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Marine banner.png


The Marines as depicted in the game are the force mounted by the TSF agency. The Trans-System Federation (TSF) is an independent body funded by 37 trans-gov powers (governments or super-corporations that own and operate Phase Gates between solar systems) and given jurisdiction over trans-system affairs: as defined by a document called The Charter. The Charter is a comprehensive document, covering disarmament, fair trade agreements (most importantly, sharing phase gates), and certain basic civil rights that had become blurred (or tossed aside) during the dark times of the Expansion.

To enforce The Charter, the Trans-Govs chose Admiral Rathine Studaber, former head of the revived British Secret Service, and gave her a budget for a small military force – which proved hard pressed to stop those same greedy and quarrelsome powers from violating almost every agreement they had made: often concerning their own citizens (termed "population abuse"). It was not very long before the TSF had to resort to military police actions. Its surprising success against the vastly more powerful and far better equipped Trans-Govs earned it the secret hatred of the same powers that created it. They have long been angling to curtail the TSF's powers, slash its funding, or even dissolve it entirely and replace it with something they can control. So far, their distrust of each other, and intense media scrutiny has kept the TSF alive. The TSF sees itself as the only sane player in trans-system politics and has become an unappreciated (and often vilified) champion of human rights.

With the failure of corporate and government forces to contain the spread of the Kharaa, the opinion (among those in power) was humanity should just quarantine the entire Ariadne Arm (the string of solar systems where the Kharaa were encountered). The TSF found this intolerable, both for the people trapped in the Arm and for the future of human expansion (the economic blow of losing all those ships and bases could threaten the tenuous peace of the Charter). The TSF volunteered to mount a response to the Kharaa – effectively creating a new army, with a new mandate. The resolution passed, and the new force was called the Frontiersmen: "standing on the edge of the unknown, between all of humanity and whatever would threaten it." The Frontiersmen have clearance to travel anywhere and board any craft. They have rapid-response outposts scattered throughout the Ariadne Arm, with teams of marines ready to deploy. The Frontiersmen initiative is a huge opportunity for the TSF. It's also a risk: if the Frontiersmen fail, on such a public and historic stage, the Ariadne Arm will be signed off as a loss and the trans-govs may have the excuse they've been looking for to "re-organize" TSF leadership – replacing the Admiral and her staff with corporate lackeys. If that happens, dark days are sure to follow.

Frontiersmen must pass rigorous physical and psychological exams before they can even enter training. The training process, though in many respects similar to militaries all over the galaxies and all throughout history, is unique in its emphasis on small squads, tactical flexibility, and the unprecedented nature of the enemy Frontiersmen train to confront. Frontiersmen are trained to enter a new environment in squads of 5 to 15 individuals, with very little equipment or support, and achieve definitive victory against a virulent and hostile xenoform foe.


The Marines are rigorously trained, versatile soldiers that can perform many vital functions, such as using the Build Tool to assemble unbuilt structures, repairing damaged or broken Power Nodes, and becoming Marine Commander at an unoccupied Command Station. Marines can be given Waypoints by the Commander to coordinate squad movement and actions.

Marine male normal front.png
Marine female normal front.png


Main article: Options.


Main article: Movement techniques.

Weapons and Equipment

The Frontiersmen arsenal contains a wide array of weapons, purchasable using Personal Resources in the buy menu of different structures. Provided by Alterra Corporation, Frontiersmen weaponry were initially designed for human warfare. Since encounters with the hostile aliens have persisted over the past decade, the Frontiersmen have added adaptations of their own to combat the Kharaa threat.

All Marines are armed with the standard Assault Rifle, Pistol and Switch-Axe. Additional weapon types require research by the Marine Commander at their respective structures. Some weapons weight heavier than others, decreasing Marine move speed when equipped.

Default Weapons
Owner Weapon Description Shared Attributes Additional Information




Assault Rifle
Long-range, rapid-fire weapon with high accuracy.
  • Can be dropped or picked up.
  • Dropped weapons are vulnerable to Bile Bomb.
  • Weapons 1/2/3 upgrades increase damage.
  • Weapon slot 1.
  • Drops reserve ammo as an Ammo Pack.
  • Fires a continuous stream of bullets.
  • Slight bullet spread cone.
  • Secondary melee attack: Rifle Bash


Long-range, rapid-fire weapon with pinpoint accuracy.
  • Weapon slot 2.
  • Fires a bullet on each button press.
  • Perfect accuracy.

Switch axe.gif

Anti-structure melee weapon.
  • Weapon slot 3.
  • Cannot be dropped.
  • Bonus damage against structures.

