A fast paced multiplayer shooter that pits aliens against humans in a strategic and action-packed struggle for survival!
Recent Reviews:
Mostly Positive (23) - 78% of the 23 user reviews in the last 30 days are positive.
All Reviews:
Very Positive (6,009) - 85% of the 6,009 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date:
Oct 30, 2012

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September 5

Update 324 - CATALYST

Update 324 is the start of something exciting! It’s the catalyst to our new development cycle! Over the last few years we have made changes and fixes to further develop NS2 with the emphasis on helping to stabilize the gameplay and create the best experience possible for every player. Today we start the sale of our limited time DLC the Catalyst Pack! This premium DLC offers the single largest skin pack we have ever released and it also includes future custom skins and items as a thank you for purchasing the DLC now. Sales of this DLC directly affect the budget for our development team and will help us to continue to bring you more exciting updates to the game. See more at http://www.naturalselection2.com/catalyst, but hurry because this DLC will only be available for a short time and then it will be locked away in the UWE vault forever!

We have spent the last few months working behind the scenes to develop a Roadmap for our vision of NS2 2.0. This isn’t a new game, but what we feel is the ultimate version of NS2. Once our objectives on the roadmap have been completed, we will work with our partners to do a large marketing push and even test some free to play options to get NS2 in the hands of those who haven’t had the opportunity to play.

While our focus is shifting towards new and exciting changes, we will still continue to fight for more performance both server-side and client-side. We are fortunate to have so many community contributors who are helping on both fronts. We’re excited and passionate about supporting their efforts and we can’t wait to see their work included with a future release.

With our push to both increase development productivity and shorten the time we can release this roadmap to you, we have hired an additional programmer. Not a stranger to NS2, please welcome Brian “Samoose” to the team! Over the years Samoose has been a big part of work done with our old customize menu and he has done lots of tinkering around the entire game. With his addition to the team, we hope to accomplish a lot of our tasks in a shorter amount of time.

We thank you for your continued support

See you on the battlefield!


  • Fade
    • Decreased the size of the Fade’s hitbox slightly
      • In recent months, feedback from the community has illustrated that the Fade can feel a bit too vulnerable or “squishy”, leading to aversion from average players in choosing the crucial lifeform. In lieu of adjusting its eHP values, we decided to refine the hitbox to make it closer to the actual model, making it slightly harder to hit for inaccurate shots. We’ll be monitoring this change closely.
  • Gorge Tunnel
    • Added a new unique building sound that can be heard beyond the Gorge Healspray distance. (Thanks Sweets!)
      • This allows attentive Marines the chance to counter and contend aggressively positioned tunnels that are placed a full room away, but it should not heavily impact defensively placed tunnels that are predictable (such as Nanogrid). This has allowed us to lower the build time.
    • Lowered build time to ~8.5 seconds (from 12, was previously 5).
      • We received a lot of unhappy feedback regarding the longer build times, which were originally intended to provide time for Marines to discover them when laning. However, utilizing sounds should allow us to lessen this build time while accomplishing similar goals.
    • Added a new unique idle sound that can only be heard just beyond melee range by both teams (Thanks Sweets!)
      • This should aid both Aliens and Marines locating the tunnel in cramped and busy structure environments, especially when shaded. Aliens can no longer utilize silence to conceal a tunnel from a nearby Marine.
    • Removed the Tunnel cysts (“muffins”) inside the tunnel
      • These obstructions were originally intended to provide brief cover for Aliens traversing inside, but after years worth of experience, it is clear that they more often obstruct Alien movement instead. Commence Gorge bellyslide halfpipe stunts!
  • Webs: (Thanks Katzenfleisch!)
    • You can now place Clogs on Webs.
      • This allows for some creative Clog placement rather than simple Clog towers, and while it can better obstruct Marine movement it often provides a greater LOS for the Marine to shoot through.
      • You can place 3 Clogs on a web. Any more than this will break the web and your clogs will fall. Hydras and Babbler Eggs on the underside of these Clogs will be destroyed when a Clog falls, so be wary of their placement!
      • You can utilize this mechanic to get to previously hard to reach positions.
    • Webs are no longer destroyed on contact by Marines. Only Exosuits remove them on contact.
      • This was done to both accommodate Clogs on Webs (otherwise a single Marine can just run through your creation to destroy it) as well as provide a much needed increase in utility to the carefully placed Webs. As such..
    • Webs can be destroyed by the Axe
      • It takes 4 swings to destroy a web with no weapons upgrade, 3 swings at any other level. So better get a welder if you’re in a hurry!
  • Babblers
    • They will now reattach when a player evolves, even to another lifeform. They will also reattach to a player after leaving the Hive. (Thanks, Katzenfleisch!)
Tweaks / Improvements
  • Added the first batch of skins for the Catalyst DLC:
    • Toxin skins for all playable Kharra lifeforms.
    • Sandstorm skins for all Frontiersmen equipment including for the first time the Grenade Launcher and Welder.
  • Optimized the Marine droppable Catalyst Pack and Onos Boneshield effect shaders (Thanks Handschuh)
  • Players now lose their rookie status at Hive Level 15
Sound Effects / General Audio

