Alien Arena: Warriors Of Mars

Alien Arena: Warriors Of Mars

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Alien Arena - Deathmatch/Duel Mode
By COR Entertainment
A guide to basic deathmatch and duel modes.
Main objective

The main objective in Deathmatch and Duel modes is to kill your opponents. Games can be won either by reaching a set frag(kills) limit first, or by scoring the most frags at the end of the time limit, whichever comes first. In matches with no time limit, the game will continue until a player reaches the frag limit.

In Deathmatch(Free For All), there are often many players involved, and strategies may be different in how players attempt to rack up the most frags. Duel mode involves only two players, with a queue where players take turns playing the winner of the previous match. Strategies in Duel mode involve controlling the maps weapons and powerups, generally using timing and patrolling to keep your opponent on the run and weak tactically.

Being killed by hazards, or by suicide(as in splash damage from a rocket you fired too close) removes a point from your score.

Every two minutes the next weapon that respawns is replaced by a Minderaser weapon. This weapon is very powerful in that it not only gives you frags, it removes a point from the player it kills. As with all weapons it has two firing modes, in this case two very different robotic projectiles that have intelligence. The minderaser deviates from traditional Quake/Unreal game play, and creates a new dynamic. When a Minderaser spawns, a klaxxon sounds, and players must try to figure out where it spawned(clever players will know how to time things in ways to not only know, but to make it spawn in close proximity).

Some maps contain hazards that are dangerous to players, such as deathrays, piranhas, slime, lava, etc. In some cases players can trigger hazards to kill other players, and be rewarded for those points.
Alien Arena allows for a variety of settings that impact performance, graphical quality, visibility, and what is displayed on the screen.

You can go into "Game Options" and select the section you wish to configure, display, video, player configuration, audio, input, etc.


Here you can adjust what is displayed on the screen, such as your HUD, crosshairs, player ID text, visual display of items, various effects, ragdoll physics, etc. You can also add things to the display such as a minimap, framerate, and time. You can also customize the color of your disruptor beam effects, turn off blood, and set your various fonts.


The engine is very scaleable, and will allow a great amount of customization both for performance as well as visual quality/visibility. There are multiple presets as well as individual tweaks that can be activated. You can play this game with the visual quality that you'd expect from a modern game engine, with features such as per-pixel lighting, shaders, shadows, and post processing, or "dumb it down" to the point of looking like something from 2001. Many competitive players will decrease texture resolution, increase brightness and contrast, and turn off any effects to get the maximum amount of visibilty. It should be noted though that Alien Arena by default adds a distance fogging effect to players to vastly increase visibility of players in complex backgrounds. If by chance a server has this disabled, you can also set a cvar from the console by typing "set cl_dmlights 1". This will place lights above each player.


Alien Arena allows for total sound customization, including music, global, and effect volume levels. It also allows you to turn Doppler on/off, as well as player taunts.


Here you can bind your keys/mouse to commands in the game. By default the game uses the standard WASD + numbers configuation, but many players will have their own ideas of what makes a good one. It also allows you to bind many of the special commands like zooming, sneaking, leaning, and the various taunts.
Selecting player
The first thing you must do is select a player model, skin, and name(and set a password). You will not be allowed to join a server unless you do so. Player models all have the same abilities unless the "Class Based" mutator is set on the server(not very commonly done).

The size, visibility, and profile of each player character is roughly the same, and there is no advantage of selecting one over the other, it is all personal preference. Your name must be set and give yourself a unique password in order for your stats to accumlate for matchmaking purposes.

You can use traditional color codes in your name by using the "^" symbol, followed by a number to change the color of the subsequent characters.
Joining a server/playing offline
If you wish to join an online match against other players, you can simply click on the "Join Server" menu button and you will get a list of servers to join. If you click on a server, it will bring up information about that server such as mode, players already in game and their scores, information about the server administrator, and lastly, how your stats compare to the players already there using the Alien Arena matchmaking statistics. Note, early on you may find yourself seeing a lot of servers that indicate "Your Skill is Lower" simply because you have not accumlated any stats as of yet.

You can click on "connect" in the server info box, or double click on the server name in the main list window to join the match. You will stay connected to that server across multiple matches until you either quit or join another server.

You can play offline against the computer controlled opponents(know as "bots") by clicking on the "Practice Offline" button. You can then select your skill level and play in a 20 frag limit match. At the end of each match, the game will load the next map in the default map list, eventually cycling through all of the maps if you continue playing on. This is a great way to learn the game, and hone your skills. The bots are designed with a lot of real-life player traits, such as movement, attack modes, and strategy.