Purchased Weapons
Buy From Weapon Description Shared Attributes Additional Information




Proximity explosive that detonates when Kharaa lifeforms are nearby.
  • Can be dropped or picked up.
  • Dropped weapons are vulnerable to Bile Bomb.
  • Provides 2 Mines per purchase.
  • Weapon slot 4.
  • Maximum 2 Mines per player.
  • Short arming time before activation.
  • Explosion deals damage to owner as well.
  • Detonates other Mines in close proximity.
  • Detonates prematurely when touched by Infestation or disrupted by Stomp or Parasite.
  • Weapons 1/2/3 does not affect damage.


Close-range weapon that excels at dealing burst damage.
  • Replaces current primary weapon on purchase or pick up.
  • Weapon slot 1.
  • Drops reserve ammo as an Ammo Pack.
  • Fires 15 pellets per shot in cone-shaped pattern.
  • Each pellet does 11.34 damage.
  • Reloads magazine tube one shell at a time.
  • Weapons 1/2/3 upgrades increase damage.


Advanced Repair and construction utility.
  • Weapon slot 3.
  • Replaces Switch-Axe and Build Tool on purchase or pick up.
  • Constructs and repairs unbuilt structures simultaneously.
  • Repairs Marine and Exosuit Armor only.
  • Repairs Frontiersmen robots and structures completely.
  • Repairs broken Power Nodes quickly.
  • Slowly repairs owner's armor when welding friendly players and structures.
  • Bonus damage against Flammable Kharaa structures.
  • Weapons 1/2/3 does not affect damage.

Cluster grenade.gif

Cluster Grenade
Hand grenade that fragments into smaller explosives.
  • Cannot be dropped.
  • Weapon slot 5.
  • Provides 1 hand grenades per purchase.
  • Maximum 1 grenades total
  • Maximum 1 type of hand grenade per player.
  • First explosion deals moderate damage.
  • Fragments deal lower damage.
  • Explosion deals damage to owner as well.
  • Bonus damage against Kharaa structures.

Gas grenade.gif

Nerve Gas Grenade
Hand grenade that emits an Armor-melting gas cloud.
  • Short activation delay after throwing.
  • Damage applies to Armor only.
  • Gas cloud dissipates after a short time.
  • Used mainly in preemptive damage to Marine pushes.
  • Reveals invisible Cysts

Pulse grenade.gif

Pulse Grenade
Hand grenade that reduces lifeform attack speed.
  • Explodes on impact with lifeforms and structures.
  • Deals high burst damage.
  • Explosion deals damage to owner as well.
  • Reduces attack speed for all Kharaa lifeforms in range.

Advanced armory.gif

Advanced Armory

Grenade launcher.gif

Grenade Launcher
Long-range, anti-structure weapon that launches explosive grenades.
  • Weapon slot 1.
  • Replaces current primary weapon on purchase or pick up.
  • Drops reserve ammo as an Ammo Pack.
  • Can be dropped or picked up.
  • Dropped weapons are vulnerable to Bile Bomb.
  • Weapons 1/2/3 does not effect damage.
  • Fires 1 grenade per shot in an arc.
  • Reloads clip one grenade at a time to max of 4.
  • Grenades detonate on impact with Kharaa units and structures.
  • Detonates after a short fuse time.
  • Explosion deals damage to owner as well.


Medium-range, multipurpose support weapon that sets Kharaa units, structures, and surfaces alight.
  • Fires a continuous stream of flames (no critical's).
  • Slowly drains burning lifeforms' energy.
  • Leaves residual fires on surfaces.
  • Burns Kharaa units and structures for a short time.
  • Bonus damage against all Kharaa structures.
  • Disables passive abilities of most Kharaa structures (Cloak, heal etc).
  • Disables active abilities of Kharaa static defense structures (Hydra, Whip).
  • Destroys Whip bombard and Bile Bomb projectiles mid-flight.
  • Evaporates Umbra, Spore, and Drifter-made clouds instantly.

Hmg marines.png

Machine Gun
Long-range, big magazine, rapid-fire weapon that deal extra damadge to players.
  • One clip holds 125 rounds.
  • Can carry 4 extra magazines, totaling to 625 rounds.
  • Deals Puncture damadge
  • Fires a continuous stream of bullets.
  • Slight bullet spread cone.

Purchased Equipment
Buy From Equipment Description Shared Attributes Additional Information

Prototype lab.gif

Prototype Lab


Equipment that grants short sustainable flight.
  • Permanently equipped on purchase until death.
  • Maximum 1 per player.
  • Cannot be unequipped or dropped, but can be picked up.
  • Commander dropped equipment is vulnerable to Bile Bomb.
  • Enables flight by double jumping.
  • Drains fuel meter while in use.
  • Equipped load out increases or lowers this speed.
  • Refills fuel meter while not in use.
  • Refills armor when equipping the Jetpack.

