XCOM 2 Patch Targets Performance, Balance, Bugs

Firaxis have released a big ole patch for XCOM 2 [official site], aiming to improve everything from performance to balance. Even as one of the lucky folks who hasn’t had many problems with XCOM 2 (I mean, aside from when I had the final mission turn into a colourful glitch-o-rama), I’m glad to see some of these changes. The new ‘Zip Mode’, which trims a lot of the dramatic pauses and delays in combat, sounds great. If you are someone who had bigger problems… tell me, does this help?

This 400MB download is “the first major patch”, Firaxis say, and the patch notes make it look that way. Go on, have a look. You’ll find plenty of tweaks aimed at improving performance, a combination of technical fixes and settings changes like reducing the resolution of high-resolution shadows.

On the balance side, Firaxis are making the Mimic Beacon – a hugely powerful item – less powerful by increasing the price of buying ’em and by making it so, when deployed, the mimics can’t take cover and will always be hit when enemies shoot at them. The Wet Work combat tactic, which boosts XP earned from kills, no longer applies retroactively so veterans won’t get a big boost when you purchase the upgrade. Firaxis have reworked Graze hits too.

Aaand you’ll also find bug fixes and crash fixes and exploit fixes and loads of other stuff. But if you’re using mods, be aware of this:

“If you have mods enabled after installing the patch, launch it once, close the game, and launch it again. Players will only have to do this once. After the restart, the game will have initialized the patch to work with mods. While the majority of mods will operate in harmony with the patch, some mods may conflict with patch updates and will need to be updated to take advantage of the patch improvements.”

Our Alec has given me “free reign to say I was a dumbo for whining yesterday” but no, I agree – it was silly for Firaxis to talk excitedly about DLC before the game was fixed. So, if you were one of the folks with big XCOM 2 performance problems, how’s it looking after this patch?


  1. Choca says:

    They nerfed the mimic beacon (which is good news) but I can’t find any details on some of the bugged items in the patch notes.

    I hope the Hazmat Suit finally protects its user against Acid like it’s supposed to and that the Smoke Grenade, well… does something.

    • geminigod says:

      Smoke grenades not mentioned in update notes, so I’m assuming that huge issue that takes 2 seconds to fix is still not fixed.

      I think this perfectly demonstrates a problem here with developer prioritization. The hotfix focus is mostly on visual glossy stuff when the focus should be on glaring strategic bugs such as:
      1. Aforementioned broken smoke grenade responsible for thousands of wrongful soldier deaths.
      2. Line of sight tracking is a complete joke!!! It ruins the best commander’s well laid plans and just about ruins this game for me. It is almost comical when considering LOS worked perfectly in xcom 1, and it is even more important in this game due to concealment! Enemy and soldiers can see and shoot through many walls, doors, & ceilings when they shouldn’t. Fixing this should be highest priority IMO! Can somebody please give me a ditto on this??
      3. Enemies out of visible range can often be seen, especially if they use abilities such as with the modded Advent Reconnaisance Unit.
      4. Conversely, sometimes enemies can’t be seen even though they are within aiming range.
      5. The end-game battles are a technical hot mess. Don’t even know where to start there.

      • popej says:

        I’ve not really experienced any hugely severe LOS bugs myself after one C/I completion and many new games started. Well, other than the one where entire buildings become see-through (fixed my exiting to main menu and reloading save).

        Are there other LOS bugs or is the above the one you’re referring to?

        On an entirely different subject, we need a list of mods that are now obsolete following the patch changes.

        • geminigod says:

          If you aren’t noticing LOS bugs it is because you have gotten used to them. I am constantly shooting and getting shot through floors and walls. I am constantly having concealment broken or getting spotted on roofs or behind closed doors when there is no true LOS. I am constantly having enemies rush straight toward soldiers who’s location should not be known.

          Did you play much Xcom 1? The difference in LOS mechanics is pretty glaring.

