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This guide is for new players, and veterans looking to revise their own knowledge on Operating in Ground Branch. This is the comprehensive collection of knowledge compiled by the community, and by its players.


Upcoming Developments:

  • YouTube 'Field Manual' Series
  • Known Issues & their Solutions
  • Recommended Game Settings
     


Please note, this is subject to change, based upon upcoming updates
to Ground Branch. While non-exhaustive, this guide aims to give new
Operators the broader understanding of the deliberate, calculated and
unforgiving world of Ground Branch. The contents are displayed below:

Etiquette Edit

Ground Branch is a unique tactical first-person shooter, in which a particular emphasis on realism is made. However, in
keeping with the design choices made by the developers, TOC has provided an etiquette guideline that, while optional,
it's recommended that players attempt to abide by this. This part of the guide is to prepare the player's mental approach.

Realism Definition

          Realism

                /ˈrɪəlɪz(ə)m/

                      (Mass Noun)


                                     I. The quality or fact of representing a person or thing in a way that is accurate and true to life.
                                       "...Ground Branch has realism at its core. It attempts to simulate real-life CQB situations..."                  

 

Natural Order of Realistic Gameplay (NORG)

A legacy term originally coined by "Hatchetforce", a retired Special Forces Operator who contributed to the early start of Ground Branch. He defines the Natural Order of Realistic Gameplay (NORG) as a doctrine or concept surrounding the design and development of realistic tactical/military simulation games. Some arguments about the clearest definitions of NORG exist, and Tactical Operations Center has their own definition of the NORG philosophy, which it is shown below:


Natural Order of Realistic Gameplay 2019+ (NORG2019)

The Natural Order of Realistic Gameplay mandates that the player consider every action taken in-simulation with the
same weight, and consequence as one would in-reality. The situation in-simulation is, and should be throughout, an
experiential journey of applying real-life consideration to an otherwise digital experience; the goal of which is to set a
high standard for realism during the active operation of said simulation; asking reflectively 'would I do this in reality?'.
If the answer weighs heavily towards the negative, then the act should be avoided in lieu of an answer in the positive.

What NORG is...

  • is a philosophical framework that supports realistic consequential forethought toward any action in-game
  • provides a system for checking how 'realistic' the current state of play is, and when possible, enhances it 
  • reinforces the notion that being 'realistic' in-game, is a positive mentality that encourages immersive play
     


Pro-Norg Examples

  • Situational: 'this door may conceal several well-armed hostiles awaiting my entry, what would real-life troops do?
  • Logistical: 'this equipment might be too heavy, or inappropriate for the mission. What would real-life troops use?'
  • Physical: 'this terrain requires careful navigation to avoid enemy detection. How would a real-life squad travel?'
     


What NORG is not...

  • a hard and fast set of rules that govern player actions, rather it is a manifesto that is flexible in its application
  • a dogmatic set of principles in which to judge another player's adherence to realistic gameplay via discussion
  • a cure-all for reality:simulation equations; some things when applied in a game, do not successfully translate
     


Anti-Norg Examples...

  • Situational: 'I'll just open this door and run in guns blazing, I can always respawn later. It's a game, afterall...'
  • Logistical: 'My fireteam benefits from everyone taking 'the best' guns, rather than considering what troops do' 
  • Physical: 'Jumping around and dodging using crouch is perfectly fine, it gives me an edge over the enemy...'


In summary, it is good etiquette to consider the decisions made when designing Ground Branch. This game has spent
numerous years in development, aiming to provide a highly authentic experience using NORG as a central manifesto
for its design, and therefore its intended playstyle. However, it is not a hard and fast ruleset, but here at TOC we would
prefer that players attempt to apply some level of realistic consideration when interacting with Ground Branch's model.

Tutorials Edit

Tactical Operations Center has provided a series of videos containing tutorial material for new players, and veteran
Operators alike. This series, while not exhaustive, can help strengthen player knowledge and collate the group data
into a collective knowledge pool for future Ground Branch generations to come. Please see videos below for more.

BASIC TUTORIALS



TROUBLESHOOTING TIPS

Below are a series of quick-fixes that can help resolve common issues. A table has been provided that shows bugs or issues relating to Ground Branch. While non-exhaustive, it may provide a quick solution that solves a player's problem.

