Must-Have Things When Encountering the Leviathans and Creatures in Subnautica
A basic guide for all players in order to help equip oneself against anything out there that would rather see you ripped into bloody pieces and your entrails used as necklaces.
So, you’re going about your day under the surface of 4546B, and suddenly you encounter something that wants to eat you and/or turn your entrails into a necklace. While one strategy always works – running for your life, their detection and chase ranges aren’t map-sized especially for the deeper and/or bigger creatures – another is to, instead, fight. Yet another is scientific observation.
Most creatures, you can get your hands on an egg of and you’ll be able to observe their most passive behaviors inside of an Alien Containment/BaseWaterpark facility without worrying that they’re going to eat you or use your entrails as a necklace. Things like a Stalker or a Sandshark, right?
Well, what about those few you can’t do so with? Reapers? Warpers? Sea Dragons? Ghosts?
That’s what this guide is here for – it details the things that I have found indispensable when going up against anything hostile out there, from a simple Crashfish/Explodey McBombfish all the way up to the granddaddy of Hell itself, the Sea Dragon Leviathan.
Let’s start with handheld equipment. You know, the stuff you don’t need to slap onto a Seamoth, Prawn, or God forbid a Cyclops. I’ve found a few things that always work against those hostile sea creatures.
The Stasis Rifle is the biggest necessity. With it, you can freeze the creature (or creatures) that is (or are) chasing you down to try and kill you. And this works on everything – Stalkers, Reapers, Sea Dragons, Warpers… no matter what, if you hit ’em with a Stasis projectile, they ain’t goin’ nowhere until that stasis effect wears off. Of course, the biggest reason you’d do this is so you have ample time to run away, but some do it in order to freeze and then kill whatever they’re being chased by, and some do it in order to study a creature in greater detail and get an accurate scan on them without being eaten alive.
Ultra Glide Flippers… these things allow you to move faster on your own without any form of assisted propulsion, such as a Seaglide or a vehicle, even faster than normal Flippers/Fins. I would’ve put the ol’ Swim Charge Flippers here instead, but it’s a hassle using them at the same time as an out-of-energy Seaglide. It gets quite annoying and slightly painful to the eyes when your light keeps going on and off, flashing like an overhead light in a horror movie.
The Seaglide is, usually, utilized in conjunction with the Stasis Rifle in the strategy of running as far as you can away. It perfectly supports the flight response, and is quite fast on its own. Its topographical map projected just above its frame allows you to easily find the smallest cave and hide inside, preventing anything big enough from following you. If it’s smaller than you… don’t bother hiding in a cave. Just run.
A classic piece of equipment, the Knife has only one purpose: pain and eventual death. It may take forever to stab something like a Reaper or a Sea Dragon to death, but it’s much easier if you’ve got a Stasis Rifle on hand. It also helps against those swimming tentacle-porn water ticks known as Bleeders in the Aurora – the knife’s the only way I know to kill those little suckers once they latch onto your arm.
Now we get onto the harder-to-craft stuff, the stuff that requires a vehicle to be utilized effectively. Let’s get the biggest out of the way first…
The Cyclops’ Decoys are perfect for distracting Sammy the Safety Reaper out the front of the Aurora or the three adult Ghost Leviathans just beyond the edge of the crater. They’re simple to use – set them and run like hell.
Prawn and Seamoth torpedo tubes are the vehicles’ only base-game weapons, but don’t mistake them for useless once you see the two types of torpedoes. Vortex Torpedoes, I haven’t liked due to the seemingly-insignificant damage they produce, but utilizing the Gas Torpedoes, which utilize the toxic mixture that the Gasopods release as Gas Pods, does something awesome. I’ve chased away even a Sea Dragon with those Gas Torpedoes. And you can get a boatload of Gas Pods if you’re quick – cause a Gasopod to release the pods and grab as many of them as you can before they go off, rinse and repeat until you have more than enough.
