Subnautica - SCUBA, Unknown Worlds, drowning


I love this game and everybody on Earth should buy it. Really - but with that being said I hope they did something about performance because after the last month’s patch, once you built up a base it becomes nearly unplayable in the Northern Deep and any zones near the base. Fps going from 8fps-30fps back and forth took all the fun out of the game.

You should still buy it because it is truly amazing, but man I hope they did something about that in this month’s patch because I don’t want to keep waiting to play…


Tom, my apologies for bumping this thread. :)

I’m tempted by this game, but I’ve read some complaints that recent updates have increased the frequency and danger of attackers. Critics say the game is now less about exploration and more about fending off constant attacks. Is that criticism fair? I love the sound of an exploration-focused game with survival and crafting elements, like Minecraft underwater. But I don’t want to play a first-person shooter.


Yeah, the recent updates have resulted in a more harried playing experience in general, but my impression is that this is simply due to there being new features and major feature changes that still require further balancing.

There are more baddies, and the existing baddies are more aggressive. There are also more defensive options, but still no actual weapons unless you count the knife. It’s a little tougher to obtain access to certain key resources and blueprints for, I believe, the time being as they work on balance.

The game just doesn’t feel like it’s designed around combat to me; stealth seems to be the intended (now or future) play style and engagement is always a last resort.

The Minecrafty exploration with survival/crafting elements thing is definitely very much a part of it, and it can be amazing in that regard depending on how you play.


I played this recently for the first time. I really liked the idea and the environment, but yes the wild life was annoyingly aggressive. I often used my mini sub to simply ram enemies over and over until they died when they were near things of interest.

I do have one overall design complaint though. The world is quite big and finding tech can become quite tedious, even when using the wiki. I had all these upgrades I could make, but could not find the upgrade station tech to make anything. Even using the wiki searching suggested areas turned up nothing. It wasn’t until I built the sub and used a map and spent a fair amount of time that I found a wreck that had what I needed.

The game really needs a map, which should start out blank. Also there should be some story reasons guide you through the tech tree.

I mean, just random exploring is fun, but it can get frustrating after a while. If you need X, and you have a large world to explore, finding X can become very tedious. Also, silver needs to be more abundant. I had piles and piles of gold, copper, and lead, but silver was always a rare commodity.

I put the game down and I hope it gets finished soon. Id like to try it again when its done. It does have a few bugs and other issues at the moment that need to be addressed.


Finally located some PRAWN suit fragments! Now I have a torpedo arm blueprint and 15% of the suit blueprint. I swear I was THIS close to heading back to base after a very long away mission, and was planning to spawn some in when I got there.

I don’t think the wiki is 100% up-to-date with the latest fragment and wreck details, so yeah, you just have to wander and when you find wrecks, explore them carefully and mark them with beacons. Pretty sure they’ll eventually address this by adding more story content and breadcrumbs.

And that tech (I think you meant the the Modification Station but the same can be said for the Vehicle Modification Station) is kind of a mid-game thing, so you’re meant to work harder for it.


I do not think people should just wander around aimlessly in hopes of stumbling across tech. The world is just too big. Sure you can start off doing that in the starting area. The starting area is well lit and you can see far. However, once you get deeper its all darkness and gloom.

Now if you had an in-game map (which you should) that filled in as you explored, that would help a lot.

I really like the game, and look forward to its release. I do not want to play it anymore until its done (which I heard is very early next year). Ill still have some of those complaints unless the address that. It seems bad design to need a wiki to find things. I do not expect a giant arrow pointing at what I need, but to have some kind of other reason to lead you to the general area to search would not be bad.

They could do this with some kind of AI partner. I could give you some advice and be a mechanism to explore an area. All it would take is, “My sensors detect some unknown tech in the sand dune sea, which is NE of here.” or something like that. Then you would have a zone to search, even though it is a large zone.


I think I read somewhere that an in-game map actually existed at one point in time early on and was removed, and I don’t see anything in the roadmap suggesting that they’ll put it back. The game needs one, I agree.

Apparently you can create your own in-game map pretty easily by dropping an image into your game slot screenshots folder. Google “in game map”. Does not auto-update, though.


