XCOM 2: War of the Chosen gets its very own Long War overhaul

XCOM 2: Long War of the Chosen
(Image credit: Firaxis )

In 2017 we described the Long War 2 as "a must-play reinvention of XCOM 2" that changes up the brilliant turn-based strategy game in ways that both slow and deepen the campaign against the alien occupation of Earth. As the title suggests, it was a followup to the Long War, an also-excellent mod for the 2012 XCOM: Enemy Unknown. And now the sequel has a sequel, as Long War of the Chosen, a port of the Long War 2 mod for the XCOM 2: War of the Chosen expansion, is live on Steam.

Just like its predecessors, Long War of the Chosen makes major changes to the vanilla game:

  • Build up the resistance by contacting regions and recruiting rebels in their havens   
  • Use those haven rebels to detect missions for you, which you must then infiltrate before they expire   
  • Send out multiple squads at a time, adjusting the equipment and composition to make sure they can infiltrate in time    
  • Watch as ADVENT reacts to your actions by strengthening regions (making missions more difficult) and sending retaliatory strikes on your havens    
  • Grapple with much more challenging versions of the Chosen both in the strategy layer and in retaliation missions (they no longer randomly spawn on missions)    
  • Discover a new research tree with several new techs and a bunch of new Proving Ground projects    
  • Make use of eight new soldier classes that have three ability choices per rank and an extra rank (eight instead of vanilla's seven)    
  • Get up to two of each faction soldier class, all of whom have been completely reworked from War of the Chosen    
  • Train up officers that provide powerful buffs and abilities for your squad    
  • Play with buffed-up SPARKs and more challenging Alien Rulers if you have the corresponding DLCs installed    
  • Encounter entirely new enemies that force you to adapt your tactics

The mod makers said they attempted to keep Long War of the Chosen as close to Long War 2 as possible, but some changes were necessary because of differences between XCOM 2 and the War of the Chosen expansion. A full rundown of differences between the two, including changes to enemies, havens, perks, weapons, equipment, and rules—it's actually a rather lengthy list—is up at ufopaedia.org.

To play Long War of the Chosen, you'll need to subscribe to the mod page and the Alien Hunters Community Highlander page if you have the Alien Hunters DLC installed. You'll also need to turn off frame rate smoothing, which "breaks" the mod for some reason. 

On the gameplay side, the creators recommend starting with the minimum mods required to ensure it works (a few reports of mod conflicts have popped up in the comments), checking the advanced options to ensure things are set up the way you want, and beginning at least one difficulty level lower than you normally play in the base game, "unless you're already very familiar with Long War 2."

For Long War 2 newcomers, there's a lengthy list of resources for new players available on Github. You can also keep up with Long War of the Chosen happenings on Discord and Reddit.

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.