Issue or Problem Potential Solutions                                                     Additional Information/Links
1. Network Open UDP/TCP Ports 7777-7787, 8777-8787 and 27015 (as well as 27000-27100) https://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=1449083065
2. Find Debug Logs Access %LOCALAPPDATA%\GroundBranch Locate folder and find logs for debugging on Discord
3. Kits Not Saving? Run Ground Branch as Administrator locate game .exe and run as Administrator
4. Still Not Saving? Check if Bitdefender is Active, Disable it for Ground Branch files Configure Bitdefender to Ignore Ground Branch



In-game Activities Edit

There are several in-game activities for prospective Operators to conduct missions in. These can range from Player vs. Enemy (PVE) or Player vs. Player (PVP) Gamemodes to customisable Training Operations in which to refine skill levels used in the field. Players can also customise their Operator, and have the ability to save and load operator kit formats.

  • Categories
    • Training (Offline)
    • Play Offline
      • Gamemode: Deathmatch
      • Gamemode: Development
      • Gamemode: Team Deathmatch
      • Gamemode: Team Elimination
      • Gamemode: Terrorist Hunt
    • Host Game
      • Server Settings (incl. Gamemodes above, and more)
    • Server Browser
      • Server Filters (incl. Gamemode, Map Choice, LAN, Friend's Servers, Favourites, History, etc)
    • Customise Operator
      • Operator Loadout, incl.
        • Profile
          • Name (also displays name on Equipment Nametapes)
          • Head (pick from various heads that best fit your choice)
          • Facial Hair
        • Outfit (incl. various shirts, pants, gloves and footwear)
        • Gear (incl. various headwear, eyewear, facewear and body armour)
        • Arm Patches (disabled at present, patches are coming)
        • Weapons (selecting a firearm for use in operations)
        • Loadouts (saving new, loading or editing existing kits)
          • Save new...
          • Select Kit


Training Edit

The Training Gamemode is available in Single Player and Online Multiplayer (incl. LAN). It enables a team or singular Operator to conduct skill refinement missions. In some examples, 'Target App v1.0' is made available to Operators, a screen-displayed system that allows the team or individual to customise and monitor Enemy and Friendly targets that pop up in the scenario. Furthermore, it allows for timer tracking, and helps to increase Operator proficiency in-game...

TrainingScreen01


The Aircraft Takedown Training Area, is a level designed to offer training to Operators who seek to refine their field capabilities in enclosed situations. It features a single aircraft fuselage, with computer controlled pop-up targets and hostages as well as timers. These features make it an excellent choice when preparing for a mission that involves preparation in advance of flights grounded for aircraft raids. It also features an equipment table for logistics.

FEATURE SUMMARY

  • Simulated Aircraft (likely Boeing 747 Fuselage Cabin)
  • Computer Controlled Pop-up Targets (Hostage/OpFor)
  • Timer Control Functions (Start/Reset)
  • Equipment Table for Operators' needs.



The Killhouse Training Area, is a level designed to offer varied refinement and training options to individual Operators and teams. It features rooms, doors and hallways with computer controlled pop-up hostages and target boards as well as timers. These help to make it an excellent choice when training in versatile Close-Quarters Battle (CQB) situations requiring units having to adapt to new obstacles. It also features an equipment table, too.

FEATURE SUMMARY

  • Single Story CQB Shooting Environment (kill house)
  • Computer Controlled Pop-up Targets (Hostage/OpFor)
  • Timer Control Functions (Start/Reset)
  • Equipment Table for Operators' needs.



The Shooting Range Training Area, is a level aimed at firearm refinement and proficiency. It features numerous types of targets, including motion or movement based and stationary targets. This level includes range viewer technology, for instructors to help assess the shooters performance. Map settings aren't as diverse, but the player can opt to load the map with FX that simulate explosions and other sound effects to disorient an Operator.

FEATURE SUMMARY

  • Multi-range Target Oriented Shooting Range
  • Alternative Map with Simulated Conflict FX
  • Equipment Table for Operators' needs.



Play Offline Edit

An Operator can choose to 'Play Offline', and select from a range existing gamemodes already available with Ground Branch. Each mode has various levels of customisation (explained below in their relevant sections). They provide the Operator with the ability to adjust settings, and allow for a more in-depth Single Player experience. By participating in Offline Play, the Operator can practice their ability against artificial intelligence (AI) that seek to oppose them in-game.