          • popej says:

            I played a lot of Firaxis EU, EW and Long War. Shooting through walls, floors and all sorts was definitely a thing in those too.

            I guess it may be worse in Xcom 2 so in some respects you’re right, I’ve gotten used to them (or just don’t care enough) :P

          • popej says:

            Erm, apologies. Not sure what I was thinking when I typed this god awful sentence: “Shooting through walls, floors and all sorts was definitely a thing in those too.”

            Should be “Shooting through walls, floors etc was definitely a thing in the previous games too.”

          • jalf says:

            I don’t quite agree with the ragefest in the comment you’re replying to, but yes, there are some serious LOS issues in XCOM2 that the first game didn’t have.

            In the first game, there were lots of visual quirks, like people shooting through corners or obstacles. But that was just visual stuff, and fairly predictable. But in XCOM2, you can sometimes shoot through the center of a wall, and I’ve been shot before standing inside a building, by an alien standing on the roof, apparently seeing (and shooting) me through the roof.

            The ragey tantrums about how Firaxis’ priorities are all wrong and how I could fix all these issues in the blink of an eye with one hand tied on my back, walking uphill in the snow, though… eh, I can’t be arsed with that. That’s just childish. And it betrays a certain ignorance of how software development works.

            Chill, people. Despite what you may believe, they didn’t make this game just to spite you.

          • geminigod says:

            @Jalf, read some of the comments further down to see just how simple some of the problems are to fix.

            Please don’t misunderstand my rant as me saying I hate this game. I am a huge xcom fan and am passionate about this game, which is why it is so frustrating that it was released before it was ready and is relying too heavily on the modding community working for free.

      • geminigod says:

        People might complain more about graphics problems, but the truth is most people will overlook graphics problems if the game is fun and strategically excellent. Hence why retro games are making such a comeback. Fix the core game first!!!!

        • Punning Pundit says:

          The game is “fun and strategically excellent”, though. These graphics problems aren’t, like, the game not looking pretty, or not running at a high enough frame rate. Rather, they are studdering and jittering random pauses that take people out of the game. It’s a bit different.

          • geminigod says:

            @punning_pundit, I actually agree the game is fun and almost strategically excellent, which is why I am providing critical feedback rather than just never playing it again.

        • RaveTurned says:

          Agree to some extent, but my understanding is that the performance issues are bad enough on some systems that the game is unplayable. Also on some systems the graphics glitches mean things like flames and acid are sometimes not rendered properly. I’d argue bugs that mean players can’t see critical strategic information are higher priority than mechanics changes.

      • mathead says:

        Yeah, I remember suddenly losing half a team because they could be seen through a ceiling that wasn’t supposed to be transparent. LOS really is an issue.

        Another isuue not mentioned here: groups of ennmies getting alerted in cascade. This occurs specially in retaliation mission which eventually turn into suicide missions: suddenly, an ennemy groups spots you and two mutons and one berserkers come out of the bushes. Then immediately, two sectoids and an advanced trooper appear, then immediately again, another group with a stunner, an officer and an advance trooper make their entrance an last not least, two faceless uncover themselves. No matter how good your team is, it’s 100% dead.

        I also feel that uncovering themselves should cost the faceless an action. It’s specially unfair when you’re at the end of a retaliation mission where you concentrated on quickly killing the ennemy rather than free civilians and all of a sudden, two faceless change shape near you ans proceed to run to your soldiers and bit the crap out of them before you can finish to say ‘oh dear’.

        • cpt_freakout says:

          When you use LOS enhancements like the one from the Hacker line, you’ll notice that, while in concealment, all enemy pods near to you (and only those near) will actually begin to get closer, practically to no exception. This, I think, is by design (read it in one interview or another, maybe the one with Jake Solomon in this site), because the devs want you to play the tactics game, not stealth straight through a mission (trust me, I tried, it almost never works… maybe unless you’re using True Concealment, but I wasn’t).

