Natural Selection 2

Natural Selection 2

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Cannon Fodder's NS2 ePaper Manual
By Cannon FodderAUS
This is not a comprehensive on how to play and be great at the game. It is more like an introduction to the game and some of its mechanics. It is written mostly in the marine perspective.

This guide was originally formated for paper (A5 page size), but several people have requested I publish it as a guide on Steam. So I re-did the format and text for this. If you would like to see the original follow this link:
Version notes: I am updating the steam guide to reflect changes in the way the game plays (it is current to build275). Sadly I don't have plans to update the "paper" manual, as I will probably have to reformat the whole thing (re-do page design if I exceed the format spacing).
Version notes: I am updating information on how to play Kharaa (alien side) for those new players that aren't sure what to do. Select the Alien lifeform for information under "Polymorphism"
Please enjoy.
Personal Log - Private Ualtar “Urpa” Ropper 2045.02.19. 0500hrs

Hi everyone at home,
I finally made it. I am now a Frontiersmen. There will be 4 weeks
of advance training before deployment. I hear from the other re-
cruits, you get to play with bigger and better toys that go BOOM.
I can’t wait for training to start. I am so excited, I can’t sleep. Miss
you all.
Ualtar 2045.02.20. 1900hrs

Holy crap, the data-log we got today is full of stuff we are “sup-
pose” to learn and know. Its like I am training in the Engineers
Corp to be a grease monkey. Build this, repair that, weld armor.
What!!! Are we being recruited to play builders or to fight aliens?
Can’t wait for ordanance training.
Ualtar 2045.02.27. 1900hrs

Finally got to get out there and do a training exercise. We sim-
ulated a scout drop to an abandoned mine. That Infantry Portal
was so freakin’ cool. Gave me the tingles with the out of body
experience when you are being “printed”. For 6 seconds or so,
you feel like you are separated from you body looking out into
this world. The Sargent in charge kept yelling at us to leave the
training area and stop humping the armory. What the HELL!!
It’s a training exercise, we were just checking out how the thing
worked to dispense meds and ammo. Sargent John “Cannon
Fodder” Harvey was his name. What kind of idiot would call him-
self Cannon Fodder. What a fool.
Data Log AS10 - Infantry Portals
Infantry Portals (IPs) teleport additional man
power to the frontline. The process works
much like a 3D printer, but using quantum
entanglement to transmit a Marine atom by
atom. The process takes approximately 9
seconds to complete. The more of these you
have, the quicker reinforcements will come.
Due to the highly complex computaional load, IPs must be place near Command Stations to function (the only valid placements of these are near a command station).
Data Log AS00 - Command Station
Command Station (sometimes referred to as a Command Chair or CC, are where the Commander (Comm) is based. The objective is to destroy all hives on the map. Conversely if all CCs are destroyed, the mission fails. The Commander has an overview of the map and will direct Marines tactically to exert map control. They will also drop blueprint of structures for Marines to build,
support marines by fabricating med packs and ammo packs out of team resources (making them seemingly appear out of thin air). The Comm also makes decision about what upgrades and researchable tech the marines on the ground will be using.
Data Log AS11 - Armory
Once an armory is built and powered, it is
able to automatically dispense meds and
ammo when you walk up to it. Additional
weapons can be reserached through the
armory by the Comm, for example; mines
and shotgun. Once researched, it can be
purchased by individual marines using per-
sonal resources.

Tech. Corner
Marines rely on structures and technology to help them eliminate the Kharaa threat. To build a structure, Press and hold the “use” key on a structure (default “e”). You can also build a structure more quietly using a welder tool on it (purchase a welder from an armory, and press “3” then use the left mouse button).
Data Log AS01 - Power Nodes
Military technology is not generally part of the design of civilian facilities or places Frontiersmen are sent. Therefore, to power these additonal structures, power nodes must be constructed in the rooms where structures are built in order to operate. When the Kharaa destroy a power node in a room, it sends a power surge through the power grid and will knock out the lights in the area.
Emergency lighting is available shortly after the lights are out. Normal lighting will be restored if a destroyed power node is repaired. Destroyed Power nodes can be repaired by marines using a basic build tool (default key "e" to repair the node). However repair is significantly faster with a welder. The upper picture is an unsocketed power node. The lower picture is a completed power node.
Data Log AS16 - Resource Nozzles and Extractors
To gain resources (both personal and team), extractors must be built over resource nozzles in order to harvest from it. The team resources gathered are used for fabrication of structures, researching tech, and supporting marines on the field. Personal resources are used by individuals to purchase addition equipment and armament.The more powered extractors your team holds, the faster your team gathers resources. Protect them from the Kharaa at all costs.
Personal Log - Private Ualtar “Urpa” Ropper 2045.03.09. 1900hrs

Ordanance training was soooo SWEEEEEET. We were sent
to the same abondoned mining facility, the one where we did
the scout mission. The standard issue Assault rifle is a modi-
fied AD32 rifle with a digital ammo display and modified barrel
to have next to no recoil. Our side arm is an AD20 15mm hand
cannon, also recoil-less. We were also issued a switch axe as a
multi-tool for cutting things and as a last resort for defense. The
Sarge told us, it was good for taking structures down, when I
asked him what structures he was talking about, he wouldn’t tell
me. What a terp, I think he doesn’t like me.
Yeah, the Sarge doesn’t like me. Near the end of the training
session, he wanted to demonstrate the smart ammo we use in all
our guns, and singled me out. He put a full clip into me to demon-
strate the reactive bullet and armor we wear. Not a scratch on me
or the armor. I wish he would give me some warning first, scared
the crap out of me when unloaded that clip on me... Jerk.
I took a picture of us “humping the armory” when the sarge wasn’t looking with my
helmet cam. The armory is so cool, it just kept dispensing ammo after we expanded
our 4 issued clips.

Tech. Corner:
All weapons do not friendly fire due to smart bullets and armor
that are able to absorb the nanite constructed material almost
instanteously. However, damage from explosive devices such
as cluster grenades, grenades from the grenade launcher and
mines are not absorbed. This means you can be hurt by explo-
sives devices you set or fired, but your explosives still do not
harm your fellow marines.
Data Log AO02 - Assault Rifle
The standard issue gun for marines, it is set to fire on automatic only. Marines are issued with 4 extra mags of 50 FMJ bullets. It will tear through armor and flesh alike. Ammo is displayed on the
digital counter near the sight. The barrel is modified to compensate for recoil. The butt of the rifle is slightly weighted, so it can be swung (default key “right mouse button), as an absolute last resort when there is no time to reload.
Data Log AO03 - Pistol (hand cannon)
The standard sidearm for marines. Fires a 15mm JHP bullet. Most effective against unarmored foes. Each mag holds 10 bullets, and you have 4 extra mags. This gun is a semi-automatic pistol that are good for long range targets due to the larger projectile weight compared to the assault rifle’s.
Data Log AO04 - Switch Axe
A big axe that can fold up. Used to chop stuff and kill things. Sharp and effective, good to use on things that don’t move so you can conserve ammo. Due to its limited range, it is NOT recommended for engaging live Kharaa targets.
Mission Debrief : Private Ualtar “Urpa” Ropper ( 2045.03.10. 1900hrs)
We did phase gate training today. Commander WasabiOne in-
structed the squad to build an Observatory in base first, then we
built 2 Phase Gates at opposite ends of the base. Those “Door-
ways of Light” are really awesome. Jump in one gate and come
out the other one. Shoooooosh. As we were getting used to the
disorientation after the jump, the Comm yelled over the voice link;
“I got movement”.
“Pull up your HUD map rookies” instructed the Sarge. Sure
enough, we could see red dots in range of the movement detec-
tor on the Observatory. The Comm, gave Sarge and I orders to
get to Repair to set up a Phase Gate there, and ask the rest of
the squad to establish a perimeter around base.
“Socket the Power Node Comm” reported Sarge.
“Build the s$%@ rookie, I’ll watch your back.”
As I waved the build tool on the power node, then the Phase
gate, I could hear the Sarge called out “Contact” then swearing
and gun fire. I thought I had to get the gate done, so I kept build -
ing. Moments later, I felt something hit my back. “Look around
rookie, if that was a skulk, it would have bit your butt off. Your
first job isn’t to build, it’s to make sure hostiles are not around to
bite you.” I looked just beyond the Sarge, laying in pools of green
blood, not far off was the body of 2 dog like creatures with the
biggest mouthful of teeth I have ever seen.
“Med pack”, the Sarge requested over the voice link. Out of thin
air, a med pack materialized followed by an ammo pack.
“Thanks Comm”, Sarge muttered, as the medpack started to
work its magic and his bleeding wounds started to close.
Data Log AS22 - Observatory
Observatories are required before Phase Gate technology can be researched. An Observatory passively scan a small area around itself to reveal nearby aliens in range. It can also trigger a “distress beacon”, which recalls all marines currently on the field back to base.
Data Log AS24 - Phase Gate (PG)
Researchable Technology at an Observatory. Once two Gates are built, it allows instant travel between the Gates. Allowing Marines to reinforce the front line quickly. When more than 2 Gates are built, Marines are phased between Gates in the order sequence it was built.
Data Log AO06 - Med packs
Med packs are dropped by the Comm to assist Marines during or after an engagement. They heal 50 health per med. Marines are able to request meds via preprogrammed voice commands (default key “q”). Sometimes defence of an area depends on how fast and accurate the Comm can rain down meds (often refer to as a “Med spam”).
Data Log AO07 - Ammo packs
Ammo packs are dropped by the Comm to replenish ammunition. One pack is able to replenish both the primary weapon and side arm. Marines are able to request ammo via preprogrammed voice commands (default key “z”).
Marine HUD
A Marine’s HUD, where important information is projected directly on the helmet visor or goggle.
1. minimap of the immediate area
2. The Comm in charge, Team Resources, and the mission time
3. Health and armor respectively
4. Ammo counter on the gun, there are 50 rounds left in the current mag, and 4 mags remaining
5. Your personal resources
Marine HUD - HUD map
A Marine’s HUD map (default key “c”), is available as a projection on the helmet visor or goggle. The HUD map provides a full layout of the map in the current mission, as well as the designated names of areas. It will also update in real time, all current marine positions and structures. The Command Station computer will also update other relevent information such as hostiles by integrating all images seen through Marine helmet-cams. This will require line of sight of the enemy. All structures and friendlies are shown in blue, whilst hostiles are brown. Your own positon is shown as a blue arrow. Rookies are well advised to look at the HUD map often to get intel on the ebb and flow of battles and also use it to navigate the map without getting lost.

