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.
Recent Reviews:
Mixed (60) - 66% of the 60 user reviews in the last 30 days are positive.
All Reviews:
Mostly Positive (521) - 79% of the 521 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 revenue and 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 (32)

February 4


The Steam Lunar New Year Sale is here,
and it's knocking 20% off of GB's price tag—only until February 11th.

Spread the word!
Make sure you get the word out to any friends who don't know about GB, might've been on the wall about the game or weren't sold on the regular price.

The more people playing GB, the more feedback and funding we get. Wanna support development and get the player base growing? Share the news!

—The BlackFoot Studios team
5 comments Read more

February 2

BUILD UPDATE #010: Hotfix

Build Update #010 is a small hotfix patch to correct some missing fixes (meant for our last update) and adjust/add a few other things.

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

Highlights and full change log below:


New effect for the AN/PVS-15 night vision goggles
After some UE4 wrestling, John has managed to update the night vision post-process effect with a smoother and more realistic look. The near blur no longer has a "boxy" look, and neither does it cause illuminated reticles to generate that odd geometric pattern when pointing them at nearby objects. It also has a smoother transition between the focused and out-of-focus areas.

New PP effect for NVG, seen here without the circular overlay mask

You may notice a visible "border" around the blur when parts of the weapon are at the foreground of focused objects. That is a limitation of the engine; we might look into better solutions in the future.

Why the blur? Real-life night vision devices have fixed focal ranges, meaning they can't focus on both near and far objects at the same time. Because of this, operators normally adjust the focus to a medium to far range, leaving very close objects out of focus—which includes sights. That is part of the reason why the AN/PEQ-15 and other IR laser devices play such an important role in nighttime operations, as they produce a beam only visible through night vision and allow the weapon to be aimed without the use of sights, as they become either blurred out beyond utility or simply are difficult to line up with the NVG tubes, among other factors. We'll be looking into the viability of simulating more of these aspects as we go.

Known issues
  • Materials that use transparency (e.g. sunglasses and facial hair) will appear in focus even within the effect's range.
  • The intensity (perceived amount of blur) of the effect may vary between maps.

Default sight zero for SMG/PDWs has been changed from 100 m to 50 m.

In addition, you can now see the zero for your current primary weapon setup in the Loadout Summary (right-hand box in the Operator Customization screen):

› We will be adding the ability to set your preferred zero for specific weapons and sights in the future.

A.I. reaction tweak
Immediate aim error for the bots has been increased, hopefully making them even less likely to score insta-kills.

Miscellaneous fixes and changes
  • OKP-7 reticle adjusted to no longer flick in and out of sight.
  • Fixed map list not starting correctly and then cycling to same map over and over again.
  • Fixed usage of the UMP45's front sight post.
  • Further optimized under-development map City.
  • Also in City: added manhole ladder access between street and underground levels.

BONUS INTEL: What's going on with the sound design overhaul?
Audio-man Mikson is still working hard on GROUND BRANCH's sound, and trust me: we're looking forward to it as much as you are.

The weapon sound system is being developed alongside Kris and is close to completion. In parallel, Mik has been tweaking sound assets and getting them ready for the new system. He's halfway through the SFX for the current weapons. When both the sound system and SFXs are ready, implementation "shouldn't be a problem", in Mik's own words. Here's hoping, and go Mikson!


Build version: 1025

Steam Build ID: 3526830
Size: 866 MB

Dedicated server
Steam Build ID: 3526834
Size: 38 MB

FIXES * fixed admin map list creation UI not clearing list of maps before repopulating resulting in massive list of potential maps * fixed admin map list creation UI not displaying game mode in the list of entries * fixed map list not starting correctly and then cycling to same map over and over again. * fixed round not starting again if you manually go to spectator or RR when round is paused due to death while offline. * fixed misc skin display names not matching skin short names. * fixed UMP45 front sight post usage * fixed bad WorldContextObject in RBEventManagerCallEvent() causing crash * fixed loadout not being applied to corpse if you become a spectator when dead. AI * tweaked AI to use worse aim error instantly and interpolate to improved. CONTENT * City Map * more optimization work in outside area * added manhole ladder access from street level down to tunnel * changed some settings in DefaultScalability.ini to make sure the essential PP (post process) settings stay on all settings * mainly NV blur effect * OKP-7 reticle updated to make it flicker less * reworked NVG blur effect to be smoother and more realistic CODE * added sight zeros to summary area on character editor. * changed DefaultIronSIght desired zeros from 100 to 50 on all SMG's. * added time limit to GBGameState * added remaining time limit on server info board * added round length to GBRoundState * added round duration to TH ops board
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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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