From one of the developers behind the original Rainbow Six® and Ghost Recon® games, comes a thinking-man's first-person shooter featuring in-depth character and weapon customization. Take your time. Think ahead. Get the job done.
All Reviews:
Very Positive (232) - 81% of the 232 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date:
Aug 14, 2018

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Early Access Game

Get instant access and start playing; get involved with this game as it develops.

Note: This Early Access game is not complete and may or may not change further. If you are not excited to play this game in its current state, then you should wait to see if the game progresses further in development. Learn more

What the developers have to say:

Why Early Access?

GROUND BRANCH is becoming available as an Early Access title to gather valuable community feedback that will help shape further development of the game. We are designing GROUND BRANCH for ourselves as well as those gamers that crave the "old school" experiences that can't be found in gaming today, and BlackFoot Studios wants to make sure we hit that mark head-on.

While GROUND BRANCH will be finished regardless of revenue generated from Early Access, making it available will allow us to considerably accelerate development and achieve a higher level of polish.”

Approximately how long will this game be in Early Access?

“Realistically, 18–24 months, depending on resources and those unforeseen hiccups all independent developers must face.”

How is the full version planned to differ from the Early Access version?

“During Early Access, we plan to do a complete overhaul of the temporary sound system and assets, as well as a complete animation upgrade. The A.I. will be continually developed and revised. And, of course, a lot of new content—gear, characters, maps—will be added. We'll also be doing what we can to open up GROUND BRANCH to the community for modding and expansion; expect full modding capabilities towards the end of Early Access.”

What is the current state of the Early Access version?

“A solid—albeit work-in-progress—playable experience. Includes both co-operative and adversarial online multi-player game modes, with enough features and content, and plenty of player and settings customization options to give you a feel for the game and where it is heading, all while providing an enjoyable experience well worth the money.”

Will the game be priced differently during and after Early Access?

“Yes. Early Access will cost less than the full release. Final pricing is yet to be determined.”

How are you planning on involving the Community in your development process?

“We plan to continue discussing ideas and features with the community via forums, official Discord server and other media, as well as encouraging feedback via the in-game Bugs & Issues menu.”
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Recent updates View all (24)

September 19

BUILD UPDATE #004: Hotfix

This is a small hotfix update to address the main issues present in Build Update #003.

  • Fixed control remapping issues (e.g. broken 'Strafe Right').
  • Cleaned up reload issues (shotguns, Mk 14 and AKs).
  • Testing new tree meshes and foliage rendering (SpeedTree 8) in Small Town—let us know how it performs for you!
  • Fixed reticle misalignment on red dot / holo sights.
  • Render sharpening now accessible and scalable via Settings > Video > PP Sharpen.

NOTE: All servers must be updated to work with the newest build.

Build version: 1024
Steam Build ID: 3134746

FIXED * FIXED MoveRight rebinding not working (was binding an Action not an Axis) * FIXED small misalignment in red dot and holo sight reticles * FIXED missing textures on a few Tanker Ship engine room meshes * FIXED infinite shotgun reload * fixed AK reloads not putting magazine away * fixed M14 EBR reload notifiers not being fired CONTENT * Small changes to default scalability settings to keep shadow quality a little higher on lower settings * Updated SMG Mag pouch * Trees redone on Small Town * New Speedtree 8 based tree types replacing most exisitng trees * Small adjustments to post process settings to help unify look * Some work done on Depot brick wall material * Tanker Ship * Tweaked lighting visuals for night map * Small optimizations to EngineRoom and exterior lighting CODE * updated GBGameplayAbility_ReloadXXX * updated CanActivateAbility() to return false if it detects montage already playing or timer already running, preventing reactivating already active reload * removed need for show menu timer * reduced input delay by starting timer on activation instead of release and skipping it if double-tapped * changed old magazine attachment point from HAND_Left sock to b_LeftHand bone to stop it floating after new mag is inserted. * removed stubbs from GBTuberMagComponent * moved new PPSharpen materials to /Core/Engine and ensured they follow naming convention * removed PP_Sharpen references from Aircraft TakenDown lighting scenarios * added PPSharpenPercentage player setting * updated WBP_Settings_Video * moved most of the Event Graph off into separate user widgets, modularising where possible. * cleaned out old code * ensured Anti-Aliasing Method sets console cvar when applied (should see AA update immediately) * added PPSharpenPercentage setting * changed sharpen amount in PP_Sharpen from 0.5 to 0.3. * updated PPI_Sharpen to use default sharpen amount value. * updated game module binaries
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September 14


That's right: Build Update #003 is finally here.

