Strategy Guide - Guide for Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri: Alien Crossfire

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Alpha Centauri: Alien Crossfire
FAQ written by: whiz kid
Version 2.0    Last update: 6/10/2000
Contact address: [email protected]

This FAQ Copyright 2000 whiz kid

So, you would like to post/link to this FAQ on your site? Contact me first. 
I'll say yes 99% of the time. Just be sure to contact me first. The most 
recent version of this FAQ can always be found at GameFAQs.

Version History:

6/5/2000 (Version 1.0)
-Well, this is my first shot at writing a FAQ, so I really could use some 
"constructive criticism". Please note all the * COMING SOON *'s. Don't worry, 
most of them will be up by the next update. If there is something you MUST 
know, please let me know and I'll try to get it up as soon as possible.

6/10/2000 (Version 2.0)
-A LOT of new stuff added. I have decided to add a "New weapons/armor" 
section, but not yet. So right now, the only things left to be added are the 
"Faction Creator" and the "New weapons/armor". E-mail me and tell me what you 
think so far!


1.	The story
2. The new factions
  2a. The new factions: Human
  2b. The new factions: Alien
3. Planet's new features
  3a. The new native life
  3b. The new landmarks 
4. The new Technology Advances
  4a. The "Energy Grid"
  4b. The new technologies
  4c. The new secret projects 
  4d. The new base facilities 
  4e. The new special abilities
  4f. The new weapons/armor * COMING SOON *
  4g. The new way to win
5. New strategies 
6. The faction creator * COMING SOON *
7. FAQ's 
8. Credits

1.	The story

It has been years since humans have landed on Planet. An uneasy truce has 
occurred among factions. But one day, two alien races emerge battling above 
Planet's atmosphere. At the same time, the factions on Planet split into five 
new factions, each with new goals and ideals. A new battle is starting!


2a.  The new factions: Human

Cybernetic Consciousness

Leader: Prime Function Aki Zeta-5
Agenda: Impose order through the purity of technology
Starting tech: Applied physics, Information Networks

+2 GROWTH, +2 EFFICIENCY, Impunity to the penalties of the CYBERNETIC social 
choice, Steals technology when capturing a base

Cannot make the Fundamentalist social choice
Data Angels

Leader: Datajack Sinder Roze
Agenda: Subvert Planet's governments through espionage
Starting Tech: Information Networks, Planetary Networks

+2 PROBE, Gains any technology 3 other factions who the Angels have 
infiltration with, -25% Probe Team action costs, Free COVERT OPS CENTER in 
every base with the discovery of Pre-Sentient Algorithms

Cannot make the POWER social choice
Nautilus Pirates

Leader: Capt. Ulrik Svensgaard
Agenda: Domination of Planet's oceans
Starting Tech: Doctrine: Mobility, Doctrine: Flexibility

Free NAVAL YARD at every base with the discovery of Doctrine: Initiative, 
Free prototypes of sea colony pods and sea formers, can build enhancements on 
ocean and ocean trench squares with the discovery of Advanced Ecological 
Engineering, Free MARINE DETACHMENT ability on all naval combat units with 
the discovery of Adaptive Doctrine, extra minerals from ocean shelf squares

Free Drones

Leader: Foreman Domai
Agenda: Free Planet's oppressed work force
Starting Tech: Industrial Base

+2 INDUSTRY, revolting bases may join the drones, -1 DRONES at every base

Cannot make the GREEN economic choice
Cult of Planet

Leader: Prophet Cha Dawn
Agenda: Return Planet to its native state
Starting Tech: Centauri Ecology, Social Psych

+2 PLANET, Free BROOD PIT at every base with the discovery of Centauri 
Genetics, Mind Worms do double police duty

Cannot make the WEALTH social choice

2b. The new factions: Alien
(NOTE: All Alien factions use the "Energy Grid". See section 4a)

Manifold Usurpers

Leader: Conqueror Judaa Marr
Agenda: Exploit the powers of the Sixth Manifold
Starting Tech: Progenitor Psych, Field Modulation, Applied Physics

+1 GROWTH, +1 MORALE, +25% offensive combat, lands with Mk1 Battle Ogre and 
an extra colony pod, all prototyped units have a 2-square sighting radius, 
can direct research, lands with a physical scan of Planet's surface

Manifold Caretakers

Leader: Guardian Lular H'minee
Agenda: Preserve the sanctity of the Sixth Manifold
Starting Tech: Progenitor Psych, Field Modulation, Centauri Ecology

+1 PLANET, +25% Defensive combat, free RECYCLING TANKS at every base, lands 
with Mk1 Battle Ogre and an extra colony pod, all prototyped units have a 2-
square sighting radius, can direct research, lands with a physical scan of 
Planet's surface


3a. The new native life

When the two Progenitor races crashed onto Planet, they caused several new 
life forms to pop up. And believe me, they aren't nice.


