Dogs, Timesavers And Katanas: The Best XCOM 2 Mods

It’s been 20 years since the events of XCOM: Enemy Unknown and while you’re sat there wondering where it all went wrong, the alien occupation of the world as we know it is A Thing now. I saved the world the last time round, did I not? I hear you mumble under your breath. No, no one did and that’s the end of it. Get it over it, man.

The aliens are here, they’re up to no good, and now it’s time to get rid of them. This list is the best mods XCOM 2 [official site] has to offer so far and should help you achieve that goal, or at least help you to fail (again) in style. This list is also best served alongside Alec’s XCOM 2 Guide: How To Survive And Thrive.

Stop Wasting My Time

By BlueRaja

Drop the front, aliens: we know your occupation ain’t gonna allow humanity to thrive unless we succumb to your sinister New Order agenda, no matter how much you say otherwise. And even if we do, we’re more than likely to get sent up sectoid creek without a paddle. We’re onto you.

But, as I’m sure you’re all well aware by now, blowing the lid off of an evil, technologically advanced totalitarian state’s secret scheming takes time. Lots of time. So much time, I’ve racked up close to 50 hours battling ADVENT forces – and I only started last week.

BlueRaja’s Stop Wasting My Time mod caters to those efficient Commanders who want to minimise time wasted on the battlefield. With this mod, gone is the 1-3 second pause after shooting or lobbing grenades, the one second delay that occurs after making a kill, and the two and a half second halt when you take cover. Unit movement speed is also upped; so too is the speed of the Avenger HQ on the world map, among a number of speed-favouring tweaks. Godspeed, quite literally.

Evac All and Overwatch All

By tracktwo and whoknew, respectively

While we’re on the subject of clock watching, these mods address the needlessly time consuming process that XCOM 2 levies on both exiting the battlefield and entering your squad into Overwatch mode.

Missions in XCOM 2 often follow a similar template that normally involves guiding your team of four from point A to point B in order to neutralise/protect/engage/recover/extract an item, or items, before laying waste to whatever foes might be left loitering around the level. Often, as we’ve already discussed, these bouts can be long and laborious, thus when the time comes to extract your exhausted ensemble, having to do so individually is a right pain in the arse. Evac All, as the name suggests, adds a button that allows you to get the hell out of there in one fell swoop.

Similarly, Overwatch All makes entering your team into Overwatch mode – where your soldiers strike enemies automatically, should they enter their field of vision – a lot more convenient by adding a single-serving button that lets your team go beserk till the immediately adjacent dance floor is emptied.

True Concealment

By Takeru Shirogane

More time-based conceit. Sheesh, there’s more mention of clocks on this list than a Flava Flav meets early 21st century Coldplay get together. While you ponder the preposterousness of such an event, you’ve likely forgotten how torn you are about the addition of XCOM 2’s new mission timers. Sure, they chip away at the Overwatch creep playstyle that plagued forerunner Enemy Unknown; but they also pile a whole lot of undue pressure on players which can come at the expense of intricate strategy.

An abundance of mods that axe the timers completely have begun to emerge on the Nexus forums and Steam Workshop, however True Concealment is the best by my reckoning. Instead of doing away with timers altogether, this mod helps balance play by reacting to the systems already in place: timers don’t start counting down until you crew breaks initial concealment.

All told, this achieves the best of both worlds – there’s still a degree of pressure on players to work quickly, but only after a strategy of sorts is put in place.

Save Scum Roller

By gamedevjosh

Sometimes, no matter how well developed or considered your strategy is, the RNG gods are out to get you. To combat this, I save scum. I load precariously-timed saves as soon as I’ve sent one of my best soldiers to their untimely death, so as to create my own Edge of Tomorrow. What can I say – I don’t play fair. But if you’re here, reading this mods list, there’s a good chance you don’t either.

The problem with save scumming in XCOM 2, though, is that the game remembers previous random number generator results, no matter how many times you reload. This means if a soldier gets felled with a critical hit while covering a certain corner, for example, that soldier will always get felled with a critical hit while stood covering that certain corner if that is the next action that occurs.

Enter Save Scum Roller, a mod that rolls the dice in your favour. With this mod you can “reseed the game’s RNG at any time,” according to creator gamedevjosh, meaning reloads weigh battles in your favour. I mean, what’s the point in sort-of cheating if you can’t expect to win, right? With Save Scum Roller you can readjust the fight again and again and again until you’re telegraphing moves with more finesse than Blunt and Cruise during that beach assault. Or Craig David in the Seven Days video. I have no shame. Do you?

Free Camera Rotation

By Wasteland Ghost aka wghost81

In XCOM 2, as in any turn-based strategy game, a clear view of the map is of paramount importance when planning your next attack. Which is why it’s a bit odd that Firaxis intended us to view the battlefield in 45 degree angles and fixed zoom increments.

