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The Marines as depicted in the game are the force mounted by the TSF agency. The Trans-System Federation (TSF) is an independent body funded by 37 trans-gov powers (governments or super-corporations that own and operate Phase Gates between solar systems) and given jurisdiction over trans-system affairs: as defined by a document called The Charter. The Charter is a comprehensive document, covering disarmament, fair trade agreements (most importantly, sharing phase gates), and certain basic civil rights that had become blurred (or tossed aside) during the dark times of the Expansion.

To enforce The Charter, the Trans-Govs chose Admiral Rathine Studaber, former head of the revived British Secret Service, and gave her a budget for a small military force – which proved hard pressed to stop those same greedy and quarrelsome powers from violating almost every agreement they had made: often concerning their own citizens (termed "population abuse"). It was not very long before the TSF had to resort to military police actions. Its surprising success against the vastly more powerful and far better equipped Trans-Govs earned it the secret hatred of the same powers that created it. They have long been angling to curtail the TSF's powers, slash its funding, or even dissolve it entirely and replace it with something they can control. So far, their distrust of each other, and intense media scrutiny has kept the TSF alive. The TSF sees itself as the only sane player in trans-system politics and has become an unappreciated (and often vilified) champion of human rights.

With the failure of corporate and government forces to contain the spread of the Kharaa, the opinion (among those in power) was humanity should just quarantine the entire Ariadne Arm (the string of solar systems where the Kharaa were encountered). The TSF found this intolerable, both for the people trapped in the Arm and for the future of human expansion (the economic blow of losing all those ships and bases could threaten the tenuous peace of the Charter). The TSF volunteered to mount a response to the Kharaa – effectively creating a new army, with a new mandate. The resolution passed, and the new force was called the Frontiersmen: "standing on the edge of the unknown, between all of humanity and whatever would threaten it." The Frontiersmen have clearance to travel anywhere and board any craft. They have rapid-response outposts scattered throughout the Ariadne Arm, with teams of marines ready to deploy. The Frontiersmen initiative is a huge opportunity for the TSF. It's also a risk: if the Frontiersmen fail, on such a public and historic stage, the Ariadne Arm will be signed off as a loss and the trans-govs may have the excuse they've been looking for to "re-organize" TSF leadership – replacing the Admiral and her staff with corporate lackeys. If that happens, dark days are sure to follow.

Frontiersmen must pass rigorous physical and psychological exams before they can even enter training. The training process, though in many respects similar to militaries all over the galaxies and all throughout history, is unique in its emphasis on small squads, tactical flexibility, and the unprecedented nature of the enemy Frontiersmen train to confront. Frontiersmen are trained to enter a new environment in squads of 5 to 15 individuals, with very little equipment or support, and achieve definitive victory against a virulent and hostile xenoform foe.



Marine male normal front
Male Marine

Marine female normal front
Female Marine


Bigmac military
Military B.M.A.C.

"My shrink says, I need an outlet for my aggression."
Basic TSF foot soldier
TSA Frontiersmen
30 (50/70/90)
Spawns From: Infantry Portal
Base Field of View: 90°
Move Speed: 5.20 with Rifle out, 5.40 with Rifle put away, 5.86 without primary weapon
Run Speed: 5.99 with Rifle out, 6.21 with Rifle put away, 6.73 without primary weapon
Crouch Speed: 2.60 with Rifle out 2.70 with Rifle put away, 2.93 without primary weapon
Abilities & Upgrades
Build Blueprints
Armor and Weapon Upgrades
Tech Requirements:
Powered Infantry Portal

The Marines are rigorously trained, versatile soldiers that can perform many vital functions, such as using the Build Tool to assemble unbuilt structures, repairing damaged or broken Power Nodes, and becoming Marine Commander at an unoccupied Command Station. Marines can be given Waypoints by the Commander to coordinate squad movement and actions.


Main article: Bindings
Marine Player Controls
Movement Abilities Inventory Contextual
Mouse 1
Mouse 2
Bash (with Rifle equipped)
Reload Weapon
Drop or Pick Up Weapon
Last Weapon


Main article: Movement Techniques
Marine Movement
Vent Jump
  • While in a vent you can do consecutive jumps in the vent and gain speed by strafing

Marine Vent Jumps - Summit Sub (NS2 Trickjump Movement)

Video Clip 2
Platform Jump
  • Jumping onto a higher platform will remove the slow-down effect a bit.
If you first jump onto a higher platform crouched then you can do one more additional jump on the same height without crouching with a smaller slow-down effect.

Marine Platform Jump backwards (NS2 Movement)

Slope Jump Video
  • Jump onto a slope and jump off it - combined with strafing this will give you a slight speedboost.
This works well on some stairs but not all of them.

