Marine Quickstart Guide

From Colonial Marines Wiki

So you've just joined for the first time as a Marine? No idea what your doing? This Starter Guide to Space Station 13 is pretty good as an introduction to the interface! Otherwise, let this guide get you up to scratch!

As a foreword, rounds on this server usually last between two to three hours! Make sure you have the time commitment to sit a full round.

The Rules

Read the rules! Colonial Marines is a medium role-play server and you are expected to abide by the rules established by the server staff. If a staff member says do something, do it. If they tell you to stop doing something, stop. It will save both you and the staff a lot of trouble and effort. There is no excuse for not reading the rules. If you have been banned, fairly or unfairly, you may appeal on the ban appeal section of the forums. You have been warned. Thank you and enjoy the game.

Character Setup

For the most part this part is simple, you'll create your character on the setup character page.

Do take note of the 'occupation' roles. For now you'll just want to set 'Marine' to your highest role. All other roles require a more robust knowledge of the game.

Your First Game

For your first round, try and join a round before it starts. It's no big deal to join in the middle, but starting a round will ensure you aren't kicked out of the freezer into a difficult or deadly situation. First, we'll discuss some basics.

Who Orders Who

As a Standard Marine you're on the bottom rung of the chain of command. You take your orders directly from your Squad Leader, who takes his or her orders from the Commander and the command staff respectively. At round start you are assigned to one of four Marine squads. Alpha (Red), Bravo (Yellow), Charlie (Purple) or Delta (Blue). As such you only take orders from your teams Squad Leader, at least outside of extraordinary circumstances. The only hope your team has of winning is either a well coordinated marine platoon or an even more incompetent xeno team. That means following your orders to the letter.

Should your Squad Leader die or otherwise be incapacitated you'll be taking your orders from either your teams Specialist (who is technically the second highest ranked soldier in a squad) or whomever the Squad Leader or Commander names to take over.

You are to obey any orders given to you by your Squad Leader at all times. The only exception is if your given orders violate Marine law or the rules. Instances of illegal orders being given are rare, but common enough to warrant a mention. Marine laws have some leeway, but the server rules come first when you're making a decision. It's better to be thrown in the brig for insubordination because you wouldn't murder someone your Squad Leader didn't like, than to be given a ban for what the moderators will probably see as grief. NOTE: There is a BIG difference between an order that violates MARINE LAW versus one that violates the RULES. Orders that break Marine Law are considered an In Character (IC) issue and are thus something you may resolve in game so long as the situation is role played, orders that break the server rules are a Out Of Character (OOC) affair. Should you be given orders that would violate the rules then you should contact the staff via A-Help.

The Tabs

Let us introduce to you what you are seeing, starting from the tabs located in the upper right corner:

  • Text: Hides the tabs and instead shows the game logs.
  • Info: Opens the info-section with in-game tabs.
  • Wiki: Opens the game wiki in your internet browser.
  • Forum: Opens the Colonial Marines forum in your internet browser.
  • Rules: Opens the rules.
  • Changelog: Opens the changelog.

The In-Game Tabs

  • OOC: Gives a list of Out-Of-Character actions, which are anything outside of the current game.
  • Object: Shows you options related to the objects around you such as 'Point To' and 'Roll Down Suit.'
  • Preferences: This lets you modify your experience such as hiding Local Out of Character (LOOC) chat from view or toggling your Friendly Fire Attack Log so you can feel better about yourself by not seeing how often you fuck up and shoot your friends.
  • Lobby: Tells you the game mode. (Only available from the lobby screen.)
  • Admin: The first option in this tab, 'Adminhelp', is something that should always be remembered, adminhelp sends a direct message for questions pertaining gameplay. 'Staffwho', gives a list of in-game staff.
  • Status: Lists various points of interest such as orders for your squad and your current status.
  • IC: Gives a list of In-Character actions that can be done at the moment.


There should be two or three indicators on the right hand side of your screen. The green man shows your health. It fades to orange, then red, as you take more damage. The letters CRIT mean you are currently dying. You can be saved if someone administers medical treatment in time. It will say DEAD if you are dead. (Marines can sometimes be revived via a defibrillator, so consider sticking around in the body for about 5 minutes after death [Cloning has been removed].) The gas mask and oxygen tank show whether you have this kind of equipment running. There may be a third icon showing how hungry you are. It'll disappear when your stomach is satisfied.

