Xeno Quickstart Guide

From CM-SS13 - 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, we have an inbuilt mentor questions system made specifically so you can ask for help in game. Just press F1 and click the (Gameplay Mechanics/ Mentorhelp) option and one of the server's mentors will be happy to help you. We also have an ever expanding ingame Tutorial. Just join the server and you will be abel to enter it from the Lobby screen.

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, CM-SS13 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. Ignorance of the rules is not an excuse. Thank you.

How to join the Hive

Join at roundstart

In the lobby screen, open the Setup Character window, Go to Setup Character -> Set Role Preferences, set xenomorph to [HIGH] and click the bottom option until it's Return to lobby if preference unavailable.

Late join

After the round has started, click Join the Hive you can take up any SSD Xenos or pooled larva. If there is no xeno you can take up, click Observe to spawn as a ghost. Once you are a ghost, click Toggle SpecialRole Candidacy in the Preferences 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 an SSD (i.e., away from keyboard) Xeno you can occupy (that's why ghosting is more preferable than simply closing the game if you need to go, as ghosting will free up the xeno immediately instead of freeing up after the AFK timer), or a pooled larva available.

Who Orders Who


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, Burrower, 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 or Hive Leaders. 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 break 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.


F3 or T to talk

Communication is essential! 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 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 ; before your message to talk to the whole Hive. (e.g. ; 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?


Queen indicator.png

As you spawn as a chestburster or Larva, you're very weak and should avoid conflict. If you wake up inside the Hive, stay there! If you wake up outside the Hive, follow the Queen indicator on the right side of your screen to find the Queen.You can Alt Click the Queen indicator to select a leader marker, a hivecore marker, or a tunnel marker as well. 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, or alt-clicking them) and the hide ability which will make you hidden below tables, items and such, then ask the Queen for further commands.

Wait until the Progress in the Stats tab reaches 60/60, 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, Sentinel or Defender).

Larva Evolutions


Drones are very important supporting players, but not in combat roles. 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 Resin Node
Can't be planted if there is already a node on the tile or if it's on unsuitable ground to plant it on. An example would be grass or water.

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 an 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 is not already getting emitted, as pheromones don't stack.


Runners 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 with the hive constantly. 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 under objects. Pouncing will cancel your Hiding.
Pounce at a 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.
Bone Spur.png
Bone Spur
Fire a blast of bone chips at your target. A limited range, perfectly accurate skillshot that slows the target for 6 seconds.

Costs 30 Plasma, cooldown: 13 seconds.

Toggle Long Range Sight.png
Toggle Long Range Sight
Use "Stretch to fit" to minimize the hassle of changing icon size when zooming in/out.
Toggles long range sight in the direction you're facing.

Costs 20 plasma.


Sentinels are the tier 1 of ranged caste, You can spit weak neurotoxin which will at first slow hosts and if hit enough times will cause them to be knocked out. The sentinel also makes an excellent choice for your first game due to its simplistic abilities and moderate health pool.

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
Slowing Spit
Use middle mouse button to spit a glob of slowing neurotoxin to stun hosts.

Cooldown: 1.5 seconds.

Acid Shotgun.png
Scattered Spit
Use middle mouse button to spit globs of paralyzing neurotoxin, Knocking down hosts hit for 0.7 seconds.

Cooldown: 8 seconds.

Paralyzing Slash
Empowers you next attack to inject neurotoxin into the host, Dazing them for 4 seconds and immediately after knocking them down helpless for 2 seconds.

Cooldown: 12 seconds.


Defenders are as the name implies meant to defend the hive and support it's members when they are in need. This means using your tailsweep ability to knock back marines from an injured sister or covering their retreat by taking the damage for them. At the beginning of the round, you should be guarding the hive and making sure your fellow sisters are safe.

Abilities: Description:


Headbutts into the designated target causing them to be thrown one tile. Use middle mouse button to toggle.

Costs 10 plasma.


Tail Sweep

A spinning action that causes all marines within a one tile range to have a chance to be knocked down or thrown one tile.

Costs 10 plasma.

Toggle Crest Defence.png

Toggle Crest Defence

By lowering its crest, the defender caste becomes more resistant to projectile damage. A lowered crest will cause a small slowdown while toggled on.


When activated the defender becomes extremely resistant to projectile weapons and additionally immobile while in this hunkered downstate.


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 (all armor protects the groin and protects it the same amount as it does the chest).

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.

Body Block

Body block is the act of blocking another xenomorph from moving to the direction they're trying to go, Intentionally or not. This usually happens when playing a large xenomorph (Tier 3s, Carrier, Hive-lord etc.) due to it being impossible to push them. Xenomorph leaders however can use disarm intent to knock down a fellow xeno and escape being bodyblocked. This is important all of the time but especially during combat since it can be a matter of life and death. Be careful, Try to understand where your fellow sisters are trying to go and move out of the way!


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. Note that you can only moved devoured marines through tunnels and not vents.


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)

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 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 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
  • Slash lightsLight.png
  • 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 or alt+click the vent (you can bind a hotkey for it with Macros). It's good for scouting, ambush, flanking and transporting hosts. Note that not all castes are able to vent crawl, and if you have devoured an host you will not be able to vent either.

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 getting killed).


Resist button.png

When you're on fire, step on a weeded tile and click RESIST (you can bind a Macros) to roll on the floor and attempt to extinguish the flames. Use

Help intent clicking to extinguish a fellow xeno on fire, remember to 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. You can pat out fires using Help intent the amount of pats required to extinguish is determined by the strength of the fire.

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, rest in a safe location when wounded.


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


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

Nesting a marine

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 wall with resin on it, click the host on it then drag the host on to either a wall with resin or a resin wall. Dangerous hosts (like Marines) should be secured into a nest. Should a capture should somehow be removed from a nest, whether it be from accidents or explosions, you can try to recapture them back in with neurotoxin Toggle Spit Type.png which is very good at calming 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 - Because all members of a hive-mind are connected they will understand exactly what you mean when you talk about something, that's why 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 understands what you're describing instantly (because it shares 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 re-nest 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.
  • When you die, you are a 100% NEW XENO. However, you can keep some of the information the rest of your hive has in mind so you dont need to relearn everything in character after each death. For example if the xenomorphs are defending a specific cave entrance its fine to ask how the defence is going after respawning or heading straight back to that location to help out.
  • Refrain from saying "Ayylmao," "Ayyy," "Reeeeee" as there is a Stronger Enforcement for Xeno Roleplay.

Additional Reading

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

     It is highly recommended that users new to SS13 use keybindings rather then macros.
  • Keybindings: Easily change command function input keys, like any modern videogame.