Experiencing XCOM 2 from a New Perspective

November 08 2016
EN-Experiencing XCOM 2 from a New Perspectiv


XCOM 2 Commanders are used to getting a bird’s eye view of the action, watching over their soldiers and the Avenger from a tactically advantageous distance. The designers at Firaxis have carefully added a host of little details that players might not ever see, all adding towards making the Avenger and the world of XCOM feel like a real, lived-in, dystopic universe.

Today we’re showing how PC players can experience XCOM 2 from the ground level. By following a few steps, players can enable full camera control to see all of the finely crafted details present in XCOM 2. Take a tour of the Avenger, explore the different environments the XCOM team lands in, maybe hop into a replay and capture your coolest moments, there’s a ton to play around with here!

To get started you’ll need two things: XCOM 2 on Steam, and a gaming controller (Steam Controller excluded). You’ll have two methods of enabling developer commands.

The Quick Method: for those that want to get up and running right away.  

  • With XCOM 2 installed, right click on the game on your Steam library and select properties. Head over to “Set Launch Options” from the “General” tab and type in “-allowconsole” (exclude quotation marks) and hit “Okay.”

Installing XCOM 2 Mod Tools: for those that want to dive deeper into the tools and play with a few more developer toys.

  • To download the XCOM 2 SDK, go on Steam, click on “Library” and go to “Tools.” The XCOM 2 SDK will be listed as “XCOM 2 Development Tools.” Select install from the right click menu option. (NOTE: 67 GB of free space is required)
  • Choose “Play Game” on the XCOM 2 SDK in Steam and you’ll be in the debug version of the game which allows users to input dev commands.
  • (Optional) You have one more item to grab if you want to finish up the mod tool install. You’ll need to install Modbuddy for XCOM 2, located at: “\SteamLibrary\steamapps\common\XCOM 2 SDK\Binaries\Redist

We recommend installing the SDK, as it gives players access to all of the in-game assets and debugging tools used by the devs. Installing the debug version of the game gives you access to tools like “Tactical Quick Launch,” which is essentially a skirmish mode where players can create their own missions, try new soldier loadouts, and fight any combination of enemies. Players can also load any in-mission save in Replay Mode and go through what happened step by step.  

Once set with either one of these methods, follow these steps to enable to the debug camera.

  • Launch the game and in the Interface section of the Options menu switch the input to Controller.
  • Load a save and hit the ~ or \ keys to open up the developer console. Here you can enter in any of the dev commands. We’ll detail more commands later in this blog, but if you want to get right into the debug camera, just enter “toggledebugcamera”. Next just pick up your controller and get right into looking around!
  • Controlling the camera is simple. Use the left analog stick to move around and the right stick to look, just as you would in any first person game.
  • Left trigger on your controller will slow the camera movement speed down, while right trigger will speed the camera up. 
  • To reset the camera, just enter “toggledebugcamera” a second time.

Pairing Replay Mode with the debug camera is an especially powerful tool. Go turn by turn and take amazing screenshots of your most intense moments. Capture your Gunslinger taking out an entire pod of ADVENT, or your Grenadier bringing down the floor from right out under his or her enemies. The tools are in your hands to immortalize those moments. 

Once you’re up and running with the debug camera, you’ll need the console command togglegfxui” which turns off all of the HUD elements for a truly immersive first person view. Retyping the command into the console will bring the HUD back up.

For those on the debug version, you might be seeing red screens pop-up every now and then. This is normally a debugging feature for the development team. This can be toggled off by entering “temporarilydisableredscreens” into the console.

Another helpful tool to take advantage of is the “Strategy Debug Start.” Using this function, you can start a new campaign loaded with every luxury you wish you had in the main game. Start with every building, weapon, armor, upgrade, and a soldier for each class (including a Psi Op). If you want it, it’s yours to have. Combine this with the debug camera to get an up close and personal at every building within the Avenger.  

Subtle details are present all over the Avenger. You could check out what pictures soldiers have hanging up in their bunks in the barracks, or fly far beyond the confines of the Avenger and into the nearby encampments and mountains, it’s truly up to you.

We’re excited to see what players can do with the tools at hand. So go for it, Commanders. Find the little details hiding around the game, or share your most tense, amazing, tragic, and epic XCOM 2 moments with us, all from a cinematic perspective. We can’t wait to see what you come up with.  

*Please note that the game modes and commands listed above are developer tools and not player-facing features. Using these tools will allow players to see the game in ways that were not part of our original vision for XCOM 2. Players may see some debug text and visual oddities while in the debug mode, but this should be considered normal. When in debug mode, you are no longer in the final release build of the game.