The Buttons

The bottom of the screen has two buttons for your hands. There's a button shaped like a walking human that changes your movement speed from running to walking. There's a button to the right of that which changes your intent. There are four intents: Help, Disarm, Grab, Harm. These are very important for interacting. If you charge a Xenomorph with your Help intent active, you're gonna have a bad time. Another indicator shows your body target. This is the part of the body you'll attempt to interact with when you click on another player, Marine or Alien. There's a [Resist] button to free yourself if you've been restrained, a button for dropping things from your hands, and another button for throwing them. There are five special weapon buttons clustered together in yellow and black . All the other stuff shows your equipment.

How to Communicate

Communication is very important! Use the box at the bottom of the screen. There are several methods, but just know three for now:

(1) Use your headset to talk to everyone in your squad. Alpha is :q, Bravo is :b, Charlie is :c, Delta is :d. You can also use the Sulaco radio using ;. Examples:

  • Say ":q Marine reporting to Alpha squad."
  • Say ":q There are multiple aliens in Medbay."
  • Say ":q We are under attack from the south!"
  • Say "; I'm on my way, doc."

(2) Talk to any Marine around you on the map. Examples:

  • Say "Please grab that gun."
  • Say "Follow me."
  • Say "What should I do?"

(3) Talk out of character (OOC) or local out of character (LOOC) to ask questions about the game and how to do things. You can toggle OOC chat in the menus if it's distracting (during the round OOC is automaticaly disabled). Examples:

  • OOC "How do I eat this MRE? How do I do X?"
  • OOC "Why is there so much lag?"
  • LOOC "Did you see the touchdown in the Seahawks game?"

Waking Up

At the start of a shift you'll wake up in the ships cyro sleep quarters alongside all the other Marines, you'll be in your marine issued underpants. The first thing you'll want to do is walk over to the Canteen to the south and chow down, as cyro sleep will have left you very hungry. Stand next to the vending machines and click them until you find something to eat. Click the food and drink items that are vended until you're holding it in your active hand. To eat or drink the item in your active hand, click the icon representing your marine in the middle of the display with the Help intent active.

After you've eaten, check your ID Card in the bottom left of the screen to find out which squad you've been assigned to. Then head south to your assigned squad's equipment room so you can suit up.

Marine Equipment

One key to success is ensuring you're well equipped. Attacking without a weapon may result in catastrophe. These next steps should prepare you for combat.

  1. Since you've just joined, go down to an equipment locker in your squad's room and equip your marine uniform, combat boots, combat gloves, M3 armor, helmet, ammo load rig and a radio headset.
  2. Go north to any equipment dispenser.
  3. M41a.png Get a M41A Pulse Rifle and put it in your armor's exosuit-slot.
  4. M4a3.png Get a M4A3 Service Pistol and place it inside your backpack.
  5. Knife.png Get a M11 Combat Bayonet and put it inside your combat boots.
  6. M41amag.png Take several magazines for your primary long arm, but leave some for other marines.

Alternatively you can exchange your M41A for a Combat Shotgun or an SMG. You can even decide to not take your backpack and instead use it to hold a second weapon, such as an M41A and a Shotgun. However that can be risky as losing out on your backpack means less ammo and items you can hold.


After gearing up, go to the requisitions office (east of the cafeteria) and get in line to receive your attachments. These are items you can attach to your weapons to either enhance their capability or to add new unique functions.

Because you are a Standard Marine you can normally be issued up to two attachments. The attachments page can give you a guide on what attachments you should consider getting. The Standard Marine page also has a small guide on useful attachment loadouts. Being polite to the Requisitions staff might get you extra stuff. Remember to say please and thank you.

Briefing Room

Once you're geared up, your last task is to head to the briefing room, due west of the mess hall, and find a seat in your squad's seating area. It's organized by color. The Commander will be along soon to describe the situation and his overall game plan, as well as issuing your squad their initial orders.

Listen to what your Commander has to say, listen to your Squad Leader, and overall watch your fellow Marines backs. Stay with the team and you'll do fine.

The Dropships to the Surface

After any briefing, climb down the ladders due west of the briefing room. Stand next to a ladder and click it. There are two ways to get to the surface. The Rasputin (or Rasp) is the larger dropship and uses Landing Zone 1 (LZ1). The Pod is smaller and uses Landing Zone 2 (LZ2). Get on whichever ship your squad is using. The ride isn't smooth, so you'll want to sit down and buckle in. Stand on top of a chair, drag your Marine's sprite to the chair. This buckles you in. To release yourself, click the chair..


