A fast paced multiplayer shooter that pits aliens against humans in a strategic and action-packed struggle for survival!
Recent Reviews:
Mostly Positive (41) - 75% of the 41 user reviews in the last 30 days are positive.
All Reviews:
Very Positive (6,306) - 85% of the 6,306 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date:
Oct 30, 2012

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Recent updates View all (174)

June 20

Update 328 Released!

Update 328 includes an upgrade to Visual Studio 2017 runtime, continued balance tweaks in response to the last update, updates to DirectX 11 (getting us closer to ditching DirectX 9 altogether) and numerous fixes and optimizations throughout the game. We are making great strides in achieving our goal on the roadmap and 329 is looking to be another great update, so stay tuned for public tests in advance of release. Lastly we want to thank all of you that have been purchasing DLC and all the newcomers that have been buying the game over the last few months. Remember all sales of NS2 and DLC directly affect our development budget and allow our team to continue work on NS2.

Check out the full changelog below to see all the goodies contained within.

Note to all Windows users: You will need to ensure the 2017 Visual C++ redistributes are installed on your system! Otherwise the game won’t start after the update. Steam should take care of this during the update process but is known to fail sometimes.



Merged balance changes we released live 3 weeks ago via our extensions mod
  • Undeployed ARC health decreased to 3000/200 (from 3000/500)
  • Babblers:
    • New maximum lifeform shield values (total):
      • Skulk: 21 (from 35)
      • Gorge & Lerk: 21 (from 42)
      • Fade: 40 (from 65)
      • Onos: 85 (from 150)
    • Increased spawn rate from 1.5 seconds to 2.5 seconds
  • Grenade Launcher:
    • Change structural damage multiplier from 5x to 4x (450 -> 360 structural damage)
  • Lerk:
    • Decreased Spike damage to 5 (from 6)
    • Decreased adrenaline energy refresh rate to 30% (from 60%)
  • Phase Gates
    • Increased armor from 600 to 800
  • Advanced Support:
    • Decreased research costs to 20 team resources (from 25)
    • Decreased research time to 60 seconds (from 90)
  • Marine weapons:
    • Dropped weapons expiry now refreshes when a marine is really close/walks over them. So you no longer have to pick them up)
  • Cysts:
    • Lower maximum base Cyst HP to 200. Cysts close to a hive (near the Alien naturals) can scale up to 350
    • De-cloaking camouflage Cysts (shade hive passive) should now feel a bit snappier and more reliable
  • Reduced Welder cost to 2 personal resources (from 3)
  • Improved various expensive world update routines to stabilize and decrease their run-time cost for both Client and Server.
    • Cache mixin methods for each class after first class instance initialization to speed up any further class instance creation (Thanks Las)
    • Avoid expensive closure creations in hot path calls via a loadstring trick (Thanks Las)
    • Precache beacon spawn points at map load so we don’t need to calculate them during runtime (Thanks Katzenfleisch)
    • Optimized tech tree data lookup calls (Thanks Las)
    • Changed behavior of non player entities to not run their update routine every world update tick specially when there hasn’t been any state change
      (Thanks Steelcap & Nin)
    • Limit the amount of time that the client spent on updating GUI scripts every frame (Thanks Las)
    • Added optimized implementation for set and queue data containers to reduce runtime of various hot paths calls
Tweaks / Improvements
  • Added badges for the ENSL.org Newcomer and Community Challenge Tournaments
  • Added new shiny material shaders for most computer monitors and displays in the game (Thanks RuneStorm!)
  • Update anti-aliasing code to latest version of FXAA. Grants a minor improvement to final image sharpness and run-time speed
  • Armories and Prototype Labs now has consistent Usable range for Marine and will no longer show the use-key when you are out of range
  • Improved the visual quality of shadows, notably when the light source was far away from shadow casters
  • Improved shadow rendering for Windows 8 and above clients using shadow comparison sampler features
    • Do note that shadows will have lower visual quality on Windows 7 clients. This is due to missing rendering features in the DirectX API, and those features are only available on Windows 8 or higher
  • Added a new "Refraction Quality" option to the graphics menu. "Low" acts like it does currently, while "High" uses some extra samples while rendering the refraction pass to reduce the amount of aliasing introduced (very noticeable in the railgun exosuit's shot trails)
  • Added a Lifeform popup reminder for Alien players with "High HUD Detail" enabled. This popup reminds players to evolve to a higher Lifeform once they have enough personal resources and the team could use more of that type
    • Only displays when High HUD Detail option is enabled
    • Only displays when the Evolve Menu is not open
    • Only show for lifeforms when the number of them alive & evolved on the team is less than 20% of the total number of players on a team. (So that it’s only one Gorge on a team of 6)
    • Only show after respawning and player is not in combat, within a 15 second window of time
    • Does not stay on screen for more than 10 seconds
    • Does not show within 30 seconds of round start. (to prevent everyone going Gorge)
  • The Scoreboard Personal Resource colors are now yellow starting at 75 and orange starting at 90 because your PRes doesn’t overflow at 100 PRes. (Thanks Handschuh)
