XCOM 2’s Pretty Final Mission Glitch-O-Rama

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I finished XCOM 2 [official site] last night and had, up until the final mission, evaded the troubles some suffer. Then the end neared and everything glitched out into a psychedelic wonderland, flashing and morphing through loads of different types of graphics glitches. These bugs are great! I wish I’d had them all along! What are you all complaining about? Sheesh! Here, I snapped a gallery of screens for those of you unlucky enough to not see this bug.

Given that this all happened on the final mission, spoilers obviously follow. Look away if you don’t want to see where it’s set or what happens. I’ll cross my fingers and hope you get to see all this too on your run. I know at least one person who had the same thing happen in the same place, though they – for reasons I’ll never understand – fixed it by reloading their save a few times. Pssh.

I’ve no idea what made XCOM 2 do this – my laptop wasn’t even running hot enough to max out its fans. These glitches are the finest I’ve ever had, beating out even my days with an optimistically mega-overclocked Voodoo3.

Come see the damage Pip’s psychic powers cause by clicking the arrow above that screenshot to advance, an arrow which will magically shift to below screens from here on. Glitches, eh?

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


  1. amateurviking says:

    The arrow is always below the picture. There is no spoon.

    • yogibbear says:

      Thankyou! I was like “WUT?! There’s only 1 picture?”

    • Press X to Gary Busey says:

      It’s some Dank Meta, ‘XCOM 2’s Pretty Final Mission Glitch-O-Rama’ Gallery Glitch-O-Rama.

      • The always loads above but jumps below the container when loading a new image. It even ended up inside the image container at one point.

      • It’s reloading and breaking ads at random while loading a new images. Firefox on my old craptop didn’t exactly enjoy that workload, wasn’t as slow on Chrome though but it looks like the ads tend to break more often.

      • No idea if it’s related to the location of above or below the image container since it’s so inconsistent; Clicking on the image will either open the full image in the current tab (a pain to go back and reload the entire article page), or open the full image in an overlay pop-up on the current page.

      • Press X to Gary Busey says:

        I had some illustrative that was supposed to be boldened in that comment but the entire things were wonderfully glitched away. :(

        • Press X to Gary Busey says:

          goshdarn… insert mentally where it looks like I had blackouts: ← n of 19 →

  2. BlackeyeVuk says:

    Oooh you dodged that one. GPU fail.

  3. GemSoda says:

    Had this happen to me too. The mission was all fine but then on the last stretches of it, I started noticing some weird glitches, and then with each turn more and more would appear until it just covered the whole screen. Restarted my game and it was all good again.

    • Xocrates says:

      Same here. Though I believe I reloaded pretty much as soon as it happened. Probably a glitchy shader in the final room.

      That, or the Ethereals messing with you…

      … I mean, it wouldn’t be the first time an ethereal got dangerously close to breaking the fourth wall. But since that happened in that other XCOM game people like to pretend/actively forgot exists, I’m not sure it counts.

  4. Thulsa Hex says:

    Wow, some of those are quite aesthetically pleasing. Impressionistic, even.

  5. Geebs says:

    I’ve hard-locked my shar of computers by committing the terrible sin of misplacing punctuation in a shader, and I can’t even begin to comprehend how they managed to screw that up quite so badly.

    Re: the last picture in the gallery – do you think the aliens have some issues to work through? They certainly seem to have had a long, hard think about something.

  6. RedViv says:

    I needed to reload so so so so soooo many times because heavy weapons pathing in this mission is just so very bloody messed up.
    Grenades with a maximum range of about four squares, heavy lances stopping in the middle of their path because of *nothing*, all that in a mission throwing dozens of aliens at you at the same time? Utter bollocks.

  7. Booker says:

    Well, at least I’m glad that people are now more open and honest about the problems in XCOM.

    We all love XCOM so much that some of us seem to have problems to admit it’s not all sunshine all the time.

  8. heretic says:

    The last one is quite phallic.

  9. tenochtitlan says:

    Oh yes, that mission. I still have no idea how the game ends, because every time I win that final mission the game crashes… And 2K support has done its very best answering my detailed descriptions and log files with the most boilerplate of boilerplate support messages. Currently investigating every single piece of software that has ever run on my system, because surely their own game is perfection.

    But everything until then has been relatively enjoyable, just so very odd to miss the last 0.5% of the game.

    • Booker says:

      I actually reported the Chrysalid crash bug to 2K support and there too, they claimed that the problem is only on my PC (ignoring the topics full with people having the same problem). 2K support kept claiming that until the day they released the hotfix which patched it… My last reaction on my 2K support ticket site is me sending them a link to their own hotfix release notes…

    • lordcooper says:

      Probably not the response you want, but why not just watch the ending cutscenes on Youtube then? You’ve finished the game, there is no more interaction.

  10. Herring says:

    I’m getting a real ZX Spectrum vibe from the colour palette.

    Ant attack!

