Subnautica Ideas
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Subnautica Ideas

Subnautica — Expansion Ideas — II

Redditor KrankenwagenKolya has an impressive base. Can we make it more interesting?

I started a new series yesterday with some expansion ideas for Subnautica. You can find the summary there along with the difficulty changes. In this article, I’ll continue the topic with changes to your base.

Before I start, a message from future! You can find a list of Subnautica articles, including the behavior series in this publication.

Changes to Bases


Before I get to upgrades, I want to talk about the more “passive” changes. First of all, your base now drains energy as long as it’s “on”. On means the power, lights and oxygen production is on. This is a small drain, probably something like 1 energy/10 seconds but it’s important for a few things:

Plants in Indoor Beds require Oxygen. If you build a base without a renewable energy source and abandon it, you’ll find the plants you left to be dead.

Lights can attract creatures. Creatures can attack your base (to be discussed in future parts, but you can check the behavior series to have an idea).

More systems require power. Such as drainage systems and more MP room modules (like the alien containment unit).

Construction Materials

I think you’ll like this one. Now you can construct a new material called “blackened glass”, which is a special glass that allows one way vision on the wall it’s placed, ie you can see outside but from outside it’s just dark. This requires glass and another resource. I thought a new resource created by using some plants could be interesting.

Another new construction material is plasteel. Granted, we are familiar with this but it was only used as ingots. Now we have a Refined Plasteel, which is used in constructing bases. I imagine it can be something like 2 titanium+1 lithium=1 (or 2) Refined Plasteel.

Yet another material is lithium! But you need to turn it into Refined Lithium. One to one conversion is probably okay.

Finally, I thought we could somehow use an “alien material” to build the “green” precursor styled bases.

So, here is what you can and can’t build with each material:

As for protection level: Alien>Plasteel>Lithium>Titanium>Enm. Glass>Blackened Glass=Glass

These options should both create more cosmetic options but also ways to meet challenges presented by other systems.

Base Upgrades

Subnautica vehicles have a bunch of upgrades that you can choose from. The first new system is applying this to your bases.

Central Base Command

You start by building a Central Base Command (probably can be renamed to be a witty abbreviation), a room type on its own or a MP room module. Just by building this you will have access to a few options such as toggling light, power, oxygen (each of which decrease the passive drain even more) and drainage systems (which actively uses a lot of energy that you might want to spare for fabricating something instead). More importantly, you unlock some upgrade slots for your base and in certain rooms if you have this building.

Central Base Command has some cosmetic upgrades that allow you to change the light color, play music throughout the base and change announcer behavior. Instead of just saying “welcome”, she can comment on things happening in base (such as “Fabrication Complete”, “Egg Hatched in Containment Unit” etc) or even toggled to “talk” to you (random or scripted flavor comments).

Another base upgrade is auto-repair systems. If it’s damage due to water pressure, this system slows down flooding and once the base is strong enough, auto-repairs the holes but spends a lot of power actively. This is sort of important because base flooding will kill your plants and affect your contained creature psychology (more on that in future article.)

Another upgrade option is a toggle for energy overdriving. This increases the rate of gaining energy but damages the generators. There is a chance for explosion that increases more and more each second. An exploded reactor will be destroyed, taking away the mp room if it’s a bioreactor and even taking away the joining rooms if it’s a nuclear reactor. A bulkhead on the “doors” will reduce the damage. Sun panels can’t be overdriven.

Fabricator Upgrades

A major convenience upgrade for the base is the Fabricator Uplink. Once set-up, this connects all containers in the base to the fabricators, meaning you don’t have to carry items with you. Building your first uplink unlocks a tech item (ie in compass slot) called Uplink Connector, which shows you how many of an item you have if you open it in your pad and when you open the blueprint window, the blueprints with enough materials are marked as green.

Another upgrade for Fabricators is the Smart Fabricators. With this system, the fabricator will skip building middle-materials. For example, if you want to build an enameled glass, you don’t have to build the glass first. You just need 2 quartz and 1 stalker tooth in your inventory (or storages, if you have the uplink.)

Last but not least you can upgrade the speed of fabricators and have an option to build more than one of an item (in one item build time.)

Other Upgrades

Moonpool can be upgraded to auto-repair docked units (similar to Cyclops.)

Moonpool can be upgraded to auto-place items in docked unit to empty containers in the base.

Moonpool can be upgraded to provide an energy boost to the docked unit once it leaves ie you have an extra energy on top of your battery allows but this drains pretty fast.

It’s not an upgrade per se, but there is now a new moonpool building for Cyclops!


As you can see, base handling will be deeper in my imagined expansion. Of course there are more things that can be added as well.

In the next article I’ll be talking about a very exciting topic: Alien Containment Unit changes.



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Ekrem Atamer

Ekrem Atamer

Gamer, gaming industry wanderer, development and design enthusiast. Current WIP: TBD