XCOM 2 – Early Game Strategic Tips / Long War of the Chosen (LWOTC)

Useful Tips

All credit goes to A Pebble !

You can do pretty much whatever you want in whatever order. The whole point of Long War is to break up the monotony of Vanilla and allow you to branch out in any direction. Building the GTS will allow you to train up some rookies to whatever you want earlier on and train up Officers sooner.

But you might miss out on some important early game income without the Ring.

General Tips

  1. Much like in vanilla XCOM 2, I find rushing Mag Weapons is very beneficial. An important thing to note is that in LWOTC you have to actually build each weapon and armor piece like in XCOM 1. I personally end up skipping Laser Weapons completely to save my alloys and supplies on Magnetics.
  2. You DO NOT have to do EVERY mission that comes up. If you have the manpower and the infiltration time to get in and do a mission, then by all means.. But don’t throw your Squaddies into a Light-Moderate activity mission thinking you can do it without casualties.
  3. You will be supply starved heavily in Long War. For the first few months you will likely find yourself instantly spending all your supplies right after collecting a drop.. For this reason it is important to Liberate regions and keep a soldier advising your havens to prevent spies destroying your income. (I didn’t know this in my first playthrough. Imagine my shock when I collected 1700 supplies one month and it said “-955 Unknown Cause” in lost supplies…)
  4. DO NOT SELL CORPSES. Especially Officer corpses. Almost every proving ground item needs a corpse to research it and a corpse to make it. The Skulljack being the most prominent. For this reason you should always try and do missions with the “Full Salvage” tag as well since these are the only ones where you can collect corpses.
  5. Liberate a region as soon as possible. You will not discover the Avatar project until you liberate a region. The Project still continues even if you haven’t discovered it yet… So the sooner you liberate a region the sooner you can start fighting back again the Death Clock.
  6. Overall, Long War requires a lot more patience and planning than Vanilla. You will likely fail your first attempt (or several, if you are me). Don’t let it discourage you. Long War is definitely the superior way to enjoy this game.

Note: If you are experiencing problems with the game, read this article: Crashes after First Mission. It will help you get rid of crashes and freezes in the game at the startup.

Buildings Tips

The first 3 tech order aren’t that critical. It’s the path after that’s a bit more game defining. It seems people either skip laser weapons by rushing psi-ops and teching straight to magnetic, or do a more traditional laser opener in which case psi ops are very delayed and possibly not used at all.

For the psi ops rush its something like:

  • Comm
  • Modular weapons
  • Alien biotech
  • Sectoid autopsy
  • Psionics
  • Trooper
  • Officer
  • Magnetics

Buildings would be:

  • #1 GTS
  • #2 Psi lab

Minimal condition for this strat is to grab an elerium core and not destroy the sectoid corpse on gatecrashers and some high/very high intel rookies. It also requires at least 2 scientists so short of mission luck, you will have to buy the scientists from black market the first 2 months of the game. I usually do that regardless of psi ops rush but just to point ou there’s another 200 supplies there.

I was completely sold on this strat early on when I began LWOTC and have since moved to significantly prefer the alternative below because the power curve is a lot smooter. With the above strat there’s a window around mutons force level where you still don’t have magnetics and basically need to 7 man all missions for safety or risk a game crippling failure.

2nd strat has much smoother power curve and its something like:

  • Comm
  • Modular weapons
  • Alien biotech
  • Trooper
  • Laser
  • Advanced laser

Buildings would be:

  • #1 GTS
  • #2 PG

I usually try to rush PG and build 3-4 Spark units ASAP. But every spark beyond the first is very resource intensive. I sell every basic PCS and weapon mods, datapad and excess corpse early game. Like psi ops, they are extremely strong when they are leveling on curve but kinda weak if you delay them.

I play on cmdr and I find the spark B/O runs a lot smoother than the psi ops B/O personally. Maybe on lower diff psi ops B/O is a bit more viable because psi ops training time is reduced a little and you get a few more days before advent force level increases.

I’m sure laser into psi lab works too even though it delays psi lab a bit longer but short of catching an early +3 avenger power mission bonus, I don’t think you can plan around playing both psi ops heavy and spark heavy. It’s either or.

In my personal experience, grenadiers are a lot weaker in the psi ops B/O while technicals are weaker in the spark B/O so I [commander’s choice mod] more of one or the other based on my B/O plans.

While my tactical layer gameplay has changed tremendously over the few hundred hours I sank into LWOTC, I’d say my strategic layer is what held me back the most early on. After finding out about the conditions for retaliation missions, I started aggressively mission farming 1-2 areas at most at a time while essentially shutting down all other areas. I would often delay contact of other regions until the strength in starting region became too much to handle in order to delay other chosen contact/level progression. But as a result, I was always starved on intel and resources due to limited mission choice and would rarely do more than 6 missions per month. Nowadays I hardly ever shut down a region, I aggressively contact neighboring regions very early and leave intel running. As a result, I get to counter far more dark events too but have to deal with chosen retaliations nearly on cooldown.

Volodymyr Azimoff
About Volodymyr Azimoff 13951 Articles
I love games and I live games. Video games are my passion, my hobby and my job. My experience with games started back in 1994 with the Metal Mutant game on ZX Spectrum computer. And since then, I’ve been playing on anything from consoles, to mobile devices. My first official job in the game industry started back in 2005, and I'm still doing what I love to do.

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