Insurgency: Sandstorm is a team-based, tactical FPS based on lethal close quarters combat and objective-oriented multiplayer gameplay. Experience the intensity of modern combat where skill is rewarded, and teamwork wins the fight.
Recent Reviews:
Mostly Positive (686) - 71% of the 686 user reviews in the last 30 days are positive.
All Reviews:
Very Positive (22,337) - 80% of the 22,337 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date:
Dec 12, 2018

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Curator Review

By GameStar January 8

“Extrem anspruchsvoll, extrem intensiv. In diesem Hardcore-Militärshooter knallt es an jeder Ecke, dass uns die Ohren wegfliegen. Ein taktischer Rohdiamant, der noch ein wenig Schliff braucht.”

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Recent updates View all (72)

August 21


Today we’re launching our Community Test Environment (CTE) to test the content in the upcoming version 1.4 game update. You can try out update 1.4’s new snow map, new game mode, new weapons, new cosmetics, and a brand new playlist system right now on the CTE by going to your Steam Library and downloading “Insurgency: Sandstorm Community Test Environment”.

Please be aware that this is a developer test build of the game and you may encounter unexpected bugs or issues. Content shown in the CTE is not final and may or may not be implemented into the public version. There are no restrictions on recording, streaming, or discussing the CTE, however, it’s important to disclose that any footage or feedback is in relation to the test. The CTE will close at the end of the testing phase. Please see our blog or social media for details. Information on the CTE can be found here.

To hear more information about the new playlist system, see yesterday’s community update post. We welcome your feedback on the CTE, so please direct any bug reports or general opinions to the CTE sub-forum here. Below is a list of changes, please note that this does not include all changes:

New Features
  • New PvP game mode “Frontline,” which can be thought of as a tug-of-war inspired “two way Push” mode
    • Capture all enemy objectives one by one, and then destroy the final weapon cache objective to win. Defend your own objectives and weapon cache from being captured or destroyed.
    • After the neutral middle objective is captured, your team must defend your own objective and also attack the enemy’s objective.
    • Every time a team captures an objective, they will gain respawn waves and respawn their team. A team loses all their respawn waves when the enemy team reaches their final weapon cache objective.
  • New map “Hillside” with support for the following game modes:
    • PvP
      • Push Security
      • Push Insurgents
      • Firefight A
      • Firefight B
      • Skirmish
      • Frontline
      • Team Deathmatch
    • Co-op
      • Checkpoint Security
      • Checkpoint Insurgents
      • Hardcore Checkpoint Security
      • Hardcore Checkpoint Insurgents
      • Frenzy Checkpoint
  • New light machine gun assault rifle hybrid weapons for the Gunner class:
    • Insurgents
      • Galil
    • Security
      • Galil SAR
  • Official matchmaking games will now allow players to vote on the next map and continue playing with players in the same session instead of returning to the main menu between matches.
  • Complete overhaul of the Play menu and official matchmaking, which now uses playlist based matchmaking instead of individualized matchmaking by game mode.
    • This decision was made to give us room to add more game modes both this year and in 2020 without concern for splitting the playerbase or server hosting costs. And also to allow us to add new content to the game more rapidly, even on a weekly basis, in between content updates through limited time playlists. Read more about the playlist system and what led to its creation here.
    • A playlist contains one or more similar game modes. A player selects a playlist, searches for a match, and is put into a game in one of the game modes that the playlist features. When a match ends, a map vote starts, and players can vote on a new map and mode within their current playlist’s supported game modes.
    • “Limited time playlists” that offer unique gameplay will be added and cycled through usually every two weeks without requiring a game update.
      • These limited time playlists are meant to be an iteration of the Arcade system. Limited time playlists will feature “Arcade-inspired” game modes that will typically be derivative of existing modes, but with special twists on gameplay.
      • While they won’t necessarily be as unique or fully produced as Arcade modes like Frenzy or Team Deathmatch, they will come much more rapidly and outside major content updates.
      • We aim to have one limited time Co-op and one limited time Versus playlist available at any time, staggered so that one switches out every week.
      • They will typically be modified through our new “mutator system,” which adds new game rules to an existing mode. The system allows for a wide variety of options and combinations like:
        • Hot Potato Firefight (dead players drop a live frag grenade)
        • Hardcore Push/Frontline (decreased player speed, but no equipment loss)
        • Headshots Only Team Deathmatch
        • Headshots Only Team Deathmatch, but you get 100 supply points
        • Supply Gain Checkpoint (gain Supply Points as your score increases)
        • Supply Gain Checkpoint, but you only start with 1 Supply Point
        • Etc.
      • The mutator system is also available to community servers, so community server hosts can apply and combine mutators to their servers as they wish.
    • “Community Servers” is now a fourth button in the Play menu. This is meant to bring better visibility to our community run servers.
    • Official playlists for update 1.4 will be as follows:
      • Co-op
        • Normal
          • Checkpoint Security
          • Checkpoint Insurgents
        • Hardcore
          • Hardcore Checkpoint Security
          • Hardcore Checkpoint Insurgents
        • Frenzy
          • Frenzy Checkpoint
        • Versus
          • Ground Battle
            • Push
            • Frontline
          • Point Capture
            • Firefight
            • Skirmish (some maps now have smaller layouts)
        • Competitive
          • Firefight
            • Competitive Firefight
      • Additional CTE playlists will be available during the CTE, but will change as the CTE continues. They will start as follows:
        • Versus
          • Hillside Ground Battle
            • Hillside Push Security
            • Hillside Push Insurgents
            • Frontline
        • Co-op
          • Hillside Normal
            • Hillside Checkpoint Security
            • Hillside Checkpoint Insurgents
  • New Weapon Upgrade
    • 3x Type 03 scope for QBZ-03
  • New Cosmetics
    • Security Soft Shell style jacket
      • Shell
      • Shell Rolled
      • Shell Camo
      • Shell Camo Rolled
    • Insurgent Winter Sport style jacket
      • Winter Black
      • Winter Blue
      • Winter Red
      • Winter White
    • Equipment (backpacks, vests, pouches) will now shift and jiggle with movement.
  • Added Competitive rank decay where in Diamond and Platinum ranks your rank will slowly decay if you do not play often enough. Later during the CTE, we aim to add exclusive cosmetic rewards for every oon to be paired with exclusive glove cosmetics for competitive players.
  • Audio
    • Panning rule dropdown added which allows selection of speakers or headphones to provide the best positional audio experience for your hardware.
    • Effects slider added which controls the volume of all in-game sound effects.
    • Added an option to mute the ear-ringing layer of the explosives and flashbang shellshock effect.
    • VoIP no longer uses auto-ducking but instead uses side-chaining. This provides a more natural ducking of game audio when VoIP is used, and also prevents an issue where even if VoIP volume was set to 0 that game audio would still be ducked when VoIP was transmitted.
  • Spectator and Replays
    • New camera controls and options added.
    • Camera zoom
    • Hide Hud
    • Disable camera smoothing

