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I started playing Natural Selection 2 tonight, first as a marine and then as an alien, and I had no idea how to actually capture resource nodes for my team.

How do I do this?

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You don't. The commander builds them, as either Alien or Marine.

As marine, all structures require power in the room to work, so the commander will also need you to build the power node in the room. To build as a marine, look at the structure and hold your build key (default e).

As Kharaa, all structures must be built on creep, so the commander will connect the room to the creep with cysts. Kharaa structures will slowly build themselves, but if you are a gorge, you can use your heal spray (default right click) to "heal" the growing building.

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I suppose you could be playing commander, but I wouldn't recommend it your first time out. Unless no one else on your team is, then feel free I suppose. –  Kexlox Nov 2 '12 at 1:39

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