An immersive, multiplayer shooter that pits aliens against humans in a strategic and action-packed struggle for survival!
User reviews: Very Positive (5,485 reviews)
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 (108)

November 1

Reaper Pack + Update 270



A new update ("Build 270") has been released! It will automatically download to your Steam library. This new update celebrates the two year anniversary of Natural Selection 2's launch!

Along with various changes to the core game, this update adds the "Reaper Pack" DLC item, which gives all alien lifeforms a freaky new look.

http://store.steampowered.com/widget/310100/

A full changelog follows below, and you can read more detail on the Natural Selection 2 blog: http://unknownworlds.com/ns2/reaper-build-270-live-steam/

**PATCH NOTE** WE HAVE UPDATED SOME SHADERS, THIS WILL MAKE YOUR INITIAL LOAD TIME FOR EACH MAP MUCH LONGER THAN NORMAL

FIXES
Fixed players having voice communication cut off while entering or exiting commander mode
Lerks will no longer grunt when moving at low speed
Bots will not be counted towards the number of players that are required to pass a vote
Fixed an issue which would result in a second IP being spawned at the start of the game with less than nine players
Fixed conflicting default key-bind between the show map key and the 10th commander grid spot (this will only affect new players, current players need to change their bindings manually)
Fixed fullscreen windowed mode to not minimize when alt+tabbing on Windows
If you have something bound to the same key as VoteYes/VoteNo, it will no longer be triggered when casting a vote
Fixed that it was possible to transfer pres between rounds
Fixed occasional error when attempting to enter the Mods menu
Fixed Commander bindings menu not saving cleared binds
Fixed server crash that could be caused by exos in the readyroom
Fixed small visual glitch while in exo that was causing nameplate borders to show up when they shouldn’t be
Fixed customize menu to ensure the variants always show in the proper order
Fixed customize menu to only show arrows when appropriate
Fix marines losing the parasite outline when switching variants / sex
Fixed Clogs having decals projected onto them

IMPROVEMENTS
In the voice request menu you can now select items by moving the mouse past them (similar to NS1)
Added an option in the sound tab to continue recording after the microphone button has been released for a fraction of a second to help ensure your last word isn’t cut off (defaults to 150ms)
The number of players connecting to the server will now be shown on the scoreboard
Building range circles now use decals instead of models
Votes that cannot pass anymore fail immediately
Made Fade and Onos view models not highlighted in Alien vision
Babbler eggs are now highlighted in Alien vision

SDK
Added Server.GetNumPlayersTotal() which will return the number of players that have an active connection to the server, regardless of if they have passed authentication and are finished loading yet
Allow materials to specify a 0.5 highlight value to not be highlighted in Alien vision and not have decals projected onto them

BALANCE
Raised mature tunnel health by 10% to give aliens a little bit longer to respond to a tunnel that is under attack, and raised its maturity time by 15 seconds to compensate

ENGINE
Upgraded Awesomium library to version 1.7
Upgraded LuaJIT to version 2.0.3

MAPS

Biodome
Fixed stuck spot between Agri Labs and Falls
Fixed stuck spot in West Route

Descent
Fixed exploit in monorail vent

Refinery
Fixed bug / exploit in lava falls

Ready Rooms are now Halloween themed and players can throw candy!

16 comments Read more

September 3

Update 269 Released!



The Natural Selection 2 Community Development Team has just released update 269! Here is what's inside:

FIXES
Fixed issues of the texture manager which caused the client to crash while loading textures which use rgba compression or include mipmaps
Fixed that using non precached cinematics crash the client
Fixed Quick Join
Fixed long load times with some HDDs caused by overloading the io queue with too many worker threads
Fixed Alien Lifeform Counters in the Alien Buy Menu
Fixed that Jetpacks did not show up correctly at the scoreboard
Fixed triggers and models having incorrect settings in the editor_setup causing things like e.g. ladders not to work at maps
Fixed that client mods which fail the consistency check were not disabled.
Fixed some other issues with cinematics (causing things like client crashes when someone used umbra)
Fixed that echoed structures were not attacked by arcs.
Added draw calls back to r_stats
Fade Blink sound volume was corrected
Fixed Overview.exe crash
Fixed some issues with the linux client

Improvements
“ForceEvenTeams” vote now uses the skill ratings from hive to balance teams. It avoids moving players that have already chosen a team and first tries to balance the teams using the players in the readyroom. If it must swap players that have already chosen a team, it uses the minimum number of them so most people will stay on the same team.
New commands for controlling loading behavior:
res_workers n (n = number of used loading worker threads, default 1 )
res_prelock on/off
res_preload on/off
res_verbose 1-3 ( turns on verbose logging at loading )
Commander Hints are now fully translatable
Polish translation is now 100% done (thanks to Carnage and Acedude)

SDK
Fixed Editor volumes missing the size parameter.

