After observing a few rounds on the newly updated spiders, and repeating the same advice to prospective spiders over and over only to have most of them ignore that advice and go unga bunga… I think a bit of a guide is in order. Especially with the whiplash of two contrasting updates to spiders in a relatively short span of time.
Meet the spiders
Broodmother - 90 HP, 15 brute, 5u venom
Requires special spawn
The matriarchs of the spider nest that all other spiders should generally obey, protect and serve. All incapacitated prey should be brought to a broodmother for feeding so that she can lay eggs. Broodmothers are able to broadcast commands to all other spiders telepathically in order to coordinate efforts and help spiders regroup after scattering. They can also set and change a permanent directive that will be passed to all spiders including fresh spawns. Additionally, broodmothers have the fastest webspinning available, capable of laying webs almost as fast as they can move. While broodmothers should generally avoid combat themselves due to their importance to the nest, they are very capable when forced to engage; just be aware their reduced speed will make retreat without an established web somewhat difficult.
Nurse - 45 HP, 10 brute, 3u venom
The caretakers of the spider nest and second only to the broodmother in terms of importance to the nest Nests are not likely to succeed without at least one nurse alive to support the others. Nurses are responsible for mending the wounds spiders acquire while hunting and defending; simply click on other spiders to heal them, or yourself if you manage to get injured. When there are no other spiders in need of healing, nurses should use their impressive webbing speed to expand nests outward. Nurses should avoid combat at all costs with their all-around lackluster stats.
Guard - 125 HP, 22 Brute, 1u venom
The gatekeepers and defenders of the nest that keep the nurses and broodmothers safe during attacks. Enemy players can easily push past most spiders if they’re brazen enough, but guards are stalwart enough to hold their ground when pushed against. Guards are substantially slower than other spiders when maneuvering around areas without webbing, but still move at a respectable speed when within webbed areas and get a moderate bonus to webbing speed. Guards are also something of an exception when it comes to conventional spider tactics* due to their lacking venom but exceptionally high HP and physical strength. All of these traits combine to make guards especially well suited to guarding and maintaining the borders of webs in the face of attack. *Unless another spider has already envenomed targets you wish to repel, continually attack them until they are incapacitated or you need to retreat for a Nurse’s aid yourself.
Net Caster - 85 HP, 15 Brute, 3u venom
The closest to a ranger that spiders get, net casters are well-rounded and handy to have at your back in almost any situation. While strictly worse at defense than guards and worse at offense than hunters, this spider packs the unique ability to throw webbing at a range. Other spiders are completely unaffected by flying webs so they can be freely cast from the backlines, but net casters also have enough HP to get up close and personal if necessary. Note that nets do take some time to prepare, so they can’t be readily spammed mid-combat without support
Hunter - 65 HP, 18 Brute, 5u venom
The speedy and powerful hunters of the nest which provide food to the broodmothers. Hunters are the only spider that move at the same speed both on and off webs and are able to incapacitate most targets in as little as two bites, if the venom is given enough time to set in. While powerful and fast, hunters are not very sturdy which makes them especially well suited to conventional spider tactics - hit and run, then bide your time until you’re ready to move in for the kill.
Viper - 35 HP, 8 Brute, 8u special venom
Requires special spawn
The assassin and also the glass cannon, vipers are equally as likely to die before they can bite as they are to be single-handedly responsible for a half dozen victims. Viper venom is powerful enough that it can incapacitate or even kill in as little as a single bite, and it works much more rapidly than other spiders’ venom. Vipers are the only spider to match hunter speed away from webs, and move even faster than hunters when traversing webs. Suffice to say, vipers are generally the most powerful spider, but not without their own weaknesses - While their venom is very fast-acting, it is not instant and an injured viper will rarely survive long enough to seek care from a nurse. Vipers are also almost incapable confronting IPCs and Cyborgs due to their total immunity to venom, and they uniquely face a diminished capacity to fight oozelings as well since their venom relies partially on heavy toxin damage.
Basics and abilities
- All spiders have this ability.
