Now that we've all had a week or two to stick it to the Advent on their terms, I thought it was about time to up the crazy factor and tip the scales in humanity's balance. XCOM 2 launched with Steam Workshop fully supported and we're already seeing plenty of crazy and awesome mods, ranging from a corgi that's actually a gun to new enemy types. Using our MSI NVIDIA GTX 980 ti 6GB, I loaded up XCOM 2 with a few interesting mods and tweaks to see what sort of hits the game's performance took.
A quick browse of the Steam Workshop offers plenty of choice already for extra customisation and quality of life improvements. There are already plenty of ways to up the difficulty level of the game like the ever infamous Ironman Mode, but what about making the game more fun?
I carried out the comparison benchmark with an Intel i7 5820K, MSI NVIDIA GTX 980 ti 6gb and 16gb RAM memory PC at a 1920x1080 screen resolution.
Those gamers looking for even more ways to change the XCOM 2 experience to the perfect setup can stand and rejoice the ability to alter the game's .ini files in the config folder. To do this all you need to do is browse to your XCOM 2 config folder, which by default is located in Program Files (x86) > Steam > steamapps > common > XCOM 2 > XcomGame > Config. From here you can tweak pretty much every aspect of the game – you can change enemy stats, squad size, weapon damage and you can even alter the chance for new soldiers to spawn with hats and accessories.
I altered the available squad size to 15, upped the radius of grenades to 20 and loaded up the mod “Ayy Lmao 2: /xcg/ Boogaloo” (which turns a lot of the HUD elements and floating text to memes) to see just how ridiculous I could make the gameplay. As I loaded into the level, and I saw the “Travelling to Destination” text replaced with “Wasting Your Time”, I immediately knew I was in for a treat.
Surprisingly, the performance in XCOM 2 took almost no frames drops whatsoever due to the tweaks. Even when I set all of my soldiers to Overwatch and they started raining down fire on everything that moved (what a sight to behold that is after hours of watching my own soldiers get overwhelmed by a superior force), the game ran really smoothly and I almost forgot during my gameplay that I was even on a modded save, but I guess that's to be expected with a hefty 980 ti doing the heavy lifting.
XCOM 2's frame rate would dip a little when rendering multiple soldiers but that's also the case with an unmodded save rendering more units on screen so that was to be expected. Where I really thought the MSI GTX 980 would struggle would be when throwing my new and shiny freedom grenades but even then it was a momentary lag down to around 5 fps for less than a second. The resulting explosion looked as gorgeous as I hoped and seeing 10+ units get smashed by the raining debris of an entire building and engulfed by a mass of fire is truly a sight that every XCOM 2 player should enjoy at least once.
Have you guys been modding or tweaking your XCOM 2 games? Share with us what other mods you guys think people need to see, and other cool config tweaks as I feel I've barely scratched the surface with the several I've been using. Don't forget to drop a like on the video, and you can also subscribe to our PC Game Benchmarks Youtube Channel to see more videos like this and for our upcoming graphics benchmarks.