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Insurgency: Sandstorm features three core game mode that players can choose from, Co-Op, Versus and Competitive. Each mode has a number of different game types that can be chosen from.
One of the modes available is Co-Op which is a PVE (player vs. environment) mode. In this mode you and several other players try to take objective points from the enemy. When the objective is taken either the next objective opens or you are told to defend objective from an incoming counter attack. In the Co-Op mode you can choose from the Checkpoint Security mode or Checkpoint Insurgents mode.
In this mode Attackers must capture all enemy objectives one by one, and then destroy the final weapon cache objective to win. Every time Attackers capture an objective, they will gain five respawn waves, add five more minutes to the countdown clock, and respawn their team. Defenders in the mode must eliminate all Attackers or defend their objective until time runs out to win. Every objective cap or loss (depending on which team you are on) will result in a team respawn, except for the final cache.
For every map, there are two versions: Insurgent push and Security push. Each map version has the attacking team push in the opposite map "direction"; the respective points (A-D/E) for each of Insurgent and Security push are not the same corresponding locations on the map.
In this mode the goal is to either capture all three objectives, eliminate all enemy players or have at least 2/3 objectives captured by the time the time runs out to win. Your team will respawn only when an objective is captured.
In this mode the goal is to capture all enemy objectives and destroy the enemy weapon cache objective to win. Capturing an enemy objective will respawn your team and give them an additional respawn wave. Destroying the enemy's weapon cache objective will stop their vehicle respawn and stop them from gaining any additional respawn waves when capturing an objective.
The competitive game mode features two teams of five battling it out against each other in the Firefight game mode. After playing 10 placement matches the player will be placed into a rank based on their performance. The idea of this mode is to provide players with a more competitive environment where they get the chance to play with and against players of equal calibre.
Winning matches will advance you through the ranks. There are 5 tiers of ranks with each rank having 5 levels. Ranging from lowest to highest the ranks are:
Competitive takes place in the Firefight game mode where the main goal is to capture three objectives or eliminate the enemy team. The rounds start of with each team at either side of the map and one of the three objectives under their control (Objectives A or C) while the middle objective, B, i neutral. It is a best of 8 mode meaning winner needs 5 rounds won or a tie is drawn at 4-4. Unlike the regular Firefight game mode the loadouts that you can choose from are a lot more expensive making communication and teamwork a key role in making sure your team has all the utilities they need to bring home the win.