Subnautica Below Zero early access begins this month

The new standalone Subnautica expansion will be hitting early access this month. Below Zero is a set within the freezing underwater realm of an alien planet, after the events of the original Subnautica. Developer Unknown Worlds revealed the Subnautica Below Zero early access release date earlier this week.

Below Zero does not require the original Subnautica to play, and will be available for $19.99 on Steam, Epic Games Store and Discord. The Subnautica Below Zero early access version will release on January 30 but is an early build of the game. According to the developer, it is full of bugs, lacks polish, and runs poorly. Their reason for releasing into early access is “not because we want your money, but because we want your feedback. We make better games when we make them with you.”

Subnautica Below Zero early access on Mac and Windows on January 30, with the console versions waiting it out. Unknown Worlds wants to bring the standalone expansion to Xbox One and PS4 and may go through the Xbox Game Preview service on Xbox One. Sony’s PS4 doesn’t have a similar preview or early access system, and as such Below Zero will release on PS4 with version 1.0.

Unknown Worlds announced the standalone expansion back in August 2018 with tentative early access sometime in late 2018. While it missed that window, Subnautica Below Zero didn’t miss it by much. Below Zero is set in an icy region of planet 4546B with new story and gameplay in the Subnautica universe. When it was announced, Below Zero was said to be keeping the core gameplay loop while adding thermal management and more dialogue in the expansion’s story.

Subnautica was recently available for free through the Epic Games Store, where Below Zero will also be available for purchase. Regular updates will come after its release and will respond to player feedback.