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Marines TSA


The Marines as depicted in the game are the force mounted by the TSF agency. The Trans-System Federation (TSF) is an independent body funded by 37 trans-gov powers (governments or super-corporations that own and operate Phase Gates between solar systems), and given jurisdiction over trans-system affairs: as defined by a document called The Charter. The Charter is a comprehensive document, covering disarmament, fair trade agreements (most importantly, sharing phase gates), and certain basic civil rights that had become blurred (or tossed aside) during the dark times of the Expansion.

To enforce The Charter, the Trans-Govs chose Admiral Rathine Studaber, former head of the revived British Secret Service, and gave her a budget for a small military force – which proved hard pressed to stop those same greedy and quarrelsome powers from violating almost every agreement they had made: often concerning their own citizens (termed "population abuse"). It was not very long before the TSF had to resort to military police actions. Its surprising success against the vastly more powerful and far better equipped Trans-Govs earned it the secret hatred of the same powers that created it. They have long been angling to curtail the TSF's powers, slash its funding, or even dissolve it entirely and replace it with something they can control. So far, their distrust of each other, and intense media scrutiny, has kept the TSF alive. The TSF sees itself as the only sane player in trans-system politics, and has become an unappreciated (and often vilified) champion of human rights. [1]

With the failure of corporate and government forces to contain the spread of the Kharaa, the opinion (among those in power) was humanity should just quarantine the entire Ariadne Arm (the string of solar systems where the Kharaa were encountered). The TSF found this intolerable, both for the people trapped in the Arm, and for the future of human expansion (the economic blow of losing all those ships and bases could threaten the tenuous peace of the Charter). The TSF volunteered to mount a response to the Kharaa – effectively creating a new army, with a new mandate. The resolution passed, and the new force was called the Frontiersmen: "standing on the edge of the unknown, between all of humanity and whatever would threaten it." The Frontiersmen have clearance to travel anywhere, and board any craft. They have rapid-response outposts scattered throughout the Ariadne Arm, with teams of marines ready to deploy. The Frontiersmen initiative is a huge opportunity for the TSF. It's also a risk: if the Frontiersmen fail, on such a public and historic stage, the Ariadne Arm will be signed off as a loss and the trans-govs may have the excuse they've been looking for to "re-organize" TSF leadership – replacing the Admiral and her staff with corporate lackeys. If that happens, dark days are sure to follow. [2]

Frontiersmen must pass rigorous physical and psychological exams before they can even enter training. The training process, though in many respects similar to militaries all over the galaxies and all throughout history, is unique in its emphasis on small squads, tactical flexibility, and the unprecedented nature of the enemy Frontiersmen train to confront. Frontiersmen are trained to enter a new environment in squads of 5 to 15 individuals, with very little equipment or support, and achieve definitive victory against a virulent and hostile xenoform foe. [3]


Main article: Marine.

The Marines are rigorously trained, versatile soldiers that can perform many vital functions, such as using the Build Tool to assemble unbuilt structures, repairing damaged or broken Power Nodes, and becoming Marine Commander at an unoccupied Command Station. Marines can be given Waypoints by the Commander to coordinate squad movement and actions.

Marine Skins
Male Female Additional Information

Green marine.gif

Green marine female.gif

Deluxe marine.gif

Deluxe marine female.gif

Assault marine.gif

Assault marine female.gif
  • Requires purchase of the Reinforced DLC Pack.
  • Formerly part of the Reinforcement Program, for Diamond and above Reward Tiers.

Elite assault marine.gif

Elite assault marine female.gif
  • No longer available for purchase.
  • Formerly part of the Reinforcement Program, for Shadow and above Reward Tiers.
Elite Assault

Black ops marine.gif

Black ops marine female.gif
  • No longer available for purchase.[1]
  • Required Special Edition preorder.
Special Ops


The Frontiersmen arsenal contains various types of weapons, which are purchased from the Buy Menu of different structures using Personal Resources. These state-of-the-art technologies are provided by Alterra Corporation and are originally designed for human warfare. Since the encounters with the hostile aliens have persisted over the past decade, the Frontiersmen have added adaptations of their own to combat the Kharaa threat.

All Marines are armed with the standard Assault Rifle, Pistol and Switch-Axe. Additional weapon types require research by the Marine Commander at their respective structures.

