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Dynamic Infestation

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Dynamic Infestation is the Kharaa foundational game mechanic that dictates territory expansion. It is a large mass of bacterial growth which spreads onto props and the terrain.


Infestation is generated by the Hive, Cyst, Gorge Tunnel, and Contamination. When built, these structures produce and maintain their own area of Infestation; if destroyed, the Infestation will quickly recede and disappear.


  • The Alien Commander must sprout unbuilt structures on top of Infestation.
  • If a structure is not rooted into Infestation, its Health and Armor will degenerate until death or the ground is infested again.
  • The Hydra and Gorge Tunnel will not auto-build when away from Infestation, but instead grow when Heal Spray is applied to them.
  • Some Alien Commander abilities must be cast on Infestation.
  • Infestation corrodes Frontiersmen structures' armor and slows construction for Blueprints when in contact.


Dynamic Infestation can be seen as a network of interconnected nodes representing the territory control of the Kharaa. "Pockets" or small outcroppings of structures cannot exist on their own. In other words, each structure must ultimately be connected to the Hive though Infestation. Because of this, territory expansion needs to be controlled and actively defended when dealing with control and placement of Harvesters as an Alien Commander.

Since Marines can place structures anywhere on the map with power, they have the advantage of being able to place structures quickly and in any location immediately. This means that a team of 2-3 Marines can effectively move from room-to-room, establish power, and build Extractors very quickly after the start of a round. This can give the Marines a large advantage very early in the game if not effectively countered. However, this also means that Marine Extractors are usually not as defended or watched as often as Harvesters once the round progresses. The Kharaa's guerrilla warfare tactics are very well suited to take out these lone Extractors.

The Kharaa do not have this luxury, and must "branch out" from the initial Hive towards Resource Nozzles. A common beginner mistake as an Alien Commander is to create very long "limbs" towards Resource Nozzles far away from the Hive. If a Marine severs the connection between the Hive and Harvester, the unconnected Cysts and Harvester will start to die, and an inattentive commander may not take notice until it is too late. Thus, it is better to grow "organically" from the Hive to the closest nozzles first, and actively defend the territory expansion towards others.

Once Kharaa have resource superiority, it is often advantageous to extend the Infestation across the entire map, including into the Frontiersmen's final base(s). This both delays expansion from the Marines and also allows the use of Alien Commander support actions such as Nutrient Mist or Bone Wall. For the truly aggressive commander this then opens up the ability to construct or move Whips in striking range of Frontiersmen structures.


Infestation Dependent

Harvester dying on an uninfested Resource Nozzle

Infestation Dependent
Infestation dependent icon.gif
Most Kharaa structures absorb nutrients by rooting into the Infestation. If the Infestation recedes from underneath a Kharaa structure, it will take damage over time until death or the ground is infested again.
Damage 12 per second
Targets Structures
Requires Off Infestation

Structure Corrosion

Structure Corrosion
Armor corrosion icon.gif
Corrodes the Armor of Frontiersmen structures and slows construction rate of Blueprints.
Damage 15 per second
Range Depends on source
Speed -25% construction rate
Duration ∞ seconds
Targets Structures
Requires On Infestation

Structure Placement

Structure Placement
Whip uproot icon.gif
Allows Alien Commander to build structures and cast abilities on Infestation.
Range Depends on source
Duration ∞ seconds
Targets Echo, Nutrient Mist, Rupture, Bone Wall, Structures
Requires Place on Infestation