How to play XCOM 2: War of the Chosen on Mac

Screenshot of XCOM 2: War of the Chosen

XCOM 2: War of the Chosen is a popular strategy game developed by Firaxis Games. It was originally released for Windows, Mac, and Linux on 3 Dec, 2018.

How to play XCOM 2: War of the Chosen using Parallels

Even if you don't have a PC, you can install Windows on your Mac using Parallels. Parallels is virtualization software with full support of DirectX and GPUs, which will give you a decent graphics performance. With a couple of clicks, you can install Windows 10 on Mac and ten switch between MacOS and Windows instantly. You can run Windows just like on a regular PC, install Steam and enjoy XCOM 2: War of the Chosen game on Mac.

Even though the virtualization is relatively easy to set up, it requires you to buy both Parallels and Windows licenses. Since you'll be running two operating systems side by side, you'll need to dedicate at least 20-30GB of disk space for this setup and also a strong machine to run both operating systems at the same time.

If you have an older Mac or have a Mac with an M1 chip which doesn't fully support virtualization yet, you might want to try a virtual computer running in the cloud such as Second Computer.

How to play XCOM 2: War of the Chosen using Second Computer

Alternatively, you can create a virtual computer in the cloud using Second Computer. Instead of license fee for Windows and Parallels, you pay by the hour (so it's much cheaper if you are using it infrequently) and you control the computer via a web browser. That means even if you have an older computer, you can run the latest games in the cloud without maxing out your processor or memory.

One added benfit is that since the computer is located in the cloud, you can access it from any device you own. So in theory you can play XCOM 2: War of the Chosen not just from your Mac, but also from your iPhone and Android device (it's not going to be a very nice experience though on such a small screen size).

Either way, Second Computer provides a nice alternative for running non-native Mac apps on your Mac by connecting to a computer in the cloud.

Happy gaming!

StrategyTurn-BasedTurn-Based TacticsTacticalAliens

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3 comments on this post


Jan 20, 2021

I just started playing WOTC. I downloaded it a year ago, but kept playing the vanilla game. The vanilla is pretty good and I thought "I'll get to WOTC eventually". WTF was I thinking?!? WOTC makes this game 5x better! Don't be like me... play this version.


Aug 4, 2020

I love XCOM and played all of them since the first one came out. And I played about forty XCOM 2 campaigns before I broke down and tried War of the Chosen. But I'm torn between a thumbs up or down for this one. The main story unfolds the same way, with another story overlaid...that of fighting The Chosen. New enemies, new factions, new weapons, new research, new maps. Ok, but I had the feeling while playing it that every idea they ever had when developing XCOM 2 was saved up and thrown into this DLC...and it feels like too much.Which means that if you were annoyed by too much happening too fast in XCOM 2, then WOTC ups the ante by at least 3. There are far too many missions coming at you too fast, making it almost impossible to gather supplies and make contacts. Although supplies are available in abundance while engineers are harder to come by. It also takes longer to complete those scans, which means you will find a long line of potential scans sitting at the bottom of your screen most of the time. Further complicating things is that they added "tired" to soldier stats, meaning you have to wait even longer to deploy your best soldiers even if they are perfectly healthy because they went on too many missions. And now I have to keep track of which soldier is "bonded" to who? And did they really have to add hordes of zombies that you have to tediously kill with unlimited headshots, like forty or more in a single mission, that just stumble around until you put them out of their misery? No challenge at all but certainly a stupid waste of time. The zombies really ruined it for me. I thought this was a UFO game. They also added new resistance factions, which in itself is not a bad thing, but you end up getting a bunch of new fighters added to your soldier inventory before you have a chance to learn how the first ones work in combat. And then there are those endless reports that you have to read, telling you how the Chosen are taking away your resources and are gleaning intelligence about you and will soon make your life a living hell. The real living hell is having to read all those reports...and listen to Advent propaganda while traveling home after a mission. With the new factions come a bunch of costumes ranging from punk to ridiculous. And with more factions comes ever more missions, requiring you to send soldiers to your new allies on missions you have no control over. It's possible that you might be taking on 3 missions at once here. About the enemies: supposedly the most dangerous beings yet, and what this DLC is named after, "The Chosen." One of these sour-faced, sharp-toothed, witch-like critters shows up in every other mission and they are immune from overwatch, so don't expect to take them by surprise. They remain hidden most of the time but even so they are under-rated in terms of their power. In fact, in over a dozen missions I was only actually attacked by one of them once. They waste most of their time talking. One has this targeting system that warns you that in the next turn it will shoot you. Really? All you have to do is move your soldier. I found that sitting back and waiting for them is a total waste of time as they will just use their biggest weapon on you as you wait...they will try to annoy you to death with meaningless verbal threats meant to scare you. As near as I can figure out you have to stumble on them by accident and once revealed they are fairly easy to kill. But when you do kill them they regenerate somewhere in the ether and come back in another mission to annoy you again..."even stronger this time". Even when you track them to their fortress you have to kill them a couple of times.I like that you can take a robotic unit with you on missions, called SPARKS, but even that novelty soon wears off. Although they look powerful, their guns are weak and it takes a while to improve their armor. And even tho I hate the zombies (The Lost) it does offer a combat challenge to figure out whether to let Advent troops fight the zombies too or kill them off because the zombies also attack Advent. Overall there is a helluva lot to keep track of, to research and try out, to read and listen to, none of which really adds to the story, but further complicates an already full (and close to perfect) game. But it's still XCOM, so if you want more, then go ahead and get it. Personally, I've gone back to plain old XCOM 2, although I do miss those sexy outfits for my female warriors that WOTC mods provide. My final analysis. XCOM good. War of the Chosen, not bad, often tedious, mostly unnecessary, especially the zombies...but it's still XCOM, so I couldn't really give it a thumbs down, but one campaign of WOTC was enough for me.


