No Looking Back achievement in XCOM: Enemy Unknown

No Looking Back

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

No Looking Back+0.6
5 guidesOffline Game ModeSingle PlayerMain StorylineDifficulty Specific

How to unlock the No Looking Back achievement

    18 Oct 2012 18 Oct 2012 28 Jan 2013
    41 1 34
    The description of the achievement is somewhat misleading, you can only earn this achievement by playing Ironman Classic or Ironman Impossible. You do not get this achievement by finishing on vanilla Impossible.

    Ironman mode means you only get 1 save slot. The game automatically overwrites your file. Anything you do is supposedly permanent. However, this can be circumvented by keeping a copy of your ironman save file on a memory stick or on cloud storage. Moreover, you can dashboard during your turn or the alien's turn to revert to the beginning of your turn.
    1) your turn starts
    2) you move your guys. You end your turn
    3) alien's turn starts, he kills your favorite guy.
    4) dashboard before the alien's turn ends
    5) when you reload the game, you'll start back at step 1)

    Thief44's tip- you can sign out of live instead of dashboarding in step 4). This makes the process faster.

    You can probably win this achievement without dashboarding, but it does make it easier. Moreover, this game has glitches. For example, the last mission has a series of locked doors that are unlocked only if you've killed all the aliens in the current room. I had one game where the aliens never spawned and I was glitched. Thankfully I had a previous save.

    I did this achievement on Classic Ironman and it was quite easy compared to vanilla Impossible; however, I personally think Impossible Ironman is undo-able. If you've somehow finished Ironman Impossible, then you are a XCom God.

    If you've read my guide for vanilla Impossible, I basically followed the same script for this Ironman playthrough, although there are some key differences which I've noted below.


    Money-wise, the difficulty is similar to Impossible in that you are always broke! But here's a trick to get rich quick. Pick the tutorial option in Classic Ironman, pick North America and you will start rich. Starting with the tutorial makes this achievement a joke.

    You should end the first month with around 800$, research skeleton armor and outfit your guys ASAP to make this run a breeze. Then skip to plasma and ghost armor to destroy everything.

    ------Ironman Battle Strategy-------------

    To survive in Ironman, you must play cautiously.
    Most important tip: ALWAYS KEEP YOUR GUYS OUT OF SIGHT.

    Here's how I killed the maps without getting shot once. Using this strat, I rarely had to resort to dashboard. My squad usually has at least 2 heavies (with shredder rockets) and 2 snipers (squadview). Support is useless, I only use the support class to stun aliens due to their +3 movement.
    1) First, keep your entire squad safely hidden, and build a nice kill zone that everyone can shoot at. Usually someplace that you can funnel enemies into.
    2) Now we use someone to scout (I recommend you get 1 assault with lightning reflex). Use the scout's first turn to scout to the edge of his movement range, then switch to your snipers and kill everything that your scout found.
    3) Now use your scout's second turn to return to his safe hiding spot with the rest of your group.
    4) Put any unused members on watch (you will be spamming Y a lot).
    5) If your snipers didn't kill all the aliens, the aliens will try to chase down your scout... and directly into your well placed killzone that you constructed in step 1. If there are too many enemies or if they are behind cover, use your heavies' rockets. Sometimes the aliens take 2-3 turns before they chase you down. Just spam Y (to put your units on overwatch).
    6) once you've killed everything and you feel safe enough to move on, have your scout find a new killzone, and move your squad to your new killzone while your snipers keep watch. Always have your snipers move last, and never move your squad from your nice safe killzone if your snipers have used up their turn. And of course, dashboard if you've screwed up.

    I have to warn you that the game is kinda glitch and will sometimes spawn enemies directly on to your group. Once a muton spawned right behind my sniper and killed my guy in 1 shot.

    Good luck or get the dashboard button ready!

    Guide not helping? View 4 more guides for this achievement.

