About Space Station 13
Space Station 13 at the core is a 2D multiplayer space station simulator with fully destructible environments. More info about the nature of the game can be found here.
It can take some time to get used to the dynamics, mechanics, and interactions of the game.
Below is a quick tutorial to get you started on your first visit to the station.
All players are expected to read and follow the Rules as well as the Rule Clarifications. It is also highly recommended that players familiarize themselves with the Guide to Roleplay but it is not mandatory. The server staff understand the need for some leniency when it comes to newer players as they learn and develop, but do not abuse this grace period, as bans and other disciplinary action can and will occur. As of now, it is important that you are at least aware that there are rules set in place, and to be generally aware of the expectations set forth by these rules, both in the context of general play and of roleplaying.
Connecting to the Server
- Create an account (required to play!)
- Download and install the BYOND client (required to play!)
- Start and log in to BYOND and then click on one of the servers
This section is primarily focused on learning by doing, so the instructions here will guide you towards creating a very basic and suitable character to get into the game as quickly as possible.
After you join the server, you will be greeted with a window:
- Setup Character: This is where your journey into Space Station 13 really begins, and it will be addressed in greater detail shortly.
- View the Crew Manifest: View the names and jobs of all personnel currently enlisted on the station.
- Ready / Not Ready / Observe: (Dependent on whether the round is already in progress)
- Declare yourself as ready (or not) for an upcoming round or
- Spectate a round in progress. Be warned that spectating a round in progress means you will not be eligible to participate in said round!
- Join Game!: Join the game when a round is currently in progress.
- Show Player Polls: See any active player-called polls, and votes.
Building a Character
The button we are most interested in at this point is Setup Character, located at the very top of the startup menu. Click it to open the character creator, as pictured.
Here you can tweak numerous options to make your valiant 2D spaceman or spacewoman look exactly as you wish. When picking a name for your character, trying to follow the naming guidelines established in the rules. All options like hairstyles, colors, species, and underclothes are purely cosmetic, except these:
- Race: When starting out, playing as a Human is recommended for various reasons, the most crucial of which at this junction is that they are the base model species, and don't have any differing features to balance like the other species.
- Configure Quirks: These modifications will have game-mechanic implications, new players should ignore them for now.
- Set Occupation Preferences: This determines which jobs you will be assigned at the beginning of your shift. For now, simply look over the list, and make sure they are all set to NEVER. The only one that is recommended to be ON is the Assistant role, which is a backup when no other job can be assigned, so for now, make sure it is set to YES. More about this on the next section.
From here, click Done at the top to finalize your changes to occupations. This will return you to the character creation menu - click Save Setup to finalize all your changes. You will be returned to the main menu (titled New Player Options) are now ready for your first shift on Space Station 13!
Depending on if the round has started or not, you will now either select Ready or Join Game!, to queue up for playing, or to begin playing. If a menu pops up asking you to select a job from a pool of available openings, pick Assistant or any other job you might have prepared for.
Welcome to the Station - we hope you enjoy your stay! You will start your journey into the world of Space Station 13 by spawning in on the Arrivals Shuttle. If you are joining a round in progress, particularly one that has been going for quite some time, this can have immediately varied results. In short, don't get discouraged if the shuttle or the station has been blown to pieces and you spawn into deadly space - it happens from time to time, and you'll get to try again soon.
Picking your first job
You are strongly advised not to pick any Non-Assistant job without reading the appropriate article. There are a few common choices for picking your first job, which all have their up- and downsides.
|Assistant||No set roles or functional responsibilities, so you are free to explore and learn the basics of the game at your leisure in this job, or to help take up odd jobs wherever you're needed. Best for learning the map layout and controls.||Can often feel overwhelming and disorienting, as people will tend to ignore you. This is due to the fact that regular players picking the assistant role are normally up to all kinds of shenanigans without any intention of actually helping.|
|Bartender||People coming to the bar tend to be very relaxed and roleplay-oriented, and mixing itself is easy enough to pick up. You are very independent of how well other people do their job.||You don't have any bartender-buddy who can show you around. Also the sheer amount of different drinks can be overwhelming.|
|Cargo Technician||You have a useful yet non-critical role. Make sure to tell your Quartermaster that it is your first shift and he will often be happy to help you.||Can get quite uncomfortable when there is no Quartermaster or other Cargo Technician, so voluntarily late-joining the shift might be your best bet.|
|Tourist||You have no set roles or responsibilities, just like the Assistant, and you get a free camera too. And the best part? Your tourist roleplay will be impeccable since you’re actually new to the station.||People are not likely to ask you for help, so you may be on your own for the whole, or majority, of the shift.|
Heads Up Display
There is a lot of visual information and clutter to sort through with this game, and the HUD can be daunting to those starting out. Starting from the tabs located in the upper right corner:
- Text: Shows game log all the way up.
- Info: Opens the info-section with in-game tabs.
