This is a comprehensive guide to being a Medical Corpsman for the USCM or any other human force in the galaxy. This includes discussions on the concept of health in CM-SS13, all relevant medical items and their use, the process of healing someone, and overall strategy and survival tips.
Google Doc Alt Guide Link, slightly better to view guide, both are maintained: Medic Guide - Google Docs
Who Am I?
“I’ll stake my reputation on this.”
“You don’t have a reputation!”
“I’m hoping to get one from this!”
Final recorded conversation of Lcpl Bentway, Operation Screaming Anguish
I’m Alan Bentway, I’ve played CM-SS13 and its variants since its virtual inception. I’ve been fighting since the earliest days where we were merely Syndicate strongmen with C-20r SMG’s fighting against the aliens, atmospherics and the admins.
Oh God I Just Spawned What Do I Do?
If nothing else, skip to the bottom of this guide for a quick overview of a basic setup you can give yourself in a few minutes that will carry you through an average round.
One Solid Piece Of Advice
NEVER double team another Corpsman’s patient unless you know what to do
The first major point of discussion, your visual appearance in-game.
Left: Generic Easy To Spot Corpsman
Right: Decently Disguised And Fashionable Corpsman
Aliens are not signatories to the Geneva conventions, ergo they will mark Marine Corpsman as high priority targets. The only way an Alien has to tell apart a Corpsman is what they look like and what they are doing. Wearing your default armor and uniform will make you an easy target to spot.
By taking actions such as ditching your Medic helmet, swapping your backpack/satchel for a non-medic version, changing to a standard marine uniform and using something to hide your medical eye scanner (gas mask, balaclava, etc, etc), you’ll be significantly harder to spot from a crowd. All of this can be done easily with the default gear spawner in your squad req, as shown above. Additional, and more fashionable, items can be bought via your ‘Edit Character’ page.
Other Marines will know you are a Corpsman on your hud, so don’t worry about not being noticeable to wounded Marines.
Fashion is everything, so have fun.
Hiding Lifesaver Belt
Left with M41A
Right with Shotgun
Your lifesaver belt, the only good belt, is the only major indicator of your Corpsman status if you have hidden every other indicator. There are several ways to hide it. Firstly, there are two weapons which, when holstered, will automatically hide your Lifesaver sprite as evidenced above, those being the.
- M41AE2 Heavy Pulse Rifle
- M37 Shotgun
Corpsman facing right
Another strategy is to keep your character looking to your right side whenever possible, as this also hides the sprite
A dead Corpsman is a useless Corpsman. Your first defense is not being noticed.
All humans have 200 health, represented in-game as being between 100% to -100% health… Above 100 health (0% to 100%) is the normal state. Being below 100 health (-1% to -99%) puts the human in critical state. Reaching 0 health (-100%) results in death.
A dead human can be revived via a defibrillator, returning them to life. Once death occurs a 5 minute timer begins, once this time elapses the human can no longer be revived. A human can only be revived if their total health is above 0 health (-100%), it is possible for a human to take damage beyond 0 health.
A dead human being given CPR by another human will extend this time by 2 minutes.
Aliens are subjected to this system, but their health operates in a far more simple manner. This is not your concern and is beyond the scope of this guide.
A deceased human, death by brute damage.
Damage can be divided into five types
- BRUTE: Inflicted by physical trauma (bullets, claws, knives). Sufficient damage to a limb can cause bleeding or bone fractures. Fractures can occur when a limb has received more than 35 damage, or 50 damage for the chest/head/groin.
- BURN: Inflicted by acid or fire based weapons, also extremely cold environments. Causes a significant amount of pain generation.
- TOXIN: Typically caused by drug overdose or damaged kidneys. Very rare. Large amounts of Toxin damage will cause the patient to vomit and stun them for an extended duration.
- OXYGEN: Typically caused by being in critical health or damaged heart/lungs.
- PAIN: An abstract form of damage. Brute and Burn damage cause pain generation, sufficient pain can cause a Marine to be slowed down or knocked unconscious, even small amounts of damage can cause this, Burn causes significantly more pain generation. Pain is countered with painkillers, primarily Tramadol or Oxycodone, and healing the injury causing the pain. Synthetics do not feel pain, or love.
In addition to the above, there are several further ‘permanent’ affiliations that can be acquired, which are harder to remove or alleviate.
FRACTURE: Caused by excessive Brute damage. A splint can alleviate the negative effect. Can only be removed permanently via surgery by a Doctor or Synthetic. Fractures to the Chest, Head or Groin that are not splinted may cause organ damage over time. Damage occurs when the patient moves. Fractures have a chance to occur on an arm or leg that has sustained 35 Brute damage, or 50 Brute damage for the Head, Chest and Groin. WARNING: someone moving with a unsplinted fracture has a chance to cause Internal Bleeding
INTERNAL BLEEDING: Rarely caused by highly excessive Brute damage, typically due to damage on limbs not covered by armor, loss of limbs or excessive armor piercing ammo damage, can also be caused by someone moving with an unsplinted Fracture. Can only be cured via surgical intervention, which Corpsman can provide in the field. Patients inside a stasis bag have all further internal bleeding halted.
ORGAN DAMAGE: Damage sustained to a human’s organs, typically due to excessive Brute damage, patient moving while suffering a head/chest/groin fracture, armor piercing attacks or a chemical overdose effects. Organ damage effects can be halted, but not cured, with Peridoxin medication, although ImiAlky medication can cure Brain and Eye damage. Extreme organ damage can also be halted via a Stasis Bag. Organs and the negative effects that can occur are.
- Brain - Head:Impaired Vision, Headache and Pain. No lethal effect on maximum damage.
- Eyes - Head: Impaired Vision. Blindness.
- Heart - Chest: Lowers patient’s blood level effectiveness. Damage causes permanent oxygen damage. Minor damage can cause up to 22 permanent oxygen damage. Mid level can reach up to 50 oxygen damage. Maximum damage can cause significant oxygen and toxin damage, and render patient unable to be revived by Defibrillator.
