Subnautica: Views From Under The Sea

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Over the last three days I seem to have racked up 18 hours in Subnautica [official site] and several more than 2,000 screenshots. I’m playing in Freedom mode so I can ignore food and drink requirements and spend a lot of my time building little bases to act as viewing platforms for kelp forests. BUT! I also discovered the freecam command in debug mode so here is a whole gallery of undersea loveliness to try to communicate why I’m spending so much time under the sea!

To cycle through the gallery, just hit the arrows that appear above or below the image. They may move around a little so I prefer to use the arrow keys instead. You can click directly on the images for a larger version! Apols for the on-screen text, I’m still figuring out how to turn that off.


  1. Premium User Badge

    Nauallis says:

    Just a heads-up that the “official site” link doesn’t go to an external site, if that was your intention.

    • Safari Ken says:

      F11 will take a screenshot with no HUD (or even goggles), and then you can easily transfer them to Steam using the in-game photo viewer. Great news for this game, being as pretty as it is..

  2. Biscuitry says:

    I think pressing F6 toggles interface visibility. Gets rid of the diving goggles, too.

  3. Premium User Badge

    jythanatos says:

    I really enjoy this game. It is beautiful, and the natural terror you feel from the sea and not knowing what hides it is great. Whenever I hear a Reaper I do a quick NOPE and turn right around!

    • anHorse says:

      I’m still trying to get into it but the standard survival game opening is killing my interest every time.

      I need to sit down and get beyond the scavenge x kelp or whatever stage and into the building/exploration

      • trjp says:

        Bear in mind that unless you chose to enable ‘hardcore’ mode, death only results in you losing what you’d found on that trip

        So you can ignore all the ‘survival’ aspects and just go out and look around/learn/discover stuff

        It’s WAY less grindy than something like Don’t Starve (the problem with which is handily described in the title!!) and it’s a lovely place to be whilst you find stuff too!!

  4. Andrew says:

    You sure you’re not Alice?

    Is that infections?

    Are you all diseased?

    Is it watery grave for all of us?

  5. melerski says:

    #18 looks like some good smoke

  6. Conundrummer says:

    In the past, Subnautica always looked juuuust short of a dream-game to me, with silly-looking, almost toy-like depictions of submersibles in overly colorful environments. Still, it never quite seems to be as terrifying, oppressive, or often as boring as the deep ocean should be. In an underwater game, I want the terror of increasing water pressure/depth, creating dangerous underwater bases, and the occasional possibility of something larger than you can understand swimming casually past you. These shots look gorgeous, though, and about as far from Minecraft-underwater as possible.

    Coincidentally, I’ve been glued to the livestream(s) here for the last week or so, following the Okeanos Explorer: link to There’s something very zen about a bunch of 30-somethings exploring the deepest part of the ocean casually, with a remote submersible and the occasional chortle over a stupid meme. They also geek out over the smallest stuff, which makes the entire feed a blast to watch.

    • Andrew says:

      My problem with “Subnautica” is, that, yeah, it gorgeous in a virtual aquarium kinda way, but it’s “Minecraft-but-worse” in every other. I like building underwater bases in MC, but I can make machines with redstone, and underwater metro with rails and minecarts, and (almost) fully automated food production, and other stuff. I don’t see anything like that in “Subnautica”. Granted, I didn’t played it, so maybe I missing something (honest question: do I? I would glad to be wrong!). And I understand, that what I want from “Subnautica”/“Minecraft-but” is not that developers/other players want from it, but why no one doing “Minecraft-but-better”, underwater or not? Everyone seems to copy “Minecraft” without improving it, or even just slap some crafting and building on their (not really) survival game without rime or reason.

      There are couple of projects I’m following, that seems to be doing something interesting in that area, but mostly I see characters running after (alien) pigs with (alien) spears and I sigh.

      • Nysn says:

        Okay. Subnautica is NOT supposed to be underwater Minecraft. Really, the only two similarities it has are… editing terrain and surviving. Subnautica plops you on an alien planet after your mining/terraforming expedition ship crashed. You were thrown out into a life-pod, and shot into the world. You say you want redstone? Well it’s not about building or wiring like redstone. Automated food production? Why not just go out there with your stasis rifle into a school of fish, freeze them all, and then harvest 3 days of food, with only using 10% power. In Subnautica, your main goal. Survive. You think you want to build a cool base with minecarts? Why? With future tech, minecarts are useless. Building advanced bases? Ha, in the next update where predators can attack your base, it can be ripped apart by a reaper in seconds. (If you don’t know what a reaper is, the amount of sheer strength in it makes creepers look friendly) If you say Subnautica is not-really a survival game, well you might want to look again. Your plopped on a planet. Alone. With nothing but an escape pod. You have no food, no water, nothing other than your PDA and a fabricator. (It’s like a furnace and a crafting table in one, but with lasers!) Please, I’d like to hear what you think Subnautica does that is Minecraft related in any way other than the ways I mentioned.

        • Andrew says:

          Short answer: #sandbox #survival #building #crafting. That’s “Minecraft-but” in my book. There are different flavors of “Minecraft-buts”, sure. That’s one just not for me.

