Staff Assistant

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Staff Assistant
Staff Assistant
Difficulty: Easy
Requirements: None
Access Level: Tool Storage, Tech Storage, Maintenance
Additional Roleplay Access Level: None
Supervisors: Head of Personnel, Captain
Subordinates: None
Responsibilities: Assist others when requested
Guides: Getting Started, Game FAQ

Often called "greyshirts" for their iconic grey jumpsuit, Staff Assistants are low-ranking crew members who start with a decent amount of access. While assistants are ostensibly supposed to help anybody on the station who wants an extra pair of hands, they are allowed to sit back and slack off and are often ignored. With its low responsibilities and even lower expectations, Staff Assistant is often used by newer players who are trying the game for the very first time and older players who just want to goof around.


Don't actively try to ruin shit, break into places, steal shit, and destroy stuff. This is generally known as "greytiding", and it's considered a form of Grief. Griefing is against the Rules if you're not an Antagonist; you'll usually know if you're an antag because there will be a big popup and chat message explaining the whole antag business. Think of this way: would you want people to do this stuff to you?

What do I do?

Officially, your responsibility includes asking people if they need help. This never, ever happens. Unofficially, you are the red-shirt of Space Station 13. Your life is meaningless and you are expected to litter a hallway with your corpse should hostile entities make it to Space Station 13.

The upshot of being so low on the food chain is that people don't expect much from you. Mind you, most people have low expectations towards almost every job besides Security, AI, and sometimes Medical, but the bar's even lower for Staff Assistants. No one really minds if a Staff Assistant spends a solid five minutes trying to figure out how to drink from a glass or spouting weird stuff into the chat trying to talk over radio. In the best case scenario, they might even actually help you!

That said, Staff Assistant is a very "create your own fun" job. You don't perform any real responsibilities or duties, and you don't have many game mechanics related to your job, so you have to find some way to entertain yourself on your own. This is fine if you're a veteran player and already know some ways to have fun, but if you're a new player starting out, you might be pretty bored once you've gotten the hang of the controls and interface. You do, however, have access to the civilian channel, allowing you to coordinate with other Staff Assistants or other civillians.


Here are some things you can do to pass the time and goof off if you're stuck as an assistant.

  • Wear the party princess suit and be a pretty princess *sparklesparkle*.
  • Wear the reporter jacket and fedora, take pictures and do interviews.
  • Open up one of the market areas to sell stuff you find around the station for profit.
  • Don't read Beepsky's journal, or disregard that, read his journal and play tag with Beepsky. Be aware that Beepsky always wins.
  • Be nice to security. Rough housing with Sec is punished harshly.
  • Hang out in the gym with other assistants pumping weights, doing drugs and feeling the burn.
  • Play the saxophone. Start a band.
  • Gamble away at the slot machines at the Bar. You might win the jackpot! The slots only accept money on ID cards, so you'll need to visit an ATM to transfer money to your ID card. (The notes command in your Commands tab on your right above the chat will show you your PIN.)
  • Try your luck at the claw machine. Collect all the plushies! Hold a tea party!
  • Visit Virtual Reality through the VR pods and goggles in the Arcade. Beat up evil tomatoes, toolbox mimics, aliens, and other baddies in the Critter Gauntlet! Beat up your friends in the Thunderdome, which is like basketball but with guns and swords! Smash drones in the Pod Colosseum! Race go-karts with your friends! Try out antag gear and abilities in the Murderbox! Play SS13-themed chess!
  • Play some tabletop games in the Bar and/or Crew Quarters. There are gameboards for playing chess and checkers, and card machines have several games available, including traditional Western playing cards, Japanese hanafuda cards, Tarot cards for Tarot (or other things), lots of colorful dice, dice cups for playing Liar's Dice, Go boards, and Spacemen: The Grifening, a SS13-themed mashup of Magic: the Gathering and Yu-gi-oh.
  • If you're not afraid of death (or already have someone in Medical ready to clone you), discover all the funny interactions that occur when using the suicide command while holding certain objects or near certain items. For starters, try doing it with a crowbar, or a disposal chute, or a firelock.