          If you’re talking about when you’re already engaged in combat, well, it depends on the map, but if it’s a small map you can count on all the pods being close to each other. Like in Retaliation missions, they’re all close by so you gotta try to be as quick as you can about killing a pod or two.

          • mathead says:

            I’m talking specially about retaliation mission and about being already visible. I always try to proceed as quickly as possible but I found myself in absolutely unwinnable situations more than once, at least on ‘commander’ difficulty, because I stepeed into a crushing ambush with 8 or 9 ennemies who all appeared at once, including Berserkers, Mutons, Faceless, sectoids and an assortment of soldiers. Usually, that’s the third retaliation mission and it’s literally unpredictable and unwinnable.

        • geminigod says:

          Glad to hear the LOS issue agreement, though on your retaliation criticism, that is not a bug. It is strategy. Part of the job of a commander is to realize when its time to cut your losses and retreat. On higher difficulty levels, don’t expect to be able to win every mission. Losing a mission is easy to recover from. Losing a whole squad can be difficult.

          • mathead says:

            Yeah. Took me some time to get over not being able to win every mission. I think I’ll just skip the second retaliation mission in the future, as this is the one where I tend to be completely underpowered while the game keeps throwing mutons, berserkers, sectoids and faceless at me, plus a garden variety of foot soldiers.

      • ItsPooly says:

        You won’t see a fix for LOS because it simply isn’t broken. You can check the LOS debugging mode if you think there is actually a glitch, but I doubt it. Even grates or holes in the wall you and aliens vision.

  2. Rizlar says:

    Can’t say the mimic beacon nerf was unexpected but I rather enjoyed trying to fling it into a good position with high cover to keep as many aliens busy as possible. Sounds a bit more boring now, ah well!

    • subedii says:

      To be honest, I’m still surprised that flashbangs, which are available right from the start, are still so valuable.

      Maybe it’s just me but I always try to carry at least one or two. Ridiculously large AOE, and whilst it doesn’t do damage, it effectively neutralises a lot of the enemies most brutal abilities, and nerfs their aim (and their distance?) as well.

      Advent Lancer? Can’t rush you anymore. Viper? Can’t pull. Sectoid? Can’t (or won’t) use Psi attacks on you anymore

      • Papageno says:

        And thank God/the stars/the FSM for the flashbangs. I’m not a real fan of BOTH nerfing the mimic beacons and making them more expensive. Sounds like they’ve overcompensated on that score.

        • Xocrates says:

          With that in mind:

          link to twitter.com

          • Rizlar says:

            I did consider that making them consumable might be a better nerf but in fact thank god they didn’t. >.< Flashbangs are a great gizmo too, stuff like this makes the game so much more fun.

          • Papageno says:

            I don’t understand–are they not consumable? My soldier throws a mimic beacon and it’s gone for that battle, no?

          • Punning Pundit says:

            It’s a one-use-per-mission item currently. Unlike- say- the berserker serum (whatever that’s called), which is used once by one soldier, and then can’t be used again unless it is build again.

      • mathead says:

        The first time I used a flashbang, it seemed to do nothing to the ennemy, so I gave up using them. So I gues I’ll give them another chance then.

      • Premium User Badge

        DelrueOfDetroit says:

        Flashbangs will do damage if you have the Grenadier perk that gives extra damage to grenades. Not sure if this is something they overlooked or not.

        • mathead says:

          Oh, really. Didin’t know that but it’s not even damage I was after. When I used my first flashbang in this game, the ennemy seemed widely unaffected. Of course, that’s very subjective given that I don’t see their aiming percentage.