Known Issues
  • [Visual] Combat Goggles glass may be visible through smoke on certain settings.
  • [Animation] Deploying the PKM while standing causes issues with the third person character arms.
  • [AI] On rare cases, bots may appear 'invisible' or show as floating vests. If you experience this or have information on this issue please post in this thread.
  • [Connection] Some players have reported issues with server connection or pings showing as '0'. If you experience this or have information on this issue please post in this thread.
  • [Audio] If the same level is loaded twice in a row online, the default soundscape stops working.
  • [Stability] There is a crash in Frenzy that happens under certain conditions where idle or spectating players far away from others. We are currently working on a fix for this issue
  • [Hillside] Double windows of several buildings in the map cannot be vaulted or have weapons pointed through by players even if there is no glass in the frame.
  • [Visual] [AI] The insertion truck driver can sometimes T-Pose
  • [Weapon] [Animation 3P] When prone and bolting or reloading with an M24 or Mosin, the weapon disappears.
  • [Party System] There is a Steam issue that sometimes stops players from inviting others to Party via the ingame UI. A potential workaround is to invite via Steam overlay.
39 comments Read more

August 20

Community Update #6: Introducing Playlists

Hey everyone, my name is Michael Tsarouhas. I am the lead game designer on Insurgency: Sandstorm. Today we’re gonna talk about the brand new “Playlist System” coming in our next update. This system will overhaul the official matchmaking experience in some pretty substantial ways, and while it offers a lot of new opportunities, it will also be a shift in what players have grown accustomed to when it comes to finding a match. We feel it’s important that we are transparent with our community in regards to why we’re making these changes, what these new changes will mean, and what to expect in the future as a result of these changes. You can try the new playlist system tomorrow on our Community Test Environment. Just go to your Steam Library if you own Insurgency: Sandstorm and look for “Insurgency: Sandstorm Community Test Environment,” and download it to play. Also included on the CTE is our new map Hillside (a remake of Insurgency 2014’s Sinjar,) Frontline mode, Galil weapons for the Gunner class, and more.

