10 XCOM 2 Mods You Should Install Today

XCOM 2 vanilla is such a wonderful game, but the modding community made it so much grander. These ten mods should be installed on your game today.

XCOM 2, a turn-based strategy game from developer Firaxis Games, took the world by storm after the studio rebooted the classic franchise that pits an alien race against those human beings fighting for their planet. 

Like many PC games these days, the entire experience is made infinitely better by the inclusion of the modding community. Steam's Workshop functionality was taken full advantage of by Firaxis to ensure the gamers can implement their very own items, tweaks, and full expansions.

These are ten you should install today:

Optimizing Everything!

Let's be honest here -- XCOM 2 had quite a few optimization problems. While the strategy game is a lot of fun, there were issues some players could not look past. Thankfully, those in the modding community had a grand vision to fix those optimization problems and make the vanilla game ten times better.

Reliable Smoke

Reliable Smoke is a relatively simple mod for XCOM 2, but one that helps immensely. Basically, the entire premise of the modification is to fix how unreliable the smoke grenade indicator is within the vanilla game. A quick download via Steam ensures all smoke will provide the defense coverage originally claimed. No more aliens shooting through the fog like it was completely clear.

Stop Wasting My Time

Stop Wasting My Time is a bit of a mouthful for a mod, but so very useful. The community loves the mod, having voted multiple times to ensure it is top rated on the Workshop.

So, what does it do? This simple fix removes the lengthy wait time in-between slow elements, such as when the Avenger is moving. Nothing is messed up, thankfully.

EU Aim Rolls

In terms of optimization, there are no other mods that best EU Aim Rolls. The brilliant patch fixes a whole host of issues within the vanilla game, many of which you probably overlooked at first.

To start, the chance to hit and the chance to receive a critical have been separated, whereas they were originally combined into one. Grenades have also received a buff, as an on-target grenade will now actually cause damage when near an Archon, for example.

Adding In Content

Content is the lifeblood of a video game. Without great content to keep you captivated, a video game is just a narrative. The following three mods will offer new maps, new customization options, and new ways to catch your attention.

World Expansion Project: ADVENT

WEP: ADVENT has one goal in mind for XCOM 2: improving the map generator within the vanilla game. For those who have played the main game for lengthy periods of time, the maps will eventually become stale and old. The new environments within ADVENT fit nicely into the world, as they all use setpieces in the game at some point to form entirely new arenas of combat.

Uniforms Manager

A wonderful little mod that allows the player to create, save, and apply customization options to a single soldier or to the entire squad with ease. For those players who enjoy making each soldier unique and their own, this is one of the more necessary additions to the game.

Free The Hood

Free the Hood allows you to combine different headgears by separating the upper and lower face, removing most limitations from the customization of each soldier, and ensuring just a bit more uniqueness. So, for example, if you want to craft a unit chewing on a cigar while wearing a bandana, then go right ahead!

Upping the Difficulty

After playing through a campaign or two...perhaps even three, some players find themselves wishing for a higher difficulty level. Popping aliens from behind cover, tossing a 'nade over a wall, and blasting down alien ships can become too easy after a little while. These mods ensure you keep on your feet at all times.

A Better AI

This is hands down the most impressive difficulty mod available on the Workshop for XCOM 2. Every single enemy in the game will receive an overhaul, so expect ruthless decision making and a more animalistic killer nature in each AI. In the vanilla game, the AI enemy sometimes grants you a reprieve, but that won't happen any longer. Though you may want to complete the game at least once before downloading, just to get your bearings.

Grenades Damage Falloff

The easiest solution to any problem within the world of XCOM is to launch an overwhelming amount of explosives in the direction of the enemy. The true power of your Grenadiers will finally be let loose on the battlefield. Grenades deal less damage when further from the center of the blast radius. Closer to the center, however, and you will lose a life easily.

Total Overhauls

An overhaul to a video game basically changes the entire structure of the vanilla game. Everything from new content to massive tweaks, a whole new story to completely different game mechanics. An overhaul can breathe new life into your favorite game.

Guerilla War

Guerilla War, despite being in Alpha right now, is probably one of the biggest overhaul mods available for XCOM 2 currently. Instead of simply wiping the arena clear of all enemies and acquiring every reward, each mission only requires you to complete an objective and extract, making it a bit more difficult in the long run.

ADVENT can call in reinforcements when they are alerted to your presence, which means more enemies to fight the longer you have boots on the ground. While still in development, Guerilla War is totally playable at the moment, and will completely change how you play the game.

Wave COM

Wave COM drastically changes the nature of this sequel. For those who love tower and wave defense type games, this mod should be dear to your heart. You begin with just a small squad of rookie soldiers fighting against increasingly more difficult waves of enemies on a variety of random maps. Your soldiers gain experience and level up based on their kills, making them stronger and more capable. Troop customization, save game support, and optional boss waves with new types of aliens are all included within the mod.

Mods are such an impressive, useful way to bolster the life of a video game. XCOM 2 is, by no means, an older game, but the wide variety of mods already released and in development ensure we'll see the turn-based strategy title for a long time to come.

These ten are a great start, but there are more out there. Care to recommend a few to GameSkinny? Leave them in the comments!

Published Jul. 6th 2016
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