Tech. Corner:
Color scheme of the minimap icons can be changed by server-
side mods. There is also a mod that displays the names of
individual marines on the HUD map to help the team coordinate.
The color scheme described here is the default.
Mission Debrief : Private Ualtar “Urpa” Ropper ( 2045.03.10. 1905hrs)
“Gonna need mines Comm” Sarge requested. “Roger”, the
Comm ackowledged. “Rookie, phase back to base and get a
pack of mines, and a welder. Don’t stand there gawking at the
dead skulks! MOVE” he barked.
Just as I stepped out of the gate, mines completed researching
at the armory. “Hurry up and weld me rookie” the Sarge said as
I stepped out of the gate again. “And drop them mines for me to
place”. As I was patching the Sarge’s armor with the welder, he
placed one mine at each side of the gate, and one on the wall
away from plain sight. “Skulk surprise” he mumbled. “Don’t set
your mines too close to one another, the triggers are sensitive, a
mine going off too close to another can set it off in a chain.”
“PG secured in Repair Comm”, Sarge reported. “Move on to Cav-
ern via Cart Tunnel” the commander ordered. “Let’s go, rookie”
the Sarge said without waiting for an acknowledgement. As we
got close to Cavern, the floor was squishy with goop, it sucked
our boots to the floor like mud, and sloshed as we walked on it.
“Infestation” the Sarge explained. As if that meant anything to
me. “Pop this cyst here.” The Sarge pointed to a glowing pul-
sating ball on the floor. I started to stomp on it, but it didn’t pop.
“Use your welder, idiot”, he barked. Yeah, Sarge is really good
at explaining and telling me what to do. That ball just melted to
the flame of the welder. “They burn good”, he said. “You can also
attack it to kill it, but I don’t want to waste the ammo”. As soon as
the cyst died, the “infestation” receeded. “Move on, Rookie” he
ordered again, and moved without waiting for me.
Data Log AO11 - Proximity Mine
Mines need to be researched by the Comm at the Armory before it will unlock. It has a proximity trigger to non-human life forms. It will also detonate if it takes too much damage. Mines detonating in close proximity to another will set it off. Infestation will also cause mines to detonate as it interferes with the proximity detector.
Data Log AO12 - Grenades

Grenades are researched by the Commander at the Armory. They can be purchased once researched at any armory. There are 3 grenade types available once Grenades are researched:

Cluster Grenade (left)
A personalized cluster bomb, once primed and thrown (or dropped), the HE charge will discharge smaller clusters of HE charges, carpeting a wide area with many small explosions. Effective at damaging clog walls, as it has a wide area of effect. Good for breaking Gorge fortifications. As with all explosive devices, the kinetic energy discharge does not affect your follow marines, but can damage you.

Nerve gas Grenade (centre)
High Strategic Command (HSC) has discovered a mixture of enzymes that are able to cleave the bonds that form the carapace of the Kharaa. The so called Nerve gas is actually a mixture enzyme in a compressed air cannister. Once deployed, the enzyme is slowly released over a small area (until the compressed air runs out), any Kharaa life forms or structures with carapace (armor) will be damaged by this gas mixture. Note the gas does not attack the vital systems of the Kharaa (they are still able to bite). This merely softens their carapace to ease the penetration of bullets. Field trials has indicate, the enzyme mixture also works on structures, and the HSC has endorsed their use in assaulting a hive location. The enzyme mixture is not known to be harmful to human subjects or the armor worned by TSF soldiers.

Pulse Grenade (right)
Dubbed by the scientist that developed this grenade as bottled lightning, once thrown, a pulse grenade will generate a massive cloud of electrons in a small area. The discharge does some damage to tissue (Kharaa and thrower only), most importantly, the electrical discharge seem to disrupt the nervous system of the Kharaa, causing them to attack more slowly. Marines and Exo suits are immune to this effect as TSF armor is made of a composite non-conductive material, and effectively insulates the marine from the electron pulse. The pulse also reveals cloaked units.
Data Log AO14 - Welder Tool
Attachment to the standard building tool of marines. Can be purchase at an Armory. This attachment is required to repair structures and armor. Building with the welder tool is also more quiet than the standard issue building tool. This will replace the switch axe when it is purchased. To equip the welder once you have purchased it, press “3” (the default key). A welder can repair a destroyed power node significantly faster than the build tool.

Tech Corner:
Generally, each point of armor will absorb 2 points of damage,
therefore armor for Marines is worth twice as much health.
Make sure you weld and repair your squad’s armor, so they are
at maximum fighting capacity before an engagement. Repair-
ing a damaged building or your team mate’s armor will also
repair your own armor (to a lesser extent). As with the switch
axe, bringing a welder to a melee fight against an alien isn’t
standard procedure (good luck).
Lab Report X01 [CLASSIFIED] - Cysts
Cysts are nodes where infestation spread. Infestation is the way Kharaa claim territory. Kharaa structures require nourishment from infestation inorder to grow and thrive. Once these structures are taken off infestation, they start to die. Field reports have indicated once cysts are destroyed, infestation will retreat quickly. This means if you cut the cyst chain at the middle, all cysts and structures not connected to the Hive will start to slowly die. Cysts are particularly suceptible to fire (eg. welders). Bear in mind the entire Kharaa ecosystem is connected by cysts and infestation, so any damage to cysts or structures will alert the Kharaa Hive to your presence.
Mission Debrief : Private Ualtar “Urpa” Ropper (2045.03.10. 1908hrs)
We rounded the corner, and I was confronted by a monstrosity
sitting over a resource nozzle, there was a huge glowing orb at
its crown, with root like tendrils holding it to the nozzle. Its leath-
ery skin glistened in the over head lights. “Holy mother of god,
what the f@#! is that?”. “Relax, it’s a Kharaa harvester” said the
Sarge. “Private, take that thing down” he continued. That was the
first time he addressed me by my rank, WOW. The Sarge gave me
axe in exchange for my welder. They don't burn as well as cysts he said.
My axe was cutting into the body of this thing, all the while, green goop was
gushing from its wounds. “Look alive Private, we got company,
check ceilings and walls, whats coming can walk on walls”. As
the clink-clink sound of sharp claw rang against metal, I tensed.
Around the corner, high on the ceiling, something peeked out. By
the time I was about to pull the trigger, it was gone. *Phet, I felt
something hit me, then it spread and started to crawl all over me.
“Argh, I am hit Sarge, its moving all over me”.
“Parasites, its ok, it only stings a little, but the Kharaa in the area
can see what you are doing now. Go down the corridor where
you can get a clear view of this area, so at least they don’t turn
you into mince meat first”.
“Thanks Sarge”, I wasn’t sure if I should be thankful for the expla-
nation or the notion I will be Kharaa food.
“The parasites will die in about 30 seconds or so, so stay put”.
Just as I got into positon, I saw 3 dogs with big teeth, they were
crawling along the ceiling, crawling and bouncing off the walls.
“Contact” Sarge shouted before letting his rifle spit out a hail of
bullets, I fired wildly as well, *click, *click, my mag was out. We
were now engaged at close range. While I was busy reloading
my rifle mid fight, I could hear the Sarge’s pistol go off, he had
switched to his side arm instead of reloading. All the while, med
packs started raining down on us. I finally got my rifle reloaded
when I saw the Sarge welded the last toothy dog to death.
"Don't try this at home," the Sarge joked.
“The next wave will be coming, fall back to Repair.” as usual, the
Sarge didn’t wait for a response before heading off.
“Gonna need shotguns Comm”.
Data Log AO15 - Shotgun
Shotguns are researched at the armory by the Commander. It is a modified pump action XM203 shotgun, fire pattern of the pellets are regular and do not deviate between shots. It holds 6 shells, and you will have 24 shells in reserve. With its great burst damage, it is the weapon of choice to take down lifeforms and structures alike at close range.
Lab Report X04 [CLASSIFIED] - Harvester
Kharaa harvesters function the same way as extractors for Marines. They are however organic in nature. These serve to gather resources for the Kharaa. TSF protocol recommends destroying these as a priority unless it would compromise a higher mission objective. As with all Kharaa structures, destroying the cysts surrounding the harvester first, will weaken it, and make it easier to destroy.
Lab Report X12 [CLASSIFIED] - Skulks
Skulks are the most commonly encountered Kharaa life form. Field reports have indicated they are fast and cunning hunters. Their single claw on each leg, allow it to cling to most surfaces. Consequently, they are able to walk on walls and ceilings to set up ambushes. From casaulty
reports, it seems they are also completely silent when walking (default key “Shift” to walk). On dissection, we also found a curious layer of muscle around the legs that seem to actuate on
non-horizontal surfaces. Field reports has confirmed that when Skulks jump off non-horizontal surfaces (walls for example), they go a little faster. Colonel IronHorse has coined the term
“wall jumping” (default jump key is “space”) for this behaviour. Skulks appear to favour biting as their primary attack (default “left mouse button”). We also found a gland around their nostril that contain parasites. These parasites are able to be expelled by the Skulk at great speed (press “2” to equip parasite, and left mouse to use). Once parasites attach to a marine (or a structure), all Kharaa in the area appear to be aware of the Marine’s position and actions. The parasites will die after about 30 seconds once it leaves the Skulk’s glands.

Skulks are the base lifeform of the Kharaa (Alien side). They cost nothing to spawn (except an egg at a hive), and cost no personal resources to upgrade. They excel in ambush tactics as they are fast, and small, not to mention they are capable of sticking to walls and ceilings (ideal place to surprise a marine). It is important to use your parasite ability to "tag" a marine when ever possible. This will allow you and your team to see the marines through walls and other obstacles for a short time, allowing your team to determine the best tactic. Head on rush for a skulk toward a marine is pure suicide, so you should divert marine man power by hitting a place on the map that have few marines.

A skulk's primary role is harrassment, harass marines, harass resource nodes (very important). As the Skulk gains abilities such Leap(default "right mouse button" when it has been researched), they become more versative as Leap allows them to cover short distances even faster.

Remember you as a skulk are a silent hunter, do not engage if you don't have to. Rushing in blind is a sure way to die. Because this lifeform is free, it also means you put your body on the line to save higher lifeforms; taking one for the team as it were.
Data Log AS18 - Arms Lab
The Arms Lab is where the Commander can research weapons and armor upgrades for the Marines. Weapons research gives more damaging bullets (these upgrades only affect weapons that fire bullets). Each level of weapon upgrade will grant a 10% increase in damage per bullet. Armor upgrades gives Marines 20 extra armor points per upgrade level. A powered Arms Lab is needed to sustain upgrades. Make sure you protect your Arms Lab.
Mission Debrief : Private Ualtar “Urpa” Ropper ( 2045.03.10. 1911hrs)
“Roger,” the commander acknowledge, “got reinforcements com-
ing, this looks like more than you and 3 rookies can handle” he
“Roger, can you get them to bring my armor, this training armor is
crap, and its chaffing my butt”.
I tried not to laugh out loud, and felt my thighs aching as we
marched back to the phase gate.
“Stay and keep watch rookie, I’ll go back for a shotgun and new
armor, stay out of sight, so Kharaa coming should attack the gate
first, while they are standing still, even you should be able to hit
Customizing models and skins
Marine models available (male variants in the back, female variants in the front).
L to R: Standard, Deluxe (with Kodiak skin), Black, Elite Assault, Assault.

