The highly-anticipated standalone expansion to Unknown Worlds Entertainment’s Subnautica has been officially announced and is titled Subnautica: Below Zero according to a news post on the game’s official website.

If you haven’t yet played Subnautica, you’re missing out on an excellent survival game with a compelling narrative. Our review highlighted the game’s strengths in areas like exploration, though it had a number of nasty bugs at launch (which have since been remedied). Take a look at the game’s cinematic trailer to get a feel for its atmosphere:

Subnautica belongs to a rare class of survival games – it’s actually a complete experience. The game had been in development for several years, and the idea of post-launch DLC had been discussed in the past to a degree. Longtime fans of the game were aware that it would be set in some kind of arctic biome and feature a different character than the game’s protagonist. Details about what this DLC (now known as Subnautica: Below Zero and confirmed to be a standalone expansion) have finally been announced.

Among the many changes coming to this game is a new protagonist, who we can see below kitted out in her cold protective suit:

subnautica below zero cold protective suit

The new Subnautic Below Zero Cold Protective Suit concept art

Below Zero will be set on Planet 4546B. This time, you’ve arrived on purpose rather than as the result of an unfortunate accident. Your character has been sent by Alterra to study alien technology in the icy climate of the planet previously unseen in the game. A Trello Board has more details on what’s being worked on for the development, although it’s advised that players may want to avoid reading too much into it for fear of spoilers. There is some neat concept art and (relatively spoiler-free) screenshots available, a selection of which you can check out below:

Much like the base game, Subnautica: Below Zero will release on Steam Early Access before expanding into a full release and getting some content updates of its own. Until then, it’s still in development. You can check out some concept art and get an idea of where they’re heading by heading on over to the official website for Below Zero. In the meantime, here are a few relatively spoiler-free screenshots showing some of the neat stuff to come:


Quick Take

I’m always down for more Subnautica, but I have my doubts that they’ll be able to match up with the sound design and music of the original game without the guy who originally put it all together. It was genuinely my favorite thing about the game, and Simon Chylinski set an awfully high bar for whoever is going to succeed him. We’ll have to wait and see just how it turns out after some development and if they’ve managed to pick up someone as talented the original guy.

What do you think of Subnautica: Below Zero? Are you excited for this standalone expansion? What do you hope to see in it? Let us know in the comments below!

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Robert N. Adams

Senior Writer

I've had a controller in my hand since I was 4 and I haven't stopped gaming since. CCGs, Tabletop Games, Pen & Paper RPGs - I've tried a whole bunch of stuff over the years and I'm always looking to try more!