(Thanks Sweets!)
  • Marine footstep distance for Aliens have been slightly increased to 12 (from 11)
  • Increased Jetpack looping sound at mid-distance. Jetpack looping sound now louder than the burst sound.
  • Gorge Tunnel ambient sounds now play everywhere inside the tunnel and are much more audible.
  • Hive pain sound no longer plays for the Marine Commander at full volume across the other side of a map. Volume rolloff dependenton how close the camera is to the hive.
  • Optimized sound banks including 150 sounds. Many critical sounds that are very short but needed to be played immediately were inefficiently being streamed from disk which created a small delay. Other Voice Overs and music tracks which are larger files are no longer loaded into memory. This will help players the most who are still using mechanical HDDs and it slightly lowers overall memory usage for all players.
  • Axe impact sound on organic materials (Lifeforms, structures, infestation) is no longer delayed.
  • FEV and FSB files are now part of the default consistency checks.
  • Fixed Commander droppables not “snapping” to the target entity (such as an empty RT node or a Marine receiving a medpack) as intended.
    • The placement model flickering on and off unreliably was also fixed
  • Fixed that the lua garbage collector did not run while the renderer is finalizing the frame frame but afterwards. Additionally we made sure it doesn’t run longer than absolutely necessary every frame to decrease the time spent only collecting garbage every frame. This decreases the time spent to generate each frame for at least 0.5 ms.
  • Fixed that almost all sound and visual effects were networked and thus shown to the enemy commander even if they didn’t have any line of sight (LOS) to them. All known LOS issues have now been resolved except for the following:
    • Gorge Tunnel, Phase Gate, and Beaconing may still show the enemy transition to their new location on the map momentarily if LOS is achieved first.
    • Bonewall (from spectator only)
    • Webs remain (after gaining LOS at least once)
  • Fixed issue where gorge web placement model would persist after an invalid placement attempt.
  • Fixed that beaconing cared more about proximity to the command chair than room location. (Thanks, Katzen!)
    • For example, on Descent, a marine in Receiving would not get beaconed to Hydroanalysis
  • Fixed that you couldn’t drop a hive while hovering directly over the techpoint with your mouse.
  • Fixed that you could Echo upgrade chambers on top of Hive tendrils
  • Fixed that embryos appeared on the minimap using a different icon than eggs if they were your friends on steam, allowing marines to easily distinguish between eggs and evolving players.
    • NOTE: Despite the obvious balance implications of this change, this has been classified as a bug, and has been fixed.  The rationale behind it is that eggs and embryos appear identical in the world, therefore they should appear identical on the minimap.  The minimap should not be capable of providing more information to the team than they could collectively gather from in-world visuals alone.  In the future, the embryo world-model may be altered to appear different than the egg model, in which case the embryo minimap icon can be reinstated.
  • Fixed that using the bait ball inside a gorge tunnel caused all babblers to be destroyed.  (Thanks, Katzen!)
  • Fixed that babblers did not reattach after leaving a hive.  (Thanks, Katzen!)
  • Fixed that too many babblers could stop khammanders from dropping a structure.  (Thanks, Katzen!)
  • Fixed that the team’s skill tier was often off due to using incorrect player values.
  • Fixed that the server’s skill tier didn’t correctly account for bots and added a tooltip for the icons in the server browser.
