Guide for Beginners

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Revision as of 03:30, 23 July 2023 by Aligote (talk | contribs) (Revisions on Global Antag Candidacy section.)
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Useful Resources

Welcome to Nanotrasen and congratulations on your new career!

Space Station 13 (often abbreviated as SS13) is an engaging multiplayer roleplaying game.
As a participant, you'll assume the persona of a space station worker. Among the myriad of SS13 servers, Paradise Station stands out with its unique roles and diverse gameplay opportunities.

As a medium role-playing (MRP) server, Paradise Station encourages a balanced blend of in-character gameplay and narrative exploration.

As a newcomer, you might want to familiarize yourself with the Controls we use. Additionally, if roleplay is a new territory for you, we highly recommend browsing our roleplay guide. If any queries arise, feel free to ask them either on our forums or in our Discord channel.

The Server Rules

Please read the server rules.

The server rules help create an enjoyable atmosphere for all and punish users who interfere with the enjoyment of other players or adversely affect the community and server. Space Law largely dictates what you are and aren't allowed to do while playing.

We recommend that you read Space Law and Standard Operating Procedure, especially if you wish to play essential roles such as Security or Command.

Joining the Server

A screenshot of the BYOND client with the Paradise SS13 server highlighted in yellow.

To get started with SS13, follow these steps:

  1. Download and install the BYOND client.
  2. Register for a BYOND account.

Afterwards, join Paradise via one of the following methods:
a) Select the server from within the BYOND client.
b) Click "Open..." located beneath the "Games" tab on the client's left panel, and manually input the Paradise server address:

Tip: You can bookmark the server for easy access in future sessions.

If you've successfully connected to the server, congratulations!

Prior to embarking on your game journey, we suggest setting up your character next.

The joining and setup panel.

Character Setup

The character setup screen.
Special role settings located in Game Preferences.
Loadout screen.

The Character Setup screen lets you personalize your character, encompassing name, species, and appearance.
This is also where you set your preferred roles for gameplay. More on this in the Occupation Preferences section.


Name: Choose a realistic name per the rules. Vary your name choice depending on your character's gender and species. As a Human, use a first and last name. Avoid comical or famous names. For random, lore-appropriate names, use the randomize option.

Gender: This alters your character's body type and scream voice. Options are male, female, or gender-neutral.

Age: This is only displayed on in-game security and medical records, and doesn't change your character's looks.

Species: The default is Human. Options like Tajaran, Vulpkanin, and Unathi exist.
Refer to the lore page for all playable species.Some species might need karma to unlock.

Secondary Language: Galactic Common is the primary language on SS13 and all crew members understand it.
Choose a secondary language like Tradeband, Clownish, or Gutter. Check Languages for language options and switching instructions.

Blood type: This determines the type of blood transfusion you would need.

Disabilities: Choose different disabilities here.

Nanotrasen Relation: Define your character's relationship with Nanotrasen. This is only for roleplay purposes.

Appearance Options: Alter your character's physical traits. Options vary based on species.

Flavor Text: This is your physical description and will show when players examine you in-game and should only contain information that other characters could see from a glance. Keep it brief.

Character Records

The Character Records screen lets you set your character's medical and security records, accessible in-game by Medical Doctors and Security Officers.

Use this as an RP tool to develop your character. Remember, these are official records, so keep the tone formal.

Your records do not belong in your flavor text.

Check the "Employment Records" to display your character's previous jobs.

Game Preferences (Antagonists)

This section lets you choose if you'd prefer to play as an antagonist in a round. Being an antagonist isn't guaranteed.
As a new player, you can't be an antagonist until you've played for a few days.

The non-antagonist roles include:

  • pAI: You can rejoin the game as a Personal AI during observation or post-death. Won't happen without confirmation from you, so keep it enabled.
  • Sentient Animal: If Xenobiology creates them, you can become a sentient animal when dead or observing.
  • Positronic Brain: This lets you become a positronic brain when dead or observing, from which Roboticists can create a Cyborg or Artificial Intelligence.


The Loadout screen lets you equip several items for your character. You get five loadout points to spend on various items like suits, coats, rocks, and much more! The possibilities are endless! Some items are restricted to occupation, however.

Saving your character

Use the "Save Setup" button to store your character, occupation preferences, and antagonist choices in the database.

