Subnautica: How to get started? Maps, Creatures, Game Items and much more

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Subnautica is an underwater survival game. It’s a pretty interesting game that clearly takes inspiration from existing games. One can say Subnautica is the perfect mixture of games like Minecraft, Terraria and Don’t Starve. Being a survival game, you can explore multiple areas and the game exactly won’t be easy. This guide will serve to make it a tad bit easier for you.

As with any survival game, you need a few essentials to stay alive as well as stay away from things be it enemy or animal that pose a threat to you. The interesting thing about this game is that there is no real mission or objective. The objective is just plain survival, how long can you last?

Get started

As you start the game, you need to focus on the essentials first. In this game, you need Oxygen, food, and drink to survive. More on how to gather items that contain these resources will be touched upon later in this guide.
The game starts with the character rising up from the wreckage of his life pod which is on fire. Use a fire extinguisher to put out the flames and continue with the game.

At the crash site, you can pick up a medical kit from the medical kit fabricator, and you can do so every 30 minutes. You can also see where and how far away you are from your life pod from anywhere on the map. The starting part is a bit easier but also requires a bit of trial and error. Go after fish that don’t seem dangerous i.e. they don’t chase you and pick up as many resources as you can. Once you have some resources, you can bring them back to the fabricator to craft tools. Make sure you come back to the life pod above the water to get some air from time to time.

The map and its different areas

The map is quite large on land and underwater. It offers great exploration opportunities for players. There’s no in-game map to help you navigate (now that would defeat the point of a ‘survival’ game). However, you can use your life pod as a point of reference. Here are few of the areas you’ll come across at first and how to deal with them:

  • Safe Shallows

    This is the place your life pod crashes and where you start the game. This biome is almost at the center of the map and also near to the Aurora (the mothership). As the name suggests, there’s no real threat looming in this area. The only dangerous thing you may encounter would be a gasopod or an aggressive catfish.
  • Kelp Forest
    This biome is one of the most diverse areas you’ll come across in this game. There’s plenty of resources here but it’s quite dangerous too. There are stalkers lurking about the creepvines above. Then come the Bleeders and Stingers too so be wary of them. You’ll be able to get a lot of scrap metal if you’re able to avoid the dangers of this area.
  • Grassy Plateaus

    This biome has a unique look. This is because most of it is covered in blood red grass. This is also one of the more dangerous maps as well. One should keep an eye out for Biters and Sand Sharks. You can tell where a sand shark by looking for sand clouds. If you see said clouds, it’s best to avoid them as they’re likely being caused by sand sharks nearby.

The different creatures that appear in the game
The game offers a diverse range of creatures. These creatures come in all shapes and sizes and some of them can be extremely dangerous. You’ll be able to make a scanner in the game that lets you identify the creature once you encounter a new one in the game. Not all of them are aggressive either but it’s best to get information about a new creature using the scanner before doing something risky. When you start Subnautica, here’s a few creatures you’ll come across:

  1. Crashfish
    Although there’s not much to worry about when you just start out, this little fish can be found at the very first biome. You may encounter a crashfish in Safe Shallows by going near a Sulfur Plant. The fish is aggressive in nature, therefore, be ready to run or dodge when you encounter it. Sometimes, not everytime, the Sulfur plant will open to reveal a crashfish which will eventually explode. Be prepared to dodge when that happens.
  2. Stalker
    Also aggressive in nature, this creature is mostly found in Kelp Forest. They may rarely appear in Safe Shallows as well so beware. The creature likes metal, thus, there will be lots of metal wherever you find a stalker. You can also use metal to escape from them as well. If a stalker is giving you a hard time, just drop some metal as bait and run away.
  3. Gasopod
    Passive in nature, this creature won’t strike first. It’s also a slow-moving creature. However, when provoked it releases acidic gas pods that intoxicate you and cause damage. It’s best to stay away from Gasopods or run away if they release their gas pods. Your health will start regenerating once you’ve run away to safety.
  4. Boomerang 
    This fish is passive in nature and is easily found when there’s daylight. It’s also easy to catch therefore it’s best to catch many of these fish to stock up on food and drink.
  5. Bladderfish
    This fish is also easy to catch and passive in nature. One of the key characteristics of this creature is that it has the ability to produce filtered water. Therefore, it’s best to stock up on this fish to avoid feeling thirsty.

As mentioned, there are three required for survival: food, drink, and oxygen. Once these are taken care of, you can further craft new items and use them to make things easier. The crafting machine is known as the Fabricator which you’ll find in the life pod. This machine allows you to make food, drink and other items. To craft more advanced items, you’ll need to discover blueprints spread out across the vast map of Subnautica.

A few materials you should keep a lookout for:
Fish– This can be turned into food and drink but eating too much would cause damage.
Quartz Used to make glass.
Salt Deposits– Found often near acid mushrooms in white cube-like crystals, these can be used for crafting food and water.
Metal salvage– This can be used to craft titanium which is used for crafting other items. Metal can also be useful in escaping from Stalkers.

Once you have the above items, you can then craft these items as well:
Oxygen tank– Helps boost your oxygen level which enables you to go deeper and stay underwater longer.
Survival Knife– It comes in handy against aggressors as well as for cutting different items.
Scanner– It can identify different creatures for you and also look for blueprints.
Fins– It helps you swim faster.
Repair tool– The name pretty much gives it away: it repairs things.

These items will be of great help when you’re just starting out. As you play more, you’ll discover even more items, these items will make the first few hours of the game go much smoother.

If you’re a person that loves to play with mods, unfortunately, the game doesn’t have that many mods yet. The game is still in its early stages and receives a lot of patches. A patch arrives every few days, therefore, mods are rendered ineffective.

Subnautica is a great survival game, a little unique in its own right. Its available for purchase on Steam for less than $8. Best of luck!

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