Tips for getting started with subterranean exploration?

JozrozJozroz Sweden Join Date: 2017-05-15 Member: 230525Members Posts: 21 Fully active user
I have so far done fairly well on the surface areas, having established a central base in the shallows, built the cyclops and PRAWN, and working on getting outposts set up. How should I get about exploring the different caves and which one should I start with? Should I explore the QEP first?


  • MaxAstroMaxAstro Join Date: 2005-07-07 Member: 55451Members Posts: 136 Advanced user
    Generally speaking, my game progression goes something like this:

    -Start, explore shallows and kelp forest, get seaglide
    -Explore red grass biome, get Seamoth
    -Take Seamoth to floating island, get essential base building stuff
    -Take Seamoth to Grand Reef wreck, hopefully get moonpool and thermal reactor
    -Go to Aurora, get Prawn, fix engine room, collect extremely important resources like kitten poster and 9x nested duffel bags
    -Go to mushroom forest/blood kelp, get the rest of the Cyclops pieces and the reinforced dive suit
    (sometime in here I also go to the cannon base when the quest triggers)
    -Go to pink mushroom biome, find base, get water filtration device and mod station
    -Massive resource harvesting to a) build superbase, and b) outfit Seamoth with Mk3 pressure module
    -Go to deep grand reef in Seamoth, find base, get alien containment, build "deep water base" using thermal reactor
    -Forget wtf the koosh forest is or why I need to go there until I randomly stumble across it the one time I'm not carrying a beacon

    ...Aand, despite having like 90 hours so far, that's about as far as I've gotten. :P But if you haven't at least found the pink mushroom base and the grand reef base, I'd check those out before heading to the really deep stuff.
    "The world ends with you. If you want to enjoy life, expand your world. You gotta push your horizons out as far as they'll go." - Sanae Hanekoma
  • JozrozJozroz Sweden Join Date: 2017-05-15 Member: 230525Members Posts: 21 Fully active user
    Okay @MaxAstro, I'm coming along roughly in the same order. The kitten poster and duffle bags are the best! Any clue about getting started with the I/A-LZ?
  • JackeJacke Calgary Join Date: 2017-03-20 Member: 229061Members Posts: 623 Advanced user
    There's also the Jelly Shroom Caves, down a few cave shafts, just over 200m at the ceiling, about 300m at the base. There's an Abandonned Base down there I go to first to get a bunch of blueprints like the MPR, Water Filtration Unit, etc. It's just outside of the Aurora Radiation Zone, which you go into barely a few times going down the shaft, but the cave itself is outside it so you can use the Rebreather. I take the Seamoth down to just over 200m then Seaglide down to the base and scan and go back when my oxygen runs low.

