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Back to the S.T.A.L.K.E.R. - May 2023 Update

Another article with hot May news!

Enjoy :)


We have finished working on a storyline for the following levels: Cordon, Garbage, Agroprom, Dark Valley, Yantar Lake, Dead City and Old Factory (A part of Dead City).

ss nikit 04 22 23 21 18 56 l06Take backpack with items

The storyline itself consists of three different chapters. At this time, from September 2022 to May 2023, we have made about half of the story itself. Such little progress is due to the fact that I am working on the storyline and in-game implementation completely by myself. On the other hand, if take into account the factor of my personal life etc, such progress is quite good.

ss nikit 04 21 23 11 42 05 l06Eliminate Mist Creature

My goal is to make two-thirds of the storyline by the end of this summer.

Speaking about the storyline, I would like to mention the story in the Dead City level. The player will need to work with the "Freedom" faction to find information about a lost group of scientists. During the walkthrough, we will solve the mystery of the strange disappearances of stalkers and visit new areas in the level.

Deadcity Sin Patrol

Beside the main storyline, we've finished filling all maps with spawn elements (in simple words – finished making a-life simulation on maps). Stalkers will walk through different locations, mutants will fight each other over territory etc…

r xQZdEPuXgEscort Scientist to Safe Zone

Game Levels

We've finished making North levels of the Zone.

Pripyat City is complete now. We took the 2005 version of the location and used it as a base for the level. The player can go directly to main street and take a look at the beautiful surroundings without any flat-houses at the center of the map.

ss nikit 04 12 23 19 39 05 l11ss nikit 04 12 23 19 33 03 l11

Bar "Stalker" will appear as a non-separated map, as it was in early 2004 builds. There are a lot of differences from the original 2004 map though. In general, we can say that the map is the symbiosis of all of GSC’s versions of the Rostok Bar design. Here is a list of the changes:

  • Added Duty’s outpost at the entrance of the map’s territory.
  • Added the Arena
  • Added Duty’s Bunker Base.
  • Added some of Rostok’s props (destroyed helicopter, burned and rubble-filled tunnels).
  • Restored some of the old decoration elements (mutant corpses etc.)

Bar Rostok

For the Radar (aka the Red Forest) level we took a 2005 version of the level. This version doesn’t have big piles of garbage or a winding road. Instead it contains an Anomaly Forest.

We've also added several new places to the map. For example, a destroyed military vehicle convoy.


Bar "Stalker" was merged with an old version of Rostok Factory map from build 1865. The map itself was made pretty big and interesting to explore.


Agroprom was changed a little as well. We "damaged" some of the main buildings. The factory area was filled with small organic anomalies. If the Player stands close to them, he will damaged.

The Dead City has gotten some new areas too. First of all, we "opened" all of the basement entrances in the town houses. In one of the basements there will be a room that you'll need to visit for one of the secondary tasks.

Deadcity Podval1g0CskdRbkc

The main city street is a base of the "Freedom" faction. We've extended the main building by adding some new rooms: Trader's area, storage room and a locked jail cell. You can help the prisoner escape during one of the secondary tasks.

Deadcity Trader

In future, we will merge the Dead City map with the Factory Area from the mod "Voice - Episode 2".

Render Updates


We've added the new cascaded shadows algorithm from Call of Pripyat. The algorithm itself has replaced the old buggy one, because SoC’s shadows system is just terrible.

ss nikit 01 25 23 18 43 52 l02

We also added the "Soft Water" and the "Soft Particles" system.


New Quicksave System

With the help of our programmer, we added a new saving system to the Engine. Instead of having only one quicksave active at a time the player can quicksave up to 5 times before they overwrite one another.

btts save system

Simply put, if you press f5 (or whatever your quicksave key is bound to) - you will get save 1. Press it again, and you will get save 2. And so on...


We are introducing to you the updated HUD. The new and updated HUD comes with better looking textures and a new icon system! As we said before, the player can choose between 3 styles of HUD.


In addition to the interface itself, our programmer wrote a new system of HUD icons.


Besides the HUD, we've updated the PDA UI. At first, we have planned to just make it widescreen for 16:9 monitors, without editing the look of it.

ss charlie 05 09 23 18 51 57 ai

But after some time, we decided to re-make it, using the old PDA style from the 2021 leaks of the game concepts.

ss nikit 05 21 23 13 35 25 ai t

We've also added border-frames at the top and bottom of the PDA, a digital-mask to the map screen and even some new text just for flavor.

ss nikit 05 21 23 13 35 13 ai t

Additionally, we restored the gradient background screen on the PDA instead of a simple one-color background.

Finally, we added the most aesthetic build-style feature – the encyclopedia. The encyclopedia itself was extended and updated; articles were expanded and pictures were updated. We also added borders for the encyclopedia’s images. When using it, we inadvertently feel the bewitching atmosphere of Old Good Stalker.

ss nikit 05 21 23 13 35 00 ai tss nikit 05 21 23 13 33 01 ai t

As always, we say big «Thank You» words to Charlie Carious – The main developer of the upcoming Legend Returns 1.0 mod, master of puppets GUI elements and professional programmer. Without his hard work, the entire interface of the project would have remained unattractive and ugly.

New Weapons

We added some of the new weapons.

RGM-40 "Kastet" - a small single-shot grenade launcher that fires VOG-25 grenades. The main advantage of the weapon is its light weight (relative to other grenade launchers) and compactness.