Default Weapons
Owner Weapon Description Shared Attributes Additional Information




Assault Rifle
Long-range, rapid-fire weapon with high accuracy.
  • Can be dropped or picked up.
  • Dropped weapons are vulnerable to Bile Bomb.
  • Weapons 1/2/3 upgrades increase damage.
  • Weapon slot 1.
  • Drops reserve ammo as an Ammo Pack.
  • Fires a continuous stream of bullets.
    • Slight bullet spread.
  • Reloads entire clip.
  • Secondary melee attack: Rifle Bash


Long-range, rapid-fire weapon with pinpoint accuracy.
  • Weapon slot 2.
  • Fires a bullet on each button press.
    • Perfect accuracy.
  • Reloads entire clip.

Switch axe.gif

Anti-structure melee weapon.
  • Weapon slot 3.
  • Cannot be dropped.
  • Bonus damage against structures.

Purchased Weapons
Buy From Weapon Description Shared Attributes Additional Information




Proximity explosive that detonates when Kharaa lifeforms are nearby.
  • Can be dropped or picked up.
  • Dropped weapons are vulnerable to Bile Bomb.
  • Provides 3 Mines per purchase.
    • Weapon slot 4.
    • Maximum 3 Mines per player.
  • Short arming time before activation.
  • Explosion deals damage to owner as well.
  • Detonates other Mines in close proximity.
  • Detonates prematurely when touched by Infestation or disrupted by Stomp.
  • No Weapons 1/2/3 upgrades.


Close-range weapon that excels at dealing burst damage.
  • Replaces current primary weapon on purchase or pick up.
    • Weapon slot 1.
    • Drops reserve ammo as an Ammo Pack.
  • Fires 17 pellets per shot in cone-shaped pattern.
  • Reloads clip one shell at a time.
  • Weapons 1/2/3 upgrades increase damage.


Repair and construction utility.
  • Replaces Switch-Axe on purchase or pick up.
    • Weapon slot 3.
  • Repairs Marine and Exosuit Armor only.
  • Repairs Frontiersmen robots and structures completely.
    • Constructs and repairs unbuilt structures simultaneously.
    • Repairs broken Power Nodes quickly.
  • Slowly repairs owner's armor when welding friendly players and structures.
  • Bonus damage against Flammable Kharaa structures.
  • No Weapons 1/2/3 upgrades.

Cluster grenade.gif

Cluster Grenade
Hand grenade that fragments into smaller explosives.
  • Cannot be dropped.
  • Provides 2 hand grenades per purchase.
    • Weapon slot 5.
    • Maximum 1 type of hand grenade per player.
  • First explosion deals moderate damage.
    • Fragments deal lower damage.
  • Explosion deals damage to owner as well.
  • Bonus damage against flammable Kharaa structures.

Gas grenade.gif

Nerve Gas Grenade
Hand grenade that emits an Armor-melting gas cloud.
  • Short activation delay after throwing.
  • Damage applies to Armor only.
  • Gas cloud dissipates after a short time.

Pulse grenade.gif

Pulse Grenade
Hand grenade that reduces lifeform attack speed.
  • Explodes on impact with lifeforms and structures.
    • Deals high burst damage.
    • Explosion deals damage to owner as well.
  • Reduces attack speed for all Kharaa lifeforms in range.

Advanced armory.gif

Advanced Armory

Grenade launcher.gif

Grenade Launcher
Long-range, anti-structure weapon that launches explosive grenades.
  • Replaces current primary weapon on purchase or pick up.
    • Weapon slot 1.
    • Drops reserve ammo as an Ammo Pack.
  • Can be dropped or picked up.
  • Dropped weapons are vulnerable to Bile Bomb.
  • No Weapons 1/2/3 upgrades.
  • Fires 1 grenade per shot in an arc.
  • Reloads clip one grenade at a time.
  • Grenades detonate on impact with Kharaa units and structures.
    • Bounces off friendly players, structures, and map geometry.
    • Detonates after a short fuse time.
    • Explosion deals damage to owner as well.


