Well, it seems like Subnautica and Subnautica: Below Zero are going to get some major updates one of these days. When exactly is a bit of a mystery there. However, Unknown Worlds Entertainment will probably happily tell us that when they finally make those updates.

A Brand New Experience For an Old Ocean?

"Subnautica" key art.
Soon to come: new stuff to play with in the original game.

Unknown Worlds Entertainment recently updated its blog with exciting news about Subnautica and its sequel Subnautica: Below Zero. There’s some news about general bug fixes, them fixing the Nintendo Switch version of the game, and them trying to unify the codebase for both games across all platforms, but that’s not the exciting news. The exciting bit is in the “What’s Next” section.

In said section, Unknown Worlds mentions that their next projects after the codebase unification are a Below Zero 2.0, and then a Subnautica 2.0. To start with: this Below Zero 2.0 update will apparently roll out with the aforementioned bug fixes, and will feature performance optimization and a new “enhanced game mode”. This new game mode will apparently allow players to create custom conditions for their playthroughs, including “creature aggressiveness, resource availability, and much more”.

Finally, the Subnautica 2.0 update after that will be one of the biggest updates the game has ever had. This update will feature “performance and feature updates that are a result of backporting some newer code from Below Zero“. Unknown Worlds specifically states that part of this backporting includes adding popular Below Zero base pieces like the Large Room and Surface Hatches into the original game.

Unfortunately, the only thing Unknown Worlds doesn’t specify is when these updates will take place. In some ways, this is a blessing though. Without a clear deadline, they can take as much time as they want to make these updates the best they can. They may take a while though. Tune in later to see if Unknown Worlds ever releases any release window for these updates.

Subnautica 2.0 and Below Zero 2.0: Opinions and Speculation

"Subnautica: Below Zero" key art.
I wouldn’t mind if they updated the Snowfox to run on the water’s surface like in this key art.

To me, this news of incoming major updates to both Subnautica games is pretty exciting. Especially the backporting of Below Zero features into the original game. I’ve always felt the Below Zero world map was a bit too…constrained to fully utilize the Large Rooms. Sure, there’s enough room to build them, but only just barely. It felt a bit like trying to squeeze a large person into a suit a size smaller. Sure, it’s possible, but it certainly isn’t comfortable. In contrast, the larger and more open spaces in the original game feel like the perfect place to build the Large Rooms. I can totally imagine building a cluster of them in the Red Grass Plateau, for example. The Surface Hatches…not so much, given the limited land in the original game. They still sound like they’d be nice to have though.

While Unknown Worlds doesn’t mention it, I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Below Zero Beacons ported into the original game. Currently, the Beacons in Subnautica only work underwater. If you try to use them on land, they just drop to the ground. This sets them up either to clip through the ground and render them irretrievable or if they don’t, they might just clip through the ground anyways once you exit and load again. The Below Zero Beacons solved that by having them be stuck in place on the ground with a pole, making them far less likely to clip through the ground. I really hope this gets ported to the original game for this reason.

I also wouldn’t mind if Below Zero 2.0 also included the replacement of placeholder art with actual game art. Yes, you heard that right. The game still has placeholder art in it even over a year after its release. That’s something I really hope they’ll fix with this update.

Source: Unknown Worlds