The world needs your help Commander, and it’s up to you to lead this unit and save humanity from the oppression of the aliens! In order to do so however, you’ll need XCOM 2 running its best, right?
Since this is a classic PC exclusive title, it gives players the ability to adjust many, many variables from system settings files located in the game. Veteran PC gamers would be licking their lips at the thought of that, as not many games offer such control to its users nowadays.
XCOM 2 PC Tweaks For Graphics and Performance
This guide will primarily focus on graphics tweaks and improving performance by adjusting certain variables out-of-reach in the in-game settings. We’re not going to go through ‘tweaks’ that will change the gameplay, since we don’t like to call cheating ‘tweaks.’
Note: Make sure to create a backup of the settings files before making any changes to the file. Make changes at your own risk!
How to Access Engine Settings
In order to access the game engine ini file, head over to Steam\steamapps\common\XCOM 2\Engine\Config. Inside this folder are few setting files. You only need to access BaseEngine.ini to make the tweaks given below!
In this settings file you’ll come across a large set of variables. Hit Ctrl+F and search for the variables and change the accordingly. All the settings given below are under the [SystemSetting] section.
Set this to False to gain around 1 to 3 frame-rates.
Dynamic Lighting can be set to False, but it is not recommended as some lighting is extremely important to the gameplay. If absolutely necessary, set this to False to gain 4-5 FPS.
Setting this to False can greatly improve the performance of the game, giving an average of 6-9 FPS gain.
This is quite a heavy-impacting setting, and should be set to False if you are facing frame-rate drops in certain areas of the game where there are lots of shadows.
This determines shadows cast as a result of environmental lights. While it certainly makes the game look pretty, it is one of the first things you should sacrifice.
If you’re running XCOM 2 on an archaic PC, you can set this to False. This will however completely disable stationary lighting like streetlights and greatly reduce visual quality. It will give a good amount of improvement to the game’s performance.
Setting this to False will greatly improve performance. Light Shafts is pretty but it does not really serve real gameplay purpose, and can be sacrificed, giving a gain of a few FPS.
Set this to False if you have a fairly old GPU. This is highly recommended for any system which barely meets the game’s minimum requirements.
This setting works in conjunction with Distortion. Set it to ‘False’ to eliminate particle-related distortion if you barely meet the game’s minimum requirements.
Setting this to False is HIGHLY recommended if you wish to greatly improve in-game performance.
Set this to False if you want improved performance without sacrificing too much visual quality.
Like with Image Reflections, set this to False to improve performance without losing too much visual quality.
This setting can be set to any high number for an improved performance. A value of 2000000 is recommended if you want really good performance.
The number associated with this setting is a ‘multiplier’ to the detail in the game. A lower number like 1 is usually good for performance to visual ratio.
Setting this to 0 should improve performance and also greatly reduce any stuttering or sudden frame-rate drops. This may reduce the sharpness of the visuals though.
This adjusts the average or more prominent shadow resolution in an entire scene. To get great performance boosts without losing too much visual fidelity, set this to 128.
This is a tricky setting that will definitely give you a massive performance if you reduce the number, but can cause a lot of blurred gameplay and lack of sharpness. This should be one of the last settings you fiddle with if you’re wishing for improved performance. Make sure to experiment around and check in the game to get the right balance.
You should be careful in adjusting this. Setting it to false gives an immense increase in performance, but a huge set of objects in your game can turn black because of this.
If you wish to change to a resolution beyond the ones listed in the in-game settings, head to \Steam\steamapps\common\XCOM 2\XComGame\Config and search for DefaultEngine.ini.
Inside this settings file, search for variables ResX and ResY. These two are the width and height, respectively. Change these to whatever you desire.
For example, for 4K resolution, the values are 3840 and 2160 respectively (3840×2160).
Skip Intro Logos and Videos
If you’re tired of watching the Firaxes, Unreal Engine, and XCOM 2 logos again and again every time you start the game, you can opt to skip these videos.
Open DefaultEngine.ini located in \Steam\steamapps\common\XCOM 2\XComGame\Config. Pres Ctrl+F and search for the following under [FullScreenMovie]
Delete the first 4 from this line and the game should skip straight to the menu when you launch it.