Today Alien Swarm: Reactive Drop celebrates 6 years on Steam. All week you will earn double experience , but we know why you are here. Let’s unwrap a few gifts:

New Campaign: Incident 32
Mysterious green glowing gems are discovered underground in a community due to abnormal levels of radioactivity. The EMBER Company arrives to study this supernatural material. The findings are scary, not documented, and kept away from the public. It turns out that the stones are extremely dangerous extraterrestrial materials, consisting mainly of muons. The emitted radiation alters all biological structures in the immediate vicinity.

Originally released in May 2020 and May 2022 on the Steam Workshop, Incident 32 is a six-mission campaign that combines two three-mission campaigns into one. The fighters will have to explore the mysterious complex and headquarters of the company called “EMBER” and face many threats. The game includes a bonus mission “The EMBER Complex”, which is the first three missions combined into one.

Collections: Weapons, Equipment and Beetlepedia
As promised when the collection menu was added, Beetlepedia is back, better than ever! Discover statistics, tips and short stories about bugs as you kill them on the battlefield. Add-ons can also create their own bugpedia entries or add new information to existing ones.

The new bugpedia entries (and this offer) were written by netizens’ favorite Grace Lovelace []!

With the Beetlepedia update, there is a new screen for selecting weapons using the grid, designed to speed up the search for high-level weapons and help develop muscle memory. Unlocking weapons by leveling up now also gives you access to fact sheets containing accurate statistics on range, damage, and more.

Mapping Challenge 2023: Boss Fight
This year we’re hosting our first annual community mapping competition, and what better way to start than from the bottom? This year’s theme is Boss Fight .

Create a mission or short campaign containing a boss fight, a map-scripted encounter with a greater evil that the fighters must overcome. Will the boss be a bug, a group of bugs, or something completely new? Where will the mission take place? Why are the fighters there? All these and other questions you will have to consider in the coming months.

Or if you have a better idea, do it instead! AS:RD Mapping Contest topics are optional.

Entries must be tagged BossFight2023 . The competition starts today and ends on August 1st. Prizes include unique in-game medals. If you need help creating your work, check out the mod/map creation help and advice forum .

Results of the year
In 2022, fighters killed 985,092,535 bugs in official missions and another 56,154,088 bugs in missions from the Steam workshop. 575,108 players played Alien Swarm: Reactive Drop for the first time last year. Including returning players, fighters spent 1,590,427 hours on 17,674,520 missions. 10,947 players participated in at least one of the first six seasons of Heroes of the Interstellar Forces playing on community dedicated servers. On December 6, the highest number of players of the year was recorded with 16,080 players, more than three times the average. Alien Swarm: Reactive Drop was played in 85 different countries in 2022.

It takes a lot of ammo to kill that many bugs – last year you fired 5,303,484,897 bullets – that’s about half the number of bullets that are produced every year around the world, and that’s not even counting weapons that don’t fire bullets. The fighters also fired 232,409,109 shotgun rounds, laid 11,307,827 mines, and used 104,722,710 grenades. You fired 274,157,391 rockets and fired flamethrowers for a total of 86 million seconds, not to mention using chainsaws for over 1.4 billion seconds. (That’s over 45 years old!)

It wasn’t just guns and explosives. Last year, the fighters took advantage of:

  • 905 280 doses of adrenaline
  • 3,890,668 ammo boxes
  • 1,501,644 X-33 damage boosters
  • 10,282,887 MVS healing beacons
  • 3,783,431 MAF guard turrets
  • 523,062 MAF incendiary turrets
  • 261,255 MVS freeze turrets
  • 260,971 MAF gun turrets
  • 3,822,448 Tesla MVS transformers

The fighters also took 105,866 flashlights with them on missions.