The pulse rifle takes two hands to shoot. If it's in one hand, you're just carrying it around. To ready it for firing, click on the rifle in your active hand. Your other hand should show that it's occupied (while having the gun in both hands you will move slower). Also, your character's graphic should ready the rifle. To shoot the rifle, just point the cursor at a spot and click. Be very careful and avoid shooting Marines. Avoid shooting yourself (which pretty much everybody's done). It's recommended to practice weapon control and safety in the firing range on the Sulaco in the east part of the Rasputin's hangar. To lower the rifle again, click it in your active hand.

To avoid hitting other Marines and to maximize the squad's firepower it's recommended to move in a dispersed group which means every Marine should stay at least 2 tiles from each other, with the Squad Leader staying in the center or forward center of the formation. This allows weapons to be fired even from the center of the squad. Additionally, it's advised to move in a straight, predictable pattern while engaging in combat since it's hard for the shooters to both concentrate on aiming and friendlies crossing the firing line.

To change magazines, either eject it using the special weapon button in the bottom right, or click the weapon with your other hand active. To load the weapon, click it with the magazine hand active. One of the special weapon buttons lets you fire grenades from the pulse rifle. Be careful, they're dangerous and limited.

Solo Marines are pretty ineffective against aliens, especially if you're new. Unless you want to get taken out into the darkness, stick with as many other Marines as you can. For your first game, don't move around the map much unless somebody gives you an order. Find something useful to guard and guard it, preferably in good cover and good light. There's no shame in being terrified of the Xenomorphs, as they will usually overpower any Marine if they get into melee range. Keep your distance!

Marine Roleplaying Guide and Expectations

  • You are a "reasonable person". Preventing MP arrests verbally or arguing is OK, interfering is NOT. (Unless you have a VERY good RP reason and "MPs are shitlers" or "He's my best Bro" are not good reasons by themselves unless you've been RPing it).
  • Respect the Chain of Command. If someone above you gives you an order, FOLLOW IT.
  • If you're a Marine, act like it. Don't break laws or disobey orders and expect nothing to happen. You can object to "questionable" orders and break laws in RP situations, but you wouldn't be "rioting" just because the RO is a shitler.
  • If you die, you lose 5 minutes of "conscious" memory. Meaning, if you were shot and went into knockout/crit, you don't remember who shot you, but if your awake/fighting for 5 minutes, you WILL remember who shot you.
  • Relationships are restricted to friends and girl/boyfriends AT THE MOST. Marriages between marines is FORBIDDEN. You're still part of the military and you're subject to military rules. The military would NEVER deploy a husband/wife couple on the same ship or unit, let alone the same battalion. Also, don't use your relationship as an excuse to grief or cause problems. You would probably LOUDLY object to your best friend getting arrested, but you wouldn't gun-down the MP or interfere without a VERY good reason. (You wouldn't tackle a cop in real life because he was arresting your friend for being stupid, especially since it's like, 5-20 minutes in jail. Be REASONABLE.)
  • All Marines and personnel on board the Sulaco know nothing about the Alien infestation, or even that Aliens exist. All they know is that they received a distress signal from the planet and that they may be encountering a hostile force.
  • Survivors are allowed to know everything about the Aliens, such as how facehuggers work and the Aliens themselves.
  • There are no restrictions in knowing how to operate any firearm. However, non-marine personal cannot carry a firearm larger than a handgun unless directly in danger.
  • Combat Medics do not know how to perform surgery. Only Medical Doctors or the Chief Medical Officer know how to perform surgery.
  • Marines DO NOT initially know what Facehuggers do. And only a body scanner can reveal that something is inside one's chest.
  • DO NOT perform tasks your round start role would not know how to do, such as a Squad Leader hacking a door or a Cargo Technician operating a over-watch console.
  • Command (CO, XO, Bridge Officer), Medical (MD, CMO) and Engineering staff (CE, Maint Tech) on board the Sulaco cannot leave the Sulaco UNLESS they have authorization from their department head, XO or CO or they are abandoning ship.
  • Military Police can not leave the Sulaco unless they are doing so to track down a rogue Marine who is not on the Sulaco or they are escorting/piloting a Dropship. Military Police are expected to return to the Sulaco ASAP.
  • Roleplaying Guide


  • Check out the FAQ for more information.
  • Don't panic.
  • Follow orders.
  • Stay with the Squad Leader unless otherwise ordered.
  • Never go anywhere alone.
  • Communicate as much as possible with your squad. It would be hard to talk too much.
  • Report all enemy contact.
  • Damage is realistic and getting wounded sucks. Don't rambo around or charge in.
  • The stationary side usually has the advantage. Be still and force the enemy to come to you.
  • Be safe, fall back, stay alive.

Additional Reading

The following are some links that go further into explaining details and some other Marine roles:

If you have any more questions, just A-help and one of the server's mentors will be happy to help you.