Subnautica Steam, Console & Expansion Update

ObraxisObraxis Subnautica Animator & QA Lead, NS2 Person Join Date: 2004-07-24 Member: 30071Super Administrators, Forum Admins, NS1 Playtester, Forum Moderators, NS2 Developer, Constellation, NS2 Playtester, Squad Five Silver, WC 2013 - Supporter, Subnautica Developer, Pistachionauts Posts: 2,988 admin
Hey all.

We've been pretty quiet for a while, because we've all got our heads-down working hard. It's an exciting but busy time, and I just wanted to give you a quick update on what we're doing.

We've been working on the Unity 2018 engine upgrade for Subnautica for a while now. It's not been easy. A lots of issues came with upgrading the engine which needed to be fixed, including bugs and visual glitches throughout the game. Finally, we think we've just about got it all done. So very soon we'll be putting this upgrade into the Steam Experimental branch for much more testing. We'll need all the feedback we can get to make sure we didn't miss any issues before it goes out to the general public. You can opt-in to the Experimental Branch on steam by following this guide:

While we've been working on the engine upgrade, Panic Button (Doom on Switch port guys) have been working furiously on optimizations and the console versions of Subnautica. Because our code-base for Subnautica is exactly the same across all platforms, a large amount of their optimizations for making consoles run better will make their way into the PC/Mac version too. Lower-end machines *should* see the most benefit from their work, with things generally being a bit more stable in terms of frame-rate & stability. You'll also get better controller support for Xbox & PS4 controllers.

Their work done so far (with more coming) is ready to go into the Steam Experimental beta, so we'll be merging their work first, then our Engine upgrade in the coming week or so. Look out for CS#60529 & above (in-game F1 menu and top right).
We would LOVE to hear people's thoughts after trying it, and would love it even more if people could let us know how performance is for you against the older version. All critical comments are welcome.

Once Steam Experimental users have verified things are good with both Panic Button & our Engine upgrade, we're going to put out an Xbox Preview patch so Xbox users can start giving their feedback as well. We want the game to run as well as it can on all platforms so everyone can enjoy their gaming experience.

We've also been doing some small quality-of-life fixes that have been requested for far too long.

Done: Improving Subtitle Speed for non-English users; adding a Subtitle Speed slider for those who need to adjust the text speed:
In-Progress: VR PDA distance slider - We've found that personal IPD plays a significant role in how 'close' the PDA feels in VR, and while it was fine for some people, for a lot of players it was far too close. Now we're working on a way to let you set the distance yourself in the options menu. We're not sure when this will be done, but we're trying to get it done ASAP.
In-Progress: VR Seamoth Docking Fix - We're investigating the docking in Cyclops issue that's been a problem for a while.

Subnautica Expansion:
Most of the UnknownWorlds team are working on the Subnautica Expansion project. What started life as a DLC for the original game, turned into an Expansion and now, it's own stand-alone adventure. The team is very excited about the path we're taking & story we're' going to tell...breathing more life into the world of Subnautica on 4546B. We'll be announcing more about this project very soon.

We're acutely aware that a huge part of Subnautica's success is due to you our community. The forum posters, Steam commentators, Redditors, Youtubers, Twitch Streamers, Bug Reporters, Tweeters, Facebookers....all of you. So we'll be opening up development on the next Subnautica Chapter's Trello boards very soon. Some of us will also live-stream what we're working on.

Thanks for being with us, we hope you'll join us as we make a new Subnautica adventure on 4546B.


If NS2 fails, follow my Nuke From Orbit Guide.

NS2 Discord:

Subnautica Discord:



  • BlueBottleBlueBottle Australia Join Date: 2018-02-03 Member: 236674Members Posts: 344 Advanced user
    edited August 2018
    Great to hear. Very much looking forward to see the fruits of your team's great work!

    On the subject of feedback:

    - Will the Prawn-in-Moopool bug get some love? I'm referring to the well known problems wih accessing Prawn storage and modules.

    - Is the Expansion likely to feature improved depth mechanics? I'm talking about airlocks and the like.

    I've got my objections to the World, certainly. But I'll be very sorry to see it ruined.
  • RowletAlexRowletAlex Eleventy-seven Nonexistent Street, Nowhereville, Outer Space. Join Date: 2018-03-16 Member: 239126Members Posts: 53 Advanced user
    All good things, glad to hear it. I expect great things from you guys in regards to the Expansion, especially more bird-like creatures. There must be more. Always.

    Anyhoo, nice job on everything so far! You guys deserve a pat on the back and some cookies. Subnautica is easily one of the best games I’ve ever played and it’s all thanks to all you brilliant folk at UWE. Can’t wait to see what you come up with next!
  • Paper_ThiefPaper_Thief Rockhampton Join Date: 2018-03-08 Member: 238704Members Posts: 2 Fully active user
    edited August 2018
    Thanks for all the support for console users and PC alike, Console doesn't get a lot of love from most PC based games as it takes a lot of work to cross it over, thank you so much for taking that task to give us Console users the chance to play this amazing game.
  • ripjawwolffangripjawwolffang Australia nsw Join Date: 2018-06-13 Member: 241356Members Posts: 13 Fully active user
    Oh good I was starting to feel a little abandoned as an Xbox player...
    I really want to replay the game but don’t want to do that until it’s made less... glitchy and slow to load so I can’t actually see anything I’m doing...
  • davokerdavoker España Join Date: 2018-08-09 Member: 242747Members Posts: 6 Fully active user
    Waiting eagerly for the experimental to be stable, this does not help but I do not usually participate in the experimental patches, I do not have much time to play and when I do, I like it to be as stable as possible

    PS: Damn Obraxis, because of you we do not have rocket launchers in the manufacturer :D
  • JackeJacke Calgary Join Date: 2017-03-20 Member: 229061Members Posts: 581 Advanced user
    As Experimental on PC is now 60566 and that's above 60529, this has released on Experimental.

    Was thinking about getting back into Subnautica and starting a new game and this makes it all the more enjoyable.
    The 'e' is silent. BRING BACK "Great job not dying." !!!
  • NilsouNilsou France Join Date: 2018-09-10 Member: 243465Members Posts: 7 Fully active user
    edited September 2018
    Good to read this announcement. Question for @Obraxis -> Have you an estimated date for the release of "panic button + new engine" for public ? A lot of people which play a game right know could choose to pause their game if the release of the update is soon and not in 6 month or more ^^
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