I know guides are kind of not well received here since the point of the game is exploration and not spoiling yourself and yada-yada. However, having suggested this game to several different friends during it’s free-period on Epic Games, and getting their separate reactions and thoughts on the game, I decided that there are many different types of people that play this game, and one of the biggest frustrations for a lot of people that don’t have the pure love of random exploration is the game’s lack of clear information on what the hell to do.
Also I figure with the release on console, the Epic Games release, as well as hype for Sub Zero, plenty of new players will be trickling in here from time to time, and I aim for this to be a one-stop-shop for newer players that older members here can link to, that is new-player friendly, and a bit more descriptive than “go deeper”.
Progress in the game can definitely be frustrating, this guide aims to relieve some of the more frustrating areas by providing brief, mostly-spoiler-free (the story itself will never be spoiled here, but some locations as well as different tools and whatnot are named) guidelines.
So without much more exposition, I came up with an idea for a compromise. I will spoiler mark basically everything in this guide except the headers, allowing any prospective help-seeker to come in and obtain specifically the information they want to know if they are stuck. I will keep all story elements out of the game and instead just reference general locations and depths. You’ll have to “unspoiler” each paragraph, as I don’t think there’s a way to spoiler multiple paragraphs under the same spoiler tag, apologies.
For those that want to do most of the game themselves but just need a little bit of a leg-up on where to go, this is for you.
As an aside and a precaution to new players who absolutely wish not to be spoiled on anything, I cannot moderate the comments below. Hours within posting this there are already story spoilers. View comments below at your own peril. This main post will never contain spoilers.
I won’t spoiler this section as it applies in a general way with no real ‘story progress’ involved. The general tips anyone on this sub will give you are as follows:
I highly recommend, as I mentioned above, feeling out each ‘section’ of this guide on your own first. Meaning if you are at, say, the 100-300m portion of progress (you just got your seamoth), explore around and try to figure things out yourself first. THEN, after you are stumped and just don’t quite know what to do, come back here and reveal the relevant portions for you.
Just walking through these tips on another open screen or something will severely cheapen the experience for you. If the game did a bit better job of blatantly telling you a few crucial things, there would be no need for this guide, but I know a few of my friends were very frustrated and ready to give up on the game because they just had no clue what to do.
Sometimes that’s all you need, and that’s what this guide is here for.
Also realize that my way is not the only way, nor is it necessarily the best way to progress. The beauty of this game is that there are several avenues to success. There are very few biomes that exclusively hold that “one” resource you need, you can almost always find that resource elsewhere.
So you just started the game, your character just woke up with a nasty headache, and maybe you’re looking at a fire in your lifepod wondering what to do. I actually recommend exploring a bit on your own first just to get a feel and to at least attempt the game in some form before immediately seeking help, but I know some of you really want a hand-hold at the beginning and then you can take the training wheels off, so to speak, and do the rest on your own. This section is for you! 🙂
Obviously you should first put the fire out. 😉 Note that exiting through either hatch (there’s a hatch above you and below you) will both give you different small “cutscenes”. The bottom hatch is faster after that first cutscene, though.
Crafting Your Tools
First, you need to obtain your basic tools. You’re looking specifically to craft a scanner, a knife, a repair tool, fins, and an oxygen tank. You will obtain all the materials you need in two biomes, the safe shallows (the one you’re in), and the Kelp Forest (the green area with Kelp stalks (called “Creepvine”) you should be able to see close by).
You’re looking for limestone chunks, creepvine clusters (orange glowy blobs on the kelp stalks), Acid Mushrooms (you’ll see these everywhere in the shallows), and one (or two) cave sulfur (venture into a cave, you’ll find sulfur in the shallow caves). Once you’ve obtained a good helping of these materials, venture back to your lifepod and craft everything you can, making note of any other materials you may need to finish crafting if necessary. Once you have crafted the knife, you can then use it to slice the table coral (little shelve-like coral formations that jut out of the walls around you) for later blueprints that require more advanced electronics, like the computer chip.
There are a few other tools that you can technically craft right now, such as the High Capacity O2 Tank. Feel free to do so if you want to take the time, or move on to the next section and just do it when you have the resources.
I will not be including most of the tools you will eventually need along your journey. I leave that up to you to use your noggin. The game will warn you if you’ve dived too deep, etc., and when it gives you a warning like that, it means you need to craft something to have better access to deeper places. Many tools are somewhat “useless” – I had no need for grav traps, etc. – but a little experimentation never hurt anyone! Just note that you only have a limited amount of space in your inventory, and most tools (outside of equippable things like masks, tanks, fins, suits, etc.) take up some of that space.
Scanning for new Blueprints
Your scanner can be used on a lot of things, but it is a necessary tool for progression because it’s the only way you can learn how to craft most new blueprints, many of which are tools that help you survive deeper, longer, or to travel faster. To that end, some of the necessary scans right now are: the laser cutter, the seaglide, the seamoth, and the mobile vehicle bay. You can find all of these scans in the first three biomes you’ll encounter – Safe Shallows, Kelp Forest, and Grassy Plateaus. You may have to search for that last piece of whatever for a while, but I promise you’ll find it (and then you’ll find 100s of them afterward, haha).
You may have to venture beyond these biomes to find some of the resources for them. The Laser Cutter, for instance, requires Diamond to craft. The story will eventually direct you to an area that has a ton of Diamond, just be a bit patient, and keep listening to radio messages. The breakable rocks (Limestone, Sandstone, Shale) are your friends at this point (and likely throughout the story), as well as quartz and the metal salvage from the Aurora (the ship you crash landed with) you see scattered everywhere. Even if you’re a minimalist you’re gonna need a TON of titanium.
There are a LOT of things to do once you first obtain your Seamoth. A very large chunk of the game is spent in this “phase”, particularly collecting blueprints and data boxes, and even a few story-driven events as well. Only the basics of this is covered here, which should be enough to progress you to the next “stage.” Subnautica is a game about exploration and reaching out into the dark, and I suggest you do so – don’t just do the things mentioned here, visit a new biome, explore it, dive down a bit, see what’s below you, etc. That’s how you truly enjoy this game.
Venturing Beyond the Grassy Plateaus
Once you have crafted your Seamoth, getting around the ocean is a lot easier. It provides you with a replenishable source of air close by, as well as safety up to 200m deep from the get-go. Your first goal is to get the scans for a moonpool, as well as the data box containing the Vehicle Upgrade Console. Note that the NEXT SPOILER-MARKED MESSAGE BELOW contains the locations that contain that data box. DO NOT REVEAL THE NEXT SPOILER if you want to explore and find it yourself. Again the only reason I include this, and not other stuff, is because it is so vital to progression and can be very hard and sometimes frustrating to find.
START OF SPOILERY PARAGRAPH Grassy Plateaus Wreck (~400-500m N-NE of lifepod, about 70m deep), Mushroom Forest Wreck (~700-800m NW of lifepod, about 120m deep), Sparse Reef Wreck (~700-800m SW of lifepod, about 210m deep). Two of these wrecks have multiple data boxes, but they definitely all have the VUC you’re looking for, just keep searching, you likely missed an air duct or something. Also note that the lifepod actually has a somewhat random spawn location, it doesn’t spawn right at (0,0,0), it can spawn anywhere within about 2-300m of the very center of the map, you may have to search around a little bit if you feel you are close to my directions. END OF SPOILERY PARAGRAPH, feel free to reveal anything below! 🙂
Once you have crafted these two vital things and have docked your Seamoth in the moonpool, you can craft a depth module for it allowing you to dive to 300m, as well as storage modules so you can store more stuff on your journey! Hurrah! At this point it might be helpful to set up a more permanent base.
Your First Base
So you’ve crafted a Moonpool, but it might be in a weird location, or perhaps you’ve picked up the scanner room blueprint (if you haven’t, go searching for it, it’s a great addition to any permanent base!). Your next goal is then setting up a base that has access to several key biomes, as well as good access to many types of resources. I will suggest two locations, see below:
First, the Safe Shallows near your lifepod is a perfectly fine area to build a base. Many beginner players do so and I did on my first play through and it worked really well. It gives you easy access to water, table coral, copper, titanium, as well as close proximity to the Kelp Forest which is a good source for Sandstone outcrops (Lead, Gold, and Silver), and more titanium salvage, as well as Stalkers (the things with the really long mouths), which are important for a specific, hard-to-see resource that will be necessary later on.
Second, the Southern Grassy Plateaus is another fantastic area to build a base. My second play through I built one here, and it has access to later-game resources, is still pretty close to the Kelp Forest (and marginally close to the safe shallows, though it’s a bit more of a drive than I’d like, but you end up not needing much from there later on), as well as other later-game biomes which I won’t spoil here. Most importantly, it has direct access to a very important biome called the “Jellyshroom Caves”. More on this a bit later.
The essentials to any permanent base include: A moonpool with a vehicle upgrade console, a scanner room, a power source (duh), and if you’re playing on survival or hardcore, an indoor growbed, and a bunch of wall lockers (or glass lockers). If you don’t have the indoor growbed yet, the story will lead you to a location that has them, as well as a plant called “Marblemelon” that will make your life a whole lot easier (whack them with your knife to get the seeds, replant them, profit). If you’re wondering whether or not you’ve “passed” that point in the story yet, I’ll ask you a question – have you received an actual ‘timed’ event yet? One that put a clock on your display? If so, then yes, you have. If you still don’t have the growbeds and marblemelons it means you didn’t explore the area it sent you to well enough. Go back there! If you haven’t received that event yet, then worry not, you will eventually receive it, explore thoroughly! 🙂
Other than that, get as crazy as you want with your base! Build a monstrosity that covers a whole biome, or have a minimalist base that just contains all the essentials, whatever you want! I would just suggest having it in a relatively open space so your vehicles can access it easily. Having an outdoor growbed “garden” with resources from other biomes (such as creepvines from the kelp forest, plant the orange globs, not the green plant samples) is another way to help you with crafting, etc.).