  3. jefftheplayer53 says:

    This patch does a lot of graphical “downgrading” instead of a lot of fixing or optimization like the game needs. Xcom 2 is still a technical mess (lots of stuttering, and poor framerate even though I greatly exceed the required specs), and I feel like they may have rushed it in order to sell more DLC. They didn’t fix smoke grenades? How is that possible? It’s a couple lines in the code..I appreciate that RPS has a comment section and looks to the community for feedback. Please check the performance of the game yourselves, and report on it. This game got a lot of glowing praise despite horrendous performance, and I’d like to see the devs/pubs held somewhat responsible since we have zero power as consumers after we’ve bought the product. Please RPS, I would really like to see some of the popular websites start commenting about how this isn’t acceptable. It wasn’t ok with Arkham Knight, and it isn’t ok with Xcom despite the fact we all love the game itself.

    • Premium User Badge

      onesandzeroes says:

      It’s a couple lines in the code

      You don’t know that and have no way of knowing that. People on the internet are always claiming to have some special insight into immensely complex software projects because they play a lot of video games, and it’s utterly bizarre to me.

      • jefftheplayer53 says:

        Normally I would agree with you. I hate when some people act like they know how to program. It’s annoying.

        Unfortunately, you’re underestimating the incompetence of Firaxis here.

        From the Mod Workshop (there are several of these fixes by the way)

        “Smoke Grenade Fix
        -Corrects a bug that prevents Smoke Grenade’s from working properly. All smoke grenade’s would do is place the smoke visual effect, but the actual reduction to hit chance was not added to the ini, so it was effectively useless.
        This mod sets Smoke to give 25% defense to all units in the smoke. Smoke bomb’s give the same 25% as grenades, but have a larger effect radius.

        You can also add;

        Do you understand that? They literally didn’t add a value to Smoke Grenades. How much laziness and/or incompetence does it take to not add the numerical value? Xcom 2 got off real easy on this release. I’m shocked Rock Paper Shotgun has been so ..friendly and positive about coverage. If this was a tired franchise like Batman, reviewers would have ripped it to shred for it’s technical issues. I’d like to see a little more consistency, and concern for the consumer here.

        • Jane Doe says:

          I can count the games RPS actually criticized last year on one hand. They only test games they love and then–surprisingly–adore them with daily specials, diaries and so on.

          Its Fallout 4 all over again, which was a slap in every PC gamers face.

          I made it to the finale of XCOM 2 and–while it was playable–it seemed shockingly unfinished and deserving of a warning label “DO NOT BUY (yet)”, like X Rebirth. Maybe the press got a different version or something.

          • Premium User Badge

            Phasma Felis says:

            Hahaha, what? Or you trolling, or do you not read RPS very much?

          • bonuswavepilot says:

            Well, we mustn’t pre-judge these things… It is possible Jane has many more fingers than usual on that hand.

          • Sandepande says:

            My face remained quite unslapped by Fallout 4 or XCOM2 or RPS, thanks.

    • ItsPooly says:

      What are you talking about. Please actually explain. I’m playing on the same settings, and I’ve seen a pretty hefty increase in performance. They released a hotfix that removed a ridiculous graphic settings that could never be optimized for from a specific preset, but that’s it. I’ve seen no evidence they’ve actually downgraded the game to fix performance.

      • jefftheplayer53 says:

        You must have skipped over the patch notes, and maybe you need to look more closely.

        -Reduced High Shadow Resolution – Reduce shadow resolution when set to HIGH to 1536, instead of 2048 (so they’ve changed what “high” means in terms of shadows)
        -Disabled shadow casting from character lights w/in Avenger
        -Shadowed light fade out within Avenger
        -After changing graphics settings, based on the selected preset, extra crew will be capped

  4. X_kot says:

    “Engineering items that are full squad upgrades are now designated in the UI”

    Hey, that sounds like a feature that would have helped XCOM1 vets transition to the new way that equipment upgrades are handled. I am embarrassed to say how long I spent trying to find out how to build more than one arc sword for my squad.

