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Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri (PC)

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View unexplored locations

Hold the Left Mouse Button when getting ready to move a unit. Move the unit over the map grid. As it passes over each grid square, coordinates and distance will be displayed, along with text associated with landmarks and cities, even if the square is unexplored (blacked out).

Map editor

Press [Ctrl] + K during game play to enter the map editor. Enter one of the following codes to activate the corresponding effect. Note: Using this method will mark you as a cheater.

Effect Code
Change year [Shift] + [F5]
Create unit [Shift] + [F1]
Discovery technology [Shift] + [F2]
Edit energy credits [Shift] + [F4]
Edit Faction diplomacy [Shift] + [F9]
Full map Y
Kill opponent [Shift] + [F6]
Switch sides and reset view [Shift] + [F3]
View FMV sequences [Shift] + [F8]
View replay [Shift] + [F7]

Cheat mode

Note: This procedure involves editing a game file; create a backup copy of the file before proceeding. Use a text editor to edit the text file in the "/firaxis/sid meiers alpha century/" folder. Inside these files are the variables the game uses to start with. For example, in the Spartans file, look for the word TECH in the first few paragraphs. Next to it is the number "1". Change this to any number, such as "20". Start the game and choose the spartan Faction. After you land you will get to immediately choose 20 technological advances. Although you can change a lot of these variables in the game, some of them can freeze or shut down the game.

Hints

Easy win

Always try to ally other factions (treaty or truce). If you can ally everyone, vendetta one at a time to focus on one faction while not getting attacked by others.

As soon as you can, connect all your bases with Mag Tubes. This Really helps with defense against the odd Mindworm or Rogue Faction. Also, equip all or most of your units with the Clean Reactor, which means you do not have to worry about support. Near the end of the game, get the Cloning Vats secret project. It cuts the negative effects of "Power" and "Endumonic" social modes.

Drop anyone

To drop any unit (an all your units) all you need it one drop unit. Press the [Drop] hot key and the cursor will change to the parachute. Then, select the unit you want to drop. It can be anything -- a probe team, former, colony pod, ground troop without drop capability, helicopter, or even a boat. Then all you have to do is drop the unit where you desire, as you normally would. You can even capture bases with aircraft this way. It is also great for extending your aircraft's range and very powerful with orbital insertions.

Air cover

Land units cannot attack air units. Air units cannot attack air units. Unless you have SAMs, air units are invulnerable. However, not only are the air units invulnerable, but so are any ground or sea units in the same square. If you do not want your ships or ground troops attacked as they make the slow march to an enemy base, simply park a plane on top.

Ambush helicopters

Helicopters that have run out of fuel and are sitting in the open can be attacked by anyone, not just SAM units.

Cloud base

It is very useful to establish an air-orientated base to produce and maintain a fleet of fighters and helicopters with all the usual upgrades required. It is also useful to have somewhere to base some missiles.

Start with Advanced Units

When you start, choose "Load Game", then select a game from far in the future where your tech is extremely high. Cancel out instead of actually starting the game, then start a new game. You will then be able to build a wide assortment of units from the game you were about to load and your first Scout might be a Scout Hovertank. You will not be able to build any of them for awhile due to lack of minerals, but once your population starts getting higher, you can use them to conquer all with ease.

Save money

Instead of hurrying production, select "Hurry", then select "Make Partial Payment". Instead of using the paying the full amount to complete the construction, you can choose to pay an amount to get production down to one turn to go. For example, if hurrying production would cost 350 minerals with 5 turns to go, you would make a partial payment of about 4*(350/5)=280 minerals. Production is still done the next turn, since you have paid 4 turns worth of minerals.

Free support

If you can get your unit inside a base you, can support it from that base. This includes bases belonging to your ally. Take your troops to allied bases and support from there. You will not have to support your units anymore. This does not even affect your ally's minerals.

Unlimited fuel

As soon as you can build any air unit, tell it to explore. It will fly away and stop. When it stops, keep pressing / to explore. Do this until your fuel goes to 0, then press / again. Your fuel will go back to 10. By doing this, you can explore the map much faster and your air unit does not need to stop at a base.

Destroy enemy satellites

The Orbital Defense Pod not only defends against enemy planet busters, they also destroy enemy satellites. Build an Orbital Defense Pod then go into the "Orbital And Space Status" menu on the left. It will say which faction do you wish to attack and a list factions who have built orbital improvements will appear. Click on one. A list of satellites will appear on the right. Click on one. Under the revolving planet, the "Attack" button will appear. Click it to attack the satellite.

Driving away Ecological Damages and Xenofungi

Ecological Damages and Xenofungi can be easily driven away if you plant forests or kelps by pressing [Shift] + F when Land Formers are activated, and F when Sea Formers are activated. Also bear in mind that Fungus grows only if there are ecological damages; and high mineral production raises ecological damages.

Crossing the harbor safely

Transport Foils or Transport Cruisers cannot attack subjectively, and thus are easily destroyed when carrying land units. Building or capturing Isle Of The Deep can alleviate this problem, as they can transport and attack at the same time.

Convoy the unused land

Bases should not be built too near to each other, as this lowers the production. Leaving space between bases and using Supply Crawlers to tap resource from the space between the bases may raise the production dramatically, as your productive squares can expand beyond twenty squares by doing this.

Shore the cities

Cities should be built along the coast (but not sea squares adjacent to the land) to let the city produce and use land, sea, and air units more efficiently.

Fungus

It is good to clear fungus from around your bases, but it will not help if you also do not clear the sea fungus because it grows onto land.

AI assistance

Set Terraformers on autopilot and let Governors handle your bases. Watch what the AI does to learn some strategies.
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Building

Nutrient-boosting Farms are far more important for city growth than mines. Energy-producing Solar Collectors directly contribute to your income and research.

Create a single Skunkworks city to build a unit with new components as soon as they are researched. This will defray the prototype cost for other cities and will keep you prepared if you suddenly have to change your production in the event of war.

Mindworms

Explore with paired Scouts or Rovers. When one of them encounters a Mindworm, the other unit can attack it.

Clear fungus from the squares surrounding your base to keep Mindworms from moving adjacent to them and attacking in the same turn.

Glitches

Gain bigger city

Trade any city currently being attacked by enemies to any faction to gain a size 15 city.

Cheaper Seaformers

When Seaformers are on automatic, they do not have to pay to raise the seafloor, unlike when on manual.

Support

Go into a Pact Brother's city and support a unit from there. You will control it while no one must support it.

More...

Strategy: by Jim Chamberlin

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