- Lung - Chest: Rapid accumulation of oxygen damage until patient death. Coughing up blood.
- Liver - Chest: Deals toxin damage.
- Kidney - Groin: Deals toxin damage
SHRAPNEL: Caused by flying shrapnel from explosions, bullets or certain Xenomorph attacks. Causes minor damage to the limb and further damage loss if left unattended. Can be removed by anyone with a Knife or Scalpel.
BLOOD LOSS: Rare condition. Occurs when someone’s bleeding injuries are not tended to, or from Internal Bleeding. Healed via stopping the source of bleeding and blood transfusions/Iron (Fe) + Food (Nutrients). Low blood levels cause increasingly high levels of oxygen damage. Patients inside a stasis bag have all further blood loss halted.
LARVA INFECTION: Someone has been facehugged! Can only be removed via surgery by a Doctor, or Synthetic, on the Almayer only. Takes ~15 minutes for the larva to grow and chestburst, faster in a nest. Send patients back to the FoB for evacuation, or perform a field Medivac if able.
Just another day in the corps.
There are four squads, Alpha, Bravo, Charlie, Delta. They all need Corpsmen.
If you are new to the role, I would suggest Bravo squad be your first squad of choice. Bravo is always assigned to FOB duty, as such their Corpsmen will generally be relegated (initially) to remain at the FOB, and thus a secure safe zone.
This will give you a chance to ease into the operation, and when casualties stream in they will typically arrive slowly, and since you will be in a safe zone you won’t have to worry or think about Xeno ambushes. You will also generally be closer to ground-side Surgeons and Synthetics, who may be willing to offer tips and advice.
Make your choice
As a medic you have access to a wide arsenal of healing, and death dealing, tools. This is a list of all relevant equipment, and my thoughts on each.
Almost all Marine guns are viable in combat. Remember that as a Marine Corpsman you are in a support role, ergo you should not be selecting a weapon for charging into combat, but to defend yourself, your patient and your position. I will not go significantly into depth with firearms, as this is not the point of the guide, but I will point out the strengths and weaknesses. A general theme you will find with most weapons is Corpsman will struggle to carry a significant amount of ammo, every magazine is one less medical item.
Some players may suggest forgoing a firearm, or using a Pistol or SMG. A Corpsman with no gun will die to the first Runner who finds them. The Corpsman with a Pistol or SMG will die to the second Runner that finds them.
- ExtBarrel / S5 RDS / A-Grip / Bayonet- Standard Config
- Consider UGL alt to use grenades to shoot dead bodies towards you
- Underbarrel Shotgun can surprise a CQC Xeno that pounces you
Standard rifle, good damage output, spare ammo is typically plentiful. Struggles with ammo management, likely only able to carry a few magazines, will run out during sustained gunfight easily. Conserve your fire, keep AP for when T3 xenos appear.
UGL can be used to blast dead Marine corpses towards your position, situational but good during sieges or defensive actions.
UBS is an underrated tool, if you use a hotkey you can swap to it when ambushed by a CQC Xeno and blast/stun them.
- Bayonet / S5 RDS or S6 Reflex / UGL - The only real config for Mk1
- Alt a UBS, as above to ambush a CQC Xeno.
Essentially a Mk2 but larger magazines and less attachment options. You need to get this from requisitions. Larger magazines, and rare access to AP ammo, makes this an attractive option if you enjoy the Mk2 but want better ammo economy. The time constraint of getting this from req is the biggest drawback, you may not have the time to get it. Pick a UGL or UBS at your discretion.
- MagHarness / A-Grip / Bayonet - Standard Setup, Slugs or Buckshot Pref
Veteran players will swear by this weapon. High damage output in close range. Ammo is slightly easier to carry (can fit in Helmet) but still prohibitive for a Corpsman. Extremely effective at warding off Runners and Lurkers, mere presence may cause some less skilled Aliens to disengage outright. Struggles against higher-tier xenos. Prone to getting the Corpsman player too close to the fight and killed.
Buckshot for maximum damage, limited to 2 to 3 tile range. Be careful not to charge ahead with this by mistake.
Slugs are great for mid to long range stunning power, hard counter to Warrior grabbing. Lower damage output.
Flechette not useful for Corpsman.
- ExtBarrel / B8 Smart-Scope / Bipod - IFF Support Fire
- ExtBarrel / Any Telescopic Sight / Bipod or Any Grip - Long Range Support
Lower damage output than other main weapons. Main strength is its long range support fire. If using B8 Smart-Scope, you can provide support fire through the mob of Marines thanks to IFF. Long range scope can allow you to plink away at low tier xenos in FoB + Bipod gives you deceptively high ROF, strong finisher against wounded+retreating Xenos. Ammo can be a concern as it is not as high priority for resupply. Magazines are hard to hold in a kit.
M41AE2 Heavy Pulse Rifle
- BC / V-Grip / S6 Reflex Sight - Burst-Fire (good luck getting BC)
- A-Grip / S5 Red Dot Sight - Single-Fire
Underrated weapon. Near equal damage to M41A, higher ROF. 300 rounds per mag, purchased kit with gun grants 900 rounds, extra ammo scavenged from spare mags or squad req. Corpsman will have no issues with ammo management with this gun. Lack of AP ammo is a minor issue, the weapon only struggles when fighting Crushers or Defenders.
Excellent support gun. Prohibitive disadvantage is the weapon must be purchased for 18 Medic points, limits purchasable medical supplies. If you can stomach the cost, a worthwhile weapon. Watch your firing lanes, HPR users are prone to friendly fire incidents.
Just because you are a healer does not mean you can’t dispense death.
Your choice of armour bears consideration as a Corpsman as your priorities for armour selection are going to be different than the average grunt. You have five choices of armour, I will detail the pros and cons of each armour for a Corpsman and allow you to determine which is to your liking.
