Please for the love of all that is holy, fix your difficulty scaling. This is nearly unplayable

Jeez. I reached 20% on the delirium meter, and all hell broke loose (After about 25-ish hours of gameplay).

Suddenly, Pandorans were attacking 5-8 havens at once.

My fabrication plant, unbeknownst to me, turned itself off, so nothing was being built. I realized it when I began to run low on weapons and ammo.

And literally every mission is now High or Extreme threat. Extreme threat is about 8 out of every 10 missions now. This game is unplayable. Its difficulty scaling is truly broken. At first, things were easy enough. I lost a soldier here and there. I didn’t reload saves to avoid it because I knew how the scaling was “supposed” to work. But around that 20% mark, I became unable to win a mission without losing at least 1 of my soldiers. And still the game scaled it up even harder with each mission.

At the absolute least, it should scale reasonably, rather than being pretty darn easy for 2 dozen missions, and then suddenly be insanely difficult for the next mission and every one after that. There was nothing subtle or gradual about this change in difficulty.

It takes my entire squad to focus fire on a single arthron to destroy it. I unfortunately had 5 assault guys before realizing how bad they are at later, more armored variants of Pandorans. I am also trying to get penetrating weapons, but the fabrication plant, as I mentioned, just decided to stop working, and those weapons are days away. Meanwhile, I am doing about 50 damage at most per person on an arthron.

Speaking of brokenly overpowered enemies, the arthrons with a grenade launcher and machine gun are insanely broken with how overpowered they are. Their return fire decimates everything, making my entire squad, level 7’s (mixed with low levels from all the dead soldiers), nearly dead after taking out a single arthron because of the return fire. Next, the grenade launcher decimates my troops even more.

BLEEDING. Bleeding is so awful. It happens way too much, and too easily. 10 damage, but 20 bleeding inflicted? Wow. But virtually every other hit from the grenade launcher or arthron machine gun inflicts bleeding on my troops, no matter how much damage it deals in the process.

Scylla are insanely easy to take down compared to a small squad of arthrons. Essentially, the only enemy in the game I am particularly afraid of is this machine gun/grenade launcher variants with tons of armor. Well, maybe the mortar chiron too, since they can repeatedly hit you from anywhere, inflicting bleeding and damaging weapons with every hit.

So with so many attacks on havens occurring at once. I cannot get the time to heal my squads (two manticores full) before 5 more havens fall. And then I run out and defend a haven, only to lose a few more soldiers. It just keeps skyrocketing in difficulty.

And the delirium percentage has gone from 20-35% in a matter of 2 days in game time because of this insanity.

I am an XCOM veteran. I played that on the highest difficulties, and would let my soldiers die instead of reloading saves. It was a challenge. But nothing XCOM throws at you is as overpowered and broken as what Phoenix Point throws at me after a few hours of play on the normal difficulty setting. And there is a difference between a fun difficult game (where you have to really think and strategize to overcome) and an un-fun difficult game (where the difficulty is contrived and seems like bad balancing and bugs rather than a clever way of upping the anty).

I am probably going to have to stop playing here and wait for this to get fixed. Some people are certainly going to like it. And some people would play this game making circles around me - people who are much better than me at this game and XCOM. If you want this kind of difficulty, play on a harder difficulty setting. Don’t tell me that easy and normal difficulties should be nearly impossible for good XCOM players to make progress and have fun.


Phoenix Point does in deed have a bad way of scalling difficulty. Same enemies, but after a while they have more HP, more armor and do insane damage. Arthrons have a very lethal gun that doesn’t allow a mistake.
You can very easily have a full health soldier that dies because an Arthron just came out from nowhere.

Usually, I advocate for mobility and stealth. But there is always a mission where things go south and you lose 1 or 2 guys.

In my last playthrough, I tried something completely different. I tried to go near-full heavy.
Put skill points in strength to have more HP and hit harder when bashing (300 damage with reckless and melee specialist). Dressed in heavy armor, I jetpack around and bash stuff. Grenades do little damage because armor blocks a lot of it. The same for mortar Chirons.
My guys do take hits but medpacks are quite inexpensive .
And then, you have missiles and grenades and war cry and rage burst with deceptor.
Heavies are much more powerfull than what people thought. In the end, I don’t shoot much, I bash.


