Is Subnautica Multiplayer? Find Out How To Play With Friends

Here’s a tip – don’t read on if you suffer from thalassophobia, otherwise known as a fear of deep water. In 2014, Subnautica released, chilling the hearts and minds of the faint-hearted around the world, specifically those who were creeped out by deep, dark ocean exploration. By the time 2020 had come around, more than five million copies of Subnautica had been sold, and it was widely regarded as a popular title. Although, many people to this day are still asking the same question: is Subnautica multiplayer?

It seems like the perfect formula for a multiplayer title. It’s an open-world survival adventure, driven by crafting and scavenging mechanics. There have been many similar titles in recent years that have launched with the same kind of structure. For instance, The Forest, a title that saw the protagonist crash land on a dangerous island, forced to scavenge and build to survive – and that was a multiplayer game.

But is Subnautica multiplayer?

Is Subnautica Multiplayer

Image credit: Subnautica

Can You Play Subnautica With Friends?

Fundamentally, Subnautica is a game riddled with peril, mystery, and fear. It features a single protagonist, crash-landed on the planet 4346B, set adrift in an endless ocean, the depths of which are littered with violent creatures and dark secrets. Immediately, most of the danger and sense of complete loneliness would be completely removed if Subnautica was a multiplayer title.

That’s one of the many reasons why Subnautica is not multiplayer.

In fact, there are no NPCs at all in the world of Subnautica, only the ocean life that you come across as part of your explorations. It’s revealed later on in the game that other survivors may have been scattered around the world, but you never actually meet them. Even in the sequel (of sorts), Subnautica: Below Zero, no NPCs are added. It’s a lonely, desolate, and solo adventure, to be sure.

However, the lack of multiplayer in Subnautica doesn’t mean it offers a poorer experience. It’s a fantastic game in itself, riddled with opportunities to explore a large, open world, de-mystifying the planet and fighting to survive. It’s so broad that you’ll need a Subnautica biome map simply to navigate the environment, bearing in mind that you essentially do so simply by swimming, for the most part.

But It Doesn’t End There

Is Subnautica multiplayer? No.

But can you make it multiplayer through other means?

Actually, yes – you can. If you’re on the PC platform, you can use a mod that was released in 2021 to force the game into a co-op state. This means that, while it isn’t an official solution, you can play Subnautica with friends and enjoy an alternative, modified experience. It isn’t a perfect solution and it’s restricted exclusively to PC, but it works.

This mod is called Nitrox, and it allows two players to join a single server. Again, it isn’t a perfect solution, but it’s the best that you’re going to get, given that Subnautica will forever be a single-player game, without question.