    I also build and kit out the Cyclops before I go to the Floating Isle as that allows me to haul a bunch of stuff to make a simple base there as well as take out everything I want.
    The 'e' is silent. BRING BACK "Great job not dying." !!!
  • gamer1000kgamer1000k Join Date: 2017-04-29 Member: 230121Members Posts: 313 Advanced user
    Here's the plan I've used in recent playthroughs:
    1. Explore safe shallows and kelp forest to unlock the seaglide and gather materials to build essential tools (fins, O2 tank, knife, scanner, welder, habitat builder, rad suit, seaglide). When the habitat builder is ready, build a single corridor microbase under the escape pod for additional storage.
    2. Once the seaglide has been built, make a beeline for the mountain island to get a diamond for a laser cutter and check out any escape pods I've gotten signals for. While I'm on the Mountain Island, explore the QEP and gather purple artifacts since there's nothing dangerous inside ATM.
    3. With rad suit, scanner, welder, and laser cutter in hand, fully explore the crash zone and Aurora, and fix the rad leaks. With all the tools available, hit up nearby wrecks in the grassy plateaus to unlock more stuff.
    5. Head for the floating island and unlock the multipurpose room, planters and get marblemelon seeds (and scan everything else of course). Upgrade base with farms (marblemelon and creepvine).
    4. Get everything needed for the seamoth (including mobile vehicle bay) and craft a seamoth and a rebreather. Use these to go explore the Jellyshroom caves to scan everything in the base down there, specifically the water filter and modification station. Upgrade base with bioreactor to power water filters.
    5. Upgrade Seamoth pressure compensator and build a moonpool for other Seamoth upgrades, and head to the deep grand reef to get things from the base there, specifically the artifact and alien containment. While I'm down there, also explore DGR wrecks.
    6. Upgrade base with alien containment for fish farm. Using Seamoth, search for Cyclops and prawn upgrade fragments that I haven't already come across. Get blood oil from blood kelp zone and find and mark Lost River entrance with beacon.
    7. Begin preparations for Lost River and Lava Zone expedition. Build Cyclops and Prawn, kit everything out (manufacture all upgrades) and gather materials to build a base in the tree cove using the Prawn with drill arm. Cyclops should be set up as a mobile base with farms, fabricators, and lots of lockers.
    8. Drive Cyclops to the Tree Cove with Prawn, and convoy with a Seamoth. Build a forward base with essentials (thermal/nuclear power, water filters, farms, moonpool(s).). Use Seamoth to run back and forth to main base if necessary. Explore ruined Precursor base since it's close to the Tree Cove. Upgrade Cyclops pressure compensator with nickel.
    9. Explore ILZ with Cyclops and Prawn. Begin with short expedition to corridor for Kyanite to upgrade prawn, and once its been upgraded head to the thermal plant. Build Ion Power Cells with blueprints from thermal plant.
    10. Explore ALZ with fully upgraded Cyclops and Prawn.
  • JackeJacke Calgary Join Date: 2017-03-20 Member: 229061Members Posts: 623 Advanced user
    I like a lot of what @gamer1000k suggests. However, I advance the construction of the Seamoth and the Cyclops to before going to the Floating Isle, which I do before going to the Aurora. After I get the Seamoth, I also go to the Jelly Shroom Caves and the Abandonned Base there, which can also provide blueprints to the MPR, the Water Filtration Unit, and the Nuclear Reactor.
    The 'e' is silent. BRING BACK "Great job not dying." !!!
  • kingkumakingkuma cancels Work: distracted by Dwarf Fortress Join Date: 2015-09-25 Member: 208137Members Posts: 825 Advanced user
    edited May 2017
    My order of business:
    1. Put out fires in lifepod
    2. Get scanner
    3. Get a welder, repair lifepod
    4. Unlock / Build seaglide
    5. Make a knife
    6. Unlock seamoth
    7. Go to mountains, get diamonds for laser cutter (I used to go to the Grand reef, but I can't seem to find any. See episode 3 of my upcoming subnautica series)
    8. Go to / loot Aurora
    9. Make a P.R.A.W.N. Suit
    10. Make a moonpool with mod station
    11. Visit jellyshroom caves and get fragments
    12. Breed reginalds and mass produce water
    13. Get depth upgrades and prawn arms
    14. Go to the ILZ (see here for more detail)
    15. Go back, get cyclops and all its upgrades.
    16. Fill cyclops with: 1 growbed of marblemelons, 1 mod station, 2 powercell chargers, 2 medkit fabs, 1 normal fabricator, 15 wall lockers (sorted by chemical formula)
    17. Take cyclops down to LR, leave it there
    18. Take prawn to ALZ
    19. get cured and escape!
    I am Kingkuma, Leader of the PH/SP , Slayer of Cuddlefish, Conspiracy theorist , Humanizer of warpers , Shifter of sands , Creator of Fanart , Enemy of Crabsquids , Hater of Lava Larvae , Winner of the great stalker bar brawl of 2017 , Creator of flowcharts , Killer of time , Romancer of warpers ,and head designer for the ALTERRA 5th airborne division.

    I have a webcomic. It involves Tsundere Nereids, Canadians, magic, girls wielding crossbows, and possibly Scott Pilgrim. It updates every Wednesday at 4 pm EST. Check it out. (No, please, check it out.)

    Also: Stop hating on the warpers. They have feelings too, ya'know.
  • MaxAstroMaxAstro Join Date: 2005-07-07 Member: 55451Members Posts: 136 Advanced user
    Kingkuma, if you are having trouble finding diamonds in the reef it might just be because the new basalt graphic blends in with the ground there. In my latest playthrough I've found a half dozen diamonds just in the shallow part of the reef.

    They do feel less common, though; it seems to be six or more basalt per diamond now.
    "The world ends with you. If you want to enjoy life, expand your world. You gotta push your horizons out as far as they'll go." - Sanae Hanekoma
  • JackeJacke Calgary Join Date: 2017-03-20 Member: 229061Members Posts: 623 Advanced user
    It's interesting to see the different order people hit up the various spots around the Subnautica world.
    The 'e' is silent. BRING BACK "Great job not dying." !!!
  • Reaper_Peeper101Reaper_Peeper101 wont tell Join Date: 2019-04-13 Member: 252304Members Posts: 14 Fully active user
    Hey everybody, my name's Reaper_Peeper101 and I have been playing Subnautica for a long time and I know how to get you started in the game! I also know the where-bouts of the Reaper Leviathans so you don't lose your Seamoth! I can also help you locate much needed fragments, reach out to me if you have any questions!
  • RandomClownRandomClown California Join Date: 2019-04-14 Member: 252318Members Posts: 1 Freshly registered user
    For later folks reading this,

    I recommend saving before departing with your Prawn. Way too many places where I clipped through the terrain & fell through. If you're quick enough, you can fly back up & land on safe ground.
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