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YMMV / Subnautica

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  • Abridged Arena Array: Players will almost always build their first base in the Safe Shallows due to being one of the safest biomes in the game roughly at the center of the world map, and therefore closer to most biomes around so they can go gather resources without having to travel too far away.
    • Similarly, it's a very common strategy to build a base at the far end of the Lost River, in the Tree Cove area right before entering the Inactive Lava Zone, since it's a perfectly safe area located right between two large biomes home to various rare resources but very unsafe.
  • Awesome Music: Abandon Ship from the soundtrack is an energetic theme that sounds like something from a nightclub.
  • Complacent Gaming Syndrome: Due to how slow and cumbersome to maneuver the PRAWN Suit is, it's a guarantee that players will always give it the Jump Jet Upgrade to thrust themselves higher and longer, and especially the Grappling Arm upgrade so they can move around faster Spider-Man-style.
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  • Crosses the Line Twice: A removed Easter Egg where the Seamoth AI would say "I love it when you come inside me" instead of "Welcome aboard, Captain" when you enter it. There is at least one complaint thread on it on the Steam forums. It was added as a joke by the game's sound director, but the apparently the rest of the devs weren't ok with it. It was probably just as well because they needed to submit the game to a game ratings board.
  • Demonic Spiders:
    • No one likes Crashfish, due to their high damage and the fact that they can destroy the all-important (and slightly expensive) Seamoth in one hit.
    • Lava Larvae. We'd suggest to not take your vehicles to the Lava Zone, but there are other dangerous creatures there you'll need a Cyclops for, plus the issue of oxygen. Lava Larvae constantly suck power out of vehicles as long as they're attached, however they can be removed with a propulsion cannon or knife. Players more rich in power or resources can use, respectively, the Cyclops' shield emitters (this without even releasing the steering wheel, and is a minor trade-off if the player has a thermal reactor module on the cyclops, which recharges the Cyclops at a decent speed in the Lava Zone) or grav spheres as well.note 
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    • Warpers. Not only do they often attack in groups, not only can they teleport you out of your Seamoth or PRAWN with a fast-moving teleportation "sphere", but their attacks can drop you down to half health in one hit, hurting more than any other predator of comparable size.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse: The various AIs that are in each of your vehicles and your PDA are fairly popular, leading to several Fan Nicknames for them.
  • Game-Breaker: The Stasis Rifle and Thermal Knife can kill anything in the game without the player taking a single point of damage. The only draw back is the amount of time the leviathans take to kill, any other target will die in one uncharged stasis shot and just a few hits with the knife. This turns even the dreaded Reapers into tempting targets.
  • Genius Bonus: The fauna on 4546B has some thought put into it. For example, Reaper Leviathans are the primary Apex Predator of the above-cave-level places on the planet, and as such they are one of the few animals in the entire game that lack any kind of bioluminescence, which means they can very easily sneak up on you.
  • Goddamned Bats:
    • Bleeders. They are easy to shake off and don't take off that much health at once. However, they also prevent you from getting resources until you get them off. Also, their shriek is painful to hear.
    • Stalkers. Once the initial fear meeting them subsides, they become simple pests that have a surprisingly far-roaming distance due to tracking down metal salvage, and in the process they will take nips at the player, vehicles, and even camera drones. If one roams close to a Scanner Room, they will outright pull camera drones out of their sockets to play with them.
    • Cave Crawlers. They don't deal that much damage and are easy to walk around and avoid but are still annoying to deal with on land since they jump all over the place, making it harder to slice them up with your knife.
    • Spadefish are non-aggressive and harmless to the player, but crashing into them damages your Seamoth, forcing you to repair it every so often during long voyages.
    • Biters and Blighters don't hit hard and they're fairly easy to spot. But, if they manage to gank you, they can do far more than their usual trick of making you pause, grunt and lose a bit of O2 and health.
    • Lava Larva. Don't stop to admire the view, because you'll have to get out of your Prawn or Cyclops to batter these energy leeches off. Again. And risk cooking to death. Again.
  • Good Bad Bugs:
    • Before the Silent Running update for the Cyclops (which also nerfed its then-intended invulnerability), players could build Power Cell Chargers on the Cyclops that charged Power Cells faster than the Cyclops drains them with the Cyclops Engine Efficiency Module, letting players infinitely and sustainably generate power for their Cyclops with a couple of spare Power Cells on cycle. Now, built Power Cell Chargers will generate power one-to-one with the Cyclops's drain rate.
    • As of the press release right before exiting Early Access (version 1.0), players can interact with Cuddlefish through walls. A Cuddlefish roaming outside can thus be pulled into a base (where they fly around as if they were in water) or even pulled back into their containment tank.
