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Oh God what are you doing here go away avert your eyes eat your chocolate Jesus and look away

Rookie Guide

Before your First Game

  • Set up graphics options (Important!)
  • Rookie Mode and Rookie-Friendly Servers
  • What the bloody hell is all this?
  • How to hit the ground running - being an asset to your team as soon as you join

Lowering graphical settings

The first tip is to lower your graphical settings to ensure low framerates don't interfere with your learning the game. The only settings One of the mistakes that Unknown Worlds admitted to making during the development of Natural Selection 2 was leaving the optimization of the Spark Engine

==Rookie Mode and Rookie-Friendly Servers A rookie is a term given to athletes or military personnel in their first year. For the first four hours of Natural Selection 2, you're a Rookie, meaning that your name shows in green on the scoreboard and when speaking.

Rookie Mode

My rookie status ran out, but I want to turn it back on!

If you believe that four hours isn't long enough to feel confident and comfortable in Natural Selection 2, you'll find that an overwhelming majority completely agrees with you. While there is an option to turn Rookie Mode on in the Options menu, it reverts back every 30 seconds. To counter this, you can follow the method outlined here, or alternatively add "[Rookie]" to the end of your nickname. Your nickname will still show up in white, however, most players will understand the meaning.

Rookie-Friendly Servers

Your First Game

Bot Games

Although always in development, bots are available to play with; computer-controlled players and commanders that let you take your time and learn in total privacy. TODO: - Explain differences between bot games and real games - Best way to learn in a bot game


You can spectate players to get a feeling for the game before trying it out. Players in the spectate position do take slots for the server, however; if the teams become unbalanced players may start to grumble. You can either join a team, or explain that you're a rookie and you want to watch a game first. TODO - Explain best way to view spectator mode and what to look out for

Let's give it a try, then

So the round starts and suddenly everything's a little quiet. You're a bit confused. Where to go, and, most importantly, how can you be helpful? TODO - Explain common responsibilities - FOCUS on how to make a rookie feel USEFUL!

What should I do?

I suck as a Marine!

I can't hit those Skulks!

The vast majority of NS2 players all felt the same way when starting out.

  • Aim carefully, try not to panic (common to begin with, especially when ambushed), and try to stop shooting and re-focus your aim if you're not hitting your target.
  • You need to deal 90 damage to a Skulk to kill it. The Rifle deals 10 damage a shot, and the Kharaa natural regeneration may put this number to 100. You have 50 rounds in your rifle; only a fifth of the entire magazine will kill a Skulk. You don't need to fire 50 rounds; you need to fire 10 that hit.
    • Later you may need to deal 130 damage due to Carapace, but this is not available until researched by the Alien Commander.
  • The secondary attack of the Rifle, the Rifle Bash, is next to useless in nearly all scenarios.
  • If you've done enough damage to finish off your target in a few hits, e.g. you've dealt 70-80 damage with your Rifle but need to reload, it's quicker to switch to the Pistol to finish them off. The Pistol does more damage per shot than the Assault Rifle - 25 damage to the rifle's 10 - but does less damage against armor; a wounded Skulk is likely to have little if any armor remaining, meaning one or two Pistol rounds can finish it.

I suck as a Skulk!

I keep getting gunned down by Marines!

How do I get more Personal Resources?

The only way to get more Personal Resources is via Resource Points - Extractors for the Marines and Harvesters for the Aliens.