How to build a base in Subnautica.

How to Build a Base in Subnautica

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Rhett Roxl is a professional writer who has been gaming for as long as he can remember. He merged both passions together to become a writer in the game industry in 2020.

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Marshall is a seasoned writer and gaming enthusiast based in Tokyo. He's a prolific wordsmith with hundreds of articles featured on top-tier sites like Business Insider, How-To Geek, PCWorld, and Zapier. His writing has reached a massive audience with over 70 million readers!

Knowing how to build a base in Subnautica is understanding one of its gameplay loops. It is a highly engaging mechanic and is one of the main appeals of the game. Here’s everything you need to know about it.

Table Of Contents

    Building Your First Base in Subnautica

    Exploration and base-building go hand in hand in Subnautica. You’ll need to scour the world for resources if you want to build your desired components, thus completing your base. To build components for bases, you’ll first need the Habitat Builder.

    You can immediately craft the Habitat Builder as soon as the game starts. You’ll just need to collect the proper materials for it. These are the materials needed for this builder tool:

    Once you have one of these three materials, head to the Fabricator on your lifepod. With that, you have your own Habitat Builder.

    This is the tool you’ll need to craft the base. You’ll be able to build things from interior and exterior modules to furniture and decorations with it.

    Before you worry about those, though, what you’ll first need to build are the base pieces.

    Bring up the building menu with your Habitat Builder, and select Base Pieces. These are the parts you’ll need to build first to create your first base. Take note of the following as these are the parts you’ll need to build first.


    Building a foundation in Subnautica.

    The Foundation of your base is the first one you’ll want to build. While you can build rooms without it, building foundations will serve you better in the long run. Foundations give your base more integrity, a mechanic you’ll learn more about later on.

    That said, find a stable patch of land you want your base to be situated. Then, bring up your Habitat Builder and start building foundations. You can build multiple foundations standing next to each other if you want to have a wide base.

    A Foundation requires two Titanium and two Lead materials. Farm for those first if you don’t have them in your inventory.

    Once a foundation is built, you can then build other components on top of it.

    Multipurpose Room

    A Multipurpose Room from Subnautica.

    The Multipurpose Room does exactly as its name implies. It is the room where you can place most of your other components such as Fabricators, Battery Chargers, Alien Containments, and so on. Every base needs a Multipurpose Room or two.

    You won’t be able to build a Multipurpose Room immediately. You’ll first need to scan a fragment of it. You’ll find them easily in Degasi Seabases.

    After scanning one Multipurpose Room fragment, you’ll obtain its blueprint. You can then build one using your Habitat Builder. It will cost six Titanium materials to build one Multipurpose Room.


    Showing a hatch at the side of a base from Subnautica.

    The Hatch component enables you to get in and out of your base. Be sure to keep this component in mind as well. These can be placed on the side of rooms or pathway modules.

    You can build a Hatch with one Quartz and two Titanium materials with your Habitat Builder.

    Maintaining Your Base

    As fun as it is to build and expand your base, there’s still the matter of maintaining it. In Subnautica, you’ll need to be mindful of two things when it comes to your base: Energy and Integrity.


    Your base needs modules such as Fabricators, Modification Stations, Battery, and Power Cell Chargers, among other things, for the base to become worthwhile. What’s the use of building a base without incorporating it with these modules, which are integral to the gameplay?

    These modules require energy and they’ll draw that from the base. That means you’ll need to energize your base to accommodate these modules.

    You can do this by building generators for your base. There are four generators in the game that you can build. Each of them requires a specific energy source and provides varying amounts of energy.

    • Solar Panel – This generator gathers energy from the sun. It gathers the most energy during daytime and gathers none at all during midnight. It can store up to 70 energy.
    • Thermal Plant – This is optimal if your base is close to a Lava Geyser. It draws energy from heat and stores up to 250 energy. You’ll need to use Power Transmitters to transfer energy from the Thermal Plant to your base. You’ll need to scan three of its fragments to get its blueprints. You can find them around Grand Reef, Dunes, and Sparse Reef.
    • Bioreactor – The Bioreactor replenishes energy with organic matter. This includes fish and other types of flora. It can carry 500 energy. You can find its fragment pieces in Grassy Plateau, Kelp Forest, and Sparse Reef.
    • Nuclear Reactor – The Nuclear Reactor has the largest energy capacity in Subnautica, carrying up to 2,500 energy. It is powered by Reactor Rods, another item you can craft with a Fabricator. One Reactor Rod is capable of supplying up to 20,000 energy. Its fragment pieces are found in the Mountains, Blood Kelp Trench, and the Sea Treader’s Path.


    Think of your base’s integrity as your base’s health bar. The more you keep adding certain modules to your base, your integrity will either rise or drop. Once it reaches zero, your base will slowly be filled with breaches, causing it to flood. You can repair the breaches with your Repair Tool.

    You can also counter this and avoid it altogether by raising your integrity. When building bases, always consider the Hull Integrity. The three modules that will increase your base’s integrity are Reinforcement, Bulkhead, and Foundation. The first one will increase your integrity by seven, the second by three, and the last one by two.

    Other Useful Compartments For Your Base

    Interior pieces from Subnautica.

    Aside from the compartments listed above, there are so much more of them that you can build in the game. These other ones will make your base more functional and convenient.

    Once you’ve laid out the necessary compartments of your base and considered the energy and integrity, be sure to consider the following compartments as well.

    Scanner Room

    The Scanner Room will allow you to scan the surrounding areas for resources, with a range of 300 meters. You can set the scanner to seek out a specific type of resource, making farming much easier for you.

    You’ll need to scan three of its fragments to get its blueprint. You’ll find them on the seabed and surrounding the wrecks in the following biomes:

    • Grassy Plateau
    • Blood Kelp Trench
    • Blood Zone
    • Crag Field
    • Sea Treader’s Path
    • Grand Reef


    You can add a Moonpool to your base if you want a place to dock your Seamoth or Prawn Suit. When docked, this compartment will charge your vehicle. It can only dock one vehicle at a time.

    Scan two of its fragments to get its blueprint. You’ll find them in the following biomes:

    • Blood Kelp Trench
    • Sparse Reef
    • Grand Reef
    • Mushroom Forest
    • Dunes
    • Mountains

    Check around wrecks as you’re more likely to find Moonpool fragments around them.

    Pathway Compartments

    If you want to string rooms together, you’ll need to place a base piece compartment between them so you can get from one room to the next. There are a lot of these you can select from just by looking at the Building Menu from your Habitat Builder.

    You can create straight pathways, T-shaped pathways, or curved pathways. Let your creativity flourish as you align rooms together to expand your base.

    Interior and Exterior Modules

    Interior and Exterior Modules are pieces of furniture and appliances you can place in and around your base. From Fabricators and Chargers to Plant Pots and Growbeds, adding these modules will make your base so much more convenient.

    That said, explore this menu from your Habitat Builder. Find or build spaces for them. Soon, you’ll have your own underwater paradise in Subnautica.


    The Observatory’s function is implied in its name. It gives you a clear 360-degree view of the surrounding biome. This compartment is more of a  decoration rather than a functional unit.

    Regardless, having this will give your base a more soothing feel. A unique, calming soundtrack will also start playing the moment you step into your Observatory.

    You’ll find Observatories to scan in Degasi Seabases.