A fast paced multiplayer shooter that pits aliens against humans in a strategic and action-packed struggle for survival!
User reviews:
Mostly Positive (58 reviews) - 70% of the 58 user reviews in the last 30 days are positive.
Very Positive (7,758 reviews) - 84% of the 7,758 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Oct 30, 2012

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Recent updates View all (146)

October 11

Build 310 Now Live

Today we have a treat for you. New first person animations have arrived for all the core pieces of a Marine's basic kit: Rifle, Pistol, and Axe! Every single animation has been rebuilt completely from scratch and ran through a new modernized pipeline to improve the weight and feel of the weapon handling and movement in NS2. In addition, while updating the animations, we have also fixed many issues in the animation graphs that control which animations play and how they blend together.


For many, playing the game with new animations may feel like a bit of a shock considering we've all been used to the same animations for upwards of five years; but give it a chance and I think you'll come to love them.

In addition to new animations, we also are switching the game over to Hive 2. This is no miracle fix for team stacking issues, but it does give us a lot more control over the system and ability to fix issues as they come up. There are many technical improvements to the new system, some of which you can read about here.

Although Hive 2 is not going to fix team balancing, it does bring with it some significant improvements to the underlying skill learning algorithm. Moultano has provided a great description of how this works, and an image showing the difference between how the two algorithms might perform when trying to discover a player's underlying skill value.

Moultano's Sage Words: “Imagine a mountain covered in fog…”

Notice how the Hive 2 value gets closer to the target value much faster (with many less games played) than if the same set of games is recorded by Hive 1.
This week we are also working on putting together a 64 bit beta build, which you will be able to opt in to and play with on build 310 servers so that you can help test the stability and performance of the 64 bit version of NS2 in actual games. Come join us in Discord for more details. The more people that help us test it, the better we will be able to make it.

Update 310 Changelog


  • Onos cost increased to 62 pres (was 55)
    When pres gain was increased to 1.25 per tick, Lerk cost had to be decreased to maintain the same initial timings. Because of how late into the game Onos arrive, their cost needs to be raised to account for the additional pres gain and restore the old timings. By pushing out the Oni by a minute or two, aliens have a larger need for Fades, and Marines have a little more breathing room and time to prepare.
  • Increased the Shotgun spread slightly to decrease the one-shot range to approximately what it was prior to the alien hit box changes
  • Lerk movement tweaks
    • Increase non-celerity flap force to match celerity to reduce Lerk’s dependence on Celerity
    • Improved crouch diving mechanics to help with ambushing and spiking
    • Increased strafe flap force to help with spiking
  • Decreased Gorges off-infestation belly slide friction so that Gorges can maintain their speed a bit longer (0.2 to 0.1)
Tweaks / Improvements
  • Hive 2.0
    • Algorithm Changes
      • Instead of a constant learning rate, Hive now uses both an AdaGrad-based learning rate and a constant learning rate. This makes skill values change faster initially, but change slower once they've converged. Expect large changes to your skill value for your first several games in the new system.
      • Skill values imported from the old hive system have been modified using a function of play time. (Thanks Nordic!) This fixes the issue where some new players started with a skill of 1000, and others started with a skill of 0. This has the effect of reducing all skill values, particularly those of newer players.
      • Exploits involving switching teams mid-game have been fixed. Players that switch teams will be credited with both a win and a loss, and the skill updates will be proportional to how long they played on each team, weighting the beginning of the game much more than the end.
      • Games with few human players no longer cause anomalously large skill updates. Games with fewer than 12 human players will have a very small effect on skills.
  • Added graphical element for mucous shield
  • Added an additional diagnostic icon which will appear when a server's performance dips to yellow or red
  • Fixed that script error icons would flash on screen after map loads
  • Fixed exploit that allowed players to regain all energy by exploiting the “Evolve Last Upgrades” feature
  • Fixed that you couldn't hit cysts at your feet with the Axe while standing on top of them
  • Fixed a client crash caused by trying to read from a model that has not finished loading
  • Fixed an scripted error occurring when bot commander got kicked
  • Fixed that alien bots tried to evolve upgrades on higher lifeforms even though they couldn't afford them
  • Fixed that commander bots would try to build RTs in a weird order due to it using birds-eye distance rather than path distance
  • Fixed that command chairs could not be built by bots
  • Fixed a bug that would cause a babbler-covered gorge to have a more difficult time heal spraying structures
  • Improved how cyst chains are placed.  This should make cysts more reliably connect to the closest cyst
  • Refinery : Stuck spot in Chasm <-> Lava Falls vent fixed (Thanks Zavaro!)
  • In Viewer’s Animation Graph Editor, you can now press the spacebar to recenter your view on either the selected or starting node
  • Fixed that LiveMixin:DeductHealth was not using the correct formulas for applying normal damage types, as it advertised

