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How to capture enemies in Phoenix Point - a guide to capturing live Pandorans for research

Welcome to Alien Dissection 101

One of the many things that Phoenix Point doesn't do a great job of explaining is the process of capturing live Pandorans. Many of the research projects available to you are locked until you have the correct Pandoran specimen contained and ready for dissection - but how do you actually go about making this happen? This guide will explain exactly how to capture enemies in Phoenix Point, along with all the prerequisites you need to sort out along the way.

Phoenix Point capturing guide:

Phoenix Point - how to capture enemies

How to capture enemies in Phoenix Point

Capturing enemies is a little easier said than done in Phoenix Point. It's something you can only do with the correct tools, and in order to get it done without undue risk to your soldiers, you'll need to take care with how you position your troops.

In essence, to capture a live Pandoran for study you need to find the correct type of Pandoran enemy that you want to capture, and paralyse them using a weapon that inflicts paralysis damage. When you complete a mission, any paralysed Pandorans will automatically be captured, and - if there's space - brought back to the nearest base for study.

Phoenix Point Neurazer

Neurazers & Paralysis Damage

The ideal weapon to use for capturing enemies in Phoenix Point is the Neurazer, which you unlock with the early-game technology Pandoran Capture and Containment. To get to this stage, you'll need to have done the following in order, because each of the following only unlocks once you've completed the previous task:

  • Defend a faction haven from attack by the Pandorans;
  • Destroy a Pandoran nest;
  • Research the technology Pandoran Colonies;
  • Research the technology Pandoran Capture and Containment;

The Neurazer is a melee weapon that deals very little damage, but which deals 8 Paralysis damage with every strike. Paralysis damage works by comparing itself to the Strength value of the victim, and reducing the victim's action points based on the difference - for example, a creature with 20 Strength that is dealt 10 Paralysis damage would only have half its action points next turn.

The important thing to know, though, is that if Paralysis damage exceeds a creature's Strength value, then that creature is totally paralysed and unable to act. Paralysis decreases by 1 point every turn, so you may need to make sure you keep it topped up with an extra strike every now and then - and you'll have to be sure you don't accidentally kill the enemy you want to capture - but the Neurazer is powerful enough that four shocks is often enough to paralyse most human-sized Pandorans.

A handy tip for capturing enemies safely:

I've found the safest way to capture an enemy Pandoran is to equip the Neurazer onto an Assault soldier with the Dash ability, which allows you to get into position without using any of your 4 action points. You can then use all 4 points to inflict 4 strikes (32 Paralysis damage) onto the creature you want to capture, which is almost always enough to completely paralyse them.

Phoenix Point - Containment

Containment structures in Bases

But paralysing creatures is only half the story. The other thing you need in order to capture an enemy in Phoenix Point is somewhere to put the thing once you've captured it.

Thankfully, this is a fairly straightforward process, because there's a single building dedicated to this exact purpose: Containment. You can build a Containment structure in any of your Phoenix bases that have the room, provided you have the resources to build it and the power to operate it.

A single Containment structure provides 50 containment slots, and each enemy type takes up a certain number of these slots. Smaller creatures may only take up one or two slots, but larger creatures may take many more slots to house. You can view the state of your captured Pandorans and your remaining containment slots from the Personnel tab in the Geoscape by clicking on Containment at the top of the Personnel screen.

Phoenix Point capturing guide

Once you've got all this sorted and the correct Pandorans captured, you'll be able to start the dissection process and finally complete those research projects to help give you an edge in the rest of your Phoenix Point campaign. But that's not all we've got to offer! If you're after more of an edge to help combat the Pandoravirus, be sure to check out the links below to all our other guides on this ambitious turn-based tactics game.

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Phoenix Point

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Ollie Toms avatar

Ollie Toms

Guides Editor

Ollie is sheriff of Guidestown at RPS, and since joining the team in 2018, he's written over 1,000 guides for the site. He loves playing dangerously competitive games and factory sims, injuring himself playing badminton, and burying his face in the warm fur of his two cats.