  • Fixed that running the performance profiler crashed the application when a worker thread got interrupted by the operating system. However there are still some other less commonly known cases where using the profiler can crash the application.
  • Fixed that firing a shotgun into infestation (or anything that plays the “materials/organic/ricochet” sound event) caused a massive hitch.
  • Fixed that you could place Cysts on floors below gratings/stairs, despite collision geo inbetween, and floors being set to “commandernobuild.”  (Thanks, Katzen!)
  • Fixed that you could not open the Server console on Windows 10 and Windows Server 2012 or higher.
  • Fixed starting a server on Windows 10 and Windows Server 2012 or higher would result in an immediate crash.
  • Biodome
    • Fixed an issue with visible Seasonal items in the Ready Room (Thanks, Zavaro!)
    • Fixed z-fighting textures near Join Team entities (Thanks, Zavaro!)
  • Caged
    • Fixed a hole in Purification (Thanks, Zavaro!)
  • Derelict
    • Fixed an issue with cysts stuck under the stairs in Western Entrance (Thanks, Kash!)
    • Fixed hole in ceiling in Lookout (Thanks, Zavaro!)
  • Kodiak
    • Improved Command window visually and added additional Occlusion Geometry (Thanks, Loki!)
    • Added preplaced IPs in Marine Start (Thanks, Psyk!)
    • Fixed Marine Start hologram (Thanks, Loki!)
    • Fixed fullbright Hangar when power goes out (Thanks, Psyk!)
    • Improved Occlusion Geometry and performance (Thanks, Psyk!)
    • Improved and brightened lighting (Thanks, Psyk!)
    • Fixed an area where structures are unpowered in Command (Thanks, Zavaro!)
  • Mineshaft (Thanks, Kash!)
    • Fixed map visual issue near The Gap
    • Fixed unpowered areas in North Tunnels, Crusher, Water Pumps, Snake Pass
    • Fixed location entities not covering parts of rooms
    • Fixed stuck spot in Pilot Drill
    • Made the Cart Tunnel to Water Pumps vent exit more easily used
    • Added partial cover to the ceiling of Operations so that the hive tendrils attach to something when a hive is dropped there.
    • Added lights to eliminate black spots in brew room and the water pumps vent.
    • Added collision geo to make walking in the lower section of Pilot Drill less frustrating.
    • Tweaked a few props in North Tunnels to make it less of a mess visually.
  • Summit
    • Fixed some commander invisible issues with snow and waterfalls
  • Veil
    • Removed collision of props above all doors
    • Fixed Onos stuck spot in Topographical
    • Fixed various holes and minor gaps throughout the map
    • Polished up some glass around the map to be shiny
    • Added crate to allow Onos to get out of small pit in Topo near the gold pipes
  • Fixed that builder was attempting to use the wrong path for the nvcompress executable and couldn’t build any textures.
  • Editor
    • Added new Rotation Nudging tool to assist in getting precise placement and rotation of model props. New key-binds are available for this tool, but not set by default. These binds can be found under the “Edit” menu while using the Rotation Tools. To use this new feature, hover over the axis to rotate around and press the keys that were bound
  • Fixed that static prop collision visualization wasn’t properly scaled, and thus didn’t match the actual collision model.
Known Issues
  • There is a micro stutter that can occur for players with less than 70 fps held consistently, while circle strafing, and using Windows 10. (strafing around an object while keeping your view centered on it.) We have a fix ready for the next patch. This stutter has been in the game for months, and was not introduced this patch.
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June 15