19 comments Read more

September 23

Build 309 is Now Live on Steam!

As we announced in last week’s Changelog, we’re releasing a patch this week! This patch contains all the tweaks and updates we held back from build 308, in favor of having more time to solely focus on the issues that came up after the LUAJit update.

Included in this update is the brand new Marine Commander tutorial. This will teach potential new commanders the basics of commanding and the marine tech tree. So if you wanted to get a basic understanding of commanding without being in a live game, there is now a way to do so.

But that’s not all! Thanks to the tremendous work of Trevor, with the help of a group of volunteers from the community, the new tutorial is packed with more easter eggs and secrets to discover. So even as a veteran commander it’s worth giving it a shot, if only just to unlock the new achievements!

We’ve been listening a lot to the community’s feedback about the current balance situation and the performance issues that have been showing up since the last few builds. With this build we started including changes which are trying to resolve some of those issues that were brought up. More improvements will follow in the future.

Meanwhile the team is still working on items from our roadmap that remi posted two weeks ago.

There is much more to come for NS2 on the horizon, so stay tuned and happy hunting!

Update 309 Changelog


  • Skulk HP raised to 75/10 (was 70/10)
    The intent of this is to make early game skulks a tiny bit less fragile and to make early game engagements more stable (the innate regen threw a RNG factor into those engagements)
  • Machine Gun changes
    • MG research time halved to 30 seconds (was 60)
    • Decreased MG spread to 4 radians (from 4.5)
    • Increased magazine size to 125 (from 100)
The MG is primarily designed to give Marines a chance to hold and extend their territory in the late mid game. The MG wasn’t really able to do that in the past. Halving the research time should help get it on the field before it’s too late. Furthermore decreasing the spread and increasing the magazine should make it reward players better for good positioning.
  • Railgun damage type changed to Structural (was normal, railguns now do double damage vs structures, and have no change vs players)
The Railguns can be fun to use against alien players, but at it’s current damage numbers it took 2-4 shots to pop a cyst which made it feel very underpowered. Doubling their damage output to structures will help give them more utility.
  • Marines now can’t turn their upper body as far to the right, without also turning their lower body (this makes it easier for aliens to tell which direction a marine is facing)
  • Marines now use a different animation while jetpacking, rather than the jumping animation
Tweaks / Improvements
  • New Commander Tutorial now available in the training menu!
    • Two new achievements added related to the commander tutorial
    • Removed the “commander help” in-game tutorial
  • Improved bot server performance by adding a tick rate for the bot logic routine which is set to 10 by default
    • This should lower the impact of bots onto the server performance by at least 50%
  • Updated the bot name list including more recent contributors
  • All serverbrowser filter act now the same way: Enabled will show given servers, disabled will hide given servers. Old filter settings are converted
  • The “full server” serverbrowser filter will now also take reserved slots into account
  • Added the server admin command “sv_rookieonly” to change the rookie only state of a server without requiring a map change or server restart
  • Replaced the server runtime error (SRE) icon when a script error occurs on the client with something prettier
  • Added another diagnostic icon which will appear when a script error occurs on the server (it’s purple!)
  • List the exact number of script errors that occurred on the server in net_stats and the client log