    • DasBlob says:

      You are not alone. I delayed buying armor because I thought the price was for a single suit (like the war suit / spider suit from the workshop). “I can’t afford that, recruits are much cheaper in comparison, I thought.”
      I imagine a very awkward moment where Chen explains to the Commander that soldiers died because he did not understand how items are priced. “Must have been to little anti-freeze in his cryo-suit, she thought.”

    • bonuswavepilot says:

      Yep, right there with ya.

    • mathead says:

      Same here. They just would have needed to add a few words to the upgrade. Meh!

      • mathead says:

        …ooops. Just saw that they did add those words.

        Good job, way to go!

  5. wcq says:

    But, but! With all the unexpected behavior the game exhibited, mimic beacons were pretty much the only thing that got me through my Commander Ironman playthrough. I’ve seen things including but not limited to:

    – Gremlin movement sometimes triggering pods and sometimes not
    – Soldiers setting themselves on fire with plasma weapons
    – Soldiers losing their second action point for no reason
    – Enemies just plain getting free turns in specific circumstances (such as Andromedons dying to overwatch fire)
    – Some enemies being randomly immune to grenades
    – Line-of-sight calculations being bugged to heck
    – Environmental destruction calculations being bugged to heck
    – Graphics being bugged to heck and back

    Even so, I’m glad it’s finally getting patched, even a little bit. The state of the game at launch and the post-launch support have both been frankly embarrassing.

    • Sorbicol says:

      I get the enemy free turns thing with lancers. Crippled two ironman runs on classic already with that……

    • PhilBowles says:

      I think some of this is intended, just not documented. In my experience:

      – GREMLINs only trigger pods if Vigilance is active, and only if XCOM is concealed, unless the GREMLIN crashes through a window or other barrier.

      – Plasma weapons setting soldiers on fire I take to be a deliberate ‘overheat’ effect, as there’s no other reason for it to trigger only on those specific weapon types – and in fact I think (but can’t be sure) it only happens with beam cannons. Something in the code must actively tell the coomputer when to start fires, after all.

      Haven’t run across the others aside from graphical and LOS glitches.

      • popej says:

        That bug sometimes triggers when the Grenadier uses their cover destroying gun ability (the one that fires in a cone, not Demolition). I suppose you could rationalise that as their ‘heavy weapon is overheating’ but I’m pretty sure all instances of it are a bug.

      • Coming Second says:

        For me, the only time a beam cannon has set a soldier on fire was when it clipped the half-cover she was firing over, setting THAT on fire. Which, whilst deeply annoying, was explicable.

  6. Wormerine says:

    After a quick mission playthrough I can see minor improvements. The base view doesn’t stutter as much as it did (it isn’t 60FPS smooth though.) Soldier outfitting/debriefing screens run better as well (those 3 things were the worst in my experience.) The game still runs terribly for me, even though I am running on a relatively decent laptop (and well above recommended specs.)

    • Frank V. says:

      In the same boat; I’m not seeing a significant difference. ‘Disappointed’ would be an understatement.

    • Horg says:

      Same here, it performs a little better across the board but i’d still say it runs like crap in general. I was hoping to start a fresh campaign when this patch released, but it’s just not done enough.

    • geminigod says:

      On a crappy system, the FPS is much improved. So I applaud that improvement even though I wish other gameplay issues took higher priority.

  7. tenochtitlan says:

    As someone with constant crashes (one particularly persistent one preventing me from going beyond the network tower mission no matter the reloads or mission restarts), it seems the patch worked great. Never had big non-crash performance issues, so can’t comment on that.

  8. aircool says:

    Framerate not a problem, but still jerks around a lot. Then again, I am testing the patched game on the last part of the finale with all those aliens running around.

  9. Kamakamikaze says:

    I tested 5 min and thats enough, still crapy performance.
    Still stuttering at 60FPS (Caused By Internet Connection via Wlan)
    And still breakin a Wall Fps goes down to 20 Fps and stay there, ridig. .
    The Avenger i dont want to test, for me its clear, Firaxis ruined the Game.
    It is no fun.
    This is no game , its work, mostly for the modding community.
    DUCK U FIRAXIS!!! And shame on u to screw up such a nice game idea only for Money. PAH….

