| A personal guide to First Person Shooters -- by Product (Erik Max Francis) [BkN]
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Classes among humans differ only by their appearance and their initial weapons when class weapons are in effect. When class weapons (a server option) are enforced, humans cannot pick up or use weapons that are not a part of their class. All humans start with knives and pistols.


[avp2/classes/sniper] Weapons: knife, pistol, grenade launcher, sniper rifle.

[avp2/classes/demolitions] Weapons: knife, pistol, pulse rifle, flamethrower.

Heavy Weapons
[avp2/classes/heavyweapons] Weapons: knife, pistol, shotgun, rocket launcher.

[avp2/classes/specialist] Weapons: knife, pistol, shotgun, smartgun.


[avp2/classes/trooper] Weapons: knife, pistol, flame thrower, sniper rifle.

Heavy Weapons
[avp2/classes/heavyweaponscorp] Weapons: knife, pistol, shotgun, pulse rifle, grenade launcher.

AT Officer
[avp2/classes/atofficer] Weapons: knife, pistol, shotgun, minigun.

[avp2/classes/specialistcorp] Weapons: knife, pistol, shotgun, grenade launcher, flamethrower.


Combat knife

[avp2/weapons/knife] The combat knife is an extremely close quarters melee weapon which, in fast-paced combat with Aliens and Predators, is not of much value in direct combat. It does, however, have a singular distinction: It can help you get out of a Predator's net; when tangled up, simply switch to the knife and cut your way loose. In combat, the knife is of little value, but it will get you out of a Predator's net.


[avp2/weapons/pistol] The pistol is a surprisingly competent weapon, given that it is a mere sidearm. Two types of ammunition are available, selectable by the alternate fire key: standard ammunition and armor-piercing. A sidearm is a weapon of last resort, but even given that the pistol is serious business.

Dual pistols (Primal Hunt)

[avp2/weapons/pistols] In Primal Hunt, humans can double up on pistols and use two at a time, should they come across additional pistols. The doubled rate of fire turns the pistol into a reasonable fallback weapon into an effective first-line in their own right. The reload time is only slightly longer than a single pistol, so you get most of the up sides with little of the down. The dual pistols puts them in the running with the other primary weapons; it's more effective than a shotgun but less than a pulse rifle.


[avp2/weapons/shotgun] The shotgun is a very powerful short-range weapon, although it is not very effective at moderate or greater ranges. Two types of ammunition are available: shells and slugs. Shells are the standard shotgun ammunition which deliver a burst of shot and are good against lightly armored targets; slugs are armor-piercing. On close quarters maps a shotgun is a powerful weapon.

Pulse rifle

[avp2/weapons/pulse] The pulse rifle is the standard, base weapon. It carries 99 rounds, and the alternate fire launches grenades (although humans don't start with any, they have to get them from crates). This is the standard human weapon, so get used to its ins and outs.


[avp2/weapons/smartgun] The smartgun is a heavy weapon that can automatically track moving enemies. The weapon has to be pointed in the same general direction as the enemies, but when it is done the reticle changes to red and actively tracks targets, accompanied by a distinctive beeping sound. When you hear the beeping sound and the reticle is locked on an enemy, fire, pointing the gun in the same general direction as the target so it can't escape. An alternate mode allows disabling the automatic tracking, which is rarely useful. Note also that switching to infrared mode will disable the smartgun's automatic tracking system, rendering it in dumbfire mode until you return to normal vision mode. The smartgun is devastating but runs through its ammo very quickly. Conserve your ammunition and only fire when you have a good lock.


[avp2/weapons/flamethrower] The flamethrower is really a weapon for show; in heated combat it is of only limited use. It squirts out jellied flame that will cling to any victim, reducing their health and obscuring their vision. The flame burst, however, has fairly short range, and so needs to be used at close range, resulting in rather daunting duty against charging Aliens and wily Predators. About the best use the flamethrower can be put to is breaking up a group of charging Alien drones.

Grenade launcher

The grenade launcher can fire a variety of grenades. As with most games, grenades are more of a strategic weapon that are better used as suppressive fire or to deny access through certain passages rather than as a real combat weapon in the field. The recycle rate of the launcher is, in addition, quite slow, making it even hard to be used under combat conditions. Remember that your teammates will not appreciate you firing grenades around willy nilly; exercise care when firing grenades. Grenades come in four types, which can be rotated through with the alternate fire button: proximity grenades, which stick to surfaces and detonate when someone (even a friendly) comes near to them; timed grenades, which bounce and detonate after a short timer expires or if they hit a target; EMP grenades, which detonate on impact with any surface and create a concussion effect and an electrical disruption that is most effective against Alien targets; and smart mines, which act in much the same way as proximity minutes, but which actually move nearer to their target (on extruding legs) when they detect a nearby target. The real power of the grenade launcher is when it is used during a retreat or as a defensive weapon to mine potential avenues of enemy incursion.

Rocket launcher

[avp2/weapons/rocketlauncher] The rocket launcher is large and unwieldy but it can deliver significant damage and a blast effect. Rockets come in two types -- guided and unguided; the ammunition of choice can be toggled back and forth with the alternate fire. A direct hit will even kill a healthy Predator. Near misses are sufficient to kill Aliens and humans. Use guided rockets at long range and unguided rockets closer in.