Very quickly into building a scanner and some of the vehicle modules, etc. you’ll notice you lack a resource called “Magnetite.” This little guy can be somewhat difficult to find, unless you know where to look! There is a reason I suggested the southern Grassy Plateau area as a base suggestion above, and it’s because it is close to a “hidden” biome called the Jellyshroom Caves (the story actually will eventually send you there if you are diligently exploring other areas you are sent). This is a completely self-contained biome that is actually pretty large, but it is underneath the grassy plateaus, kelp forest, and even the safe shallows! The easiest way to find it is to go to the border between the grassy plateaus and the kelp forest, and drive along it until you see some purple, glowy mushrooms above a cavernous hole. Dip down into the hole and be amazed! I’ll try to include a picture of the location later, I’m currently at work.
If you don’t have the first depth module for the Seamoth, you’ll basically have to hug the ceiling (the ceiling is at like 190m, haha), but you can still explore it, just be careful of the nasties in here. However, the most important part of this cave is the abundance of magnetite it contains! Magnetite looks very similar to Lithium (which is also in this cave), and even looks similar to Shale (contains Diamond, Gold, Lithium) from a distance (which is also located here), but it is littered all over in this cave! Take some time in here, you’ll discover a few really neat things, and load up ~10 magnetite which should keep you healthily stocked for a long time. Magnetite isn’t used in too much stuff, but some of the stuff it’s used in makes life much more convenient, like the range upgrades for the scanner room, as well as the HUD chip so you can see resources the scanner is picking up on your screen, instead of guesstimating them on the map in the scanner room itself. Probably the most important is the MK2 depth module for your Seamoth, which allows you to reach 500m. Going deeper is always your goal.
So doing a spoiler-free, story-related section is somewhat difficult, but I’m just including it here for completeness, because some of you will be very quick in getting stuff and may ‘get ahead’ of the timed events that happen in the game. No ‘blatant spoilers’ for the story are included anywhere in this section. I’ve mentioned these story-related events here and there already in the guide, so if you haven’t run into them yet, don’t worry! The game will eventually lead you to these events as long as you are listening to the radio when a new message is announced on your screen. The ‘timed’ event (gives you 40 minutes or so on a timer on your screen) in particular is very important both story-wise and progression-wise. Be sure to immediately go to the location it gives you on your screen. You’ll understand why when you get there. Also just go to locations the radio sends you to in general. Always fully explore every area the game sends you, when it sends you (assuming you have the ability to go there, at least. Sometimes things are too deep), as it’s likely relevant to progress as well as story. Something to note is that if a pinged location disappears from your view after arriving, you can reactivate it in your PDA’s “beacon” section, which will allow you to find that area again.
Another story-related event is the exploration of the Aurora. The next section gives more detail on it, I have this here just in case you don’t want to spoil anything about the Aurora at all.
Care before revealing this section, reveal the one above first.The game will hand you a specific blueprint that will allow you to “safely” explore the Aurora after about 45 minutes of play time, you’ll know it when it happens. You can explore it at any time past this event, but just know that you need quite a few tools to fully and completely explore the Aurora, as well as get through a hefty number of radio messages, as one of the messages gives you vital information for fully exploring the Aurora as well. The Aurora exploration is the only area of the game in which I “don’t not recommend” spoilers and looking up the direct guide, as it is the only puzzle element of the game, and not much story-wise is spoiled by doing so, and there are a lot of rewards and areas that are easy to miss if you don’t know what you’re doing. With that in mind the wiki page on the Aurora is the only page on the entire wiki that I recommend you visiting on your first play-through, if you just want to “get it over with.” If you enjoy a good puzzle, I strongly encourage you to figure out everything there yourself, then once you are done, check the wiki page under “Resources” and see what you missed, if you just can’t find them, then look at the guide. Alternatively, if you want to be brutal on yourself, just don’t look at it all! 🙂 There is only one vital item on the Aurora that is actually only obtainable on the Aurora, the game will tell you what it is when you’re exploring it. The other stuff just helps shortcut a bit of progression, or acts as neat, unique decorations.End of ‘dangerous reveal’ section. 😉
Whoa, that’s a big drop in depth! Yup! As I stated in the above section, a very large portion of the game is spent in the 0m to 300m areas, for many reasons. Firstly getting your feet wet and understanding how the game plays and works, secondly a lot of story-related events as well as no real familiarity with the landscape, and thirdly because you have a lot of things to scan and craft in the early game, and this slows down (as far as progress goes, at least) later on.
As a ‘stat check’, of sorts, before starting this section you should have the Seamoth Depth Module MK2, have the blueprints for the PRAWN, and you should have started on the blueprints for the Cyclops, more than likely. This will be the last section, and things move faster from here, you ready?
Getting further and further and deeper and deeper
Part of the allure of the game is the fear of the unknown. Running into a new biome with new creatures, new, creepy-looking plants, and maybe a darker atmosphere is by game design. That fear of the deep – thalassophobia – is an integral wall to progress. Getting over it, putting your big boy/girl pants on, and deciding to ‘take the plunge’, both literally and figuratively, is how you beat the game and sometimes even your own fears. In these next few sections we’re going to be doing exactly that, and in doing so, discover some new, perhaps scary biomes, explore them a bit, get used to their feel, and perhaps meet a few nasties along the way!
I want you to travel due west from your lifepod until you get to the grassy plateaus. Explore the western edge of this biome – careful not to wander into the dunes – until you see a large, dark, mega-creepy trench. Take the plunge. Go to the max depth your trusty seamoth can handle. Explore this little area fully and completely. It has literally everything you need for now. Scan things, pick up new resources – you have new mushrooms here, new little purple balls, a few new ores, etc. Are there a few new nasties lurking here? Absolutely. Have fun. 🙂
The Pressure Reactive Armored Waterproof Nano Suit
After the above section, you should have all the resources you need to build the P.R.A.W.N. The only thing you might be missing is enameled glass. For that you need Stalker teeth, which, you guessed it, you get from Stalkers in the Kelp Forests. Stalkers will grab titanium – their favorite toy – and they have a ~15% chance to drop a tooth every time they do! The teeth are insanely hard to see, so you may need to search for them with your handy-dandy Scanner Room.
The PRAWN is an interesting vehicle because of the different arms you can attach to it, all of which you need to find and scan first. I have only ever used the Grappling Arm and the Drilling Arm, but don’t underestimate the value of no attached arm – the PRAWN’s punch packs quite the wallop! You can find all sorts of upgrades for the PRAWN but for now all you need, if you wish to use the PRAWN instead of the Seamoth, is the grappling and drill arms. Resources you drill are automatically added to the PRAWN’s inventory (which you can expand with the same modules you use on your Seamoth), and using the grappling arms is a bit awkward at first but actually makes the PRAWN the fastest way to get around in most areas. That Trench I sent you to previously? The PRAWN can handle its FULL depth. Make sure you have grappling arms first, then again – TAKE THE PLUNGE! Have fun with it. Getting mass resources should be much easier once you have the PRAWN. Just set up a scanner room and go out drilling from those large resource deposits you couldn’t do anything with earlier.
Later on you will reach depths that the Seamoth cannot handle. I found the Seamoth to be the easiest to control for obvious reasons, but you’ll eventually have to abandon it for either the PRAWN, the Cyclops, or both.
A New Biome!?
Don’t worry this whole section is spoiler free, unless you consider the ‘reveal’ that you will find an ambiguous new biome a spoiler, I suppose. If you went to the trench I previously mentioned, you likely stumbled upon an interesting new biome. You’ll definitely know it when you see it (drastic color change is the obvious sign ;)). Follow my advice in previous sections, constantly seeking new resources to add, and new story-related areas to visit (again, you’ll know them when you see them). This area is rich with story-related content, be sure to explore it fully and scan it thoroughly. Are there nasties in this biome? Of course! >:D
This new biome will be the access-point to both of the deeper biomes as well. You will know the ‘entrances’ to these other biomes when you see them, they’re obvious.
Like Magnetite, Nickel can be very hard to find, and it is required for multiple upgrades as well as several other late-game blueprints. It looks almost exactly like outcrops, bubbles, fish, the walls and floors, basically everything. So be sure to search thoroughly, but this newly discovered biome has this resource, I promise you. It might be worth setting up a scanning room near a thermal vent here (I hope you picked up Thermal Reactor scans along your journey!), just to help you find it.
The “Best” Tools
Note that this is just advice mixed with my personal opinion, but as you traverse the game it gives you several options for several different types of tools, such as O2 tanks, power sources, and different modules on your vehicles. No need to read this if you want to feel these tools out for yourself, and/or not get spoiled on some of the ‘later game’ tools. Again there are no story spoilers here, just the tools.
I made it all the way to the end with only the basic tools in my actual inventory (Scanner, cutting tool, thermoblade, repair tool, etc.) and a seaglide. There are a lot of peripherals like the stasis rifle or propulsion cannon that you can fill your inventory with, but I never found them that useful. If you want to go reaper-hunting (I did this on my second play through, kind of fun), then the stasis rifle makes this much simpler. Other advanced tools just kind of bloat your inventory, so I would only suggest ONE advanced tool, the basic tools, and the seaglide.
