Subnautica is thalassophobia distilled into a video game. It starts out a little worrying and takes you deeper into its dark pit of despair as it continues. It’s utterly brilliant — a perfect blend of storytelling, survival mechanics, and exploration (almost) all taking place below the ocean.
From crash-landing on the planet to discovering the many mysteries your new home holds, Subnautica begs you to experience it as the developers intended — that is, without console commands to take out of the immersion. It does a brilliant job of bread-crumbing you from one revelation to the next, rarely making you feel lost — and even when it does, you’re better off at most checking on the wiki than you are loading up the console.
Nevertheless, there are some really cool things you can do with Debug Console Commands in Subnautica — here’s our collection of the best.
Before we get started, the console isn’t just available — you need to access it. First, load into a game of Subnautica — preferably one where you’re not attached to the outcome of the character. Make a new game if you have to.
On PC, you have to press F3 and then F8 to bring up a development UI and get a mouse cursor. Uncheck the box that says “Disable Console”. Press F3 to close it again. Afterwards, on PC you hit either the Enter or ` (left of 1 on most keyboards) to bring up an input box.
On Xbox, you press LB, RB and A at the same time to bring up the input box. Type in the console commands below for their listed effects.
1 – bobthebuilder
This is my favourite console command by far, and easily the one I use the most. By typing in bobthebuilder you actually trigger six effects — fastbuild (so you can instantly build base items), unlockall (which gives you all blueprints), nocost (which removes building item costs), fastgrow and fasthatch, which make eggs and plants grow faster, and radiation, which negates the effects of radiation.
It also gives you a Habitat Builder, Scanner, Survival Knife and Repair tool instantly. Basically it sets you up to immediately start building whatever you like in the game world. I like to start a brand new game, activate bobthebuilder and start experimenting with new bases (while still needing to worry about Oxygen, Food and Water).
2 – invisible
This one is a close second, if only because it makes me feel like I’m a third Attenborough brother on an alien version of Blue Planet. When you type invisible you become exactly that – invisible. Or at least, you are as far as any creatures in the game world are concerned — they can’t see you, and so they can’t attack you anymore.
You could use this to sneak through dangerous areas in the game, but I like to use it to watch the world pass by, blissfully unaware of my presence. It’s part Star Trek’s Prime Directive, part goofy documentarian, but it gives the game a different spin when you inhabit it as a ghost.
3 – daynightspeed
This is such a cool console command to use. By altering the speed of the day night cycle in Subnautica you’re able to make longer days, shorter nights and see some really cool effects. If you jack it up to 100 — the fastest possible — it makes the moon sprint across the sky at super speed. If you drop it to 0.1 you can have days — and that precious natural light the sun provides — last for 10 times as long as normal.
4 – biome
I use this command in conjunction with the first one quite a bit. I’ll start a brand new game, hit bobthebuilder and then biome to pick somewhere new to live.
If you type biome without anything after it, you’ll see a list of the options. Pick one and you’ll be transported there immediately.
It’s definitely one you should leave alone until you’ve finished the game — it’s very easy to find yourself in (literal) spoiler territory — but when you’re experimenting with the game world it’s very useful.
5 – sub cyclops
This is probably the console command I would most understand using before the end of the game. I lost one of my Cyclops to a weird collision event late in my proper playthrough of Subnautica and felt no remorse about replacing it with this code.
I still use it in my new games as well, because the Cyclops is so satisfying to drive and it’s easier than going through the motions of building one — however easy that might be.
Hopefully that helps you explore and learn more about the world of Subnautica. If you’re keen to find more console commands, we have a massive list on our wiki page.