  10. Banks says:

    I uninstalled the game immediately after finishing the campaing and I don’t plan on touching it again for a few months. And judging by the decline of steam concurrent users, a lot of people did the same.

    Still, it’s good to see that firaxis is working on the issues.

    • Alfy says:

      I went straight for a refund. I’ll buy it later IF it’s cheap and IF it gets properly patched. Developers had better take care with this new Steam refund policy, I expect games released in a shoddy state to increasingly face this kind of reaction.

  11. FeloniousMonk says:

    Okay, I was definitely one of the unlucky sorts who just had inexplicably bad performance, far beyond what my specs would suggest or explain. I didn’t spend a whole lot of time on trying to monkey around fixing it, figuring that Firaxis would eventually come out with a patch and fix it. And I realize I’m in the minority here, but at least as far as I’m concerned, they did. Loading speeds are way up, framerates are tremendously improved. It’s night and day. This is not to say the game is running smoothly – it stutters, but it doesn’t lag. Load times are noticeable, but not so much that I’m staring at my phone looking for something to do for 4 minutes. Much, much better.

  12. andycheese says:

    I find it difficult to simulate the same level of outrage shown elsewhere on this comment board… Sure the game’s a bit buggy, sure there are some graphical glitches here and there, but it’s still a great game. It’s only been out for a month and Firaxis have already released two patches: to me that shows that they really do care and want to set things right. I’m not going to pretend that I’m a coder, or a programmer or whatever, but I appreciate that in a game of this magnitude there must be a staggering number of variables to contend with. What we have at the minute is a flawed gem. Give Jake and his team a bit more time to polish it and we’ll wind up with something truly priceless.

    • jefftheplayer53 says:

      Hmmm. They put out a “hotfix” that addressed some very minor things and the chryssalid bug, and a single patch in more than a month. Not exactly the Witcher 3 treatment. I’d give them so more time without any grief…If I get some of my money back. As it is, people who wait will get a far better experience than I have, and get the game for cheaper. I’ve basically paid to have been an unknowing beta tester. God forbid Firaxis announces a console port before they fix these issues. I’m a bit sick of terrible technical releases like Xcom 2. You’re right though. There is a gem under all the mess…and it should have been reviewed as such, instead of assuming the mess would be cleaned. Maybe that would have given them incentive to do so. As it is, they can sit back, collect money off all the positive coverage, ignore any criticisms, and focus on DLC and a possible console release.

      • geminigod says:


      • popej says:

        It really isn’t that bad.

        • phylum sinter says:

          It isn’t that bad if you happen to have the right configuration, it seems. It was that way on launch.

          But remember, just as you probably just have one system to judge it on, so do others.

          What i’m saying is that a minor glitch here and there for you could translate to terrible ‘zippering’ of audio and stuttering of frames, freezes, eventual lockups for other people.

          I happen to be one of those people, please stop presuming that your system is the perfect litmus for every system running this game.

  13. Nihilexistentialist says:

    The people who work on DLC aren’t all of the same ones who work on patches which is why there’s different announcements at different. Unless you prefer that the marketing department run the company instead?

  14. geminigod says:

    Credit where credit is due, the “zippy mode” with this patch is wonderful improvement. It does a better job than the “Stop Wasting My Time” mod making that mod now unnecessary.

    • bonuswavepilot says:

      Excellent news! Although without the SWMT mod, I may have to install the one that shuts up Bradford during retaliation missions separately (didn’t need to previously because it is bundled in with SWMT).

      • geminigod says:

        Yeah bradford pauses are still supper long and annoying just like before, even on zippy mode.

      • geminigod says:

        And by long I mean painfully “is my game frozen?” long.