“Those who do not know the lay of the land cannot maneuver their forces,” wrote the military strategist Sun Tzu in his seminal work the Art of War. If I’m restricted to 45 degree turns at a time, I can’t see a bloody thing. Which means I can’t move my forces. Which means I’m screwed, basically. Ol’ Sun Tzu would be turning (smoothly, not in 45 degree increments) in his grave.

Free Camera Rotation is an updated mod carried forward from Enemy Unknown that allows smooth movement of the game’s camera angles. By Simply holding down Q or E, you’re able to turn the view in a smooth, circular motion. Likewise, holding T or K lets you zoom in and out at will as you match the perfect angles for any given mid-combat situation.

Muton Centurion Pack

By Long War Studios

From the guys who brought us XCOM: Long War, arguably one of the best mods of all time, Long War Studios’ Muton Centurion Pack spices up life (or in my team’s case, regular death) on the battlefield by introducing a much larger, much stronger, much brutal-er muton to the alien ranks.

Sporting a look a wee bit similar to that of a BioShock Big Daddy who’s spent a few months down the gym before ditching the primitive drill arm and swapping the grenade launcher for a laser cannon, these bastards typically make their debut about halfway through the campaign, thereafter marking their territory pretty quickly.

Ultimately, they add a degree of difficulty to battles that’s otherwise missing. Going toe-to-toe with any Muton Centurion is a big ask no matter the circumstance, but do watch out for their War Cry maneuver that buffs any nearby enemy units.

Leader Pack

By Long War Studios

Then again, why leave all the buffing to the buffer than buff Muton Centurions? Another mod from the Long Warriors, Leader Pack, grants one chosen player buffing skills that can be dished out to his or her entire team. “This mod adds a development path for soldiers in the Guerrilla Tactics School,” reads the mod’s description. “Allowing them to train special perks that benefit the entire squad.”

The only caveat to this wonderful-sounding leg-up is that only one of your fine soldiers can be named leader in any given mission. If your chosen captain’s got what it takes to bring home the bacon, bonuses and bounties to the rest of the squad, then great. But they ain’t no good to nobody being dragged home in a body bag. Choose wisely.

SMG Pack

By Long War Studios

The SMG pack lets you swap assault rifles for submachine guns. SMGs, you’ll learn, aren’t as powerful as assault rifles. Nor are they as accurate at a distance. Nor can they carry as much ammo. Nor can th- hang on a minute, aren’t we trying to win this war?! Why the hell would we want submachine guns instead of assault rifles when they shoulder so many shortcomings?

Well, mobility-wise, equipping an SMG lets you move much further across the map in any given turn, compared to the sub’s bulkier counterpart. They also let you get closer to enemy squads during the concealment phase. And they allow for increased short-range accuracy when you do manage to get all up in the aliens’ interplanetary grills.

Donning sub-machineys should never rightly replace assault rifle rigging entirely, but it can act as an alternative means to slaying the sectoid syndicate.

Accurate Swords and Katana Pack

By The Iron Rose and vblanco20-1, respectively

Just when you thought you’d settled your scores with the RNG powers that be, you wind up next to an already wounded ADVENT soldier. You’re almost face-to-face, you can see the glint of evil in his eye, you can smell the Space Raiders on his breath. You unsheathe your blade. You swing. It’s game over, surely. But, suddenly, it’s not. You’ve missed. SOMEHOW you’ve missed. Against all odds you’ve been unable to land a point blank blow at point blank range. You feel cheated.

Accurate Swords understands this pain (or lack thereof) by making every sword swing 100 percent accurate. You feel vindicated.

Katana Pack, on the other hand, understands that swords are the coolest weapons in XCOM 2, so much so that besides making a range of wakizashi and katana blades fully upgradable, it also introduces an uber cool, ultra sexy Energy Katana tier and Plasma Katana tier respectively.

This is a must have for all the Rangers out there.

New Countries

By Sgt. Nutcracker

New Countries is the Ronseal of XCOM 2 mods in that it does exactly what it says on the figurative tin: it adds new countries into the game’s fold, making its soldier roster far more diversified in the process.

“Each nation has a small set of names (around first and last names per gender),” says the mod’s creator. “I’ve tried to maintain at least some accuracy in choosing them. Icelandic names for example have separate last names for male and female characters.”

Adding a total of 21 soldier nationalities – at the time of writing, keep an eye out for more over time – New Countries welcomes: Slovakia, Czech Republic, United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Hungary, Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Switzerland, Austria, Cuba, Peru, Chile, New Zealand, Denmark, Iceland, Uruguay, Jamaica, Croatia, Oman. And breath. Round the world in 18 seconds. Take that Phileas Fogg.

And take that alien race; there goes the multicultural, globe-spanning neighbourhood.

