Subnautica - Is it worth it?

I’m interested in (non spoiler) parts of the game since there are a lot of… lets face it “fanboys” on the Steam forums and I don’t like asking them because of the toxicness of that site :laughing:

Is the story good?
Performance overall?
Game breaking bugs?

The thing that got me interested is the “freedom mode” which is literally the same as the normal mode minus the food/water meter for your character so its more fun and relaxing. (until you find a giant monster that wants to eat you :shark: )

Let me know what you guys think!


I do believe @Fraggles has spent a significant amount of time playing this. For some reason this idea lingered in my mind. Perhaps he can provide some insight, or tell me that my remote recollection is way off…

In fact, I could be very wrong, since it’s on his Steam wishlist as I just looked at it…

But I did discover that @wearyamoeba and @MattnessLP seem to have a decent number of hours in the game already, so maybe they can shed some light. Some others have the game but haven’t put the hours in yet…


The game is great in my opinion but it depends a little on what you’re looking for. I would directly recommend you do not in fact play “freedom mode” or anything but the standard mode, for your first time. This is not a relaxing game and removing the hunger/thirst mechanics for yourself I would think only make the experience poorer. I would make a more detailed argument for that but I’d want to keep as vague as I can about any details of the game.

This game is NOT your run of the mill crafting/survival game where you just keep playing until you’ve had enough and your only goal is what you set up for yourself. Approach this game as any other story driven game, because there’s a story, there’s a progression and there is an end. So I would highly recommend playing it through the way “the devs intended”. The story is not great, but I’m not sure it has to be, the fact that it exists at all and the way you encounter it in bits and pieces to piece together yourself makes it engaging. If you sit down at the end to analyse it all then you’ll have no troubles poking all sorts of holes in it.

The game unfortunately does not run great. There are places where you will definitely run into massive frame rate drops, probably no matter how powerful your computer is. You will experience a lot of pop-ins as things just don’t load fast enough, this is especially true once you start having access to faster modes of travel. The game’s loading times are pretty awful and I think part of the issue the game has is that they just didn’t know how to make the game read enough data from disk at fast enough pace for the game to keep up with itself. Somewhat alleviated if you’re running the game off an SSD.

I luckily did not run into any game breaking bugs. There will be times where fishes decides your base is not there and just happily swim through it. Caused by the loading things too slowly there will be times where level geometry will ‘ambush’ you and you might find yourself a little stuck as it loads in around you. Hostile creatures are always loaded in quickly though so I’ve never had to worry about something randomly spawning in my face. Some of them do certainly like to lurk though so be wary anyway.

From everything I’ve heard about the game after playing it I can not recall any complete game breakers.

To further touch upon performance again. I run a GTX970 so I’m well set for it’s GPU requirements but my CPU is a generation older than the minimum. This had me worried of course but overall I had a great experience with this game. I do highly recommend it.




I second everything @Fraggles says.
Although I dont have huge frame rate drops.
I have an i5 7400 and a GTX1060

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The performance worries me because I personally only have a GTX 780 and I’m not into upgrading my computer.


My brother runs it on a laptop, so if your computers any good it’ll probably be able to run it :upside_down_face:

You’re still well over recommended with the GPU so that is unlikely to be an issue. You could always download a ‘demo’ and see how it handles if you’re very unsure.


It’s a few months now since I finished Subnautica and for a while there I could not look at deep water without having flashbacks of fear and anxiety. I think I’m mostly over that and wouldn’t you know it but steam decided to throw this game at me at a very agreeable price.

