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Insurgency: Sandstorm Drops New Frontline Update

Insurgency: Sandstorm

A brand new update has rolled out for Insurgency: Sandstorm and Frontline is now available with a new PvP mode and more.

Here are the official patch notes:

New Playlist System

We’ve done a complete overhaul of the Play menu and official matchmaking which now uses playlist based matchmaking, where a playlist is a grouping of game modes or a single game mode we set for every playlist. This decision was made to give us room to add more new game modes to Insurgency: Sandstorm both this year and in 2020 without concern for splitting the playerbase as well as keeping our own official server hosting costs manageable. It also allows us to add new game mode content without game updates, even as often as on a weekly basis. Read more about our reasons for the playlist system and details on limited time game modes 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 can offer unique game modes or new content from the latest update will be featured regularly in both Versus and Co-op. These can be cycled through as often as once a week, and will not require you to download a game update.

  • Limited time playlists are meant to be an iteration of the Arcade system. They will often feature “Arcade-inspired” game modes that are usually existing game modes with modifications to gameplay.
  • Examples include bolt-action rifles only, headshots only, steal health when dealing damage, drop a live hand grenade on death, etc. More than one may apply. Each modification is referred to as a “mutator”.
  • Mutators are also available to community servers, so community server hosts can apply and combine mutators to their servers as they wish. For more information, see the “Modding” section below in the changelist.
  • While they won’t necessarily be as unique or fully produced as Arcade modes like Frenzy Checkpoint 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 a playlist switches out every week.

“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

  • Normal
    • Checkpoint Security
    • Checkpoint Insurgents
  • Hardcore
    • Hardcore Checkpoint Security
    • Hardcore Checkpoint Insurgents
  • Frenzy
    • Frenzy Checkpoint


  • Ground Battle
    • Push
    • Frontline
      • New PvP mode, see the “New Features” section below for details.
  • Point Capture
    • Firefight
    • Skirmish
      • Both modes have been brought to 28 players as opposed to the 24 of Firefight and the 32 of Skirmish. Skirmish also now has smaller, tighter objective layouts. These changes were made to improve game flow, improve performance, and make the game mode experiences more consistent, especially within the Point Capture playlist.
      • This playlist currently excludes the larger layouts of Precinct Skirmish, Refinery Skirmish, and Hideout Skirmish scenarios. We intend to improve these three scenarios for a future update and add them into this playlist once they have been changed.


  • Firefight
    • Competitive Firefight

Limited Time Playlists for September 2019

  • Hillside Co-op
    • Checkpoint Security
    • Checkpoint Insurgents
    • Features new snow map Hillside only
    • Runs from September 10th – 25th


  • Frontline
    • Features new Frontline game mode only
    • All maps
    • Runs from September 10th – September 18th
  • Hillside Ground Battle
    • Push
    • Frontline
    • Features new snow map Hillside only
    • Runs from September 10th – 14th
  • Hillside Point Capture
    • Push
    • Frontline
    • Features new snow map Hillside only
    • Runs from September 14th – 18th

After these September playlists are finished, new playlists with unique gameplay modifications and mutators will be added, including bolt-action rifles only, supply point gain by player score, and many more.

New Features

  • New PvP game mode “Frontline,” 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 snow map “Hillside” with support for the following game modes:


  • Push Security
  • Push Insurgents
  • Firefight West
  • Firefight East
  • Skirmish
  • Frontline
  • Team Deathmatch


  • Checkpoint Security
  • Checkpoint Insurgents
  • Hardcore Checkpoint Security
  • Hardcore Checkpoint Insurgents
  • Frenzy Checkpoint
  • Official matchmaking games will now allow players to vote on the next map within their playlist and continue playing with the same players in their session instead of returning to the main menu between matches.

