Look alive commanders! ADVENT is here, hiding in plain sight among friends, families, and the unwitting remnants of humanity. If you’re going to shut them down and take it all back, you’ve got your work cut out for you. You’re going to need to fashion your recruits into a true and varied fighting force, research your enemies and discover their weaknesses, and arm your brave men and women with the best gear that your knowledge and resources can afford. This world needs to be taken back and your strategic decisions at every moment are the only thing standing between salvation and total subjugation.
Firaxis has brought out another XCOM game in grand fashion since their remake of the classic alien-fighting strategy game. XCOM 2 kicks it up a notch, bringing back everything we loved about the initial remake and adding and improving upon a bunch of new features to keep the formula massively entertaining. Our review speaks to the strengths of the game, praising its “superb” mission variety and new and revamped AI. The game scored a lofty and well-deserved 9.0.
Chris Capel takes on the alien hordes in the final review of XCOM 2.
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Of course, once formalities and familiarities are out of the way, it might not hurt to see what kind of extras you can find out there. Lucky for you, we’re here to supply the best that humanity has to offer in the way of mods. Whether you’re looking for a greater or different challenge or just want your alien campaign to look the best it can be, we’ll be on the look-out for whatever suits your fancy and aim to deliver you the mods you need to continue the fight.
Do you like more than a little variety in your barracks? Honestly, who doesn’t? The fine folks from Long War Studios have you covered with this mod. With it comes 70 new perks and abilities applicable to soldiers, gear, and aliens. You’ll also have a choice between three new perks per rank up as opposed to two, and the four base classes have now been split into seven. As if that wasn’t enough, this mod also offers players the ability to create their own custom classes. It’s a must have for any player that favors extensive choice in the capabilities of their XCOM forces.
Looking for an additional super-heated, focused kick to add to your arsenal? Missing some of the cool laser weapons that were present in Enemy Unknown? No worries. This mod brings them over to XCOM 2. With this mod, you’ll get the pulsed laser tier of weaponry, situated in your tech progress between magnetic and plasma weaponry. Each class of weapon is represented along with the textures, sounds, and effects to make this tier complete for your team’s loadout. Get to zapping!
XCOM 2’s customization system is pretty rewarding on first playthroughs. By ranking up your soldiers, you gradually open the means to tailor their looks, gear, and even backstory to your every whim. The problem is you might not care for that on a second or third playthrough with new soldiers. This mod is your solution. It allows full customization of all soldiers from the very beginning of the game.
Do you ever get tired of guessing at how much health, armor, or shields your enemies actually have left? Then check out this mod. Numeric Health Displays replaces all bars in the game with numeric values to take the guesswork out of your strategies when it comes to enemy life, wellness, and protection. You’ll never have to ponder another Sectopod’s massive healthbar again.
The Advanced Warfare Center is a boon when you get it as it exposes a secret ability in all of your soldiers that can be unlocked at a certain rank. The problem with it is that once you do get it, any soldier that is past the required rank to receive their secret ability when the AWC is built misses out on their extra perk. This mod fixes that by making sure that soldier’s secret abilities will never require anything lower than their current rank, therefore eliminating the possibility of missing out on some choice perks.
Give yourself a better edge and helpful visuals when it comes to enemy lines of sight. This mod provides line of sight indicators and icons that will tell you exactly where enemy alert levels are. Just as well, it will allow you to anticipate when an operative’s movement will allow them to flank in enemy. It’s a rather sweet visual addition to strategy planning in XCOM 2.
This mod is really a no-brainer godsend. There’s nothing more devastating in XCOM than losing an entire squad of all your best soldiers and having to start over because all you have left is a bunch of lame rookies. This mod softens the blow by giving all inactive soldiers a small XP gain for each completed mission. They might not be your A-squad, but if your A-squad goes down, they can feasibly be your B-squad with this mod.
Time is a precious thing, and anyone who has played XCOM 2 knows that the game takes a lot of time in between most of its rudimentary action. This mod is focused on those who have places to be and ADVENT to kill. It removes many of the pauses after many of combat’s actions, including, but not limited to shooting, killing enemies, going into cover, and enemy cinematic time.
The first of many planned projects to add to the already considerable variety in XCOM 2’s map generator, this mod focuses heavily on ADVENT checkpoints, house raids, and traffic stops. It adds brand new small, medium, and large parcels to the game that are used logically in the filling in and generation of maps in the game.
Playable Advent / Created by sgtcal10, DavidLallen, maclimes, and funnyhalo1
Ever look at those sinister Vipers, the brutish Mutons, or the sleek ADVENT MECs and wish you could employ that kind of power in your forces against their own creators? Good news. This mod will let you do just that. After killing any of the available enemies and performing the applicable autopsies, you can train that ADVENT unit for use in your forces. Turning a Chryssalid against its former masters and ripping them a new one doesn’t have to be a dream anymore.