- Wiki: Opens the game wiki in your internet browser.
- Forum: Opens the game discussion forum in your internet browser.
- Rules: Opens the rules.
- Changelog: Opens the changelog.
- In-game tabs:
- Status: Lists various points of interest such as current intent, move mode, and oxygen tank statuses (if applicable).
- Admin: The first option in this tab, 'Adminhelp', is something that should always be remembered. Adminhelp sends a direct message for questions pertaining grief (if someone kills you, you can let them know and they will check if it was allowed). 'Adminnotice' displays admin notices. 'Adminwho', gives a list of in-game admins.
- IC: Gives a list of In-Character actions that can be done at the moment.
- Mentor: The option in this tab, 'Mentorhelp', is something that should always be remembered. Mentorhelp sends a direct message for questions pertaining gameplay. If you get no response, ask again using Adminhelp.
- OOC: Gives a list of Out-Of-Character actions, which are anything outside of the current game.
- Object: Actions that can be done with objects current at hand.
- Preferences: Gives a list of toggleable out-of-character settings.
|Your inventory is the bar spanning the bottom and lower left of the screen.
Commands are to the lower right corner, and your personal status is on the right edge of your viewport (where the game world is displayed).
Useful shortcuts for using most of the HUD commands can be found here.
These icons are normally not seen on the screen. They will only appear if something is wrong.
E.g. If you want to heal someone's brute damage with a suture, you first click on the suture with an empty hand to pick it up and then click on the patient with the suture in your active hand.
Some items can hold more items, such as a backpack. To open a pack or a box, simply click on it with an empty hand or click and drag it to your sprite. If you wish to remove your backpack from your back (or any other wearable container item), click and drag it to an empty hand.
To drop an item, simply hit the Drop button with the item in your active hand.
Learn as You Play - Exercises
This section will present small tasks for you to try and accomplish in your first few shifts, which will develop your understanding of the game.
They may seem tedious or boring, but knowing the fundamental mechanics is the cornerstone to becoming a skilled and robust player. Space Station 13 is a game that is learned and mastered through practice, and there is always something new to be learned or mastered at all stages.
These exercises are not mandatory, but they will make you understand the user interface and basic interactions much more quickly, and will teach you how to communicate with others, which is extremely important. You can try to learn it by yourself, but exercise caution, or your time on Space Station 13 will be very short indeed. We highly recommend following through the short tutorial which is followed by this.
First Day on the Job:
Clothing and Internals
Great! Now you're ready to start your first day on Space Station 13!
Writing, radio and PDA's
Let's learn how basic communication works.
You have just finished the tutorial and know how basic mechanics work (or you at least have a somewhat better understanding than just jumping right in without following this through).
But wait! The learning doesn't just stop here, not by a long shot. Space Station 13 is a game with shocking depth for looking so simple on the surface, with an immense amount to learn about each job on the station and all the tips and tricks of the trade.
Next recommended steps
- Explore the station, keep your mouse cursor over doors and check your lower left bar for the room's name. Check the map (in the box in your bag) and get used to the layout, the station is really not as big as it first seems.
- Talk to people, ask them what they're doing and if you could be of any assistance. The bar is an excellent place to find bored people who have nothing else to do but socialize.
- Go get a rookie-version of some job, (civil duty jobs are mostly easy) and join a department mid-shift. Most of these jobs give you no pressure if you join mid-shift. Walk to the Head of Personnel (HoP)'s desk (if there's no one at the desk you can PDA message the HoP asking him/her to come over as soon as possible) and ask the HoP a job recommendation or you can recommend a job idea of your own (e.g. Pianist, Space Hobo, Waiter, Test Subject, Boxer)!
- Most rounds end with an emergency shuttle call. The Escape Shuttle will arrive to the Escape Shuttle Hallway, which you can find easily if you follow the panicking people, blood trails and helpful EVAC signs on the walls. Get on board the shuttle, buckle yourself to a chair and enjoy the ride! When you arrive to Central Command, the round ends and another one starts soon after. Such is the circle of life in Space Station 13.
- Read the few tips underneath and start your second round by choosing your first "real job" as a Cargo Tech, which you should probably play for at least a few rounds. Don't get greedy! Work your way slowly up from civilian jobs to more vital ones. Good luck and have fun!
Basic Controls Summary
- Arrow keys, numpad keys with numlock off or WASD with hotkeys to move
ooc "Hello"to speak Out-Of-Character (OOC)
say "Hello"to speak In-Character (IC). Clicking the chat button in the lower right corner will automatically place say in the chat bar.
say ";Hello"to speak over the radio (in character)
say ":h Hello"to speak over your department radio (in character), if you have one. See headsets for more details.
- Left click items to interact with them.
- Right click items to bring up the context menu.
Check out the list of Keyboard Shortcuts for making your life on the station easier.
