Subnautica: Precursor update brings mysterious array

Precursor update

I was wondering which games might make the “Things To Play Over The Christmas Break” list this year when the Subnautica [official site] Precursor update got released. I went through a really big Subnautica love affair earlier in the year, but decided to step away for a few patches as the game is still in early access and I didn’t want to lose the magic by mining out each update in turn. Then Precursor arrived and is tempting me back not only with alien tech and more in the way of narrative but NEW CAVES!

Gosh, it looks so different since I last played. I really like the geometric styling of the alien base, but more than that it seems to be more… gamey? Certainly there’s something to it over and above the survival and crafting elements now that these narrative beats have begun to creep in properly.

The thing I’m most excited about is the new cave exploration stuff, though. I’ve never met a cave in Subnautica that I didn’t want to root around in so the fact that the update minisite is saying “The island behind the Precursor Array is just as unusual. Be sure to spend some time exploring as much of this unique area as possible – You never know what you will stumble across.” Is basically like waving a fistful of catnip at your beloved kitty. Caves are Pipnip. LOOK:

Precursor update

What else? The world now has fall damage, which I’m assuming that I will forget and then remember the hard way. You can also use the PDA thingummy while using a vehicle. There’s also been some loot balancing with player progression in mind. Looking through the Unknown Worlds public Trello board it seems like in my absence the game got a bit awkward in terms of its core loops and how you unlock buildable items and so on so the team have been looking to address that.

Frustratingly, I was about to boot up the game this morning and then I managed to burn the tip of my right index finger which is proving massively uncomfortable for gaming :(

Anyway, Subnautica is in Early Access so all the usual caveats etc etc. A PLAGUE ON THIS STUPID FINGER BURN.


  1. Benratha says:

    Hi Pip!
    Either your graphics card is running very hot or the ‘burning finger’ incident is completely unrelated to Subnautica? However in my mind’s eye I see your keyboard glowing an all-over red as you cackle manically….

  2. Kefren says:

    I had my first play of Subnautica recently. I loved the atmosphere and look of it but found it hard to believe. There were things that made no sense: on the one hand I needed to scan/research all the new species (fine, makes sense) – yet other systems told me I needed a particular element to make a repair tool, from a species I’d never even come across (and still hadn’t found when I uninstalled, despite a couple of hours trawling the sea floor around my boat-base). So if the ship knows about all the species and what they are made up of, why doesn’t it just tell me all this? I felt a bit annoyed at the game pushing you to kill the beautiful sea creatures, even though there were lots of things (plants and minerals) that might have contained useful elements but you weren’t able to do anything with. I also got confused at the very start of the game – there was a huge planet orbiting the sky, looking too close to be real, and it was also transparent (I could see the stars through it) so assumed both those facts meant it was a hologram, but I had no idea what was projecting it or why. I will revisit the game later on, but my first experience was a weird mix of wonder and frustration. Yes, that’s probably just because it is in early access, I realise that, and it did leave me looking forward to going back in a year.

  3. LexxieJ says:

    Just like you Pip, I stepped away for a while after having a fantastic time with the game & didn’t want to spoil it by experiencing everything in drips & drabs as it was added.

    This though, really makes me want to dive back in. Haha…oh.

  4. Jay Load says:

    Hmm, seems everyone has stepped away from subnautica while it evolves. I have too. Had an amazing time with it earlier in the year, but the big patch that changed a lot of the landscape signalled me leaving it be until the devs have finished tinkering. There’s nowt worse than learning a place to find it doesn’t exist in the same shape any more, or at all. I’ve still got one eye on it, there’s some amazingly fun stuff to look forward to, but am waiting for a 1.0-ish state until I go back.

  5. Synesthesia says:

    Got this on the most recent sale, the gf and I have been thoroughly enjoying it. It works well with a controller, so projector ambience ahoy!

    I just finished my first big sub, so I’m ready to push out of the comfort zone for a while. What a fantastic little gem; I thought I was done with survival games.

  6. genoforprez says:

    Get well soon, Pip’s finger. =(

  7. DelrueOfDetroit says:

    I really need to give this a play one of these days. I bought it back in September as my No Man’s Sky emergency backup. And while NMS didn’t hold my attention for long, it was long enough that I didn’t feel the need to play another similar game.

    I’ll definitely have to work on my Ringo impression before giving it a go.

  8. Ericusson says:

    I only tried if before for babbling with the game but it appears more solid every few monts apart I lauch it.

    Subnautica and The Long Dark are examples of why Steam Early Access is so good and so bad. So good cause they are really good games, so bad as if have now lost all hope of ever playing them in a released state before my fingers are paralyzed with massive arthritis.