New light machine gun assault rifle hybrid weapons for the Gunner class

  • Insurgents
    • Galil
  • Security
    • Galil SAR

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. This is enabled and disabled based on your “Effects” setting, where it is disabled on low and medium and enabled on high and above. We recommend users on minimum and medium spec machines disable this by setting their Effects setting to Low or Medium as this has an impact on performance.Added Competitive rank decay where in Diamond and Platinum ranks your rank will slowly decay if you do not play often enough.Audio

  • Added Panning rule dropdown which allows selection of speakers or headphones to provide the best positional audio experience for your hardware.
  • Added Effects slider 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 effects.
  • VoIP no longer uses auto-ducking, and now uses side-chaining. This provides a more natural ducking of game audio when VoIP is used, and also fixes 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 with bindings available in the key binds menu.
    • Camera zoom
    • Hide HUD
    • Disable camera smoothing
    • Decrease and Increase playback speed bindings for Replays which default to the “Home” and “End” keys respectively.

Optimization & Stability

  • Removed character animation ticks triggered by movement which reduces CPU usage in higher player count situations.
  • Fixed a frequent crash caused by skeletal mesh merging, which is a system that optimizes character cosmetic rendering.

Critical Fixes

  • Fixed a potential edgecase with hit registration, caused by legitimate bullet hits being discarded when packets were received out of order by the server.
  • Fixed multiple potential causes for invisible bots occuring. If you experience any further instances of this occurring please report them in the following thread here HERE.
  • Fixed a potential cause for players falling through the map and becoming desynced to other players caused by vaulting. If you experience any further instances of this occurring, please report them to us on the forums, providing as much information as possible HERE.
  • Potentially fixed an issue that could cause endlessly looping weapon audio, caused by an event that could trigger the looping fire event after a weapon had become un-equipped, such as firing on death. If this is still occuring for you after this update, please report it to us HERE.
  • Fixed an issue where first person footsteps would sometimes stop playing entirely. This was caused by the significance manager, which handles optimization, wrongly adding these footsteps to the global pool when near larger groups of players or AI, and marking them as unimportant to hear.

Bug Fixes

  • Fixed a bug where the Observer had an unintended effect of increasing capture speeds when on the objective.
  • Fixed an issue where it was possible to deploy a bipod on another player and remain deployed even once they have moved away from you.
  • Fixed an issue where the various items attached to backpacks would be visible in the insertion vehicle, even though backpacks are not intended to be shown during insertions.
  • Fixed an issue where the player could utilize the gunner position of a vehicle to gain access to the outside of the map in some specific situations. If this still occurs, please report to us on the forums.
  • Fixed an issue where third person jumping and landing surface reactions were not being replicated to other players, making them inaudible.
  • Fixed an issue where it was not possible to deploy a weapon’s bipod when inside a smoke cloud from either artillery, 40mm or smoke grenades.
  • Fixed an issue where helicopter crew members would T-pose in certain circumstances, clipping through the helicopter model.
  • Fixed a bug where spectating a player who had recently been in a vehicle would alter your own soundscape (ambient level audio) on spawn.
  • Fixed an issue where soundscapes would be updated by the last player spectated even once the player had respawned.
  • Fixed an issue where vehicles could become desynced if they were driven during the “waiting for players” state. Vehicles now will not spawn during pre-game.
  • Potential fix for an issue where if you threw a deployable item such as C-4 and another player picked it up and threw it back to you, and then you picked it up again, you would not be able to select any of your weapons or items. Please let us know on the forum if this issue persists.
  • Fixed an issue where the character’s knee would snap into position during the third person rifle walk animations.
  • Fixed an issue where bots were running into fences in the Tutorial Level.
  • Updated player rows on the scoreboard if a player has developer status or XP changes. This should solve issues where a player row is created before that info has finished being queried, and would not be updated until the player’s position on the scoreboard changed.
  • Fixed issue with arms in third person while swapping weapons.
  • Fixed a minor visual bug with the Mosin and M24 when bolting.
  • Fixed an issue where sniper rifles and rocket launchers would disappear when being reloaded in third person.
  • Fixed a morph issue with the military boots and cargo pants cosmetic combination on Insurgents.
  • Fixed a bug where the laser sight attachment was clipping with the rail cover on the M16A4.
  • Fixed animation assignment issues with foregrip shotguns.
  • Fixed an issue where first person sprint animations were not playing initially on spawn.
  • Fixed an issue where the metal detectors on Ministry were not triggering audio correctly.
  • Fixed an issue where no infographic icon was shown for the “slide” action in movement Lesson.
  • Fixed an issue where entering the headshot state would not mute the auxiliary busses leading to some odd audible feedback.
  • Fixed an issue where the default soundscape was not audible on the firing range.
  • Fixed an issue where vehicle mines could be attached to players, even though it’s hilarious.
  • Fixed an issue where the player class icon was shown as a white box on the scoreboard if a player had not yet selected a class.
  • Fixed an issue where third person gear LODs (Level of Detail) were not generated correctly resulting in textures on gear changing at various distances.
  • Fixed an issue where it was possible to toggle the Foregrip Bipod during the deploy sequence, leading to odd visual results.
  • Fixed an issue where certain small visual elements of gear were still visible on players during the insertion truck sequence.
  • Fixed an issue where the M82A1 CQ, VHS-2, QBZ-03 and M99 weapons had missing icons and would not be accounted for in all cases on the UI, including in spectator and the Profile menu.
  • Fixed an issue where the Scoped Kills or Magnified Optics Profile stat were not being updated correctly.
  • Fixed a bug with entering a vehicle with the hands being offset from the steering wheel.
  • Fixed an issue in Spectator mode where if you change from first person to third person while a Commander had their binoculars out, the binocular overlay would persist when moving to another camera.
  • Fixed an issue where replays would not run smoothly if the replay speed was set too high.
  • Fixed an issue where draw and holster animations would not blend fluidly when sprinting in first person.
  • Fixed an issue where when opening the Scoreboard for the first time, you would see “Spectators” at the bottom with no spectators listed.
  • Fixed a very rare issue where the Security Heavy Backpack and Light Armor could potentially become warped.
  • Fixed an issue where when reloading a drum magazine into an AK platform weapon, interrupting the reload, then resuming it, would allow players to shoot before the end of the reload sequence.
  • Fixed an issue where two suppressors were available for the Tariq pistol in the Loadout menu.
  • Fixed an issue where entering a resupply or spawn zone area would remove the player from the AI’s line of sight.
  • Fixed an issue where the Commander’s left hand position would be incorrect when equipping their binoculars in third person.
  • Fixed an issue with Lesson popup not showing the aim down sights key.
  • Fixed an issue with Lesson popup not showing the crouch key.