There are pros and cons to having a longer patch cycle. In this case, our reason for delay was out of our control. However this ended up allowing for a lot more of our work to be brought into the update. Update 323, as you will see in the changelog below, is probably one of the more impactful updates that we have done in some time. Beyond adding some new cosmetics and our new Shadow Onos model, there are some big changes to gameplay that have shown to not only adjust a lot of the existing strategy, but force you to think and apply all-new ones as well. We hope that these changes will inspire new gameplay and lifeform usage in the foreseeable future.

Summer is now afoot and as a special treat Rantology has added some new flair for your shoulder armor. It’s only available through July 16, 2018.


We teased at what was moving in the shadows just a couple weeks ago and now we are ready to unveil the Shadow Onos. An entirely new model created just for this skin, this completes the entire range of the shadow aliens. Since this is the final piece of the shadow skin collection, we have decided to give away the Onos skin to anyone that was a Reinforced Shadow Tier contributor, or purchased the Shadow Pack DLC. For those of you that don't receive the Shadow Onos from a prior purchase can buy it HERE. *please note that this item is not tradable


Our Forge skins have been very popular amongst the community, you could say they’ve been red hot. They are one of our favorite skins in the game but we felt that the pack just wasn’t complete enough. So as a gift from us to you, please enjoy the addition of Shotgun and Flamethrower Forge skins. Anyone that already owns the Forge DLC will be granted the new items for free in the customize menu. If you don't already own this awesome DLC, you can buy it HERE.


We know everyone here likes to show off their bling, whether it be a badge, armor or some other in-game cosmetic. So we’ve added player skill tiers and fancy new icons to help differentiate between the tiers while in game. Of course, the main purpose of this feature is really more towards helping to balance teams based on skill and their relative groups.


There is much to digest in the changelog below. We hope you have fun playing around with the changes, new skins and Shadow Onos model. As always, there is more to come in the future! Good hunting.


