Natural Selection Wiki
Natural Selection Wiki
Cosmetic Variants:


Auric Cyst

"There's green goop everywhere!"
Kharaa Kharaa
Team Resources
Marines res 1
50 (400-200)
Max HP reduces with distance from Hive
1 (25 with Crag Hive)
Abilities and Upgrades
Spread Infestation
Tech Requirements:
Place on valid ground, Must connect to Hive or nearby Cysts
Build Time: 5 seconds
Builds From: Alien Commander
Buy From: Build Tab
Maturation Time: 20 seconds


The Cyst is a Kharaa foundational structure created by the Alien Commander. It is a luminescent, pustule-like organic growth with pulsating roots around it.

As the most fragile organ found within any Kharaa habitat, the Cyst can proliferate extremely rapidly. A parent is first grown around a Hive, then daughter Cysts can subsequently branch outward onto horizontal surfaces. When grown, the Cyst spreads bacterial Infestation to encompass nearby terrain, allowing other Kharaa structures to sprout and grow. Cysts depend on Hives for nutrition, and should connection between daughter Cysts be severed, the outermost unconnected Cysts will begin degenerating until death; if left unattended, an entire chain can be eradicated over time. Without Cysts to regenerate the infestation, the nano-grid can slowly eliminate the Bacterium at a cellular level.

Tactical Summary - Cyst

  • Cysts have lower HP the further down the Cystchain they are.
  • Cysts are very important to the Kharaa structure chain.
  • Although inexpensive at 1 Team Resources excessive re-cysting and over cysting (placing cysts over an entire room) can be a waste.
  • Without Cysts alien structures that are not on the infestation will slowly die and not heal or be able to use abilities. Gorge structures are immune to this.
  • Flamethrowers are extremely effective of Cyst clearing!
  • Killing off large cystchains away from the alien hive will slowly kill all cysts and structures on that chain, example killing 1 cyst near the aliens only hive will cripple whole sides of the map.

Contrary to popular believe, stepping on a Cyst does not reveal you to the Alien Team. Neither on the Minimap nor in any other way, unless you deal damage to the Cyst.

Warning Warning: Cysts take 12 damage per second while they are disconnected from all Hives.

Hivetype Attributes

  • Shift Hive
    • Celerity: Cysts grow 25% faster
  • Crag Hive
    • Carapace: Mature Cysts have 25 Armor
  • Shade Hive
    • Camouflage: Cysts are invisible as long as no Marine is standing nearby, they are not attacked nor the Cysts are disconnected. (Infestation is still visible)


Spread Infestation

Spread Infestation
Cyst idle small
Grows Infestation onto nearby terrain to allow Kharaa structures to sprout from and stay nourished.
  • Infestation recedes quickly if the source is destroyed.
Radius 7 (Tunnel), 7.5 (Cyst), 20 (Hive)
Duration ∞ seconds
Targets Ground, Walls, Props
Requires Cyst, Hive, Tunnel
Spread infestation thumb

Infestation growing everywhere


Cyst Chain

Cyst Chain
Cyst slot
Connects to an active Hive through other nearby Cysts to stay healthy.
  • Unconnected Cysts take damage over time until reconnection unless under the effect of Nutrient Mist.
  • Redeploy: destroys oldest Cyst if new Cyst is placed inside its minimum range.
Damage 12 per second
Range 31
Minimum Range 7
Requires Nearby Cyst and active Hive
Cyst chain thumb

Chaining Cysts to a Resource Nozzle


Egg spawn buildmenu
Flammable Kharaa structures will take extra damage from fire-based weapons.
Damage Damage x 250%
Type Flame
Targets Bone Wall, Clog, Cyst, Egg, Hydra, Web
Requires Cluster Grenade, Flamethrower, Welder
Cysts are very flammable receiving 500% damage from flame type damage 1000% total (200% for being a structure and 500% for being a Cyst)
Flammable thumb

Burning Hydras on the walls


Nutrient mist icon
Most Kharaa structures will mature over time, gaining extra maximum Health and Armor every second until fully matured.
  • Max health/armor and mature time vary between different structures.
  • Maturation can be sped up via Nutrient Mist or Heal Spray
Targets Structure
Maturation thumb

A newborn Crag slowly maturing