Guide for beginners
Congratulations on your employment by Nanotrasen! This guide will help you; through starting your career.
Space Station 13 is a multiplayer roleplaying game developed using the BYOND engine. In Space Station 13 (from here on to be referred to as SS13), players take the role/job of workers on board a space station. For a more advanced explanation of the lore please check out the backstory on Nanotrasen.
The Server Rules
Yes, there are rules, but while you might think this is a bad thing, they help to create an enjoyable atmosphere for players and punish those who like to release the Singularity onto the station every shift. They are quite relaxed. For example, most things that are breaking Space Law will be handled by the Station's Security Team. Please take a moment to read the rules. It is also recommended that you read Space Law and Standard Operating Procedure, especially playing important roles such as Security or Command.
Joining the Server
Assuming you haven't already joined the server before, there are a few steps you will need to do:
- Download the BYOND client from . You'll need it to run the game
- Register for a BYOND account here.
- Add this server to your bookmarks, or just manually using the BYOND client. byond://byond.paradisestation.org:6666
- OR select our name from the "Space Station 13" list of servers, we are usually at the top.
To manually connect to the BYOND server:
- using your client click "open" under the games category.
- Type in the URL of the server byond://byond.paradisestation.org:6666
- Click ok.
If it went well you should be connected, congratulations! You're on the server! Before you charge at the game it is recommended that you set up a character.
Cosmetics have no actual effect on gameplay, but we all know that drip is everything. Take your time to make yourself more than presentable.
- Name: As stated in the rules, it is required that all characters have a believable name. Restrictions can be different based on race. It is highly recommended to consult the relevant lore of your character's species before trying for your own name. Alternatively, you can randomize your character's name based on gender. Generally, your name should be coherent, include a Forename and a Surname, and not be a blatant joke or reference to a real-life figure. I am looking at you everyone who wants to be called John Cena!
- Gender: Self-explanatory. This changes only a few things, such as the style of clothing and your character's voice when you scream. It's either male, female, or gender-neutral in some cases.
- Age: The only cosmetic setting that is useless. It will only appear on in-game security and medical records and won't change your character's appearance. Meant for fluff.
- Species: You have a wide selection of species choices. These include: humans (the default species), Tajaran, Vulpkanin, Unathi, Diona, and Skrell. More species can be unlocked with karma points awarded by other players. These include: Machine people (AKA IPCs), Kidan, Drask, Vox, Slime People, and Plasmamen. Although we all know the best race is
- Secondary Language: You can also choose a secondary language like "Tradeband", "Clownish" or "Gutter". It is recommended that you read the descriptions of the languages and keep their origins and uses in mind when selecting them. Each species also has their own extra species-specific language.
- Blood type: This affects what kind of blood transfusion the doctors have to give you when you almost bleed out again.
- Disabilities: Quite self-explanatory, here you can choose different disabilities. Examples include lisps, being Swedish, or colorblindness.
- Nanotrasen Relation: What is your character's relationship with the god corporation Nanotrasen? Again, this is a fluff option, and it only affects RP.
- Appearance Options: Change the colour of your character's hair, skin etc. These options will change depending on the species you will play as.
This is quite an important option as it will allow you to change which jobs you like to play in the round. While this won't take effect after the round has started, you can set preferences for jobs at the start of the round. Also note that if you don't ready up at the beginning of the game, you will not join the station on roundstart and you just set all those occupations up for nothing.
Flavour text is like your physical description. It will be seen when people examine you in-game and should only contain information that could be gleaned from looking at you. Things like approximate hight, skin color, eye color, scars, and posture should all be included. Try to keep it short and snappy, a paragraph at most.
This is mostly a fun little RP tool that can be used to help flesh out your character more. However, since it appears in-game as an official record, it should be written as such. Try to write it as you would expect from a large company like NanoTrasen. Something official and serious. "Yeah I went to jail once" is not an acceptable example of what a security record should look like.