  • Windows servers now automatically save a mini memory dump into their log folder on crash (if your server crashes please send this to us so we can help diagnose it)
  • Fixed that the subscribed mods did not show up in server details window
  • Fixed that the rookie only check didn’t work on most rookie-only servers (this was previously deployed via the extension system)
  • Fixed that the buttons of popup that showed up when a non rookie tries to join a team at a rookie only servers did not work
  • Fixed that you could get stuck in place if you attempted to evolve a trait twice before turning into an egg
  • Fixed a script error in the alien commander bot routine
  • Fixed a small performance issue in the scoreboard update routine
  • Fixed that numbers in the options menu were too precise
  • Fixed that the pistol slide was not staying open when the gun is empty
  • Fixed that blink effects could cause visual artifacts when bloom was enabled
  • Fixed that protolab could cause blow out while being biled if bloom was enabled
  • Fixed that spectators could end up spectating non player entities in a rare case
  • Added the ability to lock the view horizontally with the space bar in film mode (Thanks Samus!)
  • Added ability to communicate with Webviews (Lua <-> Javascript)
    • WebView::ExecJS allows Lua code to call javascript inside the webview
    • WebView::HookJSAlert allows Lua code to respond to any Javascript alert( message )
  • Added Client.GetNumServerScriptErrors() to get the number of script errors that have occurred on the server (since map change)
  • The spread vectors table of the shotgun is now referenced via the class to make them easier to mod
  • Improved the Lua TraceLogger error messages to include more details
  • Viewer
    • Added JSON Export to Animation Graph editor
    • Improved Animation Graph editor visuals by highlighting incoming and outgoing lines from the selected node different colors.
    • It’s now possible to have one-way labels in the Animation Graph (animation state can jump out of this node to other nodes of the same label, but can only be entered by discrete connections)
  • Model Compiler
    • Fixed an issue that could cause models’ scaling to be strange when playing animations.
    • Fixed a bug that would cause cameras to not load properly.
  • Fixed possible crash on exit due to bad access in FMOD dll (when using Spark’s tools)

13 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 Sept. 2016! Learn more
Mostly Positive (58 reviews)
Very Positive (7,758 reviews)
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5,002 reviews match the filters above ( Very Positive)
Most Helpful Reviews  In the past 30 days
23 of 34 people (68%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Not Recommended
80.7 hrs on record
Posted: September 23
Despite it's age, NS2 looks very nice and runs beautifully, which wasn't always the case. The game is definitely the most stable it has ever been, in terms of performance.

Despite showing some age, and having a pretty ancient netcode which results in many "round the corner" type deaths, NS2 is still a very enjoyable experience and a great game to fill up a night or two.

However, the community has problems. First off, the game is dead. NS2 will host an average of 250 players daily, if it's lucky. This means you'll be playing the same people, which can be a good or bad thing depending on how good you are at the game, and your standing with everyone. Be friendly and try not to alienate anyone because of this, as you'll probably only have 2-3 servers at most to choose from. If you get banned from them, or make people hate you, you will literally be screwed out of playing this game ever again.

If you are looking to pick this game up to play with friends, I sadly recomended that you reconsider. Once you and your friends reach level 5, and you are no longer able to play on the few 'Rookie Servers', you'll be pingeonholed into one of the two servers remaining - where everyone votes for "skill based teams" that will result in you being placed on the opposite teams than your friends.