Global Antag Candidacy

If you have any antagonist preference set to yes, the Setup Panel will have an option for Global Antag Candidacy Cropped.png. This option will allow you to be eligible for some antagonist roles you accepted, this includes round-start antagonists and auto traitors. Otherwise, the setting makes sure you aren't eligible for any antagonist roles while spawning in.

Occupation Preferences

The job preferences panel.

Your occupation is your most important choice on the server. It affects your station access, rank, authority, equipment, and purpose in life. The roles available to you are listed in the Occupation Preferences.

Job Assignment

Except for Assistant, all job preferences have four levels: NEVER, Low, Medium, and High. These change how likely the server will assign you that job when it compares your preferences to other players. You may only mark one job High, but there are no limits otherwise.

Because of the diversity and range of jobs available, there are many ways to play the game. However, many jobs 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:

  • Assistant: The most basic of all occupations, the assistant has no authority and, generally speaking, no responsibilities. It's an excellent opportunity to learn the game mechanics, but your access is limited. Ask others if you can help; they'll usually be happy to show you around their department and help you learn the ropes. It also lets you practice roleplaying if you're still unsure about it. Unlike other roles, Assistant can only be set to No or Yes. If Assistant is set to Yes, all other roles are disabled.
  • Cargo Technician: A basic yet practical job that is easy to pick up and will help you learn most 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.
  • Janitor: A simple but 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 relatively simple job that gives you an excellent introduction to mixing ingredients. The Guide to Food and Drinks is invaluable for kickstarting 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. Drink recipes are available in the Guide to Food and Drinks. You'd be surprised at some of the stuff you can make, so try it out!

If you're interested in other jobs, browse the Job guides. Avoid any security, engineering, and command positions until you get the 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 job ban.)

Playing the Game

Great job! You've crafted a character and chosen a job. Before you jump into your new role, let's cover a few more aspects of the game.

Starting the round

A round begins with a brief period for players to chat and ready themselves. This is where your job preferences apply.

However, you may frequently join in the middle of a round. Clicking on Join Game! shows available jobs.

Once you spawn on the map, you'll start at the Arrivals Shuttle, announced by the Arrivals Announcement Computer or the AI. You can either proceed to your workplace or explore.
Click the for Map button in the top right corner of your game window for a station layout.

Also, click View the Crew Manifest to see who else is on the station.

The User Interface

The user interface might appear daunting initially, but understanding its elements will make navigation easier. The table below presents the elements in the example image.

HUD Clean.png
Icon Explanation Icon Explanation
Your Hands
Right hand midnight.pngLeft hand midnight.png
Your hands are used Individually.
(See Your Hands & You)
Mask Slot
Mask Slot.png
Vital Slot to remember when air is sparse!
This is for various mask types.
Your Inventory
UI Inventory.png
Left-Clicking this will open to show more icons
let's go over them below
Ear Slots
Earwear Slot.png
Mainly used for radio headsets, make sure you have yours equipped!
Shoes Slot
Shoes Slot.png
This is where you wear any shoes
(like Magboots)
Head Slot
Headgear Slot.png
This is where you'll equip various helmets and hats
Suit Storage
Suit Storage Slot.png
When you are wearing a "suit" you will be able to use this storage ID Slot
ID Slot.png
When your ID is equipped here, you'll show off who you are to others
because your character will pin your ID to your uniform
Uniform Slot
Jumpsuit Slot.png
Your main clothing slot, removing this will drop
ID, PDA, and pocket contents!
Belt Slot
Belt Slot.png
Equipping a belt here can act as a smaller backpack like
container for items, useful for Engineers
Suit Slot
External Wear Slot.png
This slot is for exosuits, jackets, and other garments
that go over your uniform.
Back Slot
Backpack Slot.png
Your backpack will go here; you'll be able to store lots of things here
Gloves Slot
Gloves Slot.png
An important slot for various needed gloves
(Insulated Gloves, Medical Gloves, etc.)
Pocket Slots
Pocket slot.png
Two pockets for whatever you want easy access to
Glasses Slot
Eyewear Slot.png
The slot to equip your shades! PDA Slot
PDA slot.png
Your PDA will go here, be sure to
(see PDA for more info)
Icon Explanation Icon Explanation Icon Explanation
Intent cycle.gif
Intents define what some controls do
(See Intent & Position)
Status effects.gif
There are various status effects in-game
Mouse over them to see what they are
Low "Air"
Low air.gif
Depending on Racial traits, you'll see
this warning when the air you breathe is low!
Health cycle.gif
This indicator shows your current well-being Pull
Pull icon.png
You'll see this appear when pulling something,
(Left-Click this to stop pulling)
Low Toxins
Low tox.gif
Toxin levels are too low in this area!
Hunger yoyo.gif
You'll eventually get hungry while on shift,
Make sure not to eat too much or too little!
Resist icon.png
Click this to resist being grabbed/cuffed,
(if on fire, you'll stop, drop, and roll!)
High Air
High air.gif
The Gas shown is too high in volume for you!
(Toggle Mask & Internals!)
Too Hot
Warn hot.gif
The temperature is too hot for you! Scram! Drop
Drop icon.png
This will make you drop your currently held item High Toxins
High tox.gif
Toxins levels in this area are too high!
Too Cold
Warn cold.gif
The temperature is too cold for you! Scram! Throwing On/Off
Throw on icon.png
Toggle throwing objects On/Off Low Pressure
Low pressure warning.gif
Outside Pressure is too low, you'll want
a space suit, or you'll die!