How to obtain Models / Skins
Standard edition game: standard armor
Digital Deluxe Edition game: standard + deluxe armor
Pre-order (Special edition)*: standard + deluxe+ black armor
Reinforcement (Gold): shoulder decal
Reinforcement (Diamond): Assault armor + shoulder decal
Reinforcement (Shadow) Diamond reward + Elite Assault armor
and shoulder decal + Shadow skins for Skulk, Gorge, Lerk
World Championship Pack*: Team shoulder decals (various)
Kodiak DLC: Kodiak skin (armor, rifle, Exo, skulk) + Kodiak decal
*no longer available

Notes on other DLC packs:
The Reinforcement program is being wind down, so the Reinfocement reward tiers will change (for full details please go to the store page of NS2, and the UWE official forums. There is a new skin pack called the Reaper pack for aliens. The Reinforcement DLC will also contains some skins from the Reinforcement program (some rewards will remain exclusive to the Reinforcement program).
Mission Debrief : Private Ualtar “Urpa” Ropper ( 2045.03.10. 1916hrs)
“Lieutenants Decoy and RedDog are here, they will take the
other 2 rookies and take the west side of the map, from the Gap,
to Deposit. They are my squad 1 and 2, you are squad 5. Hold
Repair and wait for my orders”
2 minutes later, we were given orders to move to Cavern again.
We have set up a 3 gate lock down of Operations, Deposit and
Repair. The plan was to move the Repair phase gate down to
Cart Tunnel. As usual, I was on building duty, but this time, Sarge
said to just prep the power as we are in enemy territory. By the
puzzle look on my face, I think he figured I didn’t know what he
was talking about.
“Build the power to near complete, but don’t finish it, then get the
gate up” he grumbled.
Just as the gate lit up from the power, I could hear a chipping
sound in quick succession, and smoke trails going to the power
“Damn lerks,” the Sarge grunted as he stepped out from cover
with his pistol and fired into the darkness to fend off whatever
was damaging the power node. Then, the familiar sound of claw
on metal was behind me...
“Sarge” I called out before spinning around, rifle at the ready. It
was almost on me, I will never forget the jaw full of sharp teeth
that tore at me. It bit me once, but I manage to jump side-ways
to dodge the next bite, all the while firing my rifle in its general di -
rection. With my last bullet, I manage to take it down. Then I hear
the plop plop of something heavy running along the corridor. It
was this large chubby creature, not unlike a pig or hippo. It would
almost be cute if not for its mouth full of bad teeth, and scales. It
look like some sort of war pig thing. As I was reloading, it started
to spit at me. I unload my clip into it, obviously wounded, it start-
ed to breath a fine mist that floated in the air and clinged to it.
That mist must have healing properties, as the wounds I inflict,
started to close up. I swore silently, wishing I wasn’t shaking
so much from the adrenaline, and could hit my target. *BOOM,
the crack of a shotgun discharging next to me blasting the pig,
*BOOM-BOOM-BOOM, the Sarge let loose 3 more shells into the
dead animal.
“My shrink said I need an outlet for my aggression” he explained.
Before he could reload, from the corner of my eye, I spoted
something closing on the Sarge.
“Look out” I shouted.
Instinctively, the Sarge spun around and let his shotgun do the
talking. The pellets peppered the flying thing as it closed in and
bit the Sarge. Bleeding heavily, it turned in mid air and started to
fly away. Sarge whipped out his pistol and started to take shots, I
pulled out my pistol and did the same. Just before it rounded the
corner, the flyer suddenly dropped from the air and collapsed in a
“Leeeeeerksssss” Sarge stammered, obvious from the pain of
the bite, “neurotoxin in the bite”, he was looking paler by the sec-
on. As usual, the Comm started to drop med packs for both of us.
“Weld up my armor rookie, after you finish, give me your welder
so I can weld yours”.
As I was welding up Sarge’s armor, he gave the Comm a report
of the lifeforms seen and what happen.
“Have to assume the Comm didn’t see things, communication is
paramount on missions.” As if to confirm what he just said, the
Comm gave new orders for squads 1 and 2 to push on quickly to
Central Drilling, and for us to go push into Cavern.

Tech Corner:
Dropping and picking up welders and weapons is done by
press “g” (default). Equip the thing you want to drop (numbers
1-5 depending on your loadout), and hit “g”. Use the “g” key to
pick up. The item will take up the relevent slot in your items.

Tech Corner:
Preping a power node
Power nodes that have not completely built cannot be de-
stroyed (they still appear blue and transparent). Preping is
favored in unknown territory, as less time is needed to get the
power up when required. The general sequence of events are:
build power node to 95%, build your structure to complete, then
touch the power node to power up the room. In this way, if the
marines lose the room during the building process, the com-
mander can recycle structures and have the power nearly built
for retaking the room.
Lab Report X13 [CLASSIFIED] - Gorges
Gorges are a fat, slow(ish) Kharaa life form that do not usually travel alone. The earliest
reports of a gorge sighting was by Lieutenant Hugh “Strayan” Jeremy. Being an Australian,
the first thing he thought to do was to catch and ride the thing. Kharaa are not amendable to being domesticated. And he ended up putting 2 clips into it. Gorge sightings has generally accompanied intense combat, they are often seen in the back line, either spitting (default “1” then left mouse) at marines or breathing a healing mist (default right mouse) on the Kharaa life forms (like a field combat medic). There are also reports of them acting as early mine sweepers as their spit is more effective (4 spits) at setting off mines compared to skulk parasites (10 parasites). Marines are well advised to target these as they are a valuable asset to the Kharaa. We postulate the underbelly of a gorge extrude slime similar to a slug, as marines report they are able to slide on their belly (default key “shift”) for a quick get away.
From field reports, the healing mist also accelerates Kharaa structure growth.

Gorges are the healers and builder lifeform of the Kharaa. These cute fat creatures should be your priority to keep alive all game. As a gorge, the first thing you need to build is generally a Gorge tunnel (this allows fast travel to another part of the map). Ask your Commander where they would like the tunnel (generally, it is a place that is strategically important (which means it WILL be contested). You need to drop one end of the tunnel first in base, and the other end where your Commander wants. Make sure you get your team to scout out the location first, as marines LOVE putting bullets into Gorges (easy target). Your healing spray (default "right mouse button), not only heals your team's lifeforms and structures - it also accelerates structure growth (so you can enjoy the benefit of the structure faster). Lifeforms that requre healing has a cross on them. Healing them is a priority as they will probably keep you alive if they live.

Note the gorge has a very complex attack menu compared to other lifeforms due to the build menu (default key "2"). Default weapon is the spit (press "1" to select). Once researched, Bile (default key "3") can be used to take down Marine structures and marine armor. It does not do any damage to Marine health, so they can still shoot you. Bile also has splash damage, so it will cover an area that causes damage to multiple buildings at once. Bile bomb can also be used to destroy marine weapons to prevent the marines "recycling" dropped weapons when they are killed. Weapon 4 (bait ball - default "4" does no damage, it isused to tell babblers where to go).

To play a gorge well is to play cautiously. You need to stay alive to be useful to your team. If you are in the area where the Khammander wants a tunnel, drop your tunnel first (NOT your hydras). Tunnels allow reinforcements to come quickly, which is better at keeping you alive than 2-3 measly hydras that does 15 damage each (and are static). Clogs should be placed to break line of sight of marines, to help you survive OR to make sure marines can't be far away and still target your structures.
Lab Report X15 [CLASSIFIED] - Lerks
Tacticians in the TSA has dubbed this life form, the “flying paper aeroplane of death”. Whilst fragile, they are extremely fast, and we suspect can get around all areas of a map quickly. It is assumed they can respond to threats at a moment’s notice. Marines gain awareness of lerks by the sound of their flapping wings (default “tap space”). Disturbingly, they can also glide around silently (default “hold space”), therefore increasing the chance to strike unseen. Due to their bulk wing span, when they are on the ground, they hobble slowly, making them easy targets. Their sharp claws also allow them to roost on any surfaces (default “shift” when you touch the surface). The lerk has a poison bite (equip “1”, then left mouse) that weaken marines over time. We believe it is a neurotoxin of some kind, but the complex cocktail of toxins in the bite has prevented us making any kind of antidote. At the moment, the only way to stem the toxic effect is to give a med pack to a marine. Dissection of specimens brought back from the front line, has turned up an interesting organ on either side of its mouth that facilitate a chemical reaction that propel small projectiles out of these organs. A residue trail often accompany these projectiles. Aside from chipping away at marines and structures, these projectile are most often reported to be used to detonate mines. Marines are advised to be cautious when lerks are spotted on the field.

Lerks are the shock troopers of the Kharaa. They are able to get around the map quickly and silently (flying and gliding). They enable the Kharaa to exert map presence by quickly responding to threats and add much needed range and bite power to the Skulks. Note going in alone against several marines is still risky, as the Lerk can only target one marine at a time, giving the other marines a chance to aim and shoot you down (Lerk health is only about twice that of a skulk). However, attacking with 2 skulks and the power of the group jumps exponentially. The Lerk can concentrate on dodging in 3D space, giving the Skulks time to close the distance. Aiming becomes hard when there are a few Skulks at your feet trying to take your face off! When Fades appear, Lerks become more of a support role with their ability to use Umbra (which mitagates a % of bullets), giving the group much better survivability.
Kharaa HUD
The Kharaa HUD, where important information is displayed.
1. The team resources (and the name of the commander - there is no commander at present)
2. Your health and armor (health is top number)
3. Circle represent your energy level, icon in the middle is your current selected attack (bite is selected here).
4. Your personal Resources (this determines if you can evolve your life form)
5. your tongue (what the hell did you think it was?)

