Update – February 8: Added comment from Unknown Worlds.
Subnautica 2 is already one of my most anticipated upcoming PC games, so news that the sequel to the phenomenal underwater survival game and its follow-up Subnautica: Below Zero will feature the option for co-op multiplayer is incredibly welcome. Along with these new details are further confirmation as to when we’ll start to see more of what to expect from the next game.
Subnautica 2 follows on from the beloved survival games from developer Unknown Worlds Entertainment – the first holding onto an ‘overwhelmingly positive’ 96% Steam rating from over 233,000 reviews, while frosty sequel Below Zero also maintains a very respectable 91% user score. Now, thanks to a report from publisher Krafton, best known for their work on PUBG but also publishing upcoming Sims rival Inzoi and the mobile version of Dark and Darker, we have a few more key details.
In the Krafton fourth quarter earnings release for 2023 (spotted by The Loadout), the publisher’s “strategic titles for 2024” include a listing for Subnautica 2, which it describes as a “multiplayer sequel to the original IP pursuing fandom snowballing.”
It’s certainly true that the series has continued to grow in popularity over the years through word of mouth; its positive reception grew so strong that I even put aside my dislike for deep water in games to sink into its depths, and felt incredibly rewarded by its careful pacing and sense of perilous wonder.
Under the additional details, Krafton notes that the new game will use Unreal Engine 5, and lists the option for either single-player or co-op with up to four players total “to uncover the mysteries on an entirely new alien planet.” Interestingly, it also suggests that Subnautica 2 will use a “Game as a service model with enhanced replayability.” Quite what that will translate to is unclear, but the first game’s relatively pre-defined, narrative-driven structure did make it less suited to repeat playthroughs.
Update: Developer Unknown Worlds has issued a statement clarifying several details about the upcoming game. It says, “While some of the news is exciting, we’d like to clarify [that] early access is not intended for release in 2024, but we plan to share a lot more information later this year.”
It also emphasizes that Subnautica 2 will not be multiplayer-focused, and that co-op will be “an entirely optional way to play the game” alongside single-player. Regarding the “games as a service” comment, it explains, “we simply plan to continually update the game for many years to come, just like the previous two Subnautica games. No season passes. No battle passes. No subscription.”
The first details for Subnautica 2 early access are currently expected to arrive in 2024 – we’ll be sure to keep you up to date on further details as we get them. In the meantime, be sure to browse the best Subnautica mods to spice up the original game, or browse more of the best crafting games to keep you busy.