RPD – the old Soviet machine gun chambered in 7.62x39 is a strong weapon in any situation. Its powerful cartridge and ammo capacity provide the user with significant firepower. Many thanks to comrade AsuraH for his help in creating animations for this weapon.

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GM-94 - pump-action grenade launcher. It is a very rare weapon in the Zone. You can often find military Stalkers using this weapon in some of their operations.

RGO – a grenade which explodes on contact with static geometry, We added a new explode-system just for this weapon.

Unfortunately, we are still in need of new animators. If you animate well and are ready to help the project - you can write to me in private messages.

AI Tweaks

  • First of all, we've fixed some of the original bugs in SoC. NPCs no longer remain hostile to dead enemies. If the dead enemy was alone stalkers will immediately return to calm mode.


  • Second of all, we have improved the NPC’s reaction speed. Now they are more vigilant.

NPC Fight

  • Lastly, we made some changes to the shooting itself. Now they shoot more often at the place where the Player was last seen. It looks especially cool from the outside. Stalkers often work in pairs. One can suppress the player with fire, preventing him from leaning out, while the other attempts to flank.

Aditionally, NPCs can now hunt for artefacts.

NPC Metering

Door Keys

We added a new feature to gameplay - locked doors. Some doors in different locations will be locked.


To open them, you have to get a specific key (either by buying it or receiving it as a reward). Behind these doors will be rare/special loot.

Repair Kits

We added new Repair Kit system to the project.

ss nikit 05 12 23 23 13 00 l08

The potential of the repair kits is quite large. Most likely, the project will feature different kits for different types of weapons (for example, repair kits only for machine guns, pistols, assault rifles, etc.). Despite this, some repair kits may be usable on all firearms. You can repair both weapons and armor.

Many thanks to "Advanced X-Ray" devs for allowing us to use the code for repair kits.

New Anomalies

One last thing before we end this article is the new anomalies. This time, we added three of them!

Orange MistOrange Mist

The eponymous anomaly from Legend Returns 1.0. In Back to the S.T.A.L.K.E.R. it is presented in the same form as planned for LR 1.0. Orange Mist is the result of a long mutation of anomalous plants, which eventually begin to release harmful chemicals. Upon contact with the anomaly, the Player begins to choke and see phantoms that actively attack him.


Small, ring-like electric anomaly that has a small chance to create a rare artefact.

SkovorodaFrying Pan

The Frying Pan (or Skovoroda) anomaly, is similar to the "Fruit Punch". Usually, the Frying Pan appears in scorched houses. You can detect it by a strong hiss and small wisps of smoke coming from the ground.

That’s all for now!

More news will be waiting for you in the future. Around the beginning of summer, we plan to release a video of the current state of project.

Deadcity Factory Enter


Feel free to visit our Discord Server.

Thank you for your attention and have a nice day!

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Comments  (0 - 10 of 105)

You are doing a very good job friend keep it up this mod is going to be great and spectacular I can't wait for this mod

Reply Good karma Bad karma+3 votes

This mod is long time in development. You are persistent. I wish you to be able to finish it and be satisfied with your work.

Reply Good karma Bad karma+3 votes

So many great mods that are coming out. This certainly is one of them.

Reply Good karma Bad karma+5 votes

What mods is coming out? You have a list? Thx

Reply Good karma Bad karma+2 votes


Reply Good karma Bad karma+1 vote

Will we have rideable cars and maps for them?

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Nikita_Nikson Creator

I think yes.

What do you mean by "maps for them"?

Reply Good karma+2 votes

If you will implement maps for them like darkscape, milrad that were cut in the original trilogy because I think that normal maps that appeared in the game have almost no room for vehicles.

Reply Good karma Bad karma+1 vote

I think he's talking about driving maps like milrad, deadmil etc.

Reply Good karma Bad karma+4 votes

So hyped! I don't think S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2 will deliver honestly. While there are many atmospheric mods, or misery mods - they are not that hard, but mostly boring grinding... There is nothing to do in anomaly, I would like exactly something like this.

Any info when we can expect this mod? I guess not for some time tho, it is only TBH, damn I just got itch to re-play S.T.A.L.K.E.R...

EDIT: don't like cars tho, seems like a gimmick, locations not so big for cars, it is breaking atmosphere... But you dont have to use it luckily... Mainly so I don't have to somewhere 20km for nothing would me nice like in Anomaly...

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Nikita_Nikson Creator

Hello. At this time, it's very late to say establish release date. At this time, all what left for the project is to work on the storyline (i working hard on it, because i need the story to look good enough), extend some maps and animate some of the guns.

Reply Good karma+3 votes

Don't rush pls! I doubt Stalker 2 will be any good, already from short gameplay: it is disappointing arcady feeling...

PS: use chatgpt to help you code: it is really good!

EDIT: Damn rewatched trailed it looks pretty good gave me existential dread! Can you imagine in future using AI in S.T.A.L.K.E.R. for NPCs and unpredictable events? Again damn, til 2010 it was golden ages for gaming, now there is 20 years dead period of nothing... Or even better S.T.A.L.K.E.R. in VR with pain enabled :D Or use GPT 4 API to integrate it into the game, even it would require internet :D

Again I hope this will be good, I wish there would be something more going on some interesting content, I Am bored of just sandbox experience grinding Anomaly style, even it has good atmosphere sure...

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