A fast paced multiplayer shooter that pits aliens against humans in a strategic and action-packed struggle for survival!
User reviews:
Mostly Positive (70 reviews) - 72% of the 70 user reviews in the last 30 days are positive.
Very Positive (7,836 reviews) - 84% of the 7,836 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Oct 30, 2012

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Recent updates View all (142)

August 12

Update 307 Live on Steam!

Progress! These last couple weeks we have been working towards some of our larger goals for the game. We have had multiple public and private test sessions with the upgraded Luajit changes and it is very close to public release. Dependency on Awesomium has been removed and should help with stability and memory leaks. HIVE 2.0 will be launching in parallel to the existing HIVE sometime over the next week using extensions. This will allow us to test our new system in the public and see how well the algorithms and data collection are working and allow us to make some final tweaks before removing the old version entirely (more detail on this in a separate blog post soon).

Looking to make some changes, update 307 includes a new version of Summit with contributions from Wob and Loki. We have been playing it over the last couple weeks and are excited to see how the public adapts to the new changes. There have been continued debates in multiple Discord channels over balance and a wide range of other subjects lately. These discussions have been very helpful and have lead to some inspired changes that you will see in the log below, so keep em going.

Keep an eye out for a new blog post next week showing our evolving Roadmap for the future of NS2 and some of the exciting updates that we hope to be bringing in the near future.

Skulk on and be happy!

Update 307 Changelog

Tweaks / Improvements

  • Skulk Changes
    • Reverted HP to 70/10 (was 85/10)
    • Increased base ground speed to 7.25 to match wall walking speed (was 7.0)
    • Increased non-celerity wall jump force to 6.4 to match the celerity force (was 5.2)
    • Increased sneak speed to be 66% of max speed (was 50%)
    • Made wall jump noises more responsive to your speed to provide better feedback
Although we felt that increasing the Skulk base HP was a necessary step to restore the balance, we agree with the community’s sentiment that it didn’t improve the feel for either side. Our aim going forward is to make it so Skulks feel effective, even while their small health pool can feel punishing. These new changes in conjunction with the melee box increase should make Skulks feel a little bit more maneuverable and able to get a kill, especially during the early game and when planning an ambush.
  • Removed the Twitter ticker since it is not used much
  • Added team say console command `tsay` (Thanks Keats!)
  • Replaced HTML renderer to use Steam APIs instead of Awesomium
    • Videos will now play on Linux!
  • Welcome banner was hidden by the load screen (Thanks Brute!)
  • Fixed that text input fields didn’t consume key events (Thanks Brute!)
  • Fixed that enemies were still considered in LOS for health bar display when hiding behind structures and other players
  • Fixed that enemies were not considered in LOS for health bar display when visible through railings
  • Fixed that Skulks’ celerity bonus was not being reduced while sneaking
  • Fixed a script error caused by telling a bot to attack a clog
  • Fixed that higher level tech was not immediately available in Sandbox mode from the Armory/Protolab
  • Fixed that missing placeholders in a localization could cause clients to crash (occurred with Serbian selected)
  • Fixed a script issue occurring on ns2_caged caused by achievement handling
Map Changes
  • Summit
    • Atrium – Depth of arched pillars increased, tree added and its tube, raised platform at back of summit added console for additional ground cover, fences now solid.
    • Datacore – New pillar added to give partial LOS block on TechPoint when approaching from Pipe Junction
    • Reception – Increased height of ceiling and added new pillar
    • Flight Control -Duplicated roof truss and added tv for cover
    • Computer Lab – Added small pillar increased height of ceiling, route from comp lab to sub now has 2 additional ceiling recesses for hiding skulks etc
    • Reactor Core – Slight room alteration + extended angular struts from the reactor prop
  • Derelict
    • Fixed overhead bridge in Biome blocking commander view
  • Model Compiler – Fixed a bug that would cause FBX models to use incorrect bones for attachment points.
  • Model Compiler – Fixed a bug that would cause FBX models to have cameras incorrectly oriented.
  • Model Compiler – Added a directive to the model compiler “material_path_replace”.  Takes an input string, and replaces all occurrences of it with the output string.  Useful for maintaining proper Maya workflow/naming conventions.

8 comments Read more

July 29

Build 306 LIVE!

