A fast paced multiplayer shooter that pits aliens against humans in a strategic and action-packed struggle for survival!
User reviews: Very Positive (6,902 reviews) - 85% of the 6,902 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Oct 30, 2012

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Recommended By Curators

"A team based FPS with some strategy elements. A lot of fun that relies on teamwork whether your the Marines or the Aliens."

Recent updates View all (115)

October 15

Update 276 Released

One of the biggest complaints we read in the forums and steam reviews has always been “why are my load times so long?”. For some it was infuriating to load the game and wait 4+ minutes to load a level, especially when staring at a loading-screen. It can sometimes feel like an eternity. Build 276 is a great leap forward towards resolving this issue.

By taking precompiled data and shipping it with the build, it allows your machine to not have to work through each of the individual files like before and so saves time getting you into the game. Prior to Build 276, a fresh install of NS2 could take over 4.5min or longer to load into a map for the very first time on traditional HDDs. This is now reduced significantly to around 2.5min. While this is still not perfect, it makes huge strides towards solving the issue for good. Where you will notice the most change is in load time after the initial loading process. On average all traditional HDDs should see a map load time of around 46sec, down from 1.5min or more, with SSDs being even faster again. Remember that everyone’s experience may be different, but you will notice a decrease in load times none the less.

Despite it’s small download footprint there is a lot more under the hood of this patch included in the changelog below, and there is still more to come! With the anniversary of Natural Selection fast approaching, we will be releasing one more patch to get into the spirit of the season and introduce some minor balance tweaks and more updates/fixes to our editor tools!

– Dillon (“WasabiOne”)

See the full update changelog on the Natural Selection 2 blog.

37 comments Read more

August 25

NSL Season 7 Launched

The Natural Selection League (NSL) has opened signups for two new NS events: A Newcomer Tournament, and NSL Season 7. These events cater to a wide range of skill levels, and will provide a more organised play experience than public games can deliver.

Natural Selection 2 comes alive when played in an organised environment. Teamwork, voice-communications, and the pressure of playing for a title all come to the fore.

The Newcomer Tournament is aimed at those with less competitive NS2 experience, who are looking to try a more organised play style. Matches will take place on September 19th and 20th. Anyone that does not play in the NSL or AusNS2 leagues is welcome to join up.

It’s not necessary to have a team to play. The NSL will organise everyone into teams (how’s that for service?). That means it is possible to sign up to the Newcomer Tournament as a single player. Sign up to the Newcomer Tournament using the signup form. Detailed information about how the competition will work is also available in the NSL’s help document.

The Natural Selection League has a hallowed history, having operated since the early days of Natural Selection 1 in the early 2000’s. Now, season 7 is here. This is the defining competitive NS2 event – The best players and the best teams come together across multiple, skill-ranked divisions.

Signing up for the NSL requires having an account on the http://www.ensl.org/ website. Once you have an account, there are instructions for team-creation in the NSL announcement post.

As with the Newcomer Tournament, the NSL will handle organisation and skill-ranking. It’s time to play in some organised 6v6s, sign up now!

6 comments Read more


"NS2 is a genius mash of Counter Strike and Starcraft"
"This is getting close to my idea of the ultimate game"

Strategy Meets Shooter

Natural Selection 2 is a First Person Shooter and Real Time Stategy game rolled into one! Each team, alien and human, has a Commander. The Commander looks down on the battlefield and issues orders, places structures, collects resources, researches technology, and deploys abilities.

Here's some gameplay examples: A human Commander could drop health packs and ammunition to a trapped marine squad, and deploy sentry guns to help them defend their position. Or an alien Commander could grow a new Hive to spread infestation throughout newly captured territory, allowing more alien eggs to spawn...

Two Unique Sides

Aliens players choose to evolve into one of five lifeforms: The fast, fearsome Skulk can run on walls and deliver massive damage with is jaws. Lerks fly and deploy gasses to support their teammates in battle. Gorges heal other lifeforms and build tunnels, hydra turrets, walls, and other tactical structures. Fades blink in and out of battle, picking off marines with giant scythes. Finally, the giant Onos is so massive and so tough, that even entire marine squads can't take it down.