M3-L Armor (Light)
Fastest movement speed but lowest defence, however it has the highest acid damage defence of the standard armours alongside the B12 and M4. It is however restricted in only carrying two (2) items, which might be a big drawback. Favoured by aggressive Marines or those who want to run fast. If you get caught by a Lurker/Runner you are almost guaranteed to suffer broken bones.
M3 Armor (Medium)
Standard issue armour. Slightly better than Medium but you are moving slightly slower. Has 3 inventory slots and is the gold standard for armour. Good pick for most Corpsmen if you value the extra slot.
M3-EOD Armor (Heavy)
Uncommonly seen armour. Provides the best armour protection of anything most Marines can get, but you are crippled by the slowest move speed of all the armours. Still retains 3 inventory slots. You’ll usually only see Bravo Marines take this.
Special Issue Armour
These armours need to be purchased from your medical vendor with points, and are quite expensive. They each provide strong benefits but at a high cost. Its up to you if the price is worth it. You can still make a strong medic loadout while affording one of these armours.
B12 Pattern Armor
Cost: 28 Medic Points
Essentially Medium+ armour. Provides slightly better protection against most attacks, retains your 3 inventory slots and average movement speed, also provides the highest level of acid protection akin to Light armour and the M4.
M4 Pattern Armor
Cost: 28 Medic Points
Same defence as Medium armour except it also has the highest acid defence alongside the L and B12 armours. The main benefit of this armour is that it provides four (4) inventory slots, instead of the usual three (3).
Take Medium armour for inventory. Take Light armour if you want to run fast. M4 is good if you need more inventory, B12 is a good upgrade to Medium armour, both are expensive.
Bold: Extremely useful, consider taking
Bolt Italic: Useless, bad or a better choice is available for Corpsmen
Italic: Item can be found elsewhere for free. Item may or may not be useful.
Normal: Item is decent, worth buying if it fits into your strategy.
All items on the Equipment Rack are free to issue, but you are limited in the amount you can take.
Back Slot: 1 only
If you have time, it’s better to get a standard USCM variant of the backpack/satchel since they will not inform the Aliens of your status as a high value target.
- Medical Backpack - Standard issue. Holds 7 large items, but you must hold it in your off-hand or drop it on the floor to take items out of. Too slow to use during high stress events. Also has a massive and obvious medical sprite making it easier to spot users. New players may find this useful but more experienced Corpsmen will want to train to use the Satchel.
- Medical Satchel - Holds 5 large items. Can take items out while it’s on your back. Superior to the backpack due to this.
Belt Slot: 1 only
- Lifesaver Bag - Holds 21 small medical items, comes equipped with an array of basic medical items. Sufficient to hold most of your high-need medications, always worth taking. Has an obvious mob sprite, but this can be obfuscated.
- Medical Storage Rig - Holds 14 small medical items. Can hold pistol ammo as well as Defibrillators and roller/medevac stretchers. Has no obvious mob sprite. Inferior due to the fact you can’t hold as much equipment, and you can generally place your defibs/stretchers in your backpack or armor/webbing. You also get less medical supplies than the Lifesaver, forcing you to buy/acquire more supplies than normal.
Pouch Slot: 2 only
- First Aid Pouch (Any) - Useless for a Corpsman, this is intended for non-Corpsman roles.
- First Responder Pouch - Can hold Roller/Stretcher Beds, pills, medical supplies and the Analyzer. Generally better pouches to pick and these items are not hard to hold elsewhere, but a good all purpose pouch.
- Sling Pouch - Very strong. Can hold any large item such as a Defib or Blood Bags. Acts like a Magnetic Harness attachment, any item placed in it will automatically be grabbed and put back into the Sling.
- Medical Pouch - Holds four medical items, strictly inferior to the First Responder Pouch
- Medkit Pouch - Holds one medkit. Useful if you are pressing for slots for a medkit.
- Reagent Canister Pouch (Revival) - Pre-loaded with Epinephrine, Inaprovaline and Tricordrazine. Use on dead people before reviving for a big health boost on revive and guaranteed healing over time. Loaded with enough chems for thirty eight (38) uses. Extremely effective pick, almost a must have. Saves on Epi pens and lets you give every person you revive Epi.
- Reagent Canister Pouch (Other) - Comes with either Bicard, Kelo or Tricord. Over 40 uses per kit, quicker to access than pill bottles. Situationally useful.
- Mag/Shell Pouch - Situationally useful for Rifle or Shotgun users, but lose out on a Medical pouch.
Accessory Slot: 1 Only
- Webbing Vest - Fit 5 small items, great for holding most medical items. Must pick.
- Shoulder Holster - Useless, lost opportunity cost for holding medical items.
- Webbing - Holds 3 medium items. Mostly useful for holding additional gun magazines. Situationally useful if you need more ammo slots and can hold your medical items elsewhere.
- Drop Pouch - Holds two large items, not critically useful for Corpsman unless you really need more slots to hold medkits/defibs**
You have forty five (45) points to spend on your Gear Rack.
- (2pt) Adv Burn/Brute Kit - More is always useful. If someone hacks the Wey-Vent in Medical you can gain an unlimited number of these for free, additional items can also be scavenged from the public access Adv-Firstaid Kits in Medical if you are fast enough. But not always possible thanks to population/command/MPs.
- (1pt) Medical Splints - Always needed. However you can vend and replenish these for free from medical or from any first aid vendor strewn on the Almayer.
- (1pt) Gauze/Ointment - Useless for Corpsmen.
- (12pt) Adv Firstaid Kit - Comes with 1 Tricord Autoinjector, 3 Brute Kits, 2 Burn Kits and 1 Splint. Strictly 1:1 cost versus buying the supplies individually, but you also get the FAK to hold the supplies. Useful to buy one for the quick storage space, but if you are tight for points you can buy the individual supplies and save points.
- (5pt) Firstaid Kit - You are only buying this for the extra storage. If you are time sensitive this can be useful, but otherwise it’s a luxury. Empty FAKs can be found in Medical.