Use these to spice up your character and give them multiple dimensions and know that they aren't set in stone. You can edit these whenever you'd like when not in a round. Want to rewrite your character's past? Go nuts.
Do not put your records in your flavour text. Flavour Text is meant for your Physical Description.
There is also the "Employment Records" which can show your character's past occupation history. This can be viewed by a number of people, including the Head of Personnel and the captain.
Game Preferences (Antagonists)
In this section you can choose to turn on and off preferences to be antagonists in the round. Turning these on does not guarantee you will be an antagonist. You are simply saying you would like to be one. However, as a new player, you are not eligible to play as an antagonist until you have a few days on record.
The non-antagonist roles listed here are:
-PAI: A Personal AI device. With this enabled, you will be able to become a Personal AI when observing the round or after death. This will never happen without you confirming it at the time, so you should leave this option on.
-Sentient Animal: This will enable you to rejoin the round as a sentient animal when dead or observing, provided Xenobiology create them.
-Positronic Brain: When dead or observing, this option will make you eligible to become a positronic brain- as with becoming a pAI, you will also have to opt-in at the time. A positronic brain can be used to create a Cyborg or Artificial Intelligence.
Saving your character
Clicking the "save slot" button will save your character to the database along with your occupation preferences and your antagonist choices.
Your occupation is by far the most important thing you will choose on the server. It affects your station access, rank, authority, equipment, and purpose in life. These range from civilian jobs such as Chefs or Janitors, all the way up to Head of Security or the Captain.
With the exception of Assistant, all job preferences have four levels: Never, Low, Medium, and High. These change how likely the server is to assign you that job when it compares your preferences with those of the other players. You may only select a single job on 'High', but there are no limits otherwise. Jobs will have different radio frequencies and keys you must know to effectively communicate with the department. Please visit Clothes and Internals to learn this.
Because of the diversity and range of jobs available, there are many ways to play the game. A lot of these jobs, however, require a good knowledge of the game mechanics, the layout of the station, and how to use in-game tools and machinery. Because of this, the following jobs are recommended for new players:
- Civilian: The most basic of all occupations, the civilian and its variants have no authority and, generally speaking, no responsibilities. It's an excellent opportunity to learn the game mechanics — but your access is limited, so feel free to ask other people if you can help, and they'll usually be happy to show you around their department and help you learn the ropes. Civilian is also a good role to get experience with friendly roleplaying with your fellow crewmates or to just kick back and relax. Unlike all other roles, this cannot be set into the four levels stated above, you can only select either Yes or No.
- Cargo Technician A basic, yet practical job that is easy to pick up and will help you learn the majority of the game's controls. Working under the Quartermaster, you're tasked with ordering supplies and delivering them to the relevant department, to ensure the station is well-equipped.
- Quartermaster Similar to the Cargo Technician, yet they are in charge of the cargo technicians and the shaft miners. Requires very little knowledge and is a great job to get the hang of a role with at least a little authority to start with.
- Janitor: A simple, if menial job that involves replacing lightbulbs, cleaning up messes, putting out wet floor signs, and then pointing them out to people who've slipped on the floor you just finished mopping. Your only responsibilities are to keep the station clean and well-lit, and it'll help you learn your way around the station and its various departments.
- Chef: A fairly simple job that gives you a good introduction to mixing ingredients, and there's even the possibility of cake into the bargain. Recipes are available here, to help kickstart a budding Chef's career.
- Bartender: Like the Chef, but with more alcohol. The Bartender's job is primarily mixing and serving drinks to a thirsty crew. The recipes are also available here. You'd be surprised at some of the stuff you can make, so try it out!
If you're interested in other jobs, feel free to browse the Job guides. Try to avoid any security, engineering, and command positions until you get a hang of the game. This is especially true of the Head of Security, Head of Personnel, Captain and Security Officer positions. (Jumping into a position you're not prepared to do is a guaranteed way of making people angry at you, and possibly earning a jobban.)