You don’t stand a chance.

Honourable Mentions

Here a few lighthearted XCOM 2 mods that might make you smile or laugh, cry or cringe.

Custom Face Paints
By Replikant

The William Wallace a la Braveheart face painting and American football player markings on show here are very cool, but the Aladdin Sane Bowie tribute is the best.

Capnbubs Accessories Pack
By Capnbubs

Adds berets and ballcaps and goggles and masks.

By JonTerp

Dogs as guns. Corgi dogs, as guns. Say no more.

We like XCOM 2, as you may have gathered from our review. You can follow the victories and failures of Team RPS in our ongoing diary. And if you don’t know anything about all of this XCOM malarkey, allow Alice to explain.

For more on XCOM 2, visit our XCOM 2 guide hub.


Top comments

  1. Hideous says:

    It is a travesty that you did not include the Horace mod:
  1. Hideous says:

    It is a travesty that you did not include the Horace mod: link to

  2. Dominare says:

    Save Scum Roller seems like a half-measure, doesn’t it? I mean, if we’ve already established that its for the kind of player who’s going to just keep reloading until everything goes their way, why not just cut to the chase and create a mod that rolls 100 for you and 0 for the aliens every time? That’s basically the end result of what you’re doing AND it saves you time too!

    • Scelous says:

      I was thinking the same thing.

    • colw00t says:

      I had the AI glitch out halfway through a mission. They just stopped responding or doing anything at all on their turn. I’m surprised there’s not a mod that does that on purpose: call it Shooting Gallery.

    • Xocrates says:

      Because sometimes the half-measure is what people want.

      As someone who also save scums, the reason I do it is not because I want the game to be without challenge – which is just boring – but that I don’t want the steep punishment outright failure gives me. This goes double when you’re just screwed by the RNG.

      As a example of what I mean, the other day I was a Retaliation mission, that was already going pretty poorly as it was, but eventually I had my guys against a 3 hp codex.

      My first guys has a 70+ shot on it – it misses.
      The second has a 80+ shot on it – it misses.
      For my last guy I run and gun into a flank and high ground position. 90+ shot… … … *Table flip*

      XCOM is XCOM but there is value in allowing people to play the way they want. And sometimes people just want to shoot some aliens in the face.

      • onionman says:

        On the one hand, I get what you’re saying, and I haven’t been above Alt-F4ing my Commander/Ironman run when e.g. the LOS calculator freaks out.

        On the other hand, to-hit RNG is one of the easiest things to mitigate in this game. One of those three soldiers should have been able to take off 3 points of damage guaranteed with explosives or psionics or what have you; and if they couldn’t, one of them should have had a mimic beacon or flashbang; and if they didn’t, you should have planned your earlier moves better.

        • Xocrates says:

          All of which assume I’m actually good at the game.

          I don’t question I’ve made mistakes – Heck I could have avoided that fight altogether if I had wanted to – thing is, I don’t play in the most efficient way, nor am I experienced enough to know what the most efficient way is, but I don’t care. I play the way I enjoy the most, and that may mean taking suboptimal paths – and sometimes I simply do not want to be punished for it.

          And by the way, once I reloaded I did just grenade him. The reason I didn’t first time was because I felt it was a waste of a grenade since pretty much all of my guys were flanking him (though the fact that he was overwatching while my grenadier was standing on his EMP field also didn’t help there)

      • Christo4 says:

        I wish there was a mod with either morality or something else that when an alien was either alone or under focused fire, he would get penalties to his defense. Of course it should work against your team as well.
        It’s just a bit puzzling that they don’t have it in-game. I somehow doubt the aliens can’t extract if they wanted to since they basically own the place now.

        • BB Shockwave says:

          They could, but the Elders just don’t care about their minions. You noticed that individually they tend to run away when injured and alone, and find another group. But as you say, maybe if they cannot run away, they should panic if their fellows are killed off.

      • BB Shockwave says:

        So? A Codex, unless she crits, hits for 5-7 HP most. Just grin and bear it. I take more risks on retaliation missions, because I like to imagine this is for real, I am sending my men and women in there, running in guns blazing to make the aliens forget killing civilians and focus fire on my team instead.

    • JeCa says:

      Now what I’d like is a limited reload mod compatible with ironman in the vein of the rewind feature from Invisible, inc. That way you can enforce proper ironman on the strategic layer, while still allowing a small number of reloads (either per mission or per month) to guard against either genuine misclicks or the worst kind of bad luck.

  3. thekelvingreen says:

    Still no Wales then.

    • mpk says:

      As much as I enjoy having the Saltire on my soldiers backs (like a Jockistani barcode) I have always been confused as to why the flags of England, Wales and Norn Irn weren’t also included.

      • Wulfram says:

        This is presumably set in an alternate future where the Scots voted for independence.