Fungal towers are composed of a jumble of mind worms, fungus, and other life 
forms. They are capable of blocking movement near them, they have a zone of 
control like all regular units do, they get a +50% defense bonus when 
attacked, and they tend to generate fungus in empty squares near them.


Sea lurks hand out in Planet's oceans. They attack any nearby ships or 
transports, and they have a nasty habit of attacking your ocean or coastal 


In my opinion, these are the most annoying of all the new life forms. They 
don't really attack, they just hang around near your bases and destroy 
improvements and damage units with "corrosive spores" which act exactly like 
artillery shells. It's best to destroy these as soon as you spot them, even 
if it means chasing them down. 

3b. The new landmarks

There are two new landmarks to be aware of.


This grants a +1 PLANET bonus to any human faction who has it in its 
territorial borders, and +1 PLANET and +1 RESEARCH to any Progenitor faction 
that has it in its territory.


Hidden in the Unity wreckage are:
A mining laser. (Attack: 2, Defense: 1)
A Unity Scout Chopper.
A comm beacon. (Shows the starting locations of each faction at Planetfall)

4a. The "Energy Grid"

The two alien races earn their money in a different way. They DO NOT engage 
in commerce with humans. Instead, all of their bases are connected into an 
"Energy Grid". For every 2 base facilities built in a base, that base earns 1 
energy credit per turn, rounded up. For every secret project in that base, 5 
energy credits are added per turn in that base.
However, nerve stapling will cause unrest among citizens and SHUT DOWN the 
energy grid for a few turns, so it's always best to avoid nerve stapling 
whenever possible.
4b. The new technologies 

-Allows construction of PULSE 3 ARMOR, allows units to use the MARINE 
DETACHMENT special ability

-Allows construction of the base facility THERMOCLINE TRANSDUCER, allows 
commencement of the secret project, THE PLANETARY ENERGY GRID

-Allows construction on the weapon RESONANCE LASER, allows units to have the 
special ability SPORIFIC GAS PODS, and allows the construction of the unit 

-Allows construction of the TECTONIC PAYLOAD and FUNGAL PAYLOAD missile 

-Allows construction of the base facility AQUAFARM, allows human factions to 
communicate with Progenitor factions

-Allows commencement of the secret project, THE MANIFOLD HARMONICS

-Allows construction of the weapon RESONANCE BOLT, allows construction of the 

-Allows construction of the weapon STRING DISRUPTOR

4c. The new secret projects

SECRET PROJECT (Prequisite technology)

CLOUDBASE ACADEMY (Mind/Machine Interface)
-Counts as an AEROSPACE COMPLEX in every base

MANIFOLD HARMONICS (Secret of the Manifolds)
-Increases resource production in fungus and monolith squares according to 
your PLANET rating:

NETHACK TERMINUS (Self-aware Machines)
-All probe teams get +1 MORALE, -25% cost for all probe team actions, any 
probe team built with a fusion reactor or higher counts as having the 

PLANETARY ENERGY GRID (Adaptive Resonance)
-Counts as an ENERGY BANK in every base, any bases set to STOCKPILE ENERGY 
get 25% more returns

4d. The new base facilities 

BASE FACILITY (Prequisite technology)

AQUAFARM (Progenitor Psych)
-All kelp farms managed by a base get +1 NUTRIENTS

BROOD PIT (Centauri Genetics)
-All native life forms bred here get a +1 LIFECYCLE bonus, -25% costs of 
breeding alien life, all negative morale effects are canceled in the base 
square, base gets a +2 POLICE bonus

COVERT OPS CENTER (Pre-Sentient Algorithms)
-All probe teams built here get a +2 MORALE BONUS, base gets a +2 PROBE bonus

-Gives all units within 2 squares of the base a 50% defense against 
conventional missiles, if base has no orbital defense pods it has a 50% 
chance of shooting down a non-conventional missile (Planet Buster, tectonic, 
or fungal), cumulative with any overlapping radii from other bases

-Gives the base a 3 square sighting radius, gives base same properties as a 
sensor array

SUBSPACE TRUNKLINE (Planetary Economics)
-All mining platforms controlled by a base generate +1 MINERALS

SUBSPACE GENERATOR (Singularity Mechanics)
-Used to win a Progenitor Victory (See section 4g)

-All tidal harnesses controlled by a base generate +1 ENERGY
4e. The new special abilities 

SPECIAL ABILITY (Prequsite technology)

-Halves probe team failure rate, can attempt missions on bases and units 
defended by the Hunter-Seeker Algorithm or by social choices.