- (6pt) Other Firstaid Kits - Too situational or the supplies are not good enough. You can get empty and full versions for free in Medical or hidden around the Almayer.
- (2pt) Epinephrine - Useful for hard to revive bodies. If you are being very conservative with it you can generally get away with the free Epi you get with a Lifesaver bag. But if you like to use Epi for all your revives, get the revival canister.
- (2pt) Oxycodone - Extreme painkiller, great for ignoring high level pain. Using it on yourself or a high value Marine can be lifesaving. But you can generally get more easily from Medical if you really need it. You get one for free with the Lifesaver belt.
- (1pt) Others - Regular injectors are situational to use, some Corpsmen swear by them. Their extreme cheap price and instant injection are strong points worth considering.
- (5pt) Bicard/Kelo/Tram - You almost always want to get one of each of these in addition to the free ones you get with your Lifesaver bags. By itself that’s enough to heal 32 Marines, 48 if you get the stronger custom variant from Chemistry.
- (5pt) Dex/Dylo/Peri/Inap - You get one of each for free from your Lifesaver belt. Rarely need to use more than the default amount. All are useful to have though.
- (4p) Health Analyzer - Issued for free.
- (4p) Medical HUD - Issued for free.
- (4p) Roller Bed - Issued for free. More can be acquired easily from medical
- (6p) Stasis Bag - Issued for free. Rarely need more than 1. More can be acquired from medical.
- (3p) Reagan Canister (Empty) - Rarely needed. Can be acquired for free from medical.
- (15p) General Utility Pouch - Useless for Corpsmen, takes up the belt slot for 3 large object holding slots. Lose out on Lifesaver Belt.
- (6p) MS-11 Refill Tank - Situationally useful for Corpsmen using Injectors, free refills extend their use in the field.
- Almost never worth buying, high cost, acquire grenades from Requisitions.
- Almost never worth buying, decent cost, get AP ammo if you can’t scavenge some from the Squad Req vendor or can’t be bothered to wait for Req to send some.
- (8p) VP78 Pistol - Stronger pistol, if you are very robust and can land your shots you can make it work, but generally the free Mod88 is better.
- (16p)SU-6 Smart Pistol - Trash damage output. But lets you fire through your squaddies thanks to IFF. A support pistol but ammo is hard to get. Not really worthwhile, use the M4RA for IFF.
- (18p) M41AE2 HPR - If you plan to use the HPR, this guarantees you get it alongside 900 rounds of ammo. However, it is very expensive points wise, but cheaper than most other sources. Make sure you know how to set up a good medic loadout with the reduced points.
Most items here are luxuries by definition, main items worth mentioning.
- (6p) Large Magazine Pouch - Hold 5 mags. Great for M41A/M4RA/SMG users. Useless for Shotgun or M41AE2 users. Opportunity cost due to using up a valuable pouch slot.
- (6p) Large Shotgun Shell Pouch - Holds 7 handfuls of shells. Not as critically important, you gain less benefit than the Large Mag Pouch, and can generally be skipped for the free Shell Pouch
- (3p) Portable Fire Extinguisher - Extremely useful, however you can get free portable and large versions from Medical.
- Luxuries, not really needed for Corpsmen outside of spying on other departments.
Standard and uncommon issue equipment used by Corpsmen
- Defibrillator: Revives dead humans, battery holds power for 15 uses, the defibrilator’s light will go yellow when 5 charges remain. Can be recharged. Try to carry two of these. Additional defibs can be acquired from medbay for free.
- Health Analyzer: Scans a target telling you their health status, standard issue. Consider bringing a spare in-case you lose one.
- Healthmate Hud: Visualizes the amount of health all humans have and their defib status. Standard issue.
- Stasis Bag: Placing a human inside this will slow larva growth, halt further effects of blood loss and internal bleeding, slows metabolism of chemicals and progression of organ damage. You only need 1 and rarely need to use more.
- Roller Bed: Used to move patients across the battlefield far quicker than dragging them can, also helps perform surgeries with a slightly better chance of success. Standard issue, consider grabbing a second in-case you lose it.
- Med Evac Stretcher: Used to transport a human to an in-flight Dropship, useful for evacuating critically wounded or infected Marines, or as a desperate method to evacuate someone from an area about to be overrun. Must be activated in an open area, will not work underground.
- Blood Bag: Portable blood dispensing unit. Click a Marine to attach an IV line which will slowly give them blood, two are provided as standard issue and all Corpsman issued bags come with universal blood that works on all humans. Click the Marine to detach the IV line when finished.
- Brute/Burn Kit: Standard issue healing item. Will heal 12 points of health on application and will provide further healing over time. Corpsmen apply these kits instantly. Brute kits will also heal any bleeding wounds.
- Splints: Used to stabilize a fracture. A splinted fracture will no longer harm the patient, a splinted leg/foot will give the patient most of their mobility back. Splints are very vulnerable to being torn off if the limb suffers any form of damage. Can be self-applied but doing so takes a very long period of time.
- Surgical Line/Synth-Graft: Standard issue special kits given to all Corpsmen. Will heal either brute or burn damage. Will apply healing over time, every few seconds it will heal 10 damage. It can only heal up to half the damage on an affected limb (if 100 damage, can only heal up to 50). Slow application time compared to brute/burn kits, but infinite usage.
Medications & Chemicals
The following is a list of all standard issue medications that are issued to Corpsmen. Assuming you select a Lifesaver bag you will get a selection of all these mediations in some form.
These medications often come in both pill and liquid form, with liquid medications typically being administered via an injector, a form of primitive hypospray for the SS13 veterans.
Some medications can only be used in either liquid or pill form, but unless noted otherwise assume a medication is issued in pill form primarily.
- Bicaridine: Heals Brute damage.
- Kelotane: Heals Burn damage
- Tricordazine: Heals Brute and Burn damage, slower to heal. Common issue medication for non-Corpsmen!