Medium-range, multipurpose support weapon that sets Kharaa units, structures, and surfaces alight.
  • Reloads entire clip.
  • Fires a continuous stream of flames.
    • Slowly drains burning lifeforms' energy.
    • Leaves residual fires on surfaces.
    • Burns Kharaa units and structures for a short time.
      • Disables passive abilities of most Kharaa structures.
      • Disables active abilities of Kharaa static defense structures.
  • Destroys Whip bombard and Bile Bomb projectiles mid-flight.
  • Evaporates Umbra, Spore, and Drifter-made clouds instantly.
  • Bonus damage against flammable Kharaa structures.

Purchased Equipment
Buy From Equipment Description Shared Attributes Additional Information

Prototype lab.gif

Prototype Lab


Equipment that grants short sustainable flight.
  • Permanently equipped on purchase until death.
    • Maximum 1 per player.
    • Cannot be unequipped, but can be picked up.
    • Dropped equipment is vulnerable to Bile Bomb.
  • Enables flight by double jumping.
    • Increases jump height while flying.
    • Increases forward speed while flying.
  • Drains fuel meter while in use.
  • Refills fuel meter while not in use.


Mechanical suit equipped with an anti-armor Minigun and anti-structure Power Claw.
  • Uses Armor only (no Health).
    • Immune to Biological and Gas Damage Type attacks.
    • Can be repaired by Welder and MACs.
    • Cannot receive Med Packs or replenish health from an Armory.
    • Armor 1/2/3 upgrades increase maximum Armor.
  • Weapons 1/2/3 upgrades increase damage.
  • Targeting system locks onto Kharaa lifeforms on screen.
  • Use thrusters to dash forward or lift up.
  • Pilot can eject from Exosuit to resume Marine duties.
  • Access Prototype Lab to purchase dual wield upgrade.
  • Cannot teleport through Phase Gates.
  • Power Claw does bonus damage against structures.
  • Minigun fires continuous rounds of bullets.
    • Minigun can overheat and requires a short cooldown to reuse.
    • Infinite ammo.

Dual minigun exosuit.gif

Dual Miniguns Exosuit
Mechanical suit equipped with 2 anti-armor Miniguns.
  • Miniguns fire continuous rounds of bullets.
    • Miniguns can individually overheat and require a short cooldown to reuse.
    • Infinite ammo.

Railgun exosuit.gif

Railgun Exosuit
Mechanical suit equipped with an anti-structure Railgun and Power Claw.
  • Power Claw inflicts more damage against structures.
  • Railgun fires a unit and structure penetrating projectile.
    • Can charge shot to increase damage.
    • Player crosshair highlights targets in blue.
    • Brief cooldown after each shot.
    • Perfect accuracy.

Railgun exosuit.gif

Dual Railguns Exosuit
Mechanical suit equipped with 2 anti-structure Railguns.
  • Railguns fire a unit and structure penetrating projectile.
    • Can charge shot to increase damage.
    • Player crosshair highlights targets in blue.
    • Brief cooldown after each shot or when charging one Railgun.
    • Perfect accuracy.


Main article: Marine Commander.
See also: Resource Model.

The Marine Commander is a leader that directs Frontiersmen strategics and operations. The Commander coordinates Marine squads via Waypoints, establishes forward bases by creating structure templates (which Marines or MACs must assemble); researches new weapons and technologies, upgrades weapons damage and Armor, and provides immediate assistance to Marines using Commander abilities. Any Marine can log in at an unoccupied Command Station to become the Marine Commander. Only one Commander can be active at a time, and he may log out to resume his role as foot soldier.

The Commander has a user-interface that includes a Mini-map, commander menu, and resource counter, allowing him to build structures and perform upgrades for the Frontiersmen. He can also assist his Marines using various abilities at his disposal; commander abilities cost Team Resources, with some abilities usable anywhere and others require specific structures to trigger.

Marine Commander Abilities
Assist Structure Dependent
Ammo pack icon.gif Med pack icon.gif Nano shield icon.gif Scan icon.gif Distress beacon icon.gif Recycle icon.gif
Ammo Pack Med Pack Nano Shield Scan Distress Beacon Recycle
Power surge icon.gif Catalyst pack icon.gif Drop weapons icon.gif
Power Surge Catalyst Pack Drop Weapons
  • Distress Beacon is only accessible from an Observatory.
  • Recycle is accessible on all Frontiersmen structures.

Power Grid

Main article: Power Node.

