In SimCity 3000, A large mothership UFO appears alongside many smaller UFOs, which will abduct Sims as well as destroying buildings. UFOs does not shoot lasers in this game, unlike most later installments.
As a disaster object
UFOs work differently in SimCity 4. A mothership UFO appears at the selected point and abducts everything at that point. It then fires a laser, destroying the targeted structure and leaving a crater. It then spawns three smaller UFOs which then act like the UFOs in the other games.
UFOs only appears in the Rush Hour expansion pack for SimCity 4.
As a drivable vehicle
In the same expansion pack, the reward building Area 5.1 grants the player the ability to fly a UFO. Like its disaster counterpart, the UFO can hover anywhere and does massive damage. What makes the UFO hard to control is that the window (blue square) acts like the front and if the UFO is moved slightly, it can mess up the actual path causing the UFO to spin around until it reaches its proper path.
The UFO can also abduct people (In a Dr. Vu mission) where the player must abduct a certain amount of people from each city district for simoleons and a reduced mayor rating. The ability is used again in the UFO free drive, the cars/Sims are lifted up where the UFO is. Unfortunately, if the UFO moves the trail of abducted vehicles move with it until the player releases the abduct button (usually the enter button) and the trail of cars/Sims vanishes (presumably falling into the ground/water below).
In SimCity DS, UFOs will abduct citizens and the player must bring them down by rubbing the DS stylus on the screen.
In SimCity Societies, UFOs move much slower and require a game update to even make it appear in the disaster menu. Once summoned, the screen and sky will turn to a shade of red (not unlike in a totalitarian city) and people will begin to scream. 3 random UFOs will spawn at corners or border of the map and will head to the city.
What makes this disaster so deadly in Societies is that once it targets and destroys a building the nearby buildings (about 5-6 within radius) are caught on fire. And after the entire city will be in flames as they spread throughout city (which will be unlucky if the aliens destroy your Fire Stations and Public Safety buildings first).
SimCity Creator (Wii)
In SimCity Creator for the Wii, the player can choose where UFOs appear (Note: UFOs are selected from a random pool of Disasters in Creator).
In SimCity (2013), UFOs move at a much slower pace just like SimCity Societies and only appears as a single unit unlike other games. The UFO will generally search the town before deciding to abduct Sims. After abducting Sims (therefore abandoning the building) the UFO, again, moving at a slow pace, moves out of the city.
The UFO may decide to destroy a building, activating a red laser which turns the building into rubble.
Also, unlike other games, this disaster does not have a huge effect in damage. Like other in-game disasters, the UFO is triggered by city specialization, apparently appearing after landmarks are placed in the city.
Unlike SimCity 4 UFOs are not drivable.
In Simcity Buildit, UFO's appear in the alien invasion diaster. There is one UFO that destroys buildings, then flies away.
- In SimCity 3000, entering the cheat code "UFO Swarm" will makes many more UFOs appear.
- Also in SimCity 3000, if there is farmland with a large enough grouped wheat fields, UFOs will occasionally create crop circles.
- SimCity 4's UFOs resemble that of the one on SimCity 2000's box art.
- The giant mothership is a possible reference to the sci-fi action film Independence Day.