Natural Selection 2

Natural Selection 2

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Marine Exo Suit Protocol
By Cannon FodderAUS
This is a tongue in cheek look at how to use an Exo Suit in NS2. Most of the original text was written by Armymonger in UWE's New Player Forum ( Armymonger has kindly given me permission to duplicate it as a steam guide. I did some modifications to make the guide into an Risk Assessment for the TOHS unit (TSF Occupational Health and Safety Unit ;-). If you are looking for a more how to play basics of NS2, please check out my other guide (Cannon Fodder's ePaper Manual for NS2 on steam: ).
Training Grounds - TSF Training Facility
Greetings Sargent;
"You have been chosen to be the few that will train on the new XD2 MkIV variant of the Exo Suit. Before we get into the training, you will just have to read this risk assessment and SOP"
"What? why do you have to read is crap? Well, fighting Kharaa is dangerous work right? Piloting an Exo is doubly dangerous, because you are a bigger target. So reading all safety materials is import... Eh? How is reading crap meant to make it safer? Honestly... it doesn't, but it does absolve the company of about 40% of the liability, as we can say you knew the dangers when you sign up. Look, just read the damn risk assessment ok!!!"
RISK ASSESSMENT #2497 Operating an EXO Suit
Process ID #2497: Operating an EXO Suit

Status: Current

Last modified: Fed.Date 2041.6.26

Review due: Fed.Date 2046.6.26


In this SOP, You will learn all the basic guidelines on how to Use a "Exosuit" as a Pilot.
Under no circumstances should you be Inebriated or under toxic influences when inside a Exo, in line with company policy, any pilot found intoxicated or under the influence of any prohibited substances will be retasked to Field ops after corporal punishments.

Basic Description and Costs
The Standard Issue Exosuit (XD2 now in the MK IV variant) is equiped with one weapons on the right hand (a KD2 vulcan minigun OR a rail gun), and a Powerfist on its left hand. The Standard Issue costs 40 of your gathered resources. It can be purchased from a deployed Prototype Lab once it has been researched by the Commander.

In order to obtain Dual Miniguns or Rail guns, Your commander must first have a second Command Station, which will unlock the ability to research DUAL weapon EXOs. The additional armament will cost another 20 gathered resources from the Prototype Lab.

Weapons Systems
The KD2 Miniguns are just as you expect; Loud, extremely rapid rates of fire, somewhat inaccurate, and Capable of dealing a massive amount of damage in an Instant should all of your shots Connect. Munition for the guns are generated by a nanite pack on the back of the EXO, and essentially gives an EXO unlimited ammunition on the field. This does not however give a Dual Minigun EXO the ability for sustained fire. The KD2 was originally used with a Liquid Nitrogen cooling system which would be impractical to mount on an EXO suit, so it was decided an air cooled system be used. This means the guns over heat very quickly (particularly if the dual guns are used at once). A skilled operator would alternate firing the twin KD2 to give a sustained rate of fire. Note that single KD2 EXOs do not have this luxury.

Railguns are the Overpowered Sniper rifle that all soldiers dream of. It takes time to Charge up the Gauss accelerator to give maximum velocity to the 20mm uranium cored projectiles. Once fully charged, the weapon will discharge automatically to protect the magnetic coil from damage. Once fully charged, you will instantly kill any small lifeform, such as Skulks, Gorges, and Lerks. Pulse firing the weapon will result in a lower speed projectile and hence lower damage. Note that the projectile is designed to penetrate targets, and will damage multiple targets provided they are lined up.

The powerfist of the single armament EXO is about as useful as the switch axe is to a marine fighting the Kharaa. The same basic rules that apply to marines also apply to EXOs. DO NOT BRING your axe (or powerfist) to a gun fight. The Kharaa excel in melee combat, just don't try to out match them in that.