PlayOffline01


GAMEMODE SUMMARY

  • Deathmatch
  • Development
  • Team Deathmatch
  • Team Elimination
  • Terrorist Hunt



Deathmatch Edit

In Deathmatch, Operators are individually poised against one another in a fight to the death. They are able to equip themselves before the round will begin, and during the fight will attempt to accrue as many kills as possible.

GAMEMODE SETTINGS

  • Pre-Game Area: Ready Room Locker
  • Winning Condition: Most Kills Scored
  • Losing Conditions: Least Kills Scored
  • Customisable Settings: Time Limit (in Minutes)








Development Edit

In Development, Operators are able to get access to the developer's new work previews. They can enter, observe and feedback on level designs in Ground Branch that aren't made available for gamemode use in the game.

GAMEMODE SETTINGS

  • Pre-Game Area: N/A
  • Winning Condition: N/A
  • Losing Conditions: N/A
  • Customisable Settings: Time Limit (in Minutes)









Team Deathmatch Edit

In Team Deathmatch, just like Deathmatch; Operators are teamed against one another in battle. They are able to equip themselves before the round will begin, and during the fight will attempt to gain as many kills as possible.

GAMEMODE SETTINGS

  • Pre-Game Area: Ready Room Locker
  • Winning Condition: Most Kills Scored by Team
  • Losing Conditions: Least Kills Scored by Team
  • Customisable Settings: Time Limit (in Minutes)










Team Elimination Edit

In Team Elimination, Operators are teamed up in a realistic survival of the fittest mission. No respawns. They are able to equip themselves before the round will begin, and during the fight will attempt to eliminate all hostiles.

GAMEMODE SETTINGS

  • Pre-Game Area: Ready Room Locker
  • Winning Condition: Eliminate All Enemy Combatants
  • Losing Conditions: All Friendly Operators Neutralised
  • Customisable Settings: Time Limit (in Minutes)










Terrorist Hunt Edit

In Terrorist Hunt, Operators are teamed up in a realistic operation against hostile artificial intelligence (AI). Additionally, the hostile AI can be custom built to specification, with varying difficulty and cleverness. The number of enemy combatants can be set, as well as other specific details that apply.

GAMEMODE SETTINGS

  • Pre-Game Area: Ready Room Locker
  • Winning Condition: Eliminate All Enemy AI
  • Losing Conditions: All Friendly Operators Neutralised
  • Customisable Settings: Time Limit (in Minutes)
  • Customisable Settings: Round Time (in Minutes)
  • Customisable Settings: Terrorist Behaviour
    • Terrorist Count
    • Show Terrorist Count
    • AI Skill Level
    • Max Turn Rate
    • Max Head Look Rate
    • Recoil Compensation Skill
    • Aim Error Update Interval
    • Suppression Recovery Rate
    • OnTarget Threshold
    • Deliberate Miss Time
    • Deliberate Miss Blend Out Time
    • Deliberate Miss Distance Threshold
    • Center of Mass Bone
    • Reaction Time Base
    • Reaction Time Random



Host Game Edit

The Operator can opt to 'Host Game' which enables them to host a client-side hosted match in Ground Branch. They are able to customise whether their server will be 'Internet' or 'LAN', with Internet mode connecting to the internet with Ports Forwarded and UPNP, and LAN connecting via Localhost (127.0.0.1). The individual can also customise player numbers, and the specified gamemode (see settings above for further details), but ultimately the server choices remain upto them.

HostGameSettings01


SETTINGS & ADDITIONAL HOSTING INFORMATION


Server Browser Edit

The Operator can find servers via the Server Browser, the most common way to enjoy Ground Branch. It comes with numerous options to allow you to find the perfect match. This includes the ability to toggle 'Filters', or categories that enable or disable servers showing up, according to parameters defined by the filter. Shown below is a browser menu.