Pretty much no one but jerkasses will give you hell for not assisting people, but if you're looking to make yourself useful, there's a lot of ways you can lend a hand. Since you start with limited access, you'll probably have to ask the AI or someone of the relevant job to let you into places or request some access upgrades from the Head of Personnel, Captain, or Head of Security so you can help people.

  • Ask someone if you could shadow them and learn how they do their job, like an intern. Watch them work and do their everyday duties, help them out if they ask or seem to need it.
  • Drag corpses to Medbay so the medical staff can clone them or convert them into a Cyborg for revival. If they can't be revived, bring them to the Chapel for a funeral. The Chaplain has even less to do than you, and they'll be thrilled out of their mind to get corpses. Off the record you can also drag them to Kitchen where they will probably make food out of them.
  • Do repairs, fight fires and fix gas leaks. You should probably learn how to build walls and floors, and how to use fire extinguishers and fire suits first. Air leaks can be a danger to the station. Be careful about repairing hacked doors unless you know what you're doing. Shocked doors are bad for making friends.
  • Civilian
    • Help the Chef cook up delicious food. For example, you can help make flour into dough and put it in the oven and while the chef gets meat for burgers. Or simply bring out food to all the hungry customers.
    • Ease the Bartender's workload by filling out drink orders for them.
    • Be a taster for the Chef and Bartender.
    • Ask the Janitors for cleaning supplies, so you can help them clean up messes.
    • Assist the Botanists. Harvest plants when they're ready and give them water and/or nutrients when needed.
  • Medical
    • Man the Medbay reception desk. Open the doors for people trying to get in for treatment and bringing in dead people to revive. If you don't have access, you can usually use a "door control" button to open the front doors, but usually not any other doors.
    • Act as first aid. Administer epinephrine, put patients in sleepers, do CPR (Click on person with Help intent. If that results in you trying to wake them up, nudging them for attention, or patting their head, that means they're fine and don't need CPR.), bring out defibs, and just generally try to keep people alive so the Medical Doctors can treat them. The more Doctoring knowledge you have, the better!
    • Operate the cloner. When the bodies start piling up like cordwood, and critical patients start flooding in, the docs and their dead will love you.
    • Assist in surgeries. For example, you can apply styptic powder on the patient to help keep them alive during the operation. Once again, the more Doctoring you know, the better! (And even if you don't have any, it can be a good opportunity to learn some.)
    • Offer your services as "orderly" or "guard". Throw out people who don't politely ask for supplies and instead try to break in, beat up people who try to attack doctors or security.
    • Find a Medical Doctor and ask them how you can donate blood! It involves them using an empty IV drip to draw the blood out of you.
    • If the map has one, work in the Medbay chemistry lab and make medicines! This requires some chemistry and chemicals knowledge, but it's a good opportunity to learn them!
    • Go to Genetics and be a test subject for the Geneticists. Ask them to activate your mutations, so the Geneticists get materials, chromosomes, and other goodies given for activating mutations and so you can get fabulous powers.
    • Ask your Roboticists or Medical Director how you can donate your butt to the needy.
    • Construct cyborg bodies for the Roboticists when they're busy. If you know brain removal surgery, you can even convert people into cyborgs for them!
    • Find metal and glass to replenish the robotics fabricators in Robotics. Making robots and cyborgs can get expensive, so they'll often appreciate the aid. For example, you can order metal sheet packs and electrical supplies crates from Cargo, run them through a reclaimer, and then shove the processed materials into the fabricator.
  • Science
    • Ask the Scientists if they're planning a Telescience expedition to any of the Adventure Zones. Many puzzles require multiple people and/or battling monsters, so they'll appreciate the extra hand. You might even find phat loot! (And if nothing else, discover a more entertaining/horrifying/exciting death than usual.)
    • Offer to to be a human subject for whatever horrifying chemical concoctions the Scientists made.
    • Procure rare specimens and other objects occasionally used to make said horrifying chemical concoctions. Sometimes, it's as simple as asking the Botanists to grow a particular plant.
    • Operate the chem dispenser and make useful precursors.
    • Find artifacts for those working in Artifact Research. They're often found lying about maintenance and the Debris Field.
    • Assist in activating said artifacts and testing them.
  • Security
    • Be a receptionist for Security's front desk. Throw out people who try to break in/are trepassing (ideally without killing them).
    • Offer to go undercover. Prowl maintenance for any bodies, see if you can strike a deal with criminals and nab them in a sting operation.
    • Watch the security cameras for crime, report it to Sec, whether through PDA or radio. Pay particular attention to places like the Armory, AI Upload, and Plasma Research.
    • Keep watch over the Brig and make sure no one's trying to break any prisoners out.
    • Ask the Head of Security if they can deputize you and maybe even give you Security gear.
    • Follow a Security Officer around and help them out. Help them carry detainees, deal with people who try to steal their stuff or interfere with an arrest, and try to rescue them from any sticky situations.
    • Assist the Detective in investigations. Help them keep track of evidence and find gloves, blood stains, people, and other things they need to scan.

