Subnautica Below Zero: How to Get Started as a Beginner

Here are some tip to help beginners get ready to explore and survive the world of Subnautica: Below Zero.


There’s a lot to do in Subnautica: Below Zero, from uncovering mysteries to building your own base, all while adhering to the baseline survival needs of your water, food, and oxygen needs.

Without much guidance after crashing down on planet 4546B and finding the Drop Pod, it can take some time to work out how to progress and what you need to get going.


So, here are some tips for beginners to Subnautica: Below Zero to help you get started. The information is drawn from Adventure Mode (Survival) as it offers the ideal mix of difficulty conditions for a newcomer.

What you need to get started in Subnautica Below Zero:

  • Craft essential starting tools;
  • Increase your O2 capacity and movement speed;
  • Get some additional storage;
  • Stock-up on food and water;
  • Craft sustenance, explore, scan, and always take a beacon.

How to craft the essential starting tools in Subnautica: Below Zero

In the Tools section of the Personal menu in the Fabricator, you’ll find all of the blueprints for essential tools that you’ll need to get started. For now, you’ll want to craft the Scanner, Survival Knife, and Flashlight.

To craft a Scanner, you’ll need to find one piece of Titanium and craft a Battery. Titanium can be found in Limestone Outcrops, which are the breakable stones found on surfaces underwater.


You can find the Battery blueprint in the Resources menu, under Electronics. You’ll need one piece of Copper Ore, which is a rarer drop found when mining Limestone Outcrops, and two Ribbon Plants. Often quite easy to spot, Ribbon Plants can be found in small underwater coves and at the base of the canyons. 

The Survival Knife requires one piece of Titanium and some Silicone Rubber. You’ll need a Creepvine Seed Cluster to forge two pieces of Silicone Rubber. As shown below, you can find these bright pink bulb clusters on the scaling Creepvines.

Like the Scanner, you’ll need to craft a Battery to create the Flashlight, but you’ll also need some Glass. You’ll find Glass to be quite easy to come by as it only needs two pieces of Quartz – which are the crystal formations found on the seafloor.

To craft these three starting tools, you’ll need:

  • Quartz x2
  • Ribbon Plant x4
  • Copper Ore x2
  • Creepvine Seed Cluster x1
  • Titanium x2

How to increase your O2 capacity and movement speed in Subnautica: Below Zero

One of the most limiting aspects of the early game in Subnautica: Below Zero is your oxygen dial. To ensure that you can survive for longer under the surface and cover more ground, you’ll need to craft the Standard O2 Tank and Fins from the Equipment section of the Personal menu in the Fabricator.

The Standard O2 Tank only needs two pieces of Titanium and a sheet of Fiber Mesh. Titanium’s discovered by mining Limestone Outcrops (see further up). For Fiber Mesh, you’ll need two Creepvine Samples. To get these, use your Survival Knife and press R2/ZR/RT to cut samples off of a Creepvine, as shown below.

Getting some Fins will speed up your swimming by about 15 per cent, adding another underwater boost to the extra oxygen gained by equipping the Standard O2 Tank. Plus, all that you’ll need is two Creepvine Seed Clusters.

Shown in an image in the section above, Creepvine Seed Clusters are found on some Creepvine columns. They’re the pink berry-like items that you can grab without the use of any tools. You’ll only need one of these clusters to craft the two Silicone Rubber pieces required to make Fins at the Fabricator.

Once you have the Standard O2 Tan and the Fins, open the PDA, hover over the equipment, and then select to equip it to your character.

To craft the Standard O2 Tank and Fins, you’ll need:

  • Titanium x1
  • Creepvine Samples x2
  • Creepvine Seed Cluster x1

How to quickly get some additional storage in Subnautica: Below Zero

One of the quickest and easiest ways to quickly create some more storage space before you can expand your Drop Pod is to craft some Waterproof Lockers.

All that you need is four pieces of Titanium, which are the common drops from mining Limestone Outcrops. Once you have some Waterproof Lockers:

  • Leave your Drop Pod;
  • Swim to where you want the lockers to float;
  • Open your XenoWorx PDA;
  • Highlight the Waterproof Locker and press the ‘Drop’ button shown.

Your Waterproof Locker will float wherever you drop it, and for easier organising, you can change the locker’s name. Simply look at the name bar on the top and press the ‘Edit Locker Name’ button prompted.

Some final tips to get moving in Subnautica: Below Zero

Before you go out exploring, it’s a good idea to swim around the immediate area and grab a bunch of the aquatic fauna and lots of pieces of Salt Deposit – shown as the small white piles on the seafloor.

Although it costs the extra resource, it’s well-worth making Cured Food over Cooked Food from the Sustenance menu of the Fabricator, simply because cured food doesn’t decay.

You’ll also want to target the Bladderfish, shown above, as it can be turned into Filtered Water at the Fabricator. With ample water and food in stock, you can venture to the far-flung regions of the planet.

Your first aim should be to scan just about everything, particularly the wreckages found dotted around the seafloor and on land. After scanning enough fragments of each bit of tech, you’ll learn the blueprint to craft it at the Fabricator.

Often found not far from your Drop Pod are the fragments to the Seaglide, which greatly speeds up your underwater traversal. Above, you can see what you’re looking to scan. Once you spot one, get your Scanner out and scan the fragment.

To get more blueprints for stuff to craft, you’ll need to find them around the world, with some of the best stuff being on land. To prepare for any discoveries, always take at least one Beacon with you.

Beacons can be crafted from the Deployables sections of the Fabricator, requiring one Copper Ore and one Titanium, both of which can be mined from Limestone Outcrops. To use a Beacon, you just need to go into your PDA and drop the Beacon where you want it to emit its signal.

From then on, you’ll be able to see the Beacon icon on your screen, just as you do the Drop Pod or any story-aligned markers. If you enter the PDA and switch tabs to ‘Beacon Manager,’ you can change the colour of the icon. Also, you can change the name of each Beacon by selecting its name bar when looking down at the device.

Once you have those initial tools, craft some equipment, and make plenty of food and water, you’ll be prepared enough to go exploring, scanning, and collecting resources in Subnautica: Below Zero.

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Ben Chopping

Will give almost any game a chance, particularly those that include wildlife, monsters, or prehistoric creatures of any kind.

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