Marine Slope Jump (NS2 Movement)

Weapons and Equipment[]

The Frontiersmen arsenal contains a wide array of weapons, purchasable using Personal Resources in the buy menu of different structures. Provided by Alterra Corporation, Frontiersmen weaponry were initially designed for human warfare. Since encounters with the hostile aliens have persisted over the past decade, the Frontiersmen have added adaptations of their own to combat the Kharaa threat.

All Marines are armed with the standard Assault Rifle, Pistol and Switch-Axe. Additional weapon types require research by the Marine Commander at their respective structures. Some weapons weight heavier than others, decreasing Marine move speed when equipped.

Default Weapons
Owner Weapon Description Shared Attributes Additional Information




Assault Rifle
Long-range, rapid-fire weapon with high accuracy.
  • Can be dropped or picked up.
  • Dropped weapons are vulnerable to Bile Bomb.
  • Weapons 1/2/3 upgrades increase damage.
  • Weapon slot 1.
  • Drops reserve ammo as an Ammo Pack.
  • Fires a continuous stream of bullets.
  • Slight bullet spread cone.
  • Secondary melee attack: Rifle Bash


Long-range, rapid-fire weapon with pinpoint accuracy.
  • Weapon slot 2.
  • Fires a bullet on each button press.
  • Perfect accuracy.

Switch axe

Anti-structure melee weapon.
  • Weapon slot 3.
  • Cannot be dropped.
  • Bonus damage against structures.

Purchased Weapons
Buy From Weapon Description Shared Attributes Additional Information




Proximity explosive that detonates when Kharaa lifeforms are nearby.
  • Can be dropped or picked up.
  • Is not dropped upon death.
  • Dropped weapons are vulnerable to Bile Bomb.
  • Provides 1 Mine per purchase.
  • Weapon slot 4.
  • Maximum 1 Mine per player.
  • Short arming time before activation.
  • Explosion deals damage to owner as well.
  • Detonates other Mines in close proximity.
  • Detonates prematurely when touched by Infestation or disrupted by Stomp or Parasite.
  • Weapons 1/2/3 does not affect damage.


Close-range weapon that excels at dealing burst damage.
  • Replaces current primary weapon on purchase or pick up.
  • Weapon slot 1.
  • Drops reserve ammo as an Ammo Pack.
  • Fires 17 pellets per shot in cone-shaped pattern.
  • Each pellet does 10 damage.
  • Reloads magazine tube one shell at a time.
  • Weapons 1/2/3 upgrades increase damage.


Advanced Repair and construction utility.
  • Weapon slot 3.
  • Replaces Switch-Axe and Build Tool on purchase or pick up.
  • Constructs and repairs unbuilt structures simultaneously.
  • Repairs Marine and Exosuit Armor only.
  • Repairs Frontiersmen robots and structures completely.
  • Repairs broken Power Nodes quickly.
  • Slowly repairs owner's armor when welding friendly players and structures.
  • Bonus damage against Flammable Kharaa structures.
  • Weapons 1/2/3 does not affect damage.

Cluster grenade

Cluster Grenade
Hand grenade that fragments into smaller explosives.
  • Cannot be dropped.
  • Weapon slot 5.
  • Provides 1 hand grenades per purchase.
  • Maximum 1 grenades total
  • Maximum 1 type of hand grenade per player.
  • First explosion deals moderate damage.
  • Fragments deal lower damage.
  • Explosion deals damage to owner as well.
  • Bonus damage against Kharaa structures.

Gas grenade

Nerve Gas Grenade
Hand grenade that emits an Armor-melting gas cloud.
  • Short activation delay after throwing.
  • Damage applies to Armor only.
  • Gas cloud dissipates after a short time.
  • Used mainly in preemptive damage to Marine pushes.
  • Reveals invisible Cysts

Pulse grenade

Pulse Grenade
Hand grenade that reduces lifeform attack speed.
  • Explodes on impact with lifeforms and structures.
  • Deals high burst damage.
  • Explosion deals damage to owner as well.
  • Reduces attack speed for all Kharaa lifeforms in range.

Advanced armory

Advanced Armory

Grenade launcher

Grenade Launcher
Long-range, anti-structure weapon that launches explosive grenades.
  • Weapon slot 1.
  • Replaces current primary weapon on purchase or pick up.
  • Drops reserve ammo as an Ammo Pack.
  • Can be dropped or picked up.
  • Dropped weapons are vulnerable to Bile Bomb.
  • Weapons 1/2/3 does not effect damage.
  • Fires 1 grenade per shot in an arc.
  • Reloads clip one grenade at a time to max of 4.
  • Grenades detonate on impact with Kharaa units and structures.
  • Detonates after a short fuse time.
  • Explosion deals damage to owner as well.


