Explore war-torn post-apocalyptic landscapes and take fight against enemies using various weapons in this FPS/RTS hybrid.
User reviews:
Very Positive (14 reviews) - 85% of the 14 user reviews in the last 30 days are positive.
Very Positive (1,662 reviews) - 83% of the 1,662 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Sep 26, 2011

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Recent updates View all (163)

July 10

Nuclear Dawn Update Released

The update notes are below.

For dedicated servers, this update is optional, but highly recommended.

  • Improved spawn logic:
    • Fixed cases where player wouldn't automatically spawn after their selected spawn was destroyed.
    • Fixed cases where player wouldn't be completely spawned (bad view offset and missing model, weapons, etc.).
    • Fixed bots always preferring spawn closest to enemy bunker, even over commander-selected default spawn.
    • Bots are now always added to end of respawn queue.
    • Humans are now always placed before bots in respawn queue.
  • Reduced base brightness for Thermal Vision.
  • Fixed bots attempting to use Supply Stations that aren't powered or otherwise unusuable.
  • Fixed artillery being able to fire before being fully built.
  • Fixed multiple (but not all [:|] issues where a structure could be built where it shouldn't, such as on top of other structures, of own team or otherwise.
  • Fixed a bug that could allow commanders to build bunker structures from assembler or vice versa, including after assembler destruction.
  • Fixed a bug that could allow commanders to research armory research items from bunker or vice versa, including after armory destruction.
  • Fixed in-armory class changes sometimes not working when armory was not on even ground.
  • Fixed Soldier tutorials not properly changing player subclass during Exo and Support training since 2015 armory class change exploit fix.
  • Commanders now only gain half XP for following their own orders.
  • Added even more stability fixes from other Source engine variants.
  • Enabled con_logfile ConVar.
  • Added bullet_impact server event.
  • More stability fixes.

35 comments Read more

June 15

Nuclear Dawn v7.2 Update Released

The update notes are below.

For dedicated servers, this update is optional, but highly recommended.

  • Greatly improved Assault class's thermal vision interaction with Weapon Suppression gizmo on Assault Rifle.
  • Fixed structure damage being miscalculated when structure is attacked by another structure or at times with grenades/missles/REDs.
  • Fixed a crash that could occur when spawning after a round is over
  • Fixed bots being counted in total players required for a surrender or mutiny vote to pass.
  • Fixed a few rare client and server crashes.
  • Decreased memory usage in some areas on both client and server.
  • Switched MOTD panel to use Steam's HTML rendering rather than directly embedding Chromium, effectively updating it to a much newer and more secure version of the same. (This also fixes some crashes that would occur on Mac and Linux).
  • Added numerous security-related fixes from other variants of the Source engine.

44 comments Read more


“If Savage and Natural Selection were your games of choice you'll find a natural home in Nuclear Dawn.”
Rock Paper Shotgun
“...an exhilarating multiplayer experience.”
8/10 – Destructoid
“A surprisingly deep and well-designed FPS/RTS hybrid.”
83/100 – PC Gamer

About This Game

Nuclear Dawn is the first game to offer a full FPS and RTS experience, within a single gameplay model, without crippling or diluting either side of the game.
As a soldier, explore war-torn post-apocalyptic landscapes, modelled on modern cities, and take the fight to your enemies as armoured, assault or stealth infantry, using various weapons across ten distinct load-outs to accomplish your objectives. The first person shooter action in Nuclear Dawn is hard, fast and unforgiving, with weapons that rely on skill and tactics more than on twitch reflexes and map memorization.
Then, take Nuclear Dawn above the action, and play as the commander. Organize your fellow players in squads, and assign them to tactical objectives. Plan the resource routes for your army, and production of your structures for forward deployment. Exploit the terrain and resource point locations to block your enemies’ advance, and crush their plans in an iron fist. Research and implement new technologies to give your soldiers the edge on the battlefield, and set up forward bases to lead the assault on your enemies, with a full complement of defensive and offensive structures to choose from, to build your perfect fortress.