    Showing most recent comments. View all comments.
    SkinstakovicI have a query. Has anyone found a way to copy the save on the xbone? It has reserved space but not an individual file as far as I can see when managing the game
    Posted by Skinstakovic on 18 May 18 at 19:12
    count023Same question. Anyone got any tips of save copying for the xbone version?
    Posted by count023 on 20 Dec 18 at 22:50
    P33MannI tried this achievement sometime ago and unless they have patched it (and i really dont think they have) you cant get this achievement because the one game save you get (that auto saves) at some point will not load. Its not a matter of if but when. The game has had issues with save files.
    Posted by P33Mann on 19 Feb 19 at 08:02
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  • HolyHalfDeadHolyHalfDead545,771
    01 Jul 2016 17 Jul 2016 09 Aug 2016
    12 2 2
    You still get this achievement after changing the difficulty to Easy.

    Start the game on Classic Ironman difficulty. After the first mission, set the difficulty to Easy and hire 6 new soldiers. When those soldiers arrive they will have 6HP. Playing on Easy also means you will get more monthly income. A month before you start the last mission, set the difficulty back to Classic and complete at least one mission on Classic before you finish the game to get this achievement. I found the difficulty reverted back to Classic for the Alien Base Assault, so I carried on from there on Classic.

    You will get these other achievements at the same time (if you hadn't already got them)
    XCOM: Enemy UnknownHumanity's SaviorThe Humanity's Savior achievement in XCOM: Enemy Unknown worth 64 pointsBeat the game on any difficulty.
    XCOM: Enemy UnknownEarth FirstThe Earth First achievement in XCOM: Enemy Unknown worth 308 pointsBeat the game on Classic difficulty.

    In January 2013 the Second Wave title update was released. It will download automatically the first time you play while connected to Xbox Live. This makes the game a bit easier.

    From the Main Menu select Single Player then press cn_Y for Second Wave. Select the following:
    • New Economy
    Press cn_B to return to the Select Difficulty menu, then select Ironman, then select Classic and press cn_A. At the Base Location screen select Africa.

    The key to having an easy time of XCOM, is getting money as fast as possible by building Satellite Uplinks and Satellites as quickly as possible. Your next 2 Satellites should go to South America, for instant Autopsies and Interrogations. Other solutions written before Second Wave was released will recommend starting in North America as the United States gives the most credits per month. New Economy randomizes the credits, and starting with 1 Satellite in Africa gives you +30% credits.

    You only have a single game save slot when Ironman is enabled. However, I plugged two USB sticks into my Xbox 360. After every mission that went well, I would copy the save to a USB stick, and alternate between them. If a mission didn't go so well, I could copy the most recent USB save over the save on the hard drive and try again. The second save was just in case something came up that I couldn't handle when I scanned for activity.
    Showing both comments.
    Giff the StiffSo I used the difficulty change method while playing my impossible le playthrough and it worked, but I just finished ironman classic using he same method (difficulty reverted to classic after alien base) and it says I won the game on easy. Any known work around?
    Posted by Giff the Stiff on 23 May 19 at 16:20
    Bacon WeaveCan confirm this method works. I did it on the 360 version.
    Posted by Bacon Weave on 18 Sep 19 at 04:32
  • Love01082008Love01082008134,820
    28 Apr 2013 28 Apr 2013
    9 1 0
    Take the tips up above, as they were my reference. Below are additional tips for my Ironman mode run through.