  15. mathead says:

    What annoys me most is they had the time to release a pure cashgrab DLC with 20$’s worth of silly makeup and at the same time, a lot of major bugs are still unfixed.

  16. larkintosh says:

    Smoke grenades not mentioned in update notes, so I’m assuming that huge issue that takes 2 seconds to fix is still not fixed.

    I think this perfectly demonstrates a problem here with developer prioritization. The hotfix focus is mostly on visual glossy stuff when the focus should be on glaring strategic bugs such as:
    1. Aforementioned broken smoke grenade responsible for thousands of wrongful soldier deaths.
    2. Line of sight tracking is a complete joke!!! It ruins the best commander’s well laid plans and just about ruins this game for me. It is almost comical when considering LOS worked perfectly in xcom 1, and it is even more important in this game due to concealment! Enemy and soldiers can see and shoot through many walls, doors, & ceilings when they shouldn’t. Fixing this should be highest priority IMO! Can somebody please give me a ditto on this??
    3. Enemies out of visible range can often be seen, especially if they use abilities such as with the modded Advent Reconnaisance Unit.
    4. Conversely, sometimes enemies can’t be seen even though they are within aiming range.
    5. The end-game battles are a technical hot mess. Don’t even know where to start there.

  17. mathead says:

    I noticed that when go into aiming mode, the old version of XCOM 2 would always show me the best option first. Now it’s the worst option first, which is annoying and makes no sense.

  18. Kamakamikaze says:

    If u Buy a car u dont wanna drive straight into a service station.
    What policy is that ? releasing a mess of a game, lying like it is ready: ITS NOT!!! .

    Why the hell there are still some Fanboys comments here ?
    A GEM???
    if i shit on the floor its a gem too, u just have to push it very hard.
    Firaxis earned a blizzard of shitstorm after this action.
    Never buy a game again from those devs.
    And the list grow and grow.

    Frontiers = Bullshit
    Bethesda = Bullshit
    Ubisoft = Bullshit
    EA = Bullshit
    Blizzard = Bullshit
    Firaxis = Bullshit

    Why ? cause their are liars and they deceive us gamers.
    And some of us still say ” oh come on they are patching now stuff”, oh for fffff sake , they lied to u and u are still friendly to them?!?! they deserve a hardcore kick in the balls for that.
    Thats what IM thinkin

    • Punning Pundit says:

      I’ve put 110 hours into this game already. I certainly don’t feel that they “deserve a kick in the balls”. I will grant that the graphics glitches are a bit annoying, but they are certainly not enough to keep me from enjoying this game.

      XCOM 2 is- in my opinion- a fantastic game that (with some polish [Jake: Buff Swords please!]) will be a legendarily good game.

      You may well be having a different experience with XCOM 2. It may be that the glitches which are merely annoying on my machine make the game unplayable on yours. That would be totally frustrating. You may be finding that the game is totally playable, but you wanted a different experience than this game is providing- in that case no amount of polishing would make you feel like you got your money’s worth.

      But in answer to your confusion over why there are fanboys (and, presumably, fangirls also), well. I’m having a blast with the game. I don’t think I’m alone.

      And for the record: with enough time, work, patience and knowledge, you can actually polish a turd into a nice looking gem. There was a great episode of mythbusters about this.

      • Horg says:

        ”with enough time, work, patience and knowledge, you can actually polish a turd into a nice looking gem”

        We were so busy asking weather or not we could, we neglected to ask if we should : |

        Then again, i’ll stand a round for anyone who can marry their S.O. with a poop-stone ring.

      • mathead says:

        I put 200 hours into this game and I’d say it’s about 82% great but still has some rough edge. I specially feel that any difficulty above ‘normal’ should be called ‘frustrating’ and ‘beyond impossible’. But maybe the issue is that I actually suck at the game but my playthrough in ‘normal’ difficulty went fine and I even felt it got way too easy once you passed the buildup phase. the again, I tried about 30 times to play a game on ‘commander’ difficulty and failed each time because at some point in the game, the difficulty curve makes a jump and I get confronted with incredibly unfair pods (two mutons, one berserker, etc.) I know some people master the ‘commander’ difficulty but I find it strange that I can’t, even though I’m quite experienced so I’m just going to say I believe the game is only well balanced in normal mode right now while higher difficulties aren’t right now.