Why the change?

When we first launched Insurgency: Sandstorm, our intention was to allow for a quick and easy official matchmaking system that would allow you to find the exact game mode or modes of your choice. However, as we continued to develop and add new content for Sandstorm post-release and heard community feedback, we found out there was a bigger appetite for new game modes than we expected. Players wanted something fresh aside from just new weapons, maps, and cosmetics, not to mention a compelling reason to keep coming back to play aside from whenever there was a big update every few months.

This presented a challenge to us, because realistically speaking, we couldn’t have our community be split between a dozen different game modes, and we couldn’t deliver content any faster than we already were. We didn’t want a situation where players are stuck in queues trying to find a match because everyone is split between a number of different game modes, especially in low population regions or during non-peak hours. But we also of course didn’t want players to be leaving because there was nothing cool and new to check out outside of big game updates. Having more game modes available and being added more frequently would put a pretty significant strain on us, requiring a lot more resources and expenses on our end to ensure servers are always available for every mode and ensuring that those new game modes are fun to begin with.

One of the ways we tried to address this is with the Arcade, which has so far featured Team Deathmatch and Frenzy Checkpoint game modes. The intention was to rotate through these Arcade game modes and keep creating new ones, with all of them always being available on community servers when they went away from the Play menu as Team Deathmatch did. However, unique Arcade modes proved to take a significant amount of resources and development time. We reached a point where we couldn’t continue making dedicated game modes like these that offer totally unique experiences so consistently and easily with all the other content we have planned for 2019 and beyond.

This brings us to our creation of the playlist system. With playlists, we can add and rotate through unique content very rapidly, even on a bi-weekly basis. We can keep players from being split up, but also keep them well-fed and interested. We can have an avenue for adding fresh new content, and better take into account player feedback in how we iterate on and add that content.

So how do things work now?

For the most part, pretty much as they always had, but with a better presentation (especially for new players,) a few limitations, and a whole lot more possibilities. The Play menu now looks like this:

First, you can see Community Servers have been given their own dedicated button to improve visibility for those who want a community experience. Second, you can see there’s no longer a “Match Preferences” button at the bottom right. This has been changed to “Region Preferences” which works as it did before where you can select one or multiple regions. Now, you choose your preferences of a match within a Play section itself.

Let’s say I want to play a Versus match. I click on the Versus button, and then I see this:

Now I can see the available Versus “playlists”: Ground Battle, Point Capture, and a limited time playlist called Hardcore Ground Battle (but more on that later). Each one of these playlists may have multiple game modes within it. The Ground Battle playlist will feature both Push mode and the upcoming Frontline mode, and is focused on high intensity action with centralized linear objective combat. Point Capture on the other hand features Firefight and Skirmish modes, with some Skirmish layouts by the way being adjusted to a smaller scale due to community feedback. These two Point Capture modes focus on decentralized objective combat, giving players more choice in how they navigate the map and providing a greater depth of strategy depending on which point is approached for capture or defense. Every playlist has a set of “Features” which includes the game modes it contains as well as any other changes to general gameplay (i.e. the “Limited Equipment” of Hardcore Checkpoint). These are accessed and explained in detail with F2 and then cycled through in separate modal popup menus.

When I click “Find Match” with Ground Battle selected, it will put me into a Ground Battle match on either a Frontline or Push map scenario. In this system, I can’t choose between which of the two modes I want to play right off the bat. However, once that match is over, instead of being kicked back all the way to the main menu, I can vote for exactly what mode and even map I want to play next.

Much of our community asked for a map voting feature in official matchmaking after the match ends. This is going to be an important part of the playlist system. You can see the only available map scenarios are Push and Frontline ones, as this is a Ground Battle match and those are the only modes available in the Ground Battle playlist.

The idea here is to group similar game modes together so that new players have a better understanding of what they’re getting into, and that all players can have some gameplay variety while still being able to direct their own experience through map voting. We understand that there is a loss in a system like this where a player can, for example, no longer queue up specifically to play a Push mode match and play Push mode only. But again, as stated above, we feel like this is the best solution to allow ourselves to add more game mode content to the game without putting a huge strain on our own resources and not splitting up the playerbase. New game modes can have their own dedicated new playlists or be placed into existing ones, and players can vote as they want at the end of every match to play whatever mode they want within their current playlist. And remember, as always, there are community servers with XP gain which can host whatever it is they want, now even more visible in the Play menu right beside Competitive.