As those of you who follow us on social media know, we've ran into a myriad of problems since migrating to Unreal Engine 4.20.2. This upgrade has caused more issues than usual, which in turn took a longer time than usual to resolve, leading us to go out of schedule. Engine updates get increasingly trickier as a project grows; there's more to break, and then more to fix.

Full disclosure: This is going to be one of those builds that sometimes happens in Early Access where some of the things that were broken before now work… and vice versa.

Pictured: How we feel about future engine updates (screenshot by WaderTheGamer)

To add insult to injury, A.I. master Phil had issues with our version control system, which rendered him unable to submit his updates. Well, we decided that the new build had been delayed long enough—some of the additions will simply have to wait a little longer.

Rest assured that we'll be getting everything in shape as quickly as possible and, in the meantime, we hope this build's fixes and extras outweigh its issues and omissions. Last but no least, sorry for the delay!

Note: All servers must be updated to work with the newest build.


Engine update
We are now on Unreal Engine 4.20.2! This brings with it many optimizations and systems that will allow us to do a whole bunch of things more efficiently in GROUND BRANCH. Some may experience small performance increases from the upgrade alone, but the biggest gains will come once we fully tap into the new systems and features over the coming months.

New controls and bindings
One of the biggest changes in this build is the new Controls screen that makes key bindings and commands much easier to find and change. Whereas before some options (such as Toggle Crouch) were part of a "Scripts" drop-down menu, now they are exposed and clearly listed. Ambiguous bindings such as "Off Hand Action" are now more intuitively labeled (e.g. "Interact"). And, of course, the duplicate Toggle Aim / Off Hand Action binding has been taken care of.

One important change is in the Reload control scheme: you now press R once for a Tactical Reload (a.k.a. retention reload), and double-tap R for the more urgent Speed Reload. As mentioned in our previous Intel Update, holding R will be saved for a menu that will allow for mag checks and other related actions. While this Reload scheme is currently hard-coded, we plan to make it customizable in the future, so that this will only be the default.

Lastly, the radial menu for attachments is now exclusively for weapon attachments and defaulted to the Middle Mouse Button. Your NVGs—if equipped—are now accessible via the top menu, under "Equipment" ('4' key).

The new Controls screen layout has the bindings listed on the left and extra options on the right. You can check it out in the Settings menu.

Scope glitch is history
The issue with 3D scopes on NVIDIA 10xx series graphics cards has been fixed—you are now clear to rock that ACOG or high-powered optic without hassle.

New bad guy skins
We are starting to introduce some enemy skin variations, starting with Terrorist Hunt on Power Station. These will continue to get updated and added to other maps very soon.

The values for A.I. setting that were being tested on a few of the official BFS servers are now the default for the game. The A.I. is continually being worked on and will go through many changes over the coming months, so don't worry if they appear too easy or too hard; we're in the process of testing out values, and there's plenty of new A.I. functionality yet to make it into GB.

Map and graphics updates
  • We have implemented a temporary solution for the A.I. seeing through foliage on Small Town, so no more getting shot from across the map while behind trees! This solution solves roughly 85% of the cases where A.I. would "see" you through trees and bushes, and we'll soon be working on a better solution that covers almost all situations. Other maps with dense foliage will also be updated after we've acquired some feedback from this build.
  • A rendering "upgrade" is being tested on all maps. You will notice a sharpening effect to the visuals that greatly enhances the look of the game while using temporal anti-aliasing (Settings > Video > Graphics > Anti-Aliasing Quality). Some may or may not like the look while using FXAA or no AA, so we'll gather feedback and make adjustments as necessary.
  • Some work has also been done on Storage Facility (Play Offline > Game Mode: Development). The map should be ready for Terrorist Hunt in the next Build Update!

Weapons and items
  • The G22 has received a new custom slide based on the Agency Arms Patrol Series.
  • The Galil SAR can now use a Picatinny rail mount for optics.
  • The visible laser has been further toned down and is now less visible depending on the lighting.