-Nullifies any combat percentage modifiers (COMM JAMMER, HYPNOTIC TRANCE, 

FUEL NANOCELLS (Matter Compression)
-Increases an air unit's fuel capacity by 2

MARINE DETACHMENT (Adaptive Doctrine)
-Naval units can capture enemy naval units when they are _SEVERELY_ damaged

SPORIFIC GAS PODS (Bioadaptive resonance)
-Lowers enemy's morale by 2

4f. The new weapons/armor * COMING SOON *
4g. The new way to win


Called the Progenitor victory, this occurs when you contact your homeworld 
for reinforcements. To attain this, you must build a SUBSPACE GENERATOR in 
six different bases, EACH SIZE TEN OR HIGHER. When this is accomplished, you 
have won the Progenitor Victory! Congratulations! 

5. The new strategies

Here are some strategies to use with each of the seven new factions. Each 
faction will be covered in this way:

FACTION NAME (Rating out of ten)



   This faction excels at research and efficiency. First, research. 
Discovering new technologies is always an advantage to a faction, no matter 
who you're playing as. New techs mean new units, armor, and weapons. Direct 
your energy into research and you can quickly pull ahead of the other 
factions. An enemy faction can't fight back if it doesn't have the right 
units. 10 missile infantry units can fall to just one tachyon infantry unit. 
Now, for efficiency. Efficiency allows your empire to grow larger without 
bases sacrificing energy as your get farther and farther away from HQ. This 
allows you to have a relatively large territory, giving you more research 
capacity, more energy, and if it comes down to it, more hiding places in an 
attack. This society is also immune to the negative effects of the CYBERNETIC 
social choice. This is very good, as it gives you several tactical 
advantages, boosting your research even further, and not suffering any 
penalty. Finally, you can steal a technology that you don't have and another 
faction does when you conquer their base. Of course, since you are already so 
far ahead in research, this shouldn't happen very often.
   Really, the only glaring weakness of this faction is it's –1 GROWTH. This 
can be easily overcome, however, by building Childrens' Creches and 
Recreations Commons in your bases, which you would be building anyway for 
their other benefits.
   As a general strategy, use your researching abilities to win the game. 
Research new techs to pull ahead of the other factions in weaponry. Also, 
discovering new techs first can get you secret projects first, another major 
benefit. Once you have the more advanced weaponry, you can easily come in and 
crush the other factions.


   The Pirates have a LOT of advantages; however, all of them in one way or 
another pertain to the ocean. First, they get a free NAVAL YARD in their 
bases when they discover Doctrine: Initiative. These handy structures aid in 
the handling of naval units. Next, they can build enhancements on ocean and 
ocean trench squares with the discovery of Advanced Ecological Engineering. 
This can be a BIG plus, as you have more space in which to gather resources. 
Along the same lines, they also get extra minerals on ocean shelf squares!!! 
(Not many factions get mineral bonuses) Next, the Pirates do not have to pay 
for the prototyping of Sea Colony Pods and Sea Formers. Finally, all naval 
combat units they build after discovering Adaptive Doctrine gets a free 
MARINE DETACHMENT special ability, which is useful in conquering other 
factions and increasing your naval power.
   Hmmm... –1 EFFICIENCY AND –1 GROWTH. Not too bad. As in the case with the 
Cybernetic Consciousness, build Childrens' Creches and Recreation Commons to 
solve the GROWTH problems, and as for the EFFICIENCY, a right combination of 
social choices can balance the problem. One minor problem, is that if you 
have noticed, all the free special abilities and complexes requires 
discovering a technology beforehand, some of which are pretty advanced. Of 
course, trading techs with other factions can solve this.
   One BIG advantage the Pirates have is the ability to quickly claim the 
oceans before other factions can. If you build a strong ocean empire, you can 
be almost unstoppable. Another advantage is forming a "blockade". Let's say 
you have a Pact of Brotherhood with the Free Drones, who are at war with the 
Data Angels. Take your ships and surround the continent where the Data Angels 
are. If you have the MARINE DETACHMENT ability, you can capture their ships. 
If not, just sink them. Either way, you are preventing your enemy from moving 
out troops/supplies, and helping your friend, which makes other faction 
leaders think better of you.


