Natural Selection 2 Tactical Tips and Tricks

Natural Selection 2 Tactical Tips and Tricks by MistenTH


Natural Selection 2 is a unique RTS-FPS hybrid. This means that while the combat part of FPS are important, the RTS part is equally important, if not more important, as when the team loses in the RTS part, you become steadily weaker as your enemy becomes steadily stronger.

An easy, 1 sentence distillation: What can I do that costs the enemy Res, or gains my team Res?

You may have 1337 killing skills, but doing it at the wrong place & time will cost your team the game. There is not much a basic skulk or marine can do against an Exo or Onos.

Big Tips

Use your Map, Often – Default key ‘C’, I bind mine to a mouse button. This is the hugest change you need to make. Some players expect the comm/khamm to give direction, but really effective players don’t need to be told, they just do what needs to be done. The Map enables that. It tells you where your team is pushing; where the enemy team is pushing. It tells you which extractor/harvester is under attack. It tells you which area is not being contested by your team, and is hence undefended. Use the Map, and your effectiveness skyrockets.

Knowing Where to Go – I split my game into 3 areas – (1) The Front Line, where major fighting is taking place. (2) Defence – bases & RTs and (3) Behind Enemy Lines.

Go to the front line when every bit of firepower is needed to break through and kill the PG/Hive.
Put yourself on Base/RT Defence when the Map tells you no one else is doing it. You can singlehandedly save your team.
Go Behind Enemy Lines to kill upgrades, RTs when the Front Line has stalemated. The enemy is distracted, stick a knife in their backside.

Kill Stuff that Costs Res – Power Nodes cost 0 res. Cysts cost 1 res. Basic marines & skulks costs 0 res. Upgrades cost 15-30 res. RTs cost 10 to infinity res. That’s right. A RT does not cost only 10 res. It has an opportunity cost when dead. An RT can buy another RT every minute. So kill those RTs, and save your own. This is also the reason why a team with 2:1 KDR can still lose a game – because they’ve effectively killed 0 res by playing Deathmatch, and not the RTS-FPS Natural Selection 2.


Killing Harvesters – kill the nearby cyst before killing the harvester. Harvesters lose HP when off infestation – if a skulk kills you before you kill the harvester, the harvester still dies.

Killing Extractors – Move behind it, move as far back as you can so you can see behind the extractor, and turn on alien sight / flashlight “F” key. This gives you cover, and also warning that marines are coming to stop you.

Killing Structures (Marines)
– Use your axe to save ammo. Unless it’s a suicide mission to kill upgrades, then you can use your gun. W2 LMG will start to out-DPS the axe. Before W2, you can use the axe still if objective is to kill as fast as possible before you get killed.

Killing Structures (Aliens)
– If you are alone, target the observatory (15 res) or Infantry Portal (15 res, spawning) as they have lower HP. If you are at an expansion, target the PG (15 res, denies phasing).

Position yourself to be able to kill/save structures – If you win the fight, you either cost the enemy Res, or save your team Res.

Surrounding the Enemy, in Force – use the Map. Don’t rambo if you see a teammate 5 seconds behind you, wait up and go together. Or move in at the same time as a teammate coming from another direction for mutual support and flanking. Or to cut off a fade’s escape path.

Going Commando
– NS2 is a teamwork game. A team full of rambos will lose. A team with 1 rambo is stronger than a team with none. The lone rambo can kill RTs and upgrades more safely, and keep bases and RTs alive from small attacks. Know the times when your team has 6 RTs, 3/4 the map and is pushing towards victory – but then loses? That’s because of the smart commando that destroyed 4 of your RTs, or second base phase gate, or carapace shell, while your team was distracted fighting on the Frontline, while the supply chain was cut off from behind them.

Moving into danger areas (Marines)
– When with a teammate, sprint forward to draw ambushes, let your teammate gun them down. If you’re alone, use your ears and be prepared to sprint/jump.

Moving into danger areas (Aliens) – As the initiating skulk, don’t aim to kill marines. Aim to make them waste bullets. Wall walk, ceiling walk, run above them, run behind them. You stay alive longer, marines run down to 0 ammo, start reloading, and if you’re still alive, you can help your appreciative skulk-mates chomp their vulnerable backsides.

Hope this helps. Don’t rage against the game; Play the game.

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