A Brief History of Greyshirts

Assistants date back to the dawn of SS13. According to Exadv1, SS13's original creator, assistant and engineer were the first jobs in SS13, having been added somewhere around 2009 to 2010. During this time, there was only version of Space Station 13, spacepeople had blocky heads and limbs, and the UI consisted of grey bars plastered with MS Paint-quality graphics with garish colors. (The "Classic" UI theme captures only a hint of its glory.) As SS13 developed into separate codebases and branches, they gained a reputation for being a plague upon the station, tearing down every wall, breaking into every room and stealing everything not bolted down (and sometimes even bolts that hold the items down).

There used to be four types of assistants: yellow-suited technical assistants for Engineering, white-suited medical assistants for Medical, also white-suited Research Assistants for Research, and Staff Assistants for Security, which is rather ironic considering the stereotype of Staff Assistants messing with Security and generally being law-breakers than law-enforcers. That last part is why the old A Crash Course in Legal SOP document mentions Staff Assistants being able to conduct trials if given permission and why the ancient Job Information paper says Staff Assistants should be going on patrols.

Early on, on July 4th, 2008, all four of these roles were subsumed into a single Assistant job. Technical assistants and medical assistants were re-introduced on February 10th, 2012, but removed again on December 23rd of the same year, because all they did was loot the extra places they could access. Staff Assistants lost their Sec access and gained Technical Assistants' Tech Storage access. Almost a decade later, on September 24th, 2021, Technical Assistants and Medical Assistants returned once more, alongside Research Assistants and the Head Surgeon.

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. If you complete your objectives by the end of the round, you'll get some bonus Spacebux and might even earn some Medals too. As a staff assistant, you can expect to see the following:

Have your butt removed somehow by the end of the round.
Make sure that you are wearing your own butt on your head when the escape shuttle leaves.
Robotics can help with both of these here. Just tell the Roboticist you want your butt as a hat and they'll usually oblige you quickly.

Completing the "Have your butt removed..." objective for the first time awards you the I don't give a shit medal, while completing the "Make sure that you are wearing your own butt..." one gives Shit for brains. These don't have any special rewards tied to them, aside from being able to tell someone you got your butt cut off, and possibly wore it on your head too, and got an achievement for it.

End the round with a non-Assistant ID registered to you
Go bother the Head of Personnel or the Captain for a job change. Otherwise, steal an ID off a corpse. The latter might not complete the objective, but hey, new ID.

Completing this objective for the first time gives you the medal Glass ceiling.

End the round wearing at least one piece of clown clothing
You could do as this objective says and wear just one piece of clown clothing, but a true assistant knows that you either wear the entire clown suit or nothing at all.

Regardless of how you did it, completing this objective for the first time awards a medal/achievement, specifically the one named honk HONK mother FU-.

Ensure that Gnome Chompski escapes on the shuttle
Not only is Gnome an expert at hiding, but if you find him and bring him on the shuttle, it's likely someone will kidnap him before you can leave safely. And sometimes, if no one is looking, Chompski also teleports to some random location around him! Easily the hardest assistant objective.