Dual minigun exosuit.gif

Mechanical suit equipped with an anti-armor Minigun and anti-structure Power Claw.
  • Uses Armor only (no Health).
  • Immune to Biological and Gas Damage Type attacks.
  • Can be repaired by Welder and MACs.
  • Cannot receive Med Packs or replenish health from an Armory.
  • Armor 1/2/3 upgrades increase total health.
  • Weapons 1/2/3 upgrades increases weapon damage.
  • Targeting system locks onto moving Kharaa lifeforms on screen.
  • Use thrusters to dash forward or lift up.
  • Pilot can eject from Exosuit to resume Marine duties.
  • Cannot teleport through Phase Gates.
  • Minigun fires continuous rounds of bullets.
  • Miniguns can individually overheat and requires a short cooldown to reuse.
  • Infinite ammo.

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Railgun Exosuit
Mechanical suit equipped with an anti-structure Railgun and Power Claw.
  • Railgun fires a unit and structure penetrating projectile.
  • Must charge shot completely.
  • Player crosshair highlights targets in blue.
  • Brief cooldown after each shot or when charging one Railgun.
  • Perfect accuracy.


The Marine Commander is a leader that directs Frontiersmen strategics and operations. The Commander coordinates Marine squads via Waypoints, establishes forward bases by creating structure templates (which Marines or MACs must assemble); researches new weapons and technologies, upgrades weapons damage and Armor, and provides immediate assistance to Marines using Commander abilities. Any Marine can log in at an unoccupied Command Station to become the Marine Commander. Only one Commander can be active at a time, and he may log out to resume his role as a foot soldier.

The Commander has a user interface that includes a Mini-map, commander menu, and resource counter, allowing him to build structures and perform upgrades for the Frontiersmen. He can also assist his Marines using various abilities at his disposal; commander abilities cost Team Resources, with some abilities usable anywhere and others require specific structures to trigger.

Marine Commander Abilities
Assist Structure Dependent
Ammo pack icon.gif Med pack icon.gif Nano-shield.png Scan icon.gif Distress beacon icon.gif Recycle icon.gif
Ammo Pack Med Pack Nano Shield Scan Distress Beacon Recycle
PowerSurgeIcon.png CatalystPackIcon.png Drop weapons icon.gif
Power Surge Catalyst Pack Drop Weapons
  • Distress Beacon is only accessible from an Observatory.
  • Recycle is accessible on all Frontiersmen structures.

Power Grid

Most Frontiersmen structures require power to operate, therefore the Marine Commander must reroute power from a Power Socket by installing a Power Node. Power Sockets are located in most rooms and corridors on a map, and Marines or MACs must assemble the unbuilt Power Node to activate the room's Power Grid.

The Power Node cannot be removed once installed; however, take caution as the Kharaa can severely damage a Power Node, causing a power outage and depowering most Frontiersmen structures within the area. An inactive Power Node can be fully repaired by Marine or MAC to reboot the Power Grid.


The Marine Commander can spend Team Resources to create structure blueprints anywhere on the map. The blueprint contains the necessary materials for the specific structure, but the construction process requires the Marine's Build Tool or Welder to complete. The Marine Commander can also assign a MAC to construct structures.

Blueprints can be cancelled by the Marine Commander to refund 75% the Team Resources spent. If any Kharaa lifeform touches a blueprint, it will dissipate and refund 100% of the Team Resources spent to the Frontiersmen.

Tech Tree

Frontiersmen Tech Tree
Tech Tree Rows Content
ExtractorCommand StationInfantry PortalHand GrenadesMinesShotgunWelderArmoryAdvanced ArmoryAdvanced WeaponryPrototype LabExosuitJetpackARC FactoryARCRobotics FactoryMACSentry BatterySentryAdvanced SupportObservatoryPhase TechPhase GateArms LabWeapons 1Weapons 2Weapons 3Armor 1Armor 2Armor 3Marine Techtree.png
About this image
1 Extractor, Command Station, Infantry Portal
2 ARC Factory, ARC
3 Research Hand Grenades, Research Mine, Research Shotgun, Welder | Robotics Factory, MAC
4 Armory | Sentry Battery, Sentry
5 Advanced Support
6 Observatory
7 Research Advanced Weaponry, Advanced Armory | Research Phase Tech
8 Prototype Lab | Phase Gate | Arms Lab, Weapons 1/2/3
9 Research Exosuit, Research Jetpack | Armor 1/2/3

Units and Structures

Base TSF Buildings

Base buildings are primary buildings that offer base technology advantages. Usually, they require minimal amounts of Team Resources to build and are required to unlock advanced structures.

