaliation 2 weeks earlier.
Alien Retaliation missions are one of the toughest mission, especially during early and midway parts of your campaign. It’s quite difficult to carry out these rescue missions without having a few soldiers injured.
Whether or not you want to counter this Dark Event largely depends on your comfort level with these missions. Certain tactics can make these missions fairly.
Be sure to view our Combat Strategy and Tactics Guide to learn how to approach these types of missions in the best manner.