- Tramadol: Provides moderate amounts of pain relief. Sufficiently strong enough to allow Corpsmen to perform Internal Bleeding repair surgery. Common issue medication for non-Corpsmen!
- Oxycodone: Provides very high amounts of pain relief. Issued to Corpsmen in liquid-injector form.
- Inaprovaline: Stops further accumulation of Oxygen damage while in critical health state. Does not heal Oxygen damage.
- Dexalin: Heals Oxygen damage.
- Dexalin+: Instantly removes all Oxygen damage. Typically issued in liquid-injector form. Can be custom made into pill forms, pill version takes longer to trigger the healing effect but has the same outcome.
- Dylovene: Heals Toxin damage.
- Peridaxon: Prevents further negative effects of organ damage, does not heal it.
- Epinephrine: Increases amount of damage healed when defibrillating, further information below. 1 unit consumed per defibrillation attempt. No usage for living humans.
This is a list of medications that are not standard issue. They are either unique, specially acquired, superseded by another chemical or are otherwise just not seen often.
- Paracetamol: Weak painkiller. Has a very high overdose threshold of 60 units allowing someone to consume a large amount without consequence. Unique property that Tramadol is a recipe component of Paracetamol, meaning that a Tramadol overdose can be fixed by feeding a Marine the other chemical components to create Paracetamol which will consume the overdosing Tramadol. Ergo the custom medication NitrogenWater (NW).
- Thwei: Chemical used by Predators to heal themselves. This chemical heals virtually every possible negative ailment and condition a human can have, including damaged organs, fractures and blood loss. Don’t expect to find this.
- Researcher Chemicals: Special chemicals that the Medical Researcher can create. Their properties can range from killing your organs to healing all your broken bones. If these are issued the Researcher will generally go to great efforts to explain what the chemical does. Rare to find these however. Be wary of consumption in-case the Researcher missed a negative effect.
Medical has a chemistry department, which 99% of the time some Nurses, Doctors or Synthetic will man at the start of the operation to create custom chemicals for Corpsmen. These chemicals are typically a combination of several chemicals, some of which are unique, that provide a stronger healing effect than the standard issue chemicals.
Most of these chemicals are, in my opinion, luxuries which are good to have but not essential, there is however one medication I believe is mandatory to get.
Mandatory Custom Chemical
- ImiAlky (IA): Heals Eye and Brain damage. The only way to heal these organs without going topside for surgery. These injuries are surprisingly common during a battle. Forcing a Marine to retreat to the FOB, or the Almayer, for eye surgery is a massive waste of time. A Marine will simply tell you they are going blind and you can give them a pill and send them back to the front.
Optional Custom Chemicals
- MeraBica (MB): Heals Brute damage. Combines Bicaridine with Meralyne to heal brute damage rapidly.
- KeloDerm (KD): Heals Burn damage. Combines Keloderm with Dermaline to heal burn damage rapidly.
- NitrogenWater (NW): Converts Tramadol to Paracetamol. Only useful if someone has overdosed on Tramadol, which is extremely fatal. See the ‘Overdose’ section below for more information.
- Iron (Fe): Iron, if combined with nutrients (via making a Marine eat food) will help them regenerate blood. Situationally useful but was nerfed recently in lieu of portable Blood Bags.
- Dexalin Plus (D+): Will instantly clear all oxygen damage sustained. Slower to metabolize than the injectors. Will not heal the cause of the oxygen damage. Useful for getting wounded Marines back on their feet faster.
To get these chems, very politely ask the person manning the chemical line what you want when it is your turn to be served, preferably with an abbreviation
Example: “Can I please get IA and NW?”
The chem line is typically slow to move and full of Medics so bring an audio book.
Unique Non-Corpsman Items
As a corpsman there are some rare items you may want to keep an eye open for, you’ll likely have to either scavenge these from permanently deceased Marines, or hope you are gifted them.
Functionally a satchel that has a inbuilt telephone for communicating with CIC/other Radio users in situations where communications is down, this can be a strong ability as you can update command with the ground situation from a medical perspective. As a Corpsman you can not purchase this from your vendor, but you may find one in your squad prep room if you are fast, or request one from requisitions. There is no reason not to take this (if you are using a satchel to start with) but finding it is not guaranteed. Its also good at hiding your Corpsman status.
IMP Backpack/Sniper’s Smock/Rocket Bags
Unique backpacks that hold 7 large items but can be accessed akin to a satchel, meaning you don’t need to take it off your back to access it. The Sniper and Rocket bags are Specialist only but on rare occasions they may either have a spare bag they’ll give away, or they won’t use it. The IMP backpack is typically only seen in the hands of a Synthetic, but if they get annihilated why not help yourself?
M2 Night Vision Goggles
Grants complete night vision. Very few Marine roles get access to it, if they should die you might find it useful, especially in scanning distant areas for deceased Marines. However a more combat oriented Marine may find this more useful than you.
Your objectives as a Corpsman is simple. Heal your patient as quickly as possible, get them on their feet and move on to the next one. The faster your patient is back on their feet, the better odds the Marines will win.
Always remain with your patient until you have completed the healing steps. It’s better for one Marine to be healed than two Marines to be partially healed.
NEVER double team another Corpsman’s patient
Unless they ask for help. Multiple Corpsman healing one person increases the odds of an accidental drug overdose. If you do help another Corpsman, it’s recommended you loudly state what you are doing, and only administer kits, sutures/grafts or splints and not medications.
In most circumstances, your order of attending to someone should be:
Kits > Pills > Splints > Suture/Graft
> > >
Burn or Brute Kits to stop bleeding and heal a large amount of damage at once. Pills, either Bicard or Kelotane, to start the healing process for any remaining damage, as well as Tramadol for pain management if they have high damage or burns, Inaprovaline should be given if the patient is in hard crit to half oxygen loss. Splints to cover any fractures. Finally you can Suture/Graft any remaining wounds to further accelerate the healing process, though this is a tertiary task and can be skipped if the patient is mostly healed or other, more wounded, patients are present.
