War MMO with thousands of simultaneous players is about to get its biggest update

I've had my eye on Foxhole, a top-down war MMO that models logistics and supply chains, since it first hit early access in 2017. A WW2-era military sim with dual joystick controls and battles on the scale of Planetside is immediately intriguing, but I've been waiting for it to develop into more of a game.

Now sounds like the time to give Foxhole a proper shot, because its 1.0 Inferno update coming September 28 is adding drivable trains, factories, infrastructure tools, and new weapons.

By far, the trains and factories bit sounds like the biggest deal. The new train system will enable players to "design large scale rail networks, allowing key equipment—from tanks to supplies—to be transported quickly over long distances," developer Siegecamp wrote in its announcement. "With players needing to design and assemble their own custom track layouts, effective use of trains will have a huge impact on supply lines to the front."

Call of Duty lied to us, in other words: war is mostly about who can move their boxes around quickly. “Amateurs talk about tactics, but professionals study logistics,” as Marine Corps Gen. Robert H. Burrow once put it.

As someone who has the best time in Squad when I'm behind the wheel of a logistics truck making supply runs, the idea of laying down railroad tracks and choo-chooing loads of ammo across the battlefield has me totally on board. (Not a coincidence that I really love Death Stranding, also.) In fact, Foxhole's revamped transportation reminds me of when Squad added helicopters, instantly transforming its logistics meta layer by lowering the time and effort required to transport soldiers. I imagine train networks will have a similar impact on Foxhole.

On the production side, factories are powerful new facilities capable of supplying your team with all the raw building materials, weapons, and ammo necessary to win Foxhole's weeks-long wars. Maintaining these facilities will require careful use of "power grids, oil pipelines, and mining." Sounds complex enough that the players who take up the mantle of production will probably be too busy manufacturing ammo to ever see combat themselves. But the effort is worth it—teams that work through the tech tree can eventually unlock flamethrowers, incendiary rockets, and new tank variants.

There's a whole lot of stuff going on in this Inferno update. In fact, there's a lot going on in Foxhole—the game has thousands of daily players who all share one big server, deploying on various fronts of its massive maps to fight over territory. To me, Foxhole's biggest draw is the fact that it's an action game that doesn't rely on twitchy FPS skill. I reckon that alone makes it more accessible to fans of the quietly popular military sim genre.

Foxhole's big 1.0 update drops September 28, though you can already play it on Steam.

Morgan Park
Staff Writer

Morgan has been writing for PC Gamer since 2018, first as a freelancer and currently as a staff writer. He has also appeared on Polygon, Kotaku, Fanbyte, and PCGamesN. Before freelancing, he spent most of high school and all of college writing at small gaming sites that didn't pay him. He's very happy to have a real job now. Morgan is a beat writer following the latest and greatest shooters and the communities that play them. He also writes general news, reviews, features, the occasional guide, and bad jokes in Slack. Twist his arm, and he'll even write about a boring strategy game. Please don't, though.