  • Two factions: The Empire and the Consortium have completely separate base-building paradigms.
  • RTS commander: Produce structures, research advanced technologies, unleash devastating strikes on the enemy, and lead your team to victory as a RTS commander.
  • Four classes: Each faction has four classes with various kit load outs, totalling over three dozen weapons.
  • Squad up: Squad-based 32 player full warfare battle mode.
  • Six maps: Travel across the largest, most detailed maps built in Source multiplayer to date.
  • Advanced Weaponry: As a commander, judiciously dispense healing to your troops, and death to their enemies, by managing your advanced abilities.
  • Stats and Unlocks: 60 ranks, 12 unlocks for each weapon, achievements, gizmos and more.
  • SDK: Nuclear Dawn Software Development Kit will be available for the community to be able to create custom maps, etc.
  • Source Powered: Based on the L4D2 engine and modified to bring you the ultimate online battle experience.
  • Steam Workshop Support: The game supports the Steam Workshop and allows for custom maps to be added.
  • Steam Powered: Available for Windows, Linux and Mac OSX through Steamplay with Steam Cloud support.

System Requirements

Mac OS X
SteamOS + Linux
    • OS: Windows® 7 32/64-bit / Vista 32/64 / XP or higher
    • Processor: Intel Core 2 Duo 2.4GHz or equivalent
    • Memory: 2GB
    • Hard Disk Space: 6GB of free HDD space
    • Video Card: Video card must be 128 MB or more and should be a DirectX 9-compatible with support for Pixel Shader 2.0b (ATI Radeon HD 2900 - NVidia GeForce 8800)
    • Sound: DX 9.0c compatible sound card
    • OS: MacOS X 10.6.7 or higher
    • Processor: Core 2 Duo 2.4 Ghz
    • Memory: 2GB RAM
    • Hard Disk Space: 6GB of free HDD space
    • Video Card: ATI Radeon HD 2400 / NVidia GeForce 8600M / Intel HD Graphics 3000
    • Not Supported: OS X 10.5.x, ATI X1600 or X1900 graphics, NVIDIA GeForce 7 graphics or Intel graphics less than Intel HD 3000.
    • OS: Ubuntu or Debian/Linux 12.04 or higher
    • Processor: Core 2 Duo 2.4 Ghz
    • Memory: 2GB RAM
    • Hard Disk Space: 6GB of free HDD space
    • Video Card: ATI Radeon HD 2400 / NVidia GeForce 8600M / Intel HD Graphics 3000
Customer reviews
Customer Review system updated Sept. 2016! Learn more
Very Positive (14 reviews)
Very Positive (1,662 reviews)
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1,065 reviews match the filters above ( Very Positive)
Most Helpful Reviews  In the past 30 days
2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
61.4 hrs on record
Posted: October 17
Ignore all these folks saying that this game is dead. It's seen darker days yeah but the game's getting a steady stream of players back again. Not in the ammounts of a AAA game title but enough to fill a server every so often.


Fast paced FPS/RTS hybrid: You'll always have something to do as a footsoldier and a commander no matter what.

Easy to adapt: You'll get used to the methods and strats fairly quickly so you'll know what to do within a few hours of playing.

No two game is the same: Buildings can be placed in a varible places that'll deter your team's victory/defeat.

Non repetitive: You won't be doing the same thing over and over even though your objective states otherwise, opposing players will be adapting to the situations you put them in which means you'll be doing the same.


The better Gizmos are unlocked at higher levels which means you'll be at a disadvantage for the first few hours of gameplay but going supportive classes and rushing primary buildings as a sieger will fix that in no time.

The tutorial is broken btw, look up how to spawn items for it.

Stacking is common problem in most servers and it will tend to lead to defeat but by jingo it feels good when you kick them back in their place.

As for the cheater problem in all my hours of playing I've only seen one and they were gone within minutes.

TL:DR Amazing game, commuinity is slowly growing again, a few set backs when you first load in but with a few hours of patience you'll be kicking asses and taking resource points (well you better be PTFO or your commander will be shoving his/her foot up your rear end)

I'll be waiting for you in the front lines recruit.
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
3.6 hrs on record
Posted: October 2
The closest game i can compare "Nuclear Dawn" to it is a mixture of battlefield, halo, and planetside 2. Nuclear Dawn is a post-apocalyptic first-person shooter real-time strategy hybrid video game. It was originally announced in February 2006 as an amateur mod for the Source engine, but in April 2009 was revealed to have become a commercial project, still using Source, aimed at Windows PCs and Mac OS X. It was released on September 26, 2011. Nuclear Dawn is a nice collection for your fun and for your library.
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
5.0 hrs on record
Posted: October 23
Bought this game awhile ago and for whatever reason, never played until now.
A brief summary of the game is it's like a mixture of Team Fortress 2 and Counter Strike with a RTS elemet mixed in as well.

