Space Station 13 Guide
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Welcome to Space Station 13! This is a 2D game that takes place on a space station. It looks very basic, but the game is very complex. Almost every mob is player controlled! There are many different servers with their own style of playing. I hope this guide helps you learn how to play this amazing game!
For this guide, we'll be focusing on how to play CM-SS13, a SS13 server that was inspired by the "Aliens" film and that forked from the "Baystation 12" codebase, which is also an SS13 server. This guide (as well as a few roles) may also apply to other servers, so keep in mind that not every server is the same as CM-SS13! Don't apply your usual Security moves in other SS13 servers as opposed to this one.
CM-SS13 is a fan-based server that, while it is inspired by the Alien franchise, it is NOT affiliated with 20th Century Fox, Disney Studios and/or its other companies in the production of other games or films.
First things first, you'll need to download the BYOND Client in order to run the game. Head over to here and download the windows version of BYOND (Usually Beta). Additionally, you're going to need a BYOND account as well.
Once you've downloaded the client and made an account. Open the BYOND client and enter your Login details. Once done you're all set to join a Space Station 13 server.
Every server has their own set of Rules. You MUST read all of the server rules before you start playing. If you don't, you're likely to get banned. Not reading the rules (just because "you know the rules" and whatnot) is NOT an excuse!
Setting up a character
At the start of your game, you'll be in the Lobby Menu. From there, you have four options to choose from. Click Setup Character to open the window for customizing your human character and setting your roles.
Lets you change the name of your character. Many servers want your name to be realistic, but not based off something popular or something that is part of the game's lore, which includes this server. If you click (®) the name will be randomized. You may include a nickname in between your first name and last name. The usual naming format is "First Name 'Nickname' Last Name"
|Always Pick Random Name||
Lets you chose if your character's name will be randomized each round.
|Always Pick Random Appearance||
Lets you chose if your character's appearance will be randomized each round.
Lets you choose your character's age, gender, skin colour, eyesight and body type. If you click (®) the settings will be randomized.
Lets you change the age of your character. This DOES NOT change the look of your character. It's just for roleplaying.
Lets you change your character's gender between male and female. A few audible emotes will be affected by this.
Lets you change your body colour preselected from the options in it. By default, you'll start with the "Western" skin colour.
Lets you change your character's body type - Underweight, Average or Overweight. Changes how your body looks.
Lets you decide if your character requires glasses in order to see correctly or not. If you do, you'll spawn with a pair of Prescription Glasses.
Lets you change your hair type and colour. By default, you'll start with the "Crewcut" haircut.
Lets you change your facial hair type and colour.
Lets you change your eye colour.
If selected it allows you to spawn as an alien upon round start. Additionally it allows you to join alien Larvae that are ready to burst as well as Larvae that are burrowed underground. If you're playing as an Alien for the first time, it is recommended to set all other roles to None or No and set Be Xenomorph to Yes.
|Be Xenomorph after unrevivably dead||
Same as the aforementioned choice, but only if you cannot be revived once you are dead (like decapitation, gibbed, etc).
Lets you change the first two letters of your xenomorph. The prefix and postfix can be anything as long as it is not offensive or explicit. If there are no prefixes inputted, it will be "XX". 1 or 2 letters max.
Lets you change the last letter and optional digit of your xenomorph. The prefix and postfix can be anything as long as it is not offensive or explicit. If there are no postfixes inputted, it will be blank. 1 letter max, with 1 digit optional. The positions of the letter and the digit cannot be changed.
|Xeno sample name||
Shows a sample name of your xenomorph using the completed prefix and/or postfix. The middle digits are randomly changed in each edit.
|Be Xenomorph Queen||
If selected it allows you to have a chance at spawning as the alien queen upon round start. Not recommended for beginners!
Allows you to have a chance at spawning as a survivor when the round starts. Not recommended for beginners!
Allows you to have a chance at spawning as a synthetic survivor when the round starts. You must be whitelisted to play as a synthetic!
Allows you to become a responder during a distress signal or during authorization. Not recommended for beginners!
Allows you to spawn as a predator when the round starts. You must be whitelisted to play as a predator!
|Set Marine Role Preferences||
Allows you to pick what marine role you play when the round starts. If you're playing as a Marine for the first time, it is recommended to set all other roles to None or No and Squad Marine to HIGH.
Lets you choose your underwear, undershirt, backpack type and your custom loadout for your character.
Lets you pick items like berets and cigars to spawn with at the start of the round. You can only have 7 loadout points at maximum.
Changes the look of your in-game interface.
While not listed directly in the setup, this changes the color and transparency of the UI. White UI is recommended.
Lets you change your character's citizenship e.g where you come from. This is only for roleplaying.
Lets you change your character's religion. This is only for roleplaying.
Allows you to set your character's relationship to The Company. This is only for roleplaying.
Allows you to set your character's preferred squad (Alpha, Bravo, Charlie, Delta or None). This increases the chance of being spawned in that squad. Unless if you are a Squad Marine, then you'll always spawn as that squad.
Allows you to edit your medical, employment, and security records. This is only for roleplaying.
