X-COM 2 Performance Guide – Post patch

The X-Com games are considered among the best Turn Based titles of all time and you can see why. The premise, that of an organization stepping up and fighting a superior alien threat, upgrading their arsenal bit by bit until they push back and eventually defeat said threat is a well-established trope which results in good intrigue and action. For a long time, the series which produces its share of great, but also mediocre and bad games had decided to go underground to hibernate, biding its time until some enterprising young (of heart if not of body) developers picked up an alien probe and gently prodded them awake to serve for the gamer’s interests once again.


And thus we got X-Com: Enemy Unknown along with the expansion Enemy Within, which represented a definitive tour de force of everything that made the oldie X-Coms great, adding new elements which improved the experience, elevating it to one of the all-time greatest games (at least in some circles). And thus, the pressure was on its sequel to take up the mantle and prove it is a worthy successor to the X-Com family. The results can be found in our X-Com 2 review.

The reason for this lengthier intro to a performance guide is that the series deserves it. It deserves to be remembered not just for its most recent incarnations, but for its roots too, for they are strong and worth exploring. Now, on with the actual guide.

I should specify that these tests were run post-patch, which has optimized the game and resulted, at least in my opinion, in an improved framerate overall.

Let’s start with the basic features:

  • API: DirectX 11
  • V-Sync: Yes
  • Anti-Aliasing: Yes
  • 4K Support: No (There is a fix)
  • Adjustable FOV: No

On minimum settings, the game easily reaches 60 FPS and holds them the entire time. The moments where you get to see definitive frame drops when at the recommended settings are a few: transitions within the base, the pre and post-mission loading screens and the post-mission squad screen, where you have the option to promote them. During the actual missions, the only slight drops in frame are when the game gets a close-up of characters.

The VRAM consumed was over 2GB on maximum settings, which is my GPU’s limit and about 650 on minimum settings. As for RAM, on maximum it was using up to 3.4 GB, while on minimum it shaved off approximately 1 GB.

xcom2 options

The available graphical options and their impact on performance are:

Anti-AliasingVery high. This is the greatest consumer of resources. By comparison, the others are almost negligible.
Ambient OcclusionVery low
DecalsVery low
ShadowsVery low
Shadow QualityVery low
Texture DetailVery low
Texture FilteringVery low
Depth of FieldVery low
Draw DistanceMedium/high
High Res Translucency + Bloom + Dirty Lens + Subsurface Scattering + Screen Space ReflectionsVery low

The main takeaway from this guide is that if your frames start dropping significantly, you should probably reconsider your AA and/or Draw distance values and lower them just a smidgen. I should also add that with the latest update they have added SLI support.

My Testing Machine Specifications:

  • CPU: Intel Core i5-3570
  • RAM: 8GB
  • OS: Windows 7 (64-bit)
  • Video Card: GeForce GTX 770 2 GB DDR5 (driver version 347.25)

Final verdict for PC quality:

X-Com 2: GOOD (shite, mediocre, good, excellent).

I'm an engineer, currently employed at a financial software company. My interests include gaming, LPing and, of course, reviewing, but also game dev and graphics. Also, in the past I've dabbled in amateur photography, reviewing movies and writing short stories and blog posts. I am also a huge Song of Ice and Fire fan, but that's beside the point. Youtube Channel, Deviantart , Google + , Twitter

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