You'll go from having fun playing with your buddies on the team you want to play on - to having the game constantly dictate itself to you with it's constant restrictions and lack of care for your playstyle. You like playing aliens? Chances are you'll be forced marines more often that not and you'll have to sit through rounds of drudgery just to play what you wanted in the first place. By then, you won't even care.
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4 of 4 people (100%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
101.6 hrs on record
Posted: October 2
Got this game when it came out... it wasnt good back then and had loads of issues. Now however the game seems to have sorted out all the major and minor issues. The game is fun now and still looks good. There are still people playing with between 1-4 full servers every time I have logged on. Updates are still comming out. Decent amount of Commanders using ingame VOIP and better offline training stuff for new players to learn the game. Only negatives are that the fun is dependent on balanced teams and a decent RTS commander. Which isnt a given each match, but there are more than you would think. Balance wise the game seems okay, wouldnt call myself that qualified to judge, but maybe Onos (Alien tanks) are slightly OP mid game if the Marines have lagged slightly behind.
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4 of 5 people (80%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
45.2 hrs on record
Posted: October 4
If you can find a server that doesn't have hackers, then this game is still bad. It's the same concept as Savage just with aliens and marines. The game has one person playing a Top Down RTS like starcraft / warcraft, with the other people on your team playing a first person shooter. It's classified as a RTSS (Real Time Stradegy Shooter). The bad points of the game is if you are doing the FPS portion, you have to rely on your "commander" to be good at his job to win, otherwise no matter how great you are at killing, you will lose. And its the same vice versa. What i would recommend is getting Savage, it's free, both the first and second one on their website. If you like it, then stick with that, as this game relies too heavily on other people's skill and not your own. Rating: 2/10
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4 of 5 people (80%) found this review helpful
12.2 hrs on record
Posted: September 22
If you love futrusitc alien survival games that are based on a team communication and cooperation this game is for you!
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
19.2 hrs on record
Posted: September 29
awesome rts/fps mix. great atmosphere, nice graphics and (finally) good performance! it now runs smooth, even on my 7 year old rig! and that on linux too :)

played on Opensuse 13.2 with Nvidia GTX 275
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
25.2 hrs on record
Posted: October 14
Take command if you're a strategist or fight as a ground solider. Teams have there own strengths and weaknessess. You need real teamwork in order to win. Seriously. If your leader sucks everyone sucks. If your soliders suck, the leader is boned. Play together, win together. I love this game. I only played so little because i suck XD.
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
11.4 hrs on record
Posted: October 8
Very good gameplay and mechanics. Has plenty of action to go around. You can either duke it out in a semi all-out strategic war, or just mess around in sandbox.
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
1,088.4 hrs on record
Posted: October 9

Game: 2 teams - aliens / mariens
are fighting for ressource points, controll over the map and
the final goal to destroy the mainbase of the other team to win the game.

Its great for fast fps player that like to avoid an attack by jumping back or strafe to left in the moment a alien is approching.
Weapons for close combat and Weapons for long range combat every weapon is different and can be used in his own way. Moste times you dont want to go allone with a flamethrower because the single target dmg is not so high and you could easy be killed by lowlifeforms aliens.

As a basic alien (you spawn like that called "skulk") you can walk on walls and use every conor ,dark room to hide and
supprise the enemys from behind. Take care to avoid big groups of rines try to sepperate one or just go for the last one in line.
Like the weapons on marienside, every alien player can evolve into other sorts of aliens.
Some are flying, some are bigass tanks and some are dmg dealer that cant take much dmg but are fast as hell and bad to aim at.

One bad thing i have to tell you all.
The Devs try to ♥♥♥♥ up a big part of the community by making them non hive server.
What? you asking .
They disconnect the servers they dont like from the STATS DATABASE they own.
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
73.4 hrs on record
Posted: October 11
as a StarCraft player and a FPS lover this game is PERFECT. i absolutly love the comradery in this game. everyone is communicating, calling out shots, and barking orders.

a VERY helpful update adding tutorials (finally!) has been added since the last time i played which are so incredibly helpful. also the ability to play vs bots is terrific, expecially when trying to play as the commander because a new commander ruins the game for the rest of the players when playing with real players.

if you are looking for an asymmetrical shooter with strong team work and stratigy then this is definatly the game for you.
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Recently Posted
199.9 hrs
Posted: October 20
The game itself is amazing. I want to love this game. I really do.

