Natural Selection(FPS/RTS hybrid mod for Half Life on Steam)/NS2 discussion

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Level 6
Jun 14, 2008
Natural Selection download link.

It's free, it's a Half Life mod, so if you have Half Life installed and Steam installed, you can download it and install it for free.
Natural Selection is an FPS/RTS hybrid that was released a long time ago 2002(or was it 2001? Forgot).

Here's a trailer with some gameplay footage of the game.

Here's the manual for the game, though I'll explain some of the game in this post.

There are two game modes: NS:Classic and Combat. NS:Classic will be explained first, followed by Combat.

NS:Classic are maps that start with "ns_" prefix. For example, "ns_tanith" is a map you might see when you location a server to play on. That means it's classic game mode.

Combat maps start with "co_" prefix.

Important things to note during the game:
1. Right clicking brings up a Pop up menu which allows you to perform different actions such as: requesting orders from commander, dropping a structure, evolving, etc.

2. You can press(and hold) "C" to bring up the map. You'll want to view the map a lot, as the map will show you where all your allies are as well as where nearby enemies are(if they are near you), as well as the layout of the area.

Brief description of NS:Classic:
Natural Selection is a FPS/RTS hybrid. Players can choose two sides, Marines or Aliens.

The main object for the marines, is to destroy all the alien hives, while the main object for aliens, is to destroy the Commander Chair and all Infantry Portals.

Marines (AKA Fronterismen, Recommended for new players to play as)
The marine team has a commander, when a player becomes the commander (by pressing "e" next to the Command Chair) they'll enter a view that you usually see in RTS such as Warcraft III, starcraft, etc. It can be called Bird's eye view, but it's more often called the commander mode(or commander view).

The commander can "drop" several structures and items/weapons, they use resources to do so. The commander can give the marine players waypoints, instructions/orders, and is the only player to drop weapons and structures.

A dropped structure dropped by the commander is inactive until it is built by a marine player.

Building requires the player to hold "e"(default for +use) to build it. You will notice a health bar (that circles around the structure), it will go up and fill up completely once it is built.

You start with a light machine gun, pistol, and a knife.

To get ammo and recover health, there is a structure called an armory, press "e" near it to regain ammo/health.

Ask players if you don't know what the armory is/where it is.

Listening to the commander and obeying his/her orders are essential to victory.

It is not recommended for a new player to play as commander, play for awhile and get to know how the commander plays and directs players, play as the aliens also to get an idea of what alien players direct each other against the marines before trying the commander.

Aliens(AKA: Kharra, Recommended after you played the marines for some time)
Aliens do not have an official "commander", but they act by listening and directing each other, rather than listening to one player and obeying his/her every requests.

Aliens have hives which spawn aliens, protect and heal alien players, they also are the link to upgrades and abilities. The aliens will lose a large amount of health per 2 seconds after all hives have been destroyed, and they cannot respawn.

Aliens naturally are able to use their "slot 1" weapons, but to use other slots (up to slot 4), they require hives.
One hive allows the player to use their 2nd slot weapon, two allows the 3rd slot weapon, three hives allow players to use their final and 4th slot weapon.

Aliens have five different lifeforms with different abilities, I'll briefly explain them(I won't explain any of their abilities, you can Check the manual for that info):
Skulk: You start as this alien lifeform, this alien can move quickly it only takes 3 bites to kill a marine. They die easily due to their low health though. The skulk can also parasite marines to keep track of them.

Gorge: The builder and support class of the aliens. They can build structures and heal nearby ally units. Essential for victory. Players who are new the game could try this class out, Gorges are too difficult to play as, just remember to stick near allies.

Lerk: An offensive/supportive alien with great mobility due to their ability to fly. Lerks can also shoot poisonous(technically choking) gases and protect allies with Umbra(which releases a cloud that reduces all bullet damage by 33%).

Fade: A power alien class that can move as fast as skulks due to their ability to "blink". Blink allows the Fade to move quickly at any direction. Fades are a hit-and-run class.

Onos: The strongest and most expensive alien. They're basically Ultralisk(Starcraft) of NS. They can deal and take massive damage, the Onos requires a lot of support though as even a small group of marines can be threatening to the Onos.

Any player can evolve to any of the lifeforms if they have the resources required too, and it takes a certain amount of time to evolve. There are no limitations on how many players can be which life form, the entire team can be a gorge, or onos for example.

Really brief description of NS: Combat:
Combat is a fast paced version of Natural Selection, to play this mode, play any map that has the word "co_" at the beginning.

There are no resources, no commander, basically just take out the RTS part and add levels(with skills you can pick as you progress in level) and faster respawning, and there you go!

This is a recommended mode for new players, esp if they want to train as higher life forms and risk not dying, for more info, refer to the manual I linked too at the top in this post.
If anyone has any other questions about NS, ask, it's free to play if you have half life, so you should check it out.

Also, it's more fun(IMO) to play in bigger servers rather than smaller servers, so you should try playing at the bigger servers first before trying out the smaller servers.

Here's a server that I usually play at that I recommend
Server is called Guns4Back2School, it's a 31 player slot server, it's usually very active.

If anyone knows about NS already, we can discuss NS2 in this topic too I guess.

NS2 main site
Interview with the author of the game
Most exciting thing about NS2 (IMO) is the modding flexibility.
Finally, "Unlimited Variations" is our modding architecture. Our entire game is written in "Lua" script and will be released with the game, along with our level editor, script debugger and everything you need to modify NS2 or make your own game. Adding a new weapon is less than 100 lines of script. You can change the resource model, add new AI units, change any UI element, etc. Our game engine has no concept of NS2 at all - everything NS2 is written in script. So everything from Commander Mode to player movement code to weapons is all effectively open source and shipping with the game, so you can be sure players will add all sorts of new game modes, abilities, etc. Maybe we'll even get our own "Counter-strike" on NS2!
Last edited:
Level 13
Mar 8, 2005
I used to play this alot, might as well return to this at some point.

By the way Natural Selection 2 is coming. However it is no longer a Half-Life 2 mod, rather it's a stand-alone game based of a game engine made by the team creating the game. It will be sold of STEAM.
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