  • Alien Upgrades rebalance
    • Auto-spawn with upgrades
      • Reapplies last used Skulk upgrades on spawn, even if you’ve since evolved into a higher life form, it will remember.
      • If no upgrades were last used, they’re assigned randomly (save for focus)
      • Has 4 second delay for each upgrade level, totaling a max of 12 seconds for all 9 potential upgrade chambers to take effect. Manually evolving is faster. But this mechanic keeps the QoL that is spawning with upgrades, without being overpowered or preventing Marines from locking down a hive room. (Thanks for the idea Handschuh!)
    • Removed Silence
      • The current implementation of this upgrade worked against some of the fundamental requirements for the Melee vs Ranged design. We felt it was easily one of the most frustrating things in the game to encounter, for all skill ranges. A proper solution couldn’t be implemented due to technical constraints, so this is the best path forward we believe.
    • Vampirism
      • Now on the Crag hive and it no longer cloaks you, this upgrade better fits the facerolling playstyle of aggro aliens by providing as good or better eHP benefits as Carapace, provided you’ve successfully landed 3-4 hits on an enemy. You’re more vulnerable at range compared to Carapace, but if you can close that distance and land your hits, you’re better off. It now restores a fraction of your eHP (health + armor) instead of a fixed amount of health per shell:
        • Skulk Bite: 6% (4.5-6.7 eHP)
        • Gorge Spit: 3.2% (5.1-5.9 eHP)
        • Lerk Bite: 3% (4.5-5.2 eHP)
        • Fade Swipe: 3% (7.5-9.3 eHP)
        • Fade Stab: 6% (15-18.6 eHP)
        • Onos Gore: 2.5% (22.5-31.5 eHP)
    • Regeneration
      • Tweaked to compliment the 3rd form of Crag Hive playstyle, the Hit and Run type, Regeneration now heals by 3% (was 2%) of your health for each shell every 2 seconds. (but is clamped to heal at least 6 and at most 80 hp). It only activates when out of combat (taking damage) for 3 seconds.
    • Adrenaline
      • This upgrade currently doesn’t provide enough benefits to higher life forms while being too good for lower lifeforms. So we started addressing that issue. However to fully resolve the issue we will need to fully rebalance the alien energy system which we plan to do in one of the next updates.
      • Increases maximum Energy levels by 20 per Spur for a maximum of 160, old energy cap was 100.
      • Removed increased energy regeneration of 1 energy per sec for each Spur (default energy regeneration is 10 energy / sec)
      • Lowered the Gorge ability energy costs:
        • Heal spray costs 10 energy (instead 12)
        • Dropping a structure costs 15 energy (instead 20)
    • Camouflage
      • In an attempt to make camouflage viable as its own upgrade, it now applies during all typical non-ability movement for an alien.
      • Leap, Charge and Blink etc will still decloak you, but a gliding Lerk or a wall jumping Skulk will remain cloaked at full speed, albeit at a higher degree of visibility.
      • Potentially useful if used in chaotic engagements. An idle ambushing alien is still difficult to spot. Typical decloaking rules when attacked or attacking apply.
    • Focus
      • We’ve heard your resounding feedback that Focus is frustrating to play against when it can one-hit-kill an unarmored Marine. So in an effort to address this we’ve made the following changes:
        • Decreased the damage bonus from 16/33/50% to 11/22/33% - this means a Focus Fade Swipe at maximum can do 99.75 damage to a Marine!
        • Only primary attacks are affected by Focus and consume 33% more energy to account for the slower RoF.
        • Vampirism heals 33% more health if Focus is selected to account for the RoF difference.
    • Crush
      • Moved to Shift Hive to replace Silence’s position, and allow for Vampirism to be on Crag Hive.
    • Celerity, Carapace, and Aura are unchanged from previous update.
  • Lerk
    • Increased personal resource cost to evolve into a Lerk to 21 (from 18)
      • This change was based on feedback from the community regarding a large amount of Lerk dominance early in a round often dictating the outcome. We believe the subtle lifeform timing difference coupled with the increased cost of re-Lerking will aid in marines being better prepared by the time they arrive on the field, as well as dealing with them less frequently, or giving more weight to their deaths.
  • Gorge Tunnel
    • A single Gorge now needs 12.5 seconds (from 5) to build a tunnel.
      • Should increase the requirements to set up a gorge tunnel base rush in the late game and give Marines more time to notice them. Should not impact most early game tunnel placements that are well defended like Nano.
  • Welder (Contributed by Katzenfleisch)
    • What you aim at will determine whether you repair or attack something, reliably.
      • The Welder was welding wounded friends first and ignoring any enemies nearby, leading to some minor issues when you wanted to get rid of babblers near an RT or wanted to finish off a low skulk when a friendly was nearby. This change is replacing the old targeting priority with one taking the closest target from your crosshair, so the mechanic works as you’d expect.
  • Now preventing players who joined a team in the first 60 seconds of a round from spawning instantly, because some players started exploiting it during early game base rushes. All players who join after the round has started will now be added to the re-spawn queue like normal.
Tweaks / Improvements
  • Added the new shadow Onos
  • Added the new summer Gorge shoulder patch every player can unlock by playing 5 rounds during this summer until July 16th 2018
  • Added the Forge Shotgun and Flamethrower skins
  • Added player skill tiers (Thanks to IeptBarakat for helping out with this)
    • Your skill tier only changes after playing at ranked ns2 servers. All other servers do not update your Hive stats! Ranked servers show up with a blue gamemode field in the server browser. Otherwise quickplay tries to connect you to a ranked server whenever possible.
