Natural Selection 2 Basic Tips

Natural Selection 2 Basic Tips by Xarius

Hey guys, looking over the forums and playing the game I realised a lot of new players have the same questions or problems related to surviving NS2’s fast paced and at times chaotic combat. To make the most of the experience, and because this knowledge isn’t available in just one video or text write-up anywhere else, I figured I would write up some quick tips and tricks that should come in handy, allow you to fully enjoy the game and will eventually make you a better player. I will not go over the commander/khammander, as that is adequately covered in other tutorials.

Let’s get to it!


Basic Marine
– KEEP RANGE, most alien lifeforms are melee only, so the further the distance between you and your target the higher your chances to survive
– DO NOT SOLO, marines are incredibly more effective when grouped up and grouping up will allow you to survive against the biggest of alien lifeforms.
– LISTEN to your commander, he usually knows best, i.e. if he wants you to hold an area, hold that area. In return he will do everything he can to keep you alive.
– If aliens manage to close in on you, strafe and jump to try and dodge the bites, you can even do this while firing. This will buy your buddies some time to take out the skulk
– Switch to your pistol if you are out of ammo and an alien is closing in, pistols can be incredibly effective.

EXOs (single or dual minigun)
– GET support and insist on them bringing welders. Without welders and macs you won’t last for a minute.
– KEEP RANGE, Bilebomb and onos are your biggest threats, it’s vital you keep your range and try and kite these threats rather than just walking into them
– SLOW AND STEADY WINS THE RACE. Yes you may be a badass mechanised suit, but no that doesn’t mean you can just run down into a hive, even with support.


– SPEED, jumping on and off walls while keeping forward momentum will give you a much needed speed bonus
– AMBUSH when you can (You can hold down your sprint key to move silently)
– ENVIRONMENT you don’t want to just walk into marines on the ground, it’s much harder for them to target you on walls and ceilings.
– DODGING, don’t just jump strafe left and right to jump, be creative, jump on and off walls, go up, go down, USE ALL POSSIBLE DIRECTIONS.
(Marines have a much harder time tracking upward motion up close than strafing.)
– PARASITE, the difference between 2 and 3 bites at the start of the game, keep your range, get a parasite it, then find a way to get close with a minimum of damage (dodge!) taken
– BITE, learn to land your bites for the maximum of 75 damage when you finally do get in close to a marine, CONTINUE DODGING while biting.
– HIT AND RUN, sometimes it’s better to harass and do some damage, then get out than to fully commit and die
– ZERG, like with marines, teamwork (multiple skulks or skulks + gorge) can make a big difference.
– GRUNT WORK, bite extractors to hurt their economy, try to hit structures in their when no one is watching (observatory!), power nodes are not that important generally. (except in big bases)

– KEEP RANGE, kite with spit, heal, rinse repeat. The only exception is when you are pushing an area supporting several other lifeforms.
– HYDRAS, don’t build them in easily targettable positions, build them around corners, on higher ceilings just after door entrances. They’re only effective if the marine has to walk into them before he can even start shooting them
– CLOGS are free, slow down marines, protect other structures, put them down when you can.
– BILEBOMB, is your best ability (once it is researched), it WRECKS structures and EXOS, try to keep distance as it has huge range.
– HEALSPRAY structures under construction to speed them up, other players so they don’t have to run back to the hive

– DO NOT SIT, you will be an easy target and lose your 30 p.res lifeform in moments.
– DODGE, don’t fly in straight lines, maintaining speed is everything
– HIT AND RUN, you should never just fly into a marine and sit biting or spiking, fly in and out to bite, circle strafe in and out to spike
– FLY HIGH, like with skulks, marines have more trouble properly tracking targets above them. Your spores will also automatically descend towards the ground.
– STAY AWAY FROM SHOTGUNS, seriously, you’ll be dead before you know it.

– HIT AND RUN, blink in, get a few hits in and get out, you never want to stay in the fight for too long. (eyes on your healthbar!)
– DODGE, use double jump and blink UP, not just straight forward when getting in and out fights.
– DO NOT GET GREEDY, it will get you killed. A part of your importance is not just in the kills you make, it is also in the chaos you create.
– ENERGY, management of your energy pool takes practice but is SUPER important, a fade without energy is essentially a dead fade.
– SOLO MARINES, are usually free kills, but none the less don’t get cocky, a single marine with a shotgun CAN wreck you

– Yes you are a MONSTER designed to siege marine positions, capable of absolutely wrecking entire groups of marines, but no that should not mean you should just solo down marine positions unsupported
– TIMING, know when to get out and get in, use sprint (charge) to move down or out of straight corridors and hallways faster.
– GORGES, are your best friends. They’ll heal you and use you as a big meat shield so they can safely bile bomb

Hope this helps!

More Onos Tips by MaximumSquid

Just a couple of things I noticed while playing Onos

1. If you attack manually instead of holding down the mouse button I noticed that you can actually increase your rate of fire to deal more damage

2. Strafe is your friend while charging; so long as you staying moving a little bit charge will persist and you get can get up incredible speed corner sliding

3. More well known but still needs to be said: “Stomp disables Phase Gates and Destroys Mines”

4. Don’t give up on Clog walls; you can bash threw Clogs, but it takes a few hits

5. And lastly. . . Remember that players have no idea what your health is at
(use this to your advantage enough and they might not give chase the one time they could have finished you off)

Misc Tips by peregrinus

My tips are really basic, for new players really. Share your own so all the new (and old) can learn something.

1. You can bring up the map by pressing C – keep an eye on it so you can react to enemy movements. Tell your team if you see something happening they should know about.

2. Attacking enemy structures and defending your own team’s structures is the most important thing in the game. Don’t get sidetracked chasing an non-threatening enemy. Focus on objectives.

3. If you’re lost, follow a high scoring team mate and learn from them. Commanders can give you directions too.

4. To learn how to be a commander, make a private LAN game, then once you’re in the map enter ‘cheats 1’ in the console to start the game. You can mess around and see how it works, then when you’ve got to grips with it be a commander in a real game. Tell people you’re new at it and ask for advice.

5. Do things that complement your team’s actions. If everyone has grenade launchers, use a flamethrower; if they’re all going Onos, evolve into a Lerk.

More Tips by Champlo0

Some vents you can get in by having a buddy crouch and then jump crouching on his head to get up there.

You can put drifters on top of ALOT of stuff you wouldn’t expect to be able to.

As marine commander, scan nexus areas like tram hub for drifters so marines can kill them and stop giving alien vision of that area.

You can use drifter sight to give the illusion of a big push on a hive by killing the drifter while you head a certain direction then turning the opposite way.

Use alternate fire on your pistol for attacking lerks. It’s hard to hit them with constant fire so the power shots make more of a difference.

You can “ride” some walls with the Onos charge (shift).

Slow down, sometimes it’s better to be cautious so you can hear aliens coming.

If you see an alien with spores around him that means he has regen, which means that aliens probably have a second hive somewhere.

You can distinguish sounds of a phase gate going up by listening.

If you’re parasited ask for a med kit.

As commander be responsive to med kit requests and don’t be afraid to nano shield people even in seemingly normal situations.

Whenever your team has the advantage PUSH IT. Don’t sit around and let the other team come back, crush them!

Beacon revives X amount of players, X being the amount of infantry portals. You can use this to respawn marines faster if they just got wiped. (Not sure if this is changed, I just read it on the wiki and it seems accurate)

That’s all I have for now.

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