Medium-range, multipurpose support weapon that sets Kharaa units, structures, and surfaces alight.
  • Fires a continuous stream of flames (no critical's).
  • Slowly drains burning lifeforms' energy.
  • Leaves residual fires on surfaces.
  • Burns Kharaa units and structures for a short time.
  • Bonus damage against all Kharaa structures.
  • Disables passive abilities of most Kharaa structures (Cloak, heal etc).
  • Disables active abilities of Kharaa static defense structures (Hydra, Whip).
  • Destroys Whip bombard and Bile Bomb projectiles mid-flight.
  • Evaporates Umbra, Spore, and Drifter-made clouds instantly.

Hmg marines

Machine Gun
Long-range, big magazine, rapid-fire weapon that deal extra damadge to players.
  • One clip holds 100 rounds.
  • Can carry 4 extra magazines, totaling to 500 rounds.
  • Deals Puncture damadge
  • Fires a continuous stream of bullets.
  • Slight bullet spread cone.

Purchased Equipment
Buy From Equipment Description Shared Attributes Additional Information

Prototype lab

Prototype Lab


Equipment that grants short sustainable flight.
  • Permanently equipped on purchase until death.
  • Maximum 1 per player.
  • Cannot be unequipped or dropped, but can be picked up.
  • Commander dropped equipment is vulnerable to Bile Bomb.
  • Enables flight by double jumping.
  • Drains fuel meter while in use.
  • Equipped load out increases or lowers this speed.
  • Refills fuel meter while not in use.
  • Refills armor when equipping the Jetpack.

Dual minigun exosuit

Mechanical suit equipped with an anti-armor Minigun and anti-structure Power Claw.
  • Uses Armor only (no Health).
  • Immune to Biological and Gas Damage Type attacks.
  • Can be repaired by Welder and MACs.
  • Cannot receive Med Packs or replenish health from an Armory.
  • Armor 1/2/3 upgrades increase total health.
  • Weapons 1/2/3 upgrades increases weapon damage.
  • Targeting system locks onto moving Kharaa lifeforms on screen.
  • Use thrusters to dash in any direction or lift up.
  • Pilot can eject from Exosuit to resume Marine duties.
  • Cannot teleport through Phase Gates.
  • Minigun fires continuous rounds of bullets.
  • Miniguns can individually overheat and requires a short cooldown to reuse.
  • Infinite ammo.

Railgun exosuit

Railgun Exosuit
Mechanical suit equipped with an anti-structure Railgun and Power Claw.
  • Railgun fires a unit and structure penetrating projectile.
  • Can charge shot for up to 2 seconds for increased damage.
  • Automatically releases shot after 2.2 seconds of charging.
  • Brief cooldown after each shot or when charging one Railgun.
  • Perfect accuracy.


The Marine Commander is a leader that directs Frontiersmen strategics and operations. The Commander coordinates Marine squads via Waypoints, establishes forward bases by creating structure templates (which Marines or MACs must assemble); researches new weapons and technologies, upgrades weapons damage and Armor, and provides immediate assistance to Marines using Commander abilities. Any Marine can log in at an unoccupied Command Station to become the Marine Commander. Only one Commander can be active at a time, and he may log out to resume his role as a foot soldier.

The Commander has a user interface that includes a Mini-map, commander menu, and resource counter, allowing him to build structures and perform upgrades for the Frontiersmen. He can also assist his Marines using various abilities at his disposal; commander abilities cost Team Resources, with some abilities usable anywhere and others require specific structures to trigger.

Marine Commander Abilities
Assist Structure Dependent
Ammo Pack Med Pack Nano Shield Scan Distress Beacon Recycle
Ammo Pack Med Pack Nano Shield Scan Distress Beacon Recycle
Power Surge Catalyst Pack Drop Weapons
Power Surge Catalyst Pack Drop Weapons
  • Distress Beacon is only accessible from an Observatory.
  • Recycle is accessible on all Frontiersmen structures.

Power Grid[]

Most Frontiersmen structures require power to operate, therefore the Marine Commander must reroute power from a Power Socket by installing a Power Node. Power Sockets are located in most rooms and corridors on a map, and Marines or MACs must assemble the unbuilt Power Node to activate the room's Power Grid.

The Power Node cannot be removed once installed; however, take caution as the Kharaa can severely damage a Power Node, causing a power outage and depowering most Frontiersmen structures within the area. An inactive Power Node can be fully repaired by Marine or MAC to reboot the Power Grid.


Blueprint of an Armory

The Marine Commander can spend Team Resources to create structure blueprints anywhere on the map. The blueprint contains the necessary materials for the specific structure, but the construction process requires the Marine's Build Tool or Welder to complete. The Marine Commander can also assign a MAC to construct structures.

Blueprints can be cancelled by the Marine Commander to refund 75% the Team Resources spent. If any Kharaa lifeform touches a blueprint, it will dissipate and refund 100% of the Team Resources spent to the Frontiersmen.