  • Lessened the likelihood of having duplicate bot names at the same time
  • Improved the new Alien Health Bars by ensuring the Upgrade Chamber icons no longer overlap with the Health Bar icons from 720p up to 4k resolutions
  • Improved the Alien Energy Bar by coloring white the section of energy that is added by the Adrenaline upgrade
  • Fixed various DirectX 11 issues:
    • Fixed shadows not being rendered properly
    • Fixed emissive decals not being rendered correctly
    • Some textures would appear corrupted at lower mip levels
    • Fixed Exo Minigun Heat bars being distorted
  • Fixed weird “magic hands” animation bug when switching to another weapon after reloading the Machine Gun or Flamethrower
  • Fixed Alien Tunnels (including Infested versions) having differing HP values
  • Fixed Alien Tunnels not starting with 100% eHP
  • Fixed that attached Babblers didn’t cloak/decloak properly with their parent
  • Fixed that dropped weapons started to expire near an Armory when a player walked over them
  • Fixed that spectating players would rubber-band between players in first-person mode sometimes
  • Fixed that a number of Exo HUD elements were misaligned
  • Fixed a script error that stopped players from joining bootcamp servers (this was released live already weeks ago through our extensions mod)
  • Removed out-dated tip clips about Gorge Tunnels and Babblers
  • Fixed the mouse over tooltip in the Options Menu that said you need to restart the game if you apply new menu music
  • Fixed that the Lerk crosshairs had a tiny black bar near the top of them
  • Fixed that the Unearthed loading screen had an FPS counter in the top right of the last screen
  • Fixed that you could not scroll down far enough in the control bindings menu to change the Help Screen binding entry
  • Fade Metabolize, Onos running rumble sound, and Lerk gliding sounds no longer play after their respective lifeform’s death
  • Unearthed (Thanks Kash!)
    • Move the RT node from Transfer into Toxic pool to prevent Furnace from having 3 "Natural" resource nodes (Thanks Zavaro!)
    • Moved the Briefing RT node slightly further to the west and moved the fencing to the east to make defending easier for marines (Thanks Zavaro!)
    • Added crates in briefing to allow access to the ceiling area more easily. (Thanks Zavaro!)
    • Fixed numerous Stuck spots throughout the map (and ready room/secret room) (Thanks Zavaro!)
    • Added invisible geometry to many areas of the map to smooth out the feeling of movement
    • Tweaked pathing throughout the map
    • Removed a small amount of the clutter in Purification to make play in the area more fluid
    • Increased the size of the raised platform with the RT node on it in Purification to make the area slightly more marine accessible
    • Removed the middle support pillar in Cavity and tweaked the remaining pillars to make the area slightly less alien OP
    • Moved the Cavity RT node to be more approachable for marines
    • Removed collision from railings without the panels and replaced with collision geo to make play feel better for both marines and aliens
    • Minor lighting tweaks throughout the map
    • Made the vent between Toxic pool and Exposure more obviously accessible to marines from the Toxic pool side
    • Made the vent from Toxic pool to Extraction marine accessible from both sides
    • Reduced cover in Transfer to make the room less alien overpowered.
    • Changed the bridges in both Toxic pool and Crevice to be more visually appealing
    • Removed the Passage exit from the vent that leads from Harvesting to Access
    • Closed 2 of the 4 ceiling covers in Furnace to allow for better movement through the room for Aliens
    • Removed the remaining girder arches from Junction to reduce marine frustration in the area
    • Moved the Filtration power node to a less frustrating location
    • Improved collision geo in multiple areas of the map to help bot navigation. (Thanks Nin!)
  • Cinematic Editor
    • Fixed anisotropic filtering and particles sometimes not being enabled in the renderer
  • Viewer
    • Add support to view and test Material Swapping via the Materials Window. This only works when opening models. Note: There will be a delay when setting an override material, as it needs to load the resource before rendering it
  • Map editor
    • Added a new option for static props called “allowBullets”. It's intended to be used on railing props and other small items like bottles or hanging wires that you may normally have to add collision geometry around. Note that this option will stop melee attacks and projectiles, but will not stop hit scan bullets, parasite, or flamethrowers
  • Added Las’ library for lua closures that are not as expensive to generate during run-time as normal closures. See core/lua/Closure.md for details
  • Added a command line option "force_renderer" which accepts either "D3D9" or "D3D11", which forces the renderer to use DirectX 9 or 11, overriding the value in the user's settings
Known Issues
  • Viewer - Opening Materials Window when the opened asset is not a model causes odd behaviors
  • As a side effect from a GUIScale fix that was part of the GUIManager optimizations, the size of GUI elements may differ on some resolutions compared to build 327
  • Entering the wrong password when joining a server may incur a crash using DirectX 9
  • DirectX overlays (like the Steam overlay) cause performance issues under DirectX11 on some GPUs. We recommend to disable all DirectX overlays for now if you notice frequent frame time spikes (via r_stats)
9 comments Read more