As far as bases go, the absolute best sources of power are solar panels near the surface, and thermal reactors underneath. Thermal reactors restrict you to specific areas of heat, but those are common the further down you go. A lot of people suggest nuclear reactors as well, I’ve never tried them, but they do give you plenty of power for a long time, and the resource to refill them is plentiful and pretty easy to find, when you know where to look. Bio Reactors are suggested by some, but to me it’s too much hassle. You have to regularly refill it, and it becomes relevant at the same time Thermal and Nuclear reactors do – why not just have an infinite or near-infinite power source?
“Equippable” items – the light-weight, high capacity O2 tank is usually enough, though the ultra-high capacity is fine too. I do not believe the seaglide’s speed is affected by fins or “weight” of your tanks, but I could be wrong. Swimming regularly definitely is, though. If you’re using your seaglide often, just use whatever. Swim-charge fins are nice for the seaglide as well if you find them, it’s basically infinite power for it. I never found a real use for the still suit, and you kinda need the reinforced suit anyway.
Vehicles – You’ll have to abandon your Seamoth eventually, but above 900m it’s definitely my favorite. I also use the seaglide everywhere, even the 5m to that resource in front of my Seamoth. Below 900m you can do, as I mentioned above, whatever you want. Cyclops is a bit unwieldy to maneuver in some areas, and it’s extremely vulnerable to the bigger nasties, but it is a mobile base which is nice to have, and it’s a bit easier to surface with than just the Prawn. If you know what you’re doing with the PRAWN it can be pretty quick, but climbing is still somewhat of a chore, and it likes to get caught on everything. Going solo with either vehicle is viable as well. Every resource is obtainable through pick-up, you don’t need to drill anything, and every location is reachable with either vehicle (or “outside of” them, you may need to park them somewhere and go to the location with the seaglide). However, if you’re taking the Cyclops, you may as well take the PRAWN with it.
Mods on Seamoth/PRAWN – 3 storage mods and a depth module, done. You don’t really need anything else. I carry two drill arms with me and have two grappling arms on the PRAWN suit, two drills go faster, and two grapples give you extra mobility.
Once you’ve collected your nickel and improved the depth of your PRAWN and/or Cyclops, it’s time to venture deeper. Again, if you’ve thoroughly explored you’ll know the location(s) you can do this in. This is where I leave you, the end game is all for you to explore and figure out. You’re almost done, there are a few more things to find, and they aren’t exactly very obvious. I believe in you, though. You have all the tools you need at this point, it’s just about collecting a few new resources and doing a bit more exploring. Best of luck, you’ll make it!
If you have made it to the end of the game, then congratulations are in order for figuring out the very end game on your own. You did it! Seriously, congrats. I hope it was as enjoyable for you as it was for me, and I hope this guide fulfilled its purpose of guiding you to where you need to go, while not spoiling what you don’t want spoiled! Leave a comment below if you’re a veteran or a newbie, or if this has aged long enough to be archived, feel free to reach out to me through a PM. I love talking to people about the guides I’ve created.
Suggestions? Concerns? Angry and/or hate-filled remarks? Leave them below, and Happy Diving! 🙂
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Here is the guide itself. For the most part, it doesn't matter what order you do things in within a particular section, as long as they are mostly done by the time you move to the next.
Well, that started off well.
Once you get your fire put out, take a moment to poke around your pod and familiarize yourself with it. Get yourself healed, fed, and watered, then make your way out of the pod through one of the two exits. Also note that as long as you are under 100 when you heal or eat, you can actually pass the 100 limit of the bar with these resources. Water will not let you do this. It's useful for preparing for longer trips away from the pod.
It doesn't necessarily have to be the first thing you do, but I suggest making the scanner tool as soon as you can. The battery requirement can seem intimidating at first, but batteries are pretty easy to make and scanning the local flora and fauna is the best way to familiarize yourself with their possible uses. It also lets you scan yourself (F with the tool selected), which has plot relevance as the story unfolds.
At first, forget about the concept of "progression". Your first job is to make sure you can survive well in this environment before you attempt to leave the safety of the shallows and explore the ocean. For this reason, I recommend you not leave the area immediately around your lifepod until you're in a better position to do so. If you go past the kelp forests, you've gone too far.
Things you should make an effort to do at this point:
Make at least an O2 Tank, if not a High Capacity one. The High Capacity tank can be crafted without leaving the shallows, but it depends on if you want to farm out and use up precious glass and silver this early, especially with silver being a bit more rare until you can move out into further biomes. The regular O2 Tank will take you from your lousy 45 seconds of oxygen to a more respectable 75. The High Capacity tank will bring you up to a whopping 135 seconds, which will put you in a very good position for a long while. You will need to craft an O2 tank first, both to unlock the recipe for the High Capacity O2 tank and because the O2 tank is used to make the HC tank.
Make a knife. The knife is what you will use to harvest plant life and even deter some of the smaller predators. Keep in mind that this is largely not a combat-oriented game, though you probably knew that coming into this. Still, do not go out trying to kill leviathans with your knife. It won't end well for anyone.
Make a Repair Tool. Getting the cave sulfur can be a bit dangerous (hint: check in nearby caves), but the result is worth it and necessary. The lifepod's secondary system's panel and radio both need fixing and fixing both will help toward progression. Once your radio is fixed, make sure to check it whenever you see the icon in the upper-right corner of your screen that looks like a little robot head. That lets you know there is a new message to listen to. Some are story-based, while others will lead you toward the wrecks of other lifepods. Lifepod wrecks mean new things to scan and new things to make. However, I don't recommend leaving the shallows yet to go check out the lifepods. Soon.
Make Fins. They are cheap to make and will make you swim faster.
Search for Wrecks and Boxes. There are boxes scattered around that will sometimes have fragments of an item inside that can teach you blueprints upon scanning them with your Scanner tool. If you're lucky, there may also be wreckages in the surrounding area that have fragments for things such as Gravtraps and Beacons. Boxes in the kelp forest often have Seaglide fragments. Scan two to learn the blueprint and make one as soon as you can. The Seaglide moves you faster through the water and has a built-in flashlight. Convenient! Just make sure to watch the battery level. Use your R key with a battery-powered tool selected to swap out batteries for fresh ones when your tools run out of juice.
Stock up on water and keep fed. Bladderfish and Peepers will quickly become your best friends. Until you have your own sustainable food source, fish are going to be your go-to for survival. Water is easy enough because you can stock up on it. For the sake of bag space, don't go crazy, but it's always good to have some water with you on long journeys. Cooked fish can sadly spoil, so you don't want to cook a bunch of fish to take with you. If you can spare the salt, you can cure fish, which will keep them fresh indefinitely, though keep in mind they will dehydrate you slightly when you eat them, so have water on hand. Disinfected water is also an alternative to bladderfish water, but keep in mind that it uses bleach, so it's a bit harder to make until you have a steady salt supply.
And here is a list of things that are a bit less important or may be up to personal tastes:
Make a Habitat Builder and start a base. This could be considered kind of early for some people, but I find that even a small base early on can have its uses, especially close enough to your lifepod to still be able to use your radio and fabricator instead of having to build new ones. The Habitat Builder has a bit of a steep building cost, but it is still entirely doable without leaving the shallows. Early on, the most you will likely be able to build is a tube with a hatch, a solar panel, and some wall-mounted lockers, but I personally find that preferable to making a bunch of floating lockers for the stuff that won't fit in my lifepod that I'll need to throw out later. But again, that's up to personal taste. Just don't try to go crazy if you start building a base early. One day, you can make the big, sprawling base of your dreams. But today is not that day.
Note: Early bases are a bit easier if you use the EasyCraft mod. It's still doable without it, just makes it easier. More info in my Recommended Mods section if you're interested.
Beacons. This largely depends on if you find beacon fragments close to the lifepod in your game. If not, they are usually in wrecks pretty close outside of the shallows. Ever notice how, when you get far enough away from your lifepod, it has a little icon on your screen that shows you what direction it is in and its distance, even through walls? Beacons can make more of those. You can label them and place them in the world to mark locations you want to keep in mind for later and return to. Also check out your beacon manager on your PDA. With it, you can turn on and off beacons for all sorts of things as well as change their color in case you find them hard to see against your current background. If we're being honest, I dislike that they default to blue. >_> In the ocean.
Air Bladder. I honestly never had any real issues with gauging my depth versus how much air I had left, but recently I started playing around with these and I'm kind of sad I didn't notice them sooner. They are relatively easy to build. When you activate it with right-click, it quickly inflates with air and sends you toward the surface far faster than you can swim, even with fins on. It's quite nice for if you left surfacing for the last minute and you are running out of air. Later on, when you have vehicles, this becomes less useful, but it's still nice early on. Don't forget to right-click a second time to deflate it, or it will just keep pulling you back to the surface.
Rebreather. Should you make a High Capacity O2 Tank, this becomes unlocked. The description doesn't really explain well what it does. Basically, you have a penalty when you go to certain depths while not in a vehicle. If you go below 100m, your oxygen begins to drain faster. Below 200m, it drains even faster. What the rebreather does is negate this penalty. So no matter how deep you go, your oxygen will drain at the same rate as it does above 100m. It's a very useful piece of equipment to have, especially late game when you're often going very deep down and occasionally may need to leave your vehicles for a moment, but early game it can be a tossup. While it IS useful, it also takes up 4 slots in your inventory. And, while trying not to spoil too much of what happens, very early on an event will happen that causes radiation to spread in certain areas and unlocks a radiation suit. But the radiation suit only works fully if you wear all three pieces: head, body, and gloves. So you either have to forgo one of the head pieces, or constantly keep a head piece in your bag and swap them based on your needs. Early on, when bag space is at a premium, the latter choice can be to your detriment. But it really depends on what your needs are and what you're willing to put up with.
