Tag Archives: Subnautica

How to change switch game modes in Subnautica

I’ve had a few computer glitches recently while experimenting with a new graphics card. Unfortunately this lead to some random crashes, which in turn damaged my Subnautica game files.

Suddenly my save games didn’t tell me how long I had been playing, and what type of game I was playing anymore, and instead only shoed the message “damaged game save”. That didn’t sound good!

Thankfully though, when I loaded the file up, everything seems fine: I had the same base, was spawned in the correct place, had all the belongings I remember… except for one weird issue: my Freedom type game was now a Survival game. Not what I had signed up for!

Lucky for us there’s an easy way to switch from what we’re currently playing to any of the other three game types (Survival, Freedom, Hardcore or Creative) into any of the others. Here’s how to do it:

  • press F3 to bring up a secret settings box at the to left
  • press F8 to bring up the mouse cursor
  • disable the option “disable console” (thereby enabling it)
  • now press F3 again to close that settings window again
  • hit Enter to bring up a text input box at the bottom left

This will bring up a command line prompt at which we can now issue statements – much like on a Linux Terminal or Windows Power Shell. If we know what to type, we can make the game do exciting things that can come in handy when we’re stuck due to a bug or other circumstance. Developers use this tool a lot.

To change the game mode, we can type any of the following:

  • Survival
  • Freedom
  • Hardcore
  • Creative

That’s all we need to do. When you’re done, press F3 again to close the scary settings window.

Warning

Be advised that in the release version of either Subnautica and presumably Below Zero, issuing the above commands will disable the achievements feature.

Also note that in Below Zero, the changed game mode is not saved. The rest of your game state is, but when you restart a saved game a again, you’ll be back to the previous game mode (at least in the Snowfox update from April 2019).

Where does Subnautica store Game Saves?

Subnautica game save files can currently not participate in any “cloud save” options as far as I’m aware. As such, to transfer files between systems or to make backups, we’ll have to dig deep inside a system folder to find said data.

The exact path depends on which marketplace you purchased the game from.

Steam

I got mine from Steam, and the path is

  • Program Files (x86)\Steam\steamapps\common\Subnautica\SNAppData\SavedGames

The folder contains an options folder as well as a folder such as “slot0001” for each save game.

Epic Games

I don’t have the Epic version, but I hear on the grape vine that save games are stored in the User’s folder. Say my user name is “versluis”, then the full path would be

  • C:\Users\versluis\AppData\LocalLow\Unknown Worlds\Subnautica\Subnautica\SavedGames

Other services

I understand that Subnautica is also available from other marketplaces such as Discord, as well as Xbox One and Playstation 4. Sadly I have no idea where those save games are stored.

Should I ever find out, I’ll update this article. Likewise, if you know any such path, please leave it in the comments below.