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Sometimes enemies show up as red dots on my map. Sometimes they don't. I'm not real clear on why they appear, and whether or not there are ever circumstances in which I can feel safe because I don't see any red dots near me on my mini-map.

What governs this behavior? Is it if they're in line of sight of me or my team? Near an alien detector? Whether or not an alien is camouflaged? All of the above?

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If a teamate has line of sight you can see your opponents unit type, position and direction they are facing on the mini map but as you said about the red dot I am unsure. –  Quinma Nov 5 '12 at 21:15
    
I'll have to pay attention to the red dots next time to see what you mean, but, there are never circumstances in which you can feel safe while playing ns2 :) –  Kexlox Nov 5 '12 at 21:45
    
You're a little vague on perspective. Are you talking alien, alien commander, marine, marine commander, or all of the above? –  johnjon Nov 6 '12 at 15:27
    
Alien or marine, non-commander. –  Sterno Nov 6 '12 at 18:43
    
Actually, after playing Alien more last night, I guess I just mean Marines. Aliens don't seem to have a mini-map. –  Sterno Nov 7 '12 at 23:10
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Marines can build an observatory that reveals alien locations within an area around it. Revealed aliens will appear as a red dot on your minimap. Observatories will reveal camouflaged aliens as well.

Alien skulks have the parasite ability that can be used on marines to see them through walls for a short time after tagging them.

Outside of observatories, you will have to rely on the line-of-sight of teammates and yourself. Both marines and aliens can see enemies visible to their allies, and also enemies that are attacking any of your structures. However, camouflaged aliens will not appear until they use an ability, and even the great Onos can camouflage, so be wary at all times!

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