As above. I’ve found you can counter the heavy arthrons. Keep distance, use armour break from a distance, and draw attention/fire with a heavy or two that are loaded up with medkits. It doesn’t hurt if they have the bonus health perk too!

The thing I most dislike is the vast number of missions that hit all at once, or the sequence of base attacks that can come in.

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Yes, after a while Pandorans attack everywhere and constantly. And you nearly never have enough time to arrive and save a haven.
But usually for me it happens when I am about to end the game (and I made it last longer than necessary).

Yeah, love the early game. It is hard but not impossible, but once you hit mid game, the game is like F**K you.

I mean any game that requires you to cheese it to win is not a well made game.


It’s more like it is planned to force you into a dramatic, tense, over-whelming ending that you have to do then. You can’t just keep playing. Which, I suppose, is fine from a writing point of view, but most of us like to find all the bases, have teams placed around the world, and defend all the havens, which takes way more time than the design allows for.

If someone ever creates Phoenix Point Long War, am sure we’ll all pounce on it.

No offense, but it seems to me like you are doing a few things very wrong. (And for the record I’m all for making the game on easy, really easy, which it isn’t at the moment).


  1. Delirium meter goes up if you don’t take down Panda facilities. Take them down as they appear and even mid to late game you will not have that many haven or base attacks.

  2. All classes are useful, assault especially so IMO because of dash and rapid clearance, but that does not mean that they are necessarily always useful with AR. ARSs, appearances to the contrary, are actually useful throughout the game, but that’s a different topic.

  3. Arthrons have weak arms. All you have to do is shoot them off. Shotgun at close range, sniper at long range.

  4. You don’t have to protect every haven, the priority is to take down the facilities. So go for the easier haven defense to reveal the nest, lair or Citadel and take it out, instead of trying to defend every haven.

  5. PP plays very, very differently from Firaxis XCom. In PP you have to use skills all the time. It’s all about how you combine them in each soldier and how the soldiers support each other. The move behind cover, shoot and wait approach doesn’t work. You are not supposed to shoot at Crabs with RF unless you are sure they will not RF (because they are dead, lost the arm, are dazed, or out of range)

Hope that helps!

And yes, once again, easy difficulty should be easier.

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Thanks for the info. I was aware of 1, 3, and 4. I destroyed all nests, including several citadels. They were my #1 priority. I utilized the weakpoints on all enemies, including the arthrons, and understood how it all worked. But even with them, things were this tough.

I can only confirm, if this is not quickly addressed and fixed I do not see a bright future for the game.


Sure, things can go belly up for a variety of reasons, but once you learn how to play the game every situation is more than manageable.

The way I see difficulty in PP vs Firaxis XCom is that in PP, at least normal (I haven’t played rookie) is like hard in F-Xcom. (And from what I have been reading on the forum there is not that much difference between any of the difficulty levels in PP (actually, higher difficulty levels are arguably somewhat easier because recruitment costs are lower as you are getting the recruits without weapons on heroic and without weapons or armor on legendary)).

So imagine you start playing Firaxis XCom for the first time and you start playing it on hard. That’s, on the one hand, kinda what is happening with PP and difficulty.

On the other hand, once you learn how to play the game - how to combine skills and different builds together - it becomes too easy, thus all the calls for nerfing and balancing that you see on the forum.

Both grievances - that the game is too hard and that it is too easy - are legitimate and have to be addressed.


I can confirm @VOLAND.

Ok i played on Rookie but i only lost 2 soldiers in the game till the last Mission. I Think my Points of success were:

  • stealing 2 aircrafts early in the game
  • build a Training Base with 3-4 Training Centers early in the game (later 6-7)
    -> invest in your soldiers dont waste ressouces

I also had difficult spikes but with the Training Centers you have really fast a good squad with Level 5 or higher.

And the the points @VOLAND said. You have to learn to Manage Situation. Dont Kill a siren. Just shot her head. Rifle are still strong when you Broke Armor First… shot arms of the crabmen. You dont have to Kill them. Med Kits are helpfull :wink:

I dont Think the game is too hard. But you must have a good strategy outside of the tactical Missions. That is more important then in the firaxis xcom games.