    • SpiceTheCat says:

      Yes, that magenta/dark blue/cyan combination is giving me flashbacks. It’s only missing the little squares where you got attribute clashes.

  11. tifaucz says:

    Same thing happened to me. Also, no enemy moved… all just stand there in the enemy turn… Well, I can guess they surrendered do their fate? haha

    • AngusPrune says:

      I discovered that the reinforcements in the last mission use the same “triggering” mechanic as the rest of the enemies in the game. If you stand all your guys back in the previous room, only the “triggered” ones that have seen your soldiers will come to attack you, all the rest will pile up in a big group on the central dais.

      It makes the mission kind of trivial, really.

  12. Zephro says:

    I got this glitch as well though reloading the save seemed to fix it. Along with a few other bugs to do with patching and scenery I’m not sure how the last level is playable.

  13. int says:

    So many artifacts you could open up a museum.

  14. Imakandi says:

    Does anyone else want a mod with some of the graphical glitches? Some of these are really interesting to look at!

  15. Kerr Avon says:

    Glitch? The whole XCOM series is a glitch in rational thinking itself. Yes, they are very good games. But what does that make YOU for going along with the lie? Everybody knows that the whole “alien” thing is a childish level cover-up for government crimes across the globe. Watch the movie “Goodfellas” and then transpose those people for those in your government. It’s the exact same people. The criminals can basically do anything they want and blame it on “aliens”. Seriously… you actually believed that BS? More fool you…

    • LionsPhil says:

      Get a load of this chump who still believes there’s a government.

    • Faze2 says:

      Wow dude. I’m a self described radical activist and even I think you’ve eaten too many red pills.

    • cpt_freakout says:

      You got it all wrong, my friend, all wrong. You gotta watch Kung Fu Panda 2 with 2x forwarding on, transposing all the BIRDS with LOCAL POLITICIANS in order to see what the true global conspiracy is up to. Depending on your region of the world, you might have to simultaneously listen to either: a) Michael Jackson’s “Billy Jean” or b) Rudimentary Peni’s Cacophony to fully decode stuff like coordinates. Not telling you how, though, this isn’t a secure channel

    • syndrome says:


  16. SuicideKing says:

    Well, I just finished the last mission half an hour ago, took me some two hours to finish but this didn’t happen, luckily!

    But yeah, way too long. Or maybe I crept through it way too slowly.

  17. bfwebster says:

    I made it to the final on my second campaign (I had abandoned the first, realizing the mistakes I had made). And…I never finished it. I made a few saves along the way, ran into some problems, tried to reload the saves, and my entire computer hung (not just XCOM 2, the entire computer). I do have a pre-final-mission save, so I’ll probably take a stab at it after a few more patches come out.

  18. yhancik says:

    That’s the kind of screenshots I expect to see from a Free Loaders post :D

  19. TheMopeSquad says:

    I didn’t get that but what I did get was an Archon I killed but he never went away, instead he just flew into a column and got stuck in the flying animation and I had to listen to his endless FWOOOOSH FWOOOSHING while the aliens slowly destroyed me and my computer performance kept dropping from all the shit on screen.

    • SuicideKing says:

      Oh yeah, during some points there were SO MANY PARTICLES. Probably what you get for destructible environments. Probably should turn decals to “static only” – I didn’t though.

  20. Muzman says:

    Couldn’t they write this up as the aliens finally gaining power over Reality Itself, or something?

  21. albamuth says:

    Playing on Veteran-Ironman, I had to restart the final mission, only to discover that all my team’s passive abilities were gone! Two snipers with me, with no squadsight pretty much makes that last mission totally impossible until a bugfix is released. I might just start from the beginning again to fill the time…

    • Premium User Badge

      ooshp says:

      Restarted the mission on Ironman?

      • Herring says:

        If it’s anything like the original it allows you to retry the final mission if you fail even on Ironman.

  22. Jimbo says:

    Had the same thing on the final mission. Seemed like a fitting way to wrap up a busted and underwhelming game.

  23. Lauski says:

    Same here. Not many problems other than camera angle oddities and slowness until the final mission.

    Here, it was when I blasted one of the robots into one of those black drop-offs my first game-breaking problem popped up. It seemed the game was never content and couldn’t decide physically where to “settle” the corpse. I listened to clanking metal and for several minutes before giving up.

    Sadly, all auto-save reloads led to the same result even as I tried all sorts of moves and approaches to killing the bugged enemy. Was finally able to finish game with a manual, much earlier save.

    • Premium User Badge

      ooshp says:

      Odd, it usually has a timer on corpses. They stop doing physics n stuff after a few seconds and just hang there if they can’t find a place to settle.

      • cpt_freakout says:

        Sometimes the timer fails, I’ve experienced that kind of infinite corpse-hitting-scenery glitch before twice. Wasn’t playing Ironman or anything so I could reload, but I imagine it would’ve been unpleasant if I was indeed doing the CI run.

  24. April March says:

    XCom by Strangethink?