Tech Corner:
Energy and Resource
Everything a Kharaa life form does is under pinned by energy.
Each mouse action (bite, spit, heal, spike) use energy. Manag-
ing energy is a vital part of Kharaa play. Energy regenerates
at a moderate rate, and it is possible to run out of energy in
the middle of combat (usually to the detriment of the life form).
Resources are the currency to evolve new life forms and up-
grades. Press “B” (default key) to see the evolve menu; provid-
ed you have enough resources, you can select to evolve into a
new life form and / or upgrades.
Mission Debrief : Private Ualtar “Urpa” Ropper ( 2045.03.10. 1920hrs)
As we rounded the bend from Cart Tunnel to Cavern, past the
Harvester I killed earlier (which has grown back). Sarge said
we need to focus on the objective the commander sets and not
deviate from the plan. You can take it down later he added with
a smile. In front of us was a wall of hard balls of something, that
looked like dried up husks.
“F#@^, weld these things” ordered the Sarge as he handed the welder
back to me. The dried husky balls burn really well to the white hot flame
of the welder.
“Just burn enough to make a hole for us to get through”, he said,
“can’t waste time.”
I wanted to impress the Sarge, so squeezed through the gap first,
rifle at the ready.
“Arghhhhhh”, I screamed at the next thing I saw. Like a flower of
death, it rose out of the ground, with 3 stalks and petals that open
into a spiky ball. It might be a thing of beauty if not for the fact the
spikes were being shot at me. Wanting to act the tough marine,
and knowing how I dealt with previous structures, I got my welder
“Shoot it, what are you stupid?” Before he finished his sentence,
Sarge already unloaded a shot into it. But I noticed healing mist
similar to the gorge’s coming from behind another small husk
wall and was healing the flowers of death. “Help me take these
hydras down” Sarge ordered. It was much tougher taking down
structures when something was healing it. It’s a case of 3 steps
forward, 1 step back. Eventually the flowers died.
“Need some ammo over here,” I tried to get the Comm’s atten-
tion. Ammo and med packs materialized in front of me. I smiled,
feeling confident I could interact with the commander. Sarge
actually smiled too and gave me a thumbs up for finally realizing
team communication is key to accomplishing our mission.
“axe that crag, I’ll watch your back”. I assume he meant the
thing behind the husk wall. It looked like a rock or crop of coral
with tentacles and tubes extruding out in all directions. I assume
the tubes expelled the healing mist. As I put the axe to it, the
“crag” started to tremble and shake, then expelling mist to heal
“keep at it rookie, I ll help you”. Sarge unloaded 3 shots into it,
then started to reload. “never leave yourself short with a shotgun”
he advised. Soon, the things stopped trembling and just keeled
“good work Squad 5, move down to Cave and check it out”.
Lab Report X17 [CLASSIFIED] - Clogs
Marines first encountering these biological road blocks dubbed them “clogs” as it clogged up their entrance into vital areas. These clogs appear to be made of an inert material derived from the infestation. We have confirmation from a number of sightings, gorges regurgitate clogs (press “2” for the build menu, and 2 again to select clogs, left mouse to build. if the clog is red it is an invalid
placement). Biologically, this seems impossible as the size of a clog is much larger than a gorge mouth. We postulate the proclog is regurgitated, and then undergo a chemical or biological reaction that both expand and hardened the clog to its final form. In any case, testing on samples brought back from the field has found they are highly susceptible to fire (welders), but are very resistant to explosions such as grenades from grenade launchers. They will collapse if enough bullets are put into it, but that is ill advised if you are alone. Casualty reports have indicated numerous injuries and deaths have resulted from a marine emptying a clip into a clog, only to be attacked by waiting Kharaa on the other side. Be advised a favourite tactic of the Kharaa is to place clogs that allow marines through a narrow space, thus compromising a squad’s formation. There were also field reports of gorges using clogs as a means of breaking line of sight while they are retreating to avoid or block marine shots. Clogs found in small spaces such as vents are particularly problematic, as their destruction is essential to progress. One can imagine a retreating gorge in a vent will put these down to hinder marines giving chase. The Kharaa also has the ability to collapse clogs at will (default key hold down “e” on a clog), we assume this is due to some sort of chemical or enzyme all Kharaa is able to produce (possibly in their saliva) that will initiate digestion of the material.
Lab Report X18 [CLASSIFIED] - Hydras
This plant like structure was named a Hydra by Dr N.S. Blind (who has left the TSF recently). To date, there has been no live specimen captured from the field. The structure is extremely aggressive, and will attack marine structures and non-Kharaa life forms with spikes that it hurls from the flower bulbs at the end of the stalks. We are not able to discern any sensory organs that may act to distinguish between friend or foe, so it is assumed it must home in on the heat or electrical signatures of marine or structures. Due to the slow rate of fire of the spikes, sometimes Commanders have ordered marines to march through hydra nests in order to reach their objective undetected. Hydras are unique among Kharaa structures as they take no damage even when they are off infestation. Marine reports have confirmed that gorges harbour hydra seeds, and regurgitate it up as a tiny seedling. We were able to dissect gorge specimens to find these seeds, but were unable to germinate it for further study. We can however, be certain, when hydra seeds are planted on infestation, they will draw nutrients from the surrounding infestation and grow on their own. If they are planted off infestation, a gorge must “heal spray” it to grow it up. Colonel Benson has compiled all the field reports and has concluded, a hydra nest (usually consist of 3) does not constitute a great deterrent to a squad of marines. They are at best, only a minor inconvenience that may buy the Kharaa time to respond to a marine push. A nest of Hydras with some form of healing is much more effective at halting back a group marines.
Lab Report X20 [CLASSIFIED] - Crags
TSF marines first notice this crustacean like structures when a marine (Private K – name withheld) was trying to axe down a harvester. After 2 minutes of hacking, and the loss of an arm from a passing skulk, his squad investigated the surrounds. Tucked out of sight was this crustacean like structure. We believe the original term used to describe the structure was “crab”, but was somehow corrupted to crag in the subsequent report, the mispronounced name has been widely adopted.
We class this as a defensive structure as it has only a passive healing ability, and no offensive capabilities. Studying its effects on the field has confirmed that it is able to heal Kharaa life forms and structures. Measurement of the volume of healing cloud it expels has estimated it will cover a maximum of 3 life forms or structures at any one time. Marines have observed that, crags give preferential treatment to life forms over structures. These are often found on the front line as a support structure for Kharaa life forms to quickly heal the damage sustained during combat.
Gorge Build Menu
The Gorge build menu (default “2”) when you are a gorge.
1. This row shows the Gorge’s available structures, the number available, and the personal resource cost. Red items are unavailable due to resource, yellow is available.
2. Personal resources (some structures require resources), check your resources if you can’t build anything (like the picture above).
3. Grey outed structures are not yet available.
4. Nothing to do with a Gorge... When a shade is near by, Kharaa structures become invisible to marines, but Kharaa see them as transparent outlines like this.
Mission Debrief : Private Ualtar “Urpa” Ropper ( 2045.03.10. 1922hrs)
Sarge and I cautiously approached Cave. It was a natural cavern
with a water fall on the far side, quiet picturesque, if not for the
possibility of having your face chewed off by an alien species.
The area seems to be empty, I breathed a sigh of relieve inside.
Nothing to see here…
“Give me a scan of Cave Comm” Sarge requested.
“Roger, stand by to check your HUD map” the Comm responded.
Before I could pull up the HUD map, concentric circles of light
pulsated from a center point to illuminate the room. Out of no-
where, a fantastic garden of colourful and weird structures ap-
peared before my eyes. The most prominent was a large squid
like thing that had huge yellow eyes surrounded by a leathery
membrane. It was suspended from the ceiling by a number of
tentacles. It looked like it was staring at me. Creepy. Nearby,
a transparent jellyfish like structure was pulsating its umbrella
shaped bell in a hypnotic way, like it was trying to swim in the air.
Against this back drop, a vertical curled up tentacle like structure
started to creep toward me, it began to root itself next to me.
“Move”, the Sarge warned as he dragged me away from the
tenacle, just as it snapped and stretched to slap me in the chest
like a ton of bricks. My armor took some of the impact, I could
feel a rib cracked under the force.
View from the scan in Cave. The circles identify Kharaa life form or structures

“Fall back to Cart Tunnel, I want to hold that location for now,
the two of you won’t be able to do much here”, the commander
At Cart Tunnel, a Robotics Factory blue print was waiting for us.
Before Sarge said anything, I had my welder out and started to
build the “Robo” quickly. I could see the Sarge nod from the cor-
ner of my eye. As soon as the Robotics Factory was finished,
the commander dropped a sentry battery and 3 sentry turrets.
“This will help” reassured the commander.
As soon as the sentry turret was completed, it came to life, and
the beep of its sensors confirmed it was online and will fire on
any non-human life form or structure.
“Base rush”, yelled the Comm. “Do not phase, it’s a grind gate”.
I pulled up my HUD map, and could see 3 red dots gathered
around the phase gate. I guess if I phased through, the 3 skulks
will grind me to mincemeat. We were all too far away from our
base to run back in time.
“Beaconing you back”, the Commander said. A loud alarm sound-
ed, and the 3 squads were instantly recalled back to Operations.
Clearing out 3 skulks with 6 of us was easy, the gate though
looked like it could blow up any minute, with a small fire breaking
out from some chewed circuits.

“Squad 1 and 2 go to Cart Tunnels”, I want you to hold there until
I have ARCs. I am going to siege Cave hive. Squad 5, patch up
base then phase to Deposit”, ordered the commander.
While Sarge and I was waiting for further orders from the Comm
at Deposit, we could hear over the radio chatter progress at Cart
“Robo upgrade done, making ARCs now. Guard them when I
move out. Here is an armory for ammo and meds” this was com-
mander WasabiOne.
“I am tagged, they know we are going for a siege” That was Lieu-
tenant Reddog, I think he got parasited.
“Ok, 3 ARCs almost done, standby to move with the ARCs Squad
1 and 2. Remember, you job is to ensure their safety. Do not en-
gage the Hive, let my ARCs take it down. Squad 5, on my mark,
go check out Sorting. I want a double prong attack".
Lab Report X00 [CLASSIFIED] - Hive
This squid like structure is a Hive. Destruction of these, are the primary objective. Hives are the source of infestation in all cases observed. Once a hive is destroyed, all infestation originating from it will die, unless it is connected to another hive. These monstrosities are too large to collect for
study, all Kharaa behave extremely aggresively to any non-Kharaa entities that go near a hive. Consequently, nearly all known information about Hives has been direct observations. We know they spawn eggs to replenish fallen Kharaa. We note the presence of multiple hives seem to make the Kharaa more difficult to kill. Life forms tend to be faster / tougher the more hive or longer a hive stays up. We postulate the Hive must enable or speed up evolution of the Kharaa species as a whole. Not only are life forms harder to kill, more disturbingly, various Kharaa life forms seem to gain abilities previously unseen, the longer a Hive lives. All Kharaa life forms that are near a hive
will heal wounds, though the hive does not appear to be capable of self healing.
Lab Report X25 [CLASSIFIED] - Shade
Early static pictures have lead to naming this structure a Shade for its umbrella shape. But subsequent reports have described it more liken to a swimming jellyfish. This structure is able to cloak all Kharaa structures (including itself) and life forms (including infestation) in a small area and render them all invisible. This effects a given area around a shade, and even functions through walls. TSF is most interested in this structure and the principles of how it functions. A number of scientists has been at the front line to study it, and preliminary data shows a disturbance in electromagnetic fields surrounding the Shade. TSF has since stopped scientists going with Frontiersmen for scientific studies due to the high number of scientist casualties in these field trips.
Cloaked targets are revealed when they are touched or damaged. Quick, sharp movement or attacking will also nullify the invisible effect. Observatories are able to reveal any invisible life forms that come within range of its passive scans. Scanner Sweep on a map area also reveal any cloaked Kharaa.
Lab Report X31 [CLASSIFIED] - Whip
Looking like a curled up tentacle, a whip is an offensive structure placed by the Hive to deter marines entering an area. It is a semi-mobile structure that attack by exerting hydraulic pressure against the curled end (which is weighted) to hyperextend and bludgeon a marine. Marines have also encountered another type of whip that hurls a ball of acid which eat away at marine armor. We are unable to distinguish the difference between the forms, but have assumed the two must be related. By the timing of the encounters, they may be the same structure, but one is the mature
form of the other. Before they are able to target marines, they must be rooted down in infestation, else the hydraulic pressure will flip the whip over.
Data Log TA05 - Scanner Sweep
Scanner Sweep (or Scans) are available to the commander after an observatory is built and powered. It is available in the Commander Assist tab (Default key “e” then “f” followed by clicking on the map area). This temporary light up the immediate scan area (good if a room has no power), and identifies any Kharaa life form and structures by highlighting it on the marine’s HUD. Marines on the ground have often thanked commanders that scan a room when the power is down before a marine assault to identify threats in the immediate area. Be aware of the resource cost of Scans, as it is unsustainable to continually scan areas without a lot of resources to back you up.