One more think:
Perhaps it would be a solution if there were more difference between the degrees of difficulty.
Not only in ressources like now. Also in max amount of enemies or enemy strength in total on the battlefield. And a Lower difficult spike. I Think that would Help much

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There are issues with difficulty for sure. At least a cap on “elite” units would be strongly recommended even if it is just Arthon with copious amounts of armor

It should be normal for the player to losse a soldier every now and then and have a few squad wipes but this should be a process of deterioratingmission status where the player takes a risk. Currently it is very easy to get bombarded into 0% chance for success in the first enemy turn (Bombard Chiron and Launcher arms are the culprits here)

Yes, the player can get around these by EXTENSIVE use of perks and exploits but the former feels very much like the later which is confirmed by the ongoing nerfing of perks

I expect a major rebalance patch to hit the game in the near future and adjust the buildup of armor and distribution of unit types and upgrades to enemy units

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There is definitely a problem there.

IMO because the effects of different skills & gear stack (for example, the damage buffs from stealth, third row skills, marked for death, etc., or another example - mobility: an optimized build can move 45 tiles with a single dash). I have posted a ticket on Canny with my explanation & suggestion here Put a hard limit on buffs & other skill effects. | Voters | Phoenix Point

Right now I’m playing without self imposing any restrictions, to see how bad the OP holes really are, but I have also played avoiding the use of OP combos and I can say that the game is still manageable, providing on the whole a reasonable challenge without going overboard. But that’s after putting 50+ hours into it. So, in a way, the combos are training wheels - once you learn how play you can also do without them.

Having said that, a balance pass is definitely needed, especially for the easier difficulties.

I do that less and less. :slight_smile:

Legend isn’t easier, the easier recruiting only allow manage more death, everything else isn’t in favor of Legend.

The auto scaling just make things weird, for example legend will tend generate more injuries and then will soften more the auto scaling, but still on a a higher base. Easy will tend allow chain perfect results until at some point the auto scaling go wild during few combats.

In my opinion the procedural generation combined with auto scaling can derail and make a combat too hard or at least randomly too hard (that is you pick a strategy not knowing fully the context and it’s not the most efficient in context).

Firstly some crabs grenade seems have a bug, one doing more than 140 damages can’t be right. Sure it’s most probably some containers not noticed close by, but then the bug is here, what’s explosive or not is too unclear.

Secondly bombard Chiron can one shot kill and this is not normal, and I didn’t even mention the risk related to 2 Chiron bombard.

I noticed there’s sometimes a problem of Chiron bombard detection and Chiron bombard start, for me it’s a problem added or increase with last patch. There’ something very RNG to detect late in first turn a Chiron bombard and have it/them bombard right after. This also need a design tuning.

Otherwise I enjoy a lot fight against them when the map has a proper cover design, not lairs for example.

Now that you mention this: I was playing on Normal but have read that on higher difficulties, the recruites coem withouth equipment and more importantly witohuth their costs :slight_smile: I can imagine that this is a huge help considering that perks can be trained for free are are needed more then the actual equipment

Good point: a simple fix might be to have the Chiron bombard enter a preparatory (steady) phase before bombing. Once that turn is over it can deploy 3 explosive shells that cause damage should not be a huge problem even if there are two of them - its just that the player needs to be on the move much more on the map :slight_smile:

You have to build all equipment, it means you have faction items later, and even later if you don’t rush relationships to 50+

The bonus is soldier death don’t lost equipment, and then replace a death is easier. But it’s no way easier to have recruits without equipment.

EDIT: Or you do constant equip switching between teams which is heavy and total boredom, and let say it clear exploit.

That’s only one aspect, the first point should be that, but it’s also a matter of detection, and a problem I started notice only after last patch or it’s a rule difference between Easy and Legend.

Imagine you don’t detect the Chiron at first turn, but it detects you and prepare, second turn can be awful.

EDIT: No the 3 shells are a RNG problem, could be rare but had a soldier instant kill on one bombard and no explosive container around. Ok the soldier had only 160HP and some armor, but still.

About bombard but Chiron goo, not sure it would be possible with bombard. I reported a bug and realized later it was perhaps not one. Had a soldier with 3 walls close around him and opening at opposite of house opening. Another two square from entrance and both ended in goo.

Later in the mission I saw a goo bombing trajectory and realized it was possible with a tense curve and a small splash. Ok but so weird an unpredictable, bad design in my point of view. No way I could predict it because the Chiron wasn’t detected.