I constantly find myself wanting to customize my characters in XCOM 2 and being unsatisfied with the limited options for customization. I also sometimes find some screens and menus could do with a new coat of paint. Thankfully, the XCOM 2 workshop on Steam has plenty of user made mods available for anybody, completely free to install. To download a mod, just press the green subscribe button underneath the thumbnails to download them (Please note that installing mods may change around things in your current campaign or just straight up delete it, so make sure to finish your campaign that you are playing right now or set up backup save files if you plan to install mods). This article features some of the top mods for XCOM 2 that improve your customization options for soldiers and the games visuals. Also, most of these mods require the War of the Chosen DLC in order to work unless specified otherwise.
I sometimes felt like XCOM 2 was lacking in the customization options available. Luckily there are plenty of different character customization mods in the XCOM 2 Workshop. Capnbub’s accessories pack is probably my favorite mod for head accessories, featuring a lot of helmets, goggles, masks and hats, and it has a DLC free version as well for people without the War of the Chosen expansion. Custom Bandanas by Beacon allows you to make your own bandanas with custom patterns and colors on them. The Skirmisher Helmet mod created by Claus adds more helmets for the Skirmisher class to use, which is a big upgrade from the original two. Free the Hood allows multiple accessories to be worn at once without being restricted, such as wearing a full helmet as well as sunglasses, and has a DLC free version too. There are also mods that add more face paints, my personal favorite being Replika’s custom face paints. Kexx’s hair packs offers many more hair styles than the base game does, for feminine haircuts, masculine haircuts, and beards too. All these customization packs for adding extra cosmetics into the game for your soldiers look really nice, and I personally love customizing all of my soldiers, so these mods are commonly used in my campaigns.
With all of those soldier cosmetic mods out of the way, let’s move on to something else. I found More Shells by Fallen King and I was quite ecstatic when I discovered this mod. A “shell” is one of the maps and scenes that are shown in the main menu. This mod adds more shells so that the main menu of the game will look different each time. There are other shell mods that exist out there, but I find that this one made by Fallen King is the best as it doesn’t seem to be a massive sized mod compared to other shell mods that can take up quite a few gigabytes. However, this mod is for WOTC only, so unfortunately people playing vanilla XCOM 2 cannot use this mod.
Custom Target Icons by dotvhs and robojumper is a War of the Chosen mod that updates the icons when viewing what aliens you can see. While this mod does make the icons look prettier, that isn’t the only use of this mod. In normal XCOM, there is one icon representing an advent class enemy, one for alien type enemies and one for the chosen. This mod adds 30 new icons to the game so that each enemy from each class has its own specific icon that looks different. Sectopods get their own icon, ADVENT units all get their own different icons, Vipers have their new icon, Chryssalids get a new nice icon, even the alien rulers like the Berserker Queen get their own nice icon. This means that you can easily tell from the UI what enemies in particular your soldier can currently shoot at. Usually, you will be a bit confused at first and you will have to go and scroll through each of your soldiers’ targets, but this mod can just tell you from a glance what specific type of units your soldier can see.
Iron Sights by Iridar changes some of the weapons to have iron sights because some of the weapons don’t even have them for your soldiers to use. No, this does not increase their aim stat, it just is a cosmetic thing to make all of the weapons match with iron sights so that it looks like your soldier is actually aiming through a sighting device and not just eyeballing where they are shooting. Of course, if you equip a scope or a laser sight then the iron sights will disappear, but it’s a nice little extra look to the weapons that were previously missing them. This mod is for War of the Chosen only.