Movement in an Exo is Straightforward. Its the same move speed forward, Backward, and side to side so it is possible to back up when compared to your marine counterparts who suffer a Reduced speed when backing up.
Exos also have a Small thruster on their Legs. This will get you an extra burst of speed (press "SHIFT" traversing the map and enough thrust upward (press "SPACE) to get you over small obstacles like Sentry turrets, ARCS, and Railings. It has limited power, so don't expect to outrun Skulks nor try to Jump to avoid them. Its an incredibly weak and cheap thrusters, this was both a cost saving exercise as well as an attempt to reduce the weight of the EXO suit.
Its also important to note that the thrusters only go forward, So keep that in mind. Note also the MKIV variant no longer beacon back to base, so when the Commander calls down a Emergency Beacon, the EXOs on the field will be without support.

Hazard identification
  • Skulk Bite
  • Gorge Babblers, Spit and Bile
  • Lerk Spikes and Bite
  • Fade Swipes and Stab
  • Onos Gore
  • Whips
As the list of Hazards identifes, the EXO suit is not immune to any of the Kharaa's attacks - so remember YOU ARE FRAGILE. Lerk spores do not affect EXOs as the air supply is filtered.
The Exo, despite being well armored in Human terms, Is Actually NOT that well armored in alien terms. It is a Fragile piece of equipment that when mishandled by brave yet stupid pilots can instantly cause the entire suit to Fail by a single Skulk. In addition, since it is Armored, Gorge bile can slowly Deteriorate the Outer shell, Its not as severe as getting Chomped on by aliens, But it could mean life and Death as an Exo is not able to Repair itself so remember the following control measures.
Control Measures
By eliminating all the hazards either by extermination or avoidance, the EXO (and you the pilot) should be very comforable as you sit in your climate controlled tin can.

Engineering Controls
See weapons systems and Elimination. Marines that purchase a welder from an armory before an EXO SUIT can also hop out of the EXO suit (default key "G" and repair the EXO). TOHS do not recommend this as you are a sitting duck whilst you are alone and welding your EXO.

"Strength in numbers"
Obviously the only thing better than an Exo is Two Exos.
Much like a Group of Onoses is a nightmare to a Single marine, A Group of Exos is a Nightmare to a Single Onos.
Its recommended that Exos do not Group up too close together as "Friendly fire" will occur. Where A friendly exo will block your shots or Obstruct your Mobility.
Try to Spread out. A Exo behind a Friendly exo will usually spot a random Skulk biting him and hit that Skulk better than the Exo being bitten. Set up a cross-fire zone for your follow marines to push in. It also helps avoid being Group splattered by a single Gorge bile bomb if you Spread the Exos out a bit.
A Damaged Exo that can be replaced with a Fully repaired exo is a Great way to keep up the Fire without Sacrificing an Expensive powersuit.

Administration / Training
"Never go alone in an Exo"
You know that feeling of walking around a Deserted neighborhood carrying a suitcase with 2000 credits by your side? I don't. But it certainly applies to this situation.
You are Using the most powerful yet most Expensive Marine weapon costing 60 resources. In comparison, a Marine with a jetpack and a Flame thrower only costs 40.
A single Alien skulk is Free. And a Skilled Alien skulk CAN and WILL Bring down a upgunned Exosuit if he is Caught out of Place and by surprise!
Therefore, Rely on your Team mates. You are incapable of repairing yourself, They can. Figure it out. They can also Deal with Skulks a little better when they are Chomping at your legs. And if anything else....They are Expendable, Seeing as how if they haven't bought any equipment, They don't lose anything if they die.
If we think about this in terms of 20th century warfare...Tanks never go into combat without Infantry backup against other Infantry with Anti tank. The same rules apply here.

"Make your Presence known."
Exos with all their firepower are good for One thing. Suppression and Area denial. You will never run out of ammo in an Exo. So Let loose a bit and don't worry about that. Its not like you can Hide an Exo.
Train yourself to fire the Miniguns in Active bursts to avoid overheating the guns. Aliens will NEVER have the Guts to run into an Area in which an Exo or two are Actively firing into Unless its a Fade.
Your guns are LOUD. And that's a good thing. However this rule is Inverted through common sense if you are ALONE. If you haven't Done that rule, then don't make yourself known.