Our latest build continues on the path of refinement and stability, and although small there are some nice changes in this patch. Those of you with antivirus woes when opening NS2 should no longer have an issue as all our windows binaries are digitally signed and secure. As stated in the blog post earlier this week, we increased the size of the melee attack on both the skulk and fade and this change is no longer an extension but part of the vanilla code. We have also decided to slightly bump up skulk HP requiring an additional 2 bullets to make contact.

Behind the scenes we are continuing our work on HIVE 2, which is coming along nicely and should see the public soon! Meanwhile FSFOD has not wasted any time on his upgrade of LUAJit and we will be beta testing those changes starting next week. We are very excited to get some of these new features out into the public, but for now, enjoy the update!

Update 306 Details:

Tweaks / Improvements

  • All Windows binaries are now digitally signed, which should make AV & Security programs consider NS2 as a validated program. There are some AV programs that will not take this into consideration however (such as Avast Hardened-mode enabled).
  • Warmup Mode Improvements
    • Enemies will slowly take damage while in the other team’s spawn location and will receive a notification to retreat
    • Bots will no longer buy tech or evolve, to prevent overwhelming the enemy team with Onos
  • Filler bots will be disabled for listen servers
  • Disabled many rookie-only checks in listen servers
  • Boosted Skulk starting health by 15hp to 85/10
  • Size of Skulk melee has been increased to 1.2, 1.2 (was 0.7, 1)
  • Size of Fade melee has increased vertically to 0.7,1.2 (was 0.7,1)
  • Fixed that filler bots stayed longer in the teams than they should which could lead to uneven teams
  • The player list now updates properly in the server details window
  • Mod names now update properly in the server details window
  • Fixed that the sv_forceeventeams command wasn’t working
  • Fixed that the “start commanding” text showed up at unbuild hives (thanks NoM)
  • Fixed that commander dropped weapons caused phantom item bubbles

8 comments Read more


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

About This Game

Natural Selection 2 pits alien against human in an action-packed struggle for survival. Wield devastating weaponry as a Frontiersman marine, or become the xenomorph as a deadly Kharaa lifeform.

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 are 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 its 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 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, 2016, Unknown Worlds continues to develop new features, content, and improvements.

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 in-game marine model - Exclusive in-game marine model - A new marine model with custom visor and armor plating
  • Exclusive Wallpapers and Avatars - Unique views of the NS2 universe by Amanda Diaz

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
Customer reviews
Customer Review system updated! Learn more
Mostly Positive (70 reviews)
Very Positive (7,836 reviews)
Recently Posted
0.4 hrs
Posted: August 27
If u come this far just turn back. 0 players online at peak times. at least in asutralia. The game play is great just a shame online is dead.

waiting for refund.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
201.6 hrs
Posted: August 27
I haven't played this game in a while, but out of all the games i miss and consider under-rated when i consider playing a game of something after playing a lot of something else, i miss and want to return to this one the most.

The balance has always generally been good, with subtle variations in the aliens being strong early game due to their manouverability and the marines strong late game due to their firepower, i've still found the game very satisfying and playable. Those subtle variations said, the game has never been more balanced and i consider those issues largely addressed as well as they can be.

I enjoyed this game for the short period that i played it in pre-release (not that i can tell i ever had the cool, unique skin you're rewarded for doing so ever being properly equipped when chosen). But one thing to be aware of is there is a relatively high skill ceiling that makes the game quite competitive due to the fact it's very fast pace, quite punishing of mistakes made and rewards fast reaction times and accuracy (the latter one there being a slightly more important skillset for marines).

Playing marines is certainly a lot more easier than playing the aliens, probably largely due to the familiar gameplay. This does result in the marine team filling up faster than the alien one. You might find yourself having played a lot of games as the alien and wanting to swap, but find it difficult to find a slot on the marine team.

Not a whole lot i can really say about the tactical aspect of the game. I do enjoy commanding both teams, though it can be a pain finding a good one when you want to be a player. The alien commander is a little easier on account of being to operate almost indepentently of the players since the structures tend to build themselves if only slowly, whilst the marine commander absolutely relies on his marines for this.

Use of personal requisition is more difficult as marines as an alien player can perform well with even the basic tier 1 class and can happily sit ontop of a pool of requisition waiting to be used. Whilst the marines will want to invest in consumables and upgrades throughout the game meaning if they die they likely wont have that pool of resources to immediately replace their loadout. Some consolation does come in the form of being able to re-acquire your weapon from the map within a certain time period, but that does also come with the potential for being ambushed.

