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Essential Mods – XCOM 2

XCOM 2 Mods

So I just bought Xcom 2 on sale and I was wondering what are essential mods since I have no idea what mods are essential.

Best Mods

If you’re just playing vanilla XCOM 2 (not with War of the Chosen installed), keep in mind that some of the mod authors may not support/update the older mods, since they may be streamlining those same mods to be compatible with WotC.

What I found helpful with my first XCOM 2 campaigns were the following:

Quality of Life Mods

  • Blackmarket Usage – Although I didn’t run into supply / funding problems as nearly as much as I did in Enemy Unknown/Within this mod is useful for figuring out what items are used in equipment and research when you’re about to sell them at the Blackmarket (there is information in the mod description as to whether you want to show spoilers for future upgrades/research beyond your current tech level)
  • Free Camera Rotation – sets the default angle of rotation to 45° instead of 90°, adds some new zoom in/out options, and pitching angles. Both to get better navigation on the battlefield and to appreciate some of the fun details on the maps
  • New Target Icons – shows different icons for targets beyond XCOM, Alien, ADVENT (which is helpful when you’re positioning your soldiers to see who can shoot which enemy)
  • ShowMeTheSkills – when you’re putting your soldiers on loadout for a mission, it will show you their abilities (handy for distinguishing soldier builds if you don’t know them off of the top of your head)
  • Stop Wasting My Time (Legacy) – reduces/removes pauses, and speeds up gameplay animations (ex. how quickly a GREMLIN moves on the battlefield). I think it has been somewhat integrated in-game if you select ‘Zip Mode’ in the gameplay settings
  • Tactical Kill Counter – shows how many kills a soldier needs until their next promotion (and their total killcount so your Colonels can feel like badasses in late-game). This is very handy early-game when you’ve forgotten which rookie has already gotten a kill during the mission.

Cosmetic Mods

Basically, more pretty things to up the customization options of your soldiers.

  • Capnbubs Accessories Pack – adds some great additions to helmets, googles, hats for your soldiers (my favourite in particular is the combo of baseball hat and combat headset)
  • Custom Facepaints – more options for facepaints on your soldiers, the Dragon Age part of me is very happy about the Hawke streak across the nose as one of the selections
  • Ink and Paint – some more facepaint options and some fun tattoo selections for your soldiers, I really like the new selection of arm tattoos (especially the ‘slayer’ options if your soldier just did an amazing chain kill)
  • [X2] Military Camouflage Pack – adds even more customization options in the patterns for your soldiers’ armour based on real life military camouflage
  • More Eye Colours | More Hair Colours – both are separate mods but do the same, adds more palettes for customization options (which is particularly useful if you’re trying to replicate the appearance of a favourite character / loved one in as a soldier)

Advanced Gameplay Options

These are to up the complexity of the base game, potentially with future campaigns.

  • Long War Alien Pack – Adds several new twists to the aliens in XCOM 2 such as new ADVENT members or the fated Chryssalid Queen, some have new equipment and others new abilities; tread cautiously, Commander.

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