Subnautica: Below Zero is finally here and as a result, we’ve been tossing on our favorite fur-lined aviator caps and scuba flippers. For those that are familiar with the series, many things are much the same and a lot of the tactics picked up in the first game can be applied to the second. That being said, there are a few differences in Below Zero that may take some adapting to and if you’re new to the series you may need a guide to start your journey right. Here are some helpful tips and tricks to keep in mind as you start your search for Sam in Below Zero.
Right From the Start
Below Zero starts you in a manner that will undoubtedly make you feel like you need to be in a hurry. While there are some times that you need to make quick moves (like when a giant shadow suddenly appears in the depths), I find that taking your time and being very mindful about surroundings, items, landmarks, and possible routes is an important skill to pick up early on. After you gain control of your character, make sure you pick up all items in your immediate vicinity – things like purified water or nutrient blocks are worth their weight in gold and will save you time crafting later on in the game. There should be 3 filtered water bottles, 3 nutrient blocks, and 9 flares in your initial starting site. Just about every item you collect in Below Zero will be useful at some time or another, so make sure you create plenty of storage early on and don’t just drop what you aren’t currently using to the bottom of the arctic.
Make Sure You are Entirely Too Thorough
Missing essential items in Subnautica can, unfortunately, be a little too easy at times. When you come across signs of past life, ensure that you really take your time sorting through everything you can find in the nearby area. This will help you gain recipes quicker, find items related to story missions, and guarantee that you don’t miss out on sick loot like Below Zero-themed ‘Hang in there’ posters to put up in your seabase. One tip that has been mentioned among the community to further help alleviate this problem (and to help find mineral veins and outcrops while patrolling the seafloor) is to turn on the “Highlight Interactable” setting in the options menu under “Accessibility”.
Location, Location, Location
Remember what I said earlier about being mindful of your surroundings? Well, seeing as there is no in-game map it becomes essential that you keep an idea of where different regions of the game are located as they all contain different minerals, fragments (which translate into new recipes), and fauna. Use your marked locations as often as you can to help direct you to different areas and begin creating beacons so that you can keep track of places you may need to backtrack to later. Luckily Subnautica: Below Zero‘s map is much more concise than its predecessor’s and you should spend less time wandering as a result. Below Zero also seems to provide many more obvious clues about what to do next – take heed of these and use them if you ever feel like you’re stuck treading water.
Tools of the Trade
What would a Below Zero guide be if it didn’t discuss some of the tools that will become your mainstays on your long, cold dive to the bottom? Besides story progression, building and upgrading your tools, vehicles, and base should be priority #1 on your Subnautica journey. The survival knife, what seems to be an early offensive weapon, is actually far more useful for cutting up plants that you find (such as Creepvine) into pieces that can be used in recipes. Batteries, especially in the early game before you have a charging station, can be swapped out of items in your hotbar by pressing ‘X’, ‘R’, or ‘Square’ while holding the item you wish to toss a new battery in.
The air bladder makes a great tool for trying some deeper dives in the early game as you can escape to the surface quickly when your O2 supplies are dwindling. As another tip, food in Below Zero spoils, so while it may seem like a good idea to create a feast straight from the beginning, catch and cook only what you need until you can start using salt to preserve your food indefinitely. Lastly, any upgrade that allows you to explore deeper into the ocean (i.e. oxygen tanks, rebreather) should be given priority as this is how you will progress the fastest and gain more tools to continue your journey downward.
More Below Zero to Come…
Keep an eye out for more Subnautica: Below Zero tips, tricks, and guides to come as we work our way through the shadowy depths.
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If this Below Zero guide helped you or if you have any tips of your own that we didn’t mention let us know in the comments below!