One of the biggest advantages of this system is that it allows for a constant flow of new game content not just in terms of upcoming new official modes like Frontline, Outpost, or VIP escort, but other modes as well. These are added and represented through rotating “limited time playlists,” which are essentially an iteration on the Arcade system. In the concept below you can see Hardcore Ground Battle is a limited time playlist, indicated by its hourglass icon.

Playlists like these will typically only last for two weeks at a time, and will usually be derivative of an existing playlist or game mode. Most will utilize our new “mutator system”, which can modify gameplay conditions like movement speed, supply points, loadouts, health, ADS time, gravity, and more. There are a ton of possibilities here, everything from Headshots Only Team Deathmatch to Headshots Only Team Deathmatch with 100 supply points to Checkpoint with 1 supply point at the start and supply gain by player score to Firefight where everyone drops a live frag grenade when they die.

In this particular example above, as promised in our 2019 roadmap, Hardcore Ground Battle features Push and Frontline with the movement speed of Hardcore Checkpoint, but without any of that brutal equipment loss or limited supply crates. If well received, this kind of playlist could potentially become a permanent one. However, we need to take into account server costs and player population whenever making a decision such as that. It’s important to mention again that these modes, mutators, or limited time playlists can be hosted on community servers in whatever way players want. The community server browser has had a mutator filter added to make the process of finding those kinds of games easier. Limited time playlists will also feature new content after an update, so you no longer have to just sit around in queue with your fingers crossed hoping to play a new map like Ministry. Right now we plan for update 1.4 to launch with limited time playlists dedicated to our new map Hillside on all Versus modes, another for Hillside on all Co-op modes, and a third for our new game mode Frontline exclusively.

The Co-op menu is getting the same treatment. Here the official playlists offered will be Normal, Hardcore, and Frenzy. When Outpost mode is added later this year, it will be added into each of these three playlists, so you’ll be able to play both Frenzy and Hardcore versions of Outpost in addition to Normal. Players will vote within a match whether they want the next map to be an Outpost or a Checkpoint one, and yes, as you can see in the playlist description for Hardcore Checkpoint, night maps will eventually be a part of this system too once they are added. Every playlist, be it Co-op, Versus, or Competitive, may feature both day and night, day only, or night only maps in its rotation and map pool. On playlists which support both day and night maps, players will vote if they want to switch to or away from a night map. We intend to include night maps in each of the three main Co-op playlists above, and have the occasional limited time night playlist in Versus as well, Versus and Competitive playlists being more focused on daytime play due to important balance considerations.

Co-op will see its own limited time playlist to feature Outpost once that update releases, and plenty of others as well to follow. Also rotating every two weeks, Co-op limited time playlists offer a ton of fun possibilities. In the example above you can see “Running in the 90s” which will feature more old school FPS play with locked free-aim, increased health, faster movement, and other mutators to help bring back those Quake and Half-Life feelings while still keeping things Insurgency. And if that’s not to your tastes, just wait a couple weeks, and see what we bring next.

We are keeping our ear to the ground in regards to player feedback regarding all of these playlists. If people want to see some mutators applied differently, or have an idea for a new playlist or mutator entirely, we’ll hear it and we’ll consider it. We want to try to keep one Versus and one Co-op playlist always active at any given time, most likely staggered so there’s a change in playlist every week. This will allow us to keep things fresh and interesting in between major content updates.

The Competitive menu will see improvements with the playlist system beyond the playlists themselves. The presentation is now much cleaner, so new players don’t need to read a single massive wall of text to get themselves acquainted. With playlists, we can apply mutators to normal Competitive Firefight, or create entirely new competitive versions of other game modes with their own dedicated ranking.

What will this mean for the future of Sandstorm?

The possibilities really are vast with the playlist system. Instead of waiting every two or three months to see new content, you’ll see it every week on the dot. We already are finalizing our schedule of playlists from now until the end of the year, I can tell you we already have a lot of unique playlists and mutators created and planned. They’ll put a fresh spin on gameplay you’d never expect but suddenly wish you had, just like Hardcore Checkpoint did for many players. We understand again that some players may miss the ability to choose to matchmake straight into a game of Skirmish, or straight into Checkpoint Security. However, this was a move that we feel we had to make out of respect for our long term free game mode content plans going into 2020, maintaining the original vision of the Arcade system, allowing us to add new game modes without splitting the community, keeping content coming outside of major updates and more frequently than every few months, and within what is most realistic internally from a server hosting cost and density-maximization perspective. Keep in mind that these limited time playlists and the mutator system are going to be content that is coming in addition to our other commitments for this year. They are not intended to replace new game modes or other forms of free content. We’re still committed to adding everything we showed off in the 2019 Roadmap and more.

