Insurgency Sandstorm free Nightfall update 1.7 adds new ways to play

Insurgency: Sandstorm has just received a major new expansion adding a wealth of new in-game content. Operation Nightfall is a free update available to everyone who owns a copy of the game, ushering in a new map, new weapons, and plenty of cosmetic options to dress up your security and insurgent forces.


The update’s headline feature – as hinted at by the title – is the introduction of new night vision equipment. This includes four variations of night vision goggles (two for each faction) as well as infrared lasers and torches allowing players to light up their surroundings.

To accompany this new slew of gear, all of the maps in Insurgency: Sandstorm (including the newly added Tideway) all offer a night time variant though this is being limited to co-op PvE play. The latest patch notes expand on this, saying “the new night mode is available in official co-op with modified enemy AI responsive to light, as well as Versus in limited-time playlists and on community servers”.

The reason behind the lack of PvP integration is simply due to balancing issues, developer New World Interactive claiming that night time PvP in the original Insurgency proved unpopular with their players.

As previously mentioned there are new weapons too with five weapons added to the Insurgency: Sandstorm arsenal. These include the Honey Badger, Grease Gun, AS Val, Sterling, and Welrod. There are also plenty of cosmetic items being thrown into the mix alongside premium DLC for those looking to pimp out their soldier and support New World Interactive in the process.

Alongside all this new content comes new changes, improvements, and bug fixes, as outlined in the patch notes below.

Insurgency: Sandstorm update 1.7 patch notes

Gameplay Improvements

    • Removed Mk 18 CQBR from Security Breacher and AKS-74U from Insurgent Breacher
      • Weapons are still available for Advisor
      • Change is being made to give Breacher and Advisor more distinct roles, weapons, and equipment
      • To compensate, we are adding 4 new Breacher weapons that better suit Breacher’s weapon selection and role (AS Val and Sterling for Insurgents, Honey Badger and Grease Gun for Security)
      • Gives all specialized classes (Breacher, Advisor, Marksman, Gunner) unique weapons not shared with other classes, which makes unlocking of each class more meaningful


    • Expanded Advisor class optic selection in Versus
      • Added Insurgent Advisor optics to Security Advisor
      • Added Security Advisor optics to Insurgent Advisor
  • Optic Changes


      • Added 1x OKP-7 sight to SKS and AKS-74U
      • Added 2x Red Dot to SKS and AKS-74U
      • Added 4x C79 to AKS-74U, SKS, and L85A2
  • Weapon Changes


      • Reduced supply cost of AKS-74U from 4 to 3
      • Reduced supply cost of Galil and Galil SAR from 3 to 2
      • Reduced horizontal recoil of Galil and Galil SAR
      • Made Galil Drum weapon upgrade increase horizontal recoil by a factor of 1.4 instead of 2.0
      • Increased horizontal recoil of FAL
  • The ammunition HUD element will now display when a player starts scavenging a magazine so it’s easier to confirm they have successfully picked up more ammunition
  • Added a sound effect for when players scavenge ammunition
  • Players can now cancel equipping an Accessory slot item (Gas Mask or Night-vision Goggles) by hitting the key again before 60% of the animation has completed
  • Updated the PistolsOnly mutator to allow access to Flashbangs
  • Set the Rifleman to have no class limit in Hardcore Co-op as in normal Co-op/Versus
  • Made Fire Support VO conversations between Commander, Observer, and Station have less gaps and pauses, leading to faster call ins

Class Unlocking

Standard classes are now unlocked between levels 1 through 20. This change was made to provide for better onboarding for new players and to prevent inexperienced players from taking up the Commander, Observer, and other specialized slots.

  • Classes are unlocked in the following order, starting with Rifleman being automatically unlocked at level 0 and ending with Commander and Observer at level 20:
    • Rifleman
    • Breacher
    • Advisor
    • Demolitions
    • Marksman
    • Gunner
    • Observer
    • Commander
  • These restrictions can be disabled on community hosted servers and do not apply in Local Play

Engine Upgrade

The Unreal Engine upgrade from 4.22 to 4.23 has been a key part in our push towards a more optimized codebase. Among various updates and bugfixes, one key feature introduced by Epic is “Unreal Insights”, a new timeline-based frame profiling tool. This new profiling tool greatly assists in identifying the key bottlenecks in the gameplay loop compared to tools historically supported in-engine, and the growing number of programmers are able to profile earlier and more often as a result.

Mod Tools Improvements

  • Added additional support for scripting hooks on mutators
  • Exposed the full functionality of the Useable Actor in Blueprints
  • Engine Update: 4.23

Tutorial Level Overhaul

  • Renamed Tutorial Level to “Basic Training”
  • Removed final objectives including fire support and vehicle sections
  • Added grenade throwing section
  • Removed friendly AI
  • Replaced enemy AI with wooden targets
  • New players will be prompted to play Basic Training before joining an official matchmaking playlist
  • Players are now awarded 1000 appearance credits for completing Basic Training

Dead Zone Improvements

Free-aim “Dead Zone” has been turned off by default. This means when a player’s weapon is centered, camera look sensitivity will no longer be reduced. Free-aim is still a mechanic in the game, we’ve just turned off the Dead Zone within it. It can be switched back on and tweaked on a spectrum by the player if they want.

