Tour The Avenger With XCOM 2’s New Controller Support

Are they watching Norwegian slow television back there? Nice. I really like the Bergen Line one.

As the Commander in XCOM 2 [official site] played simulated battles from inside what was essentially a combination onesie/bubblebath/bed, why shouldn’t you slump on the sofa to play? A new patch today has added proper controller support to Firaxis’s turn-based tactical alienblaster. It may be handy for sofaplay, for giving that clawed mousehand a rest, and for players with certain disabilities. The makers suggest another use too: using a controller with the debug camera to have a nosey through the Avenger, seeing what your soldiers are up to.

Controller support is the headline feature of today’s patch, made for Xbox 360 and Xbone pads. Fiddling may be required for other pads, or not! You know your hardware better than I. XCOM 2 has supported the Steam Controller all along but, y’know, that’s a weird lapmouse – different thing.

The update also fixes a problem that was keeping total conversions from being distributed on the Steam Workshop, and adds support for mods including videos. A few other bugs are fixed too, including some apparently minor enough to not detail. Big performance improvements have still not materialised.

Do be aware that some players are reporting this update has broken some/many/all mods for them. That’s not unheard of for updates and many modders will surely scramble to fix things but, er, you might want to keep Steam in offline mode or otherwise avoid updating if you have a modded game on the go right now.

Speaking of mods, cor, did you see that co-op mod?

As for the Avenger tour, it is a bit of a fuss but does look nice. Follow these instructions to install the SDK, enable the debug camera, and grab a controller to take some very fancy screenshots or wander the Avenger. Here’s XCOM 2 creative director Jake Solomon to explain:


  1. Thulsa Hex says:

    I have a friend who loves XCOM but hasn’t played this yet because an injury prevents him from spending too much time using a mouse and keyboard. This is much better for him. I also much preferred playing the previous game on the sofa, so I’m happy for me, too. It’s bonkers that it took so long.

    • ninjapirate says:

      Have him look into “VoiceAttack”. If he’s more comfortable playing with a controller, that piece of software might help make a few (strategy) games more accessible for him. All he needs is a bit of creativity!

  2. welverin says:

    With the console release out of the way they probably just ported the control scheme over.

    I like how they avoided complaints about the game being dumbed down for the console version by not just holding back the release, but not even announcing it until after the PC version was out.

    • Quite So says:

      I got the impression as well that they had left out controller support to appease the PC complainers.

      I like playing PC games with a controller if at all possible. It’s just more comfortable, and outside of FPS shooters (for aiming accuracy) or menu-heavy games that really need a mouse, most games play very well with proper controller support.

      I actually passed on this game due to lack of controller support. Now that it’s included, I’ll put it on my wishlist and wait for a sale…

      • shaydeeadi says:

        The controller support was annoying when it came out even with a Steam pad, and I couldn’t believe they took out the X360 pad support, absolutely ridiculous. Who were they pandering to by making the game less playable? Honestly, if that’s how you appease PC gamers then there is something seriously wrong with us all.

        I really wanted to enjoy this game (really liked the last one) but the combo of shitty pad support and seemingly endless menus in between missions made this game fall off my radar pretty fast.

  3. FeloniousMonk says:

    What are these total conversion mods of which you speak? Something more ambitious than the (admittedly awesome) ME3 skins and Tommy Wiseau voice packs?

  4. dystome says:

    I really want to eventually finish this game but it’s just too stressful. I think it’s that meter at the top of the map screen. The long-term dread makes it just not fun.

  5. Shadrach says:

    That’s… kind of surprising actually. I’ve had XCOM2 on the to-play list and always thought it had support for my X360 controller, since it states Full Controller support on Steam. I guess that was just for Steam controller? XCOM had controller support from the start didn’t it? *confused*

    • 5thWheel says:

      It didn’t really warrant the “Full Controller Support” tag for the Steam Controller support it shipped with in my opinion (no convenient way to activate abilities, no “A” button (you have to use a combination of triggers and “A” to “do action”)).
      I haven’t had chance to try mt XBOX controller with the new update yet, but I’m finally looking forward to playing this (played EU and EW on XBOX, and found the mouse/keyboard frustrating on PC).

  6. Tycow says:

    1.5GB update to add controller support and other minor fixes? :/

  7. Crafter says:

    > made for Xbox 360 and Xbone pads. Fiddling may be required for other pads

    I can’t help but be disappointed that we still don’t have any kind of general API for controllers.
    Infinite fiddling to adapt to a specific controller gets boring real soon.

    • TillEulenspiegel says:

      We used to. It was called DirectInput. Then Microsoft switched to XInput which only supported the Xbox 360 controller, because fuck you that’s why.

      Obviously other libraries and engines exist which support all gamepads, but a lot of major games still mostly use DirectX for everything.

  8. SuicideKing says:

    Looking at the amount of detail inside the avenger and surroundings that hardly anyone could see before, I can see why performance isn’t all that good on that screen!

  9. Benratha says:

    Still not sure if this was an update I was waiting for. Although I am still playing this there are some nasty graphics effects (like the ‘build facilities’ boxes not sitting over the background Avenger picture), and line-of-site bugs in the combat.

  10. DrollRemark says:


  11. Benratha says:

    A note of caution. YMMV, of course but since the update has installed the mouse + keyboard control seems to have suffered. Playing last night I had two soldiers with line of sight to a Gatekeeper and an Elite soldier. I targeted the Gatekeeper using the usual Tab method, with my soldier that had Bluescreen rounds equipped and pressed ‘enter’, only to see him fire on the Elite…
    In the course of two games last night this happened several times, so not an isolated incident.
    I am playing with several mods – can anyone comment if they have seen a similar thing in vanilla version?