Most Frontiersmen structures require power to operate, therefore the Marine Commander must reroute power from a Power Socket by installing a Power Node. Power Sockets are located in most rooms and corridors on a map, and Marines or MACs must assemble the unbuilt Power Node to activate the room's Power Grid.

The Power Node cannot be removed once installed; however, take caution as the Kharaa can severely damage a Power Node, causing power outage and unpowering most Frontiersmen structures within the area. An inactive Power Node can be fully repaired by Marine or MAC to reboot the Power Grid.


The Marine Commander can spend Team Resources to create structure blueprints anywhere on the map. The blueprint contains the necessary materials for the specific structure, but the construction process requires the Marine's Build Tool or Welder to complete. The Marine Commander can also assign a MAC to construct structures.

Blueprints can be canceled by the Marine Commander to refund 75% the Team Resources spent. If any Kharaa lifeform touches a blueprint, it will dissipate and refund 100% of the Team Resources spent to the Frontiersmen.

Units and Structures

Basic Structures
Structure Description Shared Attributes Additional Information
Command station idle.gif

Command Station
Frontiersmen command structure that houses the Marine Commander.
  • Builds only on an unoccupied Tech Point.
  • Operates without power in room.
  • Marine Commander can research new commander abilities.
Extractor idle.gif

Extracts Team and Personal Resources for the Frontiersmen to build and upgrade.
Infantry portal idle.gif

Infantry Portal
Respawn structure for Marines.
  • Builds only near a Command Station.
  • Marine Commander can issue Move Waypoint to newly spawned Marines.
Armory idle.gif

Marine resupply point and weapons arsenal.
Robotics factory idle small.gif

Robotics Factory
ARC idle.gif

Robotics Factory - Robot manufacturing structure.

ARC - Deployable mobile siege cannon.

MAC - Worker unit that performs repair and construction.
  • Costs Supply to build.
  • Unlocks Power Surge commander ability.
  • Produces MAC.
    • MAC builds and repairs friendly structures.
    • Welds Marine and Exosuit Armor.
  • Upgrades to ARC Factory.
    • Produces ARC.
    • ARC deploys to fire anti-structure sonic blasts through walls.
MAC idle.gif

Arms lab idle.gif

Arms Lab
Weapons and Armor upgrade structure.
  • Weapons 1/2/3 increases most weapons' damage.
  • Armor 1/2/3 increases Marine and Exosuit Armor.

Advanced Structures
Structure Description Shared Attributes Additional Information
Sentry idle.gif

Sentry battery idle.gif

Sentry Battery
Sentry - Static defense that shoots Kharaa lifeforms on sight.

Sentry Battery - Provides power for Sentry turrets.
  • Costs Supply to build.
    • Maximum 3 Sentries per Battery.
    • Maximum 1 Sentry Battery per room.
  • Sentry operates on Battery power only.
  • Sentry can be confused by Spores and Stomp.
  • Battery operates without power in room.
Observatory idle.gif

Detection structure that highlights Kharaa units and structures.
  • Detects any Kharaa lifeform, units, and structures in a large radius.
    • Detected units and structures positions are periodically tracked on screen.
    • Reveals units and structures under Shade Cloak or Phantom evolution invisibility.
  • Unlocks Scan and Distress Beacon commander abilities by default.
  • Unlocks Phase Gate after research.
Phase gate idle.gif

Phase Gate
Teleportation system for Marines.
  • Requires at least 2 Phase Gates to activate.
  • Teleports Marines to another Phase Gate instantly.
  • Links to all active Phase Gates anywhere on the map.
Prototype lab idle.gif

Prototype Lab
Marine equipment arsenal.
  • Enables the Buy Menu for players to buy new equipment.
  • Marine Commander can research new equipment for purchase.


  • In NS1 but without information on inclusion/exclusion in NS2:
    • Light Armor
    • Turret Factory
  • Dropped:
  • Brought over in later builds of NS2
  • Not brought over from NS1:
    • Light Machine Gun - Replaced in role of default primary weapon by Assault Rifle
    • Heavy Machine Gun
    • Grenade - Had similar functionality with Grenade Launcher Attachment until it was removed in Build 209.
    • Knife - Replaced in role of melee weapon by Switch-Axe.

External Links