Grimy’s Loot Mod brings a little sweet incentive to enemy slaying in XCOM 2 with a new Diablo-inspired loot system. Killing enemies sometimes causes them to drop lock boxes of varying rarity that, when researched, can be opened to supply commanders with a multitude of new gear dependent upon the tier of the box. In addition, the mod includes several hundred new pieces of gear for your looting pleasure.
Going in blind is one of the intense draws of XCOM. You never know what you’re up against and how many there will be. If this, however, is a bit too hardcore for your liking, or you’re just the kind of commander that likes to strategize around exactly what you’ll be facing, then you should check out this mod. It provides additional information before each mission launch, displaying how many enemies there will be in a mission and what types of enemies will appear.
It turns out that increasing your max squad size is a simple matter of editing your .ini file! But actually making use of that increased size is impossible by default, since the squad selection screen only allows for four team members. No more! This fix will allow you to select those extra squad members, and coupled with the .ini tweak, it will increase your potential maximum squad size to eight. The aliens don’t stand a chance.
Look, we all know the random number generator doesn’t work exactly like you expect it to in XCOM. It generates seeds pre-mission that get fed in sequence to resolve your actions and… Look, it’s math. The short of it is that it keeps you from save scumming to ensure your shots hit–the game’s already determined whether or not that 45% chance will hit prior to even presenting the option. Maybe you don’t like that! Maybe you want to take the shot, and then reload a save if it misses and try again. Hey, I get you. Maybe check out the Save Scum Roller.
Man, so many of these mods make the game easier. It’s XCOM! It’s supposed to be hard! What if, to balance out your cheating, you were to, say… double the number of enemies that spawned in each mission? Hey, it’s only fair. This mod isn’t thoroughly tested, so it may end up breaking everything, but the aliens deserve a fighting chance, you cheater.
This mod adds 1200 potential nicknames for your soldiers to earn, quadrupling the total amount available in the game. Everything’s separated by class, so each option should be setting-appropriate. Less repetition all the way round!
Fully customizable cheating. Fully. Customizable. Cheating. For you, you cheater! The cheat vest is purchasable from the start of the game, and can add any kind of properties you desire, from armor and aim boosts to abilities normally only granted by other items, just by editing an .ini file.
Look, XCOM is supposed to be the most advanced fighting force humanity has to offer. How advanced can they really be if they can’t keep bolting new upgrades on to their weapons? This mod will increase the number of potential upgrade slots to 3. Scopes and magazines oh my!
Look, as an occasional D&D player, I understand that melee attacks sometimes miss. The bad guy can dodge, or maybe you just scrape against its armor, or whatever. Use your imagination. But I also understand that in a video game, when you’re directly next to somebody, your attack should hit. This mod makes ranger sword attacks hit every single time. Maybe you preferred Oblivion to Morrowind. (You monster.)
The classes are specialized for specific weapons, but you can’t argue with customizability. This mod allows any class, rookies included, to equip any available primary weapon. Sniper rifles for everybody, because why not!
Here’s a straightforward question: Would you like to have two utility slots on all of your armors regardless of their class? Then here’s a good mod for you. This mod will add full utility slots to medium and light armors in order to give you room to carry everything your heart desires. Two grenades? Grenade and a medkit? Medkit and a skulljack? With this mod, it won’t matter what you’re wearing. You’ll be packing.
Looking for a mod that allows you freedom to strategize, but isn’t an all-out broken stripping of the turn counters on your missions? Then here’s a mod to give you breathing room, but not remove the difficulty altogether. It adds four extra turns to most non-story missions and two extra turns to UFO missions, allowing you just a bit of time to plan out your strategies.
Maybe you don’t want to artificially extend timers on your missions for any reason. Maybe you want timers to react to a system already in XCOM 2 that would make sense. Maybe you want True Concealment. This mod makes it so that turn timers don’t start ticking until your forces break their initial concealment on a mission. In this way, the aliens won’t start getting frantic until they know you’re around.
This is a simple mod that adds a little something extra to your game, namely a new accessory. With it, you’ll get a new beret that has two variants and can both be equipped on male and female characters. Give your soldiers a classic military look that fits with the vanilla look of the game almost perfectly.
Are you the type of person that longs for an unlimited ammo cheat in a game like XCOM? Then this is the mod you need. It boosts the clips of all variants of all weapons in the vanilla version of XCOM 2 to have capacities of 99. You’ll never have to worry about running dry in the thick of battle again, unless of course you run into a Codex.
Maybe you’re one of the types who wants to use an Xbox 360 game pad for whatever reason when you play XCOM games. If console interface controls are your jam, then this mod is set to give what you need to play XCOM 2 that way. It takes bindings that were in place for XCOM 2 and expands them to give Xbox 360 controllers almost full functionality with the game.