Tech Tree[]

Frontiersmen Tech Tree
Tech Tree Rows Content
ExtractorCommand StationInfantry PortaHand GrenadesMinesShotgunWelderArmoryAdvanced ArmoryAdvanced WeaponryPrototype LabExosuitJetpackARC FactoryARCRobotics FactoryMACSentry BatterySentryAdvanced AssistanceObservatoryPhase TechPhase GateArms LabWeapons 1Weapons 2Weapons 3Armor 1Armor 2Armor 3Marine Techtree
About this image
1 Extractor, Command Station, Infantry Portal
2 ARC Factory, ARC
3 Research Hand Grenades, Research Mine, Research Shotgun, Welder | Robotics Factory, MAC
4 Armory | Sentry Battery, Sentry
5 Advanced Assistance
6 Observatory
7 Research Advanced Weaponry, Advanced Armory | Research Phase Tech
8 Prototype Lab | Phase Gate | Arms Lab, Weapons 1/2/3
9 Research Exosuit, Research Jetpack | Armor 1/2/3

Units and Structures[]

Base TSF Buildings[]

Base buildings are primary buildings that offer base technology advantages. Usually, they require minimal amounts of Team Resources to build and are required to unlock advanced structures.

Basic Structures
Structure Description Shared Attributes Additional Information
Command station idle

Command Station
Frontiersmen command structure that houses the Marine Commander.
Extractor idle

Extracts Team and Personal Resources for the Frontiersmen to build and upgrade.
Infantry portal idle

Infantry Portal
Respawn structure for Marines.
  • Can be built only near a Command Station.
  • Marine Commander can issue Move Waypoint to newly spawned Marines.
Armory idle

Marine resupply point and weapons arsenal.
  • Can be built on valid ground anywhere.
  • Costs Supply to build.
  • Restores Marines' Health and ammo when facing the Armory.
  • Enables the Buy Menu for players to buy new weapons.
  • Marine Commander can research new weapons for purchase.
  • Upgrades to Advanced Armory.
Robotics factory idle small

Robotics Factory
ARC idle

Robotics Factory - Robot manufacturing structure.

ARC - Deployable mobile siege cannon.

MAC - Worker unit that performs repair and construction.
  • Can be built on valid ground anywhere.
  • Costs Supply to build.
  • Produces MAC.
    • MAC builds and repairs friendly structures.
    • Welds Marine and Exosuit Armor.
  • Upgrades to ARC Factory.
    • Produces ARC.
    • ARC deploys to fire anti-structure sonic blasts through walls.
MAC idle

Arms lab idle

Arms Lab
Weapons and Armor upgrade structure.
  • Can be built on valid ground anywhere.
  • After research gives Weapons 1/2/3 which increase most weapons' damage.
  • After research gives Armor 1/2/3 which increases Marine and Exosuit Armor.

Advanced TSF Buildings[]

Advanced buildings are secondary or mid-game buildings that offer specific technology advantages. Usually, they require a higher amount of Team Resources to build along with base building prerequisites.

Advanced Structures
Structure Description Shared Attributes Additional Information
Sentry idle

Sentry battery idle

Sentry Battery
Sentry - Static defense that shoots Kharaa lifeforms on sight.

Sentry Battery - Provides power for Sentry turrets.
  • Build on valid ground anywhere.
  • Constructed by Marines or MACs.
  • Armor corrodes when on Infestation.
  • Reduced construction rate on Infestation.
  • Can be recycled for partial cost refund.
  • Costs Supply to build.
    • Maximum 3 Sentries per Battery.
    • Maximum 1 Sentry Battery per room.
  • Sentry operates on Battery power only.
  • Sentry can be confused by Spores and Stomp.
  • Battery operates even without power in the room.
Observatory idle

Detection structure that highlights Kharaa units and structures.
  • Cannot operate without power.
  • Detects any Kharaa lifeform, units, and structures in a large radius.
    • Detected units and structures positions are periodically tracked on screen.
    • Reveals units and structures under Shade Cloak or Camouflage evolution invisibility.
  • Unlocks Scan and Distress Beacon commander abilities by default.
  • Unlocks Phase Gate after research.
Phase gate idle

Phase Gate
Teleportation system for Marines.
  • Cannot operate without power.
  • Requires at least 2 Phase Gates to activate.
  • Teleports Marines to another Phase Gate instantly.
  • Links to all active Phase Gates anywhere on the map.
Prototype lab idle

Prototype Lab
Marine equipment arsenal.
  • Cannot operate without power.
  • Enables the Buy Menu for players to buy new equipment.
  • Marine Commander can research new equipment for purchase.

Concept Weapons / Designs[]

  • Equipment
    • Light Armor
    • Exosuit Claws (Single weapon versions)
  • Structures