"Distance is KEY"
Much like how positioning as a marine is key. Your Distance away from the Enemy as an Exo is the foundation to keeping your Exo alive. which is Why Long hallways and your ability to deal massive damage at Long ranges is like your Hand in marriage.
Never be the First one into an Alien area. Let your Marines Go first. As I said before, They are Expendable and will usually be the First targets. They will have the Equipment to raise their survability upclose anyway, Jetpacks and shotguns for example.
If you maintain your distance, You can keep Onoses Away from valuable Marine targets, You probably won't kill them, But you can certainly make them Regret Charging you.

"Don't Chase."
You NEVER chase an Enemy in an Exosuit. You might be playing right into an Alien's Hand with a Skulk Or Onos Ambush.
You aren't fast enough to Chase or to Escape. An Exo's Job is both Denying an Area from the Aliens and Dealing enough damage to scare away any large alien life forms.

Personal Protective Equipment
A pilot inside an EXO can carry weapons, jet packs, welders to protect themselves if they hop out of an EXO. Better yet, if you can't afford additional weapons because your spent all your resources obtaining your personal mech, then take the weapon of a dead team mate (they don't mind).

Finally, the ultimate PPE for an EXO is a MAC that is following you around and repairing your armor. Ask your Commander to provide one.

Consequence of Control Failure
Believe it or not, most EXO pilots do not die by Kharaa hands (or teeth as it were). In almost all cases, when the Suit integrity fails, the pilot is killed by the implosion of the nanite munition generating backpack, so technically this means it is an equipment failure.

Risk Analysis
Consequence: Catastrophic (single or multiple fatalities)
Frequency: Uncommon (not many commanders research EXO suits, and not many marines on the field can afford one once researched)
Likelyhood of Consequence: Certain
Final Risk Rating: Moderate (in relation to what the rest of the team has to do to nurse you).

Thank you for reading this.
By following these rules, You can become an Exo pilot with Profound capabilities.
Exos Are damage dealers. They aren't takers.
Stay in the back, and support your Marines with your guns. That is the point of being an Exo pilot.

Please put your thumb on the imprintor to indicate you have read and understood what you have read, and that you absolve TSF for 40% of whatever compensation was in your contract as you knowingly put yourself in danger, inspite of all the warnings.
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Cannon FodderAUS  [author] Apr 19, 2020 @ 5:22pm 
Love your casts Jackson7th (esp. NSL). Made me lol a few times. That finals... So thank you.
Jackson7th Apr 19, 2020 @ 12:16pm 
no worries, mate
Cannon FodderAUS  [author] Apr 19, 2020 @ 4:35am 
Yeah, I haven't updated this since 2015. I am too busy now with work and family. I still play NS2 though, so say hi if you are online.
Shiro Apr 19, 2020 @ 3:35am 
Jackson7th Apr 6, 2019 @ 8:53pm 
1) Don't buy a Railgun
3) Buy yourself a welder before you buy an exosuit, so you can weld yourself after a fight
4) Buy a dual minigun exosuit and go pewpew all the things
Annihilator1066 Mar 13, 2019 @ 6:49pm 
keep in mind you can exit the exo by pressing G, you can self weld it, but leaves you vulnerable
Cannon FodderAUS  [author] May 26, 2018 @ 10:32pm 
Thats right. the fist is the most OP!! Skulks melt to the fists, and that is the counter to EXOs. So yeah.
milky-millwall fc May 26, 2018 @ 9:34pm 
whats the most op weapon ? dual miniguns ? A FUCKING RAIL GUN ? NO SOME THICC BOI'S FIST
Cannon FodderAUS  [author] May 19, 2018 @ 3:56pm 
the fist exo was taken out of the official game (may be able to get it via modded servers). Fist was too OP against skulks
milky-millwall fc May 19, 2018 @ 9:11am 
can you get fist exo in the game now? and how?