Seamoth Perimeter Defense System – an electrical shield. Sure, it’s purely defensive and doesn’t chase off any creatures, but it delivers anything coming into contact with the little sub scurrying away with a jolt. It’s especially useful against Reapers – they can shake your little Seamoth around as if it was a bath toy, but with this they don’t want nothin’ to do with you.
Vehicle Hull Stabilizer Modules – exactly what Sammy the Safety Reaper wants you to use on your vehicles. This helps prevent light damages to your sub, like simply accidentally bumping into a rock or a Reefback, and tones down the heavier damages, such as when a Reaper takes you on a ride. It’s not exactly expensive, either – titanium and lithium aren’t the hardest things to find, especially around the Gun Island.
This stuff you need mods for, but this stuff’s well worth the modifications to the game.
Ever wanted to use that odd rifle you got to scan in the big gun platform? Now you can with the Alien Rifle mod. It does a massive crapton of damage – a scant few shots and a Reaper keels over. The drawback? It needs Ion Batteries to power the damn thing. Which you can’t get until you go through the Thermal Plant. Still, it allows you to utilize the power of the Alien Rifle against that freaky dead-chest-tissue fire-spitting Prawn-chewing squid-dragon guarding the Primary Containment Facility. And, when you return to shallower waters, everything else that crosses your path.
A modification for the Cyclops is available – it gives it a pair of reskinned Prawn torpedo arms that now fire a pair of deadly green lasers each. These things, I think, are based on the Alien Rifle and are even better at cutting through leviathans. Reapers keel over after just a couple of shots, and these laser cannons are one of the only two ways (the other taking forever with a knife) that I’ve even managed to kill a Sea Dragon. They’re the easiest way to do so as well.
An early modification to unlock, relatively anyway, the Seamoth Laser Cannons are a much better investment than any torpedo launchers. They do more damage, don’t take time to reach their target, and are more than capable of scaring any damn Reapers off once you start shooting them. A simple modification that requires both the Propulsion and Repulsion Cannons alongside a few more parts, but one that’s awesome especially for the early game.
Prawn Laser Cannons – these things are just like the Cyclops Laser Cannons, but instead of being mounted on the Cyclops they’re now on a much more maneuverable platform. They’re powerful, that I know – again, they’ve shredded quite a few Reapers in my hundreds of hours in-game.
Ancient Sword – now this one’s good. Sure, it may not do much more than the basic Knife, but it allows you to utilize that old human sword you found in the Primary Containment Facility. Simple, but it makes the game that much better.
The most basic strategy when encountering any hostile creature – which is, at least, half of those existing in Subnautica – is to simply run as far and as fast as possible in the opposite direction. This is reinforced if you encounter a Mesmer – back up and keep trying to turn your head away from the thing. Quickly. Also, it helps against anything with high damage such as the Reaper or the Warper. What’s worse is that the Warper can take you from your Seamoth or Prawn without so much as a by-your-leave! This strategy is best-used when you are early on in the game, when you don’t have a Stasis Rifle on hand, or when you’re going up against something that can and will take obscene amounts of stabs before it’ll keel over and die.
The riskiest strategy is to fight whatever it is you’re facing. Sure, if you’re facing a Stalker or a Sandshark, this is relatively easy – just keep juking around the thing and stabbing it (or using your Seamoth as a battering ram, or hit it with gas torpedoes, or use the Prawn’s drill arm…). But if you’re facing something like a Warper or a Reaper? Refer to option one.
The next riskiest is to try and scan the damn thing. You’ll have to do a lot of juking again. Just this time, don’t stay within melee range, just stay within scan range. It’s harder for something to kill you when its mouth can’t really reach you.
But the best strategy when sighting a hostile creature is this – just don’t piss it off. Whether that means staying out of its detection and, therefore, attack, range or giving it Peepers and temporarily calming it down, just don’t make it mad. Hell, the Peeper strategy works with even Reapers!
I hope this little guide helps players both new and experienced with hostile encounters, and remember: anything that looks like it’s carnivorous probably is, and thus you’re on its menu if you make it mad. Or even enter the fringes of its territory, for that matter.