  • Unique game style, RTS/FPS combo.
  • Easy learning curve.
  • Exciting and engaging gameplay.
  • Good RTS mechanics.
  • Fun, balanced classes.
  • Diverse and interesting maps.

  • Extremely small playerbase. Maximum number I've seen online at once was 14.
  • Bots aren't very smart. They run into walls or directly into turrets because they have direct and predictable paths. Also when telling them to capture a point they just cluster on the spot you clicked and don't capture the point.
  • Camera as the commander during the topdown RTS view is kinda derpy. going over buildings causes to camera to go completely black instead of just zooming out.
  • Rocket turrets are OP

Overall this game is really good but the thing that kills it is the playerbase. Very few people, for whatever reason, play this game so the game fills the positions with Bots who are predicatble and buggy. They are a few other annoying things but that's the main issue. If the game had a bigger playerbase it would be great but until then you just have to deal with Bots constantly running into turrets.
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Most Helpful Reviews  Overall
196 of 207 people (95%) found this review helpful
3 people found this review funny
2,049.3 hrs on record
Posted: August 19, 2014
I've been playing this game for a little over 3 years now and have finally decided to write a review... Most games- if you play them long enough- get boring and tiresome. The people I play with weekly and most of the time daily, have played totals of thousands of hours and yet continue to play weekly/daily. This is because there really can't ever be a round in ND thats the same as another. Each team won't ever be exactly the same, the commanders won't usually be the same, and how the players play in each map will always be different so that you really aren't just going through the motions after hours and hours of gameplay. I know that myself and at least 100-150 other dedicated core players feel the same way. The other reviews of this game that I see are from people who really havent played it all that much and have just taken their first look FPS and RTS aspects. A lot of what they say is correct.. There are definitely areas of ND that need work, and since theres no real developer working on it not much can change.

However, even though there is no actual developer, ND is constantly being improved and tweaked to make gameplay better. This is because of server managers and testers in the community itself who have fixed glitches, improved team balancing, made mods, and have organized ND soooooo much in the past 2 years. Nuclear Dawn was on a downswing and playercounts were at an all time low, but now that there are scheduled events, groups, and stats, things are getting better fast!

So to people who say Nuclear Dawn is dying: It WAS dying, now its only getting better little by little. I highly recommend this game and encourage people to give it a fair chance. Join the group "ND Battles" for scheduled formal and casual events. I truly love this game and will never stop playing it!
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88 of 94 people (94%) found this review helpful
3 people found this review funny
37.1 hrs on record
Posted: November 2, 2014
This game deserves much more attention than it's getting. It's an amazing concept, and it works really well. It has all of the aspects of the best FPS games, like requiring a balance of different classes (not everyone can run and gun) and communication to win. Matches can completely change over just a few minutes. It's got incredible potential if they make another and perhaps polish it, but I would definitely support this game. Not very expensive for a lot of potential play time.
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69 of 73 people (95%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
36.4 hrs on record
Posted: November 3, 2014
First thing's first: I am a passionate lover of FPSRTS genre, having played both Savage and Natural Selection (1&2) for many many hours. So bear that in mind.

So what's Nuclear Dawn? It is a representative of a very rare breed of video games, which combine classic FPS action as a foot soldier and Top Down RTS style commander role. Two teams fight for dominance over critical locations on the map with commanders providing support in form of abilities and buildings which allow forward psawning of reinforcements, ammo/hp regen and defences.

The game itself is fast paced, with several classes to choose from: classic Assault with powerful weaponry, able to take a few hits before going down and iconic thermal vision which negates invisibility, EXO with tons of health and deadly weapons, most effective against buildings, Stealth for general sneaking about, either with knives which can backstab unsuspecing players to sniper and unique sabateur with remote bombs, and lastly a trusty support with lightning-fast firing SMGs, shotgun or a freaking flame thrower. Everyone will find something fun to choose from.

Unofrtunately the game does not have a massive following but there is a good server or two, one in US one in Germany to choose from.

