This article is about the Getting Started page. You may be looking for the Exploration Tips.

Welcome to the Getting Started Guide for newer players who are having trouble or simply are preparing to survive in Subnautica. The Exploration Tips page may be helpful as well.

Getting started guides around the web

Some useful guides can be found at the steam page of the game:

Please keep in mind that this is very outdated, and does not cover most of the things in the current version of Subnautica.
Subnautica 10837 How To Get Started & Survive!

Subnautica 10837 How To Get Started & Survive!

Getting Started Guide

If you start playing the Survival mode of Subnautica, the main goal after being spawned into the world is to get Food and H2O (Water).

After you spawn you'll sit at a level of 81% Health, 51% Food and 90% H2O - so it's time to hurry up and get the supplies rolling. Your Lifepod 5 has a built-in locker that contains two nutrient blocks, two filtered waters, and two flares.

However, before being able to do access this locker, you must extinguish a fire that has started in your Lifepod. Extinguishing this fire acts as a short tutorial to basic game mechanics, so food and H20 don't drop.

Your best bet is to get yourself a pair of Fins to increase Swimming Speed and a Survival Knife to defend against predators (only sometimes, always try to swim away before attempting to attack!) harvest life forms, and gather certain materials. You will need materials to build these things, for example, Quartz and Titanium. Titanium is the most common material in the game that is used in crafting, and can be made out of Metal Salvage, which can be collected from the seabed. Coral Tube Samples, Bladderfish (fauna) and Salt Deposits can also come in handy to craft what you need, especially filtered or disinfected water.

The game begins in a Biome known as the Safe Shallows. It still provides you with all the things you need at this point so you don't need to stray off too far yet. Just don't venture into the caves unprepared, as they are home to explosive Crashfish.


From the first time you dive, you should be on the lookout for a few materials to get access to necessary items and supplies. Here are two short lists for your focus:

Priority List in Order

To get these items here's what you should watch out for:

Gasopod (Peaceful, but don't get close!)

Stalker (NOT peaceful!)

Crashfish (If you hear a high pitched grunting, swim away!)

Required Materials:

Priority List in Order

How to get basic supplies

Metal Salvage - Huge pieces of metal found on the ocean floor. Try checking the Kelp Forest. Stalkers like to stash them there.

Fish - Found everywhere, hard to catch without proper equipment like Fins or a Seaglide (Try catching Bladderfish, they are slower).

Quartz - White crystals on the ocean floor, but mostly in caves.

Creepvine Seed Clusters - Glowing yellow seeds found on Creepvines in the Kelp Forest (Watch out for Stalkers)

Copper Ore - found by breaking Limestone Outcrops

Acid Mushrooms - purple mushrooms found growing on the ocean floor, usually in groups, when you try to collect their seeds using the knife be aware the Acid Mushroom will have a small explosion of acid and it will inflict damage.

Salt Deposits - White rocks, similar looking to quartz, however, they have a blocky build.

Coral Tube Sample - Use a knife to cut Coral Tubes found all over the Safe Shallows.

The Lifepod

Lifepod 5 is where the player spawns and where they will respawn if they happen to die until they enter a habitat or Cyclops. The lifepod will serve as a shelter for the early game.

An important component in the lifepod is the Fabricator. The fabricator serves as the main means of crafting and new recipes will be revealed when you scan fragments or gain certain materials. Using the fabricator will slowly drain Energy from the three Self-charging Power Cells on the bulkhead. The Lifepod also comes with a Medical Kit Fabricator. Every 30 minutes it will fabricate a new Medical Kit and start beeping to let you know it is complete. (New fabrication only starts after the Medical Kit is taken from the fabricator.)

The storage area behind the ladder where excess items can be stored is also important as it contains supplies, like water and food. However, items can also be dropped on the seabed under the lifepod if the storage is full. Just be aware that Stalkers like to collect metallic items like salvage.

Until it is fully repaired by the Repair Tool, the Lifepod can drift in the ocean.

Your Radio

Your Lifepod comes equipped with a small radio, which will allow you to receive broadcasts from other lifepods. Following these broadcasts is usually a good idea, as they can lead you to new areas and new components, but be sure you are prepared before setting off. You will need to repair your Lifepod before using the radio, and this can be done so by using a Repair Tool on the broken wiring panel.

Scanner Tool

The Scanner is perhaps the most important item in the game. You need to get a Scanner tool for fragment scanning, because most important tools require fragments. To craft the Scanner, you have to have 1 battery (2 acid mushrooms and 1 copper) and 1 titanium.

Metal Salvage & Oxygen Tanks

Pieces of Metal Salvage are scattered about the ocean floor. Watch your Oxygen as you look for Metal Salvage and get yourself at least three pieces for your first Tank and potentially a Survival Knife. Then take the Metal Salvage to the fabricator and craft Titanium. This tank gives you 30 extra seconds of oxygen (Total of 75 seconds). They take up four slots of your inventory.

As soon as you have the 2 Creepvine Seed Clusters, 2 Quartz and Titanium you should craft the Fins and Standard Oxygen Tank.

