Must Have Mods Compatible with Long War 2 (X-COM 2): Best LW2 Mods List from Steam Workshop
In my nearly 300 hours of playing XCOM 2 and two long, Long War 2 campaigns, I’ve gone through the Steam Workshop several times over and gone through all of the mods available. I decided to make a quick list of mods everyone definitely needs to be using while playing LW2. All of these mods are compatible with Long War 2 according to the official LW2 Mod Compatibility List and I have personally tested them in my own campaigns and played many long hours with them.
All of these mods are available in the Steam Workshop and installation is as easy as clicking “subscribe” then waiting for it to download. The next time you start up XCOM 2 the mod should appear in the launcher. Make sure it is checked in the launcher so that it is enabled.
Must Have Long War 2 Compatible Mod List
Information / Gameplay Clarification mods that are basically must-haves in X-COM 2 and LW2. These mods provide information that you really need to know before making a move or attack. These are so vital that they really should be included, at least as toggle-able menu option, in base XCOM 2. Maybe we will see these in XCOM 3 by default.
- LOS Preview Ability – When activated it shows the sight lines and range wherever you put your cursor. Useful to see if you will activate a pod, or to check if your move will give you the sight line you want. Trees and buildings etc will block view sometimes and this shows that. It also will display the movement range of each enemy in sight so you can predict where patrols will stop. NOTE: When you activate this it will tank your framerate, but only when you turn it on. It is still very useful, but that issue makes it not quite perfect. Also using this on different elevations is sometimes confusing, but its still better than nothing.
- Perfect Information – Displays the actual hit, dodge and crit chance whenever you or an enemy takes a shot. Very helpful for seeing what % chance the enemy had to hit you, also shows overwatch hit chance which otherwise is never shown.
- Blackmarket Usage – In the blackmarket you can see what items are used for what research, or engineering projects so you can decide whether or not to sell them. A minor improvement, but it can be handy.
- Additional Icons – Nice little addition – shows damage, aim, and movement range of enemies above their health bar. Also shows if they are carrying loot which I like, although that could be considered a slight cheat.
- Gotcha (Flank Preview Evolved) – VERY useful. Easily see if the tile you are currently hovering over will let the currently active soldier have a shot, no shot, or a flank on all enemies by changing a small icon over each enemies head as you scroll around.
- Evac All – simply adds a button on the ability toolbar when a soldier is in an EVAC zone that lets you evac everyone standing in the zone at once. Without this you might have to individual click Evac for 10 soldiers plus like 13 civilians/resistance members on some missions.
- True Concealment for LW2: (make sure to get this one – the original True Concealment is not compatible with LW2). The mission timer will not count down until your squad is first revealed from concealment. Not only does this just make sense story-wise in most missions, but it also allows you to carefully scout and plan out a mission even if it has a timer.
- Alternate option: increase the default mission timers by manually editing the ini file. This is a personal preference. I generally played on veteran difficulty and found the mission timers to often be a few turns too short. Some missions would require your whole squad to fully dash every turn just to reach the evac zone. While it was rare for it to be that bad, I did find far too often that I had to give up on any strategy and just head straight for the objective. Rookie difficulty probably has the right amount of turns. For Veteran and harder difficulties I found adding 3 to 6 made the game much more strategic and enjoyable. To manually change the mission timers go to the following folder on your computer: [Steam Install Location]\Steamapps\Workshop\268500\844674609\config\XCOMLW_Overhaul.ini > Ctrl +F to search for “MISSION TIMERS” > Adjust as you like.
Optional Mods that I recommend:
- Armor mods – I avoided them at first but after finding a few good armor and soldier customization mods I really like the extra soldier customization. These are purely cosmetic and do not affect gameplay balance. Here are a few I like:
- More clothes options (and other stuffs)
- Stenchfury Modular Helmets
- Stenchfury Modular Armors
- Capnbubs Accessories Pack
- Jsleezys Repurposed Gear
- Heroes Pack (some of these actually look really bad, cheesy, or dumb, but if you combine some of these with other armors you can make some interesting characters)
- More Armor Colors
- XCOM EU/EW Ports: Helmets
- Uniforms Manager (note this seemed slightly buggy. It may have been the cause of a few crashes and it definitely caused a problem that breaks the “make utility items available” on the squad select screen. However it is useful for saving base outfits that you can then apply quickly to other soldiers.
- Character Pool Mods and Packs – add customized soldiers that other people created to your game. They will randomly appear as soldiers you can recruit. Make sure you turn on the option in the menu to use custom soldiers from your character pool. Some people understandably may not like these because most character pools don’t fit into the XCOM universe. I like them because its easier to get “attached” and remember a new Nicolas Cage recruit than some randomly generated John Smith default soldier.
- Aliens Character Pool
- Game of Thrones Characterpool with House Sigils
- Save your own customized soldiers to the character pool whenever you make them. Then they can reappear in future campaigns.
Mods to avoid for Long War 2:
- Avoid new map packs: While Long War 2 is actually fully compatible with them, I noticed that some of the map sizes in some map packs make certain missions like timed missions basically impossible in Long War 2. Unless the map pack specifically says it is tested and designed to be balanced for Long War 2 I would avoid it.
- Avoid new and customized enemies. Again this is a balance issue, if you have a bunch of new enemy types appearing at the wrong times of the game it could make it too hard or too easy in LW2.
- Avoid new weapons and items mods: again a balance issue and this can interfere with some of LW2’s changes. LW2 has plenty of new weapons and items already.
- Custom classes – once again a balance issue. Long War 2 already has new, unique classes so I don’t feel this is needed.
- Check the official XCOM 2 Mod Compatibility list for any other mods you’re interested in. Here is the link to the Mods Compatible With LW2 (Final update from the LW2 devs 2/1/2017)
Important note: before adding any mods always make a separate backup of your XCOM 2 save game. Once you install a mod, then save the game, usually you will need to have that mod always installed in order to keep playing that save game. If you don’t like the mod or it crashes that result in your campaign being lost. I’d recommend testing out mods for stability and to see if you like them before even starting your real campaign.