Some general tips to get you through gameplay:
- Play your first "real" round as a Cargo Technician - it will let you learn the controls from more experienced players (notably the Quartermaster) in a low stress, low importance job, while being useful. All the info on how to do the job (and any job, for that matter) can be found on the job's own page. There's no need to rush into things, read the job page entirely and you've learned more than most at that point.
- It's perfectly okay and encouraged to tell people you are new in IC chat! Some of your coworkers might even take the time to show you the ropes.
- Keep a close eye on the chatlog, especially if things are happening fast, you might miss an important big, red, bolded text.
- Not sure what something is? Shift+click on an object to examine it. If you need more info, search the object from wiki or ask a mentor using mentorhelp. Every door on the station has a label, so if you're not sure where you are, examine a nearby door and check the map.
- Didn't understand something someone said? Check Terminology, there's a big chance you'll find your translation there.
- Some things still seem incomprehensible? Ask away by using mentorhelp or Adminhelp (press F1 or type
- Join after the round officially starts, so to minimize the risk of being the target of an antagonist.
- Clicking and dragging your PDA enables hands free usage. Clicking your PDA with an ID places it inside.
- If OOC chat is too noisy for you you can toggle it off under the Preferences tab in-game.
- Internals are important in case you find yourself in an area without oxygen. You'll know if this is happening by an O2 indicator flashing and messages in chat that you are gasping for breath. You start with a box with internals in your backpack. To set up an internal gas supply, you need a mask and an oxygen tank. Put the mask on the mask slot and your oxygen tank on your belt, pocket or back. Then click the internals status button to toggle it. Note that they run out of air eventually, the pressure of the gas supply in use can be observed from the info-tab.
- Space is deadly without a space suit on, and a set of internals running, or proper mutations which enable you to live without air or warmth.
- Examining your radio headset will list all available channels and how to talk on them.
- Having your intent on 'help' will let you walk through others with help intent on instead of bumping into them. Always have 'help' on when moving around.
- If you get contacted by an admin please reply politely and simply tell your side of the story. You reply to admins by clicking on their name.
- The medi-pen in your internals box will stabilize people who have taken more than 100 points of damage. If you feel at risk of falling into critical health feel free to preemptively inject yourself with it. It will slowly heal a minor amount of damage and stave off death. Do note it will not revive someone from critical health, they will still need to receive external aid.
PLEASE DO NOT:
- Tell anyone about a symbol suddenly appearing over your head. You are (most likely) now part of a cult (black icon above your head), gang (brown G above your head) or revolution (red R above your head) and will get a notification of this.
- Share any in-character information in the OOC-channel or over IRC (be careful what you say here; it's extremely easy to spoil the roundtype to everyone and doing this can and will result in a ban. See IC in OOC for more information).
- Complain in OOC chat if you are killed. If you feel the kill was unjust, use Adminhelp (same reason as the previous point).
- Play any Heads of Staff jobs until you have some experience as their subordinates. Heads are (ideally) the most competent person in their department and know how to control their subordinates and get things done most efficiently. Joining as one without proper knowledge can ruin the whole department, and generally make everyone have a bad time.
- Play Security roles until you have a very good handle on the game's mechanics. Security staff are mostly needed where things get very hectic and robust. Being extremely non-robust is likely to make you only be in the way of the competent security staff.
Also, try to resist the urge to press the "be syndicate" buttons when you join the game. Antagonist roles can be excessively hard, and next to impossible for the newest of players! See the requirements next to each antagonist job and train them before applying. Get your space legs for a bit, and hope you get brainwashed in a Revolution or Cultist round to have a watered down traitor experience before taking the plunge yourself.
If you become an antagonist (you can tell by the big red text that appears saying you are a Traitor/Revolutionary Head/Cultist/Space Wizard/Nuclear Operative/Blob), and you didn't want to be one, go to the Admin tab in the top right corner of your screen, and hit the button labeled Adminhelp. Then, in the textbox that appears, politely tell the admins that you're a new guy and want your antagonist status gone. If you DO want to play an antagonist, ignore the last step, and take a read through the Game Modes page and figure out what antagonist you are, and how to play it. Adminhelp if you have any questions, however, and do not say you are an antagonist in the OOC Chat. This will get you banned for spoiling the roundtype.
Once you have a decent grasp on the game, it is recommended that you first read more about different jobs here. Various jobs have various levels of complexity, with Assistant and Cargo Tech tending to be quite straightforward, while Captain and AI are extremely difficult, and you should understand your capabilities and shortcomings as a player before entering into a more vital role aboard the station.
Please keep in mind that the point of this game (like any game) is to have fun! Just follow the Rules, don't be a jerk, check the updates, and remember a little of how each job works (so you know what department blows up the ship and which one cures you of diseases), and you are well on your way becoming that awesome guy that everyone likes working with.
Welcome to Space Station 13. We hope you enjoy your stay.