Completing this objective for the first time gives you the Guardin' Gnome medal. This medal doesn't unlock a special sticker or reskin or whatever, but you can tell your friends you got it and make them think you're talking about the Left 4 Dead 2 achievement of the same name, which is much harder than this one.

Ensure that Head Surgeon escapes on the Shuttle
While Head Surgeon doesn't hide himself like Chompski, he tends to hang in Operating Theatre or the general Medbay area, which you have limited access to. Try asking your local Janitor or Medical Doctor to bring him out.

You get the What's this box doing here? medal upon completing this objective. Aside from bragging rights, there's no special reward attached to it.

Escape on the shuttle alive as a monkey.
You'll need to politely ask the Geneticists to take you into their lab and make you into a Monkey. Go to Medbay and ask someone if they could take you there. Being a monkey has a lot of advantages and disadvantages, like people not being able to understand your speech, so buyer beware.

Completing this objective for the first time gives you the Primordial medal. While some medals in Goonstation unlock skins or some such, this one doesn't; it has no medal reward associated with it.

Get your grubby hands on a spacesuit
When the round ends, make sure you're wearing a spacesuit. It doesn't matter which one; you can scour emergency oxygen closets and Pod Bays for emergency suits, ask a Head of Staff to hand you a generic space suit from EVA, obtain an engineering space suit by transferring to Engineering or Mining, etc. There are also some unique space suits scattered throughout the Debris Field, and if you're especially lucky or helpful, the Captain might give you their special version as a reward.

Upon completing this objective for the first time, you'll earn the Vacuum Sealed medal. It doesn't allow you to spawn in a space suit or whatever; it's not like Team Fortress 2 where some achievements unlock weapons and other stuff. It's just the game giving a little pat on the back.

Escape on the shuttle alive wearing at least one piece of mail courier clothing.
"Mail courier clothing" includes the postmaster's jumpsuit and postmaster's hat.

Your best bet is probably going to the Cargo Bay and asking the Quartermasters. Their job equipment locker (which is creatively named "Quartermaster's locker") has a postmaster's hat and jumpsuit, and if they aren't wearing them while delivering mail, they'll probably be happy to part with them, particularly if there are multiple Quartermaster's lockers (which means multiple sets of mail courier clothes). They can also order Haberdasher's Crates, which sometimes have postmaster's hats.

There are a couple of other ways to obtain mail courier clothing. Depending on the map, you might be able to find a set in Waste Disposals or the Routing Depot (if applicable). Just beware of all the conveyors belts and flying objects. If there's a Mail Courier around, you might be able to persuade them into giving you part of their uniform. Perhaps you could say you want to learn what it's like to be a postal worker and help them out; after you've gotten to know them and done some tasks for them, they'll probably be willing to let you wear their hat and/or jumpsuit if you ask. Alternatively, you could simply offer to buy it off of them. Finally, if you have the Petasusaphilic trait, you might randomly spawn with a postmaster's hat as your trinket, although with so many hats, the odds aren't great; another person with Petasusaphilic might have it though.

Completing this objective for the first time gives you the The mail always goes through medal. Some medals unlock rewards, but this one does not, save for the standard video game feeling of Satisfaction for Completing an Achievement.

Shades of Grey: Antagonist Staff Assistant

Don't fret when you get assigned an antagonist role as an assistant. Assistants are often ignored and widely considered only to be an annoying nuisance, so use that to your advantage! While other antags have to keep up the pretense of doing their real job, you don't have a real job, and the upshot of not having actual job mechanics is that you don't need much prepwork to reach your full potential.

Use what little access you do have to your advantage. You have access to a few pod bays and other storage areas where you can find all the tools you'll need for breaking and entering, making traps and acquiring weapons. If your current amount of access is inadequate, you could go to the HoP and request a promotion that will further your evil schemes.

A Traitorous Assistant: The Underdog Insurgent

Getting Traitor as Staff Assistant can be a lot of fun. Since you aren't bogged down by any actual job duties, you can devote yourself entirely to whatever Traitor gimmick idea tickles your fancy. You could, for example, buy a katana and pretend you're not some random greyshirt, but a ronin, enforcing your twisted code of justice. Or you could dress up like a wild west gambler, buy nothing but derringers, and challenge people to absurdly high-stakes card games where you shoot your opponent if they lose (and possibly shoot them when they win too because you're just that sore of a loser.) Alternatively, you might just feel like buying an emag and emagging all the things.

