A fast paced multiplayer shooter that pits aliens against humans in a strategic and action-packed struggle for survival!
User reviews: Very Positive (6,790 reviews) - 85% of the 6,790 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Oct 30, 2012

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Recommended By Curators

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

Recent updates View all (114)

August 25

NSL Season 7 Launched

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

6 comments Read more

July 29

Derelict Update Released!

Fight for control of a derelict biological research facility in this brand new map for Natural Selection 2! Created by the NS2 Community Development Team, Derelict features bespoke environment art and a unique play style.


Derelict is available now on Steam, and is free for all NS2 players. The update also includes numerous improvements to NS2, including bug fixes and performance enhancements. A comprehensive run-through of all changes made in the Derelict Update is available on the NS2 blog.

The raw changelog starts below:

New map - Derelict

by CDT Mapping Lead: Loki

Map developed by Loki – artwork & contributions also from: BeigeAlert, SamusDroid, Zavaro, Flaterectomy, Howser & the CDT/PT/Map Test Teams. Special thanks to the SCC (Spark Crafters Collective) **Note for server operators: Don’t forget to add ns2_derelict to your mapcycle!

New Main Menu Backgrounds and Music

You can now choose your own main menu background and music from the options settings!

**All main menu levels have had an optimization pass to reduce file size in order to increase the speed at which the main menu loads.


NS2 is now being compiled using Microsoft Visual Studio 2013, an upgrade from VS2005. From our testing, some users may gain an improvement of increased fps. The following are other optimizations:

Avoid certain health/armor predictions on client
Use fieldwatching to avoid some OnUpdate calculations
Linux: use FixPathCase only if file is not found.
Implemented filesystem cache to avoid file-lookup penalty for mods.
Improved GUIMinimap performance.
Improved performance of many GUIScripts.
Alien hivesight related LOS-checking was being done even for Marine players, where it is irrelevant.
Alien players are now always shown with Hive-Sight outlines, even when in LOS.
Changed Scoreboard data to only update twice per second instead of once per frame.
Cache OnosDirtEffectGeneration.
Improved Onos camera shaking code
Added caching surface beneath players, prevents additional traces for footstep sounds.

Bug Fixes

Fixed tons of code and libraries issues preventing the NS2 project to get compiled under VS 2013 (should also make NS2 more stable)
Fixed first person spectating causing hitching movement to other players.
Fixed that the server wasn’t necessarily using the same snapshot as the client when the client was extrapolating positions. (Other issues with hitreg will be getting fixed in upcoming patches!)
Fixed cursor not centering properly in Fullscreen Windowed mode.
Reject attempts to load resources using empty strings.
MapCycle now automatically cycles to next map if the attempt to load a map fails.
Detects that a map change failed and cycle to next map.
The restriction that map mods had to be on the filesystem to be cycled to has been remove; the map mod will be downloaded if not present before being cycled to.
Replaced hardcoded keys for spectator drawing with:
Secondary Attack: Draw on the screen.
Reload: Clear the screen.
Bile bombs and gorge spit are now client side predicted.
Gorge Tunnels can now be exited at any height in the tunnel.
Fixed that Hive time-outs caused the “forceventeams”-vote to fail.
Fixed that cached Hive data were not applied correctly onto reconnecting players.
Fixed that the PAX badge was not applied on players who don’t have any Hive badges.
Fixed that it was not possible to disable the team auto-balancer.
Fixed Medpacks/Ammo/Catpacks not showing the pickup icons.
Fixed bug where Loading screen wouldn’t use custom map backgrounds and made it scale with resolution.
Fixed that mod downloading via the web admin interface did not work.
Fixed Insight displaying Health for exos (they only use Armor).
Fixed jetpacks left behind by dead marines not dissolving with the body on death.
Fixed damage numbers and private sounds being sent to the original owner for MACs, Drifters, Whips, ARCs and Sentries. They are now sent to the current Commander.
Old mods are now deleted 24 hours after new versions have been downloaded (kept around for a while just in case you want to play on a server that haven’t upgraded yet).
Fixed that the Swedish translation wasn’t using the correct file.
Fixed various crash issues of the Overview.exe.
Added the latest patches from LuaJIT hopefully increasing the performance and stability of NS2 as well
Fixed a script error with LayMines.
Fixed a script error appearing sometimes when you tried to vote.
Added a blank model check for dynamic props so to stop crashing the client.
Added sanity checks to avoid client crashes from any kind of corrupted texture files
Made net_loss a cheat command so people can’t use it to cheat anymore
Added consistency checking for hmp files.
Fixed embryos not having a taunt causing assert errors.
Fixed sending blank chat messages causing messages to overlap
Fixed being able to place an IP in eclipse where you shouldn’t be able to
Auto deactivate mods on patch release
Fixed menu being unresponsive if mousing over webview while a window was loading
Fix highlighting of view models
sv_tests console command added. This allows server admins to give certain people access to the command.
Fixed error for Gorge Tunnel Enter/Exit screen FX preventing liquid effects from playing


