The Subnautica Precursors Update

Posted on 15 Dec 2016 by
Lee Braden

Unknown Worlds Entertainment has released the next update for Subnautica, the Precursor Update, giving us more story before the final 1.0 release coming “soon.” This one adds a new mysterious base in and around the mountain island, along with possible mini-bases found elsewhere (judging from what was on the test server a week ago) that all tie into the main story.

This new base is quite large and is worth spending your time exploring, just don’t get lost. You will find small caches (unrelated to the mini-bases) around that are the same design, some will be useful, others won’t seem useful…yet.

There also has been some much needed gameplay improvements to Subnautica in the newest update:

  • The ability to use the PDA while in vehicles.
  • Fall damage is now enabled, so watch your step while on the mountain, or it’s going to hurt badly.
  • More work done on game stability.
  • Improved movement in non-water areas.
  • Improved and polished the level design of a few biomes.
  • HUD and Audio notifications have been added or improved.
  • New PDA updates for certain pieces of salvage and non-salvage.
  • Extensive loot balancing as seen here.
  • Construction Improvements, smaller hit-boxes on half built items and better collision avoidance when dealing with half-built items as well.

Also mentioned by Unknown Worlds in their discord server was that due to a large portion of the team getting sick from several gaming conventions recently, the removal of terraforming, which has its pros and cons, has been delayed until the next update. A quick rundown of the terraforming problem is that, while it does make it a bit easier for base building, it alas, adds in the heavy lag, terrain pop-in, and also item pop-in that has been plaguing Subnautica since Early Access launch.

While I am one of the ones who is sad it is going, I am not kicking up a fuss like some of the Subnautica player base, but I perfectly understand the reason for it’s removal, voxel terrain editing in Unity isn’t the easiest to get right without some serious hardware right now.

Official Press Release

The latest Subnautica Early Access update features the massive Precursor Array and Base, the tantalizing prospect of rescue, vast new areas to explore, and mysterious alien technology. The Precursor Update is focused on the Subnautica story. It advances the narrative of what happened on the beautiful, dangerous world upon which players finds themselves stranded.

A detailed presentation of the Precursor Update is available on at here.

Unknown Worlds Entertainment observes an open-development style, allowing unhindered insight into the development process. Fans of Subnautica can follow development of the game through the Subnautica Development Trello board. They may also receive daily ‘development builds’ of the game by subscribing to the ‘Experimental’ branch on Steam.

This update, as well as the previous Bones Update, will also be released for Subnautica (Game Preview) on Xbox One in the coming weeks.

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