Feedback: Overwatch, Line of Sight and Free Aim

Overwatch & Line of Sight  and Free Aim Summary

Great concepts… but apparently you didn’t fix the bugs present since the first beta release. Give us a break here.

If these features worked as intended, this could easily be GOTY for me, but they have a lot of quirks that need fixing.

Overwatch Grid

When you highlight an area with Overwatch, it should turn tiles affected by Overwatch to a different colour (yellow, maybe?). This way, we can easily understand which tiles the OVerwatch affects.

At present when setting OW, I end up looking at it from at least three angles to make sure the cone is pointing where I want it.

Overwatch Accuracy

OW might have reduced accuracy for balance purposes. However, OW won’t fire unless it has at least a 33%(?) chance of hitting the target. This will prevent bugs where you waste your overwatch on someone’s elbow poking through a crack in a wall.


When we Free Aim towards the cover we are using, we should free aim from an Out of Cover position. When we are setting Overwatch in the direction of cover we are using, it should also be from an Out of Cover position.

There are hundreds if not thousands of bug reports of LoS not working. You mouse over to a square, it says you have LoS on an enemy from there. You move there… no Line of Sight on them, so even the game is confused, and thought you’d have it working the way I described.

Free Aim Positions

How about adding a Crouch/Stand button, while in Free Aim? So, you can decide whether to crouch or stand while taking your shot.

Crouching might even give you a slight accuracy bonus, as it did in UFO Defence and most games, at the expense of not being able to see over low cover so easily.


If you take cover next to doors, they should stay open, unless you use a context-sensitive Open/Close Door ability which appears when adjacent to doors (like UFO Defence, you have power over doors!). This way, if you want to shoot enemies who approach the door way, you can.

If an enemy opens a door, and you can see him with Overwatch, you should immediately shoot him before he can move or shoot you, as one would expect to happen.

That first story mission, where you are getting the documents from the mansion… that was no fun to play at all, due to how doorways work in PP. I tried to defend rooms, but doors would keep closing, so the aliens just walked up, opened the doors, and blasted my hapless soldiers.

Enemy Icons

Icons above the Action Bar will turn red, if that enemy is in the selection character’s LoS. This should work the same way for the icons above an enemy’s head in the grid.

So, when you select a character, you can immediately look at an enemy on the map and tell if he’s in your LoS. If his icon is red, you can shoot that one. That’s much easier than having to click on all the aliens’ icons above the Action Bar, and work out which one is which.

High Ground

This is covered by Cover, high above this section. But we still need to point out that high cove is SPECIALLY messed up. You might need to add a leaning over the rail animation/position, so that high ground is no longer annoying and useless, due to what becomes an annoying LoS mechanic.


closed maybe? Oh you mean that in enemy and next turn?

Overall nice ideas and you have my vote. :smiley:

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Good points, hopefully someone out there takes them seriously for the next patch

That’s right. If you close them, they would stay closed, though. I often played with doors in Xenonauts, for tactical purposes.

Thanks, Yokes! I’d post more, but the forum is putting annoying limits on how much I can post.

It’s great news that they are focusing on patching the game. Hopefully, they do pay attention to feedback like this, and the game discards the negative press.

I agree with all the points, but for me the most annoying is shooting from high ground, because if my soldier is behind cover he has no LOS. Hig ground is supposed to be advantageous…


Added a section just for that, since I agree. Not be able to crouch makes it hard to properly use the roof as cover.

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Where do I sign? … Good points - all valid !


Glad to have you with us. I guess we should all Like the opening post, so that Devs can instantly see that it is popular.

Overwatch will receive some changes. The biggest issue right now is that it is perception based and this is not communicated anywhere.

The Free Aim out of cover issue was fixed for 2 backer builds and then it regressed and its priority was lowered for release. Right now the QA team is focusing on pushing UX and critical fixes for the first patches but I am not sure if we’ll be able to get this one through as the fix requires a considerable amount of work. Will try to raise its priority.

