Xeno Quickstart Guide

From Colonial Marines Wiki

So you've just joined for the first time as a Xenomorph? No idea what you are doing? This Space Station 13 Guide is pretty good as an introduction to the interface! Otherwise, let this guide get you up to scratch! If you have any questions, just A-help (F1 -> gameplay issue) and one of the server's mentors will be happy to help you.

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


The Rules

While it's not fair to shove the rules down your throat, Colonial Marines is a roleplay focused server and as such has an extensive list of Rules. It's highly recommended you spend some time reading the rules to ensure you don't accidentally break any. Thank you.


How to join the Hive

Join at roundstart

In the lobby screen, open the Setup Character window, click Be Xenomorph to Yes, then click Ready. To maxize your chance of joining roundstart as Xeno, you can open Setup Character -> Set Marine Role Preferences, set all to [NEVER] and click the botton option until it's Return to lobby if preference unavailable.


Late join

After the round has started, if there is no Xeno you can control in the Join the Hive, click Observe to spawn as a ghost. Once you are a ghost, click Toggle SpecialRole Candidacy in the Prefernces tab, then turn on Xeno preference, you will get this message: You will now be considered for Xenomorph events (where possible). You can also click Join as Xeno in the Ghost tab to see if there is any SSD (i.e. away from keyboard) Xeno you can take up.


Who Orders Who

Evolution.png
There are four tiers of aliens. Not every player can evolve to the top, because the spots are limited at each tier. The Queen is at the top who runs the Hive. The third tiers (T3) are the Boiler, Crusher, Praetorian and Ravager. These are comparable to Marine officers. Look to them for leadership. The second tiers (T2) are the Carrier, Hivelord, Lurker, Warrior and Spitter. These are advanced versions of the bottom tier aliens. The Drone, Runner, Sentinel, and Defender are the first tier (T1) and make up the meat and potatoes of the Hive. If it's your first game, avoid evolving past the first tier unless it's necessary for the Hive. Allow more experienced players to take these more complicated roles.


You should obey any orders given to you by your Queen. It is a hive mind and you have no free will. The only exception is if you are given orders that violate the rules. (Should you be given orders that would violate the rules then you should contact the admins by ahelping, F1 -> gameplay issue.) If an alien that outranks you asks for something, try to do it. Assisting experienced players is a great way to learn the game.


Communication

F3 or T to talk
Communication is very important! Use F3, T (in hotkey mode), or the chat box at the bottom of the screen (you need to type Say before your message if you use the chat box at the bottom).
  • You can just talk to any alien in your local area, aka with your field of vision (You cannot talk through walls. If you can't see the terrain they are on, they can't hear you).
  • Type :a or .a before your message to talk to the whole Hive, e.g. :a There are multiple tallhosts in Medbay.
  • Click the LOOC verb in the OOC section to talk in local out of character (LOOC) to ask questions about the game and how to do things. e.g. How to devour?

Larva

Alien-Larva.png
Queen indicator.png
As you spawn as a chestburster or Larva, you're very weak and should avoid conflict. Stay on weeds to speed up your evolve progress. If you wake up inside the Hive, stay there! If you wake up outside the Hive, follow the Queen indicatoron the right side of your screen to find the Queen. If you join late in a round, you may wake up in strange places, don't panic and use your survival skills to escape from danger, clicking on doors to squeeze through them, crawl into vents (in the Alien tab) and hide under table, then ask the Queen for further commands.


Wait until the Progress in the Stats tab reaches 100%, then click the Evolve in the Alien tab. Since you are new, you may want to ask the Queen what you should evolve into (or just check Hive Status in the Alien tab and evolve into the fewest caste among Drone, Runner or Sentinel).


