Natural Selection 2: The Basics
So you saw our preview of Natural Selection 2 and you were understandably excited. So you pre-ordered the game, jumped into the beta and were overwhelmed by the carnage that surely unfolded. As it stands the Natural Selection 2 beta has no tutorial for newcomers which can be a little scary - that's where we come in. Check out the first tutorial aptly named The Basics and stay tuned for more in-depth guides in the future. For now, let's just get you started.
Choosing Your Team
In NS2 one team will be in control of the Frontiersmen - a group of space marines armed with assault rifles, pistols, shotguns etc. The other team will be made up of the Kharaa - an alien species that can evolve, control areas and obliterate their opponents with their special attacks. While controlling the Kharaa and the Frontiersman may feel very different, fundamentally they are very similar. We suggest choosing a side and sticking with them for a few hours to familiarise yourself with their strengths and weaknesses before experimenting with the opposing force.
Resources Power Everything
Resources can truly control the outcome of any given round - each structure, weapon, upgrade and object utilised by your team will cost a set number of resources or 'res' as it's commonly known among players. Res can be harvested by building an extractor on certain points throughout each map. Frontiersmen will gather resources and use it as a collective pool for the entire team, while the Kharaa will accumulate their own stash of res to use at their own discretion. This requires some extra planning if you are on a Kharaa team to make sure that everything is balanced when it comes to structures.
Protect Your Base At All Costs
While it may be tempting to run in, guns blazing and fighting off a horde of enemies, you better make sure that your base is covered. Frontiersmen require Infantry Portals to respawn just as the Kharaa require hives. If you have no resource extractors pulling in res, and no available respawn points your enemies simply need to hunt you down, wipe you out and walk on in for the big win. Sometimes a good defence will be far more effective than a failed offensive strike. You will need to strike a vital balance to be successful.
Appoint A Skilled Commander
The Frontiersmen in NS2 have a commander who is presented with a RTS view of the game map. They can issue commands, waypoints, build instructions and provide vital information to ensure their team is victorious. If you haven't got a firm grip of what each structure is used for, or how to build a good base then we advise staying away from the command centre. This is a role that should be filled by players who have a decent knowledge of the game mechanics. Don't rush in, take your time to learn the lay of the land before you try to control a squad.
Teamwork Is Paramount
We can't stress enough just how important teamwork is in Natural Selection 2, especially if you are a member of the Kharaa. Due to the fact that each individual has their own resource pool a good team will need to keep tabs on what everyone is spending their res on to make sure they have a balanced team on their hands. Teamwork is equally as important for the Frontiersmen - those Kharaa are a hard bunch to kill and move in mysterious ways. You will need to always be prepared and looking out for one another to ensure survival.
These are just some very basic gameplay tips to get you moving around with confidence in Natural Selection 2
. The best way to learn is to play with skilled players and ask questions - most of the players on the Aussie servers are only happy to explain the many gameplay elements on display. Stay tuned in the coming weeks as we bring you in-depth guides for each team to ensure victory on the battlefield.
By Stephen Heller