User Experience

  • Added a graphical display for wave based modes to represent how much longer a player will need to wait until they can respawn by showing how many team members are dead
  • Added “Fire Support” to the list of features displayed per playlist
  • Added an “Add Upgrade” button under Primary and Secondary weapons in the base Loadout menu to better indicate that already equipped weapons can be upgraded
  • Updated the community server browser to allow sorting of night and day maps
    • This will only allow you to filter the scenario currently being played on each server, not the server’s available maps in its rotation
  • Added refreshing icon to community server browser indicate when a search is taking place
  • Updated the team selection UI in Co-op so you don’t see the bot faction or Spectator option
  • Updated the Appearance menu’s save preset function to work consistently with the Loadout menu
  • Increased the visibility and size of weapon upgrade hint icons which display near Supply Crates and in spawn zones
  • Added a bind hint button for commands that use mouse thumb buttons
  • Changed the global fire support cooldown ring from the radial menu to a horizontal bar
  • Added a language selection screen for instances where the computer or Steam language doesn’t match a localization option
    • If neither of those languages options correspond to an ingame language option, a selection window will be provided so users can select a language
    • Language can also be set from the Settings screen in the Game User Interface list
  • Updated widget used to display hint keys in all locations
  • Improved gamepad support in the Replay menu
  • Removed gaps and pauses in conversation VO that takes place between multiple characters (Fire Support call ins, check status after objective capture, etc.)

Visual Improvements

  • Updated the Alpha AK magazine to use the AKM magazine to be appropriate to its 7.62x39mm chambering
  • Updated the look of all Flash Hider and Compensator weapon upgrades to be black or darker shades
  • Reduced the size of various Flash Hider and Compensator weapon upgrades to more realistic proportions
  • Reduced the size of various Extended Magazine weapon upgrade magazine models to more realistic proportions
  • Centered the Request Observer button within the Comms Menu
  • Removed Arabic text in levels that referenced real people or places to maintain our fictional setting
  • Changed cosmetics unlocked at start for first time players to a desert theme to match new box art and branding

Performance Improvements

  • Optimized rendering of bullet damage when it happens offscreen
  • Updated the way fire mode is visually updated to prevent a potential performance hit that would occur when switching weapons
  • Reduced background occurrence of audio for objects that are not within listening range of the player
  • Changed the way radial menus (used for voice messages and fire support) are created to reduce the potential for performance hits when they are opened
  • Updated the ammo counter in the player HUD to only update when it’s visible to the player
  • Decreased the maximum number of shell casings that can exist in the world at a given time with the exception of brass-spawnings weapons in first person. It was an insane amount so we put a cap on it. You’ll still see brass on the ground.
  • Removed equipment jiggling on characters in third person. We understand this was an aesthetically cool feature, but in an effort to further optimize the game we made the decision to remove this.
  • Performed an optimization pass on weapon textures to increase sharpness and reduce texture size where possible


  • Outskirts
    • Fixed an issue in Checkpoint Security where the capture zone for point H didn’t cover the entire intended area
    • Fixed an issue in Checkpoint Security near point H where some of the glass in vehicles was not visible
  • Crossing
    • Fixed an issue that was causing smoke from a smoldering vehicle to not display properly from all distances
  • Summit
    • Fixed a rendering issue that would cause some props to disappear from the screen when you moved a certain distance away
    • Fixed some seams on walls and floors around point D in Frontline
    • Fixed an issue in Skirmish where you could destroy point A from a distance
    • Fixed an issue on Firefight East where you could leave the intended play area to move between points A and C
  • Refinery
    • Fixed an issue where light was not reflecting properly on a particular wall
  • Farmhouse
    • Removed the ability to go prone inside some elements of the world near point D in Push Insurgents that made it unintentionally difficult to see a player
    • Fixed an issue where you could become stuck in a prop by vaulting over another
    • Fixed a seam in the ground near the Insurgent spawn
    • Removed a possible spawncamp of Security when point B is active
  • Hillside
    • Fixed an issue where players were able to partially obscure themselves by crouching or going prone into a part of the terrain
  • Hideout
    • Fixed an issue on Checkpoint Security where point C could be captured by crouching in an area outside the intended capture zone
  • Precinct
    • Fixed a number of props that had visual glitches
    • Fixed an issue in Checkpoint Insurgent where enemy AI spawned on top of a supply crate
    • Fixed an issue in in Checkpoint Insurgent where enemy AI spawned in the air
    • Fixed an issue where some objects would disappear based on distance which could be exploited by using them as cover
  • Power Plant
    • Fixed an issue where players could get stuck by running next to a pipe

