Subnautica: Below Zero doesn’t give you much (any) help or direction as it drops you into a freezing alien ocean. It’s confusing and hard to decide what to do first. We’ve been through that a couple times now, and we’re here to help you get started. Your first hour or so isn’t going to involve much exploration or even survival. Instead, we’ll be getting better equipped to make exploration and survival that much easier when you take your next steps … er, swims?
In this Subnautica: Below Zero guide, we’ll walk you through reaching the Drop Pod and collecting your first resources to fabricate silicone rubber, a survival knife, fins, as well as your first battery, a scanner, fiber mesh, a standard O2 tank, and the Seaglide.
Table of contents
- Get to the Drop Pod
- Pinning recipes
- Fabricate a scanner
- Fabricate a survival knife and fins
- Fabricate fiber mesh and a standard O2 tank
- Fabricate a Seaglide
Get to the Drop Pod
Once you’re through the initial excitement, look for the Drop Pod’s icon on your HUD. Follow it down to the water and start swimming. Don’t worry about collecting anything along the way — your goal here is just to get your bearings and reach the Drop Pod.
At the Drop Pod’s fabricator, you’ll have several recipes already. When you select one, you’ll have the option to pin recipe. This adds an icon and list of materials to your HUD and lets you track what you’ve gathered and how many you’ll need to fabricate that item.
You can also pin recipes from the blueprints tab of your PDA’s menu.
Fabricate a scanner
Let’s start with something you’ll use throughout your game of Subnautica: Below Zero, a scanner. To make a scanner, we’ll need 1 titanium and (at least) one battery (1 copper, 2 ribbon plants).
Head out into the ocean and swim along the bottom. Titanium and copper both come from limestone outcrops. Keep smashing rocks until you get at least one of each.
While you’re gathering those, keep an eye out for caves a little deeper — in the 30 meter range or so. This is where you’ll usually find ribbon plants. They look like glowing, green, vase-shaped plants.
Once you have enough titanium, copper, and ribbon plants, head back to the Drop Pod and fabricate your scanner.
Fabricate a survival knife and fins
With your scanner in hand, head out again. Scan anything and everything you find to gather information about your surroundings. Your real goal here is to find creepvines.
Creepvines are tall stalks of seaweed. They’re very obvious when you spot them, but they’re only found in certain areas. When you exit the Drop Pod, make (most of) a U-turn to your left and start swimming. Watch for the tall Creepvines in the distance.
When you first find Creepvines, you can’t harvest all of them. You can only collect creepvine seed clusters — the glowing red bulbs in a group around certain creepvines. Grab two. (These take up four slots in your inventory and you don’t need many right away.)
On your way back to the Drop Pod, grab at least one titanium.
At the fabricator, turn your 2 creepvine seed clusters into 4 silicone rubber. Now you can make a survival knife (1 titanium, 1 silicone rubber) and some fins (2 silicone rubber). The fins will speed up your swimming. The knife lets you defend yourself and gather some new resources. Which brings us to …
Fabricate fiber mesh and a standard O2 tank
Back outside, return to the creepvines you just found. Use your new survival knife to hack at any of the creepvines.
This will drop some creepvine samples into your inventory. Like the creepvine seed clusters, theses take up four slots each, so only gather the two you need.
On your way back to the Drop Pod, gather at least two titanium. At the fabricator, turn the creepvine samples into one fiber mesh, and then use 1 fiber mesh and 2 titanium to fabricate a standard O2 tank.
This greatly increases the amount of time you can spend underwater.
Fabricate a Seaglide
The last thing to fabricate before you set out to explore is a Seaglide. This is a handheld motor that speeds up your swimming by a lot. This is the first blueprint you’ll have to find by scanning fragments out in the ocean — something you’re going to spend the rest of Subnautica: Below Zero doing.
Now that you’re well-equipped with your scanner, fins, and standard O2 tank, head back into the ocean. Go straight out of the door and swim down into the ravine you come to.
Swim straight down along the valley’s wall and you’ll find a Seaglide fragment. Scan it with your scanner. You’ll get a notification reading “Seaglide fragment scanned. Overall progress: 33% (1/3).” Now you just have to find two more fragments.
Take a right and follow the bottom of the valley to find a second fragment.
For the third, return to the Drop Pod, this time, take a U-turn from the door and swim down into a different valley. Look around the valley floor for a third Seaglide fragment.
Once you’ve scanned the third fragment, you’ll get a “New blueprint synthesized” notification. Check the blueprint to find the materials you need — 1 battery (1 copper, 2 ribbon plants), 1 lubricant (2 creepvine seed clusters), 1 copper wire (1 copper), and 1 titanium.
Gather the materials on your way back to the Drop Pod and fabricate your new vehicle.