After a scan, Kharaa life forms and structures are highlighted by circles. If you pull
up the HUD map, the exact life forms and structures are shown.

Tech Corner:
Target Priority and Grind Gates
For the Kharaa, there is a hierarchy as to which marine structure to attack when assaulting an established marine base. In almost all cases, the first structure to attack is the phase gate as it brings reinforcements to the area. When Kharaa life forms surround a phase gate on all sides it is termed a (meat) grind gate. Often the Khammander (Kharaa Commander or Khamm) or another player will call to “grind the gate”. With life forms swarming a gate on all sides(attacking), any marines that phase through will be trapped between the life forms and be killed very quickly. Power nodes generally are of a lower priority, as they cost nothing to socket and build, and nothing to
repair (not to mention the high hit points it has). The only time a power node may be targeted over other structures is when it is powering a main base (with a CC). Remember to communicate with your team as to the structure to attack and hit that together, a damaged structure is fully functional and can be repaired with a welder for nothing.
Data Log TA07 - Distress Beacon
When the Kharaa go for an all out base rush, the marine Comm can recall all marines back to base with a distress beacon. A beacon requires a powered observatory on the map (any where). Once triggered, the beacon will teleport all marines back to the nearest Command Chair to the Observatory that triggered the beacon (select a powered Observatory, and click the icon above). Any marines being “printed” on an infantry portal will also instantly be brought in as well.
When a beacon is triggered, a siren will sound to alert marines (and Kharaa) that they are about to be beaconed in.
Be aware of a change in strategic thinking in TSF to disallow EXO suits to be beacon back to base from a distress beacon. It was thought, this will allow TSF the foot hold needed to lock down an area even if the marines are beacon back to base.
Data Log AS13 - Robotics Factory
A robotics factory (or Robo) produces Mobile Automated Constructors (MACs). These robots are programmed to construct and repair buildings as well as weld marine armor. MACs are controlled by the commander. Having a robotics factory also unlocks the ability to construct sentry turrets (see TA25). Robotics factory can be upgraded to an ARC factory that will allow the production of Automated Roving Cannons (ARCs). ARCS are described TA26.
Data Log TA24 - Mobile Automated Constructor (MAC)
Small robot that help with repair and construction of structures, thus free up a marine for combat. They are also able to weld up marine armor. Note the algorithm for repair priority logic is still very primitive, and often Marines on the field complain that a MAC would rather repair a slightly damaged power node, over welding armor. The next iteration of the control software (written by SamiusDroid) is purported to be an improvement over the current version. There is an urban myth that every MAC constructed has a coffee brewer inside, and certain sequence of pulling the arm will enable it to get you a cup of coffee. This has been denied by the system designer.
Data Log TA25 - Sentry Turrets
Having a powered robotics factory on the field allows the construction of sentry turrets. Sentry turrets draw power separate to the main room power. Thus they are able to operate even if the room is unpowered. The separate battery module that power turrets must be functional for the sentries to operate. Each battery is able to power 3 turrets. Sentry turrets utilize small lasers for identification of Friend or Foe, and target tracking, thus only one set of 3 turrets can be in any one room as the cross talk between the sentries will confuse it. Sentries are great for area deny until higher Kharaa life forms are present. Beware though, they are a very heavy investment of resources, and are not mobile.
Data Log TA26 - Automated Roving Cannon (ARC)
These sonic cannons are produced from an ARC factory (upgrade from a Robotics Factory). They are mobile, albeit move very slowly (speed is even slower on infestation as the already small track
get gummed up). Marines have often called these the snails of death. The cannons fire a pulse of sound to target structures (life forms are not damaged) that rapidly dissipate over a short distance (though nearby structures are also damaged). The sound wave can be projected through walls, but must be in range of the ARC. For the acoustic frequencies and amplitude to be properly adjusted, the target must be sighted (either by a marine, MAC, or using a Scan or be within range of an observatory’s passive scan). The Commander controls the ARCs remotely from the Command Chair. ARCs must be deployed (making them stationary) before the sonic cannon can be fired (double click on an ARC to select all ARCs on screen, and click deploy). ARCs will fire on structures in range once it has ben sighted.
Mission Debrief : Private Ualtar “Urpa” Ropper ( 2045.03.10. 1925hrs)
As we were making our way toward Sorting Conveyors, Comm
gave us new orders.
“Head to Central Drilling, something is attacking my power node”
Sarge didn’t have to say anything, we changed direction. As we
neared central drilling, Sarge crouched down (default key “con-
trol”). We moved real slow crouched, but we made no sound.
As the power node came into view, 2 skulks were chewing on
it, the power node was flashing a yellow warning light, and the
siren was blazing. Sarge and I both took aim and took down the
“Repair the node, I’ll look around” Sarge ordered.
30 seconds later, Sarge called out to me. I thought I can’t be
surprised any more at Kharaa organic structures. Well, this one
takes the cake for sure. It looked like a giant flower that has
blossomed on the floor, with white petals. At the center of it, is
ummmm, an orifice. Sarge looked at me, then back at the “flower”,
then me again.
“That’s not something you see every day. Thank God”, I stam-
mered. Then laughed nervously. That must be the most stupid
thing I have ever said. Though I thought I saw Sarge’s lips curled
slightly, either a smile or a grimace to what is about to happen.
“Gorge tunnel Comm, Private and I are going for a ride”.
“Roger, I will be watching over Cave, so no meds for a bit”.
Sarge stepped on to the “tunnel”, and I see the orifice open, then
envelope Sarge, and he was gone. I followed, not knowing what
might come. I get this eerie feeling as the wall of muscle closed
over me. Inside the tunnel was another alien scape, with stumps
of growth jutting out of the ground. The air was thick and heavy, it
weighted on my shoulders.
“Move quick soldier”, Sarge ordered and started to move double
time (default key “shift” to run). As we moved along the straight
tunnel, I could see Sarge’s armor dissolving as we moved. The
atmosphere inside a tunnel is corrosive to armor!
*Glooop. Sarge and I got po(o)pped out of the tunnel on the
other side. I shuddered and tried not to think about the process.
We are in a part of the facility I have never been. Pulling out my
HUD map, I noted we are in Sorting. I could see Sarge doing
the same. Like he said earlier, checking your HUD map often is
never wrong.
“We have found the alpha hive, Comm, I see 2 shells and 2
spurs, about to take it down”.
“Hold fire til I give you the go, I want the ARCs to start first, so
they won’t respond to you so quickly”
“Roger” Sarge acknowledged, “come here Rookie” Sarge
scowled, before hiding in a corner. I think the gorge tunnel entry
made him mad.
“ARCs moving, guard my ARCs” we could hear over the voice
link. “deploying, scanning for first volley. Squad 5 go”.
For the next minute, I couldn’t hear the voice link over the sound
of gun fire, as we gunned down what look like a turtle shell (with
tentacles growing under it) and a whacked out cow boy spur with very spiky bits, and tendrils coming out of both ends.
“Upgrades are down, upgrades are down, go, go” Sarge report-
ed, and made double time for the gorge tunnel, “they will be
pissed”. We run back through the gorge tunnel. Without saying a
word, we both started shooting the tunnel as soon as we popped
out. One skulk followed us out before the tunnel went down, and
it ate a shell to the face.
“Did Cave go down?” Sarge asked
“Negative, bile is up and they have a fade. We lost the ARCs and
one of the rookies died”
“%^#$#, well, they lost 2 shells and 2 spurs in the deal”.
“Yeah, I am getting you guys an Advance Armory, lets hold what
we got for now. “
Lab Report X07 [CLASSIFIED] - Gorge Tunnels
Tunnels were discovered by a curious Scientist that was assigned to a marine squad in the “early days”,before the blanket ban on scientific personnel going to hot zones. His squad of marines was the first documented case of non-Kharaa life forms using a gorge tunnel. These tunnels allow passage between the 2 ends of the tunnel. The picture on the left is a closed tunnel (you can not travel through these). We have yet to discover how this is possible. One theory is the tunnels somehow enable inter-dimensional travel (though this is unlikely). It is difficult to install scientific instrumentation to study the tunnels, as the Kharaa presence is a constant threat. We do know Gorges initiate the formation of these tunnels.

An example of an open tunnto to the right, where travel is possible. Tunnels also create a small amount of infestation once it is built. We have seen small forward bases based on tunnel infestation that do not require any connection to a hive. The atmosphere inside a tunnel will corrode marine armor. Marines are advised to be on high alert around tunnels as Kharaa life forms may be using these as transit points. Any Frontiersmen utilising a tunnel should also know that you may end up in very hostile territory.

