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Smoke. Drink. Monologue.
The Detective is responsible for investigating crimes on the station. While security will hopefully quickly note a rampaging traitor with a bloody c-saber in their hands, stealthy antagonists can easily slip beneath the radar and carry out their tasks without regular officers noticing. The detective is well-equipped for investigation but not for actually going out and arresting people. Detectives should remember that while they are part of security, they are not security officers and lack access to the security equipment lockers.

That said, the detective is encouraged use the security headset to stay in touch with the team. To use it, simply type:

  • say :g Just found a husk in disposals, stay alert!

The Office

So cool.
So cool.
So cool.
So cool.
So cool.
So cool.

The detective's office, in addition to its sleek noir style, features a few useful items. The security computer (looks like a filing cabinet) is a much easier way to adjust and check security records than the ThinkDOS security computer. The surveillance camera (looks like an old TV) allows you to remotely monitor the station, though without the ease of switching between cameras the AI enjoys. Surveying hot spots can occasionally let the detective spot trouble before it happens, or help him coordinate security efforts from the safety of his office. The closet contains most of your portable equipment as well as spare investigation items.


As a detective, you get a variety of gear for variety of situations.

Investigating Crime Scenes

Forensic Scanner ForensicScannerNew.png

Scans fingerprints and blood on items, players, doors, machinery, etc. Players who wear gloves do not add complete fingerprints on items, but generally do leave fibers along with an unique ID (see below).

Blood analysis gives the DNA of the blood, for which the detective's file cabinet (Search Records) or a regular security terminal can be used to find a match.

Ballistic fingerprinting is another of the scanner's applications for weapons which leave physical evidence behind. The scanner will indicate gunshot wounds on a body, and a forensic profile can then be created for bullets dug out of said corpse, or in other words link that revolver you found on a suspect to the murder in question. The forensic signature of kinetic firearms as well as certain energy guns (e.g. lasers and phasers) can also be isolated from bullet holes in the walls of the station.

In addition, firing a kinetic firearm leaves detectable residue on the shooter, as well as spent casings (see next section) on the floor. Consider that only a handful of jobs (for instance the HoS, Medical Director and barman) have legitimate access to such weapons.

The scanner shows the contraband level of certain items, such as Syndicate gear or guns. Securitrons use the same value for their target algorithm and will usually give chase if the value is 4 or higher and the suspect isn't authorized to carry weapons.

The PDA has the same functionality, with one exception. The non-PDA version can be used to look up names, fingerprints and blood DNA on the go. Just click on the scanner or use the key to activate something in-hand (usually C or Page Down) to search through the Security database.

BloodTrak scanner BloodTrak.png

Scan a puddle of blood. If you stand still, and the blood scanned/injected into the scanner is still fresh, the scanner will give you a rough direction of where the blood DNA match is located relative to the scanner.

Documenting Evidence

Camera & Tape Recorder Camera.png AudioLogger.png

You can, obviously, use the camera to take photos of people, objects, etc. in one tile as photographic evidence. For example, you might take some pics of the perp you spotted making bombs, so you can convince the crew, or at least the Security Officers, to search/arrest the perp or be on the lookout for bombings.

Meanwhile, the tape recorder/audio logger will record your voice, and yours only, if you hold it. If you put it down on the floor, it'll pick up anything said in a room within a roughly 7 tile radius. It can also be hidden under a backpack or something to surreptitiously record a conversation.

Secure Briefcase & Evidence Box Newsecurebriefcase.png EvidenceBox2.png

The briefcase is a good storage place for your gear or any sensitive items you pick up. It can be set to any 4-digit code you like. A locked case can be emagged or hacked open by those in the know. Your office also has a wall safe that works the same way.

The evidence box isn't as secure, but you can easily store it away in your bag. Plus, it can store all the other tools you have.