Evolve and upgrade

Alien-Drone.png
Drone are very important supporting players, but not in combat roles. It makes an excellent choice for your first game. Drones have two primary functions. The first is building walls, doors, nests, and resin to create and protect the Hive. The second is planting as many weeds as possible to expand the Hive. You can't go too wrong if you're planting weeds! All aliens are more robust on weeds. Read more about Hives.
Abilities: Description:
Plant purple sac.png
Plant Purple Sac
Can't be planted if there is already a sac on the tile. Can be removed by one slash with harm intent for re-plant.


Costs 75 plasma.

Build select.png
Choose Resin Structure
Click to choose what resin structure to make. The default structure is a Resin Wall.
Secrete Resin.png
Secrete Resin
Secrete the chosen Resin Structure on your tile.


Costs 75 plasma.

Corrosive acid.png
Corrosive Acid
Vomit a glob of acid on item to dissolve it. Multiple items can be clicked at once as long as you are standing still.


Costs 75 plasma.

Emit pheromones.png
Emit Pheromones
Emit one of the three Pheromones. It is advised to emit the pheromone that are not already being emitted, as pheromones don't stack.
Alien-Runner.png
Runner are the Hive's scouts. You're very weak at first, so don't rush out at any enemies. It's easy to tell inexperienced Runners because they tend to die quickly. Don't let that happen to you. Think of yourself as a ninja. Speed and cunning are your weapons, not brute strength. Your primary role is to scout around the Hive, identify any threats or possible hosts, and report back to the Hive. Stay in the dark. Communicate lots. At the beginning of the round, Runners are expected to quickly bring back hosts like monkeys, etc., to the Hive to be infected.
Abilities: Description:
Hide.png
Hide
Hide under objects. Pouncing will cancel your Hiding.
Pounce.png
Pounce
Pounce at target, forcing the victim on the ground and drop their weapons. Though one can quickly get up from a Runner's pounce so some Runners tend to tackle the victim as follow up.
Alien-Sentinel.png
Sentinel are the primary defenders of the Hive. This includes defending the Queen. The other primary duty is making sure that no captured hosts escape to wreck the Hive. The ability to spit neurotoxin really helps. Unless the Queen says so, you should remain inside or around the Hive at all times. If live hosts are nested, you should remain close by to stop them from escaping. At the beginning of the round, you should be guarding the Hive and shepherding any hosts.
Abilities: Description:
Corrosive acid.png
Corrosive Acid
Vomit a glob of acid on item to dissolve it. Multiple items can be clicked at once as long as you are standing still.


Costs 75 plasma.

Xeno Spit.png
Xeno Spit
Use middle mouse button to spit globs of neurotoxin to stun hosts.


Upgrading

Upon evolving to any caste, you might notice that you are a Young Xenomorph of your selected caste. As time passes you will automatically Upgrade, causing your strength and abilities to grow in power significantly. You can Evolve to the next tier even if you've upgraded from young to mature, however doing so will revert you to being Young in your next tier. If you're new, please avoid evolving and let more experienced players play the more advanced Xenos. Crawl before you run.


Combat

Slashing forbidden/restricted/permitted

At the beginning of the round, the Hive is desperate for hosts to infect. The Queen may issue a standing order forbidding the slashing of hosts. While this order is in place, slashing is forbidden or restricted to only when you are hurt. You might want to avoid conflict, but you can still tackle and drag hosts with your Disarm and Grab intents to try and move them to the Hive. At some point, the Queen will allow the slashing of hosts and your combat power will improve significantly. Check this order in the Stats tab. As the Queen permitted slashing, use Harm intent to slash. You can target different body parts Hud-target.png. In general, target unarmored areas to inflict more damage.


Capturing Hosts

While Xenos slash to wound and kill, the main goal is to weaken the hosts enough without killing them so they can be infected and give birth to new larvae.


Drag

There are primarily two ways of moving hosts, dragging them or devouring them. To drag, you can:

  • Ctrl + Click the host, you don't need to switch to the empty hand with this method.
  • Click with an empty hand using Grab intent (3 in hotkey mode)
  • Right Click -> Pull.