Once you are in a more secure position, the only thing left to do before you move forward in progression is to make a Seamoth. This involves not only finding the fragments for the blueprint, but also finding fragments for the blueprint for the Mobile Vehicle Bay. If you've been looking around for wrecks and fragment boxes, you may have already unlocked the MVB blueprint. Close outside of the Safe Shallows are biomes referred to as the Grassy Plateaus. You may find Seamoth fragments in that biome. If the area you're in has rocky pillars and lots of red grass, you're in the right place.
Once you have a Seamoth, the only other thing I highly recommend is making a compass. If you've gotten the radio message from Lifepod 3, go there and poke around. You'll get the blueprint. The compass is equipped directly on your character and puts a compass under your depth meter. Very handy, especially since any directions I give from now on are likely to be cardinal directions in relation to another location.
So the biggest issue stopping us from having explored the world at large so far has been sheer distance and lack of oxygen to explore caves at length. The Seamoth, thankfully, solves both these issues for us.... to a degree. Keep in mind that at this stage, without a Moonpool and Vehicle Upgrade Console, your maximum depth with your Seamoth is 200m. Any deeper and your Seamoth will take periodic damage. Also keep in mind that if your Seamoth is damaged down to 0 health, it WILL explode and it WILL hurt you if you're in it when it happens. You can repair your Seamoth in the field using your Repair Tool.
So your goal here is twofold. Firstly, go explore. You've earned it. Go crazy, just don't go too deep. You may jump the gun and go some places I don't mention in the guide yet and that's totally fine!
Second, which is something you may actually accomplish just by exploring around, is to keep your eye out for Moonpool fragments and databoxes that may contain the blueprint for the Vehicle Upgrade Console. There is a place we want to go that is simply too deep for even your Seamoth at this stage, so we want to upgrade it first.
While you are free to explore where you please, here is a short list of places I HIGHLY recommend you DON'T go to at this stage:
The cave system by Lifepod 17. This is one of the locations we are aiming for in this section, but this location also not only exceeds the 200m limit, but is a largely closed off system with a ceiling that can make it difficult to surface if you start running out of oxygen.
The Aurora. Your crashed ship. There are a few tools you're going to want before you make an attempt at the Aurora. Going now will likely result in you not being able to progress very far and having to turn back to come back later, so best to hold off for now.
Anywhere excessively deep. You'll be able to tell on your own, so I won't spoil exact locations where this gets particularly bad. But while it may be tempting to take your Seamoth as far as it can go and then swim deeper in your scuba suit, I highly recommend against it, at least for caves. If there's a wreck at 250m, then sure, have at it. In general, common sense will tell you if a place is just too deep.
The outer rim. I won't tell you what will happen in case you're one of those people that likes to explore bad ideas just to see what will happen, but I will tell you that if you try to go off the map, make sure you left anything valuable at your base/lifepod and be prepared for the possibility of having to craft another Seamoth.
Once you've had your fill of exploring, it's time to check out the first of the Degasi bases we're going to visit. I won't go into detail about what they are, as you can find PDA data and recordings from their crew that tell you their story. You may have already found info in some of the wrecks you've explored.
Before we head out, empty your inventory out so you can hold a bunch of stuff and make sure you're well fed and hydrated before we head out. You don't need to bring food and water for this trip. Once you're ready, hop in your Seamoth and start going southwest from your lifepod. Maybe a LITTLE more south than southwest, but not by much. If you're traveling along the surface, you may notice a chunk of cloud that seems to be part of the game world rather than the skybox. That's what is obscuring our destination and is a good marker to keep an eye on to make sure you're going in the right direction.
You will definitely know when we've gotten where we're going.
Once on the island, there are a few things to note. One is that there are a lot of flora that, while pretty, serve no purpose other than scan fodder. There are also fresh foods to actually eat. The Bulbo Tree, in particular, is a good source of both food and water, thus why I mentioned to not bring food and water. There are nasty little creatures on this island, but you can kill them with your knife if they won't leave you alone.
Rather than tell you what to do, I will just state that there are three different base structures on this island. Two are very noticeable if you look around. If you haven't been listening to PDA data this whole time (which you should, the story is pretty good), at least listen to the ones off the PDAs here.
Things to make sure you scan/collect before leaving the island:
Indoor Growbed/Outdoor Growbed. These will be important for growing plants of your own. They are in two different locations, make sure to get both.
Multipurpose Room. This is one of the biggest base components in the game and certainly the largest empty one.
Purple Tablet. Extremely important. Make sure you actually take it with you, don't just scan it.
Spotlight. Somewhat optional, but nice when you make bases in dark areas.
Bulkhead. Useful for keeping base hull strength high.
Ultra Glide Fins. Found in a databox. You can't make them without a Modification Station, but they are handy once you can.
Composite Plant Pot. Like the growbeds, but can only hold one plant. Still nice for a single tree if you want to have them in different parts of the base. During base building later, I'll give more detail about why I love these so much.
Plants to harvest before leaving (rotten fruit/seeds can still be planted):
Bulbo Tree. Use your knife to harvest them. The seeds can be eaten for food/water, but make sure to bring one back.
Lantern Fruit. There is no seed, you just replant the fruit itself. This is also my food of choice for throwing in Bioreactors.
Chinese Potato. This is really optional. These barely give you water, though decent food rating. The only thing I'd say they have going for them is a fast growth rate.
Marblemelon. These are technically the most powerful food, but it's still worth it to get both them AND a Bulbo Tree seed for reasons I'll list below. Make sure you harvest them with a knife.If you accidentally picked them up before reading that, don't panic. Put the whole melon back in a growbed and then harvest with a knife. You will get 4 seeds.
Bulbo Tree Vs Marblemelon: The Food Min-Max Chronicles
Okay, so a Bulbo Tree samples gives you +8 food and +10 water. A marblemelon gives you +12 food and +14 water. A Bulbo Tree takes up a 2x2 section of the growbed. A marblemelon seed takes up a 1x1 on the grid. The thing is, the Bulbo Tree can be harvested multiple times. So if you plant enough marblemelons to take up that same 2x2 that a Bulbo Tree does, you get 4 melons, or +48 food and +56 water. The Bulbo Tree can be harvested 9 times for 10 samples (it drops 2 samples when it is used up). Assuming you want to keep that 10th sample for growing, that's 9 Bulbo Tree samples, adding up to +72 food and +90 water. So while individual Marblemelons are superior to Bulbo Tree samples, the Bulbo Tree is still going to give you overall more food and water.
Lantern Fruit as a power source
Once you have a Bioreactor in your base, a Lantern Fruit Tree is a good way of keeping it powered. Marblemelons and Bulbo Tree Samples give 420 energy per item, but those are more suited for feeding your player. The Lantern Fruit only gives 210 energy per fruit, but the tree will constantly regrow new fruit and since you won't really want to use the fruit for food most of the time, it makes for plentiful fuel. I'd only consider something stronger if your bases uses so much power that the amount the Lantern Fruits generate isn't enough for it to function.
Once you've gotten all you can from the island, make your way back to your lifepod. If you haven't built a base by now, it's time to start. At the very least, try to make a multipurpose room if you can. You can build a hatch directly into the side of it if you don't want to make tubes going into it. You want a least a bit of space between your base and the surface, but you should also make your base somewhere where you can have some space under your base as well for when you put in a Moonpool, as your vehicles enter it from the bottom. Place an indoor growbed somewhere in your base and drop the seeds and fruits you picked up into it. They will take some time to grow, but will be well worth the effort. While growing plants doesn't completely eliminate the need to hunt for food, it takes care of your needs while you're in your base. The only time you should need to hunt for food and water is if you need to prepare cured fish and filtered water for a long journey.
If you have a Bioreactor, I suggest putting it in your base. Bioreactors fit in the middle of multipurpose rooms. Depending on where you put your indoor growbed, you may need to stack another multipurpose room on top of your first with a ladder going up to it, or just have two multipurpose rooms connected so that you have a place for your reactor. If not, it's time for solar panels. Even if you have a Bioreactor, I still recommend 1 or 2 solar panels for any base within sunlight distance, simply because if your reactor runs out of fuel while you are off exploring (and believe me, on long trips, it can happen), at least a few solar panels will have your base up and running until you can shove more energy stuff in your reactor. Multiple reactors can give you more reserve power, but this early on, it may not be worth it.
If you're low on base hull strength, put some Foundations under your base and/or build a Reinforcement or two on the sides of your tubes/multipurpose rooms.
Moonpool and Vehicle Upgrade Console
By this point, if you've yet to find the fragments and databox for these two things, it's now time to purposely search them out. The safest place to find Moonpool fragments is in Mushroom Forests. There are two different ones on the northern half of the map, recognizable by their giant mushroom trees. You may also get lucky and find Cyclops fragments here.
The Vehicle Upgrade Console is the most likely one to have already been found, as databoxes that teach the blueprint can be found as early as in the Grassy Plateaus, the red grass area near the shallows. If you still haven't found a databox containing it, I recommend going to the Mushroom Forest first, as databoxes containing it can spawn there as well, letting you search for the Moonpool fragments at the same time. If you still can't find it by the time you have the Moonpool blueprint, you can continue searching there or move your search to the Grassy Plateau as well.