If you are in a low risk environment with only a single patient, you can substitute your Kits with the Suture/Graft to save the Kits for later.
A wounded patient is someone who is still alive and able to walk under their own power. These patients should be your lowest priority to heal. Most competent Riflemen can self-attend to their own minor injuries. You will want to splint their fractures once you are free to do so, as you will do it significantly faster than they can to themselves. But in a pinch you can throw a spare splint and make them do it themselves if you are busy.
Someone who has fallen into hard-crit. Will slowly die without medical intervention, and can not heal themselves. Can generally be brought back to combat status quickly. Kits and Pills will work quickly on them. During high intensity combat situations, these can be high priority targets as they can quickly get back into the fight. Remember to give them Tramadol or Oxycodone.
If you have no time to heal the dying, consider quickly giving them an Inaprovaline and the appropriate healing chem, either Bicard or Kelo, this will at minimum keep them alive and slowly heal them while you are preoccupied.
BONUS KNOWLEDGE: When someone is dying, their health bar will rapidly be flashing. If the person is a few seconds from dying however, the bar will stop flashing.
Use this to know when you have the time to drag someone to safety and administer healing, or to if you need to immediately jab them with some Dexaline+ or Inaprovaline.
Someone who has died. An icon on the left side of the body will denote how long you have to revive them. These patients should be your first priority to attend outside of extenuating circumstances.
Once someone has died, you have 5 minutes to revive them before they become permanently unrevivable. Anyone can perform CPR on a dead human to extend their revive time by up to 2 additional minutes. If someone is on the verge of permanent death, get some Rifleman to perform CPR to give you time to work.
A dead human can only be revived if their overall health is less than -100 health. This can be denoted on your analyzer. If you revive someone above this threshold, the defibrillator will fail, but heal a small amount of health. All Oxygen damage is instantly healed on the patient being revived, thus Oxygen damage is typically not counted as damage by the Analyzer towards their overall health status.
All chemicals inside a dead person’s body will not process until the person is revived and is stable. The only chemical that will affect a dead body on a defib attempt is Epinephrine.
Your not a Corpsman until your knee deep in the dead
Epinephrine and Revival Damage Healing
Whenever a human is defibrillated, whether successful or not, the body will be healed for a small amount of damage.
If the body had no Epinephrine inside of it, then the amount healed will be
- 12 health + 4 Brute and 4 Burn damage
For a maximum of twenty (20) points of healing.
However if the body has at least 1 unit of Epinephrine in it, it will heal for a larger amount of.
- 12 health + 16 Brute and 16 Burn
For a maximum forty four (44) points of healing, a significantly larger amount of health.
If you have access to it, then it is almost always worthwhile to inject Epinephrine inside of a dead Marine, even someone with less than -100 health benefits from Epinephrine as they will heal faster thanks to the larger amount of healing received.
WARNING: A failed defib has a 25% chance to inflict organ damage to the heart. Try to avoid performing excessive defibs. You can heal the dead patient until their health is below -100, though in extreme cases you may need to get creative as discussed below.
- Recently Deceased: Aprox ~5 minutes until permanent death
- Close To Death: Aprox ~2 minutes until permanent death
- Death’s Door: Aprox <1 minute until permanent death
- Unrevivable: Dead for too long, can not be revived.
- Do Not Revive: Player has either disconnected, spawned into a new human/xeno or does not wish to be revived. The body can still be revived, but no one will be in control. NOTE: THE DEAD PLAYER CAN UNDO THIS STATUS WHILE THE BODY IS REVIVABLE!
The order of who you chose to revive is critically important. Sadly, some roles are more important than others. As a general rule of thumb, the below list is the order you should prioritize who to revive.
Medics > Squad Leaders > Specialists > Smart Gunners > Eng/FTL/Other > Rifleman > Civilians
Medics are typically the first you should revive, as they can quickly heal themselves and start healing other patients once revived. Afterwards you want to start reviving the roles that give the greater impact on the ground in the above noted order.
ONE CRITICAL EXCEPTION to this if you see someone on the verge of being rendered permanently dead. In which case you may want to revive them first, even if there is someone more important.
Extreme Revive Damage
Usually most patients can be easily revived once in cover. However in rare cases you may get a patient who has suffered an extreme amount of damage, typically 300 to over 800 damage. This usually only occurs to people who were exposed to incendiary or acid attacks, have had their corpse struck by a large amount of explosives, or suffered an extreme amount of high damaging friendly fire attacks just prior to death. People without armor are more prone to this overkill.
YOU CAN REVIVE SOMEONE WHO HAS SUSTAINED OVER EIGHT HUNDRED (800) DAMAGE IF GIVEN TIME!
Do not fret, as patients with such high damage can be revived. To give yourself the best revival odds, you must:
- Use Brute/Burn kits on every single damaged limb, no matter how much damage each has suffered.
- Administer Epinephrine or administer a Revival Injection (which contains Epi, Inaprovaline and Tricordrazine). Epinephrine will increase the amount of damage healed through defibrillation
- Suture/Graft every damaged limb of the patient.
- If you reduce patient damage below -100, immediately begin defibrillation.
- If you cannot reduce damage below -100, start defibrillation once you have Sutured/Grafted every limb. Every defib attempt will remove a large chunk of damage thanks to the Epinephrine. Each defib attempt will consume 1 unit of Epinephrine, apply more if it is used up.
- Once revived, administer chemicals as needed and splint fractures. If you were forced to perform multiple defibrillations, consider medical evacuation for heart damage repair if Oxygen damage starts to build up.
- (Optional): Conscript someone to perform CPR to extend patients’ revive timeframe, especially if the patient is close to permanent death.
Never give up on a Marine.
I can fix him.
As a Medic, you are authorized and trained to perform Level 1 Surgical operations. Realistically the only surgery you will perform is to fix Internal Bleeding. You cannot perform any more complex surgery such as fracture/organ repair or larva removal.