Playing the game
Congratulations you have made it this far, you now have a character, a job and I am sure you're ready to jump straight into your new role! Well, hold your horses cause we got a bit more talking to do.
Starting the round
Each round begins with a short period where people can chat and declare themselves ready for the round, this where your job preferences come in!
However, more often then not you will join halfway through a round. By clicking join you can see a list of jobs currently available to the server, they might not be the best jobs but they are still jobs. You can also click "View the Crew Manifest" to see who is onboard the station. When you spawn onto the map you will start in the Arrivals Shuttle and will be introduced by the Arrivals Announcement Computer or the AI. From there, you can either head over to your workplace and get started or explore a bit first. There is a page on the map if you would like to have a map of the station.
How to operate your headset
The Headset is one of the most important pieces of equipment you will acquire onboard SS13.
It takes the shape of a length of wire and is used to converse with other crew members who are not in your immediate vicinity. the other piece of Equipment useful for this is the Station Intercom System, which requires you being in range, and turning said intercom on. There are also Station Bounced Radios which you need to hold into your hand.
You speak into your headset by adding a semicolon after the say command, like this:
say "; Can anyone hear me?"
All radio equipment is set to a frequency and will only communicate with other equipment set to that frequency. The Screwdriver can be used on a headset to withdraw that headset's encryption keys, which are what allows them to speak on certain frequencies, and can be then deposited into other headsets. Different frequencies can be spoken on like so:
Security - say ":s Can anyone hear me?" Command - say ":c Can anyone hear me?" Engineering - say ":e Can anyone hear me?" Supply - say ":u Can anyone hear me?" Medical - say ":m Can anyone hear me?" Science - say ":n Can anyone hear me?" Service - say ":z Can anyone hear me?" Procedure - say ":x Can anyone hear me?"
Using an :h in place of any of the other letters will automatically broadcast your message over the most prominent (according to the chain of command) frequency available to your headset. Also, note that # and . can be used in place of the colon. If you forget which letter corresponds to which department, you can always examine your headset to figure it out.
You can also make headsets and radios broadcast everything you say, by taking it into your hand and enabling the speaker. Don't do this if you're having normal hallway conversations, as it can be a bit spammy.
To emote over your headset, prefix the message with an exclamation point, like so:
This works in departmental channels as well.
The headset has its inventory slot, and there is no reason to ever remove your Headset, as nothing else fits in its slot except earmuffs and pens.
Things not to do
While this should already be pretty obvious, do not do the following:
- Randomly kill people: While this is stated in the rules as not allowed, anyone who wished to do this probably hasn't and won't read this guide. New players might think that game objective to kill everyone, I cannot stress enough that it is not.
- Get a job change: This is fine for experienced players but if you have just joined the server you should not go and get a job change to a role you have not unlocked and don't know how to play.
- Report false antagonists: Please don't report people you think "might" be antagonists. Unless you have proof please don't report them. You will most likely waste security's time and the time of the person you reported.
Things you should do
- Have fun.
- Talk to other people on the server, make friends with their characters in game.
The User Interface
This is a general guide to the game interface; note that it won't be accurate to all UI styles, nor are all the elements shown in the image at right.
- 1. Clothing: Anything your character is wearing. Clicking the backpack icon on the bottom left will hide this menu.
- 2. Hands: The items you're holding in your hands. The hand you're currently using will be highlighted, and you can switch hands by clicking the appropriate hand or clicking 'Swap'. (Keyboard shortcut: Page-Up or X if it's in Hotkey mode.)
- 3. Pockets: Your jumpsuit has pockets, and anything in them is displayed here. You won't be able to use them if you're naked.
- 4. Actions:
- Let go: This button appears if you are pulling an object or a mob (ctrl+click). (Not shown)
- Resist: If you are buckled, cuffed, or trapped in a locker, clicking this button activates the process of getting out.
- Drop: Immediately let go of the item you're holding. (Keyboard shortcut: Home or Q if it's in Hotkey mode.)