Either way, once you have both, you can make a Moonpool at your base. The Vehicle Upgrade Console has to be built into one of the six panels along the walls of the Moonpool. Once everything is ready, ride your Seamoth up into the Moonpool. If you go to the Upgrade Console, you'll see two things to interact with. One is a little podium that lets you change the name and colors of your Seamoth. Neat! The other is a special fabricator for making vehicle upgrades. You can make whatever modules you'd like for your Seamoth, that's personal preference. The main one we want to focus on, though, is the depth module. With the first one, we can increase the Seamoth's crush depth to beyond 300m instead of 200m. The materials are also ridiculously easy, too.
To install upgrade modules, come up to the left side of your Seamoth. You'll notice a panel you can interact with to install modules. You have four slots to work with. Most modules don't stack, so keep that in mind when installing them. Making more than one depth module, for instance, will not further increase your depth. You will need to upgrade the depth module using a Modification Station. At this stage, however, it is unlikely you have the materials for that upgrade. We'll be changing that soon.
With the new upgrade to your depth, it is time for the second Degasi Base! Get your hunger and hydration topped off, get some eats for the road, and make sure you bring a few first aid meds. This gets dangerous. If you haven't noticed, the first aid box in your lifepod periodically makes new first aid kits for you to deliver, so make sure to check it often.
The best way I know to get to the base is difficult to explain how to get to. There is another cave entrance near Lifepod 17, but you will enter the cave quite a bit away from the base and will have to navigate the caves to find it.
The entrance I usually take is close enough to the Aurora that, by this stage, radiation will be a very real concern. If you haven't made a Radiation Suit by this point, now is the time to do it. The location you want to look for is southeast of your lifepod's location. There is an area around there where the shallows, a kelp forest, and a grassy plateau all meet at one point. If you move a bit into the Grassy Plateau part, you will see a hole in the ground up against a small cliff face. If you're in the right place, you should see something like this:
The surrounding landscape may not be exactly, but that's an approximation of what you should see. If you've poked around in the right places, you might actually get a beacon for this location, calling it a Proposed Degasi Base or something to that effect. That should make it easier, but it's possible to get to this stage and not get that beacon yet.
Once you've found the cave, go on down. Beware predators and take a look around. You should find the base pretty close to this entrance.
I cannot stress the "beware predators" part enough. If you don't want it spoiled, skip past the spoiler text ahead. But if you're curious about what you're up against by wander too far from the base, read on.
The Crabsnakes are something you'll notice pretty early on, but they aren't the major threat here. Keep away from their jellyshrooms and they will leave you alone for the most part. Even if they grab you, it's not entirely life threatening if you keep yourself full of health. Keep in mind that they CAN hurt your Seamoth.
The predator you want to watch out for and the reason I'm making this box is the Crabsquid. You will likely hear it before you see it. As part of the ambient noise in the cave, you can hear a creature making click-like calls, almost like they are using echo location. They are pretty distinct when you see them. They look like translucent squids with crab legs and giant eyes on the front of their bodies. They are aggressive and they have EMP (Electromagnetic pulse) abilities and are attracted to energy sources. For you, this means that not only will this thing be attracted to your Seamoth, ESPECIALLY if you have your lights on, but it will release an EMP blast that will temporarily leave your Seamoth unable to do anything but sit there and get attacked until the EMP effect wears off. Keep your eyes peeled and avoid these at all costs. If given the choice between running at a Crabsnake and running into a Crabsquid, run at the snake.
There are fragments littered around the outside of the base, but unfortunately these are mostly randomized, so I can't tell you exactly what you'll find or what you should make sure you don't leave without. Often times, I find fragments for a power cell charger, which can be useful. There seem to also often be some sort of reactor parts scattered around it as well. I often find either nuclear reactor fragments or thermal plant fragments. Both are kind of garbage right now, but will become useful later. The thermal plant is garbage right now because it will still be a bit before you are making bases near anything hot enough to power one. And the nuclear reactor, while amazing and definitely my favorite power source in the game, uses materials that are going to be exceedingly rare for you right now.
Be careful of the jellyfish as you go inside the base. They hurt a lot more than you would think. This is why we made sure to bring some first aid kits.
In general, this base isn't going to be quite as mindblowing as the last one as far as things you get to bring back. A lot of the value in this trip is the excellent Degasi crew logs, which fill in the blanks between the PDA logs you found on the island previously. Only one gap will remain in their story for you, within their second underwater base. But I'll leave that up to you to locate. There is an achievement involved for finding that second base, though. I will say though that Bart Torgal may be my favorite character you meet through PDAs.
As far as what is inside the base otherwise, look out for the Water Filtration Machine, the Basic Double Bed, and the databox containing the Ultra High Capacity Tank. The water filtration machine will basically make bladderfish useless and, rather than use salt like disinfected water, the machine will actually GENERATE salt for you in addition to water. The bed is mostly flavor, like the desks and chairs. I say mostly because you can actually sleep in your bed to force time to pass. Finally, the Ultra High Capacity Tank is an upgrade you make at the Modification Station. It is one of two upgrades that branch from the High Capacity O2 Tank. It is up to you if you want to use this upgrade or the Lightweight High Capacity Tank, but I've never found the minor speed increase from the Lightweight one to be worth it personally. The Lightweight High Capacity Tank has the same +90 oxygen effect that a High Capacity O2 Tank does, while an Ultra High Capacity Tank will give you a whopping +180 to your oxygen supply. That puts your total oxygen at 225 total!
Once you're done with the base, I suggest checking the floor. There is a new outcropping type to break and loose Magnetite along the floor. Bring at LEAST 2 Magnetite, 6 Lithium, and 2 Diamonds back with you. More is great, but that is the bare minimum if you want to make the Ultra High Capacity Tank, upgrade your Seamoth depth module, and make one of the necessary tools to finally explore the Aurora and some of the sealed wrecks you've been seeing around.
Return to your base/lifepod when you're ready and put the things you've collected to good use.
Building a REAL Base
If you've been following my advice, your current base is likely near your lifepod. This is good early on, but now is a good time to expand out if you're ready for it. There are pros and cons to having multiple bases. In general, you will likely find yourself with one large base and a lot of smaller ones. At this stage in the game, my base by my lifepod is still pretty small (multipurpose room + moonpool), so I often leave it as-is, grab some seeds for plants I want to grow in my new base, and go create my true big base elsewhere. You can do this, you can expand your lifepod base, or whatever else you want.
If you decide to make a large base somewhere, there are two things you really want to consider: Location and Components.
Location is quite important. In general, it's good to have a base a convenient distance from areas you are currently exploring or that you visit often. Not only proximity to biomes, islands, and structures, but you also want to consider your proximity to various energy sources and what they mean for how you will power your base. If your base is down close to heated vents or other sources of extreme heat, you will likely want to use thermal plants. If you are wanting to use solar panels, consider your distance from sunlight. If you are going to use a bioreactor, consider your power source and how readily available it will be in your proposed location.
As for components, that is largely going to be at your own discretion. I have some suggestions that I'll put in the box further down, but base building is largely a personal thing and will depend on what works for you.
The only thing to be careful of is how sturdy your base is. Depending on where it is referenced you will hear it referred to as base integrity, hull integrity, or base hull strength. It is how resistant your base is to the pressure of the sea. If your Hull Integrity goes to or below 0, leaks will start springing up in your base and it will flood. You will need to do something about the Hull Integrity first, then use the repair tool to go around and repair the damage. Depth plays a factor in how much your Hull Integrity is affected by adding components. If you want more in-depth information, check out the wikia page on Hull Integrity.
Recommended Base Components
Fabricator/Radio/Medical Kit Fabricator: If your base is not close enough to use these out of your lifepod, it is likely time to recreate them. They aren't too expensive and they don't take up a lot of room.
Reinforcements: Putting reinforcements around your base will help with keeping Hull Integrity up. I highly recommend placing them on walls where you plan to put wall-mounted objects anyway, which would keep you from putting a window in that spot. As long as you install the Reinforcement first, you CAN mount most wall-mounted objects on the reinforced wall.
Bulkheads: Bulkheads can be placed in many "doorways" and in hallway sections. They can be opened permanently so they don't actually delay your movements through your base. Their presence in the base is enough. Open or closed, they give +3 to your Hull Integrity, which is a nice boost.
Foundations: Having several foundations under your base will help with Hull Integrity, each piece giving +2. Not only that, but depending on their location, foundations are a nice place to put floodlights, spotlights, and exterior growbeds.
Interior/Exterior Growbeds: As we've discussed, growing plants is helpful. So far, you've probably only really used Interior Growbeds, as most things you could grow in an Exterior Growbed grow near your lifepod. When making a base far from home, though, it's nice to grow your own Creepvines and Acid Mushrooms, especially since you'll likely be needing a lot of rubber and batteries, even late in the game. Plus the newer, deeper places will give you more Exterior Growbed plants to bring home with you.
Moonpool: It's always nice to have a Moonpool at any base, big or small. Even if you don't give it an upgrade panel, it gives you a place to charge your Seamoth without having to change out its power cell.