Leave comments here and on the NS2 blog for the CDT to read!

18 comments Read more

Reviews

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

New DLC Available



The Kodiak Pack is available now! Click here to go the DLC page!

Digital Deluxe Edition

The Digital Deluxe Edition includes:

Official Soundtrack
Almost 1 hour of tribal, industrial music composed by David John and Simon Chylinski. This includes all the music from our trailers and videos.

Digital Art Book
40+ pages of concept art by Cory Strader, including environments, creatures, weapons and more. Cory discusses the process behind designing the unique technological/animal look in the game.

Exclusive Wallpapers and Avatars
Community artist Rantology created some of the best and most unique views of creatures in the NS universe. Custom Steam avatars complete the package.

Exclusive in-game marine model
A new marine model with custom visor and equipment makes you look distinctive in-game. Existing owners of the original "Black Armor" marine will be able to choose between any models they own.

About This Game

Natural Selection 2 is an immersive, multiplayer shooter that pits aliens against humans in a strategic and action-packed struggle for survival. It seamlessly combines shooter and RTS/strategy gameplay.

Key Features:

  • Two Unique Sides:

    Whether you play as one of the elite marine Frontiersmen or the vicious alien Kharaa, you must use unique strategies and your abilities to win. Marines form persistent squads to find and destroy alien hives. Aliens can choose a wall-running Skulk, pudgy Gorge, flying Lerk, murderous Fade or gigantic Onos that can smash through doors.
  • Real-time Strategy:

    Commanders play from overhead to lead their team to victory. Build structures anywhere, collect resources and research upgrades. Marines buy weapons at an Armory or build sentry turrets and siege cannons to assault the enemy. Aliens build upgrade chambers, evolve special abilities and plant traps.
  • Dynamic Environments:

    Use a flamethrower to clear the spreading alien infestation. Aliens destroy power nodes knock out the lights and power down marine structures. Random start locations mean you must scout your enemy and before committing to a build. Every game is different.
  • Unlimited Variations:

    WYSIWYG graphical tools and powerful scripting allow you to create new weapons, scenarios or entirely new games. You’ll get all our tools (level editor, cinematic tool and more) as well as the full Lua source code to Natural Selection 2. Version 1.0 is just the beginning – ongoing automatic updates keep the game fresh by adding new maps, weapons and abilities. Steam Workshop support and auto-downloading makes playing and distributing mods automatic - and gameplay always fresh.

System Requirements

    Minimum:
    • OS:Windows 7 32/64-bit / Vista 32/64 / XP
    • Processor:Core 2 Duo 2.6 ghz
    • Memory:2 GB RAM
    • Graphics:DirectX 9 compatible video card with 1GB VRAM and support for Shader Model 3 (e.g. ATI X800, NVidia 8600 or better)
    • DirectX®:9.0
    • Hard Drive:5 GB HD space
    Recommended:
    • OS:Windows 7 32/64-bit / Vista 32/64 / XP
    • Processor:Core 2 Duo 3.0 ghz
    • Memory:4 GB RAM
    • Graphics:DirectX 9 compatible video card with 1GB, AMD 5770, NVidia GTX 450 or better
    • DirectX®:9.0
    • Hard Drive:5 GB HD space
    • Other Requirements:Broadband Internet connection
Helpful customer reviews
339 of 380 people (89%) found this review helpful
4,186.6 hrs on record
Posted: October 23
I dont have to say anything. Just look at my hours.
Was this review helpful? Yes No
28 of 33 people (85%) found this review helpful
567.7 hrs on record
Posted: October 30
I love this game. The action is fast paced but requries thought (tactically and strategically). You don't just run in guns blazing, but you need to work with your teammates. It's a perfect mix of FPS and RTS. Biting marines as a skulk is fun too.

Some say this game has a high learning curve. Maybe it does, but I don't think so. You work with your team, collect resources, and then you and your team can afford to buy upgrades. Oh yeah, and kill the other team while trying to prevent them from collecting resources and upgrading. Is that hard? Try the tutorials. Start on nebie friendly servers. USE A MIC and ask for direction. It's a relatively small community and most players are very willing to help people who are looking to learn.

Try it out. I don't think you'll be disappointed.
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35 of 50 people (70%) found this review helpful
142.6 hrs on record
Posted: October 31
High skill curve, high amount of knowledge to play correctly. Do not buy if codfag.
Was this review helpful? Yes No
22 of 29 people (76%) found this review helpful
9.3 hrs on record
Posted: October 25
This is one of the most overlooked games I've ever played. Natural Selection 2 is a ton of fun for hours on end and one of the most addicting multiplayer games I've ever played. NS2 is a breath of fresh air in a genre that is otherwise polluted by generic shooters like "Call of Duty".
Was this review helpful? Yes No
15 of 22 people (68%) found this review helpful
23.9 hrs on record
Posted: October 23
So yeah. Very good game. It combines RTS with FPS so you can play however you like (although you got to get to the commandstation/hive first if you want the RTS feel.

