399 ratings
Dev Updates & Progress
By Hugh
This guide explains how to find out what the Subnautica development team is doing, what they're adding and changing, when you can expect updates, and how to get them.
Subnautica is not finished yet. Being in Early Access means that it is changing and morphing all the time. This guide explains how to find out what the development team is doing, how you can tell them what you think, when you can expect updates, and how to get them.

Game Updates
Subnautica receives a major update roughly every few weeks. There is no defined time, but it is usually some-time on either Wednesday or Thursday. These updates are delivered automatically if you have Subnautica in your Steam Library, you don't need to do anything to get them.

If you want to receive more frequent development updates, you can opt in to 'Experimental' branch. Experimental branch is updated automatically twice per day. Experimental updates are usually less stable, more broken, and more crazy than weekly updates.

Warning:Experimental updates will sometimes make Subnautica unplayable, and often include horrible bugs! Use caution when deciding to play on Experimental branch!

To get Experimental updates twice per day, right click on Subnautica in your Steam Library and click 'properties.'

Click on the 'betas' tab, and then select 'experimental' from the drop down list. If you can't click on the list, try restarting Steam or leaving the tab open for a little bit - It can sometimes take a little whole to load options.

Sometimes, Experimental branch gets a little bit messy. Actually, it often gets a little bit completely broken and unplayable. If you ever want to go back to normal weekly updates, go back to the 'betas' tab and select 'none' from the drop down list.
Dev Team Tasks
You can see what the Subnautica development team is working on at any time. Subnautica's development is tracked using a tool called 'Trello.' Trello is like a big board covered in sticky-notes, where the sticky notes are on steroids.

To see the Subnautica Trello board, click on this link[]. The board is covered in 'cards,' which represent a task or group of tasks. Each card can be assigned to developers, and have images, videos, notes, categories, and other information attached. Click on each one to see information and progress.

Cards are bundled into lists - the vertical columns you see running across the board. The development team uses different combinations of lists to represent progress. Sometimes, there are weekly 'To Do,' 'Doing,' and 'Done' lists. Other times, there are lists for specific objectives, like 'Steam Early Access Dec 16' or 'Cyclops Submarine.' In general, every combination will at least have 'To Do' and 'Done' - So you can see what we're doing, what we're planning to do, and what we’ve done.

If you're really keen on the development team completing a particular task, you can vote on it. Sign in with a Trello account (they're free), and a vote button will appear.

The Subnautica Trello board is not an 'exact' tool for seeing what the development team has added to the game. For that, read on to Changes and Checkins…
Changes & Checkins
If Trello is a 'rough idea' of what we're working on, then 'checkins' are a measure of what we've actually done to the game. Follow this this link to the checkin list.[] You'll see lots of little text messages, like 'implemented EcoEvent statistics in Inspector.'

Each message represents a 'checkin' - A modification of Subnautica's 'source repository.' The source repository is the collection of files and folders that is 'built' to make Subnautica. Building takes the files (textures, scripts, 3D models, etc) and mushes them together into a piece of software your computer can run.

Every time you get an update via Steam, Subnautica has been built anew, and any checkin made since the last 'build' will be included in that update. By looking at the checkin list, you can see what we're doing to Subnautica before it lands in your Steam Library.
Mailing List
Email? Are you kidding? That technology from the 1800's? How can this possibly be relevant to Subnautica Early Access? Hold on a moment, there's an explanation!

Each week, Subnautica receives an update, and each week the development team creates a short news piece to talk about some of the stuff that has been added and changed. This news post gets sent to the Subnautica Mailing List.

Not everyone that buys Subnautica has the time to play every update every week, so the Subnautica Mailing List[] is a great way to stay up to date on development progress. You can glance at the weekly news email every so often, and jump in and try the update when something catches your interest, like sharks with lasers or teleporting manta-rays.

To sign up to the list, click this link.[]
A Trello board[] tracks the major and medium severity bugs that the team is aware of. You can watch team progress in addressing issues by visiting this board[]. Small and minor bugs are not usually tracked here.

Got a bug you would like to report? Check out the development feedback guide to see all the ways you can tell the team about what you have found.
When a game is in Early Access, it's very important that the development team communicate what they are up to. It absolutely sucks to buy an Early Access game and feeling like the developers have stopped working on it. At Unknown Worlds, we hope you feel like the above tools let you see and understand progress on Subnautica.

If you have ideas about how we could open up development even more, please let us know. Leave a comment on this guide, and we'll see if we can take up your suggestion!

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Enki Jul 14 @ 6:35pm 
Please capitalize 'experimental' in steam
Shren Jul 12 @ 10:28am 
Will it ever guide you? Like it's really frustrating when i'm playing and i'm constantly searching for a proper updated guide that will help. The game is really vague and it's annoying when you start up and you're supposed to be immersed in a story, then 5 minutes later you have no idea what to do. I wish maybe the AI would talk to you and try to give advice or something...
DJZtro Jul 10 @ 1:45pm 
Wow the comments on here are oddly hostile xD I think this game is coming along so great and I can't wait until it's out! Thanks for providing us with updates and showing your dedication.
Sharky Jul 6 @ 11:11pm 
im playing this at lowest settings.
getting 12-16fps

oh did i mention im on a macbook air? hahahahahaha (cries inside)
Sire Jun 29 @ 2:35am 
@Maxium_PowerMC if can't play on Pc.. go but on Xbox or wait till comes to ps4..
Sire Jun 29 @ 2:34am 
Multiplayer isn't coming ppl. As much as dev have said they like to.They want finish the game first. (Don't remember where I read this somewhere on here or steam forms) For those who can't run it. Buy a better pc. Save up. Any I5+ with Gpu of 660 or higher should be able play this on low settings. The game is not demanding compared other EA games. But this game still beta. optimization will come as game matures more. If you think this is bad, You should see Ark (as I run my own ark server and gotten worst over last 6+ months)
I wish they add co-op to subnautica but who knows. Enjoying the game so far :) Still run my ark serv (for last 2+ yrs) but i'm enjoying this more than ark right now lol. but click my profile if wish see serv info. but I'd love run Subnautica server lol. Maybe someday :) Maybe Subnautica 2? lol

Pc Specs:
Game Pc : i7 3770k 3.5 Ghz/16 GB Ram/GTX 980TI SC/2x 240 SSD GB/ Win 7 64bit
Ark Server: i5 4960 3.5 Ghz /16 GB Ram / No GPU /240 GB SDD /Win7 64Bit
Maximum_PowerMC Jun 27 @ 12:19pm 
Make it so you can play it on more low end computers because I love this game but cant run it on my personal computer and can only play it on my relatives computer.
X-Snwjnky Jun 25 @ 1:44pm 
Multiplayer would be interesting
JinnRemona Jun 25 @ 8:40am 
This game deserves Multiplayer, and to not do so would be a shame, that you didn't want to bring the game to its full potential, and would rather settle something less than perfect.
ZymurgGaming Jun 17 @ 2:40pm 
is thair beta codes
for the precerser update
if so
tell me the code