Subnautica: Essential Survival Tactics and Gadgets for Underwater Newbies

  • 09-11-2023 |
  • Harlan Cook

As a newcomer to the mysterious world of Subnautica, you may find yourself meandering through the game with little direction, squandering valuable moments that could be better spent planning your escape from the planet. But don't worry; and we're here to clear the murky waters with some essential strategies and tips.

Firstly, don't let your dead batteries turn into inventory clutter. Even though the game does provide a battery charger, it may take you some time to find it. Instead of waiting around, recycle your drained batteries in your crafting pursuits. This trick works beautifully as the crafted items will emerge fully charged from the fabricator, saving you both resources and space.

Next up, make mastering swimming your top priority. Initially, your oxygen levels will be low and won't facilitate substantial exploration. So whenever you get the ominous warning of low oxygen levels, look around for Bladderfish and Brain Coral to top up your oxygen underwater. If both are absent, reach for the surface, and remember to keep swimming until your screen fades to black. You might just breach the surface as you lose consciousness and save your own life.

It's also critical to channel your energy into vehicle building early on, as you'll need all the help you can get to navigate the vast and deceptively slow oceanic world in the game. The Seaglide is a fantastic early-game item that can significantly boost your swimming speed. You can find its fragments in the Safe Shallows and the Kelp Forests, allowing you to venture further out to collect more valuable resources.

Subnautica Seaglide

Considering the limited weaponry in the game, dealing with larger predatory fish can be challenging. Stalkers, large fish fond of the Kelp Forests, may pose a significant nuisance. Use a trick to avoid their attention: offer a piece of metal salvage or a Peeper to each fish, and you can work undisturbed for a whole game day.

Lastly, remember to collect fish for food and hydration, especially in Survival Mode. Regular fishing can supply you with a steady stream of nutrition, and the Bladderfish can help you create water. Pro tip: Sitting on a chair stalls the degradation of your hunger and water bars, which is useful if you need a break or want to peruse the game's PDA notes.

Also, don't forget to craft your basic tools, including a Scanner, Repair Tool, Survival Knife, and Air Bladder. These not only ensure your survival but can also help unlock Blueprints for future use as you scan everything around you.

One tends to juggle limited storage space at the start of your Subnautica journey, with both your Lifepod and your personal inventory filling up quickly. Crafting some Waterproof Lockers and conveniently placing them around your Lifepod could be an effective space-saving hack. You do need four Titanium units to make a locker, but once made, it's advantageous to label each locker based on its contents to maintain organization from the onset.

Subnautica Waterproof Lockers

Mining raw materials is crucial, so keep an eye out for Titanium, Copper Ore, Creepvine Samples and Seed Clusters, Cave Sulfur, Metal Salvage, and Quartz. These are usually concentrated in specific locations and are used to fabricate basic as well as complex blueprints later in the game. Once you find a rich resource spot, memorize its location so you can come back when needed.

Scanning fragments is an essential activity to unlock new blueprints. These fragments are scattered all over the seabed, often found in metallic containers. Leverage every visit to Degasi Seabases by scanning as much as you can, even any habitats. Even already unlocked items can be beneficial to scan, as they yield titanium, which is a valuable resource.

The Lifepod's broken radio needs to be repaired to move the storyline forward. Use Silicone Rubber, Cave Sulfur, and Titanium to craft a Repair Tool, then use it on the radio. This will connect you with other wrecks and, possibly, rescue teams.

As tempting as it is to stick to the Safe Shallows biome where Lifepod 5 landed, venture out to the Grassy Plateaus and Kelp Forest for a wider array of resources. These relatively peaceful zones have plenty of fish that can be used for food and water. The Kelp Forest offers a bounty of resources with few hostile creatures, making it an ideal first exploration point.

Subnautica Grassy Plateaus

To extend your underwater stays, upgrade your gear by creating the Standard O2 Tank and Fins. These will extend your available oxygen and increase your swimming speed. Since you swim faster with your hands-free, it's a good idea to stow away accessories until you've crafted your fins.

Don't overlook having a steady supply of Medical Kits. Your Lifepod comes equipped with a Medical Kit Fabricator that dispenses a Medical Kit every ten minutes. Stock up on these, as they can be your lifeline when your health dips.

Lastly, steer clear of the Aurora, where Lifepod 5 landed. This region is radioactively hazardous without the Radiation Suit and deadly Reaper Leviathans lurk nearby. Wait until you're further into the game and better equipped before you venture into this perilous spot in Subnautica.

Follow this guide, and you'll be navigating through Subnautica's aquatic wilderness like a pro in no time!