Gameplay Improvements

  • Weapons
    • Increased AKS-74U fire rate from 652 rounds per minute to 720 rounds per minute to give it closer parity with the Mk 18 CQBR.
    • Increased SVD Extended Magazine upgrade round count from 15 to 20 rounds at 2 supply points.
    • Set supply cost of the Compensators for Competitive Security Sharpshooter class to 4.
    • Set supply cost of Flash Hiders for Competitive Insurgent Assaulter class to 2.
    • Set supply cost of 4x SU230 for Competitive Insurgent Flanker class to 3.
    • Set supply cost of the Uzi Flash Hider upgrade to 2.
    • Increased the supply cost of pistol extended magazines from 1 to 2 supply for all competitive classes.
    • Uzi extended magazine supply cost for Insurgent competitive flanker class increased from 1 to 2 supply.
    • Mp7 extended magazine supply cost for Security competitive flanker class increased from 4 to 5 supply.
  • Friendly fire damage reflection is now disabled in Local Play.
  • Drum Magazine upgrades will now properly show that they affect horizontal recoil in the Loadout menu UI.

Visual Improvements

  • Added new speed reload animations for drum magazine for AK style, M4A1 style, QBZ-03, and L85A2 weapons.
  • Added new idle animations for the character Customize menu.
  • Third person Hardcore Checkpoint sprint animations (and the newly added SlowMovement mutator) now have a unique animation for each weapon category.
  • Added a scrolling text widget which applies to level, game mode, scoreboard and server names when the character amount is too high to display them in full.
  • Third person free look animations while reloading are less restricted.
  • Damage effects are now no longer shown when an attack failed to deal damage. Friendly fire messages are also not shown to players when attacks fail to deal damage.
  • Improved quality of arm animation movement in 3P when reloading.
  • Added weight to different menu idles, to control how often they play.
  • New first base and foregrip draw animations for rifles.
  • Insertion vehicles in Co-op now slightly restrict first person vertical movement.
  • Changed the “Find Match” text to “Waiting For Leader” when the local player is not the leader of the party.
  • Added support for replay events on the timeline, allowing the player to see colored event markers for the following:
    • Round Reset
    • Objective Capture
    • Objective Destroyed
  • When throwing an explosive or grenade in third person, the grenade will now be removed from the hand when the throw animation completes.
  • Update localization for all supported languages for new UI and menu elements.
  • Added special idle animations for insertion truck bed sequences in Co-op.
  • Improved sliding animation where character can turn their camera and head more while sliding.


