Guide to Combat

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Space Station 13 combat is quirky, limiting, and also surprisingly enjoyable once you get the hang of it. Colloquially, combat or the state of being good at SS13 combat is known as "robusting"/"being robust", an ironic reference to the clunky controls.


Intents are the backbone of SS13 combat. If you've read the Getting Started page, you may know your intent specifies what you want to do when you click on another player/mob. You can switch between these by click on the Help.png on your HUD, by using CTRL+Q or CTRL+E, or hitting 1 to 4 on your number row (not your numpad; that cycles through body part targeting).

  • Help.png Help: The help intent is the default intent. You'll shake people or yourself awake if you have no items, and get the option to perform CPR (you can choose between chest compressions, chest compressions and mouth-to-mouth, or just mouth-to-mouth) if your hands are empty and you aren't wearing a head covering. Mind you, you'll still hit people with most items if you're holding one, so be careful. You also pass through other people when moving through them. Your gun will fire while on help intent. Moreover, any attack on you will have a higher likelihood to hit. Being buckled to something or lying down on the floor will also nullify the chance of a hit missing.
  • Disarm.png Disarm: A defensive intent. You'll attempt to disarm someone of their weapon or push them over for a very short while. This has a chance of failing, so repeated clicking may be necessary. People cannot run past you with this intent.
  • Grab.png Grab: You'll grab someone passively at first. Moving will be slowed if you try to drag them around, so for transport, pulling is much faster. Putting someone in a grab puts an "object" in your hand; clicking on the object will grab them aggressively (which has a chance of failing) and allow you to put them on a table to make them lie down, handcuff them, or by dragging their sprite to yours, you can fireman carry them. Clicking the "object" again will grab them by the neck. You can then click on the Strangle.png strangle icon on your HUD once to temporarily choke them to disarm them, or double click it to start strangling them. You can also hit someone with your free hand while having him/her in a chokehold, and your victim can do the same. People cannot run past you with this intent.
  • Harm.png Harm: This intent does NOT make you do more damage with melee weapons, but decreases your chance of missing the targeted area. If you have a stun baton however, you'll beat your target instead of stunning them, which knocks them down, but only stuns for a very short amount of time. This is generally a bad thing. With harm intent on, firing a gun at someone with the Normalgun.png manual fire gun system will fire a special point blank shot which does extra damage. With an empty hand you'll punch people for around 5 brute damage, and have a small chance to land a strong hit, which will have various effects depending on the targeted location. People cannot run past you with this intent.

By default, you target the chest whenever you're hitting someone. Targeting body parts matters especially when harm intent is on; a strong hit will cause differing effects depending on where the punch/blow lands. To target a different body part, you can click on the blue doll at the bottom right of your screen, or cycle through the parts with your numpad.

  • A strong hit on the head will cause blurriness and dizziness.
  • A strong hit on the arm will cause the target dropping what he/she is holding.
  • A strong hit on the groin will cause pain damage, which is similar to the damage caused by a stun baton or taser. Essentially, it slows your foe down and makes them slower to react.
  • A strong hit on the chest will send the victim flying to the floor.

Also, if you use the Set Default Attack verb in the IC tab, you can change the default attack your character uses. Other species such as Unathi, Vaurca, and Tajara have special attacks such as powerful bites or claws.

Gun System

A quick refresher on gun safety; holding a gun in your hand will show a small green S, to indicate the safety is on, or a red !, to indicate the safety is off, above the gun's sprite. Clicking anywhere, and we do mean anywhere, on your screen will fire the gun in that direction if your safety is off, so be careful.

To quickly toggle safety on and off, control-click on the gun in your hand. To quickly holster and draw the gun, press H. Shift-clicking on the gun will tell you how many shots or rounds it has left.

On most guns, you will be able to change your firing mode. This is controlled by a tiny button to the right of your hand interface, Toggle Firing Mode. With this, you can switch a ballistic rifle between burst and auto-fire, or a laser between kill and stun.

Unique Action is just underneath Toggle Firing Mode. Clicking this allows you to rack a shotgun or pump a KA.

Apart from that, there are two ways to use guns; the "Aim" or "Fire" system. You can switch between these with the F6 key, or the Normalgun.png gun icon on your HUD.

  • Normalgun.png Fire: This is the default mode for firing guns. Click on someone adjacent to you will cause you to hit them with your gun, unless you're on Harm.png harm intent, in which case you'll fire a point blank shot at them for extra damage, as long as you have ammo. Taser guns have a special extra long stun when adjacent, regardless of intent. To fire at someone on the ground, click specifically on them, or the shot will go over them.
  • Autogun.png Aim: This gun system is useful for taking people hostage. When you turn this on and aim at someone a reticle will appear on them and they'll get a message stating to stop doing anything. After 2 seconds, if they interact with anything, you will automatically fire at them. You can allow them to walk, run, or use items using icons that will appear on your HUD. Clicking in their direction or on them again will fire at them. You can click another person to switch your focus to them. Click your gun again to stop aiming at your target.

