Food & Water are categories of consumable items crafted from materials and caught creatures using the Fabricator. They are only available in Survival and Hardcore mode. Consuming Food & Water is required to maintain the player's Food & Water levels or else the player risks dying from thirst or malnutrition.
While some Food can be eaten raw, this action dehydrates the player and yields significantly less Food than when it is cooked. The player can also choose to cure fish instead of cooking them, so as to make them immune to decay. Cured fish has the same Food values as cooked fish, but dehydrates the player by 2% H₂O.
To consume Food & Water items the player can left-click on the item in the PDA.
The two gauges are marked out of 100 but work slightly differently: the Water gauge never exceeds 100 under any circumstances, but the Food gauge will "overflow" above 100 if a consumed item's Food value would take it beyond 100, and it is not already 100 or higher. The maximum value for Food is therefore 174 in Subnautica and 184 in Below Zero (eating a Nutrient Block or Spicy Fruit Salad at 99 Food, respectively).
Starvation and Dehydration
A player will starve fully in about 50 minutes (1 unit of food every 30 seconds) and so it is important to watch out, as not being cautious can mean death.
With dehydration, on the other hand, a player will die in about 33 minutes. (1 unit of thirst every 20 seconds)
In both cases, a player will be warned that they are close to starvation and/or dehydration when only 20 units of either food or water remain. Another warning will be heard when 10 units remain.
If you want to hear the warnings, go here.
Rot and Decay
Cooked food only provides full nutritional value for about two to three minutes after being cooked. After that, the food will slowly start to lose its Food & Water values as it decays, eventually becoming ripe with little nutritional value, and finally rotten when the Food value goes to -1. Both Food & Water values can drop to -25, making it harmful to the player to eat rotten food. It is recommended to eat Food during any stage prior to becoming rotten since it will still provide some nutrition.
The stages of cooked fish decomposing are as follows:
- Full nutrition: ~2–3 minutes after cooking
- Decomposition: ~2–3 minutes
- Ripe: ~13–18 minutes
- Rotten: ~27–33 minutes
There are various ways to get around food decay:
- Storing live fish in storage containers will prevent them from rotting until the player cooks them. Once the fish is cooked, it will begin to rot, even inside storage containers.
- Curing fish, instead of cooking them, will prevent them from decomposing. This comes at the cost of decreasing the player's hydration level when eating cured fish, but this may be preferable when the player travels far from their base or when in areas with sparse local fish.
- Cooking or curing rotten, old, or decaying fish will restore their freshness.
- Nutrient blocks, snacks, and Gel Sacks can be stored indefinitely without decaying, but they can be rare or may not provide ideal nutrition.
- In Below Zero, storing cooked food in a Fridge will prevent it from decaying. Fridges can only be built inside of Seabases.
List of items
|Disinfected Water||✔||✔||0||+30 (SN)
|Filtered Water||✔||✔||0||+20 (SN)
|Large Filtered Water||✔||✔||0||+50||0|
|Cooked Arctic Peeper||✔||+32||+5||0|
|Cooked Arrow Ray||✔||+13||+5||0|
|Cooked Bladderfish||✔||✔||+16 (SN)
|Cooked Discus Fish||✔||+18||+10||0|
|Cooked Feather Fish||✔||+23||+3||0|
|Cooked Feather Fish (Red)||✔||+23||+3||0|
|Cooked Noot Fish||✔||+23||+3||0|
|Cooked Red Eyeye||✔||+18||+9||N/A|
|Cooked Spinner Fish||✔||+23||+3||0|
|Spicy Fruit Salad||✔||+85||+30||+100|
Crafting cured food requires:
- 1x Raw Food Item
- 1x Salt Deposit
|Cured Arctic Peeper||✔||+32||-2|
|Cured Arrow Ray||✔||+13||-2|
|Cured Discus Fish||✔||+18||-2|
|Cured Feather Fish||✔||+23||-2|
|Cured Feather Fish (Red)||✔||+23||-2|
|Cured Noot Fish||✔||+23||-2|
|Cured Red Eyeye||✔||+18||-2|
|Cured Spinner Fish||✔||+23||-2|
|Feather Fish (Red)||✔||+4||-1|
|Icon||Item||SN||BZ||Food||H2O||Heat (BZ)||Health (BZ)|
|Antennae Plant Fruit||✔||+20||+5||0||+9|
|Bulb Bush Sample||✔||+3||+10||N/A||N/A|
|Bulbo Tree Sample||✔||+8||+10||N/A||N/A|
|Bullseye Shroom Chunk||✔||+8||+3||0||0|
|Creepvine Seed Cluster||✔||+0||+10||0||0|
|Frost Anemone Heart||✔||+10||+20||0||0|
|Lantern Fruit||✔||✔||+10 (SN)