Bug Fixes

  • Fixed an issue where explosive damage mitigation from Light Armor and Heavy Armor wasn’t being applied correctly
  • Fixed an issue with controllers in the Loadout menu that would unintentionally exit the menu when attempting to accept changes
  • Fixed an issue with most pants clipping with the Insurgent leather jacket items
  • Fixed an issue when using a shotgun with flechette rounds and scavenging rounds that would prevent the player from reloading even though the animation would play
  • Fixed an issue with clipping on the insurgent T-shirt cosmetics and most pants
  • Fixed an issue with the community server browser search function not working correctly
  • Fixed an issue with the Audio Options footer displaying in the middle of the screen instead of the bottom.
  • Fixed an issue where pressing the Escape key to go back while in the Play menu would take you back two screens
  • Fixed an issue when cancelling the M16A2 reload animation with a bipod equipped that would cause an unintended animation
  • Fixed an issue in the Settings menu where color sliders were nor properly aligned
  • Fixed an issue where long mod names would overflow the text box by adding scrolling text
  • Fixed alignment issues in the mod download indicator
  • Fixed an issue where players would be unable to cancel a resupply animation while at a Supply Crate
  • Fixed an issue when using a controller in the Settings menu pressing B or Circle would not save adjustments to slider options
  • Fixed an issue where controllers could not adjust gamma in the Settings menus
  • Fixed an issue where users could cause mods to download multiple times by unsubscribing and resubscribing while the download was in progress
  • Fixed an issue on the community server browser where changing a filter would immediately start a search but any additional filter changes during that search would be ignored in the results
  • Fixed an issue with the M240B where certain upgrades would be clipped through during the reload animation
  • Fixed an issue with the AKM speed reload with a drum magazine that was preventing subsequent speed reload animations from playing
  • Fixed an issue on Frontline where players were unable to plant explosives to destroy a Weapon Cache if it had previously been planted and control of the proceeding objective and changed hands
  • Fixed multiple instances of text overlaps in various Lessons
  • Fixed animation issues with the ACE 52 while sprinting in Hardcore mode
  • Fixed an issue with the Tavor 7 where the 4x M150 optic was displayed twice
  • Fixed an issue in the Settings menu where the wrong title was displayed when hovering over optic Sensitivity Scale settings
  • Fixed an issue with player reports where long messages would make the cancel and submit button move off screen
  • Fixed an issue in the community server browser where the where the UI would report the wrong number of total servers found by a search when viewing favorites
  • Fixed an issue in Co-op scenarios that prevented friendly AI from detonating a Weapon Cache after planting the explosives
  • Fixed an issue causing “Camera Zoom” and “Camera Speed” hints to show in the Spectator mode when they were not applicable
  • Fixed an issue that would incorrectly trigger an error message when submitting a rating for a mod from the Mod menu
  • Fixed the alignment of the pause screen in ultrawide resolutions
  • Fixed an alignment issue in the Settings menu when using a controller the image of the controller wouldn’t be fully on screen in certain situations
  • Fixed an issue in the mod menu where you could get stuck with an infinite loading icon under certain conditions
  • Fixed a bug where kills with a scavenged weapon would count twice
  • Fixed an issue with NVIDIA Ansel support that was causing 360 images to stitch together incorrectly
  • Fixed an issue that would cause players to stop running when they moved up a slope with a sufficiently high incline
  • Fixed a memory leak on the community server browser screen that could occur when rapidly hitting the refresh button
  • Fixed an issue where AI could see through smoke once they approached the edge of it

Known Issues

  • Occasionally when loading a new map, no class or factions are available to be selected until the player leaves and rejoins. This issue will not occur in official matchmaking. The issue is actively being investigated with the assistance of Epic.
  • When scavenging ammunition from certain weapons with a skin, the skinned magazine will only display in third-person and not in first-person
  • A new player’s default cosmetics that they see on start up may sometimes not be of a consistent color scheme. Please go down to supply and bitch to whoever is on duty until they give you the right gear.
  • Map voting images for night maps are displaying as the day image instead of a night image screenshot of the map in a green NVG filter
  • When using the Picture-in-picture Scope Setting, some optics may not display correctly
  • When using Civilian NVGs on Insurgents or MIL-SPEC NVGs on Security, the stamina effect may appear as an expanding ring that obscures your view
  • Night map loading screens which show a picture of the map at night in a green NVG filter are not appearing
  • While aiming down sights with some illuminated optics will cause the crosshair to stutter when the weapon is moved
  • Weapon icons appear as little baby squished weapon icons. We’ll be fixing this ASAP even though they’re very cute
  • Some hints that reference key bindings are showing as <Unbound> in the loading screen dialogue
    There are some cosmetic clipping issues that are only visible when players join a round that is already in progress

Insurgency: Sandstorm is currently half price on Steam until June 20th. A console version is due to launch on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One later this year.

Source: Steam

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Senior Editor bursting with lukewarm takes and useless gaming trivia. May as well surgically attach my DualSense at this point.