Peepers (or other food fish) & Food

When it comes to food the Peeper makes for a nutritious choice at +32 food points. It's easy to spot (big yellow eye) and can even be used as a lure to keep Stalkers away. Garry fish are easier to catch but not nearly as nutritious, weighing in at a measly +18 food points. here are all the edible fish in the Safe Shallows:

The downside to the Peeper: It's fast. Crafted your first pair of fins you should be able to catch a few. 1 Creepvine Seed Cluster should do the trick.

If you cannot find or catch any Peeper do not hesitate to catch any other smaller fish around you. Almost every fish in the Safe Shallows is edible (Except for the Gasopod, Rabbit Ray and Crashfish.)

Bladderfish are also an ideal food source for beginners due to their slow speed. They can also be used to craft Filtered Water.

When you catch any fish, you take them to the fabricator to analyze the fish and cook/cure it. If you just eat a normal Peeper you will lose -15 water. Cooked fish will rot over time, however, if you don't eat them immediately; the advantage to curing fish is that they'll be preserved, but you need Salt to cure them and they will dehydrate you.

Titanium & your Survival Knife

While you are looking for metal salvage, try and see if you can spot Limestone. With some luck you'll find Titanium within the first couple of outcrops, looking in enclosed areas like in large tubes or caves may increase chances of finding Titanium. These nodes also contain copper, which will be useful for building batteries for your tools.

As soon as you get your titanium and a Creepvine Seed Cluster (= 2x silicone rubber) you can craft a Survival Knife.

Coral Samples & Water

As you now have a survival knife, it's time to get some Coral Samples. Look out for a Coral (the big coral tubes you can also swim through) and strike it with the Survival Knife. After you've done that, you'll need to craft Bleach with the Coral Samples and Salt Deposit. Now you can craft disinfected water, which adds +30 to H2O.

If you can't make it and it's an emergency, just go after some Bladderfish. They can be used to craft filtered water. Not as good as our initial plan but still a solid +20 to H2O.

Dealing with Radiation

Once the Aurora explodes, harmful Radiation will spread into the waters surrounding it, extending almost one kilometer out from the Aurora. The radiation will keep you from exploring large areas near the Aurora but can be circumvented by crafting a Radiation Suit. The radiation suit requires two Fiber Mesh that can be crafted from four Creepvine Samples which can be acquired by hitting creepvines with the survival knife, and two Lead. Lead can be harvested from Sandstone Outcrops. Once the radiation suit is crafted the radiation suit, radiation helmet, and radiation gloves will be acquired. All three of these items must be worn to fully protect against radiation damage. The radiation can be stopped but that is up to the player to figure out how.

Dangerous Creatures

As you explore more of Subnautica, you will begin encountering creatures that do not want you in their territory. The most common dangerous creature is the Stalker, who you will encounter at the Kelp Forest. The creatures will become more deadly the deeper you go, and it is best to avoid the Aurora, as there is often a Reaper Leviathan guarding it.

You've made it!

If you made it here you'll be able to survive your first days and nights in the alien world of Subnautica. Feel free to keep this Wiki open in case you get lost or need some information - but most importantly at this point - start exploring and enjoying the game. :)

What to do next?

Now that your more immediate needs have been taken care of, you'll want to start exploring - however, your ability to explore is limited by how much equipment you've discovered and built. The biomes surrounding Lifepod 5 gradually get deeper and deeper, as well as more dangerous. While it's not required to discover every available piece of technology or point of interest, it will definitely help you along the way. Here are some suggestions for how to proceed, in no particular order:

  • Find and scan Seaglide Fragments and build a Seaglide to increase your speed and exploration range
  • Locate the other Lifepods for extra provisions and even a full Radiation Suit - the Lifepod's Radio will send you messages where they are located, assuming you've repaired it.
  • Find the Multipurpose Room fragments from the Degasi Seabases.
  • Build a Seabase to store your inventory, grow food and have access to more tools than the Lifepod provides. You can build Waterproof Lockers as temporary storage (should you need it)
  • Explore Wrecks for Fragments and supplies; most of the more advanced equipment and technology you will want, can be found in these locations
  • Build a Mobile Vehicle Bay and a Seamoth; so you can easily explore deeper waters and other biomes farther away from the Lifepod (requires you have found the blueprints in the appropriate wrecks first)
  • Build a Cyclops as your mobile base (requires you have found the blueprints in the appropriate biomes first)
  • Explore alien bases to progress in the story.
  • Explore the wreckage of the Aurora (requires a Radiation Suit) WARNING: There are very dangerous creatures around the Aurora, so be careful!
  • During exploration of the Aurora, you can find all fragments of the Prawn Suit. You can use it to build the Prawn Suit for exploring deeper Biomes or for mining Large Resource Deposits.

While you can play the game at your own pace, the game will direct you towards certain story events that need to be completed in order for you to progress further and eventually escape the planet. These events can be completed at any time, but will oftentimes steer you to new locations and require you to have found certain items (whether it be a vehicle that can go deep enough, or various keys) to access them. Use this wiki if needed, but try to avoid spoilers as not knowing what will happen next is one of the key parts of the game. If you don't know what to do next- Dive Deeper.

Good luck and watch out for Leviathans!