Subnautica Wiki

An Alterra-issued PDA


This PDA has rebooted with one directive, to keep you alive on an alien world.

― PDA, Dialogue


The PDA (Personal Digital Assistant), also sometimes called the Survival PDA, is a multipurpose device that the player keeps with them at all times. The PDA's AI keeps the player informed of their health status and will alert the player when the player has 30 or 10 O2 points remaining (feature disabled in hardcore), if the player is getting close to dehydration or starvation, or if the player is reaching dangerous temperatures (only in Below Zero). It also gives useful information to the player when they enter new areas or find new materials.

In Subnautica, Ryley Robinson uses an Alterra-issued PDA, while in Subnautica: Below Zero, Robin Ayou uses a Xenoworx PDA.



A Xenoworx PDA

Action Mouse & Keyboard Xbox One PlayStation 4 Nintendo Switch
Open PDA
XBOX Back PS4 Touch Pad SwitchMinus
Take In-game Picture
XBOX Press Right Joystick PS4 R3 Stickclick

The various tabs of the PDA allow the player to:

  • Access their inventory PDA Inventory Icon
  • View their Blueprints PDA Blueprints Icon
  • Toggle Signals and assign new colors to them PDA Ping Manager Icon
  • View the photos they have taken. PDA Photo Manager Icon
  • View their log messages PDA Log Icon
  • View their Databank PDA Encyclopedia Icon
  • in Subnautica, view all received Time Capsules PDA TimeCapsule Icon

Inventory paper doll[]

The PDA's inventory tab provides a paper doll interface that allows the player to equip items. The available equipment slots are on the head, torso, feet, and hands, as well as an air tank and two computer chips. Equipment must be placed in a corresponding slot in order for it to benefit the player.

For a complete list of equipment that can be equipped through this interface, see Equipment.


The blueprints tab keeps track of the player's current blueprints and the respective recipes.

Selecting a recipe will pin it to the top-right of the screen, allowing the player to view the recipe at all times even while the PDA is closed. It is possible that there will be a search function for blueprints in the future.[1]

For a complete list of blueprints, see Blueprints.

Log messages[]

Abandoned PDAs can be found while exploring Subnautica and Below Zero. Collecting abandoned PDAs will download their log messages to the player's PDA. In Below Zero, the player will sometimes also receive calls from other characters through the PDA.

For a complete list of log messages and calls, see Dialogue (Subnautica) and Dialogue (Below Zero).


Every databank record the player acquires is saved to the PDA's Databank tab. The AI will sometimes inform the player that a new databank entry is available and occasionally summarize the entry.

For a complete list of databank entries, see Databank (Subnautica) and Databank (Below Zero).

Below are the Subnautica databank entries related to the PDA itself:

Start Here

If you are reading this, then you have survived an emergency evacuation of a capital-class ship equipped with Alterra technology. Congratulations: the hard part is over.

Your PDA has automatically rebooted in Emergency Mode. This operating system has one directive: to keep you alive on a hostile alien world. If that is not possible it will alert salvage teams to the location of your remains.

It features:
- Full monitoring of vital signs for timely survival advice
- Blueprints for fabricating a range of essential survival equipment, tailored to your environment
- Onboard camera, microphone and OCR technology for short-range situational analysis - Cross-compatibility with all Alterra-compliant products

NB Your personal and work files have been encrypted and may be retrieved at a later date by a licensed engineer.

Source: Unlocked by default

Survival Checklist

1. Administer first aid if required
2. Take inventory of available materials and supplies, and decide on rations
3. Survey the environment for threats and resources
4. Construct necessary survival equipment using the lifepod's fabricator
5. Check lifepod for damage, and repair as necessary
6. Broadcast local distress signal using lifepod's short-range radio
7. Locate other survivors using line of sight or the radio
8. Find or construct a more permanent habitat
9. Maintain physical and psychological health until rescue

NB This information is meant as a general guide. In the first instance you should always follow the advice of your PDA, which has taken your particular circumstances into account.

Source: Unlocked by default

WARNING: Blueprint Database Corrupted

Damage to your PDA's hard drive has corrupted approximately 80% of stored survival blueprints. Blueprints may be reacquired by scanning a salvaged technology using the handheld scanner, or by downloading plans from a ship-board databox. In the circumstances these assets will most likely be found amongst wreckage from the Aurora.

Source: Unlocked by default



  • In an old developer doc, the minimap was a planned feature. It would track the player and terrain. This was removed long before the playable version of Subnautica was released.