TL;DR It's balanced, it's fun, it's different if not a tad competitive compared to its peer shooter titles.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
116.2 hrs
Posted: August 27
Quick Review:
Awesome to see the old source mods receive stand alones!
This game was fun for a while but quickly became stagnant. There were many poor developer decisions for a relatively low population game.
There's a cool learning curve for beginner to expert players.
It's mostly in the hands of the community now as the original developers have moved on.
Can't recommend trying it out now. Was at it's best when it was released and everyone was in the same boat/playing field.

Overall Natural Selection 2 had the potential for so much more but ultimately failed.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
[I/O] deaddestroyer54
75.0 hrs
Posted: August 26
Great game, I love the fact that this game requires teamwork and that this is an FPS/RTS game, not many of those out there. Amazing graphics and sounds as well as models. 11/10
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Killer Memestar
75.8 hrs
Posted: August 26
its dead, really really dead
Helpful? Yes No Funny
23.0 hrs
Posted: August 24
The game is fun but the community is unfriendly and petty. If you are looking for a relaxing game to play after work then give this one a pass.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Doogle Berry
24.2 hrs
Posted: August 24
Helpful? Yes No Funny
11.9 hrs
Posted: August 24
This was possibly the first FPS with real strategy and teamplay involved (NS1 too of course).
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Hail Stan!
36.4 hrs
Posted: August 23
An extermely fun and wonderful fps/rts hybrid. The only issue is the game is deeply frustrating without a group of serious players. Multiplayer scene is also very small. It saddens me.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
3.9 hrs
Posted: August 23
All this game has managed to do is ♥♥♥♥ me off. The aliens feel severely underpowered. Especially the flying one. Its the only one I like but its damage is pathetic. It seems like the marines just steam roll and the aliens have no effective ranged attacks to counter it. It's just frustrating. I dont usualy scream obscenities at my tv but I do when I play this.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Most Helpful Reviews  In the past 30 days
22 of 32 people (69%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
1,558.3 hrs on record
Posted: August 1
I loved this game. But it's dead now. Truly dead.
These late gameplay reworks and balance changes are just haphazard attempts to eek out a few more months of life.
At least the rookie servers seem to have populations. I wouldn't know. The fact that there is more life on segregated servers for rooks than vet servers keeps it that way.
The story might be different if you're EU or NA.
But if you're an Aus/NZ player you are well and truly screwed.
Essentially you either play on the one or two non rookie servers that give you 250+ms but don't auto kick high pings -while still being chewed out for a high ping- or you luck out for the 2-3 hours of one night a week where the Aus server sees more than 10 concurrent players.
This game was fantastic.
Rest in Peace, GG No Re.
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9 of 11 people (82%) found this review helpful
57.5 hrs on record
Posted: August 9
The game is a mix of a First Person Shooter and RTS (of sorts), but in a good way. The teams consist of a single commander on both sides that will build structures whilst also, taking advatage of his top down perspective, trying to instruct and organize his Ground Troops. Of course the playstyle is diffrent depending on which team for the marine commander needs the Ground Troops to build the structures he placed whilsed the alien commander doesn't need his Ground Troops to do so. The objective is to take out all of the opposing team's Command Stations (Marine) or Hives (Alien).

Because there is only a single commander per team you will likely be spending a large majority of yoru time being apart of your team's Ground Troops.

-As the Marine Ground Troops you will have to communicate with your team to build structures set down by your commander and try to not be killed by the Aliens by trying to engage them at a distance.

-As the Alien Ground Troops you will try to slow and prevent Marine progression and explansion by destroying Marine Structures and killing them yourself. The Marines have Machine guns that are very effective at killing Aliens at range, and as the Alien you do not have range a large majority of the time. This leads to creative ways to try and get to them, from Crawling into the vents to try and flank them to crawling on the walls to ambush them.

*Keep in Mind that the things I just described are the very basics of both sides and the game has much more to it.

Something really nice about the game I would like to note is that there are rookie servers that only new players can join where you can only play with other players that are also realitivly new to the game. So you will never really have this pressure in these servers. Yet when you start feeling comfotable enough to start playing on normal servers you will find many servers will have vey organized teams that create amazing games! It's a very nice system having freindly rookie servers and amazingly organized normal servers.