  • Some players may not show gear they are wearing while in the Ready Room. Rest assured that the player does have the gear and can see it themselves. Everything will sync up once in the mission/match.
  • Pouches do not always animate with the character. They will appear to "float" until the player moves in any direction. This behavior is especially apparent when crouching or standing up in place.
  • Some players may see slow-downs during various hit effects again.
  • Player names don't show in the Elevate Player menu.
  • Player names may not appear on the Ready Room boards and/or player list.
  • The Binoculars overlay is misaligned.
  • Foliage LOD change distances need adjusting; lower LODs are showing too soon.
  • A.I. enemies may feel too passive now.
  • No ability to "re-pin" an armed grenade.
  • Small hitch in sidearm reload animations.
  • Terrain LOD transition creates a sort of "blobby" growing/shrinking effect as you move closer or farther away.
  • Some may experience an issue in the Ready Room testing range where the primary weapon is not immediately accessible. Simply select Secondary ('2' key), then switch to Primary ('1' key) to equip.

Build version: 1024
Steam ID: 3119679

FIXED * FIXED Small offset of optics on MP5 rail causing shots to hit slightly to the right * FIXED slight offset of V3 reticle * FIXED G22 normal map in wrong material slot * FIXED naming of M16, M18 smoke grenade, M1911 and M4 to properly reflect models * FIXED M16A4 fire rate - now Semi and Burst only * FIXED scope corruption on nvidia 10xx cards * FIXED Mk48 PHYS_collision that was preventing shell casings from properly ejecting * FIXED some building collision on Power Station * fixed server version - should prevent people attempting to join RED servers all the time * fixed OSS HASH issue introduced in UE4.20 * fixed ToggleInGameMenu getting called twice rapidly (temp hack fix) * fixed loading screen not pissing off properly since updating to UE4.20 (I hope) * fixed character loadout failing to be applied if there are no items to add in the replicated kit string * fixed BP_PalletteStack warnings/issues * fixed BP_ChainlinkFence warnings/issues - replaced the damn thing with new BP_FenceMaster * fixed potential issues with BP_Warehouse_ExhaustFan and BP_CielingFan * fixed C7535 GBDamageType caused by VS2017 update * fixed UAnimSequenceBase variables in GBAnimFunctionLibrary * fixed handgun reload not references end montage section * FIXED incorrect naming for P250 magazine round count CONTENT * Updated G22 with Agency Arms slide (Now a 100% custom "Glock" due to copyright) * LOD work on G22 * Added rail attachment to Galil SAR * Added in open static doors to RR Ops rooms * Added in new recorder voice commands VO files and changed references in VOICE_Default * Added in new VO for RR coundtdown * Made collision on shell casings non-round to stop continuous collision sounds when they rolled * Small optimization... default project setting to not use low end lightmaps * Reduces shader permutations * Some lighting optimization work on Storage Facility * Added temp AI LOS blocking volumes to vegetaion in Small Town * This will help with AI seeing through trees and bushes though it is not always super accurate * Proper solution will be comign in the future * Adjusted spec value on wood door materials * Changed setting on Small Town doors to make them light better * Small adjustments to Smalltown lights * No longer using IES values * Turned off DFAO on High shadow scalability setting * Changed bad guys in Power Station to new models and loadout setups * Still work in progress * Storage Facility * Work on texturing leftover untextured geometry * Setup Level Streaming Volumes for interior section * Lighting optimizations * Reduced visibility of laser 60% * Better looking, but makes it harder to see in some lighting conditions * Testing level optimization on training maps setup * Implemented small sharpening effect to game rendering * Changed default behavior of weapon optic glass to accept environment lighting * Prevents it from being full bright in dark environments * Removed M15_WP grenade as it isn't implemented properly * Changed Galil SAR to correctly be 5.56 caliber as well as have a 35-round magazine * Renamed M18 white smoke to M83 internally * This was already done in game files AI * Added a couple of minimum values into loaded settings so we don't divide by zero in later calculations. * Tweaked AI settings for a more enjoyable solo play experience * These will continue to be adjusted as well as new features added(Big Work In Progress) * Updated cover generator to add cover points into a subfolder in the world outliner CODE * Upgraded engine to UE4 4.20.2 * created WBP_ServerBrowserMessageOverlay * currently only used to display big warning message when trying to attempt to join a server that is RED. * update path in various .bat files. * hard coded fix for nVidia 10XX cards into BP_OpticalSightComponent * updated GBCharacter * renamed SetRunning() & SetSprinting() to SetWantsToRun() and SetWantsToSprint() * renamed GetSprinting() to GetWantsToSprint() * stripped out input script system * this is the mostly unnoticed system that support all those things people mention :) e.g. toggle crouch, momentary aim * updated input actions and execs * removed TogglePos * removed button usages from exec commands * created Interact commnad to replace usage of OffHand to open doors, climb ladders etc * renamed MainHand to UseMainHand * renamed OffHand to UseOffHand * renamed UpAction to Jump * renamed DownAction to Crouch * renamed UseAttachedItem to FirearmAttachment * changed inventory slot 3 & 4 to non-instant i.e. they always display a menu * moved Night Vision usage to Inventory Slot 4. * added Toggle Crouch option to player settings. * overhauled control binding UI * hard coded binds to list of controls instead of reading them all from DefaultInput.ini Should be far less clutterred. * hard coded default bindings in UI * moved always run from WBP_Settings_Gameplay to WBP_Settings_Controls. * added Toggle Crouch to WBP_Settings_Controls. * removed suicide (K) from DefaultInput.ini * stupid left handed buggers kept hitting it by mistake and topping themselves :P * created fullscreen overlay WBP_BindKeyOverlay * replaces small in list message * removes modifier keys from list * makes it harder to bind to wrong key by giving a chance to review key choice & modifiers. * changed reloads * input moved from player controller/firearm/gameplay ability combo to gameplay ability (should predict / sync better) * created new C++ reload gameplay abilities for both external mag fed and tube fed (i.e. shotguns) firearms. * for mag fed - tap = reload with retention (tactical), double-tap = reload without retention (speed) * for tube fed - tap = reload one round, double-tap = reload to capacity. * created special gameplay ability with input similar to reloads for future use. * updated BP_ANPVS_15_NVG * changed internal logic to try and fix the damn thing once and for all * moved ability system input binding from character to player controller * character gets last dibs on input, so binding it there effectively made it useless if a default bind existing in player controller. * simplified BP_Door_Swinging * now uses next/prev to control incremental movments instead of holding offhand. * changed all interact prompts to the same style based of the latest ladder prompt. * changed firemode handling * input moved from player controller/firearm combo to gameplay ability * slightly fiddling, so not sure on sync/prediction yet - will improve via animation later. * updated GA_Sprint * input moved from player controller/firearm/gameplay ability combo to gameplay ability (should predict / sync better) * will pause/unpause itself * should no longer lower weapon if stationary. * updated BP_TankerCar & BP_BoxCar to use Interact key * missed it in previous submit * changed default key for FirearmAttachment from F to MiddleMouseButton (F is now Interact) * updated WBP_Settings_Controls * added Become Spectator / spectate bind to * added misc section with Return to Ready Room / ReadyRoom and Opt Out / suicide * added item.firearm.reload tag check to stop AI attempting to reload repeatably * removed legacy Categories from GBItem * updated all affected C++ & Blueprints * created GBDirectSight for use with non-rail sights that attach directly to firearm * added toggle / momentary lean option to PlayerSettings * added bPlayerSelectable to GBCharAppearanceData * set all bad guy appearance related assets to not be player selectable * set all player appearance related assets to be player selectable * changed ProjectVersion from 1023 to 1024
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About This Game

In GROUND BRANCH, you will play as the elite paramilitary arm of the CIA's Special Activities Division/Special Operations Group (SAD/SOG) and lead other special operations forces through challenging deniable ops all over the globe. With deliberate, calculated and unforgiving gameplay, GROUND BRANCH aims to be the true rebirth of the tactical realism genre of the late '90s and early 2000s. Powered by Epic's Unreal Engine 4, GB puts the "tactical" back in "tactical shooter"—no compromises.


GROUND BRANCH's unique True First-Person System improves world immersion and awareness of your surroundings, providing zero disconnect between your view and your character's physical presence in the environment. See your foot sticking out of cover? Better tuck it in—enemies may be able to see it (and shoot it) too, but only if their line of sight and muzzle are verifiably unobstructed. Cameras are placed at the character's eyes and bullets originate from the weapon's muzzle. In GROUND BRANCH, what you see is what you get.

A minimal HUD with multiple optional elements ensures that vital information is available, but never a constant obstacle to either immersion or your field of view.


Say goodbye to pre-defined kits and fully customize your character and gear from basic appearance and outfit to in-depth vest and weapon platform customization, down to individual pouch and attachment placement. What you bring to your mission is determined only by your loadout choice, with realistic consequences: With the upcoming encumbrance and stamina system, too much equipment will impact your character's speed and performance; place a scope too forward on the rail and your sight picture will be too small; bring a long rifle into CQB and weapon collision may prove a hindrance.

Forget unlocks, microtransactions and loot boxes. Ground Branch operators get all the right tools for the job straight away—courtesy of the Agency.


Whether in 8-player co-op or 8v8 adversarial game modes, GROUND BRANCH's unforgiving gameplay makes careful and calculated teamwork essential. Gather your teammates and practice in full-featured training areas, including shooting ranges with dynamic targets and customizable killhouses. Integrated VOIP with both 3D positional voice and radio ensures full communication capabilities with no need for third-party software. Text chat and pre-recorded voice messages (commo rose-style) also available for the mic-less and the shy.

Prefer single-player? Missions with friendly A.I. and a full command system (both in development by industry veteran and A.I. researcher Phil Carlisle) are fully planned.


In the tactical shooter realm, movement and weapon handling are king. Take full control of your character with standing, crouching and (soon!) prone stances—each with multiple movement speeds—as well as unique weapon postures (including low- and high-ready), leaning and stepping out, free-look (head movement independent from aim), customizable and optional free-aim (dead zone), dedicated mouse sensitivity sliders for point-shooting/unmagnified/magnified aiming, and all-around highly configurable key bindings.

You can also choose between speed reloads (drop magazine) and tactical reloads (retain current magazine) on the fly.

(both working/in-process—marked √—and planned)


  • GROUND BRANCH's unique "campaign" format will deliver smaller, more localized sets of missions based around global hotspots, with a centralized intelligence interface to monitor them and receive new mission orders over time. The choices you make along the way may affect future engagements.
  • √ Based on unique environments all over the world, the non-linear mission and map designs offer multiple entry points and open-ended outcomes.
  • √ Enemies are spawned at mission start, with a degree of randomization to quantity and location. No "monster closets" or magic enemy spawns based on player location or mission progress.


  • √ Ready Room: A physical multiplayer lobby where you can plan your approach, see your teammates' loadouts, test weapon configurations on a firing range and jointly select insertion points.
  • √ Full—and free—dedicated server support. Host a server wherever you want!
  • Create your own unit patches and attach them to your character's sleeves and headgear.
  • Full support for MP ladders.
  • After-action review (AAR) following each mission/round.
  • Server-side options.


  • Full mod support.
  • √ No gear unlocks, hit markers, kill confirmations or score pop-ups.
  • Weapon bracing/supporting.
  • √ Varied arsenal: Multiple handguns, submachine guns, carbines, assault and battle rifles, machine guns, DMRs, sniper rifles and explosives to choose from, with selectable ammunition type (e.g. full metal jacket, hollow point or subsonic rounds, smoke grenade color etc.).
  • √ Map variation: In addition to day and night versions as well as weather variation, maps have small details that can change between rounds, such as doors and windows that may be open, closed or blocked.
  • √ Unlimited loadout save slots.
  • √ Item sharing/dropping/pickups.
  • √ Accurate ballistics with penetration, bullet drop and stopping power simulation.
  • No regenerating health or health packs: Administer first aid to non-lethal injuries for reduced combat effectiveness.
  • Location damage model: Expect visible injuries and consequences, such as limping, reduced arm function, and/or hits to stamina and accuracy. Players immobilized from a non-lethal injury can stay in the fight.
  • Carry teammates to safety to administer first aid—or to safely recover their ammo, gear, cargo or body if they are no longer alive.
  • Appropriate and realistic playable female characters.
  • √ Partial controller support (configurable).

System Requirements

    • Requires a 64-bit processor and operating system
    • OS: Windows 7 SP1 64-bit
    • Processor: Intel® Core™ i5-2500K or AMD FX-8350 or better
    • Memory: 4 GB RAM
    • Graphics: Geforce GTX 570 or AMD Radeon HD 7850 or better
    • DirectX: Version 11
    • Network: Broadband Internet connection
    • Storage: 20 GB available space
    • Requires a 64-bit processor and operating system
    • OS: Windows 10 64-bit
    • Processor: Intel® Core™ i7-4790K or better
    • Memory: 8 GB RAM
    • Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970 or AMD Radeon R9 290 or better
    • DirectX: Version 11
    • Network: Broadband Internet connection
    • Storage: 20 GB available space

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