   Ah, tons of advantages! So why didn't they get a higher rating? You'll see 
in a moment. But first, the advantages. To start with, you land with a 
physical map of planet. That's a big advantage, because you can see the 
landscape around you without sending out scouts. You also land with one Mk1 
Battle Ogre and an extra colony pod. Very helpful when just starting your 
colony. Use the Mk1 to protect your base until you get a defensive garrison 
set up, then use it to explore. +1 PLANET. That's good, being able to capture 
mind worms and place them in your control. Free RECYCLING TANKS at every base 
is another big plus, just because you get one more of every nutrient and 
mineral at your bases. A +25% Defensive combat bonus is very helpful early in 
the game, when your units are still developing and you find yourself 
surrounded by the enemy. If you attack, you get +25% defense, which can give 
you the edge. Next, all prototyped units you develop have a 2-square "sight 
radius" which means that they can see through fog in 2 squares from all 
sides. Use these units to explore, since prototyped units should also have a 
higher morale. Finally, and maybe not so importantly, they can direct their 
research. Of course, any faction can do this by you simply turning off the 
"Blind Research" option on the rules screen.
   One major disadvantage, at least in my opinion, is their use of the energy 
grid instead of commerce. You can only get energy by building base facilities 
and secret projects. And you need energy to build facilities and secret 
projects, which gives you a very slow start.
   How do you use your advantages to help you? Use the physical map and the 
Mk1 to explore early on to find out your surroundings. If you find that you 
are near another faction, guard your borders, because you might have a 
difficult time establishing your colony quickly, even with the extra colony 
pod. However, once you are up and running, start producing battle units and 
mobilize your forces. With the 25% defensive bonus, you should be able to 
take down another faction pretty quickly if you act fast enough.


   Basically, the Userpers have the same advantages as the Caretakers. Some 
differences: They get a 25% offensive combat bonus instead of the 25% 
defensive bonus, they do not have a +1 PLANET rating, but they do have a +1 
GROWTH and +1 MORALE rating. For the offensive bonus, you can use this power 
to overwhelm your next door neighbors early in the game. Just remember that 
it's useless against Mind Worms, since you fight them with PSI combat, which 
uses your unit's morale, instead of regular weapon combat. The +1 GROWTH and 
MORALE ratings are especially useful early in the game. GROWTH will get your 
bases up and running quicker, and MORALE will help you fight off those pesky 
Mind Worm boils you tend to see all the time.
   Also using the Energy Grid, this faction has a –1 PLANET rating. Building 
Tree Farms, the Temple of Planet, or choosing the GREEN social choice can 
eliminate this problem.
   This faction leans toward a more aggressive standpoint. The +1 GROWTH 
rating will get you started early in the game. Also, the +1 MORALE will help 
in early battles with those Mind Worms. If you really want to go on the 
offensive, move in to attack the closest faction (of course, AFTER you have 
developed a good army and have a good defending force back home). Use the 25% 
offensive bonus to gain the edge, along with the +1 MORALE. The +1 GROWTH 
will build your bases up, increasing mineral production and speeding up the 
production of units. After you are well into the game, however, these 
advantages start to diminish as other factions catch up on building units, 
increasing morale, and so on.


   The Data Angels are really into espionage, and their advantages show it. 
First, they get a +2 PROBE rating, which really boosts your Probe Team 
success rate.  Second, all actions performed by their Probe Teams get 25% 
hacked off the overall cost. That's very good early in the game, when energy 
reserves are low. Next, along with the discovery of Pre-Sentient Algorithms, 
they get a free COVERT OPS CENTER in every base. These are very handy in 
training Probe Teams and increasing their success rate even further. Finally, 
when three factions that you have infiltration with possess a tech that you 
don't have, you automatically discover it! (Infiltrate the Consciousness, 
because they're big on research)
    The only weakness the Data Angels have is the –1 POLICE. The right social 
choices can balance the problem. A temporary solution is to build the 
Paradise Dome or the Human Genome Secret Project, which will increase talents 
at your base, offsetting drone riots. Another temporary solution is to just 
keep all units produced at that base in the base. However, some more 
permanent solutions include building a recreation commons (which reduces 
drones by two), and completing the ASCETIC VIRTUES secret project, which will 
raise your police rating by 1, permanently ending your police problem.
   Obviously, the best route to take when you play as the Data Angels is 
using probe teams. A Probe Team unit built in a base with a COVERT OPS CENTER 
will have a VERY good starting morale. First, you get the +2 PROBE, which 
increases morale and thereby increasing success rate. The COVERT OPS CENTER 
raises that even more. Then you get the –25% probe team cost thrown in, and 
your probe teams are nearly unstoppable! Place them near your borders to 
capture enemy units when they enter your territory. Don't worry about 
support, because Probe Teams don't need support. Also, focus your energies on 
making energy credits, because almost all Probe Team actions cost something. 
Try building the Network Backbone secret project to increase your energy 
output. Of course, you should still have an army to back yourself up in case 
things get ugly. Make sure to get the Hunter-Seeker Algorithm secret project 
before another faction does, because it renders the ENTIRE faction immune to 
probe team actions.