You can switch to an empty hand (X in hotkey mode) and tackle the host with Disarm intent (2 in hotkey mode) to keep them down. However, dragging is slow (except for Runner) and you can't drag hosts into tunnels and vents (to bypass fog wall/terrain/marine force), you need to have the host devoured to do that.


Devour

To devour, grab a host with Ctrl + Click or Grab intent (3 in hotkey mode) then click yourself, standstill. To stop the host from getting up and running away, you can switch to an empty hand (X in hotkey mode) and keep tackling them using Disarm intent (2 in hotkey mode) when you are devouring them. Beware the devoured will die in minutes due to the lack of oxygen, being seriously injured and going into pipes will further reduce the time to less than a minute. If the devoured is armed with a knife, they can cut their way out from the inside, gibbing you in the process. (Edit)


When to kill or capture

Kill when you cannot capture. E.g. His buddy will shoot you to pieces if you drag him/standstill to devour. Capture when it's safe to do so. E.g. the host is alone and tackled, simply unarmed or you are sure you can drag the host away from his buddies before they shoot you to pieces.


Fighting techniques

Use tackle (and surprise) to overpower hosts

Tackling

Tackling with Disarm intent (2) is very powerful as it forces the victim onto the floor for a period of time. Disabling their attack and escape, allowing you to devour or slash.


Drag and slash

Much like you can tackle with another hand when devouring, you can slash with another hand when dragging. First, drag the host, switch to an empty hand (X) and slash them using Harm intent (4). If you are chased, pounce away (Runner) or simply switch back to the dragging hand and drop them (Q).


Avoid being hit

Walk slash2.gif
Avoid charging/retreating in a straight line, instead, take turns, change lanes or even circle around so that you are unpredictable. When slashing a downed marine, keep moving around the marine or left and right (or up and down) to dodge.


Fight on your terms

Fight on weeds

Aliens heal and regenerate plasma when being on weeds, and heal much faster while resting on weeds, downed xenos will bleed out if not on weeds. Weeds also buff Xeno's speed slightly while slows down tall hosts slightly so try to fight on weeds. Request Drones to weed/re weed if needed.


Cover of darkness

Xeno Toggle night vision.png
Use Toggle Xenomorph Vision to toggle on and off your ability to see in the dark, and see where is lit and where isn't, allowing you to stay in the dark and ambush.
  • Break lights and APCs to deny lights (slash to the APC to APC Broken.png then one more slash to cut the wires, you will see APC's wires snap apart in a rain of sparks!)
  • Melt flaresFlare.gif
  • Move marine bodies out of the way (they have shoulder light)
  • Disable typing speech bubble to avoid revealing yourself in the dark (Preference -> Show/Hide Typing Indicator)


Make use of vents

Stand near a vent then click Crawl into Vent in the Alien tab (you can bind a hotkey for it with Macros). It's good for scouting, ambush, flanking and transporting hosts. When the map is Prison Station, don't use red pipe to transport hosts, use blue ones. On other maps, all pipes are vacuum and the devoured host will suffer severe damage and die in a minute.


Reducing casualties

Don't bunch up

Most Xeno deaths happen in choke point pushes or when they are retreating after a failed assault. To try and help reduce xeno losses, avoid all pushes through a choke point and instead widen the choke point or try to flank around to make a new entrance for the assault. Remember to give way to retreating xenos and drag back critically wounded xenos to safety and onto weeds (provided that you don't risk being killed).


Fire

Resist button.png
When you're on fire, step on a weeded tile and click RESIST to roll on floor to extinguish the flames. Disarm others (shove) does NOT help extinguishing fire, just drag them to weeds if they weren't already. Even better, bring them to WardingWarding Pheromone.pngand RecoveryRecovery Pheromone.pngPheromones to reduce fire damage/bleed out and speed up healing.