You have destroyed 2,147,368 units of biomass in 2022 since we started tracking it at the end of August. From the start of tracking beetle deaths in mid-June until the end of 2022, fighters have killed:

  • 582 811 354 drones
  • 28,956,762 parasites
  • 27 244 232 xeno-mites
  • 16,772,012 spitters
  • 15,897,059 eggs
  • 14,968,328 flyers
  • 11,929,443 larvae
  • 2,940,237 reapers
  • 2,863,582 bellies
  • 2,190,344 keepers
  • 1,945,290 shieldfoot
  • 1,851,113 bombers
  • 577,023 antlions
  • 186,411 headcrab zombies
  • 3,489 queens

In case you missed it,
here are some highlights from the updates from the previous anniversary:

  • Workshop add-ons can now contain videos, and missions can define their own background video for the lobby, or even show part of the world as a background during mission preparation.
  • We’ve passed Steam Deck verification! The game runs great on Steam Deck, and players on Linux or using a controller have noticed improvements as well.
  • Medals can now be earned by helping develop a game, contributing to the Steam community, or participating in the Heroes of the Interstellar Forces season.
  • The slow opening doors used in many missions now have more accurate collision data, allowing you to step or shoot through a partially open door.
  • An all-new mission selection screen includes support for bonus missions and new “endless” missions.
  • We have added an advanced settings menu and an advanced sound settings menu.
  • Restarting a mission no longer requires a loading screen.

Other changes in this update

  • Sector 9800: Wasteland: Fixed a situation where the reaper would get stuck on the exit during the introductory final scene in the game.
  • Tears for Tarnor: Oasis Colony Spaceport: Fixed voice station announcement being too quiet to hear in some cases.
  • Tears for Tarnor: Oasis Colony Spaceport: Reduced network load in areas where the path through the mission intersects.
  • Tilarus 5: Arctic Infiltration: Fixed uber drones appearing and disappearing shortly after the start of the mission.
  • Tilarus-5: SinTek Hospital: The siren sound is now louder. Significantly reduced network load.
  • Lana’s Rescue: Lana Bridge: Significant performance optimizations for AI lighting, display, and pathfinding.
  • Lana’s Rescue: Lana Collector: Radioactive barrels in the arena deal more damage to Guardians.
  • Paranoia: Encounter: Fixed bugs related to aiming with a grenade launcher.
  • Paranoia: Hostile Locations: Fixed bugs related to aiming with the grenade launcher.
  • Nam Humanum: Logistics area: Increased travel time limit for speed from 1:10 to 1:15.
  • Nam Humanum: Platform XVII: Increased travel time limit for speed from 3:02 to 3:10.
  • Nam Humanum: Platform XVII: Fixed bot troopers refusing to stand on a moving platform.
  • BioGen Corporation: Operation “On 5”: Increased the time limit for passing speed from 3:28 to 3:35.
  • BioGen Corporation: The Invisible Threat: Increased the travel time limit for speed from 1:13 to 1:20.
  • Bunker: Fixed a collision with an invisible ceiling beam.
  • Landing Pad + Freight Elevator: Fixed blocking the further progress of the game caused by completing the objective out of the planned order.
  • Added an official bonus mission based on the Incident 32 campaign.
  • Added four new official bonus missions based on the Jakob’s Rest campaign.
  • MVS Fighter Academy: A new official endless mission has been added.
  • All official missions have their own loading screens.


  • ML30 Laser Mines: Improved multiplayer throw animation prediction.
  • Heavy Tactical Armor L3A: This armor now changes the appearance of units wearing it.
  • Barrage: This equipment now changes the appearance of units wearing it.
  • CR-18 Freeze Grenades: Freeze now kills flyers and units can be frozen in Onslaught.
  • K80 Submachine Gun: This weapon now shows a different magazine icon on screen instead of counting each magazine twice.
  • M868 Flamethrower: Fixed fuel tanks only giving half fuel.
  • Electric armor ver. 45: This armor now changes the appearance of units wearing it.
  • Underbarrel Lamp: This piece of equipment now changes the appearance of units wearing it.
  • MVS Mechanical Fist: This fist now changes the appearance of the fighters wearing it.
  • Chainsaw: Bots now use this weapon from a more reasonable distance.
  • Smart Bomb MTD6: This equipment now changes the appearance of units wearing it.
  • MNV34 Night Vision Goggles: These goggles now change the appearance of units wearing them.
  • MVS Healing Buff Cannon: The primary fire button now self-heals when aiming with the right stick or holding the crouch key (shift), and when firing in first or third person if the target you are aiming at cannot be healed.
  • Gas Grenades TG-05: Updated the item’s appearance to help distinguish it from other types of grenades.
  • MVS Medical SMG: The alternate fire button will now self-heal when aiming with the right stick or holding the crouch key (shift), and when firing in first or third person if the target you aim at cannot be healed.
  • Bomb Launcher (hidden): This weapon has a new look and now fires timed stickybombs (same as those used by Alliance hunters) rather than homing missiles. Now the weapon fires directly at the aiming point, and not parallel to the ground.
  • Ricochet Cannon (Hidden): This weapon has a new look and no longer requires you to hold an alternate attack to fire. Instead, by holding an alternate attack, you can switch the weapon to burst mode, like a shotgun. Bounced bullets can now hit the unit that fired them.
  • Flash Bundle (hidden): This piece of equipment now changes the appearance of the units wearing it.
  • Rocket Boots (Hidden): This piece of equipment now changes the appearance of the units wearing it.
  • Fixed the scan animation for turrets being out of sync with the cannon’s tilt angle when idle.
  • Fixed inconsistencies in the collision checking code, especially related to bot fighters and projectiles.
  • Auto-aim weapons such as the 22A7-Z Prototype Rifle and the SynTek S23A Machine Gun now have working auto-aim in first and third person.