   The Free Drones get a +2 INDUSTRY bonus, which lowers the cost of units by 
20%! Since they are a group of err... Free Drones... they have one less drone 
at each base. Finally, any revolting bases (bases with Drone Riots) tend to 
join the Free Drones. How can you take advantage of this? Use probe teams to 
start drone riots at enemy bases, and you get new bases with little effort!
   The Free Drones get a –2 RESEARCH penalty. This can be a problem. Take the 
opportunity to make friends with other factions (at least early in the game) 
and trade technologies. If you have no techs to trade, offer to buy them from 
the other factions, since they usually do not charge a lot for them. Also, 
build the Biology Lab, Fusion Lab, Nanohospital, Network Node, Quantum Lab, 
and Research Hospital facilites in your bases to increase research output. 
Also, try and build the Theory of Everything secret project.
   I think the biggest plus is the way rioting bases tend to join the Drones. 
As mentioned eariler, use Probe Teams to inspire Drone Riots at the bases. 
(Sign a Pact of Brotherhood with the Data Angels for best results) You can 
use the +2 INDUSTRY to build units faster. Remember that even if a base 
having drone riots does not join you, their defenses are weaker. Use your 
industry advantage to create a relatively large army and move in to take the 


   The Cult gets a +2 PLANET rating, which gives them the power to enslave 
Mind Worms (about a 50% chance). They also get a free BROOD PIT at every base 
when they discover Centauri Genetics. Use this to enhance the breeding of 
Mind Worms. Finally, any Mind Worms placed in the base do double police duty, 
which can help in times of crisis
   A –1 INDUSTRY rating increases unit production by 10%, and that can slow 
down your operations in times of war, and it may cost you greatly. To prevent 
this, try building a Nessus Mining Station, which gives all bases with an 
Aerospace Complex +1 minerals. Also try building the Bulk Matter Transmitter 
secret project, which gives all bases +2 minerals.  You might also try the 
Planned Economics social choice or the Wealth social choice, which boosts 
your INDUSTRY rating. The –1 ECONOMY rating only hurts your Headquarters, 
however. If you wish to eliminate this problem, the _BEST_ solution is 
building the Merchant Exchange at your HQ base. Try making the WEALTH or the 
even better EUDIAMONIC social choices to up your economy. Keep in mind that 
this will lower MORALE by two, reducing the efficiency of your mind worms.  
NEVER choose the FREE MARKET social choice, because while you get +2 ECONOMY, 
you get –3 PLANET and –5 POLICE! Or, you can just forget about it and worry 
about the Cybernetic Consciousness breathing down your neck. 
   As a general rule, you will find yourself using Mind Worms to do a lot of 
your fighting. Just remember that MORALE, not weapon strength, determines the 
outcome of a battle with a Mind Worm. The BROOD PITS will help boost MORALE, 
as well as a bioenhancement center, a biology lab, centauri preserve, and the 
Temple of Planet. Just remember, no matter what faction your playing as, 
ALWAYS have a backup army just in case things get hairy. Preferably a backup 
army with big guns. Third, use your relationship with Planet to help develop 
your resources. Gather nutrients from the fungus squares. Build the 
Xenoempathy Dome secret project to further increase benefits from fungus 
squares. Now you can use fungus squares as if they were roads! And finally, 
remember that you can capture Mind Worms with your +2 PLANET rating, as long 
as you attack them first. (You have a fifty percent chance of success.)


6. The faction creator * COMING SOON *



Well, obviously I don't have any questions yet, but when I do, you can bet 
there will be a FAQ section here.


8. Credits

Me- For this FAQ
Firaxis Games- For making this cool game.
All other FAQ writers out there- For giving me the motivation to write this.


This concludes this FAQ. You can stop reading now.


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