As always remember: there is no middle ground when it comes to FPSRTS matches. You either get a complete stomp of a match, which thankfully does not last too long or you get a very fun and amazing experience, which will keep you coming back for more, day after day.
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80 of 90 people (89%) found this review helpful
6 people found this review funny
4.5 hrs on record
Posted: February 21, 2015
Recommend? Yes. It is a really good game. Solid with no bugs. If you are into the genre of FPS/RTS go for it.
The problem? Depending on where you are, you will not find servers at all. If you found them, the level between players is to big to have fun...
Why I like it? Because you can play with friends via LAN. Yep, get a good group of friends and you can rock it!
If you are a loner, this is not a game for you.
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126 of 158 people (80%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
1,329.5 hrs on record
Posted: November 25, 2013
I really used to like this game. The way how the is balanced, how it requires a good team cooperation to win, how nicely it blends FPS and RTS... everything is just perfect.

However. I've stopped playing it, because of the toxic community. Everyone knows better all the time. Let me give you a few examples:

You want to start a new server? Nah, dont bother - a bunch of minions will go there, starts ruining the matches, spamming the chat ("YOU SHOULD GO TO THE OTHER SERVER IT IS MUCH BETTER"), crashing it by using exploits, shaming it in a discussion forums, how can they do much better... you name it.

You reach the developer (which otherwise doesnt exist anymore) and help with releasing a patch fixing a critical issues? Nah, dont bother - they already know these issues before, and have the (crippling) patches for themselves for a long time already, so "this is not a contribution whatsover". Hello? Releasing an official patch fixing gameplay? Well, whatever.

You release a few plugins for fixing some other issues? Nah, your code is ♥♥♥♥, and they know better. If you'll let them improve the code, they'll break it, so it stop working... which proves their point, that your code is ♥♥♥♥. So... dont bother.

Now, if you'll read the other reviews, you'll read a lot of "the community is dead". If you want to know the real reason why it is, it's because the community is toxic af. I spoke to a dozen of people who played 1000+ hours of this game, and the reason why they left is always the same.

So I'll just leave it here.
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77 of 87 people (89%) found this review helpful
5 people found this review funny
511.0 hrs on record
Posted: November 29, 2015
I purchased this game on a fluke and it ended up my favorite game of all time. I've been playing Nuclear Dawn since the beginning. The game had a surge in popularity, the participation died off dramatically, and saw another surge in popularity again. This is bacause there is no actual game developer, and the Nuclear Dawn community has taken the task of fixing in-game glitches, improved balancing experienced and new players at map startup, created mods, and create gaming events that have brought all the core fans back to the fore.

Nuclear Dawn is a fast-paced Real Time Strategy (RTS) and a First Person Shooter (FPS) game combined in one. One person elects to be the "Commander", enters the team HQ and the view becomes an RTS, for all other players its an FPS. Other temmates are respinsible for capturing tertiary points that bring in income to the Commander to build supply stations, ammunition, turrets and new spawn points.

The main challenges for the Commander are: power management, strategic placement of forward structures, and resource management.

The main challenge for the other teammates are: capturing tertiary poins, maintining control of those tertiary points and defending the forward structures and power grid the commander builds up. This is accomplished by the teammates evenly dividing themselves into one of four soldier classes: Stealth, Assault, Exo, and Support. All classes have critical strengths and one achilles heel against one type of class. For example: Charge in with all heavy eight Exo gunners, three cloaked Stealth scouts can kill them all with one stab in the back. So a balanced team with all four classes is crucial for success.

On that last point is the game's greatest triumph and greatest failure. Your quality gaming experience depends on how well your team cooperates with the commander and with each other. If a commander has a disorganized team, the team refuses to take orders from the commander, or simply the entire team goes ranged scouts with sniper rifles (has happened to me several times)...the game is doomed for that team, and makes for an emotionally intense, grueling, and demoralizing 20-45 minutes of "turtle-ing" at the base accompanied with teammates pointing fingers of blame, general freaking out and some verbal abuse. But...if the team is quick to respond to the commander's requests, has an even distribution of class types, whether win or loose, it makes for the most memorable, magical, endorphin-rush-to-the-brain-gaming experiences you could experience. That is what keeps players returning to this game. That is also why fans of this game are so incredibly loyal.