🔒 SERVER GAME MODE MAP PLAYERS PING
Server Password Server Favourited Server's Name In-Game Gamemode Current Map No. of Players Ping (Milliseconds)


ServerBrowserSettings01


SERVER BROWSER COMPONENTS

  • Tabs
    • Internet Servers
    • LAN (Local) Servers
    • Friends (Servers in which Friends are Playing)
    • Favourites (Servers the Operator Marks as Favourites)
    • History (Previous Servers)
  • Filters
    • Gamemodes (Change to find Preferred Gamemodes)
    • Map (Change to find Preferred Maps)
    • Not Full: Check to find Non-Full Servers
    • Has Players: Check to find Non-Empty Servers
    • No Password: Check to find Non-Passworded Servers


Customise Operator Edit

The Operator can customise their outfit, and save equipment as a 'loadout' for use in missions later. This is available within the game, and from the main menu under 'Customise Operator' dialogue. Within this system, the player is then able to access various levels of equipment and has access to all logistical aspects from the menu, and from in-game.

Fig 1.1: Customise Operator Screen

CustomiseOperator01


Fig 1.2: Operator Head Selection

CustomiseOperator02


Fig 1.3: Operator Beard Selection

CustomiseOperator03


Fig 1.4: Operator Camouflage Selection

CustomiseOperator04


Fig 1.5: Operator Helmet Configuration I

CustomiseOperator05


Fig 1.6: Operator Helmet Configuration II

CustomiseOperator06


Fig 1.7: Operator Armour Configuration I

CustomiseOperator07


Fig 1.8: Operator Armour Configuration II

CustomiseOperator08


Fig 1.9: Operator Firearm Configuration

CustomiseOperator09


CUSTOMISE OPERATOR SUMMARY

  • Profile
    • Name
    • Head Choice (see Fig 1.2 Above)
    • Facial Hair (see Fig 1.3 Above)
  • Outfit
    • Shirt (see Fig 1.4 Above)
    • Pants (same as above)
    • Gloves
    • Boots (same as Above)
  • Gear
    • Headgear (see Fig 1.5 and 1.6 Above)
    • Eyewear (see Fig 1.4 Above)
    • Facewear (see Fig 1.4 Above)
    • Platform (see Fig 1.7 and 1.8 Above)
  • Weapons
    • Primary Weapon (see Fig 1.9 Above)
    • Secondary Weapon (same as above)


Online Communities Edit

Ground Branch features a community of Operators, professionally-minded individuals who organise themselves into units, teams and online clans. The former of which are highly serious, and the latter being less realistic in nature. An additional support network is provided by the developers, who contribute to forums, an online discord and other sites.

Official Networks Edit

The official networks made available by Blackfoot Studios are shown below. Please use these if you wish to contact the developers. Their careful dedication to serving the player with accurate information, is both welcomed and helps players find their solutions rapidly. It is highly recommended you reach out to the official discord prior to other areas.


Community Networks Edit

Tactical Operations Center is the premier unofficial community network, tying together existing milsim, tacsim, casual and organised groups into a singular representative playerbase. We can be found from a range of links shown below. If you own a team, or have a group you wish to add to our growing fanbase, please visit our discord below, and we're always welcoming new players, individuals especially. We strive to stay in the creative vision outlined in Ground Branch.



Settings MenuEdit

Controls Edit

An Operator can edit their settings via the 'Settings' menu, via either the Main Menu, or via pressing Esc Key and also accessing the Pause Menu. Below, is a screenshot demonstrating the customisable nature of Ground Branch's control schematics. Additionally, a table that contains a total form of these inputs is also provided, including our recommended control or setting so that the Operator can optimise their Ground Branch play. While optional, they are highly efficient...