        I’m pretty sure being conquered by aliens was one of the things Better Together said would happen if that happened.

        • polecat says:

          This bothers me too. I have a really grumpy Scottish medic special is who keeps getting injured because she rushes into battle a bit much, and like her very much. Also a grenadier with an over the top London accent, and a really posh and slightly uptight sniper. The other accent seems to be just standard Southern, but I want more! Welsh please and also a few different northerners and South West. Got enough Midlands growing up.

        • Llewyn says:

          No, that was simply a common misconception due to the prevalence of photos of John Redwood in the No campaign.

    • BB Shockwave says:

      Odd, there is a Scotland and Ireland, though.

  4. Punning Pundit says:

    When using the Corgi mod, your engineer basically has to be the Queen, right?

    • Horg says:

      You think the Queen builds her own Corgis? When you are as rich as she is you can hire the best Corgineers in the land to do that for you.

      • Darth Gangrel says:

        Corgito ergo sum – I use Corgis as guns, therefore I am.

    • DrollRemark says:

      I still can’t get over the disappointment that the mod doesn’t change the Gremlin to a Corgi. This would be miles better than a gun.

      • DelrueOfDetroit says:

        Or if the mimic beacon was one of those toy dogs that endlessly performs backflips.

        • bonuswavepilot says:

          Genius! If the friggin’ dev-stuff you need to get into the modding wasn’t 66Gb I would seriously consider giving this a shot.

          Here in Australia, land of the deadly spider and shitty internet speeds, it took me a day and a half to download the game itself, and that’s only about 25…

    • BB Shockwave says:

      Never understood why there is all this hubbub about Corgis. Someone explained to me that this is a dog breed name, but honestly, never seen one, never even heard about them until about half a year ago. I take it they are some new fad that comes and goes away every year or so, like internet videos about cats doing funny stuff.

  5. Danarchist says:

    One thing to note about the SMG’s is they are awesome for Psi operatives and rangers early-mid game. The extra maneuverability allows you to get that last snake-grrl into that rift that you just didn’t have the range for before.
    With Rangers early/mid-game swords are still really effective weapons (haven’t tried the new katana mod to see if that changes anything) and having a bit more range to run up and Deadpool a nasty that totally deserves it is awesome.

    One mod I wish existed would allow me to “save” a loadout by class. I almost always have my support guys equipped with a spike and a medkit for example, and later with wraith suits. When I switch from A to B teams it is a minor PITA to have to recombobulate this all over again. Having a “save as loadout” button would be handy. Alternatively having all grenades, armors, etc treated the same as primary armor and weapons would prevent having to constantly shuffle gear back and forth. Although that would take away from the resource hording challenge of the game, it would be much less annoying.

    • Wisq says:

      Honestly, I found it an incredibly strange oversight that they didn’t have a button to free up all modified weapons, similar to the buttons for armour and utility items. I can only guess that maybe being able to swap modded weapons between soldiers was added fairly late in development.

      • DrollRemark says:

        God YES. This is the mod that I’m so dying for, I’m half-tempted to try and figure out how to add it myself.

      • jonahcutter says:

        There is a “free up weapons” mod. I don’t remember the exact name atm, but it does exactly what you want. Adds a button that frees up all modded weapons that are equipped by troops not on the current mission prep screen.

      • BB Shockwave says:

        Never felt the need – all my soldiers had their own modded weapons. weapon upgrades are rather plentiful to find on missions, and they can be gotten from the black market too.

  6. Kitty says:

    I am still holding out hope that someone is going to port the MEC Troopers and gene mods to XCOM 2 somehow.

    • Haxton Fale says:

      You can get ADVENT MECs with mods, if you wanted to…

      The Season Pass mentions a new class, as well as new weapons and new aliens coming in summer. Perhaps this is what’s going to come in that expansion?

  7. Coming Second says:

    “Sporting a look a wee bit similar to that of a BioShock Big Daddy who’s spent a few months down the gym before ditching the primitive drill arm and swapping the grenade launcher for a laser cannon…”

    He doesn’t look anything like the Andromedon, though.

  8. klops says:

    I need a mod that gets me to choose the point from where do you skulljack and hit with a sword. You can attack with a ranger straight as you move, but when choosing the sword attack or skulljacking, for some reason there’s only one computer suggested path.

    Also! A UI mod. The inventory management, for example, is so fucking bad I cannot understand it.

    • Xocrates says:

      You can actually choose where your guy ends when hitting with a sword. Not sure about skulljacking.

      With the sword, with a ranger selected move your mouse around the base of the dude you want to hit (specifically, inside the tile he’s standing on). A sword icon will show up in the tile adjacent to the side you have the mouse closest to.

      It’s a bit fiddly, but it’s there.

