This article is about Ryley Robinson in Subnautica. To see this subject's article on the Below Zero Wiki, click here.
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Personnel unaccounted for: Non-Essential Systems Maintenance Chief Ryley Robinson

― Aurora, Aurora Black Box Data


Ryley Robinson is the protagonist of Subnautica. He is one of the survivors, and later the assumed sole survivor, that survived the impact of the Aurora by escaping aboard Lifepod 5

Ryley does not serve as the protagonist in Subnautica's standalone expansion Subnautica: Below Zero[1], the role of protagonist being taken instead by Robin Ayou.


Ryley does not typically speak, but he does display some level of kindness by playing with the Cuddlefish, able to play tricks with it and show it affection, as well as saying goodbye to it when the Neptune Escape Rocket is built. Ryley has also shown the ability to remain calm under pressure and in dangerous situations.


Almost nothing is known about Ryley's life before the crash of the Aurora; however, he was a member of the Alterra Corporation, as Non-Essential Systems Maintenance Chief, and was on board the Aurora prior to the crash.


Ryley is seen boarding and launching Lifepod 5 during the descent of the Aurora. After being knocked out by a loose panel, Ryley then proceeds to put out a fire inside the lifepod using a Fire Extinguisher. Afterward, he activates his PDA, and the user is able to take full control of him. Upon exiting the Lifepod, Ryley unknowingly becomes infected with the Kharaa bacterium. 


After curing his Kharaa infection, receiving blueprints for and subsequently building an escape rocket from Alterra, and shutting down the Quarantine Enforcement Platform, Ryley finally manages to escape the planet. Upon returning to Alterra, he is informed that he will not be allowed to land until he settles his outstanding debt of 1 trillion credits. Accrued as, by Alterra law, all materials he used during his survival and escape were property of Alterra.

Data Bank Entries

Performing self-scan. Vital signs normal. Detecting trace amounts of foreign bacteria. Continuing to monitor.

Scan 1

Performing self-scan. Foreign bacteria count has reached statistically significant levels. No adverse effects detected. Be vigilant for symptoms.

Scan 2

Performing self-scan. The bacterial infection in your system has progressed. Detecting skin-irritation and immune system response. Further data required to identify bacterial strain.

Scan 3

Performing self-scan. Bacterial infection has spread to the skin and pulmonary system. It is imperative you find a way to neutralize the infection.

Scan 4

Performing self-scan. Vital signs normal. No remaining sign of bacterial infection.

Scan 5



  • The last name is probably a reference to Robinson Crusoe, the most famous fictional castaway.
  • During a conversation with Scott "Obraxis" MacDonald, he stated that Ryley "just likes hair gel".[2]
    • Furthermore, he has jokingly referred to Ryley as a janitor.[3]
  • On Day 3, the PDA states"[...]. Data indicates that swimming was your favourite activity. Be sure to vary your routine for uniform muscle development" is more of a joke referring that swimming is the only activity during the first days in-game.
  • Through the entire game, Ryley never once speaks, only making sounds of pain when injured, or breathing.
    • A possible reason for him not speaking is that he suffered a head injury, as the PDA mentions: "You have suffered minor head trauma..."
  • After escaping from planet 4546B, Ryley is instructed to pay a balance of 1 trillion credits before he is given authority to land. This is due to the fact that he is expected to pay for everything that he has collected/built, as explained when he finds a diamond for the first time.


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