Subnautica 3 - News, possible reveal, and what we'd love to see

A giant squid-like creature at the very bottom of the ocean in Subnautica
Credit: Steam

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Now that Subnautica 3 has been confirmed, there are a few things we can expect to find. When the first Subnautica game was released, it was a survival horror game like no-one had seen before. The environment was bright and friendly looking, but the deeper you went in order to get supplies, the more hopeless things felt.

Before long, you stumble across story-related elements, and another level of horror is introduced. This formula was replicated when Subnautica: Below Zero was released to much acclaim. With the addition of land masses, voice acting and a fully-fledged story in the second game, there are only bigger and better expectations for Subnautica 3.

For more release hubs like this, you're in the right place. Check out what we know so far about Outer Wilds 2, as well as Dark Souls 4. Lastly, you can see if a Steam Deck 2 model can be expected any time soon.

Subnautica 3 latest news

Unknown Worlds has confirmed that Subnautica 3 is officially in development, but there is no news on a release date yet.

Things we'd like to see in Subnautica 3

Some underwater anemones and a little shark in Subnautica
click to enlarge
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Credit: Steam
I just want to touch everything

More biome variety and more islands

One of the most important things when making an exploration game is to make a world that players actually want to explore. There has to be a wide variety of well constructed biomes and landmarks to stop you from getting bored. This is all the more apparent when you have to revisit areas a lot for resources or story reasons.

Of course, the types of biomes available will be dependent on what sort of environment Unknown Worlds chooses. So far, they've shown us tropical and the Arctic, respectively. There are a couple places they could choose to go next, including freshwater. If the ocean has become too stale, there are plenty of other bodies of water.

It was refreshing in Below Zero to be able to go on land too. It gave a unique sense of dread, knowing that you would have to return to the ocean at some point. Importantly though, it allowed for lots of variety in world building and encounters. It would be a great feature to continue in Subnautica 3, as fans wants to explore as much as possible.

A little submersible ship underwater! There are some coral and some fish in Subnautica
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Credit: Steam
Why is he looking at me like that?

Changes to early game

Fans of Subnautica will remember the grind of looking for ore rocks stuck to the sides of cliffs. Not only that, but scanning boxes in order to make the Seaglide and other tools. This gameplay loop was slow and oftentimes annoying, especially if you couldn't find the last part.

It would be for the best if Subnautica 3 changed this up. Of course, part of the fun of survival games is starting out with nothing. So it shouldn't skip this early game grind, but make it fresh for returning players. This could be as simple as needing a tool to mine dedicated ore spawns for some things such as titanium and copper.

A huge, decaying corpse of a once huge fish in Subnautica
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Credit: Steam
This is so my friends can check this out, and I can stay at the base.

Multiplayer co-op

In recent years, almost all of the big survival games have offered a multiplayer cooperative experience. They're very popular in this genre, and it's a shame that Subnautica has never been able to add this feature to its games. The only way this is currently possible is to use mods to force the game into a co-op state.

It would be great to be able to explore the ocean with friends in Subnautica 3. The nature of the ocean makes it more than capable of sustaining a small group. This would also make it easier to balance the gameplay between exploration, resource collecting, and food management.

A red crystal cave and an angry looking shark in Subnautica
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Credit: Steam
What a lovely home you have here!

More story

Due to Subnautica being originally released as an early access game, most of the story was added along the way. With every patch that was released, there would be a new area or new cinematics to enjoy. This wasn't a problem, and many fans even enjoyed returning each time to see what had changed.

When Below Zero was released, people were overjoyed to see how much further the team had come. There was voice acting, a story immediately, and overall the game was just more polished. When Subnautica 3 gets released, people will only expect things to be better again.

The worlds in Subnautica have always been ambitious, too. The games have a great flair for the dramatic, which always lend themselves well to the outlandish stories they tell. Perhaps in the third game, they could even experiment more with environmental storytelling.

A weird fish in Subnautica
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Credit: Steam
He looks friendly, I like him.

A map

Not all explorers are built the same. For some, their love of finding new places is stronger than their sense of direction. One tool that could certainly help out the game would be the inclusion of an interactive map. This way, you could pin areas you want to return to.

Moreover, it would help you return to biomes when you need a specific resource from them. There is nothing more annoying than knowing you saw a particular ore somewhere but just can't remember exactly where.

Unfortunately, the ocean doesn't lend itself well to traditional paper-style maps. They could become useless fairly fast, so the developers would have to give us a fancy one through the tool system instead.

For more gaming news, make sure to check out our list of the best free horror games! We also have a list of the best VR games, and the best puzzle games.

For more articles like this, take a look at our Hubs and Subnautica page.