      • Punning Pundit says:

        I’ve tried to make this work a couple times, but using a different method that apparently does not work. I’ll have to give it another go! :D

      • klops says:

        Yeah, that’s what I meant with “attacking straight as you move”. But for some reason when choosing the attack from the action list this is not happening. That’s why I’ve often left perfectly good skulljacking aside since the soldier would be left standing in the open after the attack.

        • Cronstintein says:

          I’m surprised it doesn’t work the same way as the Grappling hook (where you pick the ability and then click the square you want to land on) but it’s a very finicky right click of the enemy square, closest to the edge you want to end up on (including corners). A bit weird, but usable.

          • klops says:

            Yeah, grappling hook style would work. Choosing your position and attacking with right click sword attack works fine. Choosing the sword attack then again does not, since you can’t choose the grid from which to attack the enemy after that. Same thing when attacking with a skulljack – you can’t choose the place of attack.

          • DrollRemark says:

            Unless I’m missing something, the solution has been posted by both people in this thread: You move your mouse to the edge of the square the enemy is on, not the actual square to attack from. Have you tried it?

          • klops says:

            You’re missing the part where I _try_ to say that: “Yes, I know you can attack with right click with the ranger”. I just phrased it very, very poorly, since I tried it 3 times and 3 different people did not understand it. :D I should’ve concentrated only on the skulljacking part.

            Let’s try it this way: Try to choose a square next to the enemy from where your soldier attacks with a skulljack on the soldier’s second available action (I make horrible sentences). Can you use the skulljack from any adjancent square you want? I can’t. There’s only one predetermined path to the enemy and I can’t change it. Not with Ctrl+right click movement or any other way.

    • Philopoemen says:

      control+right click to choose your path.

      • klops says:

        THANK YOU!

        • klops says:

          …unfortunately it does not work. If you choose a path and try to use the brainspike after that, the game removes your path and offers one, unchangeable position to skulljack your target.

  9. Fruitz23 says:

    The original camera rotates in 90° angles. You might want to correct your article.
    The viewing angles are offset by 45° to the grid, but the camera rotates in 90° angles.

    Greetz, Fritz

    • DrollRemark says:

      I found it odd that this mod guide and the only other one I’ve read online have both mistakenly said that the camera rotation is 45 degrees by default. I was starting to doubt myself until I saw your comment. I don’t really use the Free Camera Movement mod for the actual free movement, just the 45 degree changes, after all.

  10. Asrahn says:

    Anyone have any idea if mods deactivates the possibility of getting achievements? Otherwise I might consider some stuff to spruce it up with visual coolness.

    And the corgi.

    • onionman says:

      I think the game makes a distinction between “UI mods” which don’t affect achievements and… er… other mods, which do. At least this is what I have been given to understand. I have been playing on Commander/Ironman with Stop Wasting My Time, Quiet Bradford, Evac All, and Show Health Values; none of those affected my achievements. I’m less clear on adding new units or other things that actually affect gameplay.

    • onionman says:

      Actually I looked this up and apparently no mods affect achievements, even mods which make the game significantly easier. It’s up to you then I guess.

    • Philopoemen says:

      Nope – achievements occur regardless. That said, they aren’t very interesting or particularly difficult to achieve.

    • FuriKuri says:

      Besides the above posts being correct, you could always just use Steam Achievement Manager to unlock everything anyway.

      Always worth keeping in mind for those mediocre developers that consider ‘collect all the pointless widgets’ to be an achievement, or when the game/steam just plain bugs out.

      • fabronaut says:

        I’ve always wondered about this… after reading over the creator’s webpage, it mentions not running the achievement unlocker at the same time as VAC games.

        as such, I’m a bit leery about running it at all, though it would be nice to use it on a few of those stupid “collect all the arbitrary objects in this action game” ones, just to give that weird sense of closure that a game has been well and truly beaten.

        I really don’t want to take a chance that my account will be flagged though. that would be heartbreaking and rather absurd.

  11. thedosbox says:

    Or Craig David in the Seven Days video.

    Nicely done.

  12. Philopoemen says:

    Another two that I’ve found useful are:
    – True retroactive AWC
    – Start with Flashbang and Smoke Grenade.

    First because I don;t like my build order being forced to include the AWC early on, and the second because it gives you more options tactically.

    Oh and the GI Joe Character Pack, because it’s awesome. If someone makes a mod where the Aliens are Cobra and their allies, my childhood fantasy would be complete.

    • klops says:

    • Cronstintein says:

      That AWC one is definitely a good pick. If someone is looking for character packs, the Always Sunny in Philadelphia one is surprisingly good if you like the show.

    • DrollRemark says:

      The only time I ran the retrospective AWC mod it appeared to cause some very nasty crashes on my game – I basically couldn’t load any save where I had it enabled.

      I doubt it’s a affecting many other people as it would never get recommended, but it was enough to put me off trying it.

