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Observatory deploy.gif
"Distress Beacon activated. Teleport imminent!"
TSA.png Frontiersmen
Team Resources
Marines res.png 10
Abilities and Upgrades
Scan, Distress Beacon, Detector, Recycle
Phase Tech
Tech Requirements:
Infantry Portal, Armory
Phase Gate
Build Time: 15 seconds
Builds From: Marine Commander
Buy From: Advanced Tab
Hotkey: S


The Observatory is the Frontiersmen alien detection and emergency recall structure created by the Marine Commander. Marines or MACs are required to assemble the unbuilt structure and Power Nodes nearby.

When powered, the Observatory can passively detect nearby Kharaa lifeforms and structures, which will periodically appear as blips on Marine Heads-up Display; detection can also reveal Kharaa under Camouflage effects. The Commander can spend Team Resources to scan any area for alien presence with the benefits of detection. Additionally, Phase Tech can be researched at an Observatory by the Commander to unlock the Phase Gate structure.

The Observatory enables the Distress Beacon for emergency teleportation when activated by the Commander. After a short delay, all existing Marines will teleport to the nearest Command Station from the Observatory.


Passive Abilities


Observatory detecting lifeforms in base

The Observatory is designed to detect Kharaa lifeforms and structures. When hostiles are within range, they will be revealed if under the effects of Camouflage; all nearby Marines will receive periodic target circles on their Heads-Up Display, allowing them to approximate the threats' locations. ARC sonic cannons can lock onto Kharaa structures that are detected by the Observatory.

Detection buildmenu.png
Reveals nearby Kharaa players and structures, highlights enemy position on Marine HUD, and provides targeting for ARCs. Blinking Fades are highlighted with an energy signature trail.
Radius 22
Requires Nearby Active Power Nodes

Targeted Abilities


Kharaa structures revealed by Scan

The Marine Commander can use any Observatory's scanning capabilities to reveal a large part of the map. The Scan will provide a small light source to aid Marine visibility in unpowered rooms, and provides the same benefits as the Detector passive ability.

Scan buildmenu.png
  • Reveals all Kharaa players and structures in an area of the map
    • provides line-of-sight for ARCs
    • Can be countered with Ink
TRes Icon team resource neutral.gif 3
Range Global
Radius 20
Duration 10 seconds
Cooldown 1 seconds
Targets Player, structure, ground

Triggered Abilities

Distress Beacon

Marines teleported to base after Distress Beacon delay

The Distress Beacon is an emergency teleportation function of the Observatory. After initiating the beacon protocol and a small delay, all Marines will be teleported next to the nearest Command Station from the Observatory. Distress Beacon cannot be cancelled once activated.

Distress Beacon
Beacon buildmenu.png
Teleports all Marines to the nearest Command Station.
TRes Icon team resource neutral.gif 10
Delay 3 seconds
Requires Nearby Active Power Nodes and Command Station


Recycling a structure

Recycle enables the Marine Commander to return a portion of Team Resources by recycling a structure. The recycling process lasts a short duration, after which a maximum of 75% Team Resources used to create the structure is refunded. However, the amount of Team Resources refunded depends on the remaining health of the structure on recycle completion. The higher the structure's health, the more resources are refunded.

Recycle buildmenu.png
Recycles the structure over time and refunds resources based on initial cost and current Health. Recycle can be canceled by Marine Commander or by destroying the structure.
TRes Icon team resource neutral.gif 75% x initial cost
Duration 6 seconds


Phase Tech

Phase Tech
Phase buildmenu.png
Enables the purchase of Phase Gates.
TRes Icon team resource neutral.gif 10
Research Time 45 seconds


  • Positioning is key to maximize Observatory detection coverage.
    • Placing an Observatory in the center of your base reveals hidden lifeforms in the base.
    • Placing an Observatory on the outskirts of your base allows your team to prepare for incoming attacks.
  • The Observatory is very fragile. Try not to expose it to Bile Bomb attacks around corners.