- Throw: Toggle throwing; you can then throw the item in your active hand by clicking something to throw it at. (Keyboard shortcut: End or R if it's in Hotkey mode.)
- Movement Speed: This will toggle whether you run or walk. Walking is slower but safer, and you won't slip as easily.
- 5. Intent: This selects how you will interact with an object or a person when you make an action. Blue is Disarm, green is Help, yellow is Grab, and red is Harm. (Keyboard shortcuts, 1 for Help, 2 for Disarm, 3 for Grab and 4 for Harm)
- 6. Body Target: Shows which part of the body you will interact with, whether helping or harming. To change this, click on the different parts of the body.
- 7. Weapon Mode: Obsolete, this UI was removed.
- 8. Status Icons: In the new, lighter UI styles, most of these are only visible if something's out-of-the-ordinary.
- Heat Warning: Appears if the air you're breathing is superheated. Usually shows up near fires.
- Oxygen Warning: Appears if the air you're breathing has too much or too little oxygen. If you linger too long, you'll eventually pass out and slowly choke or asphyxiate respectively.
- Pressure Warning: Appears if air pressure is too high or too low.
- Internals: Shows whether you are running on internals (an oxygen tank and breath mask). If you have them equipped, clicking this will switch them on or off.
- Health: Fades to red as you take more damage. If it flashes with the word CRIT, it means you are close to death and require immediate medical attention. If your character is in serious pain, your indicator will make you appear more injured than you are. The Health Doll (located below) indicates the damaged areas on different parts of your body.
- Temperature Warning: Appears if your surroundings are too hot or too cold.
- Hunger: Fades from Blue to Green, to Yellow/Orange then Red as you get more hungry. Note that the bar will go, Grey, if you overeat, and you may get fat. See Guide to Food and Drinks for more information.
- 9. ID card slot: This is where your ID card goes.
- 10. Belt slot: This is where items that can be put on belts (e.g camera) or belts (e.g toolbelt) go.
- 11. Back slot: This is where your satchel, backpack, or in some cases a large weapon go.
- 12. PDA slot: You put your PDA here.
Interacting With the World
Interacting with your surroundings in Space Station 13 is mostly done by the mouse. You can click with an empty hand active to pick up items or open containers, click on something with an item in your active hand to use the item on it, click on a computer or device to view its display, and so on. Once you get the hang of managing your character's hands, things will make more sense: you can't, for example, open a toolbox in your left hand if your right hand is full.
A good way of interpreting the interaction system in Space Station 13 is to think of each click as 'using' the object (or hand) on whatever you're clicking on. For instance, to use a computer in real life, you'd essentially 'use' an empty hand on it to start typing. Using an empty hand on an object will pick it up if you can hold it. Holding an item in your hand and clicking on something can result in three things:
- If the object in hand is meant to be used with the object you're clicking on, the desired effect should occur. In the case of containers, such as drink bottles or beakers, you'll transfer a certain amount of units (usually 10) of the liquid from the container in your hand to the container you're clicking on. For things like crowbarring the floor, you'll pry off a floor tile.
- If the object in hand is not meant to be used with the object you're clicking on, more often than not (and very annoyingly, sometimes) you'll attack the target with the object. This can result in rather funny cases of hitting people with first aid kits, hitting your drinks machine with a bottle of vodka, etc. Or more dangerously, hitting someone with a crowbar, scalpel, toolbox, etc. This happens to be the most basic form of combat, as well (which will get you banned if you go around trying to do without a very good reason).
- If what you're clicking on is something that stores objects, the object will be taken out of your hand and placed in or on the target. This can be something like a table, opened locker or crate, which will place the object on top of the target, such that drinks will be placed on tables and jumpsuits will be placed in (technically, on) lockers. Objects like boxes and backpacks/satchels, which can be opened to reveal more slots for storing objects, will remove the item from your hand when clicked on, placing it in a slot inside.
