How to improve XCOM 2’s performance

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XCOM 2 is an amazing game. Of that, there’s little doubt. The turn-based, strategic squad shooter hits all the right notes when it comes to staving off an alien invasion. The game has been hailed as a masterpiece by just about everyone who’s played it, and for good reason.

Unfortunately, it’s got more than a few performance issues that are causing some fans a word of upset. Machines that not only meet, but far exceed the game’s recommended specs are chugging along at frame rates far lower than they should be.

The game’s Steam page and its associated sub-Reddits are awash with complaints, particularly regarding frame rate and an apparent lack of optimisation. That’s acceptable, even the norm when a game’s been ported to PC – but XCOM 2 is exclusive to the PC, so it’s gotten right under many people’s noses.

Here’s an example of the sort of comments people are leaving:

“It is unacceptable to release a AAA game in such a buggy and unoptimized state. Is it playable? Sure. However, the constant slowdowns (even at reduced graphics settings), animation bugs, floating heads (armor doesnt load on background characters), and camera bugs definitly take away from the experience.
It is very clear to me that the publisher said screw the polish, just release it. It’s been several days now and still no patch to fix any of these issues. $60-$75 for what? A bunch of reused assets on a three year old engine? AND it doesnt run perfectly? Thats what really bothers me.”

Players are reporting performance issues, even with machines specced out with cards like NVidia’s GTX 980Ti, which is a little absurd.

Reddit’s banded together to come up with solutions for the problems – most of which, unfortunately, boil down to turning off graphical features or lowering fidelity.

  1. Turn off/down AA. : Seriously, people, this is a big one. That 8x setting? That’s going to tank even the mightiest Video Card. FFAA or OFF is what you want.
  2. Turn down/off AO : Another easy one for great gains, this added about 10-15 fps to my GTX 960. You want either the Tile AO or OFF.
  3. Turn ONOFF VSYNC : Unless your monitor is over 60Hz, in which case this one is pointless. According to a few sources having this on could lower frame rates even further under certain circumstances.
  4. Turn OFF DOF : Another resource hog that wasn’t optimized well, gave me 5-10 FPS.
  5. Turn OFF Action Cam : I know it’s fun and can add a great layer to the game, but it is a major cause of hangs if you get them. Killing Action Cam helps you progress smoothly through the missions.
  6. INI Edits : Go HERE for a good look at some helpful INI edits to increase inherent UE3 optimization issues. You can also edit the animation speeds if you desire. Also more tweaks can be found HERE CREDIT: /u/Not_F1zzzy90908
  7. Shadows : Also shadows. Shadows to the lowest setting gave me close to 20 FPS all around, and made being in my base more tolerable. Credit: /u/rhett816

Here’s an explanation on why some of the performance issues are happening:

Last Updated: February 8, 2016

Geoffrey Tim

Editor. I'm old, grumpy and more than just a little cynical. One day, I found myself in possession of a NES, and a copy of Super Mario Bros 3. It was that game that made me realise that games were more than just toys to idly while away time - they were capable of being masterpieces. I'm here now, looking for more of those masterpieces.

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