A fast paced multiplayer shooter that pits aliens against humans in a strategic and action-packed struggle for survival!
User reviews: Very Positive (7,202 reviews) - 84% of the 7,202 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Oct 30, 2012

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Recent updates View all (120)

February 2

Update 283 Released

Deceptively small, but under the hood there are mighty things happening! Build 283 has some exciting new features to bite into. In addition to the opportunities afforded by the Steamworks upgrade, a new development tool called ‘Extensions’ is being phased in. Both of these changes continue to lay the groundwork for new features, faster bug fixes, and enhancements to the game.

Other highlights to this build include significant fixes server memory leak and performance issues, as well as tweaks and fixes to Bootcamp. By popular demand, we’ve reverted the “sneaky skulk” because of the inconsistent behaviors it introduced in certain scenarios. Check out the changelog below for more details. Enjoy 283! 

Tweaks / Improvements

  • Reverted the “Sneaky Skulk” (introduced with build 276) by popular request. (Skulks could become exposed without noticing, or even partly glitch into walls)
  • Removed local talk bind due to it causing confusion to new players. Functionality still exists in engine, but the implementation needs to be reassessed before exposing it again.
  • Reduced snapshot history on servers to 2 seconds instead of 10, to reduce memory usage
  • Servers will now decrease send frequency to alt+tabbed clients after 1 second instead of 3 to reduce server bandwidth and cpu usage.
  • Added a filter for “rookie only” servers to the server browser
  • Lowered the speed with which the server browser updates the sorting to make it usable when you update the server list.
  • Added the new Extension System to Servers. Allows game-only updates to be released without the need for changes to be pushed through Steam.

  • Fixed that the tutorial windows was always showing up for new player with Play Now.
  • Fixed server performance issues introduced in build 279
  • Fixed server memory leaks when flushing network snapshots.
  • Fixed server crash after a failed map load.
  • Fixed that you couldn’t play the “vs Bots” mode as “non rookie”
  • Fixed disconnection pop-up message box garbled text in main menu.
  • Fixed some smaller script error of the new bot code.

  • Updated to Steamworks v. 1.35a (our first time updating in 3 years!)

  • Reworked some of the internals of the editor so that hotkeys will now be stored with their tool name instead of their tool’s ID. This means that your hotkeys shouldn’t get scrambled every time a new command is added to the editor. Unfortunately, this means there will be a one-time reset of all hotkeys in the editor to their defaults, so if you’ve got a configuration you really like, write it down!!!
  • Added an error message that prevents the trim tool from working if there are duplicate vertices present. Before, this would create an invisible, infinitely sized face that would make it nearly impossible to select any other faces. Bad stuff.
Altera News-Network Update: Reports of a winter storm headed towards your settlement. Experts have named this storm: Tundra. It is expected to hit land-fall next week. Stay tuned and bundle up!

5 comments Read more

January 26

Bootcamp Update

Today we've released a small update called 'Bootcamp.' Bootcamp aims to create more welcoming learning environments for new Natural Selection 2 players. It does this by allowing servers to restrict their games to new players only, while allowing more experienced players to join as spectators.

When new players join NS2, it is very likely that their first games will be played with very experienced teammates and opponents. Because NS2's skill curve is so steep, that means a new player might not have the opportunity to get a single kill for several games. We think this might be deterring new players from continuing to play for long after their initial purchase.

If a new players have the opportunity to learn with people of similar skill, it is possible they will enjoy NS2 more and be more likely to play more.

To help new players learn in Bootcamp servers, bots will automatically fill empty slots. These bots have been significantly upgraded from the bots you have seen in NS2 in the past. Most importantly, they can do a passable job at acting as Commanders. New players can jump in and out of the Commander role, and bots will fill in the gaps.

Bootcamp approximates 'new players' as any player with a Hive level below three. If a player has such a level , they can join Bootcamp servers. After completing the tutorial, or after reaching Hive level 1, they may also join normal servers, but cannot command until reaching Hive level 2. Players with a Hive rank of higher than two can still join Bootcamp servers, but only as a spectator.

The Hive rank system is not perfect: Not everyone with a Hive level below two is a new player. But we think it will be a fairly good approximation.

The Play-Now button will tend to favour Bootcamp servers when searching for games for a new player. As a player's Hive level increases, the Play-Now button will favour servers with more experienced players.

Please let us know what you think about this update. We're especially keen to hear from new players, about their first few hours in NS2 went down. We're excited to hear suggestions from experienced players about how new players can be introduced to NS2.


30 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 Frontiesman marine, or become the xenomorph as a deadly. Kharaa life-form.

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 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 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
Helpful customer reviews
143 of 170 people (84%) found this review helpful
19 people found this review funny
20.6 hrs on record
Posted: August 20, 2015
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.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
55 of 59 people (93%) found this review helpful
6 people found this review funny
70.6 hrs on record
Posted: November 28, 2015
This game, while also being one of my favorites, should be much more recognized by the community. While I understand that game review is subjective as all hell. Many people have shot this game down as it is different. Further concurring on the theory that innovation in video games is not truly desired by video gamers. This game is innovative, becoming it has it's own genre of video game that Steam does not have a tag for.