- Broodmothers (4x), Nurses(3x) and Guards(2x) lay webs faster than other spiders
- All spiders except hunters move faster when traversing webbed tiles
- Webs block most projectiles (70% chance) giving spiders retreating from gunfire a safe haven.
- Impede anything that isn’t a spider trying to move over/through them
- Can be stacked up to three times per tile, making them better defenses and harder to clear
- All spiders have this ability, but only broodmothers can use it on prey
- Can be used on anything that is not anchored to the floor
- Anchors anything it is used on to the ground preventing its use, and loosely disguises it
- Crew and anything too large to pick up (lockers for instance) make a human shaped cocoon
- Smaller objects (guns, tools, medkits etc.) produce a small round ball of silk
- Drag anything useful that crew drops when paralyzed away from them and wrap it
- All spiders have venom, though vipers have a special variety detailed further down
- Stamina damage from spider venom is capped at 70, which means slowdown but no stamcrit
- For the first 8 seconds after injection, spider venom only does very minor toxin damage and affects stamina
- After the initial 8 seconds, spider venom starts firing chances to paralyze
- Higher quantities of venom will result in higher paralysis chances
- Every time paralysis triggers, the toxin damage ramps up
- More time elapsed since initial bite will result in higher paralysis chances
- After 60 seconds, paralysis will substantially compromise ability to function regardless of quantity
- 10u of spider venom will last 80 seconds with a healthy, normal liver
- Purgative chemicals such as charcoal react with spider venom almost like hitting fast-forward. The venom is purged like normal, but all effects of the venom ramp up 6x faster.
- Spider venom completely corrupts nanite programs, causing them to drain over time.
- Deals damage equal to half its volume every tick, mixed between toxin and brute.
- Causes histamine to rapidly build up, usually resulting in an overdose
- Overdosing on histamine causes additional toxin and brute damage as well as suffocation
- Due to heavy and layered RNG, the exact outcome of an 8u bite is unpredictable, but the final damage will always be severe even in cases where it is not enough to incapacitate on its own.
- All spiders can vent crawl for the love of god stop shocking yourselves on doors
- Spiders are spaceproof, which means they are vacuum and cold proof (this is a recent change)
- Even if some are being welded shut, it is rare that all paths have been closed to you.
- Scrubbers are occasionally rigged to kill spiders, but vents are nearly always safe - the station would not risk their air supply just to prevent spiders from vent crawling.
Feeding the broodmother
- Broodmothers can feed on dogs, cats, foxes, gondolas, monkeys and most humanoids (not IPCs or skeletons)
- Every time a broodmother feeds, she gains the ability to lay a clutch of eggs
- If a broodmother eats a humanoid, the clutch of eggs laid will be “enriched” and spawn two spiders
- If a broodmother feeds on anything else, the clutch of eggs she lays will only spawn a single spider, and will take twice as long to grow.
- “Enriched” eggs also have a 25% chance of being capable of spawning “special” spiders: Vipers and other Broodmothers.
- If a broodmother has fed multiple times, the multiple “charges” of being fed are kept. When laying eggs, the “enriched” eggs are always laid first.
Spider strategies for taking over the station
Do not simply whack until sideways, Guerilla warfare is key. Even in a 1v1 scenario against unarmored crew with something as rudimentary as a toolbox, the majority of spiders will die in a head-on fight. It might be mutually assured destruction, but crew can be resuscitated and you cannot. Aim to inject 9-12u of venom, then play defensively while you wait for the venom to set in - at least twenty seconds from the first bite. When paralysis begins to take effect, you have a few options: get in an additional bite or two for even more venom, disarm them by snatching their weapon to wrap in a cocoon around a corner, or if you’re in good health and feeling especially brave, grab the victim themselves to drag into nearby webbing which will hinder their movement and make them an easier target.
Utilize webs, even if you aren’t a dedicated webspinner. Webs are the first half of all spiders’ bread and butter. They impede your enemies, give you cover from gunfire and probably make you move faster. Even as a hunter away from the main nest, place some webs around vents you may want to retreat to - blocking a shot while you retreat may be the only reason you survive.