But the community is utterly ♥♥♥♥♥. Very toxic players that regularly ♥♥♥♥ talk each other and any new players that attempt to join their server, either abusing them verbally or just kicking them out of the match without a second thought. The skill gap between new and veteran players is so large that many people that play NS2 will cheat and claim that it's 'skill'.

And the worst part is that nothing will be done about this, because the maximum amount of people online is maybe 200 or less at peak hours. So you'll run into these same people.. over, and over, and over again.

Do not buy this game. It's a shell of its former self and the developers have all but abandoned it in favor of other venues. Cheaters will never be punished.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
16.8 hrs
Posted: October 19
Really nice game. they other game subnautica is also nice.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
sir explosive
211.2 hrs
Posted: October 19
This game has been and still is one of my favourite games to play. The idea and the execution really work together and the gameplay is very fun. Sadly the community is slowly getting smaller and smaller. This game does not deserve it, it looks and feels awesome for being a 5 year old game. The small community is what really kills the game for a lot of people and I don't blame them.

Overall: This game is a blast to play and I'd recommend it for anyone who likes this style of game. The small community does suck though so keep that in mind of you buy it. I want to give it a higher rating but with the small community it's hard. Overall I'd give this a 8.5/10.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
1,018.0 hrs
Posted: October 19
if you are new, you're too late

if you're a top percentile player, it's time to move on.

currently in a state waiting for the rest of the game to die off so it can get forced into F2P and have a chance at rebirth.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
0.7 hrs
Posted: October 17
It is an alright game. Some unfair advantages at moments but otherwise a decent game. 7/10
Helpful? Yes No Funny
17.8 hrs
Posted: October 17
Fun AF
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Survii Gecko
20.3 hrs
Posted: October 16
I said this in a conversation, and it shows why I don't like NS2

Survii Gecko: you just have a nostalgia-fetish for ns2 and cant admit that

kills arent satisfying
the devs dont give a ♥♥♥♥
the gameplay is repetitive
the community and playerbase is dead
it takes well over 100 hours just to be good at the game
there is not tutorials or help for how to play commander/ advanced strategies
you cant ♥♥♥♥ around very easily
there is no content in terms of weaponry etc. (like pd2 where there is 2465 guns that are 99% useless)
no reason to play long term (WHICH MOST GAMERS AGREE IS NEEDED BTW)
Survii Gecko: 1 or 2 of these things and it would be fine
Survii Gecko: but all of them together just mean it isnt fun
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Doctor America
137.1 hrs
Posted: October 15
This is my favorite team-based FPS of all time. It's asymmetrical warfare at it's finest.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
5,566.7 hrs
Posted: October 14
Are you tired of the old shooter formula? You like teamplay and tactical combat? Starship Troopers and Aliens? Then this might just be the game you fall in love with.

Just do not exspect the Commander to win the game for you. You gotta be looking on the map and check with your mates. Maybe try to think of ways of how to get around the map in order to surprise the other team, which is the strength of the Aliens, starting out with the Skulk, a unit being able crawl through vents and hang from ceilings.

Thus as a Marine you always gotta be on the lookout. Open your eyes and ears. Truly in this game you will need all senses and be on alert incase the enviroment should change rapidly.

This is also where i recomend to give yourself some time to learn the Maps,
which are highly detailed.

There are lots of little nooks and crannies and even after several hours you will still be able to find something new, such as a new strategy to place down buildings or hide them from enemy sight, if you are playing Aliens.

This can be an entire base or a sneaky tunnel goin across the map behind enemy lines.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Earl Hickey
107.6 hrs
Posted: October 14
Small population. 5-6 of full servers plus community openly endourses to use WH/Aimbot if you don't like using hacks on games it's waste of money. (hacks are not ingame feature you use them at your own risk)
Helpful? Yes No Funny