Now I don’t know if it’ll manage to tickle the same deep seated fears Subnautica managed to or not, but deep dark waters are doing things for me all on their own. Here we go again.


let me know what you think of it,
-got it wishlisted but never been sure if it was a “buy now” 4bucks kind of deal, or a “cross fingers hope for it bundled” type thing


Do you rate ACG’s reviews? If so

the excellence of Diluvion’s amazing fiction and worldview is lost in cluttered gameplay, poor control and what appears to be a desire to put presentation of glamourous underwater moments before the actual polish of the gameplay


I’ve played it for 104 minutes now and I can’t say the controls are poor at all. Maybe a little finicky, the sub is far more agile than I first expected it to be, turns very hard easily. Gameplay is so far what I expected it to be, run around in your sub and explore a fairly open space, finding little oddities and places to dock and loot, broken up by being attacked by pirates now and then. Combat is pretty simple but with movement and distance impacting both your aim and the opponents ability to hit you there’s some skill to it.

As for story it has not progressed to a point where anything is really going on yet. Ao far I’ve gotten a fairly simple run and fetch mission with a good old fashioned checklist of stuff to collect in order to upgrade my sub. Could be a little bit more inspiring I suppose but I wouldn’t count it as a mark against just yet.


I’ve actually played it half of the 10 hours listed. I didn’t get real far. I loved it though! I have issues with first person games and I started getting sick. I’m real sensitive to first person stuff so your mileage will definitely vary. It’s a lovely and interesting game though. It ran fine on my gtx 1060.


Thanks for mentioning me, buddy (and sorry I haven’t replied much earlier, I haven’t had real internet since my move at June 1st).

But to shed some light on Subnautica: I’ve been following the game since it first got popular, and watched all the episodes Jacksepticeye and Markiplier did on the game, until I finally got it myself, must’ve been on Christmas Sale 2016 if I recall right. And I loved every minute of it. To be fair, the game started out a bit rough and unoptimized, especially for my rig back then, but the updates it had plus my hardware upgrades gave me the opportunity to experience it without crashing and (almost) no lags.
Subnautica manages to be both terrifying and beautiful (kinda like the real ocean). You always wanna dive deeper, explore more, but you’re always on the edge of your seat, listening for near predators (and oh boy, nothing gives me fear goosebumps like the roar of a Reaper Leviathan when it spotted me).
The updates towards the release greatly helped giving the game some structure, making it more organized to search for the other escape pods and wreckage parts, finding the islands and everything. Admittedly, I did not get around to play it since its 1.0 release, and I’m sure they fixed and improved things a lot since then, but it’s just a game I can recommend to anyone who likes survival games, base building and beautiful visuals and audio. And for me it’s also the prime example of how Early Access is done right.

I hope this little essay helped, and sorry again for responding so late :smiley:


Thanks for the feedback! I think I have been looking at this game and wondering about it, also trying to contemplate whether to really seriously consider it only after I somehow manage to obtain a VR setup. But it has drawn my attention enough times, so I have just added it to my wishlist. I think it’s probably one of those I would enjoy no matter the game mode. VR probably has to wait some more time for me due to motion sickness and just being uncertain about whether it is the right investment at this time.


I’m pretty sure the game will kick ass in VR mode (I never tried, and wont be able to for the forseeable time :confused: ), but I think you might need a good-ass rig for that, since Subnautica itself has already pretty high requirements (or their version of Unity just wasn’t able to handle a game of that scale and beauty. Also, they might have smoothened the performance since I last played).
If you get it on one of the next big sales, tell me what you think about it :slight_smile:


@YQMaoski @MattnessLP
From what I remember of 1.0, the VR mode isn’t very good. It was underdeveloped and took a backseat to the main game, slowly becoming more gimmicky and broken as time went on. I’ll give it another go to see if it’s improved, though.


I do not have any kind of VR gear, and I am definitely waiting for everything to come down in price, I just don’t have that kind of money sitting around. so if I get Subnautica, it will be just to play on a regular PC monitor, I think I will enjoy it that way as well.

I am in a constant self debate regarding VR because I get some motion sickness even from first person games, and I am not sure if VR would be suitable for me or not… I did try PSVR and that made me a little dizzy with headaches, but I hear that the PC VR setups are easier on the eyes and are typically better.