Your Gun & Flash Detectivegun.png Flash.png

You start with a unique snub-nose revolver that's small enough to fit in your pocket, so you can defend yourself and avoid becoming a crime scene. For ammo, you have the choice of lethal .38 Spc rounds that cause a good bit of damage and bleeding and nonlethal .38 Stun rounds that drain stamina similar to taser shots. The latter is rather plentiful, so don't be afraid to use them.

In addition, you start with a flash as an additional self-defense weapon. One flash will disorientate most people, causing them to drop whatever items they have. A second usually drains all their stamina, causing them to fall to the floor, giving you ample time to flee.

Optical Thermal Scanner Thermals.png

These goggles expand how far you can see in the dark and allow you to see through cloaking devices, potentially allowing you to get the jump on cloak users or at least flee with a headstart. However, they also make especially bright lights stun you longer and hurt your eye, so be careful around flashers and the like.

Detective's VR Goggles Vrgoggles.png

Spawns in your backpack. This particular pair sends you to a private virtual beach fully equipped with a security computer, camera monitor and cigarette machine. When used in conjunction with the forensic scanner, you are provided with the means to remotely manage the security records with surprising efficiency.

Spy Sticker Set Box2.png

It works just like Syndie spy stickers, but without the video feed and audio fixed towards the Security Channel, 135.9. It can pick up someone talking 7 tiles away from the sticker.

Somewhat limited, but has a bit of utility if you get creative. Stick on someone to bug them! Stick on a random item, put it in a pile, and use Move to Top on the other items to hide it away! Stick on Beepsky and other roaming robots! Just remember: right click the sticker to tune it to the Sec channel.

DetGadget Hat Detective hat.png

A fashionable, novel toolkit for your detective essentials, found in the locker in your office. Shove any of the items accepted below, and when you say/mention the hat's activation phrase with the name of the item, the hat will put it in your hands (or, in the case of cigarettes, your mouth or your hand) or drop it on the floor if your hands are full.

The hat accepts the following items:

By default, the activation phrase is "go go gadget" but using the Set Activation Phrase command will allow you to change it. In addition, The hat will only listen to its wearer...but due to the way the hat is coded, it will also listen to anyone standing on the same tile as you, e.g. someone farting on your face.

Shoulder Holster ShoulderHolster.png

A belt slot item that's a natural companion to your DetGadget hat. While you might think it can only hold your gun, it can actually hold any small object and any of the various weapons used by Security. You can use it to store things the DetGadget doesn't accept, like your revolver, extra ammo for your gun, notes,...or shitons of more cig boxes.

Investigation Tips

A good detective should be familiar with the abilities and gear of the station's varied antagonists as well as the fundamentals of forensic systems. Many interactions with objects, crew members and the station at large are traceable:

  • Picking up and using items
  • Operating computers and other machinery
  • Bumping into or clicking on doors to open/close them
  • Pulling objects or bodies
  • Melee attacks (disarm, grab etc)
  • Accessing somebody's inventory
  • etc.
Blood DNA
  • Open wounds
  • Attacking somebody with a sufficiently powerful weapon covers both the assailant and victim in blood
  • Gibs can contain blood traces
  • etc.

Gloves obscure the fingerprints of the wearer, but at least provide you with a couple of clues. Aside from an unique ID, every pair of gloves is made of fibers that can be attributed to a certain material:

Type Material Typically worn by
Fingerless gloves N/A. Doesn't mask prints. Radical dudes.
Latex gloves N/A. Partial prints obscured by junk symbols. Medical staff
Black gloves black leather fibers Detective, botanist, miner, QM
SWAT gloves high-quality synthetic fibers Syndicate operatives
Boxing gloves red leather fibers Boxer, Staff Assistant
Insulated gloves insulative fibers Heads of staff, engineer, mechanic, QM
Stungloves [material], electrically charged Ditto. Also vigilantes.
Power gloves insulative fibers and nanomachines Traitor
Concussive gauntlets industrial-grade mineral fibers Miner
Cursed white gloves greasy polymer fibers Cluwne