  • Gameplay on a community server can now be altered through the use of officially created “mutators”.
    • Mutators change gameplay in various ways including modifying player speed, increasing or decreasing supply points, disabling features like aim down sights or free-aim/aim deadzone, creating new classes with custom loadouts, and more. Multiple mutators can be applied to a server at once.
    • The limited time playlist system uses various mutators to create its unique game modes. See here for more information on the playlist system.
    • More mutators will be added over time.
    • Instructions on how to use mutators on your server can be found here.
  • Available mutators:
    • Pistols Only – Only pistols are available along with normal equipment and explosives.
    • Shotguns Only – Only shotguns are available along with normal equipment and explosives.
    • Bolt-Actions Only – Only bolt-action rifles are available along with normal equipment and explosives.
    • Anti-Materiel Only – Only anti-materiel rifles are available along with normal equipment and explosives.
    • All You Can Eat – Start with 100 supply points.
    • Special Operations – Start with 30 supply points.
    • Warlords – Start with 10 supply points.
    • Guerrillas – Start with 5 supply points.
    • Strapped – Start with 1 supply point.
    • Broke – Start with 0 supply points.
    • Soldier of Fortune – Gain supply points as your score increases.
    • Headshots Only – Players only take damage when shot in the head.
    • Hot Potato – A live fragmentation grenade is dropped on death.
    • Ultralethal – Everyone dies with one shot.
    • Vampirism – Receive health when dealing damage to enemies equal to the amount of damage you dealt.
    • Bullet Sponge – Health is increased.
    • Locked Aim – Weapons always point to the center of the screen.
    • No Aim Down Sights – Aiming down sights is disabled.
    • Fast Movement – Move faster.
    • Slow Movement – Move slower.
    • Slow Capture Times – Objectives will take longer to capture.
    • Frenzy – Fight against AI enemies who only use melee attacks and enemies with special abilities.
    • Hardcore – Slows down movement speed and makes capturing objectives take longer. This is a combination of Slow Movement and Slow Capture Times mutators, and while mutators can be combined by the server operator, this mutator was still added for convenience.
    • Competitive – Equipment is more expensive, rounds are shorter, and capturing objectives is faster
    • Competitive Loadouts – Player classes are replaced with those from Competitive.


  • Skirmish layouts for the following maps have been reduced in size and rebalanced:
    • Crossing
    • Farmhouse
    • Summit
  • Outskirts
    • Adjusted white building near gas station to improve layout flow near Firefight Objective A.
    • Added Skirmish scenario.
  • Crossing
    • Fixed an issue with the out of bounds area on Skirmish near objective D.
    • Fixed a rogue restricted area being placed below the C objective for Insurgents.
    • Added a bit more cover for Security approaching Objective A on Push Security.
  • Farmhouse
    • Fixed an exploit where the player could capture Objective C from an unintended spot on Skirmish.
    • Fixed an issue where the restricted area covered an unintended position on Checkpoint Security B objective.
    • Fixed an issue with the playable area restricting players after B Push Security was captured.
    • Blocked a long sight line that could prevent a fair Insurgent approach to Objective D on Skirmish.
  • Summit
    • Fixed an exploit where players could crouch jump into an unintended building.
    • Adjusted the C objective for Skirmish to be larger.
  • Ministry
    • Adjusted playable area to have a bit of a safety net when players end up outside the map due to dismounting vehicles.
    • Added extra blocking volume for a few buildings with thin walls to avoid players from dismounting vehicles inside buildings.
    • Added new ambient sounds for the destroyed corridor on the upper floor.
    • Rearranged Firefight and Skirmish team spawns. Moved Security spawn forward to balance run-up times.
    • Prevented vehicles from entering the ministry building. Vehicles can now only access the parking garage.
  • Precinct
    • Fixed an issue where players could jump on the cloth overhang in the market area and not be reached by bots in Frenzy Checkpoint.
    • Fixed an exploit where players could gain access to the top of a door frame on the main street.