Marines wield rifles, shotguns, grenade launchers, pistols, and other weapons. Cluster grenades can clear ventilation shafts of sneaky Skulks, flamethrowers make short work of alien structures and infestation, and boosts dropped by the commander Commander like nano-shields and catalyst packs increase combat effectiveness.

When attacking on foot doesn't cut it, marines can construct hulking Exosuits wielding miniguns and railguns, and equip jetpacks for high speed assaults on alien Hives.

Long Term Development

Natural Selection 2 receives constant updates. This year (2014), it has received a major update, on average, once per month! These updates are created by the Community Development Team, supported by Unknown Worlds.

Mod Tools Come Standard

Natural Selection 2 comes with all the tools we used to make the game. All game code is open source. That means you can create, and play, an endless variety of mods. Publish, share, and download mods from the Steam Workshop, and automatically download mods when you join modded games.

Digital Deluxe Edition

Digital Deluxe Edition includes:

Official Soundtrack - 1 hour of tribal, industrial music composed by David John and Simon Chylinski
Digital Art Book - 40+ pages of art by Cory Strader, including environments, creatures, weapons and more
Exclusive Wallpapers and Avatars - Unique views of the NS2 universe by artist Rantology
Exclusive in-game marine model - A new marine model with custom visor and armor plating

About This Game

Natural Selection 2 pits alien against human in an action-packed struggle for survival. Wield devastating weaponry as a Frontiesman marine, or become the xenomorph as a deadly. Kharaa life-form. While both teams fight each other in first person, two commanders look down on the battlefield in a top-down Real Time Strategy view. These Commanders can issue orders, build structures, collect resources, research technology, and deploy abilities to help their team overcome the enemy.

System Requirements

    • OS:Windows Vista 32-bit
    • Processor:Core 2 Duo E6700 (2.66 GHz) or better
    • Memory:3 GB RAM
    • Graphics:DirectX 9 compatible video card with 1 GB VRAM and support for Shader Model 3 (e.g. AMD X800, NVidia 8600 or better)
    • DirectX®:9.0
    • Hard Drive:12 GB HD space
    • OS:Windows 7 64-bit or newer
    • Processor:Core 2 Quad Q6600 (2.4 GHz) or better
    • Memory:4 GB RAM
    • Graphics:DirectX 9 compatible video card with 1.5 - 2 GB VRAM (AMD 5770, NVidia GTX 450 or better)
    • DirectX®:9.0
    • Hard Drive:12 GB HD space
    • Other Requirements:Broadband Internet connection
Helpful customer reviews
101 of 139 people (73%) found this review helpful
24 people found this review funny
97.4 hrs on record
Posted: June 13
jesus christ how is this game only 10 bucks on steam? its sad when trash like Call of Duty and Battlefield sell by the truckload, but truly fantastic games like this struggle.

TLDR; get some taste for good games noobs
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39 of 47 people (83%) found this review helpful
3 people found this review funny
284.1 hrs on record
Posted: June 12
Great but incredibly complex game with a steep learning curve. The game pits the technologically advanced marines against the highly adaptive aliens (similarly to Terran vs Zerg in StarCraft). Both teams have unique playstyles and strategies which gives way to very interesting asymmetrical gameplay. Both teams also have a single player who becomes the team's commander. The commander basically builds structures, invests in upgrades, and guides the team as a whole.

The biggest problem with this game would probably be the mediocre tutorial, which coupled with the aforementioned steep learning curve will require quite some time to learn the game. However, there are a lot of helpful players that play the game along with many rookie-friendly servers, which are marked with green names.

In short, this is a difficult game with a wonderous level of depth, strategy, and tactics.
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122 of 204 people (60%) found this review helpful
9 people found this review funny
65.0 hrs on record
Posted: June 22
(DISCLAIMER: Since steam has refunds, I actually DO RECOMMEND you pick up this game, and see if you like it. What I say below is still my opinion.)

The game is fun. I hop on every so often to join in on the fun, but thats if there is anyone to join me.

When I hop on, I see about 95% of servers empty, and the ones that are populated are normally full.