Scanner Room: This is largely going to depend on where you set up your base, but the more resources that are clustered near your base, the more use you will see out of this room. I could make a whole section just on using the scanner room, but to keep it as short as possible, here are the basics. It does what the name implies: it's a room that scans. The room has a hologram showing the floor around you in the middle. There's an upgrade console and a fabricator for its modules. There is also a place to tell the scanner room what nearby resources you want to scan for. The hologram will show glowing dots where it has found this resource. You can also use the fabricator in the room to create an equipable chip that lets you see your scanner room's current results on your hud in real time. You can increase the speed of its scan and increase the scan range as well. It also comes equipped with two drone cams to use to safely explore an area visually without putting yourself in direct danger. New camera drones can be created at the fabricator if they get destroyed.
Water Filtration Machine: If you have the incoming energy for it, I say go for it. Easy salt and water is always a plus.
Battery Charger/Power Cell Charger: Things to charge your batteries are always a plus. It sure as heck beats having to replacing your drained batteries all the time. You may not find a Power Cell Charger is all that useful QUITE yet, as the only thing you have that uses them is your Seamoth, which you can (and should) charge in the Moonpool. The other two vehicles you can make in the game also use them, so later on, this may see more use.
Modification Station: I almost want to call this a requirement instead of a suggestions. There are just certain things that can and should be upgraded that can only be done so using this station. Things like the Ultra High Capacity Tank and the Seamoth Depth Module Mk2 we talked about last section.
A Warning About Glass Components
Windows look nice in a base. They make rooms look more open and let you see out into your surroundings. But, pay special mind to the fact that glass components, more than any other component (usually), will destroy your Hull Integrity. As a general room, try to avoid putting windows in places that are facing rock faces, your own base, or generally things that aren't very scenic or useful. That's a waste of integrity and, honestly, those are usually the best spots to put Reinforcements so you CAN put windows in the places you want to without destroying your base. Things like windows, glass compartments. observatories, etc can really make your integrity suffer, so always plan ahead if you want to use those in your base.
That being said, you can put windows in some pretty creative places. Like, did you know there's a spot on your scanner room for a window? I won't spoil them all, but there are some odd places you can place reinforcements and windows. Try poking around.
The Sunbeam and Beginning the Precursor Story
So there is a good chance that, if you've been exploring a long time and constantly checking your radio, by the time you get to this part of the guide, the rest of this section may already be irrelevant and you may have already experienced this. If so, you can skim through or go right to the next section. For those that haven't already seen the end of the Sunbeam's story, keep reading.
The Sunbeam's story starts on the radio. You'll get a broadcast from the Sunbeam pretty early on. After a couple of radio broadcasts, you will get a beacon for a landing site and a timer will pop up in the upper-right of your screen for 45 minutes. You have 45 minutes to get to the landing site. This is actually a ridiculously large amount of time, so you can certainly take your time with this. Make sure to bring the Purple Tablet you found at the Degasi Base with you.
There is a biome with a wreck and some really nice things to find directly to the west of where the landing site is, so it may not be a terrible idea to go there early and go exploring around the location. There are two events that can happen at the landing site, but honestly, unless you ignore the radio so the Sunbeam messages never get to you until nearly the end of the game, you'll only be able to see one of them (plus the one you see otherwise is cooler, in my opinion).
If you decide to go through the forcefield near the landing site, make sure you do so with a LOT of time to spare, as there are some cool things to poke at inside and you will miss seeing the event that takes place when the Sunbeam counter hits 0 if you aren't on the surface a couple of seconds before then. If you're going inside first, start heading back outside with no less than five minutes remaining to stay on the safe side of things. You can also wait until the event is over before exploring.
There is another Purple Tablet somewhere inside the structure, so there should be no reason for you to have to craft another one to reach the farthest part of this base. After seeing the event inside, use your scan tool to do a self scan to see what on earth the fuss is about. There are a lot of things that give you hints as to why you were shot down and what's going on with this planet. so make sure to explore the base well before leaving.
You've probably been dying to do this for a while now. You've seen that big wreck of metal you used to call your ship with longing, wondering when it'd be okay to explore it.
Now is that time.
BEFORE YOU LEAVE, here is a list of things you should bring with you onto the ship. Some are a strong suggestions, others are literally required to progress through the ship.
Do not bring more than you need. Okay, this is obviously less what you should bring and more what you SHOULDN'T, but it's important to note that there are a LOT of collectibles in the ship and that you will not have room for them all if you bring a ton of things that honestly weren't necessary for this. A big example of this is food and water. DO NOT BRING FOOD OR WATER. Or at the very least, bring only one of each if you feel you really need them. But there are nutrient blocks and water all throughout the inside of the Aurora, so your hunger and hydration needs will be met and then some. Do not bring extra batteries, either. While you will probably use a lot of battery power between the various tools you will bring, there are also a lot of batteries in the Aurora.
Laser Cutter. You absolutely need this to get through a few doorways. Requirement.
Repair Tool. Important. Get to the drive core. If you repair all the damaged parts of the drive core, the radiation around the Aurora will dissipate after a few in-game days, making it safe to remove your radiation suit and wear other suits and masks. (only spoiling this because the game tells you the radiation levels will drop, but is not explicit in how this works in-game mechanically or how long it will take)
Propulsion Cannon. Requirement. There are parts of the ship completely blocked off by boxes and other debris that you will need to use the propulsion cannon to move. Keep in mind that dropping things with F will only use up as much energy as you use up over time to move the debris where you want to drop it, while launching things with the right click will cost you how much energy you used up as you were aiming plus a whopping 5% energy to launch the thing. So, generally, as fun as it is to launch things like crazy, if you do so, make sure you're swapping in fresh batteries when you run out of energy. There are fragments for this out in the world, but if you had the bad luck of not finding them, there are fragments of it early on in the Aurora. You'd simply need to scan them, go back to your base, craft it, then return to the Aurora to continue.
Seaglide: Optional. You can't bring your Seamoth in with you, so all your exploration is swimming. The Seaglide can help with getting you to air pockets quickly, but it also takes up a number of slots, limiting your room for loot.
Scanner: There are things to scan here, including broken down Prawn Suits. There are enough of them in the room you find them in to finish your blueprint in one go. Do not leave base without this.
Radiation Suit: If you've been exploring anywhere close to the Aurora, you are likely already wearing it, but make sure you wear all pieces of the suit with you on this trip.
An item of note is the Fire Extinguisher. You definitely need them in the Aurora and cannot progress without them, but while you can craft them, it's not recommended. There are fire extinguishers littered throughout the Aurora. If you want to bring some in case you miss one inside, I only suggest bringing one extra.
Exploring the Aurora is one of the more fun parts of the game, so I'm not going to tell you how to navigate it or where to go. I will tell you a few things you shouldn't leave without experiencing or picking up though.
There are some toys in there. I won't say what they are and they serve no function other than decoration, but they are fun. Check shelves, walls, floors, and lockers.
Make sure you scan those Prawn Suits. The Prawn Suit is one of the only vehicles capable of super deep exploration.
If you come across a door that is locked with a code, the code is likely in a PDA message somewhere in the Aurora, so search around and come back to it later. The exception to this is the Captain's Quarters, which I'll explain further down.
Lots of story in here. Some of it trivial but entertaining, some of it giving you more insight as to what was going on with the Aurora prior to and during the crash. Read as much as you're willing, it's fun.
There is a VERY good chance you will not be able to enter the Captain's Quarters now or for a good while. The code for the Captain's Quarters is actually given to you via a radio transmission much later on. To be honest, I've never been able to figure out the timing myself and google searches didn't really help my case either. People have theories and guesses as to what caused them to get the radio signal, but the only things everyone seems to have in common is that it happened later on in their game after some indeterminate amount of time and/or progression. If you haven't gotten a radio message that gave you a PDA with the Captain's Quarters code, I will tell you to not worry about it. It will frustrate you to no end to just try to loiter around your radio or constantly wonder where this message is. You honestly don't need what is in the Captain's Quarters until the very, VERY end of the game anyway, so for now, try to put it out of your mind and let's just go explore the rest of the map for now. We can return later.
By this part of the game, other than more exploring, there is only one real push left in the game. This will take you to the very bowels of the planet... and this is going to need some preparations. You will be exceeding the 900m depth limit of even a maxed out Seamoth, so we've reached a point where the Seamoth just isn't going to cut it. Since we went into the Aurora, you will likely have the blueprint now for the Prawn Suit, which can reach down to 1700m, which is what we need. If you've made a Prawn Suit, though, you'll notice it doesn't actually swim. It walks on the floor and can jump. You can extend the jump a bit, but your range of movement is generally restricted to a small area. You need something bigger. You need something that can go deep. You need something that can float.
You need a Cyclops.
You might already have the blueprint for it. You may have already even made one. If you haven't, though. now is the time to go look for those fragments.
If you're lacking Hull Fragments, search the Mushroom Forests or Sea Treader's Path.
If you're lacking Engine Fragments, search the Mushroom Forests, Underwater Islands, or Crash Site.
If you're lacking Bridge Fragments, search the Mushroom Forests, Sea Treader's Path, or Crash Site.
Once you have a Cyclops, spend some time exploring and getting to know it. If emergencies happen, you need to be able to react to them quickly. Take some time to make upgrade modules for it and spice it up. You can use your Habitat Builder to create base objects inside it, essentially making it a mobile base, which will become very important, as the next portion of the game takes a long time and will take you away from your stationary base(s) for a long time.
Make the first Cyclops depth module if you can. If you don't have the blueprint, find Lifepod 2 in the northern Blood Kelp Zone in a databox. If you can find the databox for the Reinforced Dive Suit, I highly recommend this as well. It reduces damage taken and increases the temperatures you can survive at without a vehicle. It won't protect you from getting too close to the lava at the bottom of the map, but it will protect you from pretty much everything else. You won't have to leave your vehicles much anyway unless your Cyclops starts losing power rapidly. If you check the outside of it, or the health hologram on the left side of the bridge, you'll find out why. Bring a knife.