      That said, I read somewhere that you can just reclaim the extra skill the AWC gives you by re-speccing your soldier. that doesn’t seem like too bad a trade-off, especially since you can just give them the same skills again.

    • Faze2 says:

      Wow talk about easy mode. I guess if you don’t want a challenge, you don’t want a challenge :P

  13. Phendron says:

    Can anyone point me to the mod that replaces avatars, gatekeepers and sectopods with advent troopers?

    • BB Shockwave says:

      LOL, why would you want that? There are already too many troopers in ever mission. PLus, Avatars are only appearing in special missions.

  14. GemFire81 says:

    I’m loving Xcom 2 so far , but I feel like it is just a little to early to go over what the best mods are currently. Almost all the mods so far are very very very minor changes. I can’t say i’m even the least bit interested in any of these mods. With that said though I am looking forward to the chance of seeing some massive mods , maybe even some total conversion mods. Maybe a cool Loot mod where is can get different levels of gear like common, uncommon, rare and epic… that sounds fun!

    • Punning Pundit says:

      Those tiers of loot are already in the game. They’re literally called “common”, “rare”, and “epic” in the game code itself. And you can increase the frequency of loot drops with some minor tweaking to a line in the .ini file.

      I mean: I totally get that in a few weeks/months there will be even better mods. But for now, these are some good ones. Especially the Corgi.

      • Shake Appeal says:

        I have a Superior Stock and Superior Repeater on my best sniper. That’s pretty “epic.”

        • Faze2 says:

          Why would you waste a stock and repeater on a sniper? That’s like the absolute last pick for a sniper upgrade for me.

          Expanded mag and sights all the way.

          Put those repeaters on assault rifles with OW/CF specced specialists and watch the havoc. Sniper rifles are often a one shot kill anyhow, so a repeater is not a strong choice. Similarly, your sniper should be taking shots the rest of the team has set up to be as close to 100% as possible so the stock is pretty redundant.

          • Chris D says:

            If you’ve taken mostly sniper(left side) skills then I agree. If you’ve set them up as a gunslinger on the other hand then chance of an instant kill on a face off or return fire is prettt sweet.

          • Shake Appeal says:

            The reason I put the stock/repeater combo on my sniper (in addition to an extended mag) is because Serial (and Long Watch) becomes a routine clean-up tool for three/four enemies, and because their damage lags behind close-range weapons anyway (it’s more useful to shell out for improved shotguns/cannons, which hit much, much harder with the right perks). I don’t use assault rifles at all (because the SMGs’ +3 mobility is better provided you’re on top of the research curve), and I certainly don’t take Covering Fire on Specialists because Threat Assessment on literally anyone else is a much more reliable damage-dealer (in addition to the benefits of Aid Protocol, which buffs defense and lets you take a second action). The combat medic tree is the worst in the game and needs a serious overhaul: I did not use a medkit or Gremlin Heal once in my Ironman Commander run; everything either dies on your turn, or mimic/stasis/shutdown.

            (Also, putting scopes on snipers is redundant past the early game, since they’re routinely 90%+ shots on anything by Maj./Col. anyway. Which for me is also 100% to hit and 15% to kill, because of stock/repeater)

          • BB Shockwave says:

            Yeah, no reason to put repeaters or stocks on sniper rifles. They will hardly ever miss unless they are squaddies, and their guns have the highest critical chance. Pure sniper builds benefit from expanded ammo and auto-loader, or maybe laser sight, though I prefer Talon rounds for that. With the Guerilla School perk that adds +10% crit chance, and talon rounds, my sniper often did 13-15 damage with just a Gauss rifle.

      • Faze2 says:

        Chris D- sniper rifle mods don’t apply to pistols. If you’re specced up the gunslinger side, what you’re really looking for are ammo types (ap/dragon/tracer/talon/viper) and as good an aim PCS as you can get. Nothing you put on the rifle affects your pistol abilities in any way.

        For those guys I’ll usually stick an autoloader and a scope on the sniper rifle.

      • Faze2 says:

        Shake, do what you like I guess, but I’m still of the opinion that a repeater on a sniper rifle is laughable.

        Repeater/SMG on the other hand… ditto stock- way better choice for SMG than snipe as it addresses the SMG range penalty.

        As for CF and reliable damage dealer… I’ve had a spec kill 5 ppl, including 1 shotting a sectopod in one OW round, so ima go ahead and disagree with you there too. IDK, maybe you don’t OW trap as much as I do so you’re not going to get the benefits of OW perks as much.

        For a non gunslinger sniper, in later game, I find hair trigger pairs nicely with DFA or just go expanded mag/autoloader so the rain of fire never lets up.

