Is Holdfast: Nations at War, Worth Playing?
Holdfast is unintentionally one of the most hysterical games on Steam, and I fully recommend it to fans of reenactment and crazy schemes alike.

The Lowdown.

Product Details
Genre: Shooter
Developer: Anvil Game Studios
Publisher: Anvil Game Studios
Price: $19.99
Release Date: 5 March 2020
Supported Modes:

Fun to Play.

Holdfast: Nations at War is not what I would call a “fun game”; at times, it can be outright tedious, with reloads taking around 12 seconds and ranged weapons being wildly inaccurate by design.

Most battles consist of two groups of players slowly exchanging gunfire while missing more often than not.

That being said, while Holdfast: Nations at War is not a “fun game”, it is certainly a very enjoyable experience, and being part of a regiment, no matter how informal and holding or besieging key positions, is a memorable experience.

This experience is even more rewarding if you use Viop; bantering with your team and giving faux motivational speeches are all part of the fun. I feel that Holdfast: Nations at War is a game that many gamers would enjoy if they can tolerate slow-paced combat.



I have encountered no performance issues while playing Holdfast: Nations at War; however, this is to be expected, as it was built from the ground up to support large-scale engagements of 150 players per lobby.

While some visual sacrifices were required to ensure this fluidity, it was the right choice. Overall, Holdfast: Nations at War strikes a good balance between looking pretty and performing well on a wide variety of hardware.

That being said, when playing on a 5700 XT, graphical settings had little impact on performance after a certain point (medium), with fps at 1080P hovering around 90 frames per second, regardless of which of the higher three settings I chose.

I would have liked to reach 120 fps+ at 1080p on a 5700 XT, as that is more in line with the fps and performance I have come to expect from similar titles; that being said, it’s well over 60 fps and certainly very playable.


Diverse Community.

If I could use only one word to describe the Holdfast: Nations at War community, it would be diverse; there are so many different groups of players in any single lobby it’s almost dizzying.

The Toxic Players.

This group of players will type and yell offensive statements whenever possible and try to entice others to engage with them in political or racial discussions; they are also prone to having highly offensive sexualized/racist usernames and have little regard for anyone else on the server.

The Role Players.

This group of players take Holdfast: Nations at War very seriously and will slowly march into battle while playing authentic period music; they are generally good players and the backbone of the Holdfast: Nations at War community and are largely responsible for its continued success.

The Meme Players.

These players act like streamers even if no one is watching, and while I am sure the role players find them immersion-breaking, they are my favourite group of players.

Meme Players often engage in light roleplay and shenanigans, and I often spend most of my time in any match with such players.

The DJ Players.

Any game that allows players to play their own music has the potential to be a disaster, and Holdfast: Nations at War is no exception; while some DJ players cycle through a selection of period-accurate inspirational battle hymns, others like to blast out profanity-laden R&B or meme songs such as Barbie Girl, Wake me Up Before You Go-Go, Chug Jug With You, or Gangman style.



The character models in Holdfast: Nations at War look fantastic, but the scenery has suffered the most regarding the compromises the developers were forced to make to ensure stable performance on a wide array of hardware.

It’s not a bad-looking game by any means, and with the maximum preset, it’s very pleasing to the eye; however, at closer inspection, walls, ruins and buildings are very much textured props, and in some instances, those textures are not very high quality.


Free Expansion Pack DLC:

Holdfast: Frontlines is an online multiplayer first and third-person shooter set during WW1. Engage in large-scale and destructive battles of The Great War with over 150 players per server, featuring rifles, machine guns, artillery, grenades, and other iconic weaponry and mechanics from the time.


Modding Community.

Holdfast: Nations at War has a thriving developer-supported modding community, with the developers and community even collaborating on content for the game itself; a perfect example of this would be the Italian faction (April 2021), which was the result of a joint developer and modder community initiative to expand the content available to all purchasers of the base game.

The community remains very involved with creating new content in 2023, including new maps and uniforms, via the Battlefield Forger 2.0 contest.


Server Browser.

Holdfast: Nations at War utilizes a server browser where players can see all the currently active lobbies and then choose the most active/has the best latency for their region.

While some lamented the lack of quickplay, this reliance on a server browser has allowed Holdfast: Nations at War to survive, ensuring the online player base is clustered into as few lobbies as possible at any given time.

Holdfast: Nations at War is not a traditional shooter, and small lobbies would not work.

The fun of Holdfast: Nations at War is dealing with dozens of players on each side, firing wildly inaccurate period-authentic weaponry at one another while attempting to follow orders given by officers who range from very competent tacticians with a deep understanding of historical battlefield tactics to a 12-year-old with lightning reflexes, who snagged one of the few officer spots before anyone else could claim it, and talks about Fortnite and Grand Theft Auto V while dying repeatedly.


Holdfast: Nations At War FAQ

Holdfast: Nations at War is a shooter video game developed and published by Anvil Game Studios, it was released on 5 March 2020 and retails for $19.99.

Platform Availability.

Holdfast: Nations at War is available exclusively on PC.

Are The Developers Active?

Anvil Game Studios have done a lot with a little, and much of this is possible due to the passionate support of the Holdfast: Nations at War community.

While Holdfast: Nations at War does not receive frequent major content updates, it has been in continual development since its release on Steam in 2017. It receives major updates roughly twice yearly, with smaller updates dropping every few months.

Since Q1 2021, the developers have embarked on an optimization initiative to improve Holdfast: Nations at War’s overall performance, which the community has received well.

How Many People Play Holdfast: Nations at War?

As of April 2024, around 5,000 people play Holdfast: Nations at War on a fairly regular basis.

How Active Is The Holdfast: Nations at War Playerbase?

Holdfast: Nations at War suffers from low activity, meaning that while off-peak matchmaking is possible in populated regions, finding full lobbies in less populated regions is unlikely outside of peak playtimes.

The Holdfast: Nations at War hovers between 300 and 700 players for most of the day, with weekend and midweek peaks of up to 1200 players.

HoldFast: Nations at War is a niche game, and it’s never been wildly popular, with a modest all-time high of only 3419 concurrent players in February 2022.

However, being a niche game isn’t bad; while most games lose roughly 95% of their daily ccu within six months, HoldFast: Nations at War has retained roughly 45% of its small community.

Despite being relatively small, the Holdfast: Nations at War community is large enough to support multiple full lobbies 24/7, and this, combined with the ability for players to host their own servers, ensures that Holdfast: Nations at War will never die, even if the developers are forced to move onto other projects for financial or logistical reasons.

Is There Group Finding/Matchmaking Support?

Holdfast: Nations At War offers the following matchmaking options:

  • Server Browser

What Peripherals Are Supported?

The following peripherals are officially supported:

  • PC - Mouse and Keyboard.

Is There Any Mature Content?

Holdfast: Nations At War is unrated and contains the following:

  • Violence

Final Verdict.

Holdfast: Nations at War is a fantastic game for those who don’t mind playing in lobbies from other regions, as while there is still a small but very active community, they are scattered across the globe, and outside of peak hours, single region lobbies are rare.

Is Holdfast: Nations at War Worth Playing In 2024?

Honest Video Game Reviews has given "Holdfast: Nations at War" a rating of 10/10, indicating that it is genre-defining and essentially unmissable. While it may not be 100% perfect, it comes close, and the average gamer is likely to both enjoy and recommend it to others.

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