Tech Corner:
Kharaa Upgrades
Kharaa life forms are able to get upgrades based on the Hive
tech path taken. You must evolve your hive into one of 3 types
(Crag, Shift or Shade) before you can obtain these upgrade
structures. Once you have evolved your hive, you can then
build the upgrade structure associated with that hive.
Lab Report X21 [CLASSIFIED] - Shells
This structure is often found around hives where Kharaa can protect it from being damaged. Collating data from various sighting of this structure along with combat reports, we can conclude, this structure advances the evolution of Kharaa. Dissection of Kharaa life forms when these are present has found many of them have a thickened Carapace, meaning they are able to absorb more damage due to greater armor. In other instances, we found tiny glands in the skin of the Kharaa able to excrete a substance similar to the mist given off by a crag. We postulate this will help the life form Regenerate health without being near a crag or hive. The greater the number of these structures found, the thicker the carapace and the more dense the number of glands. We have not been able to dissect a specimen that has both a thicker carapace AND healing glands. It would appear the evolution of one excludes the other.
Lab Report X28 [CLASSIFIED] - Spurs
Spurs look like a a boot spur from the nightmare of a bad Western movie. Their first appearance was noted by Colonel Mendasp, whom was the Commander on space station TSF-SS Descent, where Marines were badly misjudging engagement distances. Skulks were closing distances much faster than expected. On scanning the Hive, the only structures that were not previously described were the spurs. It was presumed they made the skulks faster. Dissection of specimen from that campaign confirmed our fears, the faster skulks has denser muscle fibre bundles compared to normal skulks. Marines should be aware, the Kharaa already have a significant speed advantage before they gain Celerity, this upgrade make that difference so much more acute. During that campaign, Colonel Mendasp also noted the Gorges were able to heal spray for much longer than usual. He theorized these Spurs also gave the Kharaa more energy and / or faster energy regeneration. To test his hypothesis, we dissected the single gorge specimen obtained from that campaign, and found it possessed 6 extra adrenal glands. This extra Adrenaline, would both give it extra energy, and also the means to regenerate energy faster.
Lab Report X26 [CLASSIFIED] - Veils
First described in reports as an ugly lamp shade, veils are one of the most dangerous upgrade structures for a cunning Kharaa. The Briair incident is a telling report of why Marines should stay in formation and shout out if they encounter anything out of the ordinary. The incident involved a squad of 6 marines sent to take and hold a vital area in a Refinery, en route to Smelting from Operation, 2 Marines were MIA by the time the group reached their designated marker. Without warning, a 6 skulk pack de-cloaked right in front of the remaining 4 marines and eliminated the squad within 4 seconds. HQ only piece together what happen from helmet-cam data. It would appear Veils grant Kharaa life forms the ability to cloak (be near invisible) with just a shimmer to give away their presence, in addition, their joint ligaments all show elongation, and develop a buffer cushion to dampen any sounds made by moving or biting. HQ has dubbed this the Phantom skulk, but other life forms may also evolve this.
Another disturbing report is that Kharaa life forms seem to develop an uncanny awareness of marines even without parasite, even through walls. TSF first notice this from casualty reports over lost campaigns, where each squad’s weaker members were picked off first, even if they give no outward sign of being wounded. It was as if the Kharaa is able to sense the health Aura of humans. This is a very dangerous sign, as the Kharaa is able to whittle down a squad very quickly by targeting the weaken member, leaving less fire power to effectively deal with the next wave of attack.
Kharaa Evolution Menu
The evolution menu for a Kharaa (default key (B)
1. The life forms available (coloured life forms can be evolved, red out life forms are not available due to not enough personal resources.
2. The level and type of upgrade available (currently 2 levels of spurs and 2 levels of shells).
3. This is where you choose what upgrade you choose, shown here Adrenaline and Carapace has been chosen.
4. Selected life form to evolve is a lerk
5. The cost of this evolution in personal resources (31 in this case; Lerk cost 25 and each upgrade is 3). Click the yellow button “Evolve for 31” to confirm your choice.
6. Your total personal resources at the moment

Tech Corner:
Symbols for each Kharaa upgrade:





Lab Report X14 [CLASSIFIED] - Bile Bomb
Bile Bomb was the name given to the ability of a Gorge to regurgitate up a ball of bile and launch it through the air in a trajectory (“3” to select once researched and left mouse to use). The ball, when is lands will splash bile in a small area. TSF did not focus efforts to study this ability until heavy losses were suffered in multiple campaigns. Typically, when a gorge obtains this ability (Research Gorge ability at a hive and have 3 biomass), their effectiveness at taking down a marine base grow exponentially. Bile is effective at corroding marine armor, all structures, and robotic units (including EXO suits). Dropped weapons can be damaged by bile to the point to being unusable. Bile corrodes over time, so the longer you allow a gorge to bile, the greater damage will result over time. Chemical analysis of the bile has indicated it is extremely volatile, and applying high heat to it will burn it off immediately. For this reason, flame throwers were added to the Advance Armory arsenal. Marines on the field also report, if flames touch a bile ball in the air before it lands, it will also burn up.
General Flayra has mandated TSF Frontiersmen to shoot all gorges on sight, as the possibility of a bile attack on a marine base is too great.
Lab Report X33 [CLASSIFIED] - Fade
The first sighting of a Fade, was by a squad of patrolling 4 marines at the Origin Facilities. The lone survivor (Sargent Asraniel) of the attack described it as humanoid in appearance, but possesses a large blade in place of a hand for each arm. Sargent Asraniel’s report read in part: “it just faded in and out of the darkness, each time it appeared, it would use the sickle it had to swipe one of us (default key mouse 1), then disappear again. We could not track it as it blinked (default key mouse 2) in and out of the shadows, or blinking up toward the ceiling, making tracking the target difficult. Private McFly cracked under the pressure and ran off into the darkness. Eventually, there was just me left after Privates S4nta and Roobubba were also taken down. I eventually got off 2 lucky shotgun hits and it went away and didn’t return”. Since this sighting, we have had numerous encounters with Fades. Each time we encounter one, the strike teams always sustain very heavy casualties. The most effective way to take down a Fade is to have shotguns, and blast it at close range (since a Fade must come within melee range to attack), and to trap it either en route to a hive (where it will probably head to heal) or doorways as the blinking ability of a Fade is blocked by solid matter. Though the blade of a Fade is very effective at tearing Marines apart, they are much less effective at attacking structures. The angle of the blade does not allow penetrating stabs into structures, just scratches that take a long time to cut into the circuitry.

Comparision of autopsy from various campaigns of this creature has found differences in their physiology as the hive matures. In specimens that accompany mature hives, a number of secretory glands is found under the arm pits, that are missing in younger specimens. Mass Spec analysis has shown the glands secret a mixture of adrenaline and endophins. We postulate the adrenaline will allow the fade to recover some energy when it flaps its arms (default key "shift" after metabolize has been researched) to stimulate these glands, whilst the endorphins will give some effect in accerated healing.


If Lerks are the shock troopers of the Kharaa, then Fades are the Assassins. They are able to dart in and out of combat quickly with their blink ability (default "Mouse 2") and take out individual marines quickly and blink away to heal, only to come back again. Fades specialise in taking down marines, with their attack doing only half damage against structures, but full damage against marines. With Fades on the field, you should be able to push Marines back from the front. As a Fade, you must remember NOT to over commit. Marines will try to body block you in as blink does not allow you to blink through structures or marines, so a blocking marine is able to stop a Fade in their tracks, giving the rest of the Marine team time to train their sights on you.

One great trick to playing the Fade is to blink up (this confuses marines, as they can't adjust their sight quickly enough in the up down axis. You then blink down to come down quickly and swipe the marine down. One of the trickiest things to learn to managing your energy, as running out of energy for a Fade spells certain doom, your blinking ability relys on energy, so without any, you can't get away quickly.
Biomass and Abilities
Kharaa upgrades are hive and structure dependant (hive path followed by upgrade structure). The additional life form abilities are determined by a different mechanism. Namely biomass and researched abilities. Once the required level of biomass has been reached: Lifeform abilities can be researched at any grown hive. The lifeform on the field will gain that ability as long as the biomass requirement is then met.
Each grown hive gives 1 biomass, and 2 more level of biomass is researchable per hive (giving you a total of maximum 3 biomass per hive). Hives can be grown any time, there is no need to upgrade all biomass for a hive before trying to grow a new one.

Biomass and abilities diagram
1. The current biomass is shown (biomass is at 9)
2. The various abilities unlocked if the life form upgrade is researched, from biomass 1 left to right:

Biomass 1 - Babblers (Gorge) - automatically available
Biomass 2 - Rupture (Commander ability granted), Charge (Onos)
Biomass 3 - Bone wall (Commander ability granted), Bile Bomb (Gorge), Metabolize (Fade)
Biomass 4 - Leap (Skulk), Umbra (Lerk)
Biomass 5 - Webs (Gorge), Bone Shield (Onos), Advance Metabolize (Fade)
Biomass 6 - Spores (Lerk)
Biomass 7 - Stab (Fade)
Biomass 8 - Stomp (onos)
Biomass 9 - Contaminate (Commander ability granted), Xenocide (Skulk)
Mission Debrief : Private Ualtar “Urpa” Ropper ( 2045.03.10. 1932hrs)
The Comm had new plans, Squads 1 and 2 will bounce between
the gates on patrol, Squad 5 was to probe Crusher and try to
take down the harvester. In the Comm’s words “they have 3 har-
vesters, I want them to have 2”. Sarge and I darted in to Crusher,
empty 2 clips in the Harvester, and ran back to Central Drilling
where the Comm had dropped an armory and an observatory.
After 2 runs, a Crag just appeared out of nowhere. It literally just
popped out of the infestation.
“They Echoed it in” Sarge said. I am used to his cryptic messag-
es by now, and just shrugged. My orders were simple, empty 2
lmg clips with Sarge on my six and retreat.
“AA (Advance Armory) is up “, the Comm called out. Squad 5,
come and get a flamer, Cannon, you keep the SG.
“Roger”. Sarge and I went back to base where the Comm
dropped a flame thrower for me at the advance armory.
“Get my proto up (Prototype Lab), while you’re here”.
I cradled my new toy when we returned to Central Drilling, ready
for another assault on Crusher.
“Point and fire rookie” Sarge advised. “Most Kharaa structures
are flammable, and while they burn, they can’t work like they’re
supposed to. Remember, though, fire doesn’t hurt life forms so
much, so they will eat you up even if they are on fire.”
We got to Crusher, this time we had to get very close to the
harvester as the range of the flamer isn’t that long. As the crag
and harvester thrashed from the flames then died, I noticed cysts
popped really fast when I use the flamer on it. Then we heard the
flapping of wings…
“F&&% Lerks”, Sarge cursed, and started to run toward the exit.
Both Sarge and I had weapons that are best at short range, but
the lerk did not swoop in for a bite. Instead it just spiked us from
a long distance. Sarge pulled out his pistol and started to fire at
the lerk, it was a long distance duel, but Sarge was never really
going to win. We got to the entrance that lead to Central Drilling,
and ran through. After the door closed behind us, Sarge ordered
me to torch the doorway in case the lerk came through. As we
were healing up at Central Drilling and welding each other’s ar-
mor, the Comm announced; “Jetpacks are ready”. He beaconed
everyone back to grab jetpacks (much faster he said).
I strapped on my jetpack (more like a rocket engine on a back
pack). Sarge demonstrated how to use it, he flew around and
gained a lot of speed by going forward, then cut the thrusters to
stop climbing, then re-engaged the thrusters before he hit the
ground all the while hurtling forward at break neck speed. I tried
to do the same. With my first attempt, I hit my head on the ceil-
ing, then caught my flamer on a rafter and got stuck. Hmmm,
don’t think I am good with a jetpack. By now, Lieutenant Sebb
has arrived via the Infantry Portal to take Private Shore’s place.
Who was lost at the last hive siege. “Alright, Sargent, you go with
Squad 1, Private Urpa can stay in base for defence”. The rest of
the squad phased out to Cart Tunnel to assault the Cave hive.
I checked the Prototype lab, and found Exosuits had been researched
and got a single minigun Exo for base defence.
Over the radio chatter, I could hear marines calling for ammo
and meds. I can imagine Sarge and the others flying around and
evading Kharaa life forms as they put hurt to the Hive, it was
almost rhythmic listening to the calls for meds and ammo.
“Base rush!” the Comm yelled, that snapped me out of my day
dream. Looking up, I can see 2 gorges accompanied by a large
rhino thing charging toward me like a raging bull. I spun up my
mini gun and let it shred the beast, all the while the two gorges
are throwing up bile bombs all over our base.
“S^%#” the Comm cursed, he has been cool and collected up to
this point. He didn’t beacon the team back, we were so close to
killing the Cave hive, beaconing would cause us to lose ground
and momentum. “logging out”, he yelled, before getting out of the
Command Chair and started to shoot the Gorges wrecking the
“ARRRRRRRRRR”, I screamed, as my minigun overheated, it
was on me now, the rhino started to gore me with its large horn.
I retaliated with my power fist while my gun was cooling, then
resume firing once the gun cooled enough. The great beast
kneeled down as it succumbed to my gun fire, the control console
of my Exo was smoking, and sparks were flying out of various
dials and controls. I hopped out of my Exo (default key “G”), there
was still one gorge left, fighting with our Comm. I still had my
flamer and jetpack. I didn’t want to risk using the jetpack in case
I crash on the ceiling again, so I ran over and started to burn the
gorge. With its last spit, it took down the Comm.
“Sarge, Sarge, got a problem, the Comm is down, the Comm is
“Get in the Chair rookie”, Sarge ordered, “HQ can’t send someone
in for another 6 seconds, and we don’t have time for a sit
rep. Get in the chair and support us. I’ll talk you through. Cave
Hive is down, we should be able to end this.”
Lab Report X29 [CLASSIFIED] - Echo
Marines sometimes report that structures just rise out of existence from infestation. From calculations of the nutrient requirements and growth speed of structures, it is impossible for these to be created so quickly de novo. We postulate the structures are created elsewhere, then the structures are recreated by transporting the essential cells that make up the structure through the infestation network. Thus the structure seems to just pop into existence. From a chance Scanner Sweeps, we are able to determine these “echoed” structures must be close to a Shift in order to be Echoed (A shift hive must be alive for Echo to work. Select the Shift, and Echo, then structures around the Shift (in a small radius) will be able to be Echoed to any location on the map with infestation).
This is one of the reasons Marines are encouraged to clear infestation from areas, even if it is not a room you need right away. You never know when a crag may pop up and assist the Kharaa in assaulting a room. Field reports also note the Kharaa is able to Echo out upgrade structures if a hive is under heavy assault in order to preserve the upgrade structures.
Lab Report X27 [CLASSIFIED] - Shift
These look like a shrunken mushroom on stalks. As noted in report X29, they are essential for rapidly moving structures through the Kharaa infestation network. The primary function of this structure is to help Kharaa replenish energy. Tactical Section has at least 3 reports of Gorges seeming able to heal spray for much longer than previously recorded. The only structure at the time
that did not have a known function was a Shift. We postulate a Shift is able to give off a form of Kharaa adrenaline that is permeable to Kharaa skin, and gives the Kharaa life forms a large boost to their rate of energy regeneration.
Data Log AS28 Advance Armory

An Advance Armory is upgraded from an existing armory (the Comm selects an armory and choose upgrade). An advance armory has an extra crown compared to a normal armory. It will give marines access to advance weaponry (flame thrower and grenade launcher). The Advance Armory also unlocks the ability to build a Prototype Lab. A “proto” unlocks the possibility to research Jetpacks and Exosuits for Marines. An Advance Armory retains all the functions of a normal armory.

Tech Corner:
Dropping equipment using Team Resources
Marine Commanders are able to drop weapons and equipment
for their team using team resources. The team purchased
equipment must be dropped near the structure where it is
normally purchased (a shot gun needs to be near an armory,
a jetpack near a prototype lab). This strategy is one way of
ensuring the team can be adequately equipped even when
personal resources are too low for a marine to be fully kitted.
For example, a marine with 20 personal resources can afford a
shotgun or a jetpack, but not both. In this instance, the Com-
mander may opt to give the marine a jetpack, and let them buy
the shotgun to maximise their survivability and mobility. During
late game, where there is an oversupply of team resources, it
is a good way to conserve the personal resources of marines.
Data Log AO21 - Flame Thrower
This is a modified XF16 “Dragon’s Breath” Flame thrower. The backpack style fuel tank has been replaced by a canister. This means the range and duration of the flame is much reduced compared to the XF16, however it is infinitely more portable. Inclusion of flame throwers in the advanced weaponry arsenal was triggered by the discovery that Kharaa structures are susceptible to fire, and do not function when they are burning. Marines with flame throwers must be cautious, Kharaa structures are susceptible to fire, life forms are not so much. Whilst life forms do take damage from fire, they often have enough time to kill a flame thrower welding marine before they die or retreat. Fire is also very useful in neutralizing several life form abilities. Notably Gorge bile can be burnt up, as well as poison gases that a lerk is able produce. It is a great support weapons to have in a marine squad. TSF do not recommend having more than 1 flame thrower per squad.
Data Log AO25 - Grenade Launcher
The G36D grenade launcher is primary an anti-structural weapon. It is fed by a 4 chamber revolving barrel that fires 40mm HE grenades with a short arming fuse. As the shrapnel from grenades do not harm team members or team structures, one tactic of base defence often employed; is to carpet the base with grenades, often called “spamming”. The grenade launcher is not generally considered a precision weapon, and very few are able to kill life forms with it (the long reload time for grenades is often detrimental to marines trying to engage life forms at melee range). Due to the explosive splash damage, this weapon is great for clearing entrenched Kharaa bases.
Data Log AS30 - Prototype Lab
The ultimate in TSF warfare technology; this structure allows jetpacks or Exosuits to be researched. An Advance Armory is needed before this structure can be built. Marine commanders are well advised to build this away from the Advance Armory, as a suicidal gorge bile attack could take down both structures and cause delay to the introduction of the latest TSF has to offer in eliminating the Kharaa threat.
Data Log AO31 - Jet Packs
Jetpacks must be researched at a prototype lab before it becomes available. TSF’s tactical branch, proposed the use of Jetpacks to give Marines access to otherwise unreachable vents, and to combat a newly discovered life form (the Onos). The unmodified JU-MkII was never meant to be used indoors, its power and lack of manoeuvrability meant there were many injuries during the testing / integration phase due to marines hitting ceilings and other obstacles. The confined space where most Kharaa infestations are found dictated a complete redesign. Additional side thrusters were added to increase manoeuvrability over raw speed, this came at a cost of fuel capacity. In theory, a jetpack has practically unlimited fuel, as the thrusters use a self charging fuel cell. However, whilst the thrusters are operating, the fuel cell does not charge, this means the air time of a jetpack is limited, requiring the operator to cut power to the jets so it can charge. Lt Colonel Matso is recognised as one of the most skilful jetpack operator. He has taken down a pack of 3 skulks, one lerk, and an onos with a shotgun and jetpack alone without commander support by evading attacks and having a deadly aim.
Data Log AO32 - Exosuits
The XD2 ExoSuit (EXO) was designed as a specific heavy weapons platform that is able to push the frontline slowly and methodically. Often referred to as a pain train, a squad with 1 to 2 of these are truly a deadly force to be reckoned with. This firepower comes at a cost of mobility, EXOs cannot use phase gates due to their bulk, and they move slow compared to marines. Thrusters have been fitted to overcome this short coming, but this is limited by fuel, and is only useful for short distances. The current XD2 available is the MKIV variant. MKI EXOs could not be beaconed, and have led to heavy EXO casualties when the Commander had to recall marines back to defend against a base rush, leaving EXOs vulnerable. The old MKIII allow EXOs to beacon back to base. It was found this delayed Hive assaults, and meant Marines lost ground as the entire team is recalled back to base. The MKIV variant has had the beacon marker removed, so only Marines are recalled back to base for defense, whilst the EXO units remain on the field to hold ground. The down side to this is that the EXOs are now exposed without support. It is imperative EXOs holding point DO NOT push forward. The MKIV variant has retained the ability to allow operators to eject out of an EXO (press “G” to exit, and press “E” to re-enter) in the field to effect repairs (if the operator also purchased a welder). Though an operator out of their EXO is inviting a passing skulk to try their luck. An empty EXO suit is tethered to the operator’s ID for 30 seconds after exiting. The weight of an Exosuit allow it to crush any Kharaa eggs found by simply walking on it. This is very useful in a hive assault, as other support marines can concentrate on the hive. There are 4 variants of Exosuits available:

Minigun / Power fist
One of two standard Exosuits available. The right arm is fitted with a tri-barrel KD2 vulcan minigun. Ammunition is generated by a Nanite generator carried on the back. The heat dissipation capacity
of the gun is limited and it can become overheated if fired continuously. The left hand is a power fist that is able to punch any Kharaa still standing.

Railgun / Power fist
A rail gun that fires 20mm uranium core shells with an iron coat has been fitted to the right arm of this Exosuit. The shell is propelled by a Gauss accelerator to near super-sonic speeds. This large heavy fast projectile is able to penetrate several targets (structures or life forms). To achieve
maximum damage, the magnet coils must be charged fully. Once charged, the projectile will fire (this prevents damage to the coil from over charging). Shells are able to be fire without a full magnetic charge, the projectiles in this case are not as fast, and will effect less damage.

Minigun / Minigun
What could be better than an Exosuit with 1 minigun? An Exosuit with 2 miniguns! Dual weapon Exosuits require 2 Command Chairs before they can be researched. As the heat dissipating
capacity of the guns don’t change, the second minigun will cause the Exosuit to overheat twice as fast if both miniguns are fired together. The advantage of having 2 miniguns is that you can
continue sustained fire if stagger firing is done (let one gun cool while firing the other).