Lets you describe your character's physical description in a more in-depth form. This is shown to another player when they examine your character. You do, however, have a two-hundred-fifty-five (255) hidden character limit while making your description.
|Play Admin Midis||
If enabled you will hear sounds that admins play during the round, like music or round-related noises.
|Play Lobby Music||
If enabled you will hear the lobby music while you're in the lobby.
Lets you chose to see all the /say dialogue in the round or only sounds in sight while you're a ghost.
Lets you chose to see all the certain emotes (Like Bob gasps! or /me actions) in the round or only the /me actions in sight while you're a ghost.
Lets you chose between hearing all the radio chatter or only the radio chatter of the people near you while you're a ghost.
Lets you chose between hearing all the Hivemind chatter or only the Hivemind chatter of the aliens near you while you're a ghost.
|Toggle Being Able to Hurt Yourself||
If enabled, it allows you to hurt yourself in non-help intent.
|Toggle Help Intent Safety||
If enabled, it disallows you to hurt anyone in help intent, like firing guns or attacking in melee.
Joining a Round
- If a round hasn't started yet you can select "Ready Up" and you'll spawn in when the round starts.
- If you join in the middle of the round and want to play as a marine you select "Join the USCM!" . When you select "Join the USCM!" you'll get a list of roles you can play. Select one, and you'll spawn in.
- If you join in the middle of the round and want to play as an alien select "Join the Hive!" . When you select "Join the Hive!" you'll need to wait until a larva bursts for you to play.
- If you want to spectate the entire round and learn the basics while you're not playing select "Observe". When you select "Observe" you'll receive a confirmation if you wanted to join as a ghost. You cannot respawn as a Marine once you spectate the round! You can respawn, however, as an alien or other characters that might be in this round. Keep in mind that the Metagaming rule applies when respawning as a character from a ghost.
In the Game
On the top right side of your screen, you will see the tabs for the game.
Descriptions of what each tab does can be found in the table below:
|Name Of The Button:||What it does:|
Hides the tabs and shows the game's logs instead.
Shows the tabs on the top right corner instead of the game logs.
Opens the changelog. The red changelog indicates a changelog update, showing the new update of the game.
Opens the Rules page on the CM-SS13 wiki.
Opens the CM-SS13 wiki in your internet browser.
Opens the CM-SS13 forum in your internet browser.
A popup message appears saying "Please search for the bug first to make sure you aren't posting a duplicate."
Opens the CM-SS13 Discord invitation link in your internet browser.
Shows the status of your character. Like mission time for Marines and Plasma amount for Aliens.
Shows how many players are ready and how long until the round starts, as well as the current gamemode.
Allows you to access certain administration commands either administrating the server or for fun. (Note: You will only see the Admin tab if you have sufficient permission (such as being an Admin, etc) from the admins.)
Allows you to fixes various bugs when encountered in the game.
Allows you to do many things as a ghost.
Shows you what you can currently do as an Alien.
Shows you what you can currently do "In Character".
Shows you what you can do "Out of Character". You can also become a ghost when you died. It also allows you to send an Adminhelp (shortened to ahelp) and see the online staff.
Shows you what you can do to various objects around or on your character.
Allows you to enable and disable many different preferences.
Shows you what you can do to your current weapon (Such as switching firing modes).
This is the human interface in CM.
These are your character's hands, you use these to pick up items by clicking on them. Your active hand, will be highlighted this means anything you pick up will go to this hand. To switch hands either click on the other hand, use middle mouse button or press X if you have hotkey mode toggled on. While an item is in your active hand, you can use that item (Such as holding two hands for rifles) by either clicking the item in your active hand or by pressing Z while in hotkey mode. If you have a missing hand however, you're unable to use or pick up the item with that hand unless if you're able to get a robotic replacement.
These are your characters pockets, you use these to store tiny items or pouches on your character.
This is the intent wheel, there are 4 types of intents colored in each square. You can cycle through these intents using 1-4 with hotkey mode toggled on.
This is the aiming target, which allows you to click on different parts of the body to aim for. You can use the numpad to quickly switch between parts. If you're a Combat Marine, aim at the chest for minimal friendly fire. If you're treating a wound, aim at the wounded part and click at your character.
This is the resist button, press this when you are on fire to stop, drop and roll or if you in a nest you can press it to start breaking out. You can set a Macro as a hotkey for this action.
This is the drop button, once clicked it will drop any item or stop pulling in your active hand. Alternatively, you can press Q to drop an active item or stop pulling a character with hotkey mode on.
This is the throw button, press this when you want to throw what's in your active hand. To throw just click the throw button then click on a tile. You can also catch things if you have throw toggled on. You can also press R to toggle throwing on/off in hotkey mode. Grenades (once primed) or flares (once lit) will automatically allow you to throw, so just prime and click to a location to throw.
This is the toggle firing mode button, press this and you'll toggle between normal firing and aimed firing. Aimed firing means if you click on someone you'll aim at them instead of firing, this then pops up with more options where you can allow them to pickup items and move about. If you are taking prisoners as a CLF/UPP, the firing mode may help you.
This is the alien interface.
