Essential XCOM 2 Mods14 Oct 2019 0
Firaxis are up on Bethesda levels of supporting the modding community these days and while they seem to have left the community to their own devices, they have made it so easy for modders to really change the whole game. Showing their commitment to the community, Firaxis actually teamed up with Pavonis Interactive (the creators of the original Long War mod for Enemy Unknown) to make sure that the modding tools were as streamlined as they could be before releasing them into the wild.
The only thing to keep in mind when modding XCOM 2 is that certain mods only work for certain versions of the game - though the descriptions and launcher will mostly keep you right. Many of the mods on this list have a Vanilla (no DLC) and War Of The Chosen (WotC) version. Check to make sure you’re downloading the right one for the version you intend to play.
For a more detailed breakdown of XCOM 2's additional content, read our DLC guide.
Evac All by TrackTwo (WotC version available)
Getting all of your soldiers to the evac point and having to go through the long roping out animation with each and every one of them is tedious to the point of torture. Evac All adds a handy little button that makes every unit in the evac zone rope out at the same time. Not only does it look cooler, it also saves at least a minute. I can’t recommend this enough as a quality of life mod.
Grimy’s Loot Mod by Grimy (WotC version available)
Three words: Diablo Style Loot
With new addons that give weapon holders special perks and abilities as well as hundreds of new stat boosting addons, this is perfect for keeping the sense of risk and reward going in the late game when intel and supplies start to feel redundant. And the sheer number of things getting added is astounding:
- 96 new upgrades for primary weapons
- 81 new upgrades for armors
- 45 new upgrades for pistols
- 45 new upgrades for swords
- 87 new upgrades for gremlins
- 45 new upgrades for psi amps
- 45 new upgrades for grenade launchers
Grimy has also made a PCS Loot Mod that works alongside this and makes the Skulljack useful throughout the game as well as an Alien Rulers Loot Mod, though that requires the Alien Rulers DLC.
Elerium Grounds by Janah
In the mid to late game Elerium Cores are as rare as Bitcoins and the Proving Ground can sit idle for months at a time if you’re unlucky. And without fresh cores, you’ll fall behind on special armours, heavy weapons, experimental ammo and grenades. Elerium Grounds lets you - once you’ve completed the pre-requisite research - build Elerium Cores.
It also allows you to upgrade the Spider and Exo suits, keeping them as valid armor options for the late game. However, if you want, both parts of the mod are downloadable separately. While it will show a small warning symbol when loaded with WotC, it can be played without any issues.
Long War 2 by Pavonis Interactive
The famous Long War mod returned alongside the launch of the workshop for XCOM 2. Officially sanctioned by Firaxis themselves, Pavonis Interactive have essentially included an overhaul DLC for free.
Long War 2 consists of a longer campaign, new classes with unique abilities and mechanics, new infiltration systems that require sending out multiple squads, a strategic ADVENT AI, SMG weapons, and new enemies.
The new classes have more customisation options with a third option available at every rank (which can be downloaded separately as the Long War Perk Pack). My personal favourite part of the Long War mod are the leaders. Units can be trained in the Guerrilla Training School to get special abilities that benefit the squad. However, only one leader can be taken on each mission so you have to be careful who you lay the burden on.
If you want to breathe new life into vanilla, this is the most important mod for you. Pavonis Interactive’s Long War mod for Enemy Unknown was fantastic and so is this.
XCOM 2: War Of The Chosen Mods
RPG Overhaul by Musashi
Like Long War 2, the RPG Overhaul completely changes how the game works. Instead of having a bunch of different classes, units are instead put into the Soldier class and you’re able to choose their abilities for a total of 98 unique abilities. Using the Ability Points introduced in WotC you can even upgrade things like Health, Dodge, Aim, and Will.
With lots of other little tweaks like Soldiers being able to use any combination of primary and secondary weapons, equipping secondary weapons as primaries, and introducing a new rank above Colonel, Musashi’s RPG Pack is great for drastically changing the game. Musashi recommends that you play with a selection of other mods that are included on the mod page.
Instant Avenger Menus by BlueRaja
Whoosh! Oh, wait, forgot to put something in the Resistance Ring. Whoosh! Whoosh! Dammit, bond available. Whoosh! Whoosh! Research completed. Whoosh!
You get the idea. Going back and forth between rooms and the geo-scape can be like pulling teeth when you’re trying to get something done quick. Instant Avenger Menus removes the transition animations and just lets you get down to business to defeat the aliens!
CapnBubs Accessories Pack by Capnbubs (Vanilla version available)
I like making my soldiers look unique, who doesn’t? And while the vanilla options are alright, CapnBubs pack makes it much better with loads of helmets, hats, goggles, and face props. And while the Halo and Star Wars customisation mods are great, CapnBubs keeps to the feel and does a great job of blending seamlessly with the rest of the game.
A Better ADVENT by DerBK
As many mod enthusiasts will know, it’s easy to download a bunch of mods and then forget exactly what you’ve installed. I didn’t actually realise that the plethora of new units that A Better ADVENT added were from a mod as they fit with the game’s progression so seamlessly and that means it works perfectly. While none of the units ABA adds are overpowered, their abilities can be devastating. The Stun Lancer is a particular bane of mine as the low level melee unit can potentially knock soldiers unconscious with his cattle prod sword.
True Concealment by Kregano
XCOM 2’s big gameplay changer was the concealment mechanic where you could move around unseen and get the drop on the enemy. The only issue with this was that timer missions still ticked down, even when it didn’t make sense.
True Concealment fixes that issue by pausing the timer until you’re revealed, giving you much more control over how you approach these missions. It does make the game a bit easier so keep that in mind when choosing the difficulty.
Shen’s Last Gift Mod
Mechatronic Warfare Pack by NotSoLoneWolf
The SPARK is perhaps one of the most useless units in XCOM 2. Costing 2 Elerium cores and a load of resources to build and with its focus on being a tank, the SPARK can easily end up on the scrapheap in its first shootout.
The Mechatronic Warfare Pack greatly improves the SPARK’s utility by combining the SPARK and squad armour and weapon upgrades, reducing the overall cost of SPARK units. Upgrading the Specialist’s Gremlin and the SPARK BIT at the same time. Giving you the ability to rebuild destroyed SPARKs (you know, the whole benefit of having robotic soldiers) as well as changing the repair bay, equipment slots, and ability points for the SPARK.
I basically ignored the SPARK even after having paid for the DLC to get it but with this mod they’re actually pretty awesome. Definitely a must have.
What are your favourite XCOM 2 mods? Let us know in the comments!