Subnautica is an open world survival action-adventure video game developed and published by Unknown Worlds Entertainment. In it, players are free to explore the ocean on an alien planet, known as planet 4546B, after their spaceship, the Aurora, crashes on the planet’s surface. The player must collect resources and face creatures to survive. Subnautica was released in early access for Microsoft Windows in December 2014, Mac OS X in June 2015, and for Xbox One in May 2016. It was released out of early access in January 2018 for Microsoft Windows and macOS, with versions for Xbox One and PlayStation 4 in December 2018. The physical console versions were published by Gearbox Publishing. The Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X/S versions were released in May 2021. By January 2020, Subnautica had sold more than five million copies. A sequel, Subnautica: Below Zero, was released May 14, 2021.

Subnautica is a survival action-adventure game set in an open world environment and played from a first-person perspective. The player controls the lone survivor of a waylaid spacecraft called the Aurora, stranded on a remote ocean planet named “4546B”.

The main objective is to explore the ocean and survive its dangers, while also completing tasks to advance the plot. Players can collect resources, construct tools, bases, and submersibles, and interact with the planet’s wildlife.

The majority of the game is set underwater, with two explorable islands, and a simulated day-and-night cycle that affects visibility. Upon beginning a new game, players must select a difficulty mode from the following four:

In Survival mode, the player manages their depleting health, hunger, thirst and oxygen. If the player dies, they respawn, but certain items are removed from their inventory.
In Freedom mode, gameplay is near-identical to that of Survival mode, but with hunger and thirst disabled.
In Hardcore mode, gameplay is near-identical to that of Survival mode but with permadeath. If the player dies, they do not respawn, and their save file is instead deleted.
In Creative mode, all depleting characteristics, such as health and thirst, are disabled, with the player able to access all crafting blueprints, and craft without the need for resources. Additionally, the submersibles, a stasis rifle, a Seaglide, a mobile vehicle bay, and a propulsion cannon are provided, which do not need an energy source to operate and cannot be damaged, unless the player damages them intentionally.
The game supports VR headsets, such as the HTC Vive and the Oculus Rift, with the additional input of a keyboard and mouse or game controller.

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