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Adding Lighting Conditions to Insurgency: Sandstorm Map Cycle Files

In the 1.7 Update for Insurgency: Sandstorm, the game developers added the option of lighting conditions to the game scenarios, allowing you to play maps in either day or night mode. This update also adds content for night fighting like night vision goggles, and more.

This guide will show you how to set this parameter as part of a MapCycle file, so that you can automatically start a specific scenario/map in either day or night. It's also possible to set both, which can give players the option to vote for either the day or night version of a specific map, during map votes.

Create a MapCycle File

These settings can be added to your MapCycle.txt file. The MapCycle controls the rotation and order of map switching.

If you haven't set one up yet, we have an article on how to do that which you can follow here.

Lighting Settings

Whether you start a map in day or night is controlled by a special setting called Lighting=. This setting is followed by either "Day" or "Night".

This is added to the end of any scenario included in the MapCycle.txt file. It's possible to mix regular scenarios names, and scenarios where you specify day or night, in the same MapCycle.txt file.

When the Lighting= setting is added, it is necessary to change the syntax of the entire scenario line. It must be "packaged" in a very specific way, where you must add a Scenario= setting before the scenario name, and then enclose and separate the scenario and lighting settings.

  • The entire line needs to be enclosed by parenthesis at beginning and end.

  • The scenario needs to preceded by the setting Scenerio=, and the scenario name needs to be in quotes.

  • After the quotes, place a comma.

  • Then add the Lighting= setting, followed by "Day" or "Night"


If you wanted to play the "Refinery" map, in co-op mode playing as the security force, you'd normally use the following line in your MapCycle.txt:


The same scenarios set to start at night would look like this in the MapCycle.txt file:

(Scenario="Scenario_Refinery_Checkpoint_Security", Lighting="Night")
  • There is a Scenario= setting, with "Scenario_Refinery_Checkpoint_Security" in quotes following it.

  • There is a Lighting= setting, with "Night" following it.

  • They're separated by a comma, and the whole thing is enclosed by parenthesis.

Follow this same syntax on any line where you want to specify the lighting conditions.

Adding Both Day and Night Versions of the Map

The MapCycle.txt file can include both day and night versions of the same scenario, which will give players a choice to vote on which lighting conditions to play the map in (if scenario voting is enabled).

Just add both versions of the scenario from above, on separate lines. Each version of the lighting needs to follow the same syntax rules (enclosed by parenthesis, separated by a comma, etc).

(Scenario="Scenario_Refinery_Checkpoint_Security", Lighting="Day")
(Scenario="Scenario_Refinery_Checkpoint_Security", Lighting="Night")

This will show both a day and night version of the same exact scenario in voting.

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