TOC Settings01


Ground Branch Controls Table

Input

Default Setting

Recommended

Description

LOOK
Turn Left/Right Mouse X Same Rotating Camera Left and Right
Look Up/Down Mouse Y Same Rotating Camera Up and Down
Free Look Tab Left Alt Enables Free Look
MOVEMENT
Forward W Same Moves Forward
Backwards S Same Moves Backwards
Left A Same Strafe Left
Right D Same Strafe Right
Jump Space Same Player Jump
Crouch C X Player Crouch
Run Left Shift Same Player Run
Sprint Left Ctrl Same Player Sprint
Lean Left Q Same Peak Left
Lean Right E Same Peak Right
ACTIONS
Fire/Use Main Hand Left Mouse Button Same Pulls Trigger
Aim/Use Off-Hand Right Mouse Button Same Raises Sights
Interact F Middle Mouse Button Interact with Game
Next Position Mouse Scroll Up Same Next Inventory Item or Sight
Previous Position Mouse Scroll Down Same Previous Inventory Item or Sight
INVENTORY
Primary 1 Same Select Primary
Secondary 2 Same Select Secondary
Grenades 3 Same Select Grenades
Equipment 4 Same Select Equipment
Reload R Same Reload Weapon
Firemode X F Cycle Firemode
Attachments Middle Mouse Button (hold) N Attachments Menu
Drop Equipped J Z Drops Selected Item
COMMUNICATION
Talk (VOIP) V Same Uses Voice
Radio (VOIP) B Caps Lock Uses Radio
Global Chat (Text) T Same All Text Chat
Team Chat (Team Text) Y Same Team Text Chat
Radio (Pre-Recorded) G Same Pre-Set Recordings
SPECTATOR
Become Spectator F6 Same Sets Player to Spectator
Follow Next Player Left Mouse Button Same Views Next Player
Follow Previous Player Right Mouse Button Same Views Previous Player
Stop Following Space Same Unlocks Player View
Toggle HUD H Same Switches HUD on and off
Change Camera C Same Cycles Camera Type
MISCELLANEOUS
Return to Ready Room F4 Same Returns to Ready Room
Opt out Opt Out (of votes, typically unbound)
GENERAL SETTINGS
Double Click Time (msec) 20 Same Time Between Double Clicks in Milliseconds
MOUSE SETTINGS
Normal Sensitivity 70 Same Regular Aim Sensitivity
Engaged Sensitivity 50 Same Sights Up Sensitivity
Engaged Sensitivity (w/Magnified Optic) 10 Same Scope Zoomed Sensitivity
Freelook Sensitivity 70 Same Regular Free Look Sensitivity
Invert Mouse No Same Inverts Vertical Look Axis
Mouse Smoothing Disabled Same Smooths Mouse Look
MOVEMENT SETTINGS
Always Run No Same Toggles Always Running
Crouch Type Toggle Same Sets Crouch Type
Toggle Lean No Same Sets Lean Type


Gameplay Edit

An Operator can edit their settings via the 'Settings' menu, via either the Main Menu, or via pressing Esc Key and also accessing the Pause Menu; they can adjust their gameplay settings. This includes settings for displaying chat data, or the ability to toggle user experience (UX) icons on and off. Furthermore, various realism settings can be adjusted, too.

TOC Settings02


Ground Branch Settings Table

Input

Default Setting

Recommended

Description

HUD
Max Chat Messages  12  Same  The maximum chat messages shown
Chat Display Time (Seconds) 15.00 Same Duration in which chat is displayed
Show Stance: Crouched No Same Displays UX Icon for Crouching
Show Stance: Standing No Same Displays UX Icon for Standing
Show Stance: Leaning  No  Same  Displays UX Icon for Leaning
LOOK
Free Aim Max Pitch 0 Same Sets Clamp for Max Pitch Value
Free Aim Min Pitch 0 Same Sets Clamp for Min Pitch Value
Free Aim Max Yaw 0 Same Sets Clamp for Max Yaw Value
Reset Freelook to Aim No Same Shifts Perspective View via Freelook
Limit Max Freelook From Aim Yes Same Uses Free Aim Clamps Above to Limit Aiming Radius in Freelook
FIREARM
Aim Style Toggle Hold Sets Aims Down Sight Input Style
Default Firing Mode Full Auto Same Sets Default Firemode Selector Setting
Default Off-Target Position High Ready Same Sets Default 'Non-Aiming/Off-Target' Position. Muzzle pointed up or down.
Default Reload Retention Same Sets Reload Type to either Retain Magazines, or Discard them.
After Grenade Throw Switch to Prev Item Same Sets Default Post-Grenade Throw Behaviour



Video Edit

An Operator can edit their settings via the 'Settings' menu, via either the Main Menu, or via pressing Esc Key and also accessing the Pause Menu; they can adjust their video graphics settings. This includes the ability to set resolution, or alter various configurations, including post-processing, sharpening, or adjust the Operator's 'Field of View' (FOV), too.