Do you like stealing things or just messing with people in general? The pickpocket gun is a great tool for that. Aim it at someone, and it does something different depending on the mode and the limb you're targeting. The "steal" mode lets you take certain items off people, as you'd expect, while "plant" lets you put items on people, so you can, say, reverse-pickpocket explosives onto them. "Harass" performs various antics. For example, it can give them wedgie if you aim at their chest or make them hit themselves if you target the arms!

In addition to the standard set of gear, you can order quite a few job-specific items too. Most job-specific Syndicate items are designed to twist a role's mechanics towards more dastardly deeds, but since you don't actually have a real job, the ones you can order are built for gimmicks and messing with people in weird and often wacky ways (and a lot of them are shared by other jobs too).

  • The amplified vuvuzela is a stun gun disguised as a musical horror. In addition to giving people significant ear damage and being an audio menace, both in-game and in real life, it is surprisingly good at stunning people, beating out a taser in some respects. The perfect gun for both downing people for murder and annoying the crap of people.
  • Moustache grenades give people mustaches they can't remove. A truly dastardly prank. In addition to being a significant blow to their fashion sense, it also makes them unable to put on a mask for internals. They can still get oxygen from various chemicals and such, but you'll still make handling hull breaches and gas leaks much harder. For extra fun, steal a riot launcher from Sec to make them easier to deploy, and detonate them at Miners, Engineers, and other people who depend a lot on internals.
  • Do you enjoy tricking people into farting on a bible and making them accidentally gib themselves? The mini-Bible is for you. Its sprite is very small and thus very easy to hide, making it great for both lying on the ground over a bible and letting people fart on your face and more complicated setups that use chemicals to force people into farting.
  • Planting a kudzu seed is a little bit like a less deadly version of a Blob round. It's not going to kill a lot of people, but it is going to be very disruptive. If the crew tries to fight it, they're going to tie up a lot of manpower and waste a lot of time. If most of the crew ignores it, it'll grow out of control and significantly impede traveling between areas. In either case, it makes a great distraction for your other nefarious deeds and is almost untraceable. It also has a unique effect of reviving bodies into kudzupeople that spread the kudzu further, so you can potentially use this to give your murder victims a second lease on life while also letting them serve your needs.
  • The barrel of monkeys is a barrel of monkeys, both literally and figuratively. When activated, the barrel releases murderous monkeys with weapons and extra aggressive AI. They violently (and often lethally) assault anybody they see—INCLUDING YOU, so keep your distance. Try convincing the Head of Personnel or Captain to give you access to Telescience or the Teleporter Room for remote evil monkey delivery or Mechanic's Workshop access for building death traps with them. For extra style, try killing the Geneticists or Scientists with these.

Supplementary Video

Jobs on Space Station 13
Command &
Captain · Head of Security · Head of Personnel · Chief Engineer · Research Director · Medical Director · Security Officer · Detective · Security Assistant · Nanotrasen Security Consultant
Medical &
Geneticist · Roboticist · Scientist · Medical Doctor
Engineering Quartermaster · Miner · Engineer
Civilian Chef · Bartender · Botanist · Rancher · Janitor · Chaplain · Mail Courier · Staff Assistant · Radio Host · Clown · Gimmick jobs
Jobs of the Day Dungeoneer · Barber · Waiter · Lawyer · Tourist · Musician · Boxer
Antagonist Roles With own mode Arcfiend · Blob · Changeling · Gang Member · Flockmind · Nuclear Operative · Spy Thief · Traitor · Revolutionary · Vampire · Wizard
Others Grinch · Hunter · Krampus · Werewolf · Wraith · Wrestler · Zombie · Gimmick antagonist roles
Special Roles Artificial Intelligence · Battler · Cluwne · Critter · Cyborg · Ghost · Ghostdrone · Monkey · Santa Claus