There will be plenty of detailed maps on release. One of the reasons they don’t want to include a map in-game is it will change the entire dynamic of the ocean environment you’re in. Let’s see if I can explain this because I went from hating no mini-map to loving it because of how it makes me “feel” in-game:

When you start the game you have just 2 points of reference. A giant ship off on one side, and your own life pod. When you look out at the other 3 cardinal directions you see nothing but the vast sea of water. This is also why I like space exploration sims. You feel tiny in the environment and loads games don’t do a good job of portraying this outside of fog of war. It’s a scary feeling.
“What if I swim too far?”
“Where does the map end?”
“Is there even a map edge?”

The game’s environments and biomes are masterfully crafted by hand, so the more you play, the more you’ll understand where you are based on the zones you enter and leave, plus the direction of travel. You will get a compass later on that aids you in travel, plus you can place marker buoys. But the moment you have a full mini-map you will absolutely lose the wonder and vast feeling of being alone surrounded by a quadrillion gallons of water. I know this because I printed out a map to help me find a wreck. I needed to because I thought I’d run into a bug where stuff wasn’t generating. The moment I did that, is the moment a lot of questions were answered. Questions I didn’t know I had and wish I didn’t know. The mystery is worth it.


I don’t need a detailed, spoiler-filled map. I just need something that can keep track of where I’ve been, and allow me to easily mark points of interest that merit further exploration. I ended up using an honest-to-God sheet of graph paper along with the coordinate numbers from the F1 screen to do some methodical exploration, but it was a very clunky system. And really, my mapping days are behind me at this point.


Don’t the beacons serve that function? They did for me, anyway.

Honestly, though, the occasional bumbling about was part of the experience for me. It made the map seem bigger than it was, and I often discovered cool stuff because I headed in the wrong direction. Getting my bearings, starting to recognize biomes and specific features after that initial overwhelming foray into the depths, was pretty satisfying.

My only disappointment was that it felt a bit too crowded when I finally got my awesome big submarine. It was a bit like a toy submarine in a bathtub, and it’s stately speed and shallow crush depth made me wonder why I was bothering (other than that I love docking my small submarine in my big submarine – not a euphemism). The extra storage was nice, I guess? Maybe there was some bigger, more open biomes I was missing?

Can’t wait to get back to it post-release.

  • yes beacons do
  • I felt the same way

I do wish there was a way to remotely turn them off temporarily because having a bunch blinking all the time is super annoying.


Beacon labels are limited to 25 characters or so, unfortunately. They definitely do the job for a while, but an in-game map that I can mark up myself would be kind of cool. Would have to be a mid or late game thing, IMO.


BiggerBoat, how deep have you taken your vehicles?


Uhhh … not sure? It’s been a few months. I put it away after about 20 hours intent on waiting until the full release.

I can’t recall what was the deepest biome I explored. The deep glowy mushroom biome, maybe? I recall adding several hull upgrades to my Seamoth, which could go much deeper than my Cyclops.

I never found the floating islands, so that’s how crappy an explorer I was. But, damn I loved every moment of it.


Spoilery murky depths numbers:

  • Seamoth: Starting max (crush) depth: 200 meters, can go down to 900 meters with four upgrades.
  • Cyclops: Starting max depth: 500 meters, final depth capability is 1500 meters.
  • PRAWN: Starting max depth: 900 meters, can go down to 1700 meters with three upgrades.

Edit: Still at early base and Seamoth/Cyclops stuff at the moment myself, despite having unlocked stuff.


I never built the prawn. From the description, it looked like it could just walk across the ocean floor. Can it swim?
I made the cyclops, but I didn’t like it that much. You could not see very much around you it seemed, especially underneath you. I felt it was far to easy to pass by interesting things and just not see them. I guess that it doesn’t help that everything is darkness and gloom at those depths.


Prawn moves very fast for a walker and you can jet up nearly to the surface to clear obstacles or get a birds eye view. The problem is using the prawn kills your frame rate.


From the Steam page, which went up in 2014:

Sigh. :(



True but it is making significant progress and is one of the few games where it is updated regularly and decent changes / additions are being made.


I’m also on the ‘waiting for this to actually release’ train. Does it look like it will release at some point, or is it poised to be in an Ark-like perpetual early-access state?