As for your Prawn Suit, you'll notice that in addition to the upgrade modules, you can change the arms. The arms, by default, will pick up objects and punch anything else. There are several other attachments you can find blueprints for. I HIGHLY recommend making one of the arms a Drill Arm. You may have noticed large deposits of ores around the planet that you can't do anything with as you've been playing. Those require the Prawn Suit drill arm in order to drill them. The underground sections have these too, as well as nodes for some ores that ONLY show up down in the deepest reaches.
For food and hydration, I also highly recommend bringing a couple of plants of your choosing along. I usually make two pots in that section before the bridge and throw some bulbo trees in there (I do more than one so that one is always fully grown and ready to give food while the other grows). You will be underground for a long time and while there are fish you can hunt down there, nothing down there can be made into water, so a plant that gives good amounts of water is vital. If you really don't want to deal with plants in your Cyclops, I recommend spending some time at your base stocking up a ton of water and packing your lockers in your Cyclops.
It's definitely a good idea to, at the very least, make a Fabricator and a Modification Station on your Cyclops. You also should bring the materials to make a small base during your journey. Specifically, enough mats to make another moonpool and vehicle upgrade console. I say this because one of the materials needed to make the MK1 depth module for the Prawn Suit is only found in the first stretch of our journey downward and if you don't bring the materials to make a base then to deal with it, you have to navigate your way back out of the location and all the way back to your base. It's doable, but inefficient and inconvenient. Also bring all the materials you're able to bring for the MK1 Prawn Suit depth module, as well as the upgrades for the MK2 Prawn and MK2/3 Cyclops upgrades for those modules. There are two materials you'll see referenced for those blueprints, nickel and kyanite. Don't worry about those, they are down deeper, where we're going.
Another good idea is to bring extra power cells. You will likely use a LOT of the energy of your cyclops, so it's a good idea to have backup power sources.
Either make two Purple Tablets, or bring the materials on board to make them.
In general, the more you're willing to store on your ship and the more you're able to build it up to a somewhat proper base, the better position you'll find yourself in during this journey. I may sound like I'm exaggerating, but you really will feel like you've been down there for months by the time you're done.
One last suggestion is making a decent amount of beacons to place down. This place can be a bit of a maze and sometimes it can be hard to find your way back or not go in circles. Occasional beacons can be like leaving breadcrumbs and the distance you'll be traveling is such that the Pathfinder Tool probably won't cut it.
So to start our journey, we need to make our way to one of the openings that will take us down. There is a good chance you may have stumbled upon some entrances here and there. The entrance I always find easiest to locate and initially navigate is the entrance in the northwestern Blood Kelp Zone. If you had to go to the databox by Lifepod 2 to unlock your first Cyclops depth module, then you will most certainly have seen the entrance. It is a giant cave mouth that cannot be missed. It also has an adult Ghost Leviathan patrolling around, so take caution. If you take the western Blood Kelp Zone trench instead of this location, it lacks large predators, but the trench is a lot more narrow and more difficult to navigate initially. Both entrances will eventually lead to the same place.
Start your descent and navigate the caves involved. If the lighting becomes bright and green, you're in the right place. This biome is called the Lost River. Be careful of the green brine pools that litter the floor, they are corrosive. There are some skeletons here you can scan for more insight into things. This location is the first time you will encounter nickel, so make sure you gather some and immediately upgrade the depth module for your Cyclops and create your Prawn Suit's first depth module (which will require making a moonpool). They are mostly okay in this biome (some parts of it can go down to 1000m, and your cyclops can only handle 900 right now), but we're trying to go deeper.
Once your depth modules are upgraded, navigate the Lost River, looking for a way down. If you come across an area where the brine pools are replaced with harmless glowing blue pools and a big, unique tree, you're in the right place. Go past that tree and you should find what you're looking for.
Going down deep enough will lead you to lava. This is the Inactive Lava Zone. Despite what the name may first make you think, the lava here is very much hot and still molten and lethal to your squishy human body. Do NOT go near it outside of your Prawn Suit, you will die instantly if you touch it and even being near it will burn you, even with the reinforced suit.
You're in the right place once you hit a big, circular cavern with what looks like a small mountain in the middle. There is a way inside that mountain and you should try to find it before you bother trying to go down further. Your cyclops won't fit inside the mountain, but your Prawn Suit sure will. Remember the tablets we made earlier (or brought the mats for)? Now is the time to craft them and stuff them in your inventory before you go in this part.
Predator Warning!Inside this cave lurks a couple of leviathans known as Sea Dragon Leviathans. They are extremely lethal and highly aggressive. They can also shoot fireballs. Yes, underwater. And it's rapid fire. And hurts like hell. Your Cyclops will not save you, they will attack your Cyclops.
To avoid the predators in the area, make sure you move at the slowest speed you can and run the silent mode when you can spare the power. It's better than cavitating and causing your Cyclops to draw the attention of the local wildlife.
Once you find your way inside what is inside the mountain (you'll know it when you see it), make sure to pick up any more Ion Cubes you find. There is also an Ion Cube mining node inside, so make sure you bring your Prawn Suit in that far if you have the drill arm.
There are two doors that need a purple tablet and you should not leave without getting what is behind both of them. One has a blue tablet, the other has the blueprints for the Ion Battery and the Ion Power Cell, both of which have five times the capacity of their non-ion counterparts. They will take longer to recharge, but it will be a long while before you need to charge them at all. At the very least, you should try to craft a Ion Power Cell when you get back to the Cyclops and swap out the normal power cell in your Prawn Suit for the new upgrade. If you have the materials, feel free to pop a few into the Cyclops as well. Just save an Ion Cube to make a Blue Tablet. You will need 2 for the final facility in the game and the one you picked up is the only freebee the game gives you.
Once you've gotten what you need, leave and return to your cyclops. Try to find a way to go even deeper. If you're having trouble finding a way down, there is a pit north of the "mountain" in the middle of the cavern. It is mostly just a circular pit with nothing in it, but one of the walls of the pit has a tunnel that dumps out into another lava area.
If you find a large cavern with another leviathan and an alien base, you've entered the right place. Get your cyclops close to the base, grab your Blue Tablets (you need 2), and ride your Prawn Suit into the base. You'll need it.
In the middle of the base is one of the most amazing creations: a respawning Ion Cube node. Which is good, because you're about to need them.
For the sake of you not running around throwing yourself in loading screens for nothing, I'm going to give as brief and lightly-spoilered a description as I can of the interior.
You'll notice a lot of doors coming from the main room of the base. The doors to your left and right have things to scan and lore to learn. The door directly ahead, blocked by a forcefield, is the moonpool of the base and requires a blue tablet to open. The doors on the diagonals of the room all lead to Alien Arches. If you haven't messed with these before, you simply put an Ion Cube in the pedestal and it becomes a two-way warp between itself and another arch assigned to it. These will become important soon, but for now, you should ignore the arches, other than maybe activating them if you want. They go to various biomes in the world, but nothing ground shattering or particularly secret.
Go through the forcefield door. Jump into the moonpool. I suggest staying put so you don't miss the event that happens. Feel free to sink lower in the water to get a better view, but don't leave the hanging platform in the water until the conversation is over. Once it is, feel free to check it out. If you don't have any Ion Cubes in your inventory for some reason, go back and make sure you bring 2 in the water with you. There are two pedestals to activate using the Ion Cube. You will get instructions on what needs to be done, just follow.
Eventually you will learn a recipe for a certain enzyme. It requires various plant cuttings and seeds to craft. Luckily, one of those plants happens to be in this very moonpool. Use your knife and grab a sample.
But now, how do we get the other four? Hm.... Well, if you've been reading and paying attention so far, it has probably become apparent to you what needs to be done. If you need a bit more help...
Each of the four alien arches in the rooms branching from the main base room leads to a biome that has the plant you seek. Go through each arch, get a cutting of the plant in question, and then come back and take another warp.
Once you have the enzyme, make use of it. All five need to hatch for the next event and sometimes one bugs out and doesn't want to do so, but if you swim away from them a little and come back closer, they often will finish the hatching animation. Once it happens, watch the following events, find and touch a gold glob in the water, and then do a self scan for science. With that, you have finished the bulk of the game's story. You can leave out the warp in the moonpool, but the issue is that you'll be leaving your cyclops behind. So go back to your cyclops and get ready for a very long trip back up to the surface.
Make absolutely sure to bring Ion Cubes and Kyanite back with you to the surface.Bring nickel as well if you can fit it, but at least the Lost River isn't terribly hard to get in and out of if you find yourself needing more nickel. But if you find yourself short on the other two for something, you're gonna be kicking yourself as you make that journey all the way down again.
This is it. The final push.
First order of business, let's turn off that blasted gun, yeah? Make your way back to the northeastern area near the floating islands and deactivate the precursor gun. Now that you are qualified to do so, the gun will shut down and no longer bother anyone. Yay!
With that done, check your radio. By now, you should have maybe gotten the radio message giving you the code for the Captain's Quarters. If for some strange reason you haven't, give it a day of exploring. If that doesn't work, you can just keep playing the game until it appears or I'll just give you the code here: 2679
Once you have the code, go back to the living quarters section of the Aurora and unlock the Captain's Quarters. Inside, make sure you don't leave without the blueprints for the Neptune.