This game is pretty much dead in my opinion, because no one plays it anymore, and if anyone new joins a server they are quickly bashed. While some people try to help new players, this game is really only for the people who have been playing it for a while. And when that group of people tires of this game its dead for good.

A great game gone because no one plays it.
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14 of 18 people (78%) found this review helpful
16.6 hrs on record
Posted: August 20
Yesterday I purchased a four pack and played this with friends... that is where this review's experience comes from and the questions I want to answer are these to follow...

1: Is this a noob friendly game ...

2: Does natural selection have a good community a few years later after its release?

3: Is it worth it?

4: Machanics of the game..

Lets start with the machanics ... #4 : Natural Selection 2 is a asymetric RTS/FPS hybrid that pits two different species against eachother to battle for resources in order to gain map control and better tech . The Marines side is best for startes , its more streight forward and self explanitory. If you like call of duty or Titan fall than the marines will feel at home with you. As a marine you will need to dodge , strafe and jump often to avoid the bites of aliens and their pesky projectiles that will murder you VERY FAST! so dtay afoot. Each side has a commander who will order you the player to make and construct buildings and power nodes to expand your region of power ( Map control ) , early and mid game sentries are amazing to stop or mitigate a rush to an expansion if placed right by the commander. Late game Sentries add to the horde of your firepower so dont hesitate regardless of what players may tell you , sentries can still kill people in the end game.

Now the aliens side... as the aliens you must spread infestation and build structures as the commander , they play much like the zerg from Starcraft. The aliens have a few distinct species , the Skulk who is what you as a player will initially spawn as. Skulks are fast if used correctly so wall jump often to build up momentum and use your speed to do circles around the ankles of a exo suit or marine to kill them becuase skulks have very low health. Than we have the gorge , a pig styled alien builder who can make or brake the aliens flow of battle by placing mini turrets called hydras , walls called clogs , minions to assist and tunnels to move the aliens a great distance to where they or you may need to be. Continuing on we have the bird ( cant remember the bloody name ) , a flyer who is very fast and cna bite / shoot projectiles to kill marines very fast , great for taking out a straggler or two on your way to a base. And onto the Fade , an assasin with a lot more hp , use the fades ability to travel insanely fast around marines , confusing and disorientng them as you tear them apart limb from limb. Finally... The ONO'S ... a ultralisk - ish feel to them indeed as these tanky titans stampede through a squade of marines like scissors through paper , their only rivals being the exo suit and grenade luanchers which cost a pretty penny for marines and commanders alike.

Machanics in a gist , Team work is a massive need so listen to the commander and do as he / she tells you becuase YOU are the unit of this RTS. Map control and aggresion are key to victory. A good marine with a jet pack can turn the tide of a infestation in a jippy with the commanders support , likewise a good fade can end a large scale assult in the right hands. Skill and stratigy combine in this game.

Now is this Noob friendly... TBH , in my experience it is rare to find players who wont vote to kick you for being a new player , as a rookie your name will be green until you have reached a certain number of hours played on the game. So its very noticable if you are a new player. Even in " Rookie only servers " veterans will join and the balance that was once there will dicipate into a one sided fight very quickly. So If and onlly if the community was larger than yes this would be noob friendly but as of now , the community is quite small.

Community : Is it good??? TBH in the few hours ive played I thought about going back to League of Legends becuase players here are very hostile to newer inexperienced players like myself. Only one server welcomed my scrubdubbery with open arms and there i learned how to play.

Finnaly is it worth a buy???? Yes! , even though the community of this game is somewhat toxic , if you buy a four pack , its great with friends and great when you can actually play an all rookie game when you start out. the tutorial explains a good bit but not all of what you need to know , there is a low learning curve to the game and if you enjoy fps games , this is a new twist on a genre thats been stale for some time.
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17 of 26 people (65%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
17.1 hrs on record
Posted: June 7
The only trouble with this game is some of the morons who play it. Like many online multiplayer games, if you can get a good team and minimize the idiocy, it is an incredible amount of fun. the gameplay is rich and varied and different than the normal FPSRPG sort of titles. While you do level up and improve, there is a distinct amount of teamwork needed. It's usually suicide to go running off by yourself.
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