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Is Insurgency: Sandstorm Free Forever?

No, Insurgency: Sandstorm is not free forever. It is a paid tactical first-person shooter that requires purchase to play long-term. However, it has frequently been available for free temporarily during limited-time promotions and events.

About Insurgency: Sandstorm

As an avid gamer and Steam power user, I‘ve been eagerly following Insurgency: Sandstorm ever since it was announced back in 2016. Developed by New World Interactive and published by Focus Home Interactive, Insurgency: Sandstorm is a hardcore and realistic team-based tactical FPS.

It first released on Windows PC in 2018, followed by a console release on PS4, Xbox One, PS5 and Xbox Series X/S in September 2021. I‘ve been playing it nearly non-stop since launch!

Here‘s an overview of some of the key features that make Sandstorm stand out:

  • Impressive ballistics modeling – weapons feel heavy and lethal
  • Smooth performance powered by Unreal Engine 4
  • Stunning audio design – fully immersive battle environments
  • 8 large maps with complex layouts and dynamic environments
  • 10 co-op modes playable solo or with friends against AI
  • Competitive PvP modes like Push, Firefight, and Skirmish
  • Realistic gameplay focused on teamwork, positioning, and strategy over fast reflexes

It‘s clear the developers put in the time to nail down the weapon handling, ballistics, sound, and overall combat experience. Their attention to detail is phenomenal.

Insurgency: Sandstorm Player Count Still Strong

As a stats geek, I took a look at the Steam charts and player population trends. Here are some of the numbers:

  • All-time peak players on Steam: 53,850 (September 2021)
  • Average players last 30 days: 8,076 (February 2023)
  • Average players at launch: 12,106 (December 2018)
  • Current player count rank on Steam: #40

So while the player base has dropped some from its peak hype at launch, there are still dedicated servers with thousands of daily active players keeping the community engaged. This data confirms my experience – matchmaking is quick and lobbies stay populated.

These numbers show Sandstorm has a healthy community, especially for a hardcore shooter without mainstream appeal. The console releases also brought an influx of new players that helped keep servers full.

Why Insurgency: Sandstorm Is Worth Buying

Here‘s why I highly recommend FPS fans buy Insurgency: Sandstorm even at full price:

  • Gun handling with real weapon weight and ballistics
  • Immense detail in animations, audio, and visual effects
  • Smooth optimized performance for fast pace action
  • Active community keeping multiplayer alive
  • Developers still updating and supporting the game
  • Mod support extending gameplay possibilities
  • Replayable co-op modes for solo players
  • Rewards teamwork, positioning, and strategy over twitch refexes
  • Provides an intense battlefield simulation unmatched by competitors

Considering the quality and depth of content, Insurgency: Sandstorm offers excellent value at full price. But deals and discounts make it even more appealing for new players on a budget, as I‘ll discuss next.

How to Get Insurgency: Sandstorm at the Best Price

While not free permanently, I wanted to share some tips for getting Insurgency: Sandstorm at the lowest price:

Steam Sales

Insurgency: Sandstorm goes on sale for 40-60% off every few months during Steam seasonal events. I recommend wishlisting it to be notified of upcoming sales. The Lunar New Year sale starting on January 19th is right around the corner!

Third Party Key Sellers

Authorized key resellers like Green Man Gaming regularly offer 20-30% discounts on Steam activation keys. But always verify legitimacy and purchase only from reputable sellers.


Bundling with other games in packs like Humble Bundle is a great way to get Insurgency on the cheap. I snagged it in a bundle for only $12!

Free Weekend Events

Free weekends let you try before you buy. I suggest wishlisting on Steam and consoles to be alerted for upcoming promotional events. These often coincide with major discounts for new purchases.

Console Store Sales

PS Store and Xbox Store also put Sandstorm on sale but not quite as frequently as Steam. Add it your wishlists and watch for notifications.


For the budget minded, keeping an eye out for giveaways is an option. Follow Insurgency social media for potential contests or giveaway opportunities.

New Player Tips

For new recruits to the Sandstorm, here are my top tips for getting started:

Play Solo Against Bots First

Get comfortable with mechanics and guns by playing co-op modes solo offline. This prepares you for PvP without pressure.

Learn Map Layouts

Study maps and learn chokepoints, objectives, and flank routes. Map knowledge is key in Sandstorm.

Stick With Your Squad

Stay near teammates for support until you grasp gameplay. Lone wolfing leads to quick deaths.

Play Support Roles

Try Observer, Advisor, or Medic classes to ease into the action. You‘ll still be helping the team.

Use Sound Cues

Audio is integral for situational awareness. Listen closely for enemy callouts and footsteps.

Customize Your Settings

Optimize controls and video settings for your setup. I tinker constantly for peak performance.

Keep at it!

Sandstorm has a learning curve. Stick with it and your skills will improve with more experience.

With some practice and patience, you‘ll be dominating the battlefield alongside me in no time! Veterans are always happy to mentor recruits in the official Sandstorm Discord too.

Closing Thoughts

While Insurgency: Sandstorm has temporarily been free at various points, it is not free forever. But considering the quality of gameplay, active community, and long-term developer support, it‘s well worth the investment for fans of tactical shooters.

Following the tips in this guide will allow you to get the best deals. And remember to take advantage of upcoming Steam sales!

See you out there for some co-op once you get the game. Stay tactical my friend!