To start off, I want to make clear that this is not an in-depth guide with super cool, ultra hidden traitor tips that only the most robust players know. Rather, this is to serve as a “read before you go” guide before a “new” player in SS13 ventures himself down the dark, glass shard filled aisles of traitoring, specifically traitoring alla stealth.
SS13 is a hard game, it’s learning curve will probably shatter your bones if you descend it with a skateboard. The wiki has a ton of information, but that’s just a glimpse of all the game has to offer. That means that despite having a decent grasp of the mechanics and your surroundings, more than often you still have to die many horrible deaths in order to still learn a valuable lesson from each one.
That happens even more often when traitoring for your first time, since you’ll often find yourself handling stuff you’ve never touched before or having to get to places you’ve never been in, or at least not on the pants of a criminal mind. Now, with enough of a presentation, let’s jump straight to the matter.
Without intending to get much into antag gear, you have some equipment depending on your role and job. Although more or less, every job has some items or social position that can serve you on your purpose. A mix of your tools, your social position and the areas you have access to is what you are without any antag gear, you have to get the max out of it, detect where you’re lacking and improve it as a preparation before getting to your actual mission, whatever it is.
Now, getting to the antag gear itself, at round-start, or when you’re suddenly assigned as a traitor, you’ll get a code you should put on the ringtone of your PDA to access a super secret terminal where you can get a vast array of items. An Agent ID, an emag, a voice changer or a sleepy ring are just a few of many stealthy options to go by. Remember to close it to get back to your normal PDA cause you don’t always get PDA messages, but when you do, it’s the antag code ringing.
Don’t buy your antag items too early, I’d recommend buying them either when the moment to use them comes, or either set a base near your workplace where you store it all, or you can separate them according to their functionality and divide them on two or three lockers instead of one, but you risk yourself to reach a situation where you may need one of those items, so think before acting. Remember that you can hide things in a toilet, in plant pods, in some pieces of clothing, and that storing something in a container leaves a message, but doing so in your pockets don’t.
Lastly: food. Maybe you haven't noticed it, but once you start running around the station through maint as a headless chicken, you'll get tired, hungry, thristy and eventually even a granny will catch you. Carry some food and drinks, coffee specially.
Yeah, okay, stealth, but how?
I’m going now on some general tips about how to be stealthy, and the different kinds of “stealthiness” you can try.
- Unless you’re walking a mostly empty area, maint tunnels are your friends. You can get almost anywhere on the station through them, so make sure you’re at least fluent on their knowledge and layout
- Returning to the gear aspect, you should have a couple lockers, ideally one in each station half, with an EVA suit prepared. Going outside the asteroid plus knowing the layout can make you go from one end of the station to another pretty fast. Put the oxy tank in a canister to full it to the max capacity just in case.
- Bothering yourself to get a security headset is usually worth the risk. Act in advance of the ISD, but make some intended mistakes so you don’t make them think their comms are compromised. Some times leaving an item you won’t need (even an internal box) behind will motivate the ISD and make them think they’re actually on the right path.
- Value your inocence, the most difficult task you have will get even more difficult if you’re on the lookout. If you have the time, consider creating distractions or leaving false evidence.
- Break cameras, but beware: while being unseen, you can just shout where you are immediately. If you just break a camera, the AI will easily locate you on the nearby areas. Continuously, but subtly, break cameras until the AI has a very narrow vision, and can’t really track you based on what cameras are broken.
Now, while you can use stealth in your modus operandi rather than going fully armed on everyone’s sight, you can also use stealth to cover your own name. This is when things get a little complicated.
Having a double life isn’t easy on real life, neither it is on SS13. The main variable to success in this is your job. Some jobs expect you to be on your office most of your time, while others require you to be walking around the station. Some jobs take place on a more or less seen area, while others happen on authentic autism bunkers where no one will really notice nor care if you’re gone.
So, the first thing you should know is to acknowledge your level of freedom of movement. If it’s too restricted, give yourself half an hour to act normal and non-suspicious. Even if you’re expected to stick to your office, go out, greet everyone, pay a visit to the bar, the garden, the vending machines, the holodeck, the library… Make sure someone is watching you, even if out of pure MG, and play it cool.
Once you think your outgoing routine is just a normal issue, and when you’re not really required at your workplace, think of a place for your ops base and the gear you’ll need. Go there, store it all and get back to your workplace. Now that’s your phone cabin where Clark Kent transforms into Superman, so make sure that no one is watching you enter one of its maint access nor follow you there.
Now you have everything ready, you just have to wait for the right moment to act and accomplish your goal, which means hurrying to your phone cabin, getting out as Mr Badman, rushing your goal and getting back as Mr. Everyman without any weird look. To do that, either pick a moment of peace among the crew or create a distraction or series of distractions far from where you’re going to operate. Venting, welder bombs, fake bomb announcements, a slime breakout, the sky’s the limit. You can also use the distractions to furtherly tighten your social position/image, as in for example you detonate a welder bomb and then as an ISD member you attend the scene, making yourself go way low on the suspect lists. Having credibility is a must when being an antag and still wanting to get out of the station on the shuttle as a regular crew member.
Now, to finish this guide, some words of wisdom:
- It’s really hard to get a significant antag presence on the round and still not be caught at all, walking in the shuttle without any hassle. A clever ISD investigation team and a nosey AI can be voicing your name even when you think you’ve done everything right, have a plan B just in case.
- Don’t be too ambitious with your gimmick when antagging for the first times if you actually want to pull it off. Nevertheless, remember that getting caught is not losing, since this is an RP game.
- Despite there’s no command around and the bridge seems ghostly empty, the AI, if present, is watching you. Hurry for that ID and leave before it can notice you. Alternatively carry an Agent ID or disable comms. If officers are already rushing for you, vent the area so they have to turn back for EVA gear.
- Feel free to try a vault dash, bunker dash or AI subverting gimmick, but if this is one of your first times, you’ll probably fail miserably. Be prepared to leave it mid-assault or have a plan B, cause besides highly-secured, those areas are like a dead end street.