Due to your lower standard of training, and the horrid conditions of field surgery, you will be slower than a Doctor or Synthetic, and more prone to making an error.
To give yourself the best chance of success, ensure you give your patient a strong painkiller (Tramadol is the go-to, Oxycodone is best but typically overkill for IB repair). Then place them on a Roller Bed to immobilize them, though IB surgery can be performed while standing but this is riskier.
Your health analyzer will tell you if a patient has internal bleeding, but it won’t say where.
To figure out where it is, right click the patient, select ‘Check Status’ and you will examine them more closely, you will see a text describing where a part of their body looks bloated and discolored, this will tell you where the internal bleeding can be found.
From here, remove any armor in the way, grab your surgical equipment, select the affected limb, and click away. Ensure you are on Help intent and have surgery mode on (which is on by default). The button for surgery mode should be on your upper left HUD.
Safe method, lowest chance of error occurring.
Scalpel > Hemostat > Retractor > Surgical Line > Surgical Line
> > > >
Slightly faster method, more bleeding prone.
Scalpel > Scalpel > Surgical Line > Surgical Line
> > >
Least inventory heavy option. Highest chance of error occurring.
Knife > Knife > Surgical Line > Surgical Line
> > >
Desperate times call for desperate methods.
Knife > Knife > Cable Coil > Lighter
> > >
Assuming ideal working conditions and good coordination, the Improvised/UNGA/Hobo method of surgery will save you about 3 to 10 seconds of working time compared to using the proper surgical tools you are issued. However these improvised tools and methods are more prone to failure if you do not set the right conditions (painkillers, working bench). It’s also less professional looking, do not let the Combat Reporter see you lest you appear on the galactic news for your barbarity.
An overdose occurs when too much of a medication/chemical is given to a patient. Most overdoses of the usual chems that appear on the battlefield are easily managed, with the exception of Tramadol which is highly lethal and often fatal. The greatest sources of an Overdose are Crospman double-teaming and giving too many meds, a Corpsman not checking their analyzer before giving chems that are already present, and Riflemen giving themselves too many chems by accident.
Be especially careful of absentminded Riflemen who are self-administering healing chemicals while you are healing them.
Common overdoses and their treatment are.
- TRAMADOL: OD on 30u. Causes Toxin buildup. High risk OD. Two methods to counter
- Dylovene will reduce Toxin buildup, only viable if OD amount is low (<40u). Toxin reduction will only slow Toxin buildup, and will not reverse it.
- NitrogenWater (NW) will convert the overdosing Tramadol to Paracetamol, which has a higher OD threshold of 60u. Be warned that Tramadol and Paracetamol are toxic when together. Continue to monitor the patient.
- If the OD amount is too high and NW is not available, the patient must be Medivaced for Dialysis and treatment, consider a Stasis bag to maintain life.
- BICARIDINE: OD on 30u. Causes Burn buildup. Counter with Kelotane. Low risk OD.
- KELOTANE: OD on 30u. Causes Brute and Toxin buildup. Counter with Bicaridine and Dylovene. Medium risk OD.
- TRICORDRAZINE: OD on 30u. Causes Brute, Burn, Toxin and Eye damage. Counter with Bicard/Kelo/Dylo and ImiAlky. Low risk OD.
The Medical Evac Stretcher, which you are issued for free, allows you to send a Marine to a dropship that is currently flying above the battlefield. This should be reserved to evacuate someone who has been infected by a larva, or someone who has suffered significant organ damage. Generally this should be done if the person cannot be taken back to the FoB.
Healing without a Analyzer
There is no reason to operate without a handheld Analyzer, however circumstances may result in you losing your Analyzer. Knocked unconscious, explosion, someone else lost theirs and you give them yours, thus it’s a good idea to bring a spare if you can. If this is not possible, you can still operate as a Corpsman without a scanner.
Without a scanner you will only be able to glean basic information regarding the health status of your patient, so let’s discuss the process.
Assess Overall Health: Your HealthMate HUD will still tell you their overall health, you can still assess how hurt someone is so you can judge what intervention you need.
Brute Damage: You cannot discern large concentrations of brute damage, but if the patient is bleeding, examining them will reveal the location of the bleed, which you can then apply a Brute Kit. Brute damage has a chance to spread to adjacent limbs, so if you notice a bleeding wound on the patient’s hand, consider applying a Brute Kit to the hand and arm.
You will want to ‘Check Status’ of your patient to ensure they are not suffering any internal bleeding, as discussed above.
Administer Bicard and Tramadol to begin the healing process.
Burn Damage: You cannot discern the location of any burn injuries. Ask the patient if they have been stuck by incendiary or acid attacks, if so apply Kelotane.
Xenomorphs with ranged acid attacks will generally aim for a Marine’s chest, as this gives them their best chance to hit. Ergo it is best to apply Burn kits to a Marines chest and groin. If you can’t find the correct part to heal, simply apply the burn kit to all limbs until the game tells you that you have patched up a burn.
If the patient was struck by a fire attack, their burns are likely spread across their entire body, apply Burn kits liberally, however Kelotane may be more useful for healing spread out burn damage.
If the patient has suffered relatively low damage on your HUD, but they are seemingly falling unconscious, they may be in a lot of pain due to burns, administer Tramadol. They could also be experiencing organ damage and thus Oxygen damage however.
Toxin Damage: The only sign will be the patient vomiting. Likely caused by organ damage or Tramadol overdose. Apply medications as needed.
Oxygen Damage: Patient falling unconscious without any obvious signs of trauma, likely organ failure. Administer Inaprovaline and consider medivac.
Fracture: You have no way of telling if someone has a fracture, but the patient will know. Ask them if they have a fracture and they will tell you.
You will want to make it a priority to find a new analyser as soon as practical.
Survival Strategy/Healing Strategy
Survival is a concept that is hard to teach, it is something you will pick up over the dozen and hundreds of hours you will play. I’d recommend playing as a Rifleman to gain better frontline survival tips, as a Corpsman is generally a very conservative and withdrawn creature.
