Insurgency: Sandstorm – beta times, how to get in, maps, modes and everything else you need to know

By Sherif Saed, Thursday, 9 August 2018 13:42 GMT

Insurgency: Sandstorm is getting a couple of betas in the coming weeks. We’ve gathered all the details we know about them in one place.

What is it?

Insurgency: Sandstorm is the followup to the popular indie, modern-day tactical shooter Insurgency by New World Interactive. The original game, which itself came from a Source mod, ended up using Valve’s Source Engine once again when it went standalone.

The sequel, Insurgency: Sandstorm, is instead built on Epic’s Unreal Engine 4. This not only allows New World to create a more graphically impressive game, it also makes it easier to expand on some of the gameplay mechanics from the original. Maps will be bigger, and Day of Infamy’s fire support feature is being expanded for Sandstorm.

In the lead-up to Insurgency: Sandstorm’s PC launch sometime in late September, New World will be hosting a couple of betas. The studio previously ran a couple of closed alpha rounds in the past few months.

When do the Insurgency: Sandstorm betas start?

So far, New World has confirmed that two beta phases will be taking place for Insurgency: Sandstorm. The first of which, simply called Beta 1, takes place this week.

Starting Thursday, August 9 and until Monday, August 13, players will be going hands-on with a host of new content to test out the game for themselves. The first phase kicks off at 9am PT, 12pm ET, 5pm BST.

The second phase, Beta 2, will start Thursday, August 30, with the exact times yet to be announced. This next test will run all the way until the September 18 official launch.

You won’t be able to pre-load either of the Insurgency: Sandstorm betas.

Who can get into the Insurgency: Sandstorm betas?

The two upcoming Insurgency: Sandstorm beta weekends are both exclusive to pre-order customers. The only guaranteed way of getting access is to pre-order the game on Steam, which automatically makes the beta available in your Steam library when it goes live.

If you pre-order Insurgency: Sandstorm now, you’ll be able to join both beta weekends, whereas if you pre-order after the end of the first beta, you’ll only get access to the second beta round.

Fortunately, owners of the original Insurgency on Steam can get Sandstorm for 20% off, or $24/£24/€27. That’s 10% off for pre-ordering, and another 10% off as a loyalty discount. Do bear in mind, however, that the loyalty discount is only available until the end of the year.

So far, New World did not say if it’ll be distributing beta keys through official channels or other websites. We’ll keep you updated if other means of getting into the betas are announced.

Is Insurgency: Sandstorm getting a beta on PS4 or Xbox One?

New World Interactive is working on PS4, and Xbox One versions of Insurgency: Sandstorm, but the two were recently delayed to 2019. The upcoming beta rounds, at least the ones taking place in 2018, are exclusive to PC.

With that said, it’s very possible the developer will be hosting one or more betas on PS4, and Xbox One in 2019 closer to the console launch. This is the studio’s first console project, after all, so a beta or two won’t hurt. As soon as we have those details, you’ll be the first to know.

What kind of content can we expect in the Insurgency: Sandstorm betas?

For Insurgency: Sandstorm Beta 1, you’re looking at four game modes playable on three of the game’s maps. These are Firefight, Push, Checkpoint, and Skirmish. Some of these modes will be familiar to Insurgency players.

The three maps are Refinery, Hideout, and Farmhouse.

Certain modes are playable against AI, while others are strictly PvP. This is good news because it means you’ll be able to hone your skills and explore the maps before going head to head with other players.

For Beta 2, all content from the first beta will return. New World will also be expanding it to include three more maps, bringing the total of playable maps to six.

Expect this one to more closely resemble the launch version, as far as content, though the developer will continue working on fixing last-minute bugs and issues.

Will progress in any of the Insurgency: Sandstorm betas carry over to the full version?

No, player progress will be wiped at the end of both betas. It won’t carry over between the two betas, or from the second one to launch.

Do the Insurgency: Sandstorm betas come with an NDA?

NDA, or non-disclosure agreement, is a document that usually comes with closed and limited betas and alphas. It essentially prevents participants from sharing videos, screenshots etc. or talking about their experience.

At least for Insurgency: Sandstorm Beta 1, there is no NDA in place. This is great news for those who won’t be able to jump in themselves as it means there’s going to be plenty of streams, gameplay and GIFs all over the internet.

New World did not say if Beta 2 will also feature no NDA, but we’ll update this story as soon as this information is available.

Insurgency: Sandstorm launches September 18 on PC. PS4, and Xbox One follow sometime in 2019.

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