Added remaining cannister ammo on the display for the flamethrower
Lowered opacity for red colored low ammo warning on weapon displays.
Chat now displays tags before the player names for Rookies and Commanders.
Replaced the Reinforcement label in the Main Menu with a label linking to the CDT Trello page
Added the Serbian translation
Lowered the opacity of the tv_glare texture in the main menu so it distracts less from the menu background
You can now change the used gamma correction value in the option menu. This allows you to adjust the brightness of ns2 overall. The default is 2.2 (even though it is not the center of the slider)
Removed consistency checking for the screens folder. You can now have custom loading screens by putting jpg files inside a screens/custom folder.
Removed consistency checking for models/marnie/male/flashlight.dds. You can now have custom flashlight textures
Added a separate bind for movement override for commander

Map Editor

Fixed invalid triangle bug!
Displacement window is now properly sized.
Added a default bind to open entity list (‘O’ key).
Replaced “Create Color Grading” with “Create Reflection Probe” on the tools-ribbon.
Added a filter decals button.
Added a selection color option and a new light blue color option.
Added a brightness slider.


Fixed scoreboard hiding the GUIHoverMenu every frame as long as the scoreboard wasn’t up.
Introduce FieldWatcher, a way for a client to detect that a network field changes.
Introduce a way for GUIScripts to run at less than full fps (set self.updateInterval).
Improve AddTimedCallback to give you time since last callback, return time to next callback.
Added MapChangeFailed Event Hook.
Fixed console commands passed on the command line failing to run because they were running in the loading world.
Added new server admin console command “sv_installmod <modid>” to download the given mod to the server.
New command “hud_rate <mul>”: specify a multiplier for the hud update rate (impacts fps)
Decals also load now in cinematics
Added propnames development console command to show names of nearby props while in game
Known Issues:

We are aware of some render distance issues with the Editor, this will be fixed in 276.

32 comments Read more


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

Strategy Meets Shooter

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

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

Two Unique Sides

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

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

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

Long Term Development

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

Mod Tools Come Standard

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

Digital Deluxe Edition

Digital Deluxe Edition includes:

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

About This Game

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

System Requirements

    • OS:Windows XP 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
44 of 55 people (80%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
289.9 hrs on record
Posted: May 30
Highly addictive. Steep learning curve but unlike anything else out there.
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20 of 23 people (87%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
274.2 hrs on record
Posted: June 12
Great but incredibly complex game with a steep learning curve. The game pits the technologically advanced marines against the highly adaptive aliens (similarly to Terran vs Zerg in StarCraft). Both teams have unique playstyles and strategies which gives way to very interesting asymmetrical gameplay. Both teams also have a single player who becomes the team's commander. The commander basically builds structures, invests in upgrades, and guides the team as a whole.

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

In short, this is a difficult game with a wonderous level of depth, strategy, and tactics.
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36 of 52 people (69%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
97.4 hrs on record
Posted: June 13
jesus christ how is this game only 10 bucks on steam? its sad when trash like Call of Duty and Battlefield sell by the truckload, but truly fantastic games like this struggle.

TLDR; get some taste for good games noobs
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75 of 127 people (59%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
62.2 hrs on record
Posted: June 22
(DISCLAIMER: Since steam has refunds, I actually DO RECOMMEND you pick up this game, and see if you like it. What I say below is still my opinion.)

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

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

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

A great game gone because no one plays it.
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12 of 13 people (92%) found this review helpful
188.6 hrs on record
Posted: May 24
I really liked NS1 and enjoy NS2 even more. Admittedly the learning curve is very steep, but once you get into it it's really addicting. Contrary to other reviewers here I had only positive experiences with the Natural Selection Community. Generally everyone is very nice to each other because good team play in Natural Selection is even more important than in CS or TF2. There aren't as many servers as there used to be but it's still no problem to find active games with enough players. The game is 4 years old but the graphics still look awesome and the overall design is just timeless. If you are a casual player and just want an easy game you will be frustrated. But if you are tough enough and enjoy a good challenge you will have lots of fun.
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