Mods (OpenXcom)

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So you finally got tired of the vanilla experience? (shame on you)

Don't worry, there's dozens of fan-mods out there to keep things interesting, including custom maps, weapons, units and more. If you're interested in making your own, check Customizing.

Standard Mods

OpenXcom includes a standard set of mods based on UFOextender and XcomUtil. Here's a brief description of what's included:

  • Aliens Pick Up Weapons: The AI will try to pick up weapons they dropped if they find themselves unarmed (eg. from panic or mind control).
  • Limit Craft Item Capacities: Limits the number of items you can take on a craft to 80, just like in the original X-COM.
  • PSX Static Cydonia Map: Uses the Cydonia map from the PSX version of X-Com: UFO Defense.
  • UFOextender Gun Melee: Adds a stun melee attack to every weapon (called Stun Fest in UFOextender). The TU/Damage is based on the weapon's class:
    Weapon ClassStun DamageTU %s
    Pistols2015
    Rifles and Small Launcher5040
    "Heavy" weapons and Auto-Cannon6550
    Launchers8080
    Stun Rod (unchanged)6530
  • UFOextender Psionic Line of Fire: Psionic weapons (both X-COM and aliens) can only be used with direct line-of-sight to the target.
  • UFOextender Starting Avalanches: All starting X-COM craft come with Avalanche Missiles equipped.
  • XcomUtil Always Daytime: Forces all ground missions to daytime. Not compatible with the mod below.
  • XcomUtil Always Nighttime: Forces all ground missions to nighttime. Not compatible with the mod above.
  • XcomUtil Fighter Transports: Allows fighter craft (Interceptor and Firestorm) to carry soldiers and tanks to ground missions.
  • XcomUtil High Explosive Damage: Increases the High Explosive damage to 200, letting it pierce UFO walls.
  • XcomUtil Improved Ground Tanks: Gives ground Tanks the same stats as Hovertanks.
  • XcomUtil Improved Heavy Laser: Increases the damage and accuracy of the Heavy Laser.
  • XcomUtil No Psionics: Removes all Psi tech from the game, both X-COM and alien.
  • XcomUtil Pistol Auto Shot: Gives the standard-issue Pistol an auto shot.
  • XcomUtil Skyranger Weapon Slot: Gives the Skyranger a craft weapon slot.
  • XcomUtil Starting Defensive Base: Moves the starting 3 Hangars to the top to make the base easier to defend in Base Defense missions.
  • XcomUtil Starting Improved Base: Gives the starting base a Large Radar, Alien Containment, 50 scientists and 20 engineers.
  • XcomUtil Starting Defensive Improved Base: Combination of the two mods above.
  • XcomUtil Statstrings: Soldiers get Statstrings added to their names based on their stats.

Downloading & Installing

However they're nothing compared to the plethora of fan mods out there! You can usually find them on these websites:

Installing Mods for 1.0

Check the individual instructions included by the mod author. Most mods just need to be extracted into your Data Folder, but some require special steps and instructions.

Installing Mods for the Nightly Version

  • Extract the mod to a new folder under your mods folder
    • The mods directory is in your User Folder, where your savegames are
    • If the mods directory doesn't exist, start OpenXcom once and quit and check again
    • WinZip has an "Extract to" option that creates a directory whose name is based on the archive name.
    • It doesn't really matter what the directory name is as long as it is unique.

Some mods are packed with extra directories at the top, so you may need to move files around inside the new mod directory to get things straightened out. For example, if you extract a mod to <user folder>/mods/LulzMod and you see something like:

   mods/LulzMod/data/TERRAIN/
   mods/LulzMod/data/Rulesets/

and so on, just move everything up a level so it looks like:

   mods/LulzMod/TERRAIN/
   mods/LulzMod/Rulesets/

To uninstall a mod, just delete the folder -- no more figuring out which files were overwritten! To upgrade a mod, just delete the folder and replace it with the new version.

Video Tutorial: Install Mods for Nightly

Enabling New Mods

If you did everything correctly, you should now find your mod listed in-game in the Options > Mods section. If it's not showing up, recheck your installation. Common mistakes include extracting it to the wrong folder or into a subfolder too deep (e.g. LulzMod/LulzMod/). Note that you can only change mods from the Main Menu.

After you enable any mods, the game will restart to load them and the mod changes will now be in effect. These apply to any saved game, new or loaded. Be careful when changing mods and the loading existing saved games, as removing mods used by a game may cause serious bugs and crashes. Total conversions in particular are best used on new games.

If you experience problems or bugs while playing with mods, be sure to isolate them to the problematic mod first (to see if the bug comes from a specific mod or combination of them) and report them to the respective mod authors.

User Mods

There are tons of mods for OpenXcom, but here are some of the more comprehensive experiences still being updated:

Final Mod Pack

This is a "megamod": a collection of about 70 mods from various authors, merged together and balanced. Besides adding a ton of content, it also makes the game longer and more varied.

Forum Link, Download Link, Video Tutorial: Install FMP

Hardmode Expansion

Hardmode Expansion intends to make the gameplay more challenging and deals with most of vanilla versions flaws, like overpowered Psi and early Plasma ownage. It sticks strongly towards the vanilla core components and builts upon them. It is aimed at experienced X-Com players, who know the game well and are not afraid of a difficulty higher then Superhuman. The Aliens have more variants and your weapons will slowly become obsolete due to them. Research progress is a must, but comes at costs.

For playing you should choose difficulty Superhuman, since the mod is balanced to be played on Superhuman difficulty, otherwise you wouldn't have the full experience. The difficulty will actually be higher then Superhuman. Technologies will need alive aliens captures to unlock and will trigger additional mission.

Research takes longer and you do not have access to a alien containment from the beginning. It is recommend to get between 200-250 scientists by November. Otherwise the game becomes very difficult.

Forum Link, Download Link, Video Tutorial: Install Hardmode Expansion

Piratez (or X-Piratez)

The year is 2600. The Earth has been long conquered by aliens. You run a gang of mutant pirates. Rob aliens and their human proxies for fun, profit and power. Now with a custom .exe that allows for a ton of unique features; bigger and better than ever before.

Forum Link, Modsite Download Link, Alternate Download Link, Wiki Link,Video Tutorial: Install X-Piratez

Area 51

Area 51 is an expansion that aims to enlarge the original game's experience, give it a couple new challenges, and leave nearly everything untouched about the original. It does not aim to include all the existing mods or drastically change the game although there are a lot of new features and other mods included. Area 51 was formerly known as UFO Redux until version 0.9.

The aliens have stepped up their covert operations on Earth, sending teams of their agents to infiltrate and support the UFO activities on the ground. Fleets of alien craft attack the planet's defense, transport, manufacturing and research facilities that support the Earth's armed forces, targeted by alien covert teams who also work in subverting the individual countries of the Council. The aliens also include new species, weapons and units.

To deal with this new threat, XCom now finds itself equipped with new weapons, crafts and HWPs. However, unlocking the secrets of advanced tech now require assistance of an alien captive or recovering specific items from missions.

New mission types have been added such as Ship Assault (to disable its navigation), HWP/Skyranger factories, Facility Defense, Research Recovery, Capture and others. Unique missions will also give XCom the possibility of slowing down the alien invasion until it is possible to capture the Ethereal Commander required to send the Avenger to Cydonia.

Forum Link, Download Link, Video Tutorial: Install Area 51