Play Subnautica multiplayer with your friends
Subnautica multiplayer: how to find and install the Nitrox mode for Subnautica, and secure the single-player only play work with multiple players on a particular server.
There’s a game described Subnautica, and it’s been out for some years now. It was in quick access for a while, then got fully published last year. Earlier this year, a standalone expansion launched for quick access. One thing Subnautica never had, over all these years and repetitions, is a multiplayer function. A fan is changing that with an aggressive mod.
Subnautica is a survival/adventure game with an underwater open world. You play as the lone crew member of a broken spaceship and must collect supplies and build to survive the alien planet you land on. It differs from other survival journey games; however, in that, it takes place only under the sea. The setting and gameplay come together in a Metroid/Minecraft way, featuring the dangers of lonesome exploration. However, many players still want to dive and pilot submarines as a crew.
That’s where the mod appears in. But why are they needed? Why isn’t the developer making multiplayer, a long-requested feature, a priority? Now that the game is out of early access, multiplayer seems like it would make players happier than any single-player expansion. Here’s the mystery behind Subnautica‘s missing multiplayer, and why a mod is necessary.
Is There An Official Subnautica Multiplayer Mode?
No, there is not. As suggested before, the game was launched in early access first. Like many titles began that way, Subnautica was a bit of a buggy mess at the start. The core idea was intriguing, but there was a lot of work to be done to smooth out the practice. This work took a little over three years, from late 2014 to early 2018. With all that time spent just making the game work, the developers had nothing left over for multiplayer.
The game’s director, Charlie Cleveland, wrote on the game’s official forums, “Back in our early ideals we always had multiplayer in the back of our mind. But we had so much to learn about the game. Multiplayer was never a preference. Eventually, we hit early access, and now it would take many working years to add any multiplayer to Subnautica. We don’t want to spend years more working on Subnautica before v1.0, so we sadly have come to terms with the fact that we won’t be joining any multiplayer or coop to the game.”
Necessarily, adding multiplayer to the game would require either rebuilding the engine from scratch or devoting an entire team to pressing it into its current iteration. There’s no workforce for that. At least, not in the development workshop. In the fan community, however.
How To Play Subnautica In Multiplayer
Since the developer will never make an official multiplayer version of Subnautica, one fan took it upon themselves to add the user via a mod. A user called Sunrunner37 created the mod and made it available on Nexus Mods. Follow this link to download the mod, called Nitrox. From there, you’ll have to set up your server that caters to multiplayer. If you want a more visible guide, follow this Youtube video:
It’s necessary to remember that, since this is not official content, there may be problems. In that case, Sunrunner37 invites users to join the Nitrox Discord channel. There, users can ask support in installing and maintaining the Nitrox mod.
What Can You Do In Subnautica Multiplayer?
Once you’ve downloaded the Nitrox mode, you’re set to find some friends and get searching. The mod offers the most basic functionality for a few players together. The world will react to any player picking up and dropping items, and will even maintain the situation if players separate to a certain distance. Players can also build together, and the Cyclops will understand that it has two passengers.
One cool addition is a chat function. Since Subnautica’s original form is a single-player game, it doesn’t have an in-game chat. The Nitrox mod rectifies that. While the system is still in its early stages, it’s an essential bit of forethought to have it in the first build.
Sunrunner does stress that the mod is still in its early stages but that a “stable framework has been laid for the community to iterate on.” Nitrox has the core Subnautica gameplay ready to go for multiplayer, meaning you can expect to explore and build with a buddy.
What Doesn’t Work In Subnautica Multiplayer?
As you might expect from a one-person mod of a carriage just-barely out of quick access game, there are problems with Nitrox. Aside from some little bugs that randomly affect player health or make items unavailable, there are significant issues with the story progress. Many vital locations might not spawn at all, making it impossible to advance the primary campaign. The multiplayer servers also create problems with saving progress. It might be better to develop the story on your own and use multiplayer to explore and mess around with friends.
Don’t let these things deter you from trying out Nitrox, however. Subnautica is a game that fills a unique niche. We apparently won’t see a deep-sea take on No Man’s Sky again. So you might as well get every ounce of entertainment as possible. Nitrox isn’t a severe mod by any means; it just has lots of bugs and takes a few steps to install. Once you get past that annoyance, though, you’ll get to feel the thrill of taking on the depths as a team.