You can also play offline by selecting "Host Server", and setting up your game with a specific map, various game mutators and rules, and then making sure "public" is set to off. If you leave "public" checked, other players will be able to see your server in the server browser and join your game.
Alien Arena uses Quake based movement physics, specifically Quake II as it's core. However, Alien Arena adds in quite a few other movement abilities that make it more complex, and allow for an even higher skill ceiling.

Standard Movement
  • Walking/Running
    Simply press the forward and back keys to move forward and backward. Running is always on by default, pressing the walk key will slow you down(generally never used in Deathmatch).
  • Strafing
    To strafe, press the right and left keys. This is useful for dodging weapons, and making yourself harder to hit.
  • Dodging
    To dodge, double tap any movement key, and you will lunge in that direction.
  • Jumping
    Press the jump key to jump, and get used to jumping all over the place - it's the most common form of movement in Quake-like games.
  • Crouching
    Press the crouch key to make yourself crouch down. This is useful for making yourself harder to hit.
  • Sneaking
    Press the sneak key, and you will move slowly and quietly. You can use this to sneak up silently behind an opponent, useful primarily in Duel mode.
  • Leaning
    You can lean around a corner using the Lean Left and Lean Right keys. This is particularly useful when using a weapon that is good for sniping

Advanced Movement
  • Strafejumping
    Strafejumping is the most famous movement in Quake-like games. It's a technique that involves a bit of skill, but is very rewarding. The method is to jump will simultaneously pressing the foward and either right/left, as well as ever so slightly turning your view. Alternate between the right and left, and as you move along your speed will increase dramatically. It takes a little time to get the timing right, as you need to press jump again at precisely the moment you land to keep your momentum going.
  • Slide jumping/crouching
    You can gain a lot of speed by strafe jumping or croucing on a ramp.
  • Double jumping
    If you find yourself in a place where a ledge is around chest height, you may be able to scale it by pushing up against the ledge and pressing the jump key twice. There are several maps that have areas where this is possible.
  • Dodge chaining
    This is a very advanced method of movement in Alien Arena, completely unique to this game. The trick is all in the timing. You can dodge, and as you land, press jump, then when you land, dodge again. This will build incredible speed that is practically unmatched in any game of this type.
  • Weapon jumping
    There are several weapons that allow insane jumps and movement if you know how to use them. You can fire a weapon with spash damage at the ground while simultaneously pressing the jump key for incredible heights(rocketlauncher, disruptor, blaster, vaporizer). Note, that it's often very hazardous to your health to do so.
  • Wall climbing
    One weapon allows you to climb walls using it's secondary fire - the Beamgun. This is a technique that is difficult to master, and also will use up a bit of health doing so. If mastered though, it gives you a huge advantage over your opponents.
Base Weapons


Each player is given a blaster when you spawn. While the human and alien weapons look different, they behave identically.

Primary fire: Single plasma ball.
Secondary fire: Single laser beam.


Players also receive a melee weapon called the Violator. This is a probing device that can kill players in very close proximity almost instantly. Of course, getting in such close proximity without getting killed is a difficult proposition.

Primary fire: Electrocution in forward direction.
Secondary fire: Lethal gas in all directions.

Pickup Weapons


Common weapon found in almost all levels. Hitting a player in the head will trigger the "Headshot" achievement.

Primary fire: Single laser beam with minor spash damage.
Secondary fire: Single laser beam with explosive splash damage(uses more ammo).


Common weapon found in almost all levels. Loses accuracy and effectiveness as range increases.

Primary fire: Automatic bullet fire.
Secondary fire: Single burst of bullets.


Fairly common weapon. Similar to a grenade launcher, only a bit more alien. Good for spamming in desperate situations, or large crowds.

Primary fire: Bouncing goo that electrocutes players in close proximity, and then explodes after a few bounces, or if directly hitting a player.

Secondary fire: Lays goo blobs on the ground that explode when a player runs over them, or eventually after a bit of time passes.

Rocket Launcher

Most common weapon in Alien Arena, and a staple of most all deathmatch games.

Primary fire: Fast moving single rocket.
Secondary fire: Slow moving homing rocket, needs "Cell" ammo to home in.


Fairly uncommon weapon. A very useful weapon in desperate situations.

Primary fire: Fire column, in close proximity.
Secondary fire: Fire ball, at medium range capability.


Somewhat common weapon. One of the more lethal weapons in the game, however both firing methods consume ammo rapidly.

Primary fire: Multiple laser beams.
Secondary fire: Multiple plasma balls.


Uncommon weapon. Extremely lethal, but also very slow firing and not a lot ammo initially. You cannot pick up new ammo for this weapon.

Primary fire: Devasting laser beam with enormous splash damage, uses ammo fast.
Seconary fire: Massive plasma ball with major splash damage.