    • Your skill tier is based on lower bound of your skill value. This is a combination of Hive’s estimate of your skill, and its confidence in that estimate. This makes the tiers more stable than a skill threshold alone would be, and causes them to tend to trend upward over time as Hive gets more confident.
    • 1 tier for all rookies below level 20 (approx. 20 hours playtime)
      • Tier 0 - Rookie - green color
    • 7 tiers for all other players to group them by their skill:
      • Tier 1 - Recruit - blue color - ~20% of the weekly players
      • Tier 2 - Frontiersman- silver color - ~25% of the weekly players
      • Tier 3 - Squad Leader - gold color - ~25% of the weekly players
      • Tier 4 - Veteran - platinum color - ~15% of the weekly players
      • Tier 5 - Commandant- diamond color - ~9% of the weekly players
      • Tier 6 - Special Ops - purple “shadow” color - ~5% of the weekly players
      • Tier 7 - Sanji Survivor - red color - ~1 % of the weekly players
    • The skill tiers should help players  to balance teams roughly on their own without having to rely on automatic shuffle algorithms.
    • Each servers mean skill tier is also displayed in the server browser sp players can avoid joining a server with the majority of players having a significant higher/lower skill tier.
    • You can check your own tier in the main menu.
  • Changed “Rookie Only” servers to “Bootcamp” servers, and opened them up to every player below skill tier 2.
  • Gorge Healspray will now show a healing effect on the friendly unit or structure the Gorge is targeting.(Thanks IeptBarakat for helping with this!)
  • Some structures have had their poor or awkward collision for player movement improved to allow for smooth traversal. This impacts the Observatory, Extractor, Shell, and Arcs. You might notice that you can move through the Observatory dish now, or that Skulks aren’t floating in air as much on specific parts of an RT.
  • Reflections no longer look "half-rez" due to incorrect texture coordinate derivatives.  As a result, some reflections appear more/less visible than before due to the now correct usage of the gloss map.
  • The bulk of the art assets in the game were rebuilt using newer and better tools. This removed a lot of artifacts from them improving overall visuals of the game.
  • Specular Maps now render at full resolution, was half-resolution before. This help improve lighting fidelity of most surfaces in the game.
  • The refraction/distortion effects (glass, alien cloaking, etc.) now properly stack up.  Before, only one layer of refracting objects would be visible, occasionally causing some more important information to be lost (eg. cloaked Skulk hiding on refracting glass would be quite literally impossible to spot because it simply wasn't being rendered!). Also, parts of the Cloaked Alien would lose the refraction effect and become completely invisible in some spots during typical use.
  • The game now has a ‘RepairGame.exe’ utility in the ’x64’ sub-folder. This can be used to fix common issues clients may encounter. It will delete your Workshop and Cache folder contents, as well as deactivate any mods in your options.xml file and then validate your files the next time the game is run.
  • Changed the position of the Help Screen notification reminder to a more active screen area that will not risk obscuring your view. We found it wasn’t very noticeable in it’s previous position. A stroke was added to the text so that it is readable against all backgrounds.
  • Added a favorite server “Heart” button to the in-game scoreboard next to the server’s name at the top of the screen. Make sure to hit that when you found a server you really like to find it again later on in the server browser!
  • Added a numeric ping value next to the ping bars in the Server Browser because they might be needed if you live in certain regions like Australia.
  • Limited the ping filter in the server browser to a minimum of 100 ms, to prevent users from accidentally setting it to 0, effectively making all servers disappear.
  • Labeled the server rank column of the server browser with rank instead of # which most players didn’t understand.
  • Improved the server rating formula so that not all full servers are moved to the second page of the server list. We also introduced a new policy for ranked servers to improve the experience that players have on them.
  • Improved the “failed to connect” dialog to look better and offer a few more options, such as Retry or Try Another Server.
  • Added 3D visual hints on the HUD indicating the position of spotted Resource Towers for players with hints enabled. Hopefully this will help new players to know where to go, and to attack resource towers instead of the Tech Points which were previously the only thing shown with hints on.
    • Requires LOS established by your team before showing.
    • Shows a maximum of 2 resource towers on screen at any time to avoid clutter.
    • Prioritizes distance and direction you are looking to determine which RTs to show
  • Replaced the resource tower dots in the bottom right of the HUD with icons representing the actual resource tower structures of each team, to avoid any confusion.
  • Unlocked the maxfps console command from 200, so player can set it as high as they want up to 1000 - at their own risk. Also added a maxfps field to the system_options.xml so players can use that to change their maxfps permanently.
  • Damaged Exosuits that are not occupied now show damaged effects. If you hop into an Exosuit that has only 20 armor left, it was your own fault for not noticing.
  • Added the ENSL Season 12 badges.
  • Railgun impact decals properly reflect the size of the projectile now (Contributed by Nin)
  • The Cache and Workshop folders are cleared out automatically this patch for everyone - and will be again each time we ship patches in the future. This prevents some odd and rare performance bugs that could arise after these folders reached very large sizes.
  • Changed some default settings to prevent some disadvantages for newer players.
    • Field of View 10 from 0
    • Infestation Quality set to Minimal from Rich
    • Reflections set to Off from On (but do give them a try this patch)
Sound Effects / General Audio