There's more to be learnt from spent casings than the forensic signature. Looking at them closely can give you a rough idea of the caliber, type of ammunition and firearm used to commit the crime:

Type Caliber Typically fired by
CasingSmall.png Small handgun .22 .22 pistol, zip gun
CasingMedium.png Medium handgun .38, .357, .41 .38 and .357 revolver, zip gun, derringer (casing looks "fat and stumpy")
CasingRifle.png Rifle .308 AK, tranquilizer and hunting rifle
CasingShotgunBlue.png Shotgun blue 12 ga Shotguns (rubber slugs)
CasingShotgunOrange.png Shotgun orange 12 ga Shotguns (Frag-12), flare pistol
CasingShotgunRed.png Shotgun red 12 ga Shotguns (buckshot)
Casing40mmGrenade.png Grenade 40mm Grenade launcher

Everyone's prints and DNA strings are already on file in the security database, though these records can be deleted or tampered with and don't include non-NT personnel. While the detective will sometimes be fortunate enough to find a traitor item with a complete set of prints, they often have to work out traitors based on suspicious behavior, tailing people and listening to the communications from the rest of the crew. Occasionally checking in on really sensitive areas such as the armory, AI upload, or mixing lab can avert serious disaster. Checking out waste disposal or garbage chutes can uncover murder victims or hastily stashed gear.

The camera is a great tool if you can catch traitors in the act of doing something suspicious. Some traitors, when aware that the heat is on, may clean and/or ditch their gear, take a shower to wash off forensic evidence and then attempt to bullshit their way out of imprisonment. Solid evidence is much harder to argue against.

If you have enough evidence to support arresting someone who has not committed an overt act of treason, alert security over the secure frequency and set their status to Arrest in the security records. This will have Officer Beepsky and other active securitrons attempt to detain the target. The detective can assist in arrests, but with no armor or taser, should leave the heavy lifting to security officers.

The detective has the option of having their thermals scanned at electronics, giving the crew many more eyes against cloakers.

Crew Objectives

As a loyal crew member, you can sometimes be assigned some strictly optional objectives to keep yourself busy while you wait for something to happen. As a detective, you can expect to see the following:

Ensure that you are still wearing your coat, hat and uniform at the end of the round
Just don't get mugged, which is very unlikely.

Make sure you are smoking at the end of the round
Just make sure you have your smokes and your zippo, and light up when you're in the escape shuttle.

Make sure there is alcohol in your system at the end of the round
Keep your Bo Jack Daniels on you and take a swig on the shuttle. Before or after lighting up.

Syndicate Detective

The Syndicate detective may order custom ammunition for his revolver. Aside from that, he has a lot of other options to work with. Most captains and HoPs won't object to giving you security access, letting you load up on weaponry. The AI can generally be convinced to let you in wherever if you say it needs investigating. The security records can be tampered with to accomplish a variety of tasks, not just sending Officer Beepsky after the captain and deleting your own record, but also altering fingerprints to frame someone else for possession of traitor gear. Cloaking devices are also handy, as you already control one of the two thermals on the station.

Supplementary Video

Playing Detective on SS13

Jobs on Space Station 13
Staff Assistant - Chef - Barman - Chaplain - Janitor - Botanist - Clown - Job of the Day - Gimmick jobs
Engineer - Mechanic - Miner - Quartermaster
Medical & Research:
Medical Doctor - Geneticist - Roboticist - Scientist
Command & Security:
Security Officer - Detective - Chief Engineer - Medical Director - Research Director - Head of Security - Head of Personnel - Captain
Antagonist Roles:
Changeling - Nuclear Operative - Traitor - Wizard - Vampire - Wraith - Blob - Werewolf - Predator - Grinch - Krampus
Gang Member - Revolutionary - Spy Thief - Wrestler - Flockmind - Gimmick antagonist roles
Special Roles:
Artificial Intelligence - Cluwne - Critter - Cyborg - Ghost - Ghostdrone - Monkey - Santa Claus