RTS: set battleplans, give orders, and manage the players on the field. Making poor choices can screw you up but if you are a good commander your sure to win the game. (Victory cannot be achived by FPS alone.)

FPS: Get upgrades, build, fortify, and all-out kick some alien/marine ♥♥♥! Tons of weapons/classes you can select and staying with the group is always the best option in this game.

Happy hunting!
Was this review helpful? Yes No
9 of 11 people (82%) found this review helpful
14.0 hrs on record
Posted: November 2
pretty dank game 10/10 would bang
Was this review helpful? Yes No
9 of 12 people (75%) found this review helpful
509.1 hrs on record
Posted: November 1
A great competitive FPS, unfortunately ruined due to in my opinion launching too early. Of course it 'had to be launched for financial reasons' and I love the developers but I really wish they had an extra few years to flesh it out and then do the release. The main issues being performance, lack of in-depth or interactive tutorial, and a real way to have a form of player made matching which is for sure the new standard in all forms of video games, especially competitive video games.

A lot of the negative reviews and feedback came from the games launch and thus I think really hurt the playerbase, and new potential players. The game didn't really come with an in-depth tutorial for this generations of 'everything in front of me, learn nothing' demographic of gamers. These new gamers also do not like to be demolished by veterans and learn from their mistakes, instead they blame things on cheats or simply complain and then remove the game from their library's and continue back with something more casual.

The developers were very active in the forum and with updating even to this date. The community is great and really keeps the game alive and thriving. In its current state I for sure recommend you try it out if you like competitive fps what so ever. But don't always expect to find a server with your preferences as there isn't too many running. Especially if you like small player counts and not an excess of mods.

As for the developers they continually work on other projects and I recommend you follow them and their products if you value your pc games. They keep a great community and really take into account player feedback.. it's pretty much your duty as a gamer to support developers such as this to keep the pc community thriving.. or else you'll end up with some multi-million dollar recycle every year that your three year old brother could play on a high level.

I love this game, its community as I said before, and the developers. I give it a solid 9 out of 10.
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6 of 7 people (86%) found this review helpful
64.5 hrs on record
Posted: November 2
If you're looking for a assymetric, tactical, very team-based shooter with a Alienesque theme, look no further.
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4 of 4 people (100%) found this review helpful
50.0 hrs on record
Posted: November 7
Love this game! I'll give it an 8/10

Suggestions:
It is a real time strategy and first person shooter. If you don't like the RTS part you don't have to command your team, just ask someone else too. Make sure you listen to your commander if he even talks. This game is very fun when you get to learn it. The biggest problem for me was it has a pretty steep learning curve. You will join a server (hopefully it will be a rookie friendly server) and have NO IDEA what to do, maybe even after you played the tutorial. It took some time learning. If you can find a siege mode server you should try that. The flow of the game play will be more repetitive instead of people trying to do different strategies you don't understand. You will die alot. Your best bet would be to play as a supporting player and watching what other people do. Grab yourself a welder as a marine or follow people around as a gorge. You will be killed by a skulk almost EVERYTIME before you finally manage to get lucky or see them before they see you. Yet when you play as a skulk you will probably get killed EVERYTIME until you at least get a few hours in. The game could change in a heartbeat if you have a good commander on either team. What I like to do?
Xenocide alot
If you get an exosuit stay back and blast the alien scum from a distance,
Don't be a hero
Don't do things alone
When someone wants to rush in or your commander says so make sure everyone is there before you do
Don't ignore your resource nodes
For the love of god don't hop in the com chair when you don't know what you are doing. You will be burned alive
If people want to be jerks to you just ignore them or go someplace else
Join a rookie friendly server.
Make friends with the mods and admins
Don't say I don't know what to do (say what it is you need help with instead)
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3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
45.6 hrs on record
Posted: November 11
Do you like first-person-shooters? Do you like real-time-strategies?! Do you like being told what to do while you run around getting bit to death by alien hounds? Well come on down to Natural Selection 2, a game based on a mod based on the BEST IDEA for a team-based shooter ever. It lacks some polish here and there, but it's really addicting & also pretty fun, ok???
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10 of 17 people (59%) found this review helpful
1,460.6 hrs on record
Posted: October 24
Best game I have ever played!
Was this review helpful? Yes No
2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
13.5 hrs on record
Posted: November 7
This is the alien game I wanted for years now since Alien Vs Predator :D

Play as an alien morphing into even uglier thing with unique abilities like flying or cloaking yourself, be a healer or an enormous tank :D

Or tanke sides with the marines. Big guns and flamethrowers keep those crawlers away! Not enough manpower? Build turettes to keep em at bay ;)

Really awesome is the function as a commander. It takes you out of the ego-shooter and puts you in a RTSish position where you have to build resource generators, command your players to actually act like a elite squad commandos ^^
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
642.7 hrs on record
Posted: November 13
My favorite game, very very good.

