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XCOM 2's Weird Caps Lock Load Time Trick Explained

Alien dentists HATE it!

One of the weirder performance-improving tips you may have heard for XCOM 2 [official site] is speeding up load times by hitting the Caps Lock key. It sounded unlikely, but it has worked for me. Others found it made them wait even longer, as XCOM 2 would crash and they'd need to relaunch it and reload and probably say some rude words on top I bet. What even is this trick? How does it work? Why don't developers Firaxis make XCOM 2 automatically do... whatever this is? They've now explained.

Firaxis told the big secret of Caps Lock to Eurogamer:

"Hitting the key, through a Rube-Goldberg-esque series of events, forces all outstanding load requests to be filled immediately in a single frame. This causes a massive hitch, and potentially could crash the game. If you don't care about those adverse effects the synchronous load is faster."

I always knew it was the right decision to replace my keyboard with a series of dominoes which, when pushed, knock down a chain of increasingly large dominoes which then strike a lighter to set off a firework which whizzes across the room to hit a wooden spoon which sets an egg rolling down a spiral slide and smashing into a knife then the egggoop oozes out and drips down onto balance scales to raise a pin in the other weighing pan to pop a balloon to startle a hamster which runs inside its ball and knocks over a glass of water into a kettle which boils the water to steam to moisten a paper towel until it tears and drops a battery into a special slot on my computer telling it I've pressed a key. Typing anything takes ages, with a lot of painstaking resetting, but sometimes I save a few seconds loading a video game level and it's all worth it.

If waiting makes you sweary, you might also be interested in this mod removing a lot of small pauses in combat.

Anyway, speaking of loading, why aren't more people talking about how great XCOM 2's billboard loading screens (not those Skyranger scenes) are?

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

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About the Author
Alice O'Connor avatar

Alice O'Connor

Associate Editor

Alice has been playing video games since SkiFree and writing about them since 2009, with nine years at RPS. She enjoys immersive sims, roguelikelikes, chunky revolvers, weird little spooky indies, mods, walking simulators, and finding joy in details. Alice lives, swims, and cycles in Scotland.

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