It's okay to memorize those, but playing jobs that involve more object handling, such as Chef, Barman or Cargo Tech, will help you understand how the system interprets clicks, and what to expect when trying to use something.
To take items off a person, click the person's sprite with the left mouse button and drag their sprite onto yours.
When you have done that, a popup window should come up and by simply pressing the names of the items you want to take off they will be removed from the person you are striping and appear on the floor underneath them.
With the mouse you can perform the following actions:
- Pick things up (one left mouse click on the object when having a free hand selected).
- Switch hands (one left mouse click on the button that has a picture of two hands).
- Drop what you are holding in the selected hand (one left mouse click on the button that says "Drop")
- Attack (one left mouse click to attack once with the object you are holding in the selected hand OR one left mouse click while unarmed while having the intent set to 'harm').
- Pull (right-click on the item, in the drop-down box select the item and click "pull", to let go of what you are pulling, click the button in the very bottom right corner, the person standing next to a box. Keyboard shortcut: Crtl + Left Click).
- Use consoles and objects (one left mouse click when having a free hand selected).
- Examine what is on the tile your mouse is on (right-click on the item, in the drop-down box select the item and click "examine". Keyboard shortcut: Shift + Left Click).
- Grab (one left mouse click on the person while having "intent" set on "grab").
- Use objects on people (one left mouse click on the person while having the object in the selected hand, same as "attack").
- Help/Perform CPR (one left mouse click on the person while having intent set on "help").
- You can press Shift+(Arrow Key) to change the direction you're facing.
- Transfer (Transferring one item into another), choose the hand with an item in and click on your other hand. Useful for putting things in briefcases or your backpack.
- See the Keyboard Shortcuts page, for more commands.
Interacting with Other People
Paradise is a medium-RP server, and so your interactions with those around you are going to be somewhat important. You're not expected to constantly roleplay to the highest level or remain completely serious, but try to maintain immersion and don't interrupt people who enjoy roleplaying on a higher level than you do. The commands you will be using to interact with people include:
- Say:, Speak to those in your sight. You can prefix your message a semicolon (;) to talk on the general radio channel, if you have a headset, or a colon and a letter to talk on your department radio channel; :h will always broadcast to your headset's main channel. (You can examine headsets to see which channels they can access.) Prefixing your message with an asterisk (*) followed by a specific word will perform the relevant emote if it exists, which may include a sound effect. Type Say"*help" whilst in-game for a full list.
- Whisper: Speak quietly, only audible to those right next to you. Anyone farther away will be told that you're whispering something and will be able to see a letter of two of what you're saying. As a shortcut, the say command accepts :w as a prefix, which will have your character whisper instead of speak at a normal volume.
- Me: Lets you narrate your character's actions in an emote. This will have your character's make in front of the text. (e.x. Me "shakes his head")
- OOC: Speak to everyone currently playing, in an Out-Of-Character way. This can be used to ask about game mechanics and other things not concerning the game. Try not to mention events happening in the game in OOC, as everyone can see it; revealing too much about the current round is a good way to get banned...
- LOOC: Speak to people locally, out of character. Useful for asking out-of-character questions to nearby players, or attempting to cooperate to resolve a glitch. Avoid using LOOC to discuss the current events, or using it as an attempt to circumvent IC, for example by threatening to contact the admins if someone doesn't do what you say.
Here's a quick list of the different radio keys: (NOTE: YOUR HEADSET MUST HAVE THE CHANNELS TO USE THEM. EXAMINE THE HEADSET TO DETERMINE IF THEY DO)
- :h Will send your message to your department's channel or the antagonist channel your radio is currently equipped with, should you be one.
- :i Enables you to speak through the station intercom, as long as you are standing adjacent to it.
- :l or :r Enables you to speak through the station-bounced radio, as long as you are holding to it as well as the hand that your radio is currently in (:l for the left hand, :r for right hand).