We suggest checking out the Controls page for essential information on controlling your character.

Default Keybindings

SS13's controls vary across servers. At Paradise Station, controls are keybindings that can be adjusted in the Character Setup before a round. Although the game can be complex, don't get discouraged!

Below are some basic mouse-related controls and an image of the default keybindings:

Shortcut/Key Combo Action
Pick up Items Left-Click on target item
(must be within reach)
Open Containers Left-Click on the target Container or Backpack
Attack Left-Click(with object in hand)
Left-Click w/ Harm Intent
Using Consoles/Object Left-Click the Console or Object
Perform CPR Left-Click with w/ Help Intent
on a "medically challenged" individual
Examine Object Shift + Left-Click
Pull Object Ctrl + Left-Click
Crawl into Vents Alt + Left-Click
See Item Interactions for more uncommon actions using Alt+LC
Point finger/Aim weapon Press Middle Mouse Wheel + Left-Click
Access Someone's Inventory Left-Click(Hold) on the target, drag the mouse to yourself,
then release Left-Click
Buckle into Seat Left-Click(Hold) on yourself, drag the mouse to a chair,
then release Left-Click
Unbuckle (self/other) Left-Click the chair you/someone is buckled into
Empty Backpack/Containers While it's in your hand, Left-Click(hold) on the backpack,
drag to a table or other surface, then release Left-Click
Climb over/ on top Left-Click(hold) on yourself, drag the mouse to the obstacle,
then release Left-Click

In-game Communication

To interact verbally within the game, use the "say" and "me" command keys.
Open the say dialog with T to chat with others as your character.
The me command, activated with M, lets you perform specific actions for added depth.

Here's a brief overview:

Key/Type What you type in What others see Relative Notes
T / Say hello world ExampleMan says, "Hello world" You'll notice the chat system will automatically change your result based on certain factors (i.e., Punctuation, Drunkenness, Injuries, and Shock.) While other factors will only be seen by other players, like speaking different languages. Additionally, the game will capitalize the first letter in your input.
T / Shout hello world! ExampleMan shouts, "Hello world!"
T / Ask hello world? ExampleMan asks, "Hello world?"
T / Whisper :w hello world ExampleMan whispers quietly, "Hello world"
ExampleMan whispers quietly, "****o *****"
ExampleMan whispers something.
A) When adjacent, others see this
B) When two tiles away, others see this
C) three or more tiles away, others will see this
T / Alt Language :? hello world ExampleMan articulates, "Hello world""
ExampleMan articulates, "Linkabota vech""
A) When others know your language
B) When others don't know your language
T / Specific Words in Language well :? hello :9 world ExampleMan says, "Well Idivyek world" :9 is Galactic Common, so we're just swapping back to common after one word in another language
T / Mixed Languages :1 hello :? world ExampleMan says, "Hello Bulobs"
The outcomes could be: 1) Understand both languages / 2 or 3 ) Others could understand one word or the other
4) Both are in different languages. (This example is 2/3)
T / Emote *nod ExampleMan nods his head. Type *help in-game for available emotes.
M / Me scratches his head and raises one brow. ExampleMan scratches his head and raises one brow. Notice I had to type the period for it to be there, and there wasn't auto-capitalization either
Megaphone.png / Using Megaphone hello world ExampleMan broadcasts, "Hello world" You can still use !/? to change up the method of saying it
T / Me (Prefix) ! scratches his head and raises one brow. ExampleMan scratches his head and raises one brow. Notice when you use the prefix, you are using T instead of M

