The best XCOM 2: War of the Chosen mods

It hasn't taken long for modders to start tweaking XCOM 2 mods to work with War of the Chosen. You can find all them using the War of the Chosen tag on the Steam workshop. To install, make sure you are logged in with your Steam account and then click the 'subscribe' button on the mod page of your choice. When you start the Steam client mods you've subscribed to will automatically download. When you start XCOM 2: War of the Chosen you can then turn individual mods on and off using the mod checklist. 

Always check the workshop descriptions for details on bugfixes and additional mods you might need to keep things working smoothly, and bear in mind that turning mods on and off in the middle of a playthrough can cause problems with the save, as you might expect. Without further ado, here are my favourites mods so far, featuring a mix of quality of life changes, AI overhauls, and cool character and gear mods.

Stop Wasting my Time

One of the very best XCOM mods returns for War of the Chosen. Stop Wasting my Time gets rid of all the little pauses you'll see in battles after soldiers shoot, throw grenades, get a kill, hit cover and so on. Unskippable Bradford VO has been snipped. The mod also speeds up the Avenger on the strategy map, increases the speed of your Gremlin drones by 150%, and even makes colours on the colour picker appear faster. The mod doesn't affect game balance in any way, it just speeds everything up by cutting sluggish movement throughout the game.

For even more time-saving measures, consider installing Instant Avenger Menus, which removes the dissolving holo globe animation during transitions from the Avenger to the world map, reduces pauses during Avatar updates, and instantly snaps between rooms in the Avenger so you can get to building upgrades and equipment quickly.

Resistance Firearms

I love XCOM's big chunky futuristic weaponry, but if you prefer a more realistic suite of firearms, this adds a collection of 60 weapons with custom animation and sound effects. To apply the mod you need to download the main module, the assets, and the Missing Packages Fix + Resource update.

XCOM EU/EW Helmets and Armour

Remember the top-tier of armour in XCOM: Enemy Unknown. You don't get back-of-the-neck humpback protection like that these days, unless you install XCOM Helmets and Armour series of course. It adds each armour tier from Enemy Unknown and Enemy Within in three separate mods: tier one, tier two and tier three. You'll need the Empty WOTC Deco Slots update to see the armour pieces properly.

A Better AI

Whether you think this suite of AI changes is 'better' depends on the XCOM experience you want. A Better AI removes the safety catches that stop an entire map of enemies wandering into a battle at the same time. If you enjoy that level of challenge, you may also enjoy the other changes, which stops enemies from roaming about if they're safer where they are (that means fewer overwatches for your soldiers). Enemies will also shoot at panicked soldiers and get more creative when trying to get out of positions where they're flanked. One for XCOM experts.

Gotcha Again

Perfect Information for XCOM 2 hasn't been updated for the expansion yet, but if you're looking for a UI update that gives you more information about the battlefield then Gotcha Again is a good stand-in. War of the Chosen now lets you see when your soldier will be in a flanking position when you press Alt, but Gotcha Again gives you more info about which enemies exactly will be in sight range before you make a move. The mod also adds indicators that let you know when you're about to move through an enemy's overwatch. Plus if you have revealed an enemy but not caught their attention yet, Gotcha will show you if a move you're making will alert them.

Even More Backstories

Even More Backstories introduces 77 backstories to fill out the biographies of new recruits. The pack includes 18 reaper backstories, 11 Skirmisher ones, 14 Templar, and 15 engineeer and scientist stories. It's a small aspect of the game to update, but it adds more flavour and personality to the rookies you're sending into danger every mission.

Flawless

It feels good to complete a mission with no losses having killed every alien in the vicinity, but wouldn't it feel even better if you got a prize as well? Flawless rewards flawless victories with items and resources to let you get more out of your greatest victories. The rewards aren't extreme so there's little chance it will unbalance the game, it's just a nice way for the game to tell you you're awesome.

Camera rotation config

Another simple, useful update. Camera Rotation Config sets the default camera rotation to jump in 30 degree increments rather than 90. It's not quite free rotation, but it still provides the extra control that many players expect. The modder says that the rotation can occasionally align slightly out of sync with the grid, but you'll find instructions for correcting that in the mod description if that starts happening to you.

Wrex, Grunt, Liara and Mordin

Recruit your favourite alien Mass Effect companions to defend the earth as members of your XCOM team. The XCOM 2 mods for Wrex, Grunt, Liara and Mordin have all been updated for use in War of the Chosen. Give Wrex a shotgun and a sword and see how he takes to being threatened by the Chosen.

The modder recommends a couple of additional mods to help you get the most out of the character mods. Be sure to grab Empty Deco Slots and Invisible Parts for Hero Units. These let you set certain clothing slots as empty or invisible to let the custom armour pieces appear.

That's a few to be getting on with, but more will appear as modders update their XCOM 2 projects and start whole new ones especially for WotC (brand new Chosen, anyone?). If you're really enjoying a War of the Chosen mod, feel free to share it with everyone in the comments.