This is the hunt/stalk button, when pressed it will toggle between Hunt (Which is running mode) and Stalk (Which makes your xenomorph walk). However, when Lurkers are in Stalk mode it makes them partially invisible. Always keep it at Hunt mode unless if you're playing as the Lurker.
This is the intent wheel. Like the Human interface, the Xenomorph interface contains the same 4 intents, but with different actions. Note that you can use hotkeys to cycle through intents by pressing 1 - 4. Disarming other Xenomorphs does not help put them out if they've been set on fire.
This is the aiming target, which allows you to click on different parts of the body to aim for when you attack something/someone.
This is the drop button, once clicked it will stop pulling the mob your Xenomorph grabbed on or drop the facehugger in your active hand. You can also press Q to drop something or stop pulling when you have hotkey mode toggled on.
This is the throw button, press this when you want to throw what's in your active hand. To throw just click the throw button then click on a tile. Note that the Xenomorph throw distance is about 1-2 tiles, unless you're a Carrier in which case they have an ability to launch huggers vast distances using shift-click or middle mouse button.
Appears when you are pulling, click to stop pulling.
Note all of these are xeno abilities of which are detailed on each xenomorph castes page.
|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. Xenos with devoured humans inside them can not vent crawl but Xenos with devoured monkeys can. Hosts with boot knives can injure the Xenomorph they are inside if they are conscious. (Edit this template)|
|Grows an ovipositor from which the queen begins to passively create eggs from.
|A wide area of effect stun, screeches upon activation.
|Emit one of the three Pheromones. It is advised to emit the pheromone that are not already being emitted, as pheromones don't stack.
Plasma and Health Indicator
|Visual indicator of the level of plasma and health a xeno has.|
See Pheromones for the details.
How To Play
- Movement- You move your character around with the ARROW KEYS. Alternately if you press the tab key you can enable hot keys which allows you to run with WASD.
- Interacting with People and Objects- The game mostly involves using the mouse. You can pick up objects by clicking on them, and they'll go into your active hand. To set them down, find a table to set them on or use the drop button on your HUD. You can also throw objects using the throw button on your HUD. You can grab people and certain objects with your grab intent. You can also hurt people using your harm intent. Advanced interactions can be found on the FAQ page.
Communicationhotkey 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).
To contact Marines or Aliens over a long distance you can use a radio/hivemind. Here is a list of radio keys:
|Your squad's channel or Common channel
The Queen and designated Alien Leaders have larger text when they communicate through the hivemind.
|Alpha Squad (command headset)||:a|
|Bravo Squad (command headset)||:b|
|Charlie Squad (command headset)||:c|
|Delta Squad (command headset)||:d|
|Responder channel (Both Friendly and Hostile)
Department channel (based on headset)
To toggle hotkey mode on/off press the Tab button. Below is a list of hotkeys which can make your everyday round of SS13 that much easier. You can also make your own key bindings and one-click multi-functions for in-game actions with Macros.
This section means that these key commands can be only be used with hotkey mode toggled on.
|What it does:||Hotkey:|
|Drops the item in your active hand.||Q|
|Quick equips the item in your active hand.
|Toggles Throw so when you next click on a tile, you'll throw the item in your active hand there.||R|
|Bring up the Say" Chatbox||T|
|Activate Held Object (Toggle weapon wielding with both hands)||Z/Y|
|Toggle Move Intent (Run/Walk)||5|
This section means that these key commands can be used even with hotkey mode toggled off.
|What it does:||Hotkey:|
|Face North||Ctrl + W|
|Face East||Ctrl + D|
|Face South||Ctrl + S|
|Face West||Ctrl + A|
|Drops the item in your active hand.||Ctrl + Q|
|Toggles Throw so when you next click on a tile, you'll throw the item in your active hand there.||Ctrl + R|
|Swap Hands||Ctrl + X|
|Activate Held Object||Ctrl + Z or Ctrl +Y|
|Help Intent||Ctrl + 1|
|Disarm Intent||Ctrl + 2|
|Grab Intent||Ctrl + 3|
|Harm Intent||Ctrl + 4|
|Toggle Move Intent (Run/Walk)||Ctrl + 5|
|Cycle Intents Right||Insert|
|Drop item in your active hand.||Home|
|Swap Hands||Page Up|
|Activate Held Object||Page Down|
|Throw item in your active hand.||End|
|Adminhelp Chatbox Popup||F1|
|OOC Chatbox Popup||F2|
|Say" Chatbox Popup||F3|
|Me" Chatbox Popup||F4|
|Toggle Hud On/Off||F12|
|Quick Pull||Ctrl + Click|
|Quick Examine||Shift + Click|
|Point To||Shift + Middle Click|
|Tactical Binoculars: Designate Laser Target||Ctrl + Middle Click|
|Swap Hands (Only if you don't have certain items in your active hand, or have shift click functions enabled as an alien)||Middle Click|
|Alien abilities (Only If you have shift click functions enabled as an alien.)||Shift + Click|
There are more guides to help you start your first few rounds in CM-SS13.
List of other guides
- Marine Equipment Guide
- Marine Law
- Marine Ranks
- About the Marines
- About the Aliens
- Alien Hive Guide