If you have any feedback, please feel free to share. We’d especially love to hear your ideas for new limited time playlists you would like to see both with and without mutators applied. We hope you are as excited about this new system as we are, because at the end of the day what this really means is that Sandstorm is evolving. More new content will be hitting you faster and at a schedule you can plan around, and that’s including all the other free new maps, weapons, game modes, cosmetics, and more coming this year and into 2020.

Check out the Community Test Environment tomorrow by downloading “Insurgency: Sandstorm Community Test Environment” in your Steam Library to try out the playlist system, our new Hillside map, Frontline mode, new Galil weapons for Gunner classes, and more. And stay tuned on our social media below to keep up to date with our development, and get a first look at new game content.


Thanks for reading!
77 comments Read more


“Insurgency: Sandstorm feels fresh and innovative at every turn”
85/100 – PC Gamer

“If ever there was an example of outstanding FPS gunplay, Insurgency: Sandstorm is surely it”
8.8/10 – IGN

“It might just have one of the best cooperative modes from any first-person shooter that I’ve played all year”

Free Content Roadmap for PC Jul-Dec 2019

About This Game

Insurgency: Sandstorm is a team-based, tactical FPS based on lethal close quarters combat and objective-oriented multiplayer gameplay. Sequel to the indie breakout FPS Insurgency, Sandstorm is reborn, improved, expanded, and bigger in every way. Experience the intensity of modern combat where skill is rewarded, and teamwork wins the fight. Prepare for a hardcore depiction of combat with deadly ballistics, light attack vehicles, destructive artillery, and HDR audio putting the fear back into the genre.

An intense atmosphere putting the terror into modern combat

Move with speed and caution as you push through the war-torn environments of a fictional contemporary conflict in the Middle East. Death comes fast, ammunition must be carefully managed, and the environment must be tactically navigated at every step toward victory.

Insurgency: refined and expanded

For the first time in an Insurgency game, customize your character to show your veterancy with diverse sets of clothing, uniforms, accessories, and character voices. Coordinate fire support with your team, engage enemies with vehicle mounted machine guns, and go head to head in small scale high speed competitive matches. Wield new weapons and new upgrades to outmaneuver, outflank, and outsmart the enemy.

War at its realest

Continuing Insurgency’s acclaim as the most atmospheric shooter, Sandstorm is built on Unreal 4 to bring its gritty close-quarters combat into a whole new era of realism. Skill is rewarded, and survival is paramount. Feel every bullet, and fear every impact.

Key Features

  • Sequel to the indie breakout FPS Insurgency, now with 5 million units sold. Sandstorm is reborn, improved, expanded, and bigger in every way.
  • Character and weapon customisation to show your battle-hardiness.
  • Unprecedented audio design with positional voice-chat for realistic teamwork, and heart pounding ambient audio to bring you into the battlefield.
  • Peek around corners, tactically breach doorways, use smoke to cover your team’s advance, and call in air support.
  • Battle across expansive maps in up to 16-versus-16 player game modes, or 8 player co-operative against AI, now with machine gun mounted drivable vehicles.
  • Competitive multiplayer features including matchmaking, broadcasting UI, and replays.

Mature Content Description

The developers describe the content like this:

This Game may contain content not appropriate for all ages, or may not be appropriate for viewing at work: Frequent Violence or Gore, General Mature Content

System Requirements

    • Requires a 64-bit processor and operating system
    • OS: Windows 7/8/10 (64 bits)
    • Processor: Intel Core i5-4440 (3.10GHz)/AMD FX-6300 (3.50GHz)
    • Memory: 8 GB RAM
    • Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 760/AMD Radeon HD 7970
    • DirectX: Version 11
    • Storage: 40 GB available space
    • Requires a 64-bit processor and operating system
    • OS: Windows 7/8/10 (64 bits)
    • Processor: Intel Core i7-8700 (3.20GHz)/AMD Ryzen 7 2700 (3.20GHz)
    • Memory: 16 GB RAM
    • Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980/AMD Radeon R9 390X
    • DirectX: Version 11
    • Storage: 40 GB available space
    • Additional Notes: SSD is recommended.

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