Found in all maps. Every two minutes, this weapon will appear on the next weapon respawn, making it's appearance very dynamic. A klaxxon sounds when one appears. This weapon not only gives the player frags, it removes them from the players it kills.

Primary fire: Robotic seeker. The seeker travels slowly, scanning for a player. When it finds one, it homes in very rapidly and destroys them instantly. Then it continues on until it finds another, or hits a wall and explodes.
Seconary fire: Robotic spider. The spiderbot will wait until a player appears and kill it. They often partrol around an area. Players can also destroy them by firing on them.
Alien Arena has a variety of powerups, and they are pretty standard without complex rules.


Ammo is found most everywhere, and needed to replentish your weapon's stores. Rockets, cells, napalm, smart grenades, and bullets are the types available.


Health is similarly found everywhere. There are three types, small, medium, and large, and the frequency is lower for the larger health sizes.


Full armor comes in three forms, and the frequency is lower for the higher armor amounts. There are also armor "shards" laying throughout the levels that add a very small amount.


Picking up adrenaline restores a player to 100% of their health.


Gives a player 200 health points.


For a limited time, a player can jump very high.

Double Damage

For a limited time, a player's weapons do twice as much damage.

Alien Force

For a limited time, a player has an increased firing rate and resistance to damage.


For a limited time, a player can move at hyper speed when pressing the jump button.


If a player picks up a jetpack, he can fly about a level until running out of fuel. Note - in "All Out Assault" mode, jetpacks appear on weapon respawns every so often.
Stats, achievements, and reward points
Alien Arena collects a variety of statistics to both reward players in matches as well as serve as a matchmaking tool. It also displays in-game rewards and milestones, as well as accumulating stats for achievement icons and leaderboards on Steam.

The various Steam achievements can be viewed on Steam as can the leaderboards. The in-game achievements are as follows:

Kill Streaks
  • Killing Spree
    Three kills in a row.
  • Rampage
    Five kills in a row.
  • Unstoppable
    Eight kills in a row.
  • Godlike
    Ten kills in a row. Player gets floating icons surrounding him for everyone to see.

Glory Kills
  • Mid-Air shot
    Shoot a player in mid air.
  • Headshot
    Shoot a player in the head with a single shot hitscan weapon(disruptor, vaporizer, etc).
  • Violation
    Kill a player with the violator.

A player is granted "Reward Points" for each of these achievements, and when enough(25) are accumulated during a game, the alien head icon at the bottom of the screen will turn red. At this time, a player is granted a choice of using one of three powerups(Sproing, Haste, or Invisibility).

Steam achievement icons are given out for various milestones, including many of the above rewards. These can all be seen in your Steam app.

Alien Arena also tracks just how well you are actually playing in a game and how tough your competition is. This information is used in order to provide data for the server browser matchmaking indicators.
General strategies
There are a lot of basic strategies that should be employed when playing Deathmatch and Duel modes, some are specific to Alien Arena.

  • Move.
    Don't just stand still, move around, jump, keep your head on a swivel. Standing around, or camping, will get you killed, fast.
  • Control weapons and powerups.
    Nothing gives you a bigger advantage than having superior firepower over your opponent. Time the weapon respawns, ammo, and powerups, and keep them out of enemy hands.
  • Know the maps.
    Alien Arena's arenas are generally not overly complex or large, but it really helps to know the layouts and where things are if you want to control the map and ambush your oppoennts.
  • Aim.
    Get well practiced in the art of keeping your crosshair trained on the target.
  • Situational awareness.
    Learn which weapons make sense to use given the current situation. Sometimes it makes sense to use rockets, others it makes more sense to use a long range hitscan weapon such as the beamgun, disruptor, or vaporizer.
  • Study your opponent.
    When you learn your opponent's tendencies, you can start to predict what they are going to do, giving you a major advantage over them.
  • Know when to run.
    Sometimes in a battle it makes sense to run the other way if you are damaged, pick up some health or armor, and then return to do battle.
  • Learn advanced techniques.
    Alien Arena has one of the highest skill ceilings of any arena FPS game. There are many advanced movement methods such as Dodge Chaining, Strafe Jumping, Weapon Jumping, etc, that can give you a huge advantage if you learn them.
Alien Arena uses three methods of communication, IRC, Steam, and in-game.

A player can join the Alien Arena IRC channel through game and talk to other players that are in the lobby channel. Players can also download their own IRC client and join the lobby at

Players can also talk within the game by pressing the "talk" key, or the "team talk" key. These communications are restricted to appear in only the match that a player is joined to.

Lastly, players can also talk via Steam, by pressing Shift-TAB.
Xenos Nov 6, 2018 @ 7:26am 
I'm sorry I hadn't read this earlier, I've been playing for 9 years and still came away a little wiser for having read it. This is a really great guide that every player should read.