  • We fixed an issue where server-triggered achievements, such as speed and master runs, could be missed due to transient packet loss.
  • Fixed a bug where the beetle tried to throw a physics object at a target that had died.
  • Fixed a crash when exiting a screen with a drop down menu open.
  • Fixed a game instructor telling fighters to weld a door that is already damaged to the point where it can’t open or close.
  • Fixed fighters not being selected in the lobby when restarting a bonus mission that was started by voting.
  • The chat panel can now be opened in single player (for use in custom challenges).
  • Improved bots on maps of the “Massacre” mode. They should get stuck less, rotate at a more reasonable time, and now automatically join if you start a Mayhem map in single player.
  • Fixed the in-game instructor giving incorrect information on how to respawn in Onslaught and tidied up the on-screen prompts.
  • Improved the ability of bots to avoid danger and flank shieldlegs.
  • Bots are now much less likely to teleport in front of the player.
  • In official missions, it became possible to flush the water in the toilet.
  • Units no longer always face east when starting a mission in first or third person.
  • Fixed some tooltips that were too small for comfortable reading.
  • Selecting text input with the Steam Big Picture feature enabled opens an on-screen keyboard.
  • Added a list of mission recording and the ability to automatically record missions.
  • The game now updates its state more frequently during slow motion.
  • Performing an overwrite on a locked computer now always goes to the menu rather than downloading important data or doing nothing.
  • When completing a Bonus or Mayhem Map, the game will now select the next mission by default.
  • The Leadership skill can now be used by any officer in range, not just the officer with the most skill points.
  • Added visual and audio indication when the Leadership skill affects damage dealt or received.
  • Challenges can now set the “required_on_client” option to “1” if they wish to enable additional materials, which will cause the workshop add-on to be automatically downloaded when the challenge is activated.
  • Challenges can now be marked for use in Mayhem with the “allowed_mode” setting set to “deathmatch”. Challenges that can be used in both Onslaught and Co-op can optionally set the “allowed_mode” parameter to “coop”.
  • Fixed several Nam Humanum campaign achievements being unexpectedly blocked.
  • Fixed the Invincible achievement requiring no challenges in the current lobby, rather than the current mission attempt.
  • Updated the weapon unlock notification with a description. This screen is now also used for medals unlocked through gameplay.
  • Added advanced settings to light up your character, play sounds when you hit an enemy, and more!