Once you're back at your base (or wherever you want to start construction on the Neptune), take your Mobile Vehicle Bay out of storage and make the first part. Everything else for the Neptune will be made on the part you just made.
Once the Neptune is complete, you're ready. You can view the ending scenes and credits at any time. Finishing the game does NOT end your save file! After you view the credits, you can always load your game back up and play endlessly or even play the sequence again.
Do anything else you want to do beforehand, then get on the Neptune when ready. Enjoy the ending, you've earned it!
I'm on xbox one and for some reason, even though I have the first depth module for the Seamoth and a modification station, the blueprints for.
Seamoth is a small underwater vehicle that can reach places the Cyclops cannot due to its large size. Its initial specs are nothing special, though. In its basic version it's got a small crush depth. It's also completely unarmed. You'll need to invest in some upgrades for this boat.
Upgrades for the Seamoth can be made in two places: modification station and the vehicle upgrade console. You have several modifications to choose from, including: sonar, storage module, torpedo system, perimeter defense system, depth module compensator, hull reinforcement, engine efficiency module, and solar charger.
The Seamoth has four upgrade slots. You can access them at any time. You just have to find the right place on the floaters. This will open the upgrade panel, where you can install the upgrades.
Was there supposed to be a Sea Moth Depth Upgrade Device on the Aurora somewhere? If so I might need help pointing out where it might have been.
I saw what looked like upgraded fin blueprints, but I can’t build them yet.
I am really enjoying the story, even if its fed to me via logs that are out of order. :p
Only need to scan 1 more LED lightstick before I can start making them, can’t wait for some underwater light at night. I have a hard time seeing my floating storage , also why do the floating storage not float all the way up to the surface?
This game is gonna be in my top 10 for 2018, its phenomenal.
Glad you gave it a shot - it’s my favorite VR game at the moment even with all the jank. When I am deep in the Ocean I truly feel the fear…
nm to question I had above. I missed a huge chunk of the ship - the entire living quarters area, found the sea moth Upgrade where you’d expect lol.
With regards to upgrades found on the aurora:
There’s 2 seamoth upgrades and 1 cyclops upgrade
These pictures have me rethinking my whole “Dangle it off the side of a cliff” architecture style. I really like seeing “legs” LOL. Very nice bases!
Hey everyone playing, show us some pretty panoramic views of your bases :)
I had played the game a ton 18 months or so ago and pretty much did and built everything there was then. I’m glad I had put it aside and by and large forgotten about it until in finally launched. I think they came a long way since then. I mean it was really, really good then but it’s just about perfect now.
Still have issues with the finding of some of the fragments when you just cant seem to find the ones you need now (laser cutter I’m looking at you) and you have blueprints for stuff you can’t build. The community is pretty good about giving you cheats for exactly what you’re looking for w/o giving away everything. Plus I have a vague memory from before and the overall map is the same still.
I can’t think of another game that has satisfied my Bartles Explorer jones like this one does. I literally cruise around for hours just taking it all in sometimes.
Still have issues with the finding of some of the fragments when you just cant seem to find the ones you need now (laser cutter I’m looking at you) and you have blueprints for stuff you can’t build.
This happened to me as well, and based on forum posts, it isn’t uncommon. It makes me wonder how they handled the spawn chance of the different techs in different areas.
I think my hardest was the Modification Station. Holy cow I had to go back to so many wrecks before finally getting the last segment needed.
Modification station was my most difficult thing to find as well. I had the Cyclops completed before I finished it.
What I found amusing is after I scanned the parts I needed for the laser cutter, I then found 3 more crates with laser cutter parts to scan. :D
I found the 2nd part of the LED stick last night, the ocean will never be dark again.
What I found amusing is after I scanned the parts I needed for the laser cutter, I then found 3 more crates with laser cutter parts to scan.
You’ll run into duplicates more and more as the game goes on. It’s good for extra trit if you do scan them, so it’s not worthless, but it’s a real letdown to find a fragment and realize it’s the 10th extra scan for something you already know.
Can someone confirm this, I want to upgrade the seamoth, but I can’t do so till I build a moonpool right?
I need to go deeper!
Yup. The thing they lets you build upgrades for the prawn and seamoth can only be installed in the moonpool room. Though you don’t need to park the vehicle in the room to use it- you can change them in the field if needed.
Ah, the Vehicle Upgrade Console, my play through’s white whale.
Finished the game at 60 hours, tried not to use the Wiki for the most part. I thought they did a decent job hiding things and making you really feel like an explorer but sometimes it was just too hard. Difficult balance for sure. I wish you could have parked the seamoth on top of the cyclops though, I hated lugging all three vehicles around.
heh. my white whale is the humble battery charger. I need one of those so bad!
Can someone confirm this, I want to upgrade the seamoth, but I can’t do so till I build a moonpool right?
I need to go deeper!
The Mk1 depth module is crafted from the vehicle upgrade console, but an already-crafted module can be found at a particular location.
The Mk2 and Mk3 depth modules are crafted at the modification station, which does not require the moonpool. So it’s possible to fully upgrade the seamoth’s depth module without a moonpool, which is what I did in my playthrough.
If you happen to get upgrades via other means, you can install them without the moonpool.
Before going to the Aurora be sure you have the following:
I’m going to spoiler this slightly as a PSA. I found a way to bypass the rubble in one location and gain access to the Aurora’s interior without the repulsion/propulsion gun. Doing so will trap the player though, as you’ll still need the gun to get out. So bring the gun (at the very least) when you’re exploring the Aurora.
I’m going to spoiler this slightly as a PSA. I found a way to bypass the rubble in one location and gain access to the Aurora’s interior without the repulsion/propulsion gun. Doing so will trap the player though, as you’ll still need the gun to get out. So bring the gun (at the very least) when you’re exploring the Aurora.
This is inaccurate. I’ve explored the Aurora without the propulsion gun at all in my most recent game and gotten both in and out. There’s two entrances, one that needs the gun and is obvious, another that is a slightly winding route that just takes fire extinguishers (that are nearby).
What impresses me with this game is that I play it for about an hour at a time, and during that hour I am generally in the routine of crafting and upgrading etc, but at least one time per hour the game bounces along to something new that makes me really excited to come back the next day to play for another hour. That’s a trick that not a lot of games manage to pull off for me - that consistent feeling of progress amidst the grind. It’s probably why I am mostly drawn to shorter, narrative driven experiences these days. Subnautica certainly stands out in that regard.
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I think you make the upgrade module in the modification station that goes on the wall But I think that one you need a module from a data box?.
Our Subnautica: Below Zero Vehicles Guide goes over all the currently available vehicle options in the game! While there's likely to be some overlap in terms of vehicles between games, it does look like we'll be getting some different options this time around.
While we will likely be spending the majority of time in the water, it looks like in Below Zero we'll be doing quite a bit of trekking across the ground. This is evident by the inclusion of the Snowfox that is specifically for land only. Don't let that deter you though, we're also getting a new underwater vehicle called the SeaTruck. This is a modular addition to the game, you'll be able to attach different modules to it and transport some useful segments with you while you explore. You won't be stuck out at sea with no ability to craft anything if you attach the right module to your truck!
Here's a full list of the current and future vehicles that will be in Subnautica: Below Zero!
Bad news friends, if you are a big fan of this big submarine then you might be disappointed. It is currently not in the game, and it is unclear if it will ever be in the game. I'm listing it here as I know people will have questions about it. I will update this area if we learn anything new about it.
The Prawn Suit is back for another round, but this time it has a new movement ability that should make it a lot easier to get around. You can now hold down Shift to "powerslide" around while on the ground and you will glide at a higher speed. This ability also doesn't take thruster energy, so you can use it all you want.
The Prawn Suit is the best option for going into the deepest parts of the sea, and will likely have a bunch of different arm attachments that will allow you to mine, grapple, or attack!
While not technically a vehicle, I'm going to include it on the list anyway. This one sits in your inventory and allows you to get around quicker when you are outside of your other vehicles. It takes a simple battery to power, and can be crafted very early on in the game. One thing I'm hoping they implement is a way to attach the Seaglide to your equipment rather than it always taking up multiple slots in your inventory.
The SeaMoth was the first vehicle you could really get in the original Subnautica game. It's a great vehicle for getting around, but it is going to lack the versatility of the SeaTruck and could find itself being outclassed. We'll see if the SeaMoth is just flat out replaced by the SeaTruck as the game develops.
Believe it or not, but the command "spawn seamoth" will spawn you a SeaTruck instead of the SeaMoth. You can use "item seamoth" instead to actually give you this vehicle.
The SeaTruck looks to be the successor to the SeaMoth. Rather than just have a vehicle that is only useful for getting around, you'll be able to attach different modules to it so you can build, sleep, grow plants, and more while you are exploring. This vehicle also isn't officially in the game yet, but can be spawned in with cheats.
Learn more about this vehicle with our Sea Truck Guide!
The Snowfox or Hoverbike is a land only vehicle that you will be able to use to quickly get around on the icy terrain. It is currently not officially in the game yet, but you can spawn it in with console commands. The bike has one slot available for upgrades, and you can currently cheat in an upgrade that will allow you to jump the Snowfox.
The Snowfox will require the usage of a Hoverpad to create it and recharge it. You will be able to customize your bike and rename it via the Hoverpad.
You can learn more about this vehicle with our Snowfox Guide!
For Subnautica on the PC, FAQ/Walkthrough by Koruchan. You can make whatever modules you'd like for your Seamoth, that's .. If you had to go to the databox by Lifepod 2 to unlock your first Cyclops depth module, then.
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