        • geminigod says:

          Commander and legend just require a different mindset. You will lose missions. Soldiers will die. The goal is not to play flawlessly and save scum. The goal is to play the long game and minimize the inevitable losses.

          • mathead says:

            Yeah, I’ve learned that lesson already. The point is that in commander, the difficulty makes a steep jump forward at some point, approximately around the 10th mission, when the game pushes you into a retaliation mission full of mutons and berserkers and you will certainly lose because your only major advancement is magnetic weapons at that point. Bronzeman sounds like what I want. I’ve been resetting some mission with the alternative starter that comes with the game (replay-stop-save), but it’s tedious and buggy also. One time, instead of having the mission being resetted, my whole squad got abducted.

        • geminigod says:

          Download the Bronzeman mod. It is nicer than ironman but doesn’t let you save scum on missions. It really helps get out of the mentality of having to play flawlessly. Lick your wounds during the early game and push on.

  19. Caml says:

    Has anyone else had performance issues *with* the mod? After I downloaded it and reset my graphics settings (What GeForce Experience says are my optimum settings), it’s been even more of a bear on my system. Skyranger scenes went from running at about 20 fps- slow but tolerable- to a raggedy-ass 5 fps. Avenger is barely in double-digits and very laggy, as is the Geoscape. If I knock down the resolution to 720p and reduce the draw distance and turn off everything dynamic, I finally get respectable performance, but it looks like mud.

    I love the customization and a lot of the tactical elements, especially the new classes, but I’m seriously considering waiting for more patches and/or waiting months until my new job starts and I can get a new graphics card- which I think is a shitty solution.

    Specs: AMD FX-8150 3.6GHz 8-core, 2GB GTX660 Signature, 8GB RAM, 512GB SSD, Windows 7 SP1

  20. Belfaborac says:

    Barring overly long pauses and transitions I never had any performance issues at all with the game pre-patch (on an i7 3820@4.5GHz, 32GB RAM, GTX 980Ti, Win10 x64). I may or may not have had a steady 60+ FPS (I honestly have no idea, as I never had any cause to check or verify my FPS), but I never noticed anything I would class as problematic. Post-patch it’s a little smoother, but for me it essentially performs just the same as before.

    Can’t say I’ve noticed many problems with LoS either. There’s been the odd LoS-related WTF?! moment of course, but after two play-throughs I’m fairly sure I can count them on the fingers of one hand. Quite frankly I find the fact that my guys and girls keep shooting through corners rather than around them a much more annoying “feature”.

    Anyway, overall I have no problem stating that XCOM 2 is one of my all-time favourite games. Sure it’s a little buggy and sure it’s a little glitchy, but I’ve already had more good times with this game than I’ve had with most other games in a much, much longer time.

    But of course, YMMV.

  21. phylum sinter says:

    I came back to this hoping that someone might have found the magic fix for the audio/zippering/memory leak/crashing issues that i’ve had with the game since launch.

    The patch for me re-introduced some of the zippering that i was able to fix via the other Xcom 2 fixes article you guys posted a while back. The performance still drops from the first moment to the eventual crash, for me usually 3 missions or so. Before it reaches this, the in game movies get more prone to pausing, eventually freezing where i have to alt+tab out and back into the game, where it will last a few more minutes.

    Really hope the game still gets the polish i think it needs… or the driver update… or whatever. the mod, maybe? Somebody, fix this please!

    Until then i’ll be playing a few other things that run beautifully and have never crashed or frozen. It is possible, and they’ve spoiled me to accept much else.