- :c Will send the message to the Command Channel
- :s Will send the message to the Security Channel
- :m Will send the message to the Medical Channel
- :e Will send the message to the Engineering Channel
- :u Will send the message to the Cargo Channel
- :n Will send the message to the Research Channel
- :z Will send the message to the Service Channel
- :x Will send the message to the Procedure Channel
There are a few keyboard shortcuts for your convenience.
|Drop Held Object||Home||Q||Ctrl + D|
|Toggle Throw Object||End||R||Ctrl+W|
|Activate Held Object||Page Down||Z||Ctrl + A|
|Examine Object||Shift + Click||Shift + Click||Shift + Click|
|Pull Object||Ctrl + Click||Ctrl + Click||Ctrl + Click|
|Stop Pulling Object||Delete||Delete||Delete|
|Switch Intents||Insert||1-4||Ctrl + E/Q|
|Switch Hands||Page Up||X||MMB, Ctrl + S|
|Scroll Text||Ctrl + Up/Down||Ctrl + Up/Down||Ctrl + Up/Down|
|Vent Crawl||Alt + Click||Alt + Click||Alt + Click|
|Toggle Walk/Run||Hold C||Hold C||Hold C|
Many abbreviations are used on the server. For a full listing of commonly used acronyms, see Glossary.
|HOP||Head of Personnel|
|CMO||Chief Medical Officer|
|HOS||Head of Security|
|Lethals||Lethal weapons from the Secure Armoury|
Read up on the other guides there are plenty out there! Or, head over to the discord and chat to the admins and mentors on there, they are always happy to teach you a little extra.
What To Do Now
There's a couple of things to do to help you settle in at Paradise once you've gotten the hang of the game:
- Make yourself known on the forums: The server is home to a group of players whom make up the Paradise community and we love to see new faces, so swing by and introduce yourself!
- Try advanced jobs: Once you feel you have the basics of the game under your belt, don't be afraid to check the job guides on the other positions available. Not only is it more fun, but you might get to help the station!
- Be an antagonist: After you've gotten the basics down, it might be time to try your hand as an antagonist. Here is the best place to learn the basics of the different game modes and how to properly play them.
- Help out the game: If you're good with programming, drawing sprites, telling stories, designing maps, or updating wikis, we could use your help. Head over to the forums and chat with us.
Most importantly, have fun! After all, isn't that we're all here for?
Welcome aboard the NSS Cyberiad, have an efficient and productive day!
Any Further Questions?
Should you find yourself needing more advice on how to play or whether you're breaking a certain rule, you can also use the Mentor Help and Admin Help functions to do so while playing. Generally, there will be at least one person online who can answer any queries you may have, so don't be afraid to do so. To access this, either press F1 and click Mentor or Admin Help, or click on the tab labelled Admin and click Admin Help, then choose your option and type your message. When your message has been replied to, you'll hear a 'bwoink' sound and their message will appear in the chatbox, with a link for you to click so you may reply if necessary
The two options can be used at any time for any questions however specific things may be more suitable to be directed towards mentors and admins.
Mentor Help would usually be used in a situation where you'd like to know more about something that would otherwise not be able to be discussed in OOC chat without breaking the IC in OOC rule. For instance, if you had just spawned in as an engineer and wanted to know more about construction, you could use Mentor Help to ask a mentor for advice. In this case, they would either answer your question, if it's specific, or direct you over to the wiki page so you can learn more.
Admin Help would normally be the thing to use if you spot someone breaking a rule or if you need confirmation from an Admin about something that you're about to do, to ensure you're not breaking any rules. An example would be if you were an antagonist and you wanted to cause chaos on the station by releasing the engine or detonating a devastating bomb. To ensure that the Admins know about, and are okay with, this it is recommended that you let them know before doing it so that they can tell you not to if they don't feel like it is a good idea.
So, now you know that whenever you're in doubt of something you can always rely on the Admins and Mentors to help you. After all, that is why they're here, to make your time playing on the server is as enjoyable as possible!