Avoid engagements when weak

While marines need surgeries to fix serious injuries; xenos only need to rest on weeds, so don't be greedy trying to get a kill, just rest in a safe location when wounded.


Teamwork

Much like marines need to stick with their SLs, you need to stick with the bigger sisters to be effective. Check Hive Status in the Alien tab to see everyone's location. Learn the maps and find your way to them. Since you are T1, it's hard for you to initiate attacks to the mass of marines in the frontline, instead, you need to be the follow-up after bigger sister's initiation, like Queen's screech and Boiler's Gas, but again, don't block other sisters when retreating, simply don't go in if the choke point is cramped. Instead, do support work like transporting captured hosts back to the hive.


Infecting Hosts

Alien-Egg.png
Alien-Egg-Open.png
Alien-Egg-Dead.png

Eggs and facehuggers

The Queen lays eggs when in Ovipositor mode. The eggs get planted (by Queen/Drone castes) and mature after a short delay. Mature eggs contain a larval facehugger which stays in the egg until disturbed. Facehugger will attempt to attach itself to any host that gets close and infects a host by implanting a larva inside its host.


Nests and guards

A prison on a prison station
Once you have a captured host, bring them to a matured egg, the egg will open (if they don't, click the egg with an empty hand) and drag the host to the facehugger to infect. Then find a nest Nest.png click the host on it then drag the host on it. Dangerous hosts (like Marines) should be secured into a nest. Otherwise, they'll run or shoot up the Hive. At least one Sentinel or Spitter should guard these hosts until their usefulness ends. Their neurotoxin Toggle Spit Type.png is very good at calming a enraged hosts. Alternatively, simply tackle them with Disarm intent (2) and re-nest them. After some time, listen to the screams and celebrate the birth! Click the nest (any intent except Harm) to unnest the dead host.


Xeno Roleplaying Guide and Expectations

  • You are an extension of the will of the Queen. If there is a Queen, her will MUST be followed. No exceptions. If she orders you to run to your death, start running. Queen's word is law unless it breaks a rule in which case you should ahelp it (F1 -> gameplay issue).
  • You are a hive-mind, information is shared - Because a hivemind works on the INSTANT transmission of information between all those connected, you CAN use words like "shuttle" or "hydro" to describe things. It's assumed that because you are a hive-mind, if you say "shuttle" your alien character is actually understanding what your are describing instantly (because, it shares a consciousness with you), but since we can't actually "emulate" this, using English to describe things is OK.
  • Killing a nested+infected host at ANY TIME is a bannable offense, and don't un-nest just to kill. It's counter-productive to your cause of growing the hive. If a marine escapes the nest and uses a weapon to resist, THEN you may kill them, but you should try to tackle and renest them. Remember: The more hosts you get and keep alive, the bigger your team. EXCEPTION: The queen MAY kill any marine she wants at any time, provided she has an RP justification (if asked by the admins). This power does NOT extend to aliens following the Queen's orders.
  • You do not know that Marines are coming to the planet. Furthermore you cannot prepare defences on or around the dropship landing zones prior to the Marines arrival.
  • When you die, you are a 100% NEW XENO. However, your previous life is part of the hive-mind, so you CAN use/pass on knowledge your previous "life" knew, as the hive "should" know it. (i.e. Dying to a mine near the Nexus means you can say "There are mines by the nexus, lookout", but you can't say "I WAS THE PREVIOUS QUEEN, I CLAIM QUEEN, OBEY MEH".
  • Refrain from saying "Ayylmao", "Ayyy", "Reeeeee" as there is a Stronger Enforcement for Xeno Roleplay.
  • Common Xeno metagamming behaviours to avoid
  • Roleplaying Guidelines
  • The aliens have 1 primary goal: EXPAND OR DIE. They don't negotiate agreeing to work with/truce with humans.


Additional Reading

The following are some good guides and examinations that go further into explaining other details of the game: