XCOM: Enemy Unknown

XCOM: Enemy Unknown Achievements

No Looking Back

Beat the game in Ironman mode on Classic or Impossible difficulty.   

Although you have the option of playing on either Classic or Impossible difficulty it will be much easier on Classic. Ironman mode means you have only one save file that autosaves after both you and the aliens have had your turn. Although the enemies will be challenging, the main difficulty you will face with this mode is the possibility of making a mistake or wrong decision and being decimated within a few turns, unable to reload a save allowing you to correct this.

You will need to have a solid understanding on how the game plays and what strategies work in each situation. It is highly recommended you attempt a play through on Classic difficulty prior to starting Ironman Mode, as trying to go from Easy or Normal to Classic/Ironman Mode can be overwhelming.

See 'Our Finest Hour' for more on how the difficulties differ.

For a detailed walkthrough/strategy guide on beating Classic/Ironman Mode refer to the Classic/Ironman Mode Walkthrough

You can also find additional gameplay and Ironman mode tips HERE

TIP: (Credit to asdfen) To avoid the ‘one save’ rule you can sign out of your profile before the enemy finishes their turn and rollback a single turn.

Rate this achievementAverage Rating (Based on 2 votes)
User Comments
Comment #1 by PhoenixTemplar
Tuesday, July 31, 2012 @ 08:18:52 PM

Finally, an achievement worth earning! This one will be a pain in the ass, but a bunch of fun at the same time.

Comment #2 by Sarcastro
Tuesday, July 31, 2012 @ 08:20:39 PM

I'm immediately scared of this list. LOL

If the game is as fun and strategically rewarding as it looks and read about, I won't mind trudging through this.

Comment #3 by Arcade hero x
Wednesday, August 01, 2012 @ 06:23:09 AM

This sounds like a nudge to the original one shot kills until you get power armour!! I still remember hours playing this on the PS1 ........and then the chrysilids show up.......Fuck you game haha, kill it with FIRE!!

Comment #4 by Silence
Friday, August 10, 2012 @ 09:58:11 AM

Yeah this will be tough...I'm a little disappointed in the multiplayer though. I was hoping for at least 2v2, not just 1v1 deathmatches. Plus with just a 2 minute timer to move your entire squad (including character animations), could cause some difficulties. Either way, game looks fun though.

Comment #5 by bryson 06
Monday, August 27, 2012 @ 01:54:05 AM

@4 i think that missed an opportunity to do some really creative and interesting things with multiplayer, just feels kinda tacked on now. Also it makes no sense to include animations into the timer since we have no control over length of animation.

Comment #6 by Silence
Friday, August 31, 2012 @ 10:13:28 AM

@5 Agreed. It does feel a little tacked on, and i also think they missed an opportunity. But i guess we'll just have to see, it could end up fun i guess. I just prefer strategy games in more larger-scale.

Comment #7 by izeage99
Thursday, September 06, 2012 @ 10:09:54 AM

Tacked on maybe to harsh. I do think they put some time on it and it does look pretty fun. I do feel they could have added more to it.

Comment #8 by richardwarnercool1
Tuesday, September 11, 2012 @ 05:17:03 AM

@ 4 & 5 I've just watched a demo by the creators and they said that you can turn the timer off. I'm just hoping that the achievement list can be done offline. It's really frustrating playing games that you know from the start you can't 100% because you don't play online.

Comment #9 by Silence
Wednesday, September 12, 2012 @ 08:54:19 PM

@8 that's good U can turn the timer off I guess but it's sort of a lose lose.on one hand the timer can be a pain if u are trying to figure ur next move and right when you do you only have ten seconds to execute it left on the clock. However, if your playing against some random guy and you do turn the timer off, it would suck if he decided it would be a good time to go and jerk off for twenty minutes and leave u hAngin. Hopefully they just make the time llimit adjustable

Comment #10 by False Dragon 88
Wednesday, September 19, 2012 @ 11:23:30 PM

One of the secret achievements is for winning a multiplayer match.

Comment #11 by J4ckyb0y1
Monday, October 01, 2012 @ 01:36:46 PM

This one will be a bitch to get. Game can be very unforgiving.

Comment #12 by EngagedMetal7
Saturday, October 06, 2012 @ 08:22:10 AM

Is this missable? If you play badly / make bad choices would you have to replay from the beginning to obtain this?

Comment #13 by J4ckyb0y1
Sunday, October 07, 2012 @ 11:41:08 PM

Yes, you can fail by losing too many countries, therefore not beating the game and having to start over.

Comment #14 by EngagedMetal7
Monday, October 08, 2012 @ 12:54:37 AM

@13... Fuck.
Hard 1000G, never was great at virtual strategy games :(

Comment #15 by Counter Zero
Tuesday, October 09, 2012 @ 07:02:56 AM

Can this be done on the first playthrough or is it a campaign plus mode ?

Comment #16 by J4ckyb0y1
Tuesday, October 09, 2012 @ 12:19:37 PM

Sure it can be done, but GL. Might want to look in to transplants or getting fitted for a wig after you pull out all your hair.

Comment #17 by Eggnogga
Thursday, October 11, 2012 @ 12:22:59 PM

Kinda sucks. When you're mildly interested in a game, like I am with this, and to see the same old difficulty-based achievements... I'll have to pass on this game then. Oh well.

Comment #18 by Soljah84
Thursday, October 11, 2012 @ 03:49:16 PM

@17 if you pass on a great game because of difficulty based acheivements then what are you doing going for acheivements... by name they are somehting you should have to earn through hard work...

Comment #19 by ClapSingItsMe
Thursday, October 11, 2012 @ 05:09:33 PM

Make it easy on yourself. Do what I did. First beat game on impossible.
Then play ironman mode on classic.

Comment #20 by jolliffe
Sunday, October 14, 2012 @ 07:26:08 AM

@17 I can't believe I read that. You're going to miss out on a game just in case you can't beat it on hard? You don't receive anything for achievement points so why does it matter? Play the games you WANT on what difficulty YOU want not for some shitty 10G that makes no difference to your life. Or just hold out for the Disney version? 1000G for pressing start game...

Comment #21 by ClapSingItsMe
Monday, October 15, 2012 @ 03:53:50 AM

Everyone is making it seem ridiculous. It's just very difficult. I started on Impossible without any help, and restarted on classic. Huge difference. After this first initial tutorial ill go back to Impossible. Just first learn how to play. This game is so great.

Comment #22 by oFerris Bueller
Wednesday, October 17, 2012 @ 03:36:23 AM

I played this on the PC back in the day. Probably in my top 3 games of all time.

Comment #23 by Magik Baz
Wednesday, October 17, 2012 @ 07:35:03 PM

@17 & @20 Well said both.

This achievement is not impossible, it's merely fiendishly difficult, but everyone likes a challenge right?

Besides, this game is much simpler and relatively easier than the originals, if you had to complete Terror from the deep with just one save now that would be impossible!

Comment #24 by Eggnogga
Thursday, October 18, 2012 @ 07:52:09 AM

@20 -- You read it right. As I stated, I am mildly interested in the game, and I like to be able to, or at least, know I can 1000 a game. I don't play games for the challenge, I play games because they are entertaining. I don't pay $60 for something only to be frustrated as hell with it.

Comment #25 by SirThrawn
Saturday, October 20, 2012 @ 04:33:46 AM

sorry buddy but you are just contradicting yourself. You say you play games for entertainment, but you actually mean you play them for Gamerscore. You should not miss out on a game bc you can't 1000 it. That is plain stupid...

Comment #26 by SmaGreBaz
Monday, October 22, 2012 @ 06:07:49 AM

That's XCOM, baby.
You either love it or you hate it (or both).
Play it or don't play it, but stop whining (at least stop whining here).

I played the original UFO game back in the day and I will surely play this (and complete it) as soon as I will have enough time to kill.

Comment #27 by TheGreatKoala
Wednesday, October 24, 2012 @ 06:32:42 AM

@25 - the last four words you used there sum it up perfectly

Comment #28 by Triggrhappy94
Sunday, October 28, 2012 @ 02:04:06 AM

(I hate the word, but it seems appropriate)

Fuck it--YOLO!
Let's do it!

