The Newbie's Guide to System Shock 2

by ZylonBane

System Shock 2 is a complex game, that demands much more player knowledge than the typical FPS. This is a list of some basic information that should make your first run through SS2 a somewhat more pleasant one.

  1. The wrench is your friend. If it's at all possible to kill something with the wrench (or other melee weapon), do it. Health is cheap and plentiful, ammo is not.
  2. The replicators (Value-Reps) are rarely necessary. You can find almost everything you need elsewhere.
  3. Search everywhere and everything. Every body, robot chunk, desk, turret, locker, trashcan, egg... every nook and cranny. There's useful stuff all over the place if you just look for it.
  4. Unload every weapon you find. Ammo is precious.
  5. Your inventory capacity is fairly limited, but you can pick a single big empty room (ideally near an elevator) to store all your extra stuff.
  1. Turn on the mini-map (checkbox at the bottom-right of the level map).
  2. Med beds don't work until you plug an activation key into them. There aren't a lot of these, and they can't be removed, so use them wisely.
  3. Moving between bulkheads overwrites your quicksave slot. So does loading a new game (This is fixed in NewDark SS2).
  4. You'll be switching between Use and Move mode a LOT. Bind it to something handy.
  5. Press "U" to listen to any unread logs you've picked up.
  6. Press "N" to drop nav markers anyplace you want to find again later. These show up in first-person view and on the map. On the map, you can click on a nav marker and annotate it by typing, or remove it by pressing the Delete key.
  7. You can stop any security alert by accessing (not hacking) any security terminal.
  8. The background music is not reactive. If the tempo picks up, it doesn't mean you're about to be ambushed. It just means it's that part of the song.
  9. The gas cloud released from eggs when they self-destruct or when you destroy them is harmless. It's the spores flung from self-destructing eggs that are harmful.
  10. Read the descriptions of all the items (ctrl-click in the inventory). They're mostly funny, and occasionally helpful.
  11. If your character seems a lot slower and shorter than he should be, you're probably in crouch mode. Remember that crouch in SS2 is a toggle, unlike most other FPSs where you have to hold it.
  12. Activated QBRs are only effective within the current map.