    • BB Shockwave says:

      Agreed. The “new clases” are just remixes of existing skills to a class. That’s not new… the Advanced Warfare Centre does that for you already.
      I am not really finding the modding tool very good – Titan Quest’s, where I did mods before, was far easier to use – but I’ll try nonetheless. I want to make new skills, and have some ideas to add some of the aliens or Advent as playeable races/classes.

  15. caff says:

    Some of these seem like “must haves”. i.e. stuff that should have been in the base game (the pausing stuff), or an option within the menus (the camera rotation mod).

    I don’t want to knock Firaxis as the game is chuffing great, but with the performance issues and some pretty odd design decisions, I think they could have released it in a better state.

  16. Ivan says:

    FYI, there’s a “more countries” mod from a guy with the handle Astrograph that I find much, much better than the one listed in the article.

    I finished XCOM2 once and am playing again, but am saving my next real playthrough for when someone mods most countries of the world into the game. The worst part of EU/EW and XCOM2, for me, are the limited country selections and areas of operation – it’s all flavor and not mechanics but flavor I desperately need, and my favorite part of Long War was the highly-expanded and carefully-tuned/customizable country weights for soldiers, and country-specific namelists, and so on. That can’t come to XCOM2 soon enough, but I find Astrograph’s efforts better than Sgt. Nutcracker’s.

    • Marblecake says:

      Have a link?

    • Zhivko Yakimov says:

      I second that – this mod is much better than the one included in the article. I now have people on my squad from Ireland, China, Korea, Norway, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, Poland, Brazil, Germany and Finland, among others. There are also a few nice mods that add language packs, like the XCOM International Voices Pack:

      link to

      A very nice mod is Full Character Customization From Start:

      link to

      Which unlocks all customization options, regardless what rank your character is. You could argue that this is part of character progression, but I personally see this as unnecessary (you have classes and skills, after all), since the more options you have to customize your character, the better.

  17. cpt_freakout says:

    Some of my favorites:
    A very recent mod that adds some environmental pieces for the map generator: ‘more maps pack’ .

    One that changes all those little blue and red bars for numbers, which is not as fun when watching damage being done but it does help you calculate how to kill those 28 HP Sectoids much more easily numeric health display .

    Remember how fun it was to hunt that perfect grenade shot in EU/EW? Me too: non-tile snapping grenades .

    Won’t link them here since they do change the way you play your squad a bit but I widely recommend the Trooper and Rogue Class mods. They’re very well done and are being updated regularly with balance fixes and the like. The Trooper in particular is quite interesting, since it’s like a support/frontline class. Anyway, there’s a lot of great stuff coming out almost every day or so, it’s amazing. At this rate we might have new aliens modded in by next month.

  18. Mungrul says:

    I’d love to see a mod that removes the “Scamper” mechanic.
    Of all the design decisions in XCOM, this one irritates me the most. There’s nothing like setting up a carefully planned ambush only for the Scamper to completely ruin it.
    Mostly, I’d like to see how removing it changes the game, as the developers must have implemented it for a reason.

    And the one UI change I’d love to see, that’s even prompted me to download the dev kit (even though I have no clue how to go about implementing my idea), is an easier way to identify soldiers in the lists who have received an extra skill from the AWC. Just a slightly different rank icon, or a border around it, and the extra ability appearing in a different colour when examining the soldier’s stats.

    • FuriKuri says:

      I think the obvious result is that the game would become ridiculously easy (and unfun), as the aliens would just be standing there and you’d get massive hit/crit bonuses against all of them. I mean, the whole point in it is the aliens get to have some cover.

      Frankly I’m glad this is one bit of feedback that Firaxis ignored in developing the sequel.

    • DrollRemark says:

      As someone else pointed out in another thread, if you remove the “scamper” move from discovered aliens, the only fair result is to give them a free full move if they find your soldiers on their turn. Because that whole system exists due to two things: (a) the aliens don’t move between cover on their turn, and (b) you can’t be shot by something you haven’t uncovered in nu-XCOM.

      Whilst I do love the “oh god where did those shots come from why are my men all dying please help” fear that can set it during the enemy turn in the original X-Com/TFTD/Xenonauts, the new XCOMs aren’t really set up to play like that.

      • DrollRemark says:

        Also, once you get the Sniper’s Kill Zone, always put that on over an alien pod before you reveal yourself. It’s so destructive.

      • BB Shockwave says:

        Actually, you can. Chryssalids often un-burrow and run at you from the fog of war, without needing to see you, if you are currently engaged with other aliens.

    • Punning Pundit says:

      “I’d love to see a mod that removes the “Scamper” mechanic.
      Of all the design decisions in XCOM, this one irritates me the most. There’s nothing like setting up a carefully planned ambush only for the Scamper to completely ruin it.
      Mostly, I’d like to see how removing it changes the game, as the developers must have implemented it for a reason.”