  25. Faze2 says:

    Yeah final mission for me didn’t feature any graphical bugs, but it DID feature the final avatar teleporting all the way back to the beginning of the level. Had to sacrifice my entire squad to slow down the waves of reinforcements long enough for my commander avatar to find it.

    Whole campaign came down to 1 70% shot. :\

    Here’s hoping the next patch is more substantial. Great game, but needs a *ahem* bug hunt. :P

  26. Raoul Duke says:

    This game is clearly very poorly made. Yet this problem, like the caps lock debacle, is once again a charming delight, apparently.

    • klops says:

      It’s your computer’s fault. The devs couldn’t have released something unfinished and buggy because Jake Solomon is such a good guy. And if they did, they couldn’t have known about the problems because Jake told us so. Jake Solomon was nice during XCOM:EU interviews so we have no reason to doubt him.

      • larkintosh says:

        I’ve had glitches with the fishes below the final mission map,recently not been able to watch the final cutscene on my 2nd+ walkthrough after the patch was released. They knew it had bugs and decided to rush the game. There’s even content inside the game that is unfinished and was modded to work.

    • Alice O'Connor says:

      Yes, it is a charming delight. Did you not see the pictures? Delightful!

  27. Banks says:

    This is no random glitch, It happens to almost everyone. The last mission also has a wide variety of gamebreaking bugs like the gamera getting stuck underground, soldiers not being able to move, enemies taking 2 hours each turn, crashes, overwatch not working at all…

    And they say they weren’t aware of this… ok Firaxis.

    • klops says:

      You can’t judge the devs since you’ve not programmed a game yourself. It is hard work and only game programmers are allowed to criticize buggy games. Not customers.

      • Llewyn says:

        You can criticize all you want. And other commenters can call you out for having absolutely no clue what you’re talking about; they’re allowed to do that too.

        In other words, as a paying customer you can be unhappy about a product for any reason you want. However buying a product doesn’t qualify you to understand how it’s made or why it has the problems it has.

        • klops says:

          But I do have a clue what I’m talking about. The bugs/glitches/problems in XCOM 2 in this case. I don’t have a clue why they’re there, and it would be ridiculous to require that.

          I (and I presume you and most other here) have no clue about how most of the stuff we pay for is done. But when I pay for something I (and again I presume most of us) expect it to be tested and working (unless it is prototype, ea or openly flawed product). I’ve bought cars, medical services, pasta, movies, games, tram rides and so on with very little knowledge what is required to do for the product or service to be available.

          I see no reason why I should “have a clue” about car engineering if my newly bought car does not work and I complain about it, as I see no reason why I should “have a clue” about computer programming when a computer game has many bugs in it and I complain about them.

          If the service or product has serious flaws, I feel a much healthier approach is to criticize these flaws so the people/businesses selling them (might) pay more attention to these flaws in the future than to support the release of unfinished products.

          • klops says:

            To soften this up: I’m not enraged about XCOM 2’s performance and bugs and haven’t encountered that many crashes or any other critical. Most likely the those problems are very stressful for the devs, which is a bummer without any sarcasm included. I also know that there aren’t many, if any, new and complex games that are almost bug-free. XCOM 2 is the only new game I’ve bought in more than 5 years, so it reminded me of the poor state games are released.

            I just don’t see why we should be so understanding for game devs since we’re not understanding to any other people we shove our money to. Perhaps I’m an idealistic idiot for demanding properly published products, but if the customers and the press won’t do that, things won’t improve.

    • SuicideKing says:

      This never happened to me, nor anyone else I know who played the game (same goes for the rest of the bugs you speak of), so proclaiming it standard state of affairs isn’t accurate at all.

      That said, it clearly does happen, so the devs need to look into it.

    • keiya says:

      I didn’t have anything like this happen. Some weird animation issues, like an alien running forward, teleporting back, then running through a wall to get to the same place they ran to the first time, but nothing major.

  28. Shiloh says:

    Pic 19 – no wonder that chap’s white hair is standing on end… look at the size of that big purple alien cock. Is that the final boss?

    • Xocrates says:


      Yes and no. The final boss, so to speak, is to kill three of those guys, but that one is particular is the Commander, i.e. you.

      • Xocrates says:

        And yes, I’m obviously talking about the big purple alien cock and not the white aired dude.

        • Shiloh says:

          So you have to kill three big purple alien cocks to win the game?

          That’s a bold design choice.

  29. Josh W says:

    I had some beautiful tiling bugs in last run through of the original game, but nothing like this, and when I alt-tabbed out to find out how to take screenshots, it sadly rectified itself. I was looking forward to showing my tie-dye skies with the world.

  30. Dominare says:

    I had this happen once in the final room too, but reloading the start of turn autosave fixed it and it didn’t happen again. Guess I got lucky?

  31. monstermeal says:

    Same thing happened to me, but rebooting the game and loading my save seemed to fix the problem. Last mission was still a real bitch to beat.

    • Booker says:

      That’s not a fix, that’s a workaround. A fix would prevent it from happening again by removing the problem which caused this bug.