The only issue I have with this game is trying to practice with commander. When I started becoming proficient with playing commander (online) I was locked out of the rookie servers. Normally this would be a good thing as the game deemed me with enough expirience to start playing on normal servers. Now in these servers you play with a large amount of veteran players, and this left me very little room to practice playing commander. Of course I'm not saying it's impossible to play commander because every once in a while you with find a team with no commander that is very supportive of you being a new commander and will help you do so. But most of the time on the normal severs I was contemplating either: "A. Taking command and being inexperienced and slower and more than likely lose the game for our team because of this." or "B. Letting someone else take command that is faster and more expirienced whilst be part of the Ground forces where I have the most experience in playing."

Either Way I find this game to be overall fantastic and a lot of fun to play. I would recomend this game to anyone who enjoys playing with orginized teams to create amazing strategies and extensive engagments.
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7 of 9 people (78%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
21.2 hrs on record
Posted: August 7
+Actual team play
+A few modes
+Some mods
+Offline Play
+Relatively balanced
+Exo Suits
+Crush filthy aliens
-Load time takes 5-10 minutes when the "matches" are usually 30-50 minutes long
-Lag more in offline mode with bots than when playing online multiplayer
-Skin mods were removed so that they could sell their own skins
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
36.3 hrs on record
Posted: August 19
Bring back tremulous memories, great game!
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
4 of 6 people (67%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
3.7 hrs on record
Posted: August 11
Mint as game well worth the purchase , its a whole new sort of experience and I highly recommend it but its gunna take a bit to learn to play fluidly but it will be worth it
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
87.2 hrs on record
Posted: August 17
Ummm, yes! no other game is like this. strategy driven, team work is what wins games. The commander role is extremely fun as well. This game takes time to master. I have 80 hours and I'm still learning new strategies. Well worth the price tag.
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
54.0 hrs on record
Posted: August 18
Fun cross between an FPS and an RTS. The only other game that I've seen similar to it was an old game called Savage: The battle for Newerth.

There's an RTS element, with a commander, who focuses on giving commands (although with human players, they're more like requests than commands, as the players don't have to obey them), placing buildings, researching tech, and managing resources.

The players meanwhile play it like an FPS. I prefer playing as a marine because it's fun to shoot down aliens. Although you really have to watch your shots, as it's really easy to miss, and you burn through ammo quick. And if you can coordinate with a few other marines to form a fireteam, you can usually hold your own quite well, even with just basic rifles, armor, and other tech.

At only $10, the game is not expensive, and it offers hours of fun.

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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
587.9 hrs on record
Posted: August 20
NS2 is a PVP shooter unlike anything you have seen.
It doesn't need recoil and spread to make shooting an enjoyable challenge as marine.
As Alien you can dodge bullets like neo or stealthily surprise attack an unsuspecting marine from above
both sides are a real test of your reflexes and mindplay
and if you just want to manage everything you can play Commander, place buildings, unlock weapons and skills: you control how your team should play.

Aliens and Marines have dozends of skills and classes that change the way you play dramatically
become a swift winged beast or a rhino like killng machine, grab a jetpack and shotgun and never miss a shot in the heat of battle or control a mech walker with huge guns and armor.
or just support your team with heals, repairs, constructing or building smaller support structures without needing to command.
There are many ways to individualise your playstyle

The game is to this day being patched and balanced by people from the Community, so it is a very bug free and fair experience (if your teams have comparable gameplay experience of course).
if you are not sure if the game is for you, you should mark it for later, it has been on -75% sale quite often so far. and cheap keys from sales are being sold on other sites as well.
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
418.5 hrs on record
Posted: August 20
Very fun game.
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2 of 3 people (67%) found this review helpful
30.0 hrs on record
Posted: August 12
This game is so beautiful and amazing looking. I found this game and instantly put it on my wishlist. It was a rts and fps. I loved the gameplay and everything. I quickly bought a copy for me and my brother. So happy to finally play it. Until I did. It was so hard. As alien I could not kill or do anything. As human I could not even shoot one bullet without missing. You need wicked reflexes and insane skills. I tryed to practice and look at my hours playing. I still can't even win one round. I recommend it to expert players, not the simple player like me.

My score is 80%.
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