To any newcomers struggling with the game, Itssupereffective has a great video series on youtube to use
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3 of 4 people (75%) found this review helpful
11.9 hrs on record
Posted: November 4
a cool fun game though a bit difficult to begin overall a great game
Was this review helpful? Yes No
3 of 4 people (75%) found this review helpful
3.4 hrs on record
Posted: November 9
10/10 would onos again
Was this review helpful? Yes No
1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
28.3 hrs on record
Posted: November 17
very fun
Was this review helpful? Yes No
1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
221.0 hrs on record
Posted: November 14
Great game to learn strategy. It has a few flaws in randomizing teams because one side can get stack very easliy.
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2 of 3 people (67%) found this review helpful
7.1 hrs on record
Posted: November 8
1. Stop playing this game.

2. Read Robert Heinlein's Starship Troopers (not the stoopid films, read the book damn it!)

3. Continue playing Natural Selection 2

4. No need to thank me.
Was this review helpful? Yes No
6 of 11 people (55%) found this review helpful
57.5 hrs on record
Posted: October 31
I'm afraid I'll have to throw my lot in with the Nays this time. Fans of the first installment might find something here to scratch an old itch, but unfortunately the satisfying elements have all been rendered down and reimagined into a thin gruel in the name of having a saleable second entry. Useless gameplay features have been added for no apparent reason, such as the power node system. The Alien tech tree has been completely overhauled, and brings you an alien commander, which has gone through varying degrees of uselessness and boring gameplay over the various patches. Relocating the marine base is a thing of the past, as you now have tech points to capture that unlock parts of the tech tree. Gone are the days of the heavy/welder train, the OC farms outside 'rine spawn, trying to siege a hive before xeno gets unlocked...
There is some fun to be had here, for sure. Newer comers to the genre will doubtless find the commander mechanic new and engaging, and the differences between the aliens and marines is a fresh breath of air in the standard rote of FPS gameplay. The game looks sharp, and running on walls and cielings as an alien is second to none. Unfortunately with the glaring technical issues NS2 launched with, by the time the game was playable, there was no one left to play it with. Pick this game up on sale if you're interested - $25 is too steep by half.
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6 of 11 people (55%) found this review helpful
5.2 hrs on record
Posted: November 4
I don't care for the game. Every server I've ever been to are filled with idle players in the team selection area. The commanders in the RTS part of the game don't ever seem capable of their role. The players per team balancing is all messed up, you often fight against a much larger team.

The Marines team's weapons feel extremely weak, and there aren't many of them. You usually end up emptying multiple magazines into a single enemy only to die during a reload. Feels like it needs serious rebalancing. Respawn is pretty fast because what seems to be an advanced 3D printer spits out marines non stop. I can't find any reason at all to upgrade anything, as most items are equally useless. The aliens usually enjoy spawn camping rather than destroying your base (which they are always in). I've never actually made it inside the aliens' base as a marine before.

The Aliens team usually consists of playing as the weakest alien for about 20 minutes, running straight into groups of marines and jumping up and down while trying to bite them. Hit detection for the aliens seems really terrible, can never seem to hit anything. Then, once you've finally gotten enough points you can evolve into a new type of alien. The catch is, if you die, you respawn as the weakest alien, lose all your points you invested into the alien you died as, and have find a way to get enough points before you can evolve into something again. I think the commanders can increase the points you generate over time somehow, though like I said most commanders aren't capable of assisting the team. Players that pick the support alien type usually don't support, instead they prefer to slide on their bellies like penguins and fly into the middle of battles. Certain players that are actually good usually pick Fade within 5 minutes somehow and never die.

The sounds were decent, the gameplay was a good idea, just didn't work too well, the community wasn't impressive- no one ever seems to work together, and when they do they get killed by a lone person on the other team anyway. Balancing didn't feel right. The load times are insane, you have to wait for about 5 minutes just to join a server, something about shading and caches and what not. Shading wasn't good, there are objects in the world that completely lack shadows. Graphics were okay, nothing special, but the occasional lag would suggest otherwise. The bot AI is stupid, though it is a multiplayer game, and it probably wasn't intended to be a big point in the game.

Overall I can't suggest the game. Maybe a 4/10, there are worse games, but there are certainly better.
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