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The Commander specializes in strategy and structure deployment for the Frontiersmen. A single Commander is chosen among the Marines by means of logging in at the Command Station. While occupying the Command Station, the Commander has an overview of the entire map, and can accomplish various tasks to provide support to ground troops.
The Commander plays a very different role from the Marines; he has a complete overview of the entire map (including a Mini-map), can build structures (which require Marines or MACs to assemble), and research upgrades such as purchasable weapons and attack/armor upgrades. In addition, the Commander can drop supplies such as Medpacks and Ammopacks or weapons anywhere for Marines to receive or equip. The Commander can also recycle any Marine structure, which destroys the structure and returns a portion of the buildings' cost based on its health on destruction. Finally, he can give his Marines orders via text, voice communication or through a built-in system called Waypoints.
The Commander has sole control over Team Resources, which is required to build structures, perform research and upgrades. The Frontiersmen start off with 50 Team Resources and must construct additional Extractors on Resource Nozzles to increase income. The Commander may also spend Team Resources on assistance utilities and weapons to drop anywhere for Marines.
The Commander is solely capable of research and upgrade options that represent the Tech level of each Marine under his or her command. Marines fitted with no upgrades and basic Assault Rifles will be overwhelmed by aliens that evolve new Traits or grow into Fades or an Onos. In order to empower marines, the Commander must use Team Resources to research upgrades from the following structures.
The Commander can quickly access four tabs using the Commander Menu at the bottom right of his HUD.
- The Build tab allows the commander to place various structures anywhere on the map. These structures are the general purpose and basic necessities for the early game. These unbuilt structures must be constructed either by Marines with the Use key or by Mobile Automated Constructors. The unbuilt structures can be recycled for 75% cost.
- Provides access to basic structures: Command Station, Extractor, Infantry Portal, Armory, Robotics Factory, and Arms Lab.
- The Select tab returns the Commander to the current selection of units or buildings, allowing the usage of abilities, orders, research and upgrades.