At the beginning of the year, the underwater survival game Subnautica left early access on Steam. As you crash down with your ship on an alien planet full of water, it’s your job to survive by exploring and building a base. But how exactly do you do that? Our guide will cover how to survive the first hours. In here we talk about hunger and thirst, which items and equipment you need, how to build your first base and the fauna you need to avoid.

The necessity of life: hunger

The moment you have put out the fire in your lifepod make sure to take a health pack out of the medical kit fabricator. While you don’t need it directly it will refill itself and its good to have one in your inventory.

When stranded on an alien planet there is one thing you need to focus on: getting food and water. Gladly your lifepod brought you to the safest area of the planet so diving into the water shouldn’t give too many problems. As the whole game takes places underwater food isn’t too hard to find, just swim to the nearby fishes and grab them. The next step is to cook the fish at the fabricator. However, if you aren’t planning on eating it directly its better to keep it raw or add salt to it. As eatable fish and plants to fairly fast.

The necessity of life: thirst

Subnautica Guide
Above the two steps, you need to perform to get two bottles of water. Below, you see a picture of the coral tube you need to cut to get the sample.

A completely different story is the search for water, while you are surrounded by it none is drinkable. In the beginning, there are two ways of making water. At first, you can try to catch the bladder fish and make a bottle of water out of it at the fabricator. One of these bottles will give 20+ h2o. Secondly, you can gather some salt from the bottom and cut off giant coral tubes. Combining these two ingredients at the fabricator will allow you to make bleach which is good enough for two bottles. The bottles made by bleach provide 30+ h2o, making it a better choice than the bladder fish.

If you need to get some quick water or food, you can also cute some creepvine to get a sample, these fill your hunger with three and your thirst by one. While this doesn’t sound as much, it might save your life.

An underwater forest of creepvines. Collecting the seed clusters will allow you to make lubricant and silicone rubber.

What to craft as first?

As you have just crashed down you don’t have any items to help you out. So, we have put down a priority list of the items you need to craft as soon as possible. All tools can be crafted by using the fabricator. Items such as a wiring kit and battery require multiple resources or items, combining them also happens at the fabricator.

  1. The survival knife: Is the most important tool to craft as not all resources can be gathered by picking them up. It allows you to cut off samples from plants and coral, which are often needed for crafting recipes.
  2. The Scanner: This item will allow you to scan everything on the planet from flora and fauna to the well-required blueprints that you can find around the wrecks. These blueprints are needed to unlock new tools, rooms, and interior. So, make sure to scan everything when you crafted it.
  3. The Flashlight: In the beginning, you won’t have access to a bed to skip the night. Because of this, the third tool to craft is the flashlight. It’s not only useful during the night but also provides a great light source while exploring caves. However, don’t use it when you are nowhere near anything as it won’t light up the dark water.
  4. The Habitat builder: As the storage capacity in your Lifepod is really small and you don’t want to have too many water lockers floating around. The habitat builder will help you out as it’s not only needed to build your base but also it’s interior.
  5. The Repair tool: Your lifepod comes with a small storage place, a medical kit fabricator, the fabricator and a broken radio. However, to use the radio you first need to craft the repair tool as its broken. As you just started it’s cheaper to build to tool then directly place a new radio in your upcoming base. However, if following the story isn’t your priority, you can skip repairing the radio and craft the repair tool on a later stage. Because every now and then a new radio message will appear giving you the locations of the lifepods from the other survivors.
Subnautica guild
All the resources you need to build the five tools mentioned above!

Time to wear something

Your character is not only able to craft useful tools, but also gear to help him stay safe in the water. But in the beginning, only two equipment pieces are really interesting. Your priority will be on crafting the fins as these will allow you to swim faster. The second item you need is the standard O2 tank. As it carries oxygen you are able to dive deeper before needing to swim back to the surface.

For the fins, you will need 2 silicone rubber. While the picture shows the high-capacity O2 tank the standard one requires 3 titanium and gives you 30 seconds of oxygen.

Later on, a radiation suit, which protects you from the ship’s radiation and a re-breather are useful for further expeditions. You can see both of them in the picture above, were we also crafted a compass to help us navigate.

Your first base!

As the planet you crashed on is very large, your first base might not be your last. In the beginning, it’s recommended to build nearby your lifepod. Because, when you do this you can still use the radio and fabricator from there instead of directly making them yourself. However, to build your base you will need to equip the habitat builder.

Here you see the locations of the required base pieces and the resources you need to build your first base.

As you most likely won’t have access to the multipurpose room you can start by building the T compartment. This allows you to build a hatch on one end, and the other two sides can be connected to the rooms. When you enter the compartment through the hatch, your small base won’t have any oxygen yet. To fix this problem, you can build one or two solar panels on top of the compartment, which should give enough power to get you through both the day and night.

After building the T compartment and giving it power its time to build the interior. At first, its useful to build as many wall lockers as possibly on the big wall. This will provide you enough space for your resources till you have found the multipurpose room blueprints. The second step is one for a later moment as you can build a fabricator and radio on the sides of the hatch. As you can see the T compartment has space enough for the early hours.

We are standing in the T compartment, where at the long wall we build the lockers and on the other side there is a hatch, with next to it the radio and fabricator.

If it happens you are running out of space and you can’t build the multipurpose room yet, you can simply add a basic compartment on both the sides of the T compartment. On the walls, you can then add a few more wall lockers and when you find the multipurpose room you can easily connect them to it.

Don’t cuddle them

Your lifepod is located in the Crashing Zone, which is the safest zone. Because of that, there are only three fauna species that are more annoying than actually dangerous. However, make sure to stay away from the front of the aurora as the dangerous Reaper Leviathan lurks there.

  1. Stalker: This is the first aggressive species you will most likely encounter. When swimming nearby they will follow you till they either bite you or give up.  If they bite you don’t worry, as one bite only does thirty damage. However, it should be fairly easy to outswim them and if you have metal salvage you can lure them away. When a Stalker picks up a metal salvage, there is a chance they will drop the stalkers tooth.
  2. Gasopod: This one is hard to miss as they are large creatures. However, they are defensive so if you don’t scare them nothing happens. When it does happen make sure to get some distance in between as they release algae pods. These pods will explode and leave a poisonous cloud behind.
  3. Sand shark: The third species is the Sand shark. They often hide under the sand and will burst out when someone gets near. As it’s a speedy swimmer its recommended to keep changing direction when being chased. However, if it’s not able to bite you or you swim to close to the surface it will retreat. When it does bite you, it’s not life-threatening as it does thirty damage.
The bio scans of the Gasopod, the Sand shark and at the bottom the Stalker.

As said before, keep in mind that these species are far from dangerous and that there are more dangerous species in the world of Subnautica. When approaching a species, its recommended to scan it to see its threat level. However, when you see one approaching you very fast, you can safely say they want to hurt you!


SOURCESubnautica the game
Previous articleFade to Silence – Two mouths to fill in the ”Hunger” Update
Next articleGraveyard Keeper- running a Graveyard with a drunk Skull
While Anita is studying to become a history teacher, she spends her remaining time writing about her passion: games. Her interest lays in all kind of different genres and she follows the Esport scene closely.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.