The game is played in two modes: strategic and tactical.
The player can manage X-COM bases and change their structure, equip planes, manage research goals: order the delivery of supplies, recruit new staff members, order the production of advanced equipment and sell alien artefacts on the black market for money.
Here the game goes into the phase of tactical combat. You have to command your soldiers, and your primary task is to win the battle against the aliens. Each of the soldiers controlled by the player has many different parameters that determine his abilities.