    -My 6 squads were sniper, 2x Heavies with double grenade and Rocket (One anti robot), 2 support, one medic one sentinel, one assualt with shottie (yes over the plasma rifle, Crit damge on shottie is deadly, my assault had the 2nd most kills and was close to my double tap sniper).
    -I went with tutorial in North America, the tutorial will get you a veteran sooner than a non-tutorial, not to mention non-tutorial you have 4 guys that may die the 1st mission, whereas the tutorial gives you one and a few missions before the actual non-tutorial mission. The tutorial also give you a 2nd satellite for free, non-tutorial you have to pay for it.
    -I had the DLC, it is nice by doing the first mission you get the dlc character, and that gave me my two heavies for the game (one tutorial, one dlc). the DLC character I think has one more hit point and a little better accuracy, so that is nice.
    -Having the DLC makes the council give you the missions (I did the 1st mission only then rejected the next one), rejecting it until you are powerful enough does not increase panic or count against you, so it may frequently pop up, but it can save you one or two extra missions over a couple of months until you are ready. So I didn't do one escort mission after the DLC mission.
    -make no mistake the 2nd DLC missions taken early can be a death trap, regardless of Igor's above post.
    -I didn't build a laboratory or a workshop. two power plants, one steam plant, one Elerium generator should suffice for power. I had two satellite nexus and two uplinks in a square, i.e. 2 1st level, 2 2nd floor. The Foundry came later, essential for unlimited alien nades, ammo conservation, improved med kits, pistol perks. Negative on any Shiv items.
    -Research the items that matter, just because something is 4 days, and something is 10, shouldn't dictate your selection. I wanted the titan armor as soon as possible, instead of doing autopsy which only a few add value, I would go for the meat and potatoes research.
    -Stage your satellites and always have one to launch. A few times I had a 5 bar panic country ready to leave and I would coo them with a satellite launch. Even though that country might have only contributed 50 dollars, it was worth it considering the "All in Bonus"
    -The All in Bonus is one of your first country bonuses to focus on. However do not risk losing other countries to obtain it.
    -Balance spending in key areas, some of the OTS perks are helpful, however aside from the squad size and recovery time, the others are fluff on a low budget.
    -I used the same 6 people, the quicker they level the better killers they become, I had no interest in balancing and rotating. If someone takes damage, swing him out from the front. The reason you want better armor is unless the damage exceeds the armor they don't need to recover.
    -In the beginning I disregarded the grenade and got nano-fabric (+2 HP) for everyone, it was the only way for them to survive a shot from sectoids.
    -When you have the option of abductions, go for Engineers or money (after considering panic levels). Engineers reduce the money spent on items you buy, and at some point some things are locked until you exceed the number of engineers. After I was set for engineers I would take the money if feasible.

    -When you reach the point in the story for the Hyperwave beacon, do not build it, continue playing and doing research. It took about 6 months before they introduced the Sectopod, but by then I had Titan Armor and Plasma weapons. I eventually built the Psi Lab, sent one soldier, and had that ready. When I did build the Hyperwave, it was less than a month until it found the ship, cleared it, built the next facility, had the armor researched and purchased. So it was a quick clean finish.
    -On typical combat keep your team close, yes the nades are annoying but actually when a nade hits it does 5 damage to both members. When they shoot at you it can be 6+ damage easy, which means it might be R&R time for your soldier. If your team is too far spread apart you will falter on defense. Often times when I did spot a group, through various tactics I could clean them up before they even had a turn to attack. In my game I killed 371 aliens, 186 of which were terminated in one shot.
    -Consider attacking with the sniper first, if there are too many, consider attacking with heavies and support, then sniper and assault last (namely because of run and gun).
    -Heavies with the double fire skill help, they might miss once, but when you are about the 50% chance to hit, sometimes that 2nd shot helps.
    -Use explosives liberally, taking out a wall may lose you a turn of attack, but it can open a window for a sniper bullet or team attack. On a couple tough missions rocketing the wall helped turn CQC to long range firing.
    -Know about how many enemies you are up against, it helps you manage your team and tactics. If I know its 23 enemies and I am fighting floaters, I may not want to use a nade when there may be 20 other guys more deserving.

    When someone does die or you make a grave tactical error do use the dashboard method. Every now and then I would fire a rocket and it would go wide left, that can be the difference between cleaning house or carrying corpses. Purchase a memory stick, and copy your game, you never know when you may not recover from a mistake.
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