Occasionally when time is factor, your hacking has to be on point. However, when you find yourself frustrated on losing a mission one too many times because you ran your soldier to an objective only to fail because they didn’t have the AP to finish the job, then this mod is your friend. It takes away the AP cost associated with hacking. Even after dashing, you’ll be able to put in that final command to secure a mission success when you need it most.
The real strain on your resources and time management in XCOM 2 begins as soon as your enemy starts the Avatar Project, but what if you want to just play around and do missions without worrying about the game being in the grips of an ultimate timer? This mod will give you that. With it, the Avatar Project never initializes, essentially giving you free reign to play around and do missions as long as you’d like.
Do you find yourself wanting to get a better look at everything that should be available to see on the battlefield, but find yourself frustrated with the limitations of the zoom function? Then this mod is what you need. It extends the limits on zooming out in missions, allowing you to take in more of the battlefield and plan your strategies and responses more efficiently.
If you find yourself a little jaded by the lack of certain countries and states in XCOM 2, this mod is a little something to dull the ache. It adds most of the missing European nationalities to the game, filling out your origin list with over 30 different additional entries. Who knows why these weren’t in the initial game, but this mod is certainly another step towards being all-inclusive.
This mod is based on the Hidden Potential add-on from XCOM’s Second Wave DLC. Do you want to gamble on making super soldiers? You can with this. It removes the caps on stat growth and allows stats to grow randomly based on rolls. There are small balances to keep things stable, but with it you roll the dice to build stand out juggernauts from your team.
A simple, yet wonderfully functional mod for XCOM 2. If you find yourself annoyed that you have to use the ‘EVAC’ button for every single operative or VIP on your team in missions, then this is a short cut you’ll want to have. It provides an ‘EVAC ALL’ button that will allow you to clear all of your units in applicable evacuation zones at once.
This mod is a little short cut to streamline your entry into your XCOM 2 game. If you don’t feel like watching the company logos again and again on startup, then this mod will help you out. Once you’ve opened XCOM 2 and observed the startup logo videos at least once, this mod will remove them on subsequent startups, allowing you to skip right past the corporate signatures and get right to the game.
This mod is just a little something to help you along through the beginning stages of raising a healthy squad. Rookies are pretty lame. It’s a fact. However, with this mod, they at least have an easier time of getting those precious kills they need to spread their wings and fly. It gives them an extra value of 10 on their ‘Aim’ stat.
You can move the camera fairly well to see what you need to see in XCOM 2, but it doesn’t ever give you full control. If that’s what you’re looking for, this mod is a step in the right direction for you. If you hold down the standard rotation keys, you get free control to move the camera as you will. Additionally, this function works with the zoom too. Hold down the appropriate zoom keys to freely zoom in and out on the battlefield. Tapping any of the keys still provides the one step vanilla functionalities.
For those of you who get a little sick of the standard sword option you’re left with at the beginning stretches of your XCOM 2 campaigns, we have something to give you a little variety. This mod adds the katana to your starting sword arsenal. It carries a trade-off with the regular sword in that it does one less damage, but has better aim and critical hit values. It will be available to you as soon as you have your first ranger.
This is a mod that takes the AI of XCOM 2 and makes it just a little more realistically reactional to your endeavors. With this mod, the enemies will try to stay away from your shotgunners, entrench if they know you’re watching for them (instead of dumbly running through your Overwatch every time), and try to regroup with other squads if you cut down several of an initial squad. These, along with other changes, are all built towards making your enemy less dumb and more challenging without being cheap.
This mod gives you a little more variety in weaponry. It adds a whole new class of weapons to the game. The SMGs can be equipped by Psi ops, Specialists, Rangers, and Rookies and come in each of the game’s three tech varieties. They carry mobility and concealment bonuses at the cost of doing less straight-up damage and having aiming penalties at long ranges.
Get ready to deal with a new, improved brute on your battlefields. This mod adds the Muton Centurion, which is a stronger version of the regular Muton grunts. It has better stats and a War Cry ability that gives buffs to its allies. Be sure you’re fully comfortable with bringing Mutons down by the time you’re midway through the campaign and getting visits from these bulky fellows.
In the thick of stress and desperation, people flock to a leader. This mod aims at giving you that leader and making sure that they get bonuses and benefits for being that leader. It adds a new development track to the Guerrilla Tactics School that allows a soldier to gain perks that benefit the whole squad with the caveat that you can only have one leader per mission. Which of your soldiers will answer the call to carry the rest of the crew on their back?
That’s all we have for now, commanders. Even if for some reason we didn’t have what you were looking for right now, don’t give up hope! We’ll be researching and prepping to deliver you ever better means of extending your XCOM 2 experience, so be sure to check back regularly and see what new mods we have to offer. Over and out.
About TJ Denzer
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