Surviving as a Corpsman is simple. Don’t lead from the front. As I wrote prior, a dead Corpsman is a useless Corpsman, you should be the last person to die, not the first.
More than most other roles you want to be acutely aware of where you are standing compared to the rest of the Marines. Ideally you want to be in the middle to rear of the death ball, not too far forward to be targeted, but not too far back to not see what is going on up front.
Generally you want to be patrolling the center of the fight and keeping your eyes open for any Marines that need a hand. Someone who just got hit by a ton of acid, or stunned and knocked down, or stuck by friendly fire.
In-between the fight you can swap out your gun and contribute in whatever fashion you can with the gun you selected. IFF fire? Slug stun rounds against Xenos? Suppressive fire at an exposed alien?
Unless someone is stunned or dying, you generally want to let the wounded come to you. Dashing forward into the frontline to grab the dying or dead Marine is commendable, but leaves you vulnerable to that hidden Warrior waiting around the corner. Usually at least one Rifleman will try to grab and drag back a wounded or dead Marine towards you.
Your moment of glory can come if the Queen comes out screeching. If you are far back enough you can immediately rush forward and either start firing at the Queen to force a retreat, or start shaking up stunned Marines to get them back into the fight much faster.
As a corpsman it’s easy to become hyper focused on your healing task at the expense of all else. If at all possible, make it a priority to drag your patient backwards into a safe zone before you start healing.
Always remember to secure the dropped gun of the Marine you are reviving whenever possible and safe to do, nothing’s worse than losing your gun or armor.
Check what other drugs are in a patient before giving them something, many Riflemen carry Tramadol and Tricordrazine as standard issue, and a Tramadol overdose can be quickly fatal.
When defibrillating, you can freely drop the defib on the ground and/or use your other hands to perform most other tasks. You can choose to defib someone and then start feeding them pills while the defib is charging.
One man/woman medbay.
If you ask one hundred Medic players what their loadout is, you will get one hundred different answers.
The image above is a rough visualization of one of my general Corpsman loadout, and is in the “ideal” position of being fully kitted, which may not may not be possible depending on your circumstances.
I highly encourage each Corpsman to work on their own loadout, you will come to discover what you prefer and how you want your loadout to be set up. Copying someone else’s loadout can be useful in a pinch, but doing so will ignore the processes of healing that player goes through when setting up their loadout, or dispensing healing in the field.
When designing your loadout, you should ensure that it is prepared to handle the following events.
- Can you fully splint one (1) Marine and all their limbs? What about five (5) Marines?
- Do you have enough supplies to revive someone with 800 damage?
- Can you fix someone’s Internal Bleeding?
- Can you deal with someone who overdosed on Tramadol? Can you fix Toxin damage?
- Can you ward off a flanking Xenomorph?
- Can you fix someone who has lost a lot of blood?
- Can you send someone who is suffering severe organ damage back to the Almayer?
Can you fix Eye or Brain damage yourself?
- Can you quickly move someone from point A to B? What about if you are in the middle of a general retreat? What if you are alone?
- Do you have quick access to a defibrillator? What happens if the defib is lost or runs out of battery?
I Literally Just Spawned In And Need A Kit Pronto
A quick setup guide if you need a good kit with little prep time. In spite of its simpleness this kit can sustain you for a surprising amount of time.
- Go to your Medical Equipment Rack, get your standard Marine kit, Medium or Light armor, Satchel, a Lifesaver Bag, Revival Reagent Canister Pouch and a Shotgun Shell Pouch or Magazine Pouch based on weapon choice. Also get a Webbing Vest.
- Get your ‘Essential Medical Set’. Place the Defibrillator in your backpack, your Analyzer in your Lifesaver bag. Put the roller bed, medvac stretcher, surgical and synth-graft and surgical case in your webbing, put the stasis bag and two blood bags in your armor.
- Grab the free Advance First Aid Kit, buy two more Adv-FAKs and stuff them in your satchel. Empty the Tricord injectors and buy three more splints and put them in their place.
- Buy one Bicard, one Kelotane and one Tramadol pill bottle and put it in your lifesaver bag.
- Grab a weapon of choice. Either a Shotgun with Slug/Buckshot or a M41A, pref with AP or extended standard rounds.
That’s it, you have a functional loadout, if not basic. For optional actions you can.
- Go to Medical, grab an extra Defibrillator and put it in your satchel.
- Get in the chem line, ask for ImiAlky (IA), if the line is not busy consider asking for MB, KD and/or NW.
- Take out one blood bag, make a free slot in your A-FAK and put it there. Put a portable Fire Extinguisher in your armor slot, safety off.
- See if you can convince an Engineer buddy, and the Medical department/Command, to hack a Wey-Med vend machine so you can get even more useful medical supplies. Bonus points if you get it dragged onto the dropship.
- Fill your helmet slots with free Tricord or Oxycodone injectors for yourself.
- Organize your A-FAKs to separate the Brute/Burn/Splints into separate boxes.
- If you have free time, try replacing your Medic clothing with Standard Riflemen clothing to disguise yourself
That’s it, you should have more than enough supplies for a long drawn out battle.
Practice makes permanent. You gain experience by playing the role, but I hope this guide will give you a solid foundation to work upon and improve your skills.
Corpsmen are one of the oft unappreciated and overworked backbones of the Marine force. Every single role in the Marine force is critical to its success, but those guns and barricades cannot be armed without healthy men and women who can stand on their own two feet.
Have fun, and remember to take a break from Corpsman every once in a while.
Every Medic main is a temporarily embarrassed Specialist main.
17/05/23 - Added new tips, expanded thoughts on chemicals, noted Marines about to die have their HUD stop flashing red
25/05/23 - Fractures now cause IB, minor tidy up.
03/06/23 - Tidy up. New info regarding special equipment.
05/06/23 - Starting to add new images. More misc info about equipment. My thoughts on armour.