          • Cinek says:

            Change a book? It’s a survival and exploration game with elements of crafting, minecraft is a crafting game with elements of survival.

          • Andrew says:

            I’m not saying it’s “Minecraft”, I’m saying it’s “Minecraft-but”. Like, “Baldur’s Gate” and “Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines” are both RPGs, but very different games (2D/3D, isometric/first-person, fantasy/urban-gothic-fantasy, etc.). Like a tag on a blog, genre doesn’t tell you everything about the game, just that it has some elements. “Minecraft” and “Subnautica” similar games, but, of course, not identical.

            So, no, my book is fine, thank you.

      • Unsheep says:

        Subnautica is a survival game; surviving as long as you can is the whole point. It’s the same concept as games like Don’t Starve, This War of Mine, The Long Dark and so on. In these games you craft stuff that will prolong your life or make it more comfortable.

        Minecraft is a “build & design” game, like Cities Skylines and RollerCoaster Tycoon, but without the strategic and managerial elements.

        • Andrew says:

          Again, not “Minecraft” – “Minecraft-but”. Not a game – genre. Like “Doom” and “CoD” are both FPS. Or “Age of Empires” and “Z” are both RTS.

          And how, going back to my original point, any of that prevents “Subnautica” from having machinery, automation and other stuff, exactly? Not survival-y enough? Machines can break. They can work on rare fuel. Etc., etc. So, nothing. It’s just don’t want to do that. Which is fine, but not for me.

          • Nysn says:

            Listen… just get Subnautica on steam. If you don’t like it, you get a refund. It’s really worth it if you have the specs. I find that everyone I know that has given the time to try it, enjoys it. No matter if they mainly play FPS’s, Survival, Creation, or even RPG games. Subnautica has elements from almost all genres. Again, you can get a refund if you don’t like it, you don’t know till you play.

          • Andrew says:

            Yeah, I tempted. I like (under)water stuff. It’s just… too many games, man! (#firstworldproblems? Sure.)

            P.S. Steam refunds is a great argument in a lot of disputes. “Just try it, it’s free”, and that’s it :)

  7. Mario Figueiredo says:

    An article? Actually no. No content. Not even a filler. Just a screenshot gallery, with one page per image so RPS can amass a few more page hits. Useful…

    You folks are really experimenting into new lows.

    • Benratha says:

      Pip writes brilliant articles, so she is also allowed by the Horace Directive of 1786 to also put ‘stuff’ in these pages.

    • Cinek says:

      All images are on a single page. There’s just JS switch that allows you to cycle through them without scrolling (arguably a worse method, but internet trends say that that’s the way it should be done).

    • GWOP says:

      RPS isn’t “amassing” any page hits, as a new page isn’t being loaded for every image (so no new ads or page hits). Instead, JavaScript is only manipulating one or two HTML elements.

    • Durkonkell says:

      What are you even whining about? Do you feel that you were misled into clicking on an article that says its just a load of screenshots to discover that it’s NOTHING BUT A LOAD OF SCREENSHOTS?

      (Plus, how are 33 pretty underwater game pictures not “content”?)

    • dbsmith says:

      I come to RPS because of articles like this. The writers at RPS seem to enjoy interacting with games in deeper more interesting ways than a lot of websites out there.

      Beautiful screenshots is an awesome way to interact with a game, and shows how a player can get invested into the world and want to simply explore it, rather than “shoot-everything-they-see”. If you are still unconvinced, maybe visit, which is a website almost solely devoted to beautiful in-game screenshots, with little other content.

      If this is not your jam, that is fine, but please don’t insult RPS and the writers for sharing something that they obviously enjoy and (correctly in my case) believe others would too.

  8. Benratha says:

    Hi Alice.
    Did you have “The Little Mermaid” soundtrack playing in the background?
    “…Under the sea
    Under the sea
    Darling it’s better
    Down where it’s wetter
    Take it from me..”

  9. montfalcon says:

    This game sure does look dreamy and beautiful. AND, it has just come to my attention, it supports (in beta) Oculus Rift. I can see it being a perfect fit; popping on some goggles and going for a therapeutic swim.

  10. rymm says:

    to be honest i’m a little disappointed in the pics. i played for about 2 hours a few months back, and diddnt see anything new here. i was hoping i’d see a bunch of new things to get all excited about with some ‘oooh’ and ‘ahhhh’. but nothing. the games would be wonderful with more terrors of the deep unknown i feel.

  11. geldonyetich says:

    Subnautica is a lovely game, and I agree that presenting its screenshots is a nice attempt to try to capture the majesty of its underwater world. At its best, it’s like a never ending snorkelling expedition.

    Bear in mind that UnknownWorlds Entertainment is the same bunch behind Natural Selection, they know how to sling a good 3D game experience, and I’m happy to see regular weekly updates coming out for the game. This isn’t some early access lark that’s doomed to end up abandonware some time after you shell out for it. Subnautica is a real thing, it’s happening, and you could do worse than give it a play.