June 15

NSL Community Challenge LiveStream & UWE Public Playtest

Itching for some NS2 this weekend?

Community Challenge
Check out the epic bash that is the Community Challenge! In this event hosted by our friends at the Natural Selection League, it's community VS community as different servers prepare for battle to compete for the crown of Community Champion! This is a two day tournament held on the 15th & 16th of June, starting at 8 PDT / 11 EDT / 15 GMT / 17 CEST
You can catch streams of this event on the following Twitch Channels:
NaturalSelection2 (Starting 1 hour from this post)
NSLTV (The stream should be starting in a few minutes!)

Natural Selection 2 Public Playtest
This Saturday , (June 15th at 13:00 PDT / 22:00 CEST - or 5 hours from this post)
We will have a public playtest of build 328!!

This patch is focused primarily on client and server performance improvements, and as such we think its a good idea to ensure others do not experience anything broken, and that we can adequately stress test our server.

All are invited to join us to play some rounds / break things, ensure the build is stable and provide any additional feedback!

Join our General Voice Channel in this discord to coordinate with us and feel free to show up a few minutes early to ensure you get a chance to play or ask questions. We will give out the server password over voice the moment we begin. It will be on the publicly available Beta branch on our NAPT server.
4 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, 2019, 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 64-bit or newer
    • Processor:Core 2 Duo E6700 (2.66 GHz) or better
    • Memory:4 GB RAM
    • Graphics:DirectX 9 compatible dedicated 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
    • Other Requirements:Broadband Internet connection
    • OS:Windows 7 64-bit or newer
    • Processor:Core 2 Quad Q9650 (3 GHz) or better
    • Memory:8 GB RAM
    • Graphics:DirectX 9 compatible dedicated 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

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