  • Added npc_crow, npc_pigeon and npc_seagull.
  • Added npc_combine_s, npc_combine_shotgun and npc_combine_elite. These soldiers lack the “bug sense” that bugs have, instead relying on sight, sound, and information from their squad. Mappers can add an info_node_hint object to mark places with cover for soldiers.
  • Added npc_zombine with mapper customizable grenades.
  • Added npc_hunter, for use with other NPC harvesters.
  • Added npc_strider, npc_combinegunship and npc_combinedropship for use in scenes.
  • asw_colonist now has a random appearance with a wider variety. Set the appearance number to change the color of their clothes.
  • asw_env_shake can now be flagged to bypass user settings (new variable added to disable all screen shaking regardless of this flag).
  • Added env_headcrabcanister.
  • Added script_intro.
  • A new material proxy, LanguagePreference, can be used to change the texture based on the user’s language preference. For example:
    UnlitGeneric { $basetexture “example/translated_texture_english” Proxies { LanguagePreference { default “example/translated_texture_english” schinese “example/translated_texture_schinese” russian “example/translated_texture_russian” resultvar “$basetexture” } } }
  • TileGen now expects rooms to be built for -alldetail mode (world brushes turn into func_detail, a func_brush with a name starting with structure_ turns into a world brush).
  • Improved random selection of rd_tilegen_instance.
  • rd_tilegen_instance now looks in reactivedrop/tilegen/instances instead of reactivedrop/tilegen/instance/ThemeName.
  • TileGen now flattens instances before submitting a map to VBSP, allowing TileGen room sets to be distributed to a VPK or workshop. This also means that rd_tilegen_instance can be used within instances.
  • TileGen maps now use toolsskybox to compact the level, allowing for light_environment and light_directional.
  • asw_vehicle_jeep is now working. The following vehicles are available without add-ons: a buggy from Half-Life 2 (models/buggy.mdl, scripts/vehicles/jeep_test.txt) with one driver and a fast car from Half-Life 2: Episode Two (models/vehicle.mdl, scripts/ vehicles/jalopy.txt) with one driver and one passenger.
  • trigger_asw_button_area now has options to override UI tooltips with custom text.
  • trigger_asw_computer_area has become more customizable:
    • Mail and news articles can now optionally end with an image. Use the Image, ImageWide and ImageTall options to add an image to a news file. For mail use MailBody1Image etc.
    • The state of the reactor can be controlled via an input on the computer area, as an alternative to the old method where the target had a specific icon.
    • Weather, reactor status, and stock market information can now be configured using keyvalue files. In addition, the current temperature is no longer random every time you open a weather report.
  • The buildcubemaps command now requires sv_cheats to be enabled.
  • func_asw_fade now ignores grenade collisions by default.
  • Added asw_weapon_ar2 and asw_ammo_ar2. The Pulse Rifle can only reload from these special ammo packs and cannot use shared ammo crates.
  • Added asw_ammo_grenade_launcher, asw_ammo_sniper_rifle and asw_ammo_heavy_rifle.
  • Added info_marine_hint_dynamic which can be parented and moved.
  • Added rd_hud_counter which can be used to display a dynamic random number for all players or for one specific player.


  • Added a new method for fighters: SetMarineRolls, which allows maps and challenges to change whether or not individual fighters can jump.
  • Added a new method for troopers: SetNightVision, which can be used to enable Night Vision on a trooper, whether or not they have MNV34 Night Vision Goggles.
  • Added methods for fighters: IsInfested and IsElectrifiedArmorActive.
  • Added methods for fighters: OrderHackArea, OrderUseItem, OrderFollowSquadLeader, OrderHoldPosition and OrderMoveTo.
  • Fixed GetClips, GetMaxClips and SetClips for weapons to work correctly when the weapon has been dropped. They will also have -1 ammo for weapons that cannot be reloaded.
  • Controlled NPCs (such as fighters) have a new method: SetControls, which overrides the value of the asw_controls parameter for all players or spectators of this character. Negative numbers force the character to use the global options.
  • Added a new method to controlled NPCs: SetGlow, which can be used to add glowing outlines to bugs and fighters. This does not affect characters that normally glow without calling this parameter.
  • asw_vehicle_jeep now has methods to override its camera, SetCameraControls, SetCameraPitch, SetCameraDist and SetCameraHeight, with corresponding Get* methods. Setting a negative value causes the car to use the global setting.
  • asw_vehicle_jeep now has methods for requesting passengers: MaxPassengers(), GetDriver() and GetPassenger(seat).
  • asw_vehicle_jeep now has methods for getting statistics: GetSpeed, GetMaxSpeed ​​(in miles per hour), GetRPM, GetThrottle, HasBoost and BoostTimeLeft.
  • Added SetSpawnZombineOnMarineKill for controlled NPCs, SetSpawnZombineOnDeath for fighters, and rd_marine_spawn_zombine_on_death_chance variable, all of which can be used to spawn a zombie fighter with zombie AI when a fighter dies.
  • Added methods for players: SetNPC and SetSpectatingNPC.

By Kinjona

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