Is it better to spread out my satellites or concentrate them in one area?
Should I try to strengthen one area on the map to make travel times shorter or try to cover as much of the globe as possible?
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My understanding is that if you can do it without a country panicking and leaving the council, it’s better to go ahead and fill a continent for the bonus. However, in my limited experience I end up spending my satellites to calm down a nation more often than not.
Covering a complete region with satellites gives you the continent bonus, same as if you had picked the region for XCOM HQ.
Unlike the bonus from your base, though, you can lose this if you lose full coverage for your satellites.
I have found so far that you need some coverage on each continent to spot ufo’s, otherwise they can terrorize continents undetected. I was playing on classic but trying to keep everyone happy, and still doing all the research, etc was impossible.
I’ve found that once a continent has been covered with satellites, it will no longer trigger alien abduction type missions, thus eliminating that continent from gaining additional panic levels due to you not picking a mission from that area. This is very beneficial if that particular continent provides high income. This also lets you funnel those missions to a particular continent, preferably one where you’ve already lost a country so you can’t get the bonus anyway.