If you’re fighting a losing battle, RUN AWAY. The only spider life more important than yours is the broodmothers. Unless a broodmother is actively under attack and in need of immediate cover, preserve your own life - it is valuable and not as easy to replace as it may seem. If the nest is under siege and the front line is failing - move to a new location and rebuild. Even if the crew is making an active effort to weld vents, it is highly unlikely they successfully welded all of them everywhere.
Think like a spider when picking a nesting location. Unlike most antagonists that prefer chokepoints and cover, spiders like to establish nests in the largest, most open area they can get away with because webs are all the cover they need while simultaneously acting like open tiles only for spiders. Start by webbing the doorways, then the perimeter, and then the interior. The chapel or bridge full of webs is nearly insurmountable without fire. Armory gets double bonus points for both allowing you to cut off weapon supply and having armsky unwittingly defend your nest from armed attackers if it isn’t disabled before you set up, though the armory is a bit smaller.
As a ghost, try to pick spiders the nest needs. Every nest needs at least one broodmother and one nurse, or it is doomed to fail. So long as there is at least one of each of these, feel free to take any role you wish, but a balanced team will generally perform better, which brings us to the final point
Tips for each species
- You do not have to nest in the same location you feed. By all means devour the viro monkeys as an easy first target but then you can hop back in the vent and lay the eggs somewhere else.
- If your current nest is under attack, go lay your eggs somewhere discreet outside of the nest via vents if possible. If the current nest falls, your eggs will still be safe. If the nest survives, they can use those same vents to regroup with you.
- In a very literal sense, don’t put all your eggs in one basket. If things are going well and food is plentiful, reserve some eggs instead of laying them all immediately, or better yet refer to the above point and lay them somewhere else.
- You are the primary source of communication for spiders - make use of your ability to broadcast commands and set new directives. If there is more than one broodmother, it is generally best to cede leadership to those that came before you.
- You have the fastest webbing, make extensive use of this to keep a safe space available for your brood to retreat to.
- With 5u of venom per bite, you need only two bites to neutralize most attackers, given enough time for the venom to work. Broodmothers are a bit slow and may have some difficulty stalling for this time, but will have an easier time baiting crew into traps due to how valuable killing a broodmother is to crew.
- Do everything you can to avoid combat, but if forced into a losing battle get as many bites off as possible before you go.
- Spin as many webs as possible, everywhere you can safely reach. The cover they provide gives you time to heal even in an active combat situation
- It will rarely come into play, but you have greatly increased object damage compared to other spiders. If a door needs to be smashed, you’re the spider for the job.
- Always be the last spiders in the vents during a retreat to ensure the others make it out
- You are the exception to conventional spider tactics and your venom is weak. Unless another, more venomous spider has assisted, do not bother stalling for venom to kick in.
- Dragging opponents into webs is an especially effective tactic for guards given your brute strength and ability to block retreats.
- Remember your body is a solid barricade to others, and this can be especially useful if you can drag someone into webbing at a chokepoint such as a doorway.
- Your thrown nets pass harmlessly through your fellow spiders; if a hunter or guard is available and in good health, provide support for them instead of charging in.
- With only 3u of venom per bite, you will need to manage at least three bites in order to reliably incapacitate prey through stalling for time. Start by trying to get two, and go in for the third when they first fall over.
- If acting as a defender, you will likely be the fastest spider present and will be able to make especially good use of dragging attackers deeper into webs as a result.
- Unlike other the other spiders with respectable health, you are fast enough to make lunges crew outside of the immediate reaches of the web.
- Thrown webs are extremely effective at hindering cyborgs and can especially help your brood gain the upper hand against a lone one.
- With 5u of venom per bite, you need only two bites to neutralize most attackers, given enough time for the venom to work. You can use your speed to keep a safe distance, or even just entirely retreat with the hope of encountering your victim again after some time has passed.
- Do everything you can to avoid breaking doors unless a nurse is immediately present, the shocks do a lot of damage relative to your total HP.
