Subnautica Wiki

Subnautica and Subnautica: Below Zero feature four different Game Modes. The player can select a Game Mode when starting a new save file; a save file's Game Mode cannot be changed after creation unless the player uses console commands. Each game mode imposes different restrictions (or lack thereof) on gameplay.

Survival Mode

To stay alive, the player must manage their health, oxygen, food, and water levels. If the player runs out of health or oxygen, they die and lose some of the items in their inventory. If the player runs out of either food or water, they will gradually lose health until they die. The Player can return to where they died to attempt to reclaim their lost items. The player can "secure" their inventory by entering Lifepod 5, a Seabase, or a Cyclops or Seatruck; if the player dies with a secured inventory, they will keep all the items from the last time their inventory was secured along with 1 additional random item that was added to their inventory after being secured, and will respawn in the last place they secured their inventory.

Freedom Mode

Similar to Survival Mode, but the player does not need to maintain their food or water levels. The Sustenance section of the Fabricator is not available.

Hardcore Mode

Close to Survival Mode, but restricts the player to a single life only; if they die, the game ends, forcing them to start over from the beginning. In addition, the PDA does not warn the player when their Oxygen is low, and you cannot save the game anytime like in the other modes; the only option is to Save & Quit.

Creative Mode

Creative is a sandbox mode for players who want to freely explore and build. The player cannot die and does not have to worry about health, oxygen, hunger, or thirst. Materials and Blueprints are not required for crafting, and Vehicles and Seabases do not require Energy to operate and cannot be damaged. The player can make story progress in this mode, despite the description saying otherwise.


This section contains bugs related to Game Modes. Make sure to only post reproducible bugs, and use appropriate system template ( XboxLogo.png, PlaystationLogo.png, WindowsLogo.png / AppleLogo.png ) depending on which platform(s) the bug has been encountered on.

  • WindowsLogo.png AppleLogo.png While playing creative mode, there are two cases in which the player can die. These are in a Cyclops explosion while the player is on board or if the player stands under the elevator on the Neptune Escape Rocket.