Railgun / Railgun
Rail guns are mounted on each arm of an Exosuit. Be aware, the battery onboard cannot fully charge the magnetic coil of both rail guns simultaneously. This means a stagger firing pattern will
give the maximum damage capacity from the dual guns.
Lab Report X35 [CLASSIFIED] - Onos
Large and powerful, this is the final evolution of the Kharaa life forms. It looks something like a large gorilla with a rhino’s head. From volumetric calculations, the Onos should weight between 1 to 1.2 tonnes, however specimen brought back from conflict zones has weight in at an average of 2 tonnes. This unexpected difference in mass is attributed to the extremely dense bones that are reinforced with organo-titanium, particularly around the crown. This harden bone structure can form a shield that protect oni from incoming bullets if they lower their heads (press “2” to select when Onos upgrades researched and biomass permits, then left mouse to use). A rarely reported, but devastating ability of the oni are their ability to stomp the ground (default key “3” to select when Onos upgrades researched and biomass permits). The stomp causes a shock wave to propagate in front of them. The shock wave disrupts the middle ear of marines and causes those in its path to lose balance. The shock also disrupts proximity sensor of mines, and the tracking of sentry turrets.
Once oni are spotted on the field, Marines are to be vigilant, as they often spear head assaults into established marine bases. Their appearance also means the Kharaa has been established for a long time.


The final evolution of the Kharaa. The most powerful creature you will encounter as a Marine. However, without team work, an Onos is just a big space cow waiting to be slaughtered by marines with Jet Packs and a shotgun OR a group of 4-5 marines. Remember you are the size of a mini bus, so unless the Marine is blind, they don't miss. So running into a group of 4-5 marines in a long corridor spells doom for you. So why are you so powerful? You need to spear head attacks with your team. As you are HUGE, and have lots of health, marines take time to kill you, in that time, the rest of the pack will wreck the marine team, this is especially so with a gorge or two healing you (not to mention your distraction will enables gorges to bile bomb everything). So play your Onos cautiously, when you are at half health and armor, RUN!! There is no shame in trying to keep this life form alive at all cost. They are very valuble in assulting an entranched marine position due to their toughness.

If you assault a tech point with a Command chair, and you hear a beacon, you should retreat and tell the rest of your team you are retreating. Fades and Lerks can get out quickly enough, Skulks are expandable, the only life form that can't get out are gorges (their chubby legs don't carry them fast enough). For the Hive!
Mission Debrief : Private Ualtar “Urpa” Ropper ( 2045.03.10. 1940hrs)
I ran over to the Command Chair, and pushed the activate button,
the control panel, flickered to life and the metal cover closed.
A holographic of the facility projected in front of me, with a mini-map
of the same area without details on the lower left side, and projected
selection controls on my lower right. I had no idea what to do.

“Look at the mini-map to the lower left” Sarge calmly said, “that
gives you an idea of what is happening all around the facility.
The blue structures you see are ours, you won’t see Kharaa
unless they are in range of an observatory, or in line of sight of
marines. The CC computer will integrate the data and update
you with what we see, and what we have already built. You can
get a better idea of what is happening on the large holographic
map, which the CC computer renders in real time for you. You will
know your marine’s health, armor, and ammo status by the fully
integrated battle gear that report to the CC.”
“Now, look at the lower right, at the selection controls. The first
tab is for basic structures, the second tab for advance structures
that require another structure before they can be built. The third
tab is the Assist Tab. Tap the Assist Tab now. You can see the
Ammo Pack, Med Pack and other things. Right now, tap and
Ammo pack and tap the holographic map where you want it drop
it, best in front of a marine so we can see the drop.”
“Med Pack” Sarge requested over the voice link again. “Tap the
Go To Request button (default “space bar”), now you can drop a
med pack in front or on me.”
“Ok, you’re ready rookie, we are heading in to Sorting Hive.”
“Sarge, wait, I…” I wanted to say, give me a few more minutes to
get familiar with this.Sarge didn’t give me the chance, I know I have to do this or I
would have let the team down. I took in a deep breath, and let it
out slowly and wiped some non-existent sweat from my forehead.
I tapped the minimap where the blue icons representing marines
were. They were moving fast with the jet packs.
“Sarge on guard, GLs take down the hive, flamers you burn
everything and prevent the crag healing. I will med and drop
ammo when I see the need. Don’t spam the voice link”. I com-
manded, my voice shaky from the adrenaline, and weight of
“Roger, Comm”, a chorus of replies came through the voice link.
What followed would best be described as a slaughter, as Sarge
and the others flew around destroying everything. What little
defence the Kharaa could manage was piece meal at best. I saw
one lerk flew in and tried to bite Sarge, only to take 2 shotgun
blast to the face. I made sure the squad was healed up with med
packs at all times. After a few minutes of chaos, I saw the hive
exploded in a spray of green goo. The console lit up green, with
the message, NO KHARAA DETECTED. Just like that, we have
cleared the facility of the Kharaa infestation.
“Beacon us back, Comm”, Sarge requested.
Data Log TA00 - Commander Interface
The Commander is the person that leads the team in the primary objective of any mission. This can be the most rewarding or most frustrating experience depending on your team’s cooperation. The team in turn rely on a good commander that can lead the team, and also direct the team to where they are needed.
TSF Commanders are expected to have a good understanding of the tactics and protocols of a TSF squad (the base game mechanics), as well as good understanding of the infested facility’s various place names (map lay out). Most importantly, a Commander is expected to communicate with the team about what to do and which area needs reinforcement.

What a Commander see inside a Command Station. The main holographic map
(1), the minimap over lay (2), the Selection Controls (3), team resources, number
of powered extractors, and how much supplies used (4). The 3 bars on a marine
are (top to bottom): health (white), armor (thin blue), and ammo (thick blue).

Selection Control
Basic Structures Tab: These are structures you can drop any time. Command Chairs must be dropped on tech points, and Infantry Portals must be near a Command Chair, and Extractor on resource nozzle.
L to R 1st row: Command Chair, Extractor, Infantry Portal, armory.
L to R 2nd row: Robotics Factory, Arms Lab.

Advance Structures Tab: These structures can be built if the pre-requsite structure or tech has been researched.
L to R 1st row: Sentry Turret, Observatory, Phase Gate, Prototype Lab.\
L to R 2nd row: Sentry Battery

Assist Tab: These are the things that will assist a marine on the field.
L to R 1st row: Ammo pack, Med pack, Nano-shield, Scanner Sweep
L to R 2nd row: Power Surge, Catalyst Pack, Team resource equipment.
I hit the beacon button on the Assist Tab, and logged out of the
CC. The Beacon alarm sounded, as I saw my Exosuit; repaired
and being piloted by our reinforcement on guard duty. He ejected
from my Exosuit.
“Sir, Private Ropper reporting” I saluted.
“At ease, soldier. I am Major Laosh’Ra, well done”. He saluted
back and shook my hand warmly.
The alarm stopped, and the squad was back in Operations.
Sarge saluted the Major, then flew over to me on his jet pack. His
control was superb.
“Well done, Urpa”, he said before patting me on the back. “I am
proud to have taught you as my final student before retirement
from active duty”. He continued, with pride in his voice, but pain
in his eyes.
I was surprised, from what I just witnessed, Sarge was extremely
capable, and he seemed to enjoy being on the frontline. “Sarge,
Sarge held a hand up, and shook his head. “Took a lerk spike to
the knee…”
Thanks for people below on the official UWE forums that help
me proof read and make suggestions to improve this manual.
and thanks to the people that has given me encouragement
to finish writing this thing. It has grown to be quiet a project.
Please share this manual with people you think it may help to
enjoy this game!
See you on the servers (my steam handle is Cannon FodderAUS)
Final Rant
Thanks for reading the whole thing. I hope it was a pleasure
to read. There are some things on the Marine side and alot
of things on the Kharaa side that I didn’t touch on or mention.
These were left out because it wasn’t my intention to write a
comprehensive what to do on Natural Selection 2. There are
already other guides out there that does this very well. You can
go to the Offical Wiki for alot of this information and mechanics
( Other sources
I would recommend to learn how to play are It’sSuperEffective’s
youtube channel
or you can google It’s SuperEffective NS2), and also some of the
guides on STEAM.
I am always looking to improve the manual (correcting gram-
mar, typos). I would love to have more and better pictures to
supplement the text. I did most of the pictures by myself (1
player server), so things sometimes don’t seem right, and there
isn’t many action shots.
Lastly, I used alot of names of community members on the
UWE forums (hope you guys and gals don’t mind). If you do
mind, please drop me a line, and I will change the name(s).
There has been a few requests to put this on the STEAM
guides, I would love to do this, but I will have to reformat the
whole thing as I wrote this in Adobe InDesign (no F*** spell
check) to make it feel like a paper manual. I would like to give
this to the NS2 community, so if you think you can change it for
the better, please PM me (via STEAM or forum), and I will give
you the original files.
Cannon Fodder out.
< >
Cannon FodderAUS  [author] Oct 24, 2019 @ 4:24am 
Yeah. so true. I don't have the time to update it now :-( There is so much changes in the game. i think I did this guide about 5 or 6 years ago now.
Shiro Oct 23, 2019 @ 2:45pm 
it really could us an update by now
Cannon FodderAUS  [author] Sep 29, 2016 @ 1:21am 
thanks Twitch. I really need to update it as there has been massive changes to the game and abilities. But with a new job, it's hard to find time to format and re-do. Will work on this at some stage.
Ron Swanson Sep 28, 2016 @ 6:47pm 
could use an update regarding exo's :-) but other than that very nice guide!
Cannon FodderAUS  [author] Jan 15, 2016 @ 12:55am 
lol, thanks for the kudos. There is a sticky on the reddit page, and I got alot of love from some of the community development as well (gave me a Squad 5 badge). With the renewed interest from UWE, I might see if they would link it to the main game.
RenegadeFerret Jan 13, 2016 @ 3:55pm 
Right on, this guide should be linked to directly in game!
Cannon FodderAUS  [author] Jan 13, 2016 @ 4:35am 
Hi Renegade Ferret,
You are right. I checked the wiki's info, and the welder does indeed do less damage unless the object is flammable (clogs and cysts only NOT structures as I previously thought). So your testing holds out. I will amend the story to reflect the findings. The axe does double damage to structures.
RenegadeFerret Dec 26, 2015 @ 3:55pm 
Absolutely fantastic, I'm going to start sending rookies here. I do have one complaint, there's an aweful lot in the stories about using the welder to destroy alien structures; that is far less effective than dropping the welder temporarily to use your axe. To kill a harvester it will take about 25 seconds with an axe, and 45 seconds with a welder (same maturity used in testing).
Cannon FodderAUS  [author] Jul 5, 2015 @ 3:41am 
:-) Nice.
vlfire Jul 4, 2015 @ 5:19pm 
Funny fact, im pretty much a noob at NS2, so, as i was playing, my main weapon became empty, i remebered sarge and switched to my sidearm, it saved my life :P