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Missed: First XCOM 2 Patch Doesn't Help Much

The technically-troubled XCOM 2 [official site] squeaked out its first patch last night, but if you were praying for some kind of omni-fix for its chaotic framerate, I’m afraid you’re going to have to grumpily return to Overwatch.

The patch does squash a couple of nasty crash-bugs, but doesn’t do anything meaningful to performance despite the claim that it smooths some of the spikes off the framerate. Some people are even reporting that the game’s running worse in the aftermath of the hotfix.

First up, here’s what the hotfix does:

  • Player is unable to progress to scan in the Geoscape after completing the Resistance Communications research via Tutorial – This will fix previously affected saves.
  • Unable to load saves with a Chryssalid Cocoon – This will fix the issue, and for previously affected saves.
  • Adjustments were made to Texture Streaming to assist with periodic frame spikes.
  • Using the preview voice button for a modded voice pack will no longer crash the game when in the armory.
  • Removed 8x MSAA from default Max settings.

Granted, that’s a small number of fixes given it’s now been a fortnight since launch, but Firaxis say the process continues and that “It is important to the team that we address the issues below as soon as possible so fans can get back to enjoying the game.” Also: Firaxis are probably all on holiday, as is often the case after completing a years-long project. I’ll be grumpy if there isn’t a big improvement by March, but I can stomach a bit more waiting for now.

But the sad truth is that the patch doesn’t appear to be achieving much, apart from for those who experience either of the specific progress roadblocks mentioned in the first two fixes. Some users report improved loading times here or a slight improvement to stuttering there, but they’re overwhelmed by those reporting no improvement.

My own game certainly doesn’t run any better than before, and in fact I’m experiencing many, many more crashes than I was before. That might be because the patch clashes with one of the handful of mods (all purely UI stuff, e.g. Evac All and Free Rotation) I’m using, but sadly it does mean that I have to put my diary on hold until it’s resolved, otherwise I’m going to lose my mind. (Sadly the game won’t let you reload a save made with mods on if you turn any of those mods off).

Meanwhile the Steam forums are full of people screeching that matters have gotten even worse for them – lower framerates, new crashes, complete failure to launch.

Some folk are simply outraged to have waited so long for so little, or that one ‘fix’ is to reduce the quality of Anti-aliasing available at the Max setting (though you can still manually turn it up in the impossible event that your PC is capable of 8x MSAA in this game), so grains of salt should usually be deployed liberally across that particular amphitheatre. There is, however, no escaping that Firaxis’ Gremlins still need to deploy Aid for quite some time to come.

If the game’s crashing at launch for you as a result of the patch, try checking the integrity of your download: right-click on XCOM 2 in your Steam library, click Properties, Local Files, Verify Integrity Of Game Cache then wait for around ten minutes. It helps for some people.

While we wait for a more meaningful patch, try out these performance tweaks: 6 and 7 particularly pretty much doubled my own frame rate, although sadly it still jumps around all over the place.

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Alec Meer

Senior Editor

Co-founder of RPS. Dungeon Keeper & X-COM 4 Life.

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