      I played with a mod like this for Enemy Within, and it did kind of destroy game balance. All the enemies would just _stand there_ after you found them, waiting to be executed one by one. It was amusing, but not really challenging.

  19. onionman says:

    I’m just about done with my second run, Commander/Ironman, but I won’t be playing again until someone makes a mod that makes every region connect to every adjacent region. I nearly lost the game when halfway through I realized I couldn’t connect to Western Europe from North Africa, and instead had to go through South America, Oceania, and Asia.

    From Africa. To get to Europe.

    The game is bloody brilliant and I approve of 99% of the changes they made to the strategic layer, but the randomized region connections are completely awful, unintuitive, pointless, and stupid.

    • fabronaut says:

      that’s a pretty major oversight, to say the least. it would certainly drive me bananas! I can’t stand when glaringly obvious problems in design are left intact. (not sure if it qualifies as an error or mistake, but yeah)

      • onionman says:

        After frantically searching online for some kind of explanation–I thought, surely this must be a mistake–it appears that, no, the decision to make region connections random was a conscious design choice. Which can and does result in situations like the one I encountered. Which is just utterly crazy.

        My guess is that they want to force you to keep expanding, and that the artificially high number of regions you have to connect through is supposed to make turning back the doomsday clock more difficult. But it would be much simpler and more intuitive to balance this out by e.g. allowing you to connect to any adjacent region, but having the doomsday clock tick a bit faster.

        As I said, I’m not playing again until this is fixed, whether by patch or by mod.

    • Jimbo says:

      Was this to get to an alien facility? I haven’t tried it but I was reading somewhere that you can also use Skullmining to gain access those missions without needing to make contact with the region they’re in.

      Not ideal, but a possible workaround if the game pulls something like this.

      • onionman says:

        It was indeed to get to an ADVENT facility. The problem with Skullmining, apart from the risk involved, is that like the region connections in the first place it’s entirely RNG-driven. I guess it’s kind of a workaround, but seriously, come on.

      • BB Shockwave says:

        Yes, you can get AVATAR facility leads from skullmining Advent guys. It looks like a datapad. They way it works, if a new Blacksite pops up and you have no connection to that country yet, you can have Tygan research this and then you will know where the site is and can travel there without making contact. Go for this, try skulljacking people as often as you can. Cannot hurt to have a few facility leads in your inventory for when you will need them.

  20. Shake Appeal says:

    Randomized region connections are by design, just like randomized continent bonuses, randomized starting locations, and — I think? — randomized income for each country. It’s not broken and doesn’t need to be “fixed”; like the Proving Grounds stuff and loot, they add to the game’s replayability.

    • onionman says:

      Do you seriously not see the difference between randomly starting in Asia vs. North America, randomly getting 40 instead of 60 supplies for Western Europe, and randomly not being able to get to the nearest ADVENT facility without making SIX intermediary connections?

      Region connections are ridiculously broken.

  21. BB Shockwave says:

    I am gonna be brutally honest -50% of these mods are making the game easier when it should not be nerfed, and 45% are absolutely unnecessary.
    The only 5% useful ones, that I am using too, are extra countries (wish they came with extra audio files for soldiers too, but we can hope some of the japanese/russian/chinese fans will do that) and the free camera. The latter is so-so, because it is quite bugged at the moment. I sometimes use it when I want to take nice screenshots.
    -True Concealment: sure, because the aliens will nicely stop broadcasting with that relay, or that data transfer, and wait for you to surprise them. Geez. I am just about to start the final mission on Veteran – never had problem with timers. I could always get there on time, even if it took some risk. Take this away and the game is suddenly comfortable like a cushioned armchair.
    -EVAC all, mass overwatch… seriously you coddled american kids. You find it HARD to push the bloody “Y” letter like, 5-6 times? Just… go and play the old games! There you had to manually keep an eye on time units reserved for that automatic shot, but it did not reserve the time units for kneeling! Many a times did I curse because of that. The new system is already so much more helpful, it cannot be easier.
    -I honestly laughed out loud at the “no more 1-2 seconds after throwing a grenade” mod. If you are in such a hurry, what are you, 90 years old? You cannot wait that long as the Reaper is breathing down your neck? :D
    -100% accurate swords? LOOOL. Yes, go and try hitting a target that does NOT want to be hit in real life. Or you think that Chryssalid will nicely put its head on the chopping block for you? And your XCOM soldiers have it easy with the 96-98% chances (btw, it can be less because Enemy Defense is a factor there!) – ever mind control a Berserker or Archon? they only have 75-85% chance to hit YOU in melee. How is that fair? How would a thing like a Chryssalid, all mandibles and claws, MISS from point blank? Well, because you have armor (defense) and it might deflect those claws, or because you might dodge it. 100% hit chance would make rangers – especially with Reaper – unstoppable.