Movement Techniques

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Introduction

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 speed at a high level.

The information in General and Skulk will help you master the Skulk Challenge!

Video

Explaining, and thus understanding movement mechanics can be somewhat tedious even though this article has no several short clips. Here is a video that helps to better explain most of the movement mechanics of Natural Selection 2:



General

Terms

In order to explain things better via text two (unofficial) terms are defined: Strafing and Counterstrafing

Terms
Strafing Video
  • 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
  • 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.
(official term)



Techniques

These techniques work with almost all Lifeforms or Equipment.

Techniques
Queue your Jump Video
  • Press and hold Space while you are in the air before touching the next wall or the ground.
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 (
A
|
D
) 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
    D
    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)



Marine

Main article: Marines.


As a Marine everything from 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 some tricks how you can remove the slow down quite a bit:

Marine Movement
Vent Jump
  • While in a vent you can do consecutive jumps in the vent and gain speed by strafing

Video Clip 2
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.
Slope Jump Video
  • 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.




Trickjumps for Marines

Main article: Trickjumps. (Videos included)

Jetpack

Main article: Jetpack.


Jetpack Movement
Bouncing Video
  • You can bounce off the ground with a jetpack if you hold
    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
  • 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.




Alien

Skulk

Main article: Skulk.


When you are close to a Wall or Jump off the Ground you can press
Space
in order to gain speed.

You can Impove your Wall Walking skill in the Skulk Challenge and get a Skulk Challenge Badge based on how well you do.

Skulk Movement
Prevent slowing down Video
  • if you touch the wall too closely while Wall Walking 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.
Even though you use the detach button
CTRL
you will still lose a bit of speed if you touch the wall to closely!
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.
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.
Leap Jump
  • Don't use Leap from the ground without moving.
Always press Forward
W
and then Jump
Space
before using Leap
Mouse 2
in order to get the best speed bonus.



Lerk

Main article: Lerk.


Lerk Movement
Gliding Video
  • 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
  • You do not gain a speedboost 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:
  1. Your wings move quicker around a corner (you get hit by less bullets)
  2. You can see where your lerk is moving more clearly and you can actually hit your targets while turning
  3. Your evasive movement is much harder to track
Crouch Diving
  • If you press the detach button
    Ctrl
    you can detach yourself from a wall or rapidly 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.



Fade

Main article: Fade.


Fade Movement
Counter-Strafe Mechanics Video
  • 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
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.
Metabolize
  • Using Metabolize (
    Shift
    ) might put you in danger because during the cooldown phase you cannot Swipe and it stops your current Blink.
Try to use Metabolize carefully during battle and use a blink instantly after using Metabolize
Crouching
  • It is often helpful that you press the crouch button
    CTRL
    :
  1. You do not get stuck in the air or ceiling - especially while queue jumping (B327 helps with this one)
  2. You are smaller than a Marine if you land in front of him making it harder to track
  3. You can more easily Swipe a Marines while flying over him or jumping off his head


Note: Sliding A Fade can slide a bit more with the next new Build 327, so you don't lose as much speed if you don't queue your jump perfectly or in vents.

Gorge

Main article: Gorge.

  • 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



Onos

Main article: Onos.




Sidenotes

  • 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