Headsets and Comms

Every crew member receives a headset on arrival, facilitating communication on specific frequencies. Wall-mounted intercoms are also accessible.
To communicate on these devices, prefix your message with the right channel code. Each device can operate in "Hot-Mic" mode, transmitting any nearby chatter with prefixes.

Headset Intercom Station Bounced Radio
Headset.pngUses Prefixes Below Wallradio.pngTo use a wall-mounted intercom, stand near it and use the :i prefix Station Bounced Radio.pngThese prefixes can be used for any headset/radio in your :right or :left hand
Prefix What you type in What others see
; ; hello world [Common] ExampleMan says, "Hello world"
:s :s hello world [Security] ExampleMan says, "Hello world"
:c :c hello world [Command] ExampleMan says, "Hello world"
:e :e hello world [Engineering] ExampleMan says, "Hello world"
:u :u hello world [Supply] ExampleMan says, "Hello world"
:m :m hello world [Medical] ExampleMan says, "Hello world"
:n :n hello world [Science] ExampleMan says, "Hello world"
:z :z hello world [Service] ExampleMan says, "Hello world"
:x :x hello world [Procedure] ExampleMan says, "Hello world"


OOC (Out Of Character) and LOOC (Local Out Of Character) are methods to communicate with players directly, not as your character.
OOC is for pre/post-round chats and requires the O key. During the round, OOC is inactive.
LOOC is used during the game for local-area broadcasting and requires the L key.

OOC: ExampleMan: Hello World
LOOC: ExampleMan: Hello World

Extra Help

Server-based abbreviations are often utilized. For a complete list of acronyms, see the Glossary.

Abbreviation Meaning
AI Artificial Intelligence
HOP Head of Personnel
CE Chief Engineer
CMO Chief Medical Officer
NTRep/NTR Nanotrasen Representative
HOS Head of Security
RD Research Director
Blueshield Blueshield officer
Lethals Lethal weapons from the Secure Armoury
Lings/Clings Changelings

Further guidance is available from the guides, from admins or mentors on our Discord channel.

What To Do Now

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 wishes to do this probably hasn't and won't read this guide. New players might think that the game objective is to kill everyone, but 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, and make friends with their characters in-game.
  • Make yourself known on the forums: The server is home to a group of players who 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. It is more fun, and 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 play them properly.
  • 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, That's what this is all about!

Welcome aboard the NSS Cyberiad. Have an efficient and productive day!

Need More Guidance?

If you ever need more advice on gameplay or are unsure about any specific rules, we have the Mentor Help and Admin Help features readily available in-game. Generally, there's always someone online who can assist with your queries, so don't hesitate to ask. To access these options, press F1 and select Mentor or Admin Help, or navigate to the Admin tab and click Admin Help. Choose your preference, type your message, and await a response. You'll hear a 'bwoink' sound when your message gets a reply, which will appear in the chatbox with a clickable link for any required follow-up.

While you can use both options for any questions, some matters might be more suitably addressed to mentors or admins.

Mentor Help typically comes in handy when you need to understand something that wouldn't ordinarily be discussed in OOC chat without violating the IC in OOC rule. For example, if you've just spawned as an engineer and wish to learn about construction, Mentor Help is your go-to resource. Mentors can provide a specific answer or guide you to the relevant wiki page for more comprehensive learning.

Admin Help, on the other hand, is your first port of call if you notice someone breaching a rule or need admin confirmation to ensure your planned actions don't violate any rules.
Let's say you're an antagonist planning to wreak havoc by releasing the engine or detonating a bomb. We advise you to inform the admins before you proceed, allowing them to assess your plans.

So, remember, our Admins and Mentors are always ready to assist when you're uncertain about anything. They're here to ensure your time on the server remains fun and enjoyable!