- Vipers should only be chosen over an additional broodmother if the nest has at least two broodmothers.
- Bite once and get away. Additional bites are rarely necessary and even more rarely worth the risk to yourself.
- Just don’t get hit bro.
Crew strategies for exterminating spiders
Crew should also utilize hit and run tactics - don’t be too gung-ho or that venom is going to fuck you over so hard that, contrary to my mutually assured destruction point above, the doctors will probably give up on resurrection when they see 120u of spider venom, which preserves its tick counter through death and resurrection. You have 20 seconds of relative safety after the first bite - use that time to try to eliminate a spider, but make a plan to retreat.
Don’t think you’re being smart by chugging a bottle of charcoal or a 50u pentetic acid pill before engaging spiders. Purgative chemicals react with spider venom and dramatically increase the rate at which paralysis racks up, even invalidating the 20-second safety window. They will still function as a purge, but are very likely to leave you completely paralyzed for the entire duration of the purge.
Mechs and Cyborgs cannot be poisoned though they are still greatly hindered by web, the immunity to poison and generally high resistance to damage makes them very good at taking spiders head-on. Be especially wary of guards because they have enough brute strength to still be a major threat, but most other spiders will cower and run away in the face of a machine.
Fire is very effective at destroying spider webs whether it’s Chlorine Triflouride from chemistry, a flamethrower from atmos or even just a welding tool, webs are very susceptible to fire. Chlorine Triflouride in a spray bottle set to stream is one of the most effective tools at destroying a nest without putting your fellow spessmans at (much) risk. Welding tools and other source of burn damage can also break webs without getting stuck in them. Flamethrowers will render the area inhospitable but will quickly destroy an entire nest and cripple any spiders present as well.
General spider info
- Net Casters are well-rounded and have a ranged projectile that can be shot through other spiders
- Guards should stick to defending webs and support spiders
- Hunters should leave the web to find food for the broodmother(s)
- Vipers are very fragile assassins that can kill with as little as one bite. Bite once and run.
- Nurses are fragile healers. Click other spiders to restore their HP. Lay webs in your downtime
- Broodmothers feed by using wrap on food. Feeding allows them to lay eggs. Lay webs too.
- Except for guards all spiders should rely primarily on venom and strategic retreats to kill. Do not mindlessly pursue targets and click them until horizontal.
- Use vents to get around - Attacking doors has a chance to shock and should only be done with nurses on standby
- Lay webs every chance you can - Webs block gunfire. Webs dramatically slow progress by non-spiders. Webs make spiders walking on them move faster. Utilize and rely on webs.
- Wrap items in cocoons - Players cannot identify what an item in a cocoon is without spending the time to smash it open. If a victim drops a weapon, drag it back into the web and wrap it up.
- Run the fuck away - A living spider is more valuable to the spider collective than any specific nest location or set of webs are. If vents are open anywhere in the area, utilize them to re-nest elsewhere when facing overwhelming force.
- Broodmothers - You don’t have to lay all your eggs immediately after feeding. Saving a couple in case of a forced relocation is good. Viro monkeys are a great first food source, but that doesn’t mean viro has to be the nest too.
- All spiders are able to spacewalk now - I have nothing else to add here.
Strategies against spiders
- Spider bites suck - but it takes time to really take effect. If you are bitten, make a plan to fall back and seek treatment or at least safety within 30 seconds. Viper bites require immediate treatment.
- Do not purge venom mid-fight - Spider venom reacts with charcoal and other purging chems causing paralysis to rapidly set in. Only purge when you are a safe distance away from spiders or you may as well be committing suicide.
- Fire is your friend - use welders or other sources of fire to clear out webs, just be mindful of your colleagues.
I already know spiders, what did you change?
- Broodmothers can no longer heal, and have a lot more HP now
- Nurses can no longer lay eggs
- All spiders can wrap objects in silk cocoons now in order to disrupt crew
- Tarantulas don’t exist anymore, and were replaced with casters that can throw webs.
- Brown spiders are venomous again, though Guards barely have any.
- Spiders are spaceproof now.