That being said...the less desirable, grueling gaming experiences have driven off many players. When I used to play hardcore 4 hours a day there were anywhere from 10 to 15 servers active with 12-35 players on at any given time around the world. Today there are only two servers with 3-10 active players plus bots at on high traffic hours of the day. The only times there are high numbers are when ND parties are organized and that usually happens twice a month.

Requirements for pleasant gameplay:
1. GET A MICROPHONE!!!! - Nobody can play in a fast paced environment without team chat. Teammates or the Commander may request favors, give orders, ask for tactical support, or may need status updates...typing responses is out of the question. Typing is so laborious that all non-microphone players eventually stop typing all together, killing the tactial advantage of communication within the team.
2. COOPERATE WITH TEAMMATES AND THE COMMANDER - This is not a one person game. It's solely dependent on how well the team can act as a unit.
3. EVENLY DIVIDE THE CLASSES YOU PICK - Your about to respawn and there's no medic on your team? Man up, stop being a Scout with a sniper rifle missing all your head shots and support the heavy Exos.
4. LEARN HOW TO BE AN EFFECTIVE COMMANDER - This can only be learned with experience and my video tutorials at:


Note these tutorials are very old, but the core strategies remain effective. Do I recommend this game? Absolutely. Would you be playing this game often with other users? At the current rate of participation, unless you have a few friends that don't mind giving ND a shot with you, probably not.
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71 of 86 people (83%) found this review helpful
10 people found this review funny
Not Recommended
1,204.2 hrs on record
Posted: May 6

dead community, abusive admins deliberately crashing servers (stickz aka vertex) and forcing others offline, cheaters with aim/trigger bots, unfinished/exploitable maps, many commanding glitches still not fixed, abandoned development...

So why did I play the game so much?

2014 was the golden year but from 2015 with the closure of the development studio, all went to hell and the community is now toxic with the majority of vets leaving.
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Recently Posted
4.0 hrs
Posted: October 2
Cannot recommend this game.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
88.9 hrs
Posted: September 28
I got this game for like $3 dollars on sale and all I can say is that it has been the best $3 I have spent in a game. The game keeps you entertained for hours and hours and I love the concept of been able to command a team to win a game using the RTS mode. Also you can play in FPS mode and is well balanced and well thought, from weapons, abilities and classes.

I only wish more people played this game since recently most servers are empty (5-8 players). Playing against bots can be fun and challenging but it doens't compares when playing against humans. Theres some people complaining that only one person can command at a time but that will not keep you from commanding on the next game, theres also a system where you can vote to remove the current commander in case he isn't doing good and be the new command. In any case YES!!! I will recommend this game.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
7.9 hrs
Posted: September 28
i like this game you can kill a army of the emp team i like it its like counter strike in the future
Helpful? Yes No Funny
9.7 hrs
Posted: September 25
This game had potential, but I think what kille dit off is its deviation from the origiaal intent; it is missing the vehicles originally shown in a demo video, It should have stayed the course, and could have become even better than it's sister game, Empires Mod (not from the same people, but concept is identical),
Helpful? Yes No Funny
MX ``;..;´´ (-_-メ)
70.5 hrs
Posted: September 25
I like a lot FPS/RTS hybrid and I played as commander too. So if you are like me, you'll like this game.

Ok right now don't have alot of people which previously had... either way is a good game with a lot of entertainment. Is not dev default, so stop wailing about that, and stop bad rating.... tell your friends to play, host servers, and stop kicking new players... and as recomendation spread the game as I do with all my friends.

If your are thinking to buy, go head but buy a few copies with friends.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
0.4 hrs
Posted: September 25
This gamed sucked. Why? Well no player base so half the time i played it was waiting. It never made me feel good about playing it like you know when you play a game where it makes you excited or sitting on the edge of your seat, it never will do that. I seem mad beacuse these games make me frustrated how i see and play free to play games much better than this and this game cost money ? why. Do not buy it go to 7/11 and buy cigeretes, that would be much better than playing this game.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
3.1 hrs
Posted: September 18
Amazing FPS! Feels like an infantry-only source version of Battlefield 2142. The only current problem is the small playbase, but other than that, this is a great example of a game done right!
Helpful? Yes No Funny