Not that many actually. It is a problem that drives me crazy but sadly not a lot of people notice it. Similar to other problems that were fixed for backer builds, this regressed and was put on a lower priority for the release. Sadly the programmers have only so much time to fix bugs and the focus was on the most critical issues. So you can imagine if so many annoying things got in, what state the game was in before release. Thankfully a lot of them got addressed but more need to be fixed for the future releases.

Otherwise, agree with most other points and have written down your feedback and will show it to the team.


I don’t think the issues I mentioned were perception-based, were they? I could see the enemy’s character models, they were often at close range, definitely within the perception ranges of my characters. If that is the issue, it’d have to be that cover is messing with the perception.

It seems like OW doesn’t handle cover well, same as Free Aim, so sometimes you can’t shoot an enemy with OW even if they can shoot you. It could also be a LoS bug, possibly.

My sympathies, crunch time is a terrible thing.

Honestly, I’ve brought up a lot of issues besides Overwatch and LoS, even if they’re primary ones. The important thing is that they get fixed.

It’s annoying that the game released in this state, as the news articles are already written. Then again, No Man’s Sky got a second bout of articles, after making a comeback, so maybe that’ll happen for Phoenix Point.

Sounds pretty hectic. A lack of bug reports is a problem, but as far as I’ve seen the forum and reddit are awash with those concerns. I encounter LoS issues pretty regularly, namely with roofs and low cover.

Great. Thanks for taking the time to stop by and check our feedback.

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I too was getting a little annoyed with the overwatch when I first played, but then I noticed that the over watch has three different kinds of red in it.
There is the bright lines that mark the cone edges, then inside there will be two very similar tones.
the brighter tone is the area that the unit will actually fire if an enemy enters and the darker tone (shadows) are areas that LOS is blocked.

I noticed that. But it’s still incredibly hard to read. I figure you need to paint a yellow brick road on the affected tiles underneath it.

Any tile that is painted yellow, a human sized target is going to get hit when he enters, and hopefully goes to sleep more permanently than Dorothy.

This would also make it far easier to tell when there are OW bugs.

Yer, I think an easy fix would be to take the red out of the blocked areas completely, to give it more contrast, cause it took me a couple of hours and some really annoying deaths till I spotted it for the first time.
Now that I know how it works, I tend to overwatch corners rather than charge on around them.

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When I try to do that, the enemies keep walking up to the corners, and shooting me. It’s pretty random, as far as I can tell.

Have you tried making the overwatch area smaller or wider?
ie have the OW read cone just cover exactly where the enemy has to move through, ie some times I have set up OW to cover a large portion of the map, but this often leads to no OW fire.

Also be warry of the begining of the cone as I have had enemies walk between the gap, not triggering the OW also.

So, setting OW further away means you ignore enemies who are close up? That’d be great to know, if so, as the cone gives 0 indication of that, and the tutorial and such are worthless and didn’t explain those details.

I think I’ll just wait a year until the game is fixed and modded. Xenonauts 2 may come out before then.

I think what TehRoach was saying is that if you extend OW across the map the near side of the cone seems to get pulled away from your soldier. If the cone is also covering a small end area this makes the effect even more visible. An enemy can cross through your near soldier OW cone because it doesn’t “notice” the enemy in time. Basically, your soldier is so focused on a far away target, they ignore what is right in front of them.

I don’t know if this is intended behavior or not.

The yellow tiles would solve this issue, as we could finally understand what the flip is going on, whether intentional or bug.

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For all I know they use the same system for OW as they do for free aim and shooting. This means they don’t touch the tile system at all and to be able to “paint” the tiles would add more complexity compared to using the same system in a slightly different way.

You could still do it. Place hitboxes the size of a human character in those tiles. Since the enemies have to move across the tiles in a predictable pattern, into the centre of each tile, they will run into your OW cone if it highlighted the tile below it.

Now, if the enemies are smaller than a human, and there is low cover, that might not be the case. But I think that’s still pretty intuitive.