BinaryAbyssBinaryAbyss Join Date: 2019-03-07 Member: 251561Members
I realize this discussion has been going on for a while now, but I can't find any reliable old posts that talk about it. For my first few days playing Subnautica (PS4 version), it didn't take long for me to notice that the mineral deposits weren't respawning. I was disappointed, but brushed it off quickly enough because I knew the game was designed to supply plenty of materials to beat the story and still build impressive, self-sustaining bases that would ensure the player never starved. The scanner room is particularly helpful on that front.

That said, after spending about four days (real-world time) below 800 meters, I went topside to discover that all of the old limestone/sandstone/shale outcrops (including the ones on the islands) had all come back. All of the lithium deposits reappeared, all the table coral came back, absolutely every single thing that I had mined early on came back to be reclaimed.

I assumed at first that maybe this was because of the update (it was shortly after version 1.08 was released for the PS4), but during all of that time in the deep water (post-1.08), I know I drilled a whole bunch of large deposits, including Kyanite. And after only spending a little bit of time in the shallows, I went back down to the Lost River/Inactive Lava Zone to discover that all of those deposits had also respawned. Kyanite and all.

TL;DR: Suffice it to say, I have no idea if respawning materials is an intentional in-game mechanic that requires great distance and some time to kick in, or if it's a glitch, or if it's intended to respawn all the resources after a patch update. It boggles the mind. Any thoughts/observations?


  • RequiemfangRequiemfang Join Date: 2015-02-22 Member: 201492Members
    Mineral nodes aren't normally suppose to respawn period, not unless the map gets regenerated by deleting chunks via the game directory and letting the game respawn those chunks.
  • CochonouCochonou France Join Date: 2019-01-19 Member: 249024Members
    edited March 2019
    Really ? They definitely respawn on PS4, and this dates from at least 1.05. I believe this has always been the case... But this might be related to the "doors resetting" bug, which reinitialises the state of some locations.

    Is metal salvage also supposed not to respawn ?
  • BinaryAbyssBinaryAbyss Join Date: 2019-03-07 Member: 251561Members
    Cochonou wrote: »
    Really ? They definitely respawn on PS4, and this dates from at least 1.05. I believe this has always been the case... But this might be related to the "doors resetting" bug, which reinitialises the state of some locations.

    Is metal salvage also supposed not to respawn ?

    I mean, it definitely makes sense in terms of realism if most of the resources don't respawn. Given all the effort that the devs put into making this game as realistic as possible (oxygen being depleted faster when you go deeper without a rebreather, food rotting if you don't eat it fast enough, the weight of a high-capacity scuba tank slowing you down, etc.), I wouldn't be surprised if limited resources was also intentional.

    Here's what I've observed so far: If I stay within the same general area (say, the shallow reef) for an extended period, even between saves/reboots, the resources that I mine don't come back. And again, that only makes sense. It encourages the player to expand and find new resources in order to maintain their gear and progress forward.

    After some time in my first save, I built a deep-water base (between 650-900 meters), and transported a bunch of my shallow materials down there so that I wouldn't need to make constant "grocery trips" for resources I already had. I built another, even deeper base soon afterward, in between progressing the story forward and looking for new materials. The longer the time I spent in the Lost River/Inactive Lava Zone, the fewer resources I had (I must've spent better than 5 hours just drilling so many different ores). And again, this persisted between saves and reboots. When I loaded the game up, all the deposits I had mined from previous sessions were still gone - as they rightly should have been.

    At some point, I can't remember what prompted it, but I needed to go back up to the shallows to do something (I think it was probably late-game related), and when I got back to my old shallow reef base, all the surrounding resources (limestone outcrops, creepvines, metal salvage, quartz, everything) had respawned. I wasn't in the shallows for very long before I went back down into the Lost River to discover that the same thing happened to all the mineral resources down there - they all came back. And bearing in mind, that all happened within the same session. Not but a few minutes before I went back to the shallows, those large deposits (titanium, copper, quartz, kyanite) were but a long-forgotten dream. When I came back from my trip to the shallows, they had returned, available to be drilled again and implemented in expanding my foothold in the area.

    I apologize for the extremely drawn-out and tedious post, but I couldn't think of a way to properly and thoroughly explain what was going on without going into that much detail. Hopefully I'm not the only one who has experienced this, and if anyone else has, it would be helpful if they came forward so that I know I'm not the only one experiencing this! I'm not gonna complain about respawning resources, especially if it means making more bases across the entire volcano, but it seems at this point nobody is quite sure whether it is an intended mechanic or a glitch - and the devs don't seem to care to comment one way or the other.
  • BinaryAbyssBinaryAbyss Join Date: 2019-03-07 Member: 251561Members

    Okay! New info! I'm playing a new file, and my lifepod is right next to a giant coral tube with lots of limestone outcrops and quartz in it. I know for a fact that I completely cleaned that sucker out for materials. Last night, I went to the precursor facility on the island to the North of my lifepod to watch the Sunbeam get blown up. Afterward, I saved and turned off my game - completely off, no standby, no rest mode.

    When I reloaded it today, I finished my business on the island and went back to my base. I needed some cave sulfur to make a laser cutter, and I remembered that there were several crash fish that like to nest in/near that giant coral tube. When I swam inside it, all of the resources I had already mined were fully replenished.

    There appears to be some correlation between distance/rebooting and material deposits respawning/regenerating, but I need to experiment with it further before I can validate or eliminate that observation.
  • CochonouCochonou France Join Date: 2019-01-19 Member: 249024Members
    If you look at this thread, it looks like it might also be the case on the PC version. Not having played it, I cannot confirm this.
  • BinaryAbyssBinaryAbyss Join Date: 2019-03-07 Member: 251561Members
    UPDATE 2:

    I've experimented with it a little more, and so far the results are 50/50. I went back to Mountain Island after cleaning out the same coral tube. While on the island, I mined some materials that I needed, then saved and rebooted. When I went back to the coral tube, none of the deposits had reappeared, so I revised my hypothesis to account for time being another possible factor. I cleared out my inventory, stocked up on water and went to the Floating Island (though both food and water were a non-issue thanks to the abundance of Bulbo trees).

    I literally stood there for a couple of in-game days (~40 mins.), cutting chunks of Bulbo trees as needed to prevent starvation and dehydration. After two days, I saved and rebooted my game.

    Now, just for the heck of it, I took the teleporter to Mountain Island to see if any of those outcrops and trees had regenerated; no dice. But when I returned to the original coral tube in question, those outcrops did regenerate.

    So there appears to be some correlation to time as well, but I can't fully explain why the outcrops on Mountain Island didn't respawn while the coral tube ones did. Maybe, because of the teleporter, the islands register each other as being close together, even though they're ~2km apart from each other.

    I'm going to continue experimenting and see if I can get the shale outcrops/lithium deposits on Mountain Island to generate. If I can't get them to, then there is another, as-yet unaccounted factor playing into this odd-yet-useful mechanic.
  • BinaryAbyssBinaryAbyss Join Date: 2019-03-07 Member: 251561Members
    UPDATE 3:

    I was unable to make the lithium/shale deposits to regenerate. I stayed in my base (~1km away from Mountain Island) for two full in-game days, sitting on a bench to prevent starvation/dehydration. I saved the game, rebooted, and went back to Mountain Island. None of the shale/lithium deposits came back. Even some of the Bulbo trees I had depleted had not regenerated.

    I'm not sure anymore what causes some deposits to respawn while others remain depleted. I'm still able to make the Shallow Reef deposits respawn, which is nice, but I'm out of ideas as to what factors precisely determine when they do.
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