[avp2/weapons/minigun] The minigun is a heavy-duty weapon that spits out a barrage of high-calibre, deadly fire. It offers a few disadvantages, however. For one thing, it is heavy and so encumbers its user, even more so while firing. Second, it has substantial muzzle flash which can often obscure your target, particularly when you're target is at anything other than close range. Third, it takes a moment after the trigger is pressed for the barrel to spin up, which means a delay between when you open fire and when rounds actually start flying at your target. This can be mitigated by the fact that the alternate fire will prespin the barrel; once spun up, it remains spinning (until spun down again with another alternate fire) and eliminates the delay; however, the spinning barrel makes a godawful noise that anyone in the immediate vicinity can easily hear. The real saving grace of the minigun is when it is used at close to moderate range against the big aliens and Predators; the minigun can rip through them in only a few moments of sustained fire.

Sniper rifle

The sniper rifle fires a heavy calibre round that can inflict massive damage on its enemy, but requires a significant delay between shots. A zooming scope (alternate fire) also allows for accurate shots at a distance, but the interface can take some getting used to (it can only zoom in; to zoom out, you need to start over). Only try the sniper rifle if you have a good point and have a good, defensible position. A sniper with his back to an entryway is a juicy target.


Motion tracker

[avp2/hud/motion] The motion tracker is perhaps the most powerful tool available to Marines and Corporates, although it is rather unsung. It tracks all motion in a 180 degree arc in front of its user and represents it with a blip. Blips will appear for any motion, including fellow teammates. The only real disadvantage to the motion tracker is that it does not distinguish between height; a blip dead ahead might be on the same level, or above, or below. The astute human needs to use his knowledge of the map and other contextual clues such as noise to determine where the target actually is. Also, with the image intensifier, the motion tracker is disabled. The motion tracker can only sweep the forward arc, so periodically execute two quick reverses in order to make sure no one's sneaking up behind you.

360-degree motion tracker (Corporates, Primal Hunt)

[avp2/hud/motionph] In the mission pack, Corporates have access to a 360-degree motion tracker. Instead of only covering the forward 180 degree arc, as the name suggests, it will detect motion in all directions. It still behooves you to perform quick reverses to cover your six.

Shoulder lamp

The shoulder lamp illuminates a region in front of you, intended for navigating dark areas. It draws power from a battery (the same battery as the image intensifier below), and so has a limited life, although the battery recharges fairly quickly. The shoulder lamp is quite useful in single player, but in multiplayer it really only serves to give your position away to the enemy. If you need to navigate in the dark, you're much better off using the image intensifier.

Vision modes

[avp2/vision/human] The standard vision mode.

Image intensifier
[avp2/vision/nightvision] The image intensifier is in effect a nightvision mode which allows humans to see in near total darkness, but the outlines of objects can be hard to make out, and -- perhaps most importantly -- the motion tracker is disabled (when the image intensifier is on, the motion tracker disappears and won't even continue to beep). The intensifier drains a battery, so it cannot be used indefinitely, but the battery recharges fairly quickly. The imagine intensifier is useful for navigating in dark corridors where you otherwise can't see, but it should be used sparingly -- without the motion tracker you're much more vulnerable to an attack.

Hacking device

The hacking device is only available in single player.

Welding torch

The welding torch is only available in single player.



[avp2/stuff/health] A health pack is pretty self-explanatory. You start out at 100 health, and as you take damage your health decreases. When it reaches zero, you're dead. Health packs restore your health and let you keep fighting.


Initially humans start out with no armor; armor can only be picked up during play. Armor takes damage in preference to health and can keep you going substantially longer. Always pick up any armor you come across.


[avp2/stuff/boxhuman] Boxes contain a variety of equipment. They come in two flavors: green and grey. Green boxes have some standard ammunition, whereas grey ones have class-specific ammunition. Boxes are the only human equipment that are indestructible: They cannot be destroyed through gunfire. After opened (which makes an audible noise), after a brief period they close again, ready to be reused by another human. Always swing by boxes and pick up ammunition.


When enabled on the server in the later patches, the exosuit is available to humans (both Marines and Corporates). Exosuits are effectively equipment, and can be deployed by walking up to them (the cursor will change to the "use" icon), and hitting the use key. The occupant may also exit at any time but hitting the use key again. The exosuit has four weapons at its disposal, arranged in two banks; select between each bank with the 1 and 2 keys; alternate between the weapons in each bank with the standard fire and alternate fire keys. The four weapons are: flamethrower, laser cannon, rocket launcher, and minigun (unlike the standalone minigun, the minigun's barrel cannot be prespun to reduce the delay between pulling the trigger and bullets going out). All except the laser cannon have limited ammunition available; when you run out, it's gone. The laser cannon gets its shots from an energy pool which regenerates slowly over time, but only when remaining stationary; the energy pool is also depleted by extended jumping. Exosuits themselves take damage, independent of its occupant. Exosuits are also immune to facehugger attacks in lifecycle games. Servers with exosuits usually end up being a race for the exosuit, and the equivalent of king of the mountain. A human in an exosuit can practically run the field until he is taken down.

Mobile sentry gun (Primal Hunt)

The mobile sentry gun is only available in single player.

Turret gun (Primal Hunt)

The turrent gun is only available in single player.

Copyright © 2001-2017 by Erik Max Francis. All rights reserved.

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