Basic Structures
Structure Description Shared Attributes Additional Information
Command station idle.gif

Command Station
Frontiersmen command structure that houses the Marine Commander.
Extractor idle.gif

Extracts Team and Personal Resources for the Frontiersmen to build and upgrade.
Infantry portal idle.gif

Infantry Portal
Respawn structure for Marines.
  • Can be built only near a Command Station.
  • Marine Commander can issue Move Waypoint to newly spawned Marines.
Armory idle.gif

Marine resupply point and weapons arsenal.
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Robotics Factory
ARC idle.gif

Robotics Factory - Robot manufacturing structure.

ARC - Deployable mobile siege cannon.

MAC - Worker unit that performs repair and construction.
  • Can be built on valid ground anywhere.
  • Costs Supply to build.
  • Unlocks Power Surge commander ability.
  • Produces MAC.
    • MAC builds and repairs friendly structures.
    • Welds Marine and Exosuit Armor.
  • Upgrades to ARC Factory.
    • Produces ARC.
    • ARC deploys to fire anti-structure sonic blasts through walls.
MAC idle.gif

Arms lab idle.gif

Arms Lab
Weapons and Armor upgrade structure.
  • Can be built on valid ground anywhere.
  • After research gives Weapons 1/2/3 which increase most weapons' damage.
  • After research gives Armor 1/2/3 which increases Marine and Exosuit Armor.

Advanced TSF Buildings

Advanced buildings are secondary or mid-game buildings that offer specific technology advantages. Usually, they require a higher amount of Team Resources to build along with base building prerequisites.

Advanced Structures
Structure Description Shared Attributes Additional Information
Sentry idle.gif

Sentry battery idle.gif

Sentry Battery
Sentry - Static defense that shoots Kharaa lifeforms on sight.

Sentry Battery - Provides power for Sentry turrets.
  • Build on valid ground anywhere.
  • Constructed by Marines or MACs.
  • Armor corrodes when on Infestation.
  • Reduced construction rate on Infestation.
  • Can be recycled for partial cost refund.
  • Costs Supply to build.
    • Maximum 3 Sentries per Battery.
    • Maximum 1 Sentry Battery per room.
  • Sentry operates on Battery power only.
  • Sentry can be confused by Spores and Stomp.
  • Battery operates even without power in the room.
Observatory idle.gif

Detection structure that highlights Kharaa units and structures.
  • Cannot operate without Power Nodes.
  • Detects any Kharaa lifeform, units, and structures in a large radius.
    • Detected units and structures positions are periodically tracked on screen.
    • Reveals units and structures under Shade Cloak or Camouflage evolution invisibility.
  • Unlocks Scan and Distress Beacon commander abilities by default.
  • Unlocks Phase Gate after research.
Phase gate idle.gif

Phase Gate
Teleportation system for Marines.
  • Cannot operate without Power Nodes.
  • Requires at least 2 Phase Gates to activate.
  • Teleports Marines to another Phase Gate instantly.
  • Links to all active Phase Gates anywhere on the map.
Prototype lab idle.gif

Prototype Lab
Marine equipment arsenal.
  • Cannot operate without Power Nodes.
  • Enables the Buy Menu for players to buy new equipment.
  • Marine Commander can research new equipment for purchase.


The following images show all the variations of Marine armor (skins) that you may see in the game.

Please note:

  • Not all variants are available for purchase.
  • Skins are purely cosmetic and offer no augmented or additional stats in-game.

Armour variants & availability
Variant Description Acquisition Notes
Normal Default Armor. Provided with game. N/A
Deluxe Red detailing, tactical goggles, 'TSF' on chestpiece. Requires Deluxe Edition. May also be found on the Steam Community Market.
Assault Metallic detailing, semi-enclosed helmet, ammo packs. May be found on the Steam Community Market. Originally part of the Reinforcement Program for Diamond Tier and above.
Elite Assault Metallic detailing, enclosed helmet, digital camouflage effect, ammo packs. May be found on the Steam Community Market. Originally part of the Reinforcement Program for Shadow Tier and above.
Special Ops Black & Gold detailing, Blue Tactical goggles & face mask. Cannot be sold or transferred. Rewarded exclusively for purchasing NS2 before its Alpha release.
Kodiak Reskin of Normal armour, Jungle camouflage. Requires Kodiak DLC. Released with the Kodiak update.
Tundra Reskin of Deluxe armour, Battle-scarred detailing, white & blue camouflage effect. Requires Tundra Bundle or individual items. The first NS2 customisation items to make use of the Steam Community Market/Steam Inventory system.

Concept Weapons / Designs

  • Structures