For the past several months Sweets has worked with us to overhaul the playback, quality, and balancing of all the game’s sound effects. His herculean efforts of reviewing, tweaking, and tuning just about every sound effect in the game have yielded great results! It’s now easier to identify specific sources of sounds, be aware of what is happening around you, and gauge the distance of potential threats. Additionally, there are some small performance gains from what he’s done, as the amount of active channels have been reduced by an incredible degree. The culmination of Sweets’ work is a much better and more full soundscape. The following cannot cover the entirety of his changes, as that would require its own separate 10 page changelog. Outstanding work, Sweets!
  • General Sound Changes
    • Reviewed and changed over 1000+ sound events and their implementation to reduce global channel count. Optimizations to max playback behavior, steal behavior, max polyphony behavior, and several other properties for all events. Combined with a reduced global channel count, these optimizations should address sounds which stop playing or cut out which breaks immersion from the player and also prevents the player from hearing important gameplay information cues.
    • Re-balanced all footstep sounds for Marines and all Alien lifeforms for all material types in the game. Walking on a particular surface won’t suddenly seem much louder than other surfaces now.
    • Many additional minor optimizations to sound quality, volume attenuation over distance, reverb properties, and "under the hood" improvements.
  • Aliens
    • Increased the volume and distance for many structures. Hydras, Whips, Shades, Shifts, and others are much more audible to allow Marines entering a room to scout idle and active sounds.
    • All lifeform footsteps balanced for volume and consistency. For example Onos footsteps now travel as far as a Skulk and Skulk footsteps aren’t at the loudest volume at maximum distance on rock materials.
    • Onos charging into a Marine and an Exosuit sounds added.
    • Impact sound for Parasite added regardless of a successful hit.
    • Optimized gorge channel count.
    • Optimized fade channel count and increased the sound of blink so fades can be scouted more easily at longer distances.
    • Improved and tuned Hive pain sounds.
    • Volume roll-off added for Hive death scream so it doesn’t cut off abruptly at range.
    • Fixed Tunnel exit/enter sounds when inside a tunnel. Escaping aliens in a Gorge Tunnel will now hear an enemy chasing after them.
    • Tunnel exiting sound now emits from the Tunnel itself instead of following the player. (Thanks Steelcap!)
    • Balanced UI voice over volumes such as team notifications or “Base Under Attack” notifications.
  • Marines
    • The Marine Beacon sound should never cut out anymore during heavy combat.
    • Optimized all bullet ricochet sound rolloffs and balanced to make it easier to tell if shots are near the player and the material it impacts.
    • Rifle firing sound fidelity increased along with many channel usage optimizations.
    • Added sound for Weapon Upgrade Level 0, which was previously missing (Weapon 1 upgrade did not change the sound).
    • Pistol channel optimizations and balancing.
    • Shotgun channel optimizations. There is a new sound for shotguns at longer distances (removed click artifacts from shotgun distant sound and made it more audible).
    • Grenade Launcher fire and explode channel optimizations. Reduced the explode sound at max distance so it is not always at max volume, players can now hear how far away the explosions are.
    • Grenade bounce no longer max volume at max distance, but still audible at medium distances.
    • Grenade throw sound added.
    • Jetpacks reworked along with channel and fidelity optimizations. Jetpacks are much more audible at all distances. A Marine with a jetpack is extremely fast, threatening, and should not be quiet and stealthy.
    • Removed initial breathing Marine sound while sprinting which can be abused with strafe button animations.
    • Minigun Exosuit channel optimizations. Barrels now have a spin down sound.
    • Railgun Exosuit channel optimizations. Charged shots are now audible at max distance. You know when a Railgun is charging up near you now!
    • Changed Exosuit voiceover damage state sounds and increased the health required to initiate sound (35% and 50% for each warning). Should be a stronger indicator of low health rather than a warning that plays just a moment before death. A looping beeping sound has been added for the lowest health warning level for Exosuits.
    • Structures now attenuate volume sooner and do not travel quite as far while also being more audible at medium distance.
    • Volume balance changes to structures which are too loud or too quiet. For example a destroyed power node was too loud and the phase gate idle was too quiet.
