I always end up getting annoyed at the small things in XCOM 2 that I feel could have been made better to make the game flow better, or that would just make more sense if they worked in a different way. Ever since I transitioned from playing XCOM 2 on the Epic Games store to Steam, I now have access to the Steam community workshop, providing plenty of free mods that can change any aspect of the game to make it better. The mods listed below are some of my personal favourite mods in the XCOM 2 workshop. Whilst they don’t change the gameplay around a ton, they sure do make it more enjoyable.
I constantly find the line of sight in XCOM a bit annoying. I find it hard to tell where I can move my soldiers to tiles with eyes on the enemy. Luckily, “Gotcha Again” puts small icons next to enemy health bars to indicate if the move you are about to make will give your soldier LOS (line of sight) on enemies. The icons also inform you if your unit would be able to see them with squadsight, or if the enemy would be flanked. It also provides icons for LOS on VIPs, teammates, objectives, hacking targets and mission objectives.
Indicators will also appear on tiles if they would activate a group of enemies, trigger overwatch, be blown up by a psi bomb, or be shrouded by a smoke grenade. This mod helps out so much with being able to tell what exact tiles are safe to run across, what tiles are the best places for your sniper to stand on, and what ones will end up in your grenadier being absolutely wrecked by three ADVENT units on overwatch. I would highly recommend this mod. The normal version of the mod was made by Soldier9, and the War of the Chosen version is by Chaser324.
XCOM 2 civilians aren’t realistic. If you were in an ADVENT city and you see six rebellious soldiers running off in the distance, would you either run away, or just crouch down waiting for them to get close to then run a few meters away and crouch again? Civilians Revamped by MrShadowCX and Mr. Nice makes civilians in the city and town maps run away as soon as they see you, to try and keep as far away from danger as they can. This stops them from getting in the way and lets you focus on the bigger problem. Civilians now have 3hp, and they no longer have the “Easy to Hit” debuff. They also now have 15 mobility instead of 12, meaning they run faster. It makes sense – civilians should be able to run around fast as they aren’t carrying heavy weapons and armour like everybody else.
This mod also changes how civilians work on retaliation missions – they try to run away from the aliens who are out there to kill them, instead of just crouching down and waiting to die. Civilians will also run around in the fog of war in retaliation missions, which does make them harder for the aliens to kill, but also means that you have a little bit more trouble finding them. Faceless aliens who are disguised as civilians also try harder to be more realistic, making them run away from other danger too.
Overwatch All is quite a small mod, but it does end up saving you quite a bit of time. This mod adds a soldier ability to all your units which, when used, will order any soldiers with at least one action left to go on overwatch. This can be very helpful for setting up ambushes or ending your turn in just a couple clicks. Evac All is pretty much the same as Overwatch All, however, instead of putting units on overwatch, it evacuates any units inside of the evacuation zone. These two mods end up saving you plenty of time by removing the need to cycle though each soldier and choose what action they need to take. Overwatch All was made by whoknew and Evac All is by tracktwo.
Speaking of saving time, Stop Wasting My Time! by BlueRaja is a mod that severely reduces the amount of waiting that the game typically has. For the majority of time while playing XCOM 2 the game just stops the camera in random spots for 10 or 20 seconds and then lets me actually play the game again. It also removes the pauses the game has after moving units, using abilities, shooting, or revealing enemy units. Some voice lines by Bradford in missions also freeze the game, so the pauses that those have are removed. Finally, the mod speeds up how fast the Avenger is and speeds up the animations on the customising menus. This mod is so good at saving your time that you can spend less time doing nothing and more time saving earth. The War of the Chosen version is here, and the legacy version is here.
I don’t enjoy reloading saves in games. I always found it as a cheap way to just cheat and not have to worry about the mistakes that you end up making in the game, but sometimes I make a mistake that wasn’t me being stupid, it was me accidentally clicking on the wrong tile – a misclick. I don’t want to have to reload the save because I have to wait for the game to load, but I also don’t want to do nothing because misclicks can sometimes be responsible for losing a mission or having one of your soldiers die. That’s where Iridar’s Missclick Prevention comes in. Whenever you move your mouse, there is a brief delay where if you right click to move your unit, it will not register. If you keep your mouse in the same spot for 0.75 seconds, the square will no longer be grey, and you will be able to move your unit there. This mod is very small and simple, but trust me, it is a life saver.
All of these mods don’t really introduce anything crazy or spectacular, they just implement things into the game that I feel like should had been there since the game was launched, and that is why I find these mods so essential to have when I am playing XCOM 2. I hope that you can try some of the mods above out and agree with me that they do drastically improve the experience.