When it comes to multiplayer horror games, the formula is pretty similar across each title.
Players either cooperate with each other against a supernatural force, fight amongst themselves and a supernatural force, or sometimes take control of that supernatural force to take out other players. There’s quite a bit of variety, but it’s rare when a game truly shakes up the formula.
This is where SCP: Secret Laboratory comes into play.
In this free-to-play multiplayer title, players are split across multiple different teams. Secret Laboratory makes these teams more interesting with their goals; rival teams can find themselves with the same objective, and even people on the same team can end up hurting their allies in order to achieve victory.
Each game can feel completely different, to the point where your teammates can be a detriment...or your enemies provide you with the means to achieve victory.
As of right now, the SCP: Secret Laboratory Parabellum update is in the works. Players can opt-in to play it on Steam in a beta format by going into the game’s properties in your library; publicbeta - 11.0.0 is what you should click. The full release isn’t quite ready yet, but if previous updates are anything to go by, it should be in a couple of weeks.
If you haven’t heard of this game before and you’re interested in getting into SCP: Secret Laboratory Parabellum, you should probably know what the game is about first.
Information about the game can be found on its official website. But for those of you that want a quick guide to help you jump in, read on!
This article will help any newcomer to the game, as well as current players that just want to learn more about the Parabellum update.
SCP: Secret Laboratory takes place in an underground facility. Within the facility, there are two main groups - Humans and SCPs.
Humans need to escape the facility, help other humans escape, or neutralize any threats remaining in the facility. SCPs are the “monsters” of this game; using special anomalous powers, their goal is to kill pretty much any human they see.
While generally much weaker than SCPs, humans have a number of tools to fight back. One of these tools is the ability to pick items up, such as weapons to use against their enemies or keycards that can help them escape the facility.
Still, the SCPs have massive pools of health and are usually able to kill humans in just a couple of hits, if not instantly. This isn’t particularly scary by itself, but the true horror comes in its multiplayer gameplay.
In your average game of SCP: Secret Laboratory, you won’t ever encounter bots or AI. Every human and every dangerous SCP is meant to be controlled by another player on your server.
The only way to communicate in-game is through voice chat, too - most players use a microphone during gameplay.
Because of this, nearly every game can be different - if you’re lucky, you can strike bargains with some of the deadliest creatures you’ll face. This won’t always work, of course, but it throws a wrench into the usual structure of each round that makes things very intense...and, many times, very fun as well.
Image from the Steam Community
The most widespread team of the bunch, Class-D Personnel, are orange-garbed humans that have been locked up by the facility’s staff. T
heir goal is to escape the facility alive, whether on their own terms or in handcuffs. Meanwhile, Scientists are the most scarce humans; with a bright white suit and not-very-helpful glasses, their goal is to escape the facility as well. But they start off with a keycard that can help give them a head start in their escape.
Both of these teams spawn in the Light Containment Zone, the deepest part of the facility. It’s a randomly generated maze containing numerous locked doors that can only be opened with keycards.
The game usually starts out with the objective of finding the room marked “914”, which - when opened with a keycard - contains a station that players can use to upgrade their items. Using it, players can get the highest tiers of weapons and keycards, allowing them to escape the facility in one fell swoop.
This isn’t the only way players move through the zone, however. Certain rooms may spawn with a gun inside, and either team can use it to kill (or, in the Parabellum update, handcuff) rival humans.
Particularly speedy players might also find other keycards in those rooms, which they can use to open the 914 room without being a scientist...or to try and leave the zone early if the card they find allows it.
The Mobile Task Force is a group of players that spawns on the facility’s surface after the round’s start. They come heavily equipped with blue uniforms, powerful guns, high-tier keycards, and items that offer healing and protection.
Their goal is to rescue scientists and gun down everyone and everything else.
They can also handcuff Class-D Personnel to help them escape, but that’s just an option - the MTF can usually gun them down at their discretion.
Facility Guards are MTF by a different name, but they spawn at the round’s start. Their only major differences are their gray uniforms and their generally weaker equipment, along with spawning in the Entrance Zone - the last section of the facility before the escape.
They won’t be able to open doors that lead to the surface, though, so Facility Guards will need to head deeper into the facility to find useful keycards in order to do so.
At least one scientist or handcuffed Class-D needs to escape in order for the MTF to win; on top of this, they also need to neutralize all other threats in the facility. This is where they face their toughest moments because SCPs - and belligerent Class-D Personnel - aren’t their only foes.
Sometimes, instead of the Mobile Task Force, a different group will spawn on the surface. This group is known as the Chaos Insurgency.
These green-clad, gas mask-wearing players come equipped with even heavier weaponry and all-around better keycards than MTF members. It can be rare for them to spawn, but their equipment gives them a major advantage over their rivals.
The goal of the Chaos Insurgency is to rescue at least one Class-D Personnel (or one handcuffed scientist). They have no further requirements other than taking out whatever remains of the Mobile Task Force.
In fact, the Chaos Insurgency can very commonly cooperate with SCPs, as neither team needs to attack each other in order to secure a victory. They have the option to, but neither side gains much from it.
On that note, the SCPs are the deadliest team of them all. They all spawn in the Heavy Containment Zone, smack-dab in the middle of the facility...with the exception of SCP-173, which spawns in the Light Containment Zone.
Their goal is simple: to kill any human they come across.
As long as one SCP is alive and no Class-D Personnel or handcuffed Scientists escape, they will always have a chance at winning. All they need is to be the last group standing...or, under the right circumstances, for the Chaos Insurgency to have killed everyone else without rescuing anyone.
It can be a bit difficult to talk about the SCPs, as they’re the most diverse of the teams. I’ll list them off one by one here.
These are the various classes you’ll face - or potentially play as - when joining a game of SCP: Secret Laboratory. If you need a refresher in-game, pressing and holding F1 will bring up an information screen about whatever class you’re playing as. It will also list key bindings, which you can modify to your leisure in the game’s settings menu.
This is most of what you need to know before starting a game of SCP: Secret Laboratory for the first time. But when the Parabellum update makes its full release, there are some major changes to the game you’ll want to keep an eye out for.
As part of the Parabellum update, SCP-173 ended up getting a new model and new mechanics. It can now give itself a speed boost to move faster through the facility, as well as leave behind puddles that slow down players crossing its path. 173 also has way more control over making players blink, allowing it to plan its position and eliminate humans with much greater efficiency.
The changes go a little further than that too. SCP-079 was made easier for humans to take out, many of the guns have been reworked with new models and attachments, and players are able to handcuff multiple people at a time.
Further information about the new additions to the update can be found on the game’s official website, so feel free to check that out at your leisure.
Even in the beta, some servers are modded to introduce their own changes to the game. Some of them simply change the health values of some SCPs, while others go as far as making it impossible to end the round unless the SCPs kill the Chaos Insurgency (or vice versa).
You can usually see what changes were made to each server by clicking them on the server list - some text will appear detailing additional information.
SCP: Secret Laboratory has a pretty complex gameplay structure, but it’s not actually as deep as you might think. Currently, there’s no ranking system, no major progress to keep track of, and no larger incentive to keep playing outside of just having fun.
This article will likely help new players get into the game much more easily, but no one should feel pressured over needing to be as good as they can. In the end, SCP: Secret Laboratory is simply a fun multiplayer horror game. And, seeing as it’s free, it’s one game I would highly recommend to anyone, especially with its newest update on the verge of a full release.