Comment #29 by Grummy
Wednesday, October 31, 2012 @ 07:40:01 PM

@25, no he's not, stop putting words in his mouth, he never said that. Plenty of people play games casually, and like to focus their casual gaming on earning achievements, how is this something worthy of scorn? Who the hell are you or anyone else to judge him on how he prefers to enjoy his game time? It's not a crime to want to play a game casually, relaxing, and earn all the achievements whilst you do.

Achievements they may be named, but that doesn't mean they have to be hard and that people should only want to earn them to prove something, to 'achieve' something. They can be used to add life to a game past completion, give it replayability, give people a sense of purpose rather than just playing for the sake of it.

You people giving this guy a hard time need to get over yourselves,

Comment #30 by uratitmouse
Monday, November 19, 2012 @ 12:05:06 AM

anyone know what date is the last i save it says dates and i want to know if im near the end or not

i have had a few countrys drop out cause i was more worried about my soldiers dying so im hoping im near the end

Comment #31 by ZEBisJEB
Wednesday, November 28, 2012 @ 09:03:41 PM

More power to ya if you can complete this one on IMPOSSIBLE, fun game though.

Comment #32 by strawberry
Monday, December 03, 2012 @ 09:41:05 PM

@24 LOL that's the most ridiculous thing I've ever heard... Enjoy life, enjoy games, don't worry yourself with something as minuscule as achievement points...

Comment #33 by Halfhoot
Wednesday, December 19, 2012 @ 04:51:35 PM

You guys are thinking about this too hard. Ironman sadly is no different really than regular due to game mechanics. If you really can't beat it just going straight through, here is all you have to do... The game saves at the beginning of every combat round. Use that if you have to. If your turn goes poorly or the enemy turn kills a character... just hit the center button of your controller and drop to dashboard. Restart the game. Load... you'll be back at the beginning of your last turn. Re-think your strategy. There you go... not hard at all.

Comment #34 by variados
Monday, March 11, 2013 @ 05:02:55 PM

Just play all the way to the end on easy then switch difficulties and achieve should pop for those that don't have the time for this

Comment #35 by bastsxbox360
Thursday, December 19, 2013 @ 10:03:34 PM

I just did this and it' s doable. At least on classic :-).

Take your time, never dash, don' t EVER use half cover (other than to hunker down) and know what research nets you which equipment.

On my normal playthroughs I always skipped laser weapons. For this, I gladly took the rifles. Sooo good against thin men, Mutons not so much. Just don' t research heavy laser and sniper. It' s not worth it.

I think I lost about 30 soldiers. Sometimes even high ranked ones. It' s really annoying when you can see the whole area in front of you and there' s still the possibility, that a whole group of enemys his hiding somewhere in a tiny little "unseen" spot.

And remember: If all fails, exit the game and load your save. You' ll be back at your last turn. Of course this doesn' t help much if

Comment #36 by philldaruler
Sunday, June 26, 2016 @ 05:09:32 PM

Super save scum

Xbox one (using backwards compatiblility): If you need to reload the save then you can press the home button, press start (three line button) then scroll down to quit. The game 'pauses' when you press the home button allowing you more time before your turn starts again and it saves, making it too late to do this. When you load up the game again it will be at the start of your turn (before you or the aliens moved)

Not sure if just dashboarding on the 360 works though. If someone were to die at the end of their turn then it might be harder as the game might not pause, but I don't know

Comment #37 by philldaruler
Sunday, June 26, 2016 @ 05:11:40 PM

@36 EDIT

Just read that 360 method works. You can still do the Xbone method for any future readers

Comment #38 by tag0693
Wednesday, July 13, 2016 @ 04:37:34 AM

HUGE TIP FOR THIS: So the game likes to autosave on after each turn (except if you move all players cloaked, it wont autosave) I save and exit at the start of each mission just so I am careful. Now say I move my unit too far to where he will die, As long as I dashboard and exit the game before the enemy's turn is finished. Then reload my game and I am still saved at right where it is still my turn. Used it a lot but it saved the frustration of not being able to have multiple saves. Hope this helps!

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Game Info
Firaxis Games
2K Games


US October 09, 2012
Europe October 12, 2012

HDD Space Required : 7.08 GB
Backward compatible on Xbox One: Yes
Price: $39.99USD
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User Score is based on 187 user ratings.