Notes about the game(I believe a pros and cons list to be inadequate)
-I, as an experienced StarCraft II player, have found commanding to be enjoyable, but slightly more dumbed down than a regular RTS. This is further multiplied by the simplicity of alien commanding. This, however, makes it easy for new players to pick up commanding

-The FPS action is incredibly tense, with the players having to turn off all other sources of sound or music to listen for footsteps or instructions from the commander.

-One concern I had when first starting was that I only liked playing marines, and I'm sure others have similar issues. I quickly learned that I could easily enjoy playing both sides. One must understand what they enjoy about each team before truly finding enjoyment.

-This game is, in my experience on the NA servers, generally underpopulated. However, as of the Winter sale of 2015-2016, their has been a huge surge of new players, strengthening the community and playerbase.

Helpful tips-

-Be nice to rookies. The one thing that solidified my enjoyment of this game was a kind player urging me to be my best and guiding me when I had just began. A little kindness towards new players can and will strengthen the player base.

-Carry a welder. Welders are cheap, available without any research, and can be truly vital in tense situations. Repairing a friendly's armor, or a marine in an exosuit can mean the difference between winning and lossing.

-As a skulk, remember that your life is less valuable than higher life forms. Remember to never be afraid to initiate a fight, with a higher life form like a fade or onos following suit. You will most likely die but you have paved the way for your team to win a fight without losing any life forms.

-Conceding can sometimes be the only option. Remember that there is always the option to concede by hitting x, and then selecting concede. Sometimes it is best, when new players join to just start fresh and hope for more even teams.

Final comments-
Natural Selection 2 is a fantastic game, made by fantastic developers that are constantly updating and listening to community feedback.
I would reccommend this game to anyone that enjoys fast-paced action, is able to communicate well with others without getting in fights(my brother has this issue), and can be a good loser, because loss can sometimes be inevitable

Happy Hunting!
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
38 of 43 people (88%) found this review helpful
4 people found this review funny
155.6 hrs on record
Posted: November 8, 2015
I can’t believe I haven’t reviewed this game yet after 150+ hours into it. But I have returned from a long hiatus to play this game and again and I thought it was time for a review. In a world filled with boring repetitive multiplayer shooters where you run around like a chicken with their head cut off comes a game like Natural Selection 2. A game that ACTUALLY understands the point of competitive multiplayer. TO WORK AS A TEAM!

You play as Aliens or Marines. The marines are fairly standard and easy to get the hang of. For the most part I’m a rather good marine player. Aliens are trickier and require more practice. While I’m not a great alien player I’m decent-ish. In other words I still manage to get more than 5 kills. Overall the game requires teamwork and strategy opposed to lone wolfing it. If you run off on your own you will die. You need to be supported by your team members. Also the game is farily well balanced as I did not notice any major balance issues.

Highly recommended: 9/10 Great game.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
25 of 29 people (86%) found this review helpful
5 people found this review funny
44.4 hrs on record
Posted: October 20, 2015
Let me start off by saying that at the time of this review being posted, there is an average of 4-5 active servers populated with a split of bittervets and rookies.

Like everyone says, the learning curve is pretty harsh - I strongly suggest taking some time to run the tutorials and a couple offline games, to get acquuainted with the controls and mechanics of the game. Bots will be a poor introduction for teammates and opponents, but at least you'll know what buttons do what and what you should (generally) be doing, in a match.

There is a decent selection of available toys to play with, in game (standard fare, generally, but "all these oldies are goldies")

Rounds... Playing the game... here is where things fall apart.. "People"..
- Someone needs to step up as Commander, which can take upwards of 5 minutes, as nobody wants to Comm and get yelled at for being a failcomm.. So unless you have nerves of steel or natural talent, best of luck if you want to try your hand at playing Commander.
- Forfeiture. 1 in 5 rounds will end in a team-wide ragequit (usually because they don't like their Commander) as soon as the team loses any amount of ground. About %10 of these forfeitures will be the Commander recycling all of the team's structures.

Load times are kind of long, but it offers one the opportunity to take a bio-break or whatever (make a snack, do your taxes, read War and Peace).. The long load times can become trying, when rounds have repeated fail-starts... But it is tollerable, in general.

That said.. This game has been some of the most fun I have had with a multiplayer FPS. The Commander/RTS aspect of the game adds some really neat aspects to the game, such as organic objectives (more than just "kill them before they kill you, a la Counter-Strike or "Stand in a ring until it is blue" like any point-capture game.. Not that I have anything against them, just that NS2 has added a new element that I prefer over the others)

Do I suggest this game to others? If they are fans of FPS and RTS games, it will offer some unique gameplay experiences.
While the game is tough to pick up, it is rather rewarding to learn and perform even marginally well.

TL;DR - Game's not crap, community can be. Tough learning curve, but rewarding.
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12 of 13 people (92%) found this review helpful
13 people found this review funny
1,841.3 hrs on record
Posted: December 27, 2015
Probably worth $5
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