Space-Octopus’s Garden: Subnautica Farming Update

The most important things in the world, we all know, are swimming in the great outdoors, admiring flora and fauna, and caring for plants. Subnautica [official site] already had most of those covered as it dunked players onto an ocean-covered alien world to explore, build bases, and survive, and now it’s expanded flora-fancying too. Along the journey through Early Access, the Farming Update has added horticulture for scientific, nutritional, and decorative purposes in growbeds and pots. Subnautica’s plants are gorgeous, so I’ll be delighted to plant my own alien garden.

With the Farming Update, plants can be grown inside bases or outside underwater, decoratively or for serious scientific reasons. I’m delighted to see green walls added too – they’re my favourite modern architecture trend. Check out this beauty by Patrick Blanc in Paris, or this one he did indoors in Hong Kong.

Farming’s this update’s headliner, but there’s more. Abandoned bases from earlier explorers are now scattered around, which may offer materials and data if you can find them. New larger aquariums are in, filling entire rooms – a great use for a module if you ask me. New light-generating gadgets are in, to brighten up the depths. The game’s lighting model is updated too, so ships, structures, and other entities correctly take on colours from the light around them and don’t look so out of place.

Anyway, details on the update are here. Subnautica is £14.99 on Steam Early Access, and you can follow its development on Trello.

I have Subnautica installed but haven’t really been in the mood for crafting and building lately. This may tip me over. Members of the RPS Supporter Program can see, er, how much I like keeping plants.


  1. PancakeWizard says:

    Love Subnautica. It’s one of the best EA titles on Steam. Every one of their updates are regular as clockwork and usually add something significant. if I had one criticism it’s that they had to abandon the procedural world very early on in development. The hand-crafted world is very nice and large though.

    I wrote a small thalassophobia guide for the game, incidentally.

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      Aerothorn says:

      Can you say more about the the non-procedural world? As somebody who put this in my “looks awesome, will play when out of early access” bucket very early on, I always assumed it was at least analogues to Minecraft in that sense. But it’s a fixed world, and they’re adding it to things by hand?

      I’m in no way against that, I just had no idea.

      • PancakeWizard says:

        It’s a set world and a set size, nothing procedural there. Players share co-ordinates/locations on the forums quite a bit.

    • PseudoKnight says:

      “EA” is an unfortunate abbreviation. To clarify, PancakeWizard means “Early Access” not “Electronic Arts”. It confused me for a second.

  2. itchyeyes says:

    I just want to say, for anyone who has reservations about it because it’s early access, Unknown Worlds has managed the development of the game amazingly. Their level of engagement and communication with the community is second to none. I’ve never experienced an early access process before that was handled so well as Subnautica’s has been.

  3. epmode says:

    Subnautica is easily my favorite survival game on the market. Such a brilliant setting. You can even turn off the hunger and thirst meters if you’re not interested in the micromanagement and it remains engaging. No multiplayer mode though.

    In related news, it’s one of the few games that allows you to dock a vehicle in a larger vehicle. I *love* that stuff.

  4. silentdan says:

    I just love Subnautica. When it hits release, I’ll stop using build cheats, but in EA I mostly just build cool underwater bases with the cheats on. So fun.

  5. kael13 says:

    I’ve heard this will have VR support, is that true?

    • kael13 says:

      Also, Alice, I totally agree with you on the living walls thing. Weirdly, what made me look them up online and want one in my own home was seeing them for the first time in the offices of Deus Ex: Human Revolution.

    • Grim_22 says:

      It already does! More or less, anyway – you can’t use the main menu in VR, so you have to enable VR mode in-game via the console, by typing “VR Oculus”.

      It is quite amazing, though – probably the most immersive VR experience besides Elite. I actually panicked for real when I noticed I had swum out into a part of the ocean so deep that I couldn’t see the bottom. Brilliant.