Melee System

Like in real life, melee combat in SS13 is largely based on who can get the other on the ground first. To do this, you are recommended to judiciously use the disarm intent, and pin someone down with grab intent. Or, you could push someone down, then beat them over the head with a heavy object until they're at your desired level of injured. (Note: This may get you a stern talking-to from staff, depending on context.)

Also like in real life, any object is better than using your fists. Objects in SS13 are generally divided into a class of light versus heavy. Heavy items do much more damage, but are slower and have a chance to miss. Conversely, light weapons cause less damage, but always hit and swing faster.

The groin and the head are good places to aim if you're looking to stun someone, but this depends on whether or not they're wearing armor or a helmet. If you have a sharp object, like a shard of glass or a knife, aiming for someone's hands means they'll drop the object they're holding, and if you do enough damage, you can even dismember them. This also applies to targeting the head, but you should be careful with trying to decapitate someone. Legs are also a good place to aim if you're looking to stop someone from moving.

Quick Tips


  • Aim for the head. Knock outs when aiming for the head last longer.
  • If they have a helmet, aim for the chest. If they have body armor too, aim for the legs.
  • Click repeatedly.
  • Any object is usually better than your fists. Fire extinguishers especially.
  • Screwdrivers have a special blinding attack when aiming for the eyes.
  • Harm intent is your best bet.
  • If you have a legitimate reason too, use Hyperzine beforehand. It increases your movement speed considerably.


  • Run away.
  • If they're too close, disarm, then run away.
  • If you can't run, aim for the head to get a knock out and then run away.
  • If they give chase, throw objects at them. Some objects, such as metal rods or floor tiles do extra damage when thrown.
  • Stun them, or otherwise attempt to disable them.

And last but not least...

  • Expect to be the one to die.

Grab Intent Moves

Feature Description Trigger Required Target
Jointlocking Causes 40 Halloss Click on victim with grab intent Neck grab Limb
Jointbreaking Dislocates the limb Click on victim with harm intent Neck grab Limb
Eyesquishing Causes 3 to 4 eye damage Click on victim with harm intent Neck grab Eyes
Knifing Causes 60 brute (divided into 3*20) and 60 oxyloss Attack the victim with an edged item Neck grab Head
Headbutting Causes 20 damage to victim and 10 damage to assailant Click on Victim with harm intent Aggressive grab Head
Pinning Pins victims to the ground Click on victim with disarm intent Aggressive grab N/A
Hair Tugging Tugs the victims hair, causing hallos Click on victim with disarm intent Aggressive grab Head(Cannot be wearing a hat)
Blinding Victim can't see Target eyes Aggressive grab Eyes
Muzzling Victim can't speak Target mouth Aggressive grab Mouth
Dancing Constantly facing each other Two people grabbing each other N/A N/A
Buckling Buckles the grabbed person to an object Click on object N/A N/A
Diagnosis Gather damage information about a body part Click on target with help intent Passive Grab Any

Being Careful With Your Experience

In certain situations, you, likely as a non-antagonist will come across a variety of weaponry and neat little gadgets. To keep the playing field fair, and to keep our roleplay believable, it is advised you do not pick up a random gun that, say, a Mercenary has dropped and start shooting his friends. If your civilian Janitor gets caught in a firefight, it's much more likely they'd act with self-preservation and try to get away from the gunfire rather than engaging in it.

But wait, what if my character is ex-military and they-- Even if your character is ex-military, if they're not playing a security role they're probably not equipped to deal with gunfire. The clause of "don't be a hero" applies in the game as well, and if you try to pick up a gun when the situation doesn't call for it you're probably going to get killed and then talked to by an administrator.

Guides of the Aurora
Game Mechanics Getting Started - Guide to Combat - Guide to EVA - Guide to Piloting - Guide to Communication - Corporate Regulations - Stellar Corporate Conglomerate Occupation Qualifications
Command Guide to Command - Guide to Paperwork - Guide to Standard Procedure - Guide to Faxes
Security Guide to Security - Guide to Contraband - Corporate Regulations - Guide to Cadavers
Engineering Guide to Construction - Guide to Advanced Construction - Hacking - Guide to Atmospherics - Supermatter Engine - INDRA Engine - Setting up the Solar Array - Telecommunications - Shields
Medical Guide to Medicine - Guide to Surgery - Guide to Chemistry
Research Guide to Research and Development - Guide to Xenobiology - Guide to Xenobotany - Guide to Xenoarchaeology - Guide to Robotics - Guide to Telescience
Operations Guide to Mining - Guide to Robotics
Civilian Guide to Food - Guide to Drinks - Guide to Hydroponics - Guide to Piloting
Non-human cyborg - AI - Guide to Psionics
Special Mercenary - Ninja - Changeling - Vampire - Raider - Revolutionary - Cultist - Technomancer - Guide to Improvised Weapons - Uplink