July 13, 2020

Now that I've done a review of the base game let's see how War of the Chosen shakes up the formula even further.In this expansion pack there are now 3 different resistance factions instead of the unified resistance movement of the base game, each of these factions can give you soldiers with their own special abilities, you've got the stealth-oriented reapers, the battle-hardened skirmishers, and the vengeful templars, each of these factions have problems with each other so it's up to you to hold everything together. Their heroes are incredibly powerful in their own right but your usual soldiers have had a bit of a buff as well through the new training center, this room can be constructed on the avenger and it allows you to train any ability that your soldier has unlocked in rank but didn't grab during the promotion screen, it costs ability points of course but it means you can have the most powerful skills from both trees as well as some random ones from other class trees, not only that, any 2 soldiers who've been on missions frequently together can now form soldier bonds, these bonds allow one soldier to grant one of their actions to their bonded squadmate, these bonds can be leveled up in the training center and can provide helpful abilities like removing negative mental effects when the bonded squadmates stand next to each other, and yes all the training center and bonding squadmates stuff also applies to the faction heroes. all these buffs don't come without downsides however, if a bonded teammate dies then the soldier they were bonded with can suffer a negative mental effect, usually it's beserk but it can be any negative effect short of mind control, to go along with that your soldiers can't go on missions too often or they'll get tired, sending a tired soldier into battle gives them a random chance of gaining negative mental effects throughout the mission, it's a bit tedious but it does force you to use more than the same 4 members throughout the game. The final major thing WOTC adds is, well, the Chosen, these 3 guys serve as mini-bosses throughout the game, they each control their own territory and if you do a mission within their marked territory there's a random chance they'll show up to crash the party, not only that they'll gather knowledge about the avenger as the game progresses and if that meter reaches full capacity, they'll launch an attack on the avenger, you can put them down for good but it requires an assault on their stronghold, and you can only unlock those stronghold missions after doing some covert actions with the relevant resistance faction, these covert actions require you to build a facility on the avenger in order to do them on a regular basis but they are well worth it, ranging from gaining resistance contacts to reducing the avatar project progress, and of course unlocking the stronghold assault missions.Honestly I could go on and on about the new stuff that was added but we'd be here all day, so let's start off with what I liked. I love the new factions, from the reapers to the skirmishers to the templars, they added some much needed variety to the resistance you're in charge of and makes it more immersive as they bicker between each other about petty things. The soldier bonds are also a very welcome change and also make your soldiers more believable as they form bonds with other teammates. And finally I like the Chosen, they're fairly tough mini-bosses but they can be countered if you pay attention to their weaknesses, their stronghold missions are tough as nails but are also really entertaining as you try to bring down this enemy that's been hunting you throughout the game. As for what I didn't like, well for one they still haven't fixed the bugs common in the game, load times seem a bit longer than I remember, and the game just feels too easy by the end after you've defeated the Chosen, you see after you finish a stronghold mission you get access to the weapons that chosen wielded, and frankly these weapons are absolutely broken, they do about the same damage as your plasma weapons and have almost every weapon mod to boot, meaning any missions with these weapons equipped is almost a guaranteed success, still they are fun to use.Now that I've said all that would I recommend this expansion pack? Of course! But not for a new player, this pack adds so much more to worry about on both the tactical and strategy layer that a brand new player would be overwhelmed very quickly, so only grab this after you've played the base game at least once, that being said if you've played XCOM 2 for a while and are looking to spice things up, go for it.