Known Issues

  • [Visual] Combat Goggles Security Eyewear cosmetic glass may be visible through smoke on certain settings. In addition, translucent surfaces behind smoke grenades can reveal player silhouettes.
  • [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 here.
  • [Audio] If the same level is loaded twice in a row online, the default soundscape (ambient level audio) stops working.
  • [Visual] [AI] The insertion truck driver can sometimes T-Pose.
  • [Appearance] In very rare cases after a level switch or team swap, some characters may render incorrectly and be displayed as the opposite team for specific players.
  • [Animation] Cycling from your Secondary to Primary weapon while sprinting in Hardcore Checkpoint or using the SlowMovement or Hardcore mutators will cause the left arm to glitch when it returns to the weapon for certain weapons.

HOTFIX – 11th September

We are releasing a hotfix today for content update 1.4 which was released yesterday. This hotfix includes fixes for Frontline mode’s wave counter and timer as well as multiple crashes. See below for the full changelist:

Critical Fixes

  • Fixed a major issue on Frontline where the wave counter was not being set to 0 correctly when it should have been on the final weapon cache objective.
  • Fixed incorrect timer on Frontline.
  • Fixed a crash on Outskirts Frontline caused by a corrupted restricted area UI element.
  • Fixed a second crash caused by skeletal mesh merging, which is a system that optimizes character cosmetic rendering.
  • Potential fix for a persistent crash caused by ragdoll creation.

Bug Fixes

  • Fixed an issue where pressing “Mute All” to mute VoIP was not working as expected.
  • Fixed an issue where both dead and living players on a team could not communicate in VoIP in Competitive Firefight.
  • Fixed an issue with VoIP in competitive where the correct rules for VoIP were not being set.
  • Fixed an issue where M24 or Mosin bolt-action rifles were not being granted to players when respawning in Hardcore Checkpoint after death.
  • Fixed an issue where if the same map was loaded again the default ambient sounds would not play.
  • Fixed an issue where throwing a mine to another player would deploy their bipod.
  • Fixed an issue where cycling from your Secondary weapon to your Primary weapon in Hardcore Checkpoint or with the Slow Movement mutator enabled while sprinting would temporarily break the players left arm in first person as it transitioned back to the weapon.
  • Fixed an issue where the forearm of the character in third person could glitch slightly when rotating.
  • Fixed an issue where the Auto-cannon Strafe would be reported through Station’s voice over as completing twice.
  • Fixed an issue where invisible walls were not correctly blocking vehicles, allowing them the possibility to gain access to the outsides of maps.
  • Fixed a bug with the third person Galil not having the correct collision mesh which could potentially lead to it falling upright when dropped.
  • Fixed a minor visual bug with the padding for the news popup button UI.


  • Frontline matches will now last two rounds with a team switch after the first round.

User Experience

  • Allow server admins to disable special counter-attacks when mixing mutators such as Bolt-Action Rifles Only. This is set by enabling or disabling bUseRandomCounterAttackTypes. This can also be overridden using the travel URL as well.
  • Update the minimum & maximum average match length for the following official playlist game modes to better reflect their estimated play-times.
    • Push
    • Frontline
    • Skirmish
    • Firefight
    • Hardcore Checkpoint

Visual Improvements

  • Tweaked shading of the Security Shell jacket cosmetics.


  • Hillside
    • Fixed an issue where players could become stuck between a minibus and a wall next to the gas station.
    • Fixed an issue where players could utilize a ledge above a staircase to camp the stairs.
    • Added a blocking volume by some lockers on the Firefight East B objective.
  • Ministry
    • Fixed line of sight issues on Firefight and Skirmish spawns.

Known Issues

  • [Visual] Combat Goggles Security Eyewear cosmetic glass may be visible through smoke on certain settings. In addition, translucent surfaces behind smoke grenades can reveal player silhouettes.
  • [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 here.
  • [Visual] [AI] The insertion truck driver can sometimes T-Pose.
  • [Appearance] In very rare cases after a level switch or team swap, some characters may render incorrectly and be displayed as the opposite team for specific players.
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