XCOM:CS runs unsatisfactorily on PCs with Nvidia GPUs. There are 2 issues: Optimus & Profile.
This guide provides a step-by-step procedure to fixing the two issues.
Section 1: Ensure CS runs on Nvidia GPU instead of IGP
If you do NOT have dual GPUs in your system (e.g., you’re on a desktop PC whose CPU does not have an integrated GPU), go directly to Section 2.
This section is mainly for those playing on PCs with two GPUs: Integrated GPU (usually Intel HD) and discrete Nvidia GPU. Also known as Nvidia Optimus.
You should be able to find it in the Start Menu.
It’s on the left sidebar
It’s a tab on the right pane.
Wait until NCP finishes scanning for installed programs. This will take a while.
If not found, do Step 4a.
If found, go directly to Step 5.
By default NCP will show recently-run programs. If you see XCOM:CS in the list (NOT XCOM:CS Launcher), choose that. If not, click on the “Browse” button and go find “xcom.exe”
It’s a drop-down list right below the one where you’ve chosen XCOM:CS’s executable.
It’s a button on the lower-right corner of NCP
Section 2: Ensure the GPU is tuned for XCOM 2
This section is applicable to EVERYONE using an Nvidia GPU
Not just those with Nvidia Optimus
After doing the steps in Section 1, you may find that XCOM:CS is already running quite acceptably. However we can still maximize its performance (and increase its stability)
If you don’t already have the tool, you can grab a copy on DeadManWalking’s Github Repository. I confirm v22.214.171.124 (latest at the time of me writing this guide) works.
Download the Zip file, and extract its contents to a new, empty folder somewhere on your system.
It will ask to run as Admin, answer yes to that, because the tool is going to edit Nvidia driver’s settings.
Click on the drop-down box on top-left. It’s a combo box, so if you click on the text portion, you can delete the field and type “XCOM: En” and you can choose “XCOM: Enforcer”.
For safekeeping. Name it “XCOM Enforcer (original profile).nip” or something similar.
The reason why we want to delete this profile is that xcom.exe is attached to this profile. If you don’t delete this profile, you’ll fail at Step 7. Don’t worry, we have backed up this profile on Step 3 above.
Just click the red “X” button.
It’s a button on the top right corner.
Similar to Step 2: click on the combo drop-down box, delete the text, type “XCOM 2”.
The button is to the right of the red X button. Be careful to not click on the X!
Find the “xcom.exe” file located in the installation folder of XCOM:CS. The folder should be
If you haven’t deleted the “XCOM: Enforcer” profile, you’ll fail at this step. Go back to Step 2
At this point, your XCOM:CS game should (1) play on Nvidia GPU instead of Integrated GPU, and (2) be more optimized to run on the GPU by having the same fine-tuning as XCOM 2.
GPU-heads are free to not edit the “XCOM 2” profile but create a wholly new profile instead (i.e., replacing Steps 6 & 7). But for me, piggybacking XCOM:CS onto XCOM 2 profile is Good Enough™.
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