The Movement mechanics in Natural Selection 2 are different from most games. You can maintain or gain speed by techniques called "Strafing", "Circling" or "Bunnyhop". These names originate from Games like Quake or Half-Life (Natural Selection 1).
The main difference to Natural Selection 2 is that you do not accelerate with these movement techniques, instead you maintain your speedat a high level.
Explaining, and thus understanding movement mechanics can be somewhat tedious. Here is a video that helps better explain the movement mechanics of Natural Selection 2: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OHyBrRaY2Go
In order to explain things better via text two terms are defined:
- Moving the mouse smoothly in the same direction while you press your Strafekey: e.g. Pressing the right strafe key (D) while moving the mouse smoothly to the right
- Counterstrafing: (also called Circling)
- Moving the mouse smoothly in the opposite direction while you press your Strafekey: e.g. Pressing right strafe key (D) while moving the mouse smoothly to the left
- Air Friction
- If you change direction while moving at higher speeds Air Friction will cause you to slow down quickly. Strafing and Counterstrafing are the best way to keep the speed you have already gained by different methods while staying versatile and doing quick evasive movements.
- Queue your Jump:
- Press and hold Space while you are in the air. It helps you to instantly jump again and prevents you from losing any unnecessary speed by staying on the ground for too long.
- Moving/Dodging backwards:
- Using the backpedal button (S) is very slow for moving backwards. Skilled players use strafe keys (Left | Right) to walk backwards while moving the mouse in the opposite direction to gain speed. (Counterstrafe)
- Jump backwards:
- You can do a jump backwards by e.g. pressing the RIGHT-Button while moving your mouse smoothly to the left. With this you gain speed on the ground allowing you to jump backwards (Space) quite quickly. (Counterstrafe)
As a Marine everything from Movement General applies as well, with the difference that you slow down significantly after doing one jump even if you queue the next jump perfectly. There are two tricks how you can remove the slow down quite a bit:
- Slope Jump:
- Jump onto a slope and jump off it - combined with strafing this will give you a slight speedboost. This works well on some stairs but not all of them.
- Platform Jump:
- Jumping onto a higher platform will remove the slow-down effect a bit. If you first jump onto a higher platform crouched then you can do one more additional jump on the same height without crouching with a smaller slow-down effect.
- You can bounce of the ground with a jetpack if you hold the Jump Button (Space) right before you touch the ground in order to maintain your speed, Especially if your fuel is almost empty. With this technique you can actually fly on ns2_veil from Marine Start to Cargo without slowing down.
- Backwards flying
- Like all Alien Lifeforms you can use your forward speed to turn around by pressing the RIGHT-Button while moving your mouse smoothly to the left - allowing you to shoot your enemy while you escape with high maneuverability at full speed.
When you are close to a Wall you can press Jump (Space) in order to gain speed.
- Prevent slowing down:
- If you touch the wall too closely you will attach yourself and lose some speed even if you press Forward (W). It is important to hold the detach button (CTRL) in order to maintain your speed better
- Upwards Jump
- If you look upwards while jumping from a wall you will gain additional height for the tradeoff of some forward momentum.
- Ceiling Jump:
- If you press the detach button (CTRL), Forward (W), and the Jump button (Space) really quickly it is even possible to use the Wall Walk to jump along a relatively flat ceiling.
- Strafing on the Ground
- Try to utilize the strafe mechanics on the ground as well, even if they are minor. They will make you a harder target to hit, it is especially effective against shotguns.
- As a lerk, If you hold the Jump button (Space) you can glide in all directions with your current speed you gained by flapping (Space)
- (Counter-)Strafe Mechanics:
- As a Lerk you do not gain a speedbost by using strafe keys, since you already gain high speed with a few quick flaps (Space)
- It is still important to use Counterstrafe as Lerk because your Lerk model and camera tilts. That has several advantages:
- Your wings move quicker around a corner (you get hit by less bullets)
- You can see where your lerk is moving more clearly and you can actually hit your targets while turning
- Your evasive movement is much harder to track
- Crouch Diving
- If you press the detach button (CTRL) you dive down rapidly, you can detach yourself from a wall or suddenly dive down without being forced to look down
- Flapping upwards
- If you press the Jump button quickly (Space) without pressing the Forward button (W) you will gain height quickly while still maintaining any forward momentum you already had.
- While doing this you can turn in every direction allowing for better use of Spikes
- Spiking Mines
- The easiest way to spike a Mine and still be a harder target for a Marine is by quickly flying forwards (W + Space ..) and backwards (S+Space) for a second
- Counter-Strafe Mechanics:
- The speed you gain by using blink will almost instantly be lost if you change direction in the air without using Counter-Strafing.
- With the use of these techniques you can use Celerity without draining your energy pool to quickly.
- Tapping blink
- If you tap Blink your speed will increase quite a bit. In order to maintain this speed without wasting energy you can queue your Jump by holding the Jump button (Space) after you blink.
- Holding blink (not recommended)
- While holding the blink button your speed will constantly increase slightly. This is generally very rarely useful
- Only when there is no room to evade anyway or to prevent Mines from detonating. This method is not recommended due to it's high energy consumption.
- Using Metabolize might put you in danger because during the cooldown phase you can neither Swipe or Blink
- Try to use Metabolize instantly after tapping Blink so you can queue your jump afterwards in order to not slow down
- It is often helpful that you press the crouch button (CTRL):
- You do not get stuck in the air or ceiling - especially while queue jumping
- You are smaller than a Marine if you land in front of him making it harder to track
- You can more easily Swipe a Marines while flying over him or jumping off his head
- A Fade can slide a bit more with the next new patch 327, so you don't lose as much speed if you don't queue your jump perfectly or in vents
- Sliding and Strafing
- While Sliding you can also Strafe a bit to the Left (A) and Right (D) while Pressing Forward (W). If you try to turn to much you will lose speed though
- Never stay still by constantly pressing (or spamming) Left (A) and Right (D) even if you are only moving a few inches back and forth.
- Your fingers stay warm and your enemy can never be sure in what direction you will move next. Also keep ping differences in mind.
- The backwards movement via Counter-Strafing works for all Lifeforms especially well while you are in the air
A soon to be made list of trickjumps ordered by importance or practicality