TOC Settings03


Ground Branch Controls Table

Input

Default Setting

Recommended

Description

GENERAL
Resolution 1920x1080 User Specified Select Maximum Screen Display Size
Fullscreen Mode Fullscreen User Specified Control Over Fullscreen Mode
VSync False User Specified Clamps Refresh Rate to Frame Rate
Brightness 2.2 Same Sets Gamma LUT Value (brightness)
PP Sharpen 0% User Specified Adds Post Processed Sharpening
GRAPHICS
Resolution Quality 100% User Specified Controls Internal Resolution Quality
View Distance Quality High User Specified Sets Quality of View Distances
Anti-Aliasing Method FXAA User Specified Sets Different AA Algorithm Methods
Shadow Quality High User Specified Control over Shadow Quality in-game
Use Simple Shadows for Characters No User Specified Toggle for Simplified Character Shadows
Post Process Quality High User Specified Control over Post Process Quality
Texture Quality High User Specified Control over Texture Quality
Effects Quality High User Specified Control over Particle Effects Quality
Foliage Quality High User Specified Control over Foliage Quality
FOV (Field of View)
Normal FOV 60°V / 90°H User Specified Scale Operator's Field of View via Slider
Eye Bias 100% User Specified Determines Left/Right Eye Dominance
FRAME RATE
Unlimited Frame Rate True User Specified Toggles Uncapped FPS On/Off
Max Frame Rate 0 User Specified Available when above true, sets Max FPS
ADVANCED GRAPHICS
Skeletal Mesh Lod Bias None User Specified

Sets Level of Detail Bias on Characters

View Distance Scale 1.0 (Default) User Specified Sets View Distance Scale (1.0 - 10.0)
Post-Process AA Quality High (Temporal AA) User Specified Sets PP Anti-Aliasing Quality
Shadow Precision Max User Specified Sets Shadow Calculation Precision
Shadow Max Resolution High User Specified Sets Shadow Maximum Resolution
Distance Field Shadows True User Specified Toggles Distant Shadows at far range
Distance Field Ambient Occlusion True User Specified Toggles Ambient Occlusion at far range
Lens Flare Quality Good User Specified Sets Lens Flare Render Quality
Bloom Quality Best (Default) User Specified Sets Bloom / HDR Render Quality
Fast Blur Threshold Best (Default) User Specified Sets Fast/Motion Blur Quality
Light Shaft Quality On User Specified Sets Light Shaft/God Ray Effect Quality
Separate Translucency Pass True User Specified Toggles how Translucency is Handled
Streaming Mip Bias Full Resolution (Default) User Specified Sets Mipmap Texture Quality in Stream
Max Anisotropy Filtering x4 User Specified Sets Maximum Anisotropic Filter Quality
Refraction Quality Normal User Specified Sets Image Refraction (Glass) Quality
Reflection Environment Mapping On User Specified Toggles Reflections in Environment Maps
Translucency Volume Blur On User Specified Toggles Translucency Volume (Glass) Blur
High Detail Shaders High User Specified Sets High Detail Shader Quality
Detail Mode High User Specified Sets Detail Mode Shader Quality



Audio Edit

An Operator can edit their settings via the 'Settings' menu, via either the Main Menu, or via pressing Esc Key and also accessing the Pause Menu; they can adjust their audio graphics settings. This includes the options to set volume level for numerous channels, including Music, Sound Effects and Voice as well as handling how Voice and Radios interact.

TOC Settings04


Ground Branch Controls Table

Input

Default Setting

Recommended

Description

VOLUMES
Master 100% User Specified Adjusts Total Audio Volume
Music 100% User Specified Adjusts Music Audio Volume
SFX 100% User Specified Adjusts Effects Audio Volume
Voice 100% User Specified Adjust Voice Audio Volume
Voice Input Mode Hold Toggle Toggles how Voice Activates
Loop Back  No  Same  Toggles Own Voice Playback
Show Voice Icon Yes Same Displays Voice Active Icon
Show Muted Icon Yes Same Display Voice Muted Icon
Radio 100% User Specified Adjust Radio Audio Volume
Radio Input Mode Push To Talk Only Same Toggles how Radio Activates
Show Radio Icon Yes Same Display Radio Active Icon
Background UI Sounds Checked (On) Same Play Audio while Minimised
Unfocused Volume Multiplier 100% User Specified Adjusts Minimised Audio Volume



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