XCOM 2 mods are steadily flowing from the community. Less than a month after release, the earliest ones, expectedly, mostly consist of gameplay tweaks and cosmetic add-ons. We’ll update this list as more worthy XCOM 2 mods release—in the meantime, here’s the best stuff to consider for your next run at Advent.
Important: XCOM 2 save files are tied to the mods you use with them. Adding mods as you’re playing through a campaign is no problem, saving a game with a mod enabled will cause the save game only work if and only if the mod is enabled. Make sure you fully read the page for each mod to find installation instructions and warnings.
Capnbubs Accessories Pack
When your soldiers pop their heads out of cover, you want them looking their best. This pack by modder Capnbubs adds some noggin-based accessories, like a kevlar helmet and facemask that fits nicely with kevlar armor, several different berets, and a ballcap that can be worn with the bill in front or back (but thankfully not to the side). More are being added over time.
Military Camouflage Patterns
Your soldiers can proudly represent their country of origin with their flags and accents, but why not take it a step further with 21 different real-world camouflage patterns. Russian Berezka, Swedish Barracuda, US TigerPAT, and many others will let your squad hide with pride.
Star Wars Helmets
We know how frustrating it is when one of your squad, with a clear shot at close range, empties a clip but completely misses their target. That’s why these helmets are so appropriate: there are simply no worse shots in the history of the galaxy than your average stormtroopers. Includes the classic trilogy look, Endor’s scout troopers, and the new helmets from The Force Awakens. Add some black and white armor and bring a convincing taste of Star Wars into your game.
Custom Face Paints
Want your team to have grease-smears under their eyes like professional athletes, or their entire foreheads slathered with soot like Furiosa? Or maybe you’re more into the Braveheart facepaint or the raccoon look like Pris from Blade Runner. This face paint pack adds 10 new looks.
Unfortunately, dressing like Advent doesn’t mean you can nonchalantly stroll over to them, offer them a cigarette, chat about the weather, and then bonk them unconscious and run away, giggling. Still, this mod lets you wear their big, clunky helmets and body armor. If you can’t beat ‘em, dress like ‘em.
When a soldier dies in XCOM 2, they take with them all their earthly memories and dreams. But more importantly, they take their uniform with them, a set of customizations that you spend precious minutes assembling. Uniforms Manager is so helpful and obvious that it should’ve been a stock feature in XCOM 2: it lets you save and reapply created uniforms, letting your whole squad color-coordinate without the agony of clicking through the character creator a bunch.
This mod mines the plentiful dialogue from High Moon Studios’ 2013 Deadpool game to great effect, with barks like “I AM THROWING A GRENADE” (grenading) and “Guns need bullets to work” (low ammo) slotting in cleanly with every soldier action.
Stop Wasting My Time
Have you’ve noticed XCOM 2 inexplicably waits for a few seconds after certain actions? There’s often a 1-3 second pause after your soldiers fire their weapons, throw grenades, make a kill, or take cover. This mod snips out those weird little delays in the action, making combat a much smoother experience.
Numeric Health Display
Heath bars are so passé. Here in the future we like cold, hard data. Now you can see the precise numerical value of health, armor, and shields. It even comes with a configuration file so you can customize the size, position, and color of your digits.
Free camera rotation
Adds the ability to rotate the camera using the Q and E keys, lets you zoom with the T and G keys, and enables free camera movement controlled by your mouse. You can also remap the keybindings and configure the zoom and step speed. Now there’s all sorts of new ways to watch your squad die horribly.
True Retroactive AWC
The Advanced Warfare Center provides a chance for your soldiers to earn random but valuable perks. Currently, however, the way it works in XCOM 2 is a bit misleading: a random, hidden perk is selected for each soldier when the AWC is built, or when a soldier is recruited. This mod tweaks the AWC so that soldiers don’t permanently lose their chance at an extra perk if that perk is of ‘lower rank’ than their current rank.
If you find yourself occasionally forgetting to actually use all the cool stuff you find during missions, this mod adds icons to the squad loadout screen to remind you if an upgrade is available. You can customize the color and size of the icons to fit your needs.
If you’re tired of individually evacuating your troops, this mod can make it a one-click affair. An ‘Evac All’ button is added to your soldiers’ ability bars when they’re in an evac zone, and clicking it will spirit away both them and any other soldiers in the zone. Speaking of group hugs, there’s also
an Overwatch All mod.
There are a few mods that tamper with the mission timer, but this one feels the most fair. As long as your squad remains concealed, the clock doesn’t start ticking. Once someone is spotted, the countdown begins. It also gives you a bit more time, but there’s
a version of it that keeps the default timers if you prefer.
This official mod adds a submachine gun option for your soldiers. It allows them a greater range of movement and makes them harder for the enemy to detect, but comes with a cost: less damage and less ammo.
It provides a new development path for your soldiers that allows them to obtain leadership perks, similar to the custom Officer class from the Long War mod. These perks result in buffs that will help the entire squad, but you can only take one of these leadership characters with you at a time.
As if there weren’t enough looming alien threats to deal with? The Centurion is a tougher version of the Muton, and he has a War Cry that provides a buff to his alien pals. When installed, he’ll show up about midway through the game. Lucky you.
The mod editor, called ModBuddy, is a separate download of about 45 GB. If it sounds familiar, it’s because it’s the tool used for Civ 5’s mod-making. Modbuddy can be downloaded as a Steam Tool, and with it you can debug your mods and upload them directly to Steam. The SDK provides 1,900 game script files, 2,400 maps, thousands of props, materials, and textures, plus hundreds of character assets and animation sets.
If you’ve clicked any of the links on this page, you know the
Steam Workshop is the best place to find mods, and many can be installed with a single click. However, Nexus Mods also has a hub for XCOM 2, and the Nexus Mod Manager already supports the game, and is a great tool for downloading, activating, and managing your favorite mods.