    • Since early access and extending into 1.0, there's an infamous bug that lets small fish clip through the base. Don't be too surprised at seeing a school of fish fly through your base, or a single curious Peeper floating through your hallways. Some players love to Hand Wave it as the player character hallucinating and going mad from solitude and being marooned on an water-filled alien planet. On the other hand, this becomes annoying since fish in containment can clip out of their tanks and start roaming the base (or, worse, clip outside the base into the wild).
    • Another harmless, potentially annoying, potentially funny bug (but purely visual) is the tendency for the player's hands to glitch when operating tools. Open a Bulkhead? Sometimes your arms are positioned as if the handle of the door was at the top of the screen instead of the middle. Open a locker? Sometimes your arms become crossed as you open it. Use a handheld tool? Sometimes your wrist is pulled backwards.
    • In the PS4 console release, prolonged play could cause the map to load incorrectly or not load at all. This could allow access to cave and tunnel resources while also removing above-ground barriers for crashfish to aggro you. Since this glitch allows you to go under the terrain, it's possible to exploit it to make travelling to places easier.
  • Memetic Mutation:
  • Nightmare Retardant: While the Sea Dragon Leviathan is menacing on paper, that doesn't stop its slow speed and general "mermaid" aesthetic from coming off just a bit less scary than it ought to have.
  • Paranoia Fuel: If you weren't already afraid of the ocean, this game may make you terrified to be in the open ocean.
    • The whole concept for the player. You're on an alien planet and you're the only human on it. Your resources are scattered across the planet, which is populated with strange creatures, some friendly and others hostile. These creatures can range from the size of a bug to a medium-sized whale. You have no idea what's safe on this planet and you may die if you're ill-equipped and uninformed of the potential dangers.
  • Self-Imposed Challenge: Wiping out the hostile leviathans is one for many players. There are only so many of them (22 reapers, 6 ghosts, and 3 dragons) and once they're dead they're gone for good (or at least they takes literal ages to respawn) so killing them is not only a challenge it makes the Crater much, much safer to travel.
  • The Woobie: The Sea Emperor. She was kidnapped by the Precursors and forced to breed, had her life extended well beyond the regular lifespan of her species, and yet she's probably still aging. It would have ended long ago, but the Precursors performed a Critical Research Failure and kept the eggs in the wrong hatching conditions. It's made clear that her children have been stuck as eggs for centuries. It gets worse when you find out that she may or may not know the true, well-intentioned purpose behind all of this... which means all she can do is accept her current condition.
  • They Changed It, Now It Sucks!: The Cyclops in the Silent Running update. Before the update, the Cyclops was considered to be a slow, power hungry mobile base that was only really used because it was indestructible and thus could be used to ferry the destructible but more useful Seamoth and PRAWN through hazardous locations. The Cyclops received a massive overhaul in Silent Running, with speed options, sonar, more upgrades and spruced up interfaces. However, the Cyclops now takes damage from ramming into the environment or by being attacked by creatures, and generates noise depending on its speed setting, attracting even more creatures into attacking it. While it can take some punishment, fires will begin to spring up around the Cyclops' interior as it takes damage (which stops oxygen production) and damage itself can only be repaired from the exterior (leaving you vulnerable to predators), making piloting the Cyclops through hazardous areas an annoying juggling of tasks. The fact that smaller predators such as Sandsharks and Bonesharks (whose attacks deal no damage to an unmodified stationary Seamoth) could damage the Cyclops, and how it could not be repaired or deconstructed once destroyed, has given many players all the more reason not to construct one in the first place.
    • As of the final Early Access release and the press release right before 1.0, the Cyclops has been buffed to be mostly invincible again (though still destructible) — small predators like Sandsharks and Bonesharks are back to being roadkill, environment damage is minor, the Shield Generator Module neuters big predator attacks if timed well, and it is fast and quiet enough to be usable. Still, the loss of true invulnerability and the ability to charge itself indefinitely with Power Cell Chargers is still mourned by some of the older Early Access player base, despite the Shield Generator and Thermal Reactor modules fulfilling essentially the same purpose.
  • Unwinnable by Insanity: If you hitch a ride on a Reaper Leviathan with the Prawn's grappling arm, the beast will go nuts trying to shake you off, travelling huge distances in the process, and it will permanently stay wherever it ends up once you let go. Reapers treated this way have a strange habit of making a beeline for your base. Play Reaper Rodeo too often and you can find your base besieged by multiple giant murder machines from all directions, making it next to impossible to do anything in the area. If you don't manage to set up another base somewhere else, your game is pretty much over.
    • Isn't this how the last Degasi base was destroyed?
    • Finding this out is lore-diving, at least. It wouldn't be the first time that offworlders messed with the locals, only to find them capable of extracting wrecking-ball revenge on their building projects.

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