    • Arcs firing will no longer deafen players and override every other sound nearby.
    • Arc charging sound is more audible.
    • Footsteps and Marine movement behavior should no longer cut out quite as much. A Skulk biting a structure should be able to stop biting and identify Marine positioning more clearly. Marine walking footsteps now travel as far as sprinting footsteps and no longer provide a stealth advantage.
    • Small improvement to Pistol idle flip animation sound.
    • Volume balancing and fixes to UI voice-overs so they do not interrupt each other and become silent.
  • Cached pathing map data no longer takes the build number into account (which was causing pathing meshes to be rebuilt for every new patch, even though the level probably hadn't changed).
  • Fixed that some of the new player progressions menu entries did not work correctly and used outdated descriptions.
  • Fixed an issue with the team bot controller that caused it to start a never ending loop of adding commander bots at rookie only servers.
  • Fixed that Warmup structures, such as Armory or Prototype Lab, didn't respawn after the first Warm Up phase.
  • Fixed issue where the material of the sound of footsteps was sometimes wrong (eg walking on a "metal" surface would sometimes result in "thin_metal" surface footstep sounds.
  • Fixed that dropped Marine Weapons would not make any sound on most surfaces.
  • Fixed that using a non 16:9 screen resolution or disabling hints in the options menu would hide the harmless loading screen tips. We are working on updated tips but those didn’t make it for this build.
  • Fixed issue preventing the game from using exclusive Fullscreen mode
  • Fixed an issue preventing changing from a low resolution to your monitor’s native resolution.
  • Fixed that Sentry Batteries were not visible in Alien commander view or on the Alien map
  • Fixed that Stomped Marines could occasionally use the Armory or other interactions, causing a race condition.
  • Fixed that by default the "Texture handling" option defaults to "nil" instead of "1 GB".
  • Fixed that whenever a Powernode without armor takes damage from Infestation (even 0 damage) the lights in a Location slightly flicker.
  • Fixed that Babbler-mines hatched if an enemy is nearby but already dead
  • Fixed that Babblers are not 'poofing' blueprints, making them an easy target when they are stuck trying to kill it, and not targeting a built one.
  • Fixed an issue with Servers and Clients creating too many HTTP requests when calling external APIs. Both Servers and Clients now use managed and throttle request queue.
    • Server ops can change the default value in ServerConfig.json
  • Fixed that fetching mod information, even through the server browser when looking at server details, would begin downloading the mods before you even connected to the server.
  • Fixed that the spectator round time display was unable to display a round time of more than 60 minutes.
  • Merged the UWE Extension fixes into the build, including Commander Bot loop fix as well as the Lerk poison bite fix.
  • Fixed that DX11 renderer could not utilize CTRL+ESC shortcut to reach the desktop
  • Summit (Contributed by Psyk)
    • Updated with cosmetic improvements to Atrium, Crevice, and Crossroads
    • Updated vent connecting Reactor Core and Glass Hallway. It’s now more accessible to both teams.
    • Added support for reflections to the entire level
  • Veil
    • Tweaked reflection probes to work better with improved Reflection rendering
  • Editor
    • Added extra placement options from the Static Prop tool into the Entity tool (Contributed by Steelcap)
    • Fixed that using select-all would select types of objects that were filtered out.
  • LaunchPad
    • Increased number of "recent mods" that appear in the open box.
  • RepairGame
    • Added this utility to perform reconfigure and repairs tasks that automatically fixes a number of common issues.
  • HLSLParser now supports tex2DGrad() and texCUBElod().
  • Added some utility scripts to the ‘utils’ folder used to help migrate physics joints data from old 3dsmax 2009 reactor physics format to new fbx-friendly format that spark uses now.
  • Fixed a help-screen related script error that prevented modders from easily customizing the help screen. (Thanks Nin!)
  • Removed all code related to the old sabot organized play system and heavy rifles.
  • Added a new Client API call to get the address of the server the client is currently connected to.
Known Issues
  • Repair tool close button will not close, but instead run the tool just the same as clicking OK would.
  • There is a minor script error in the end of the Alien tutorial if you return through the gorge tunnel, inappropriately
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"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 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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