How To Play Subnautica In VR

Subnautica is one of the gaming community’s favorite VR experiences. The player is plunged into the role of a spaceship crash survivor and forced to explore underwater systems to learn more about the world.

Playing this game, you’ll find plenty of beautiful creatures and incredible eco-systems to explore. It’s an overwhelmingly expansive, open world exploration game that offers countless hours of gameplay that constantly stays interesting and engaging.

How To Play Subnautica In VR

The main reason this game is so popular with VR gamers is because of the world it exists in.

The whole charm of Subnautica is the aesthetically pleasing natural landscape that constantly surrounds the player and playing it in VR gives you a full sense of the game’s immense scale.

However, it can be pretty tricky to set up a VR game for the first time, especially if you’re using a different brand of VR headset or a less powerful PC.

That’s why, in this article, we’ll be going over how to set up VR for Subnautica and how you can make the most of all the immersive virtual reality features.

Can You Play Subnautica VR On Playstation?

Unfortunately, the Playstation does not support VR modes for Subnautica on the PS4 or PS5 console.

If you have a Playstation console, you can still use it to play Subnautica, but you will be limited to a 2D version on your monitor, rather than the immersive virtual reality experience.

Many gamers theorize that this fact isn’t due to any licensing issues or conflict between Sony and Unknown Worlds Entertainment, rather just the fact that the Playstation consoles can’t handle the power needed to run the VR game smoothly.

Can You Play Subnautica VR On Xbox?

Thankfully, you can play the VR version of Subnautica via the Xbox game pass PC. This pass is a subscription service that allows you to play hundreds of PC and Xbox games on the respective devices.

However, you still cannot play Subnautica VR on the actual Xbox console. The device simply isn’t powerful enough to run the game smoothly, so it can only be played on a powerful enough PC.

What Equipment Do You Need To Play Subnautica VR?

PC Specifications

As we’ve just established, the only device you can use to actually host and run the game is a PC. You can use a Windows PC or one with MacOS, as long as your machine’s specifications are good enough. It’s recommended that your OC has 8GB of RAM and a graphics card as good as the Nvidia GTX 550 Ti.

However, the producers of the game also state that you can get away with playing on a PC with 4GB of RAM and an Intel HD 4600 graphics card or equivalent.

Handheld Controls

In terms of the handheld controls needed to play Subnautica VR on a PC, the options are pretty simple. The most common way to go is to use a mouse and keyboard, like you would for most other PC games.

However, this might get a little tricky when playing in VR. The VR headset won’t allow you to see the keyboard so if you lose your place with your fingers, there’s no easy way to work out which buttons you need to press without taking off the headset and breaking your immersion in the game.

A much better way to play is with a gamepad or controller. There are plenty of these gamepads available online and they will all be compatible with Subnautica. They are all designed ergonomically and with far fewer unnecessary buttons and inputs that could cause your fingers to get lost, like they might on a keyboard.

VR Headset

The most important part of the setup is definitely the VR headset, itself. According to the Steam listing of the game, the best three headsets to use for VR in Subnautica are the Valve Index, HTC Vive and Oculus Rift.

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These are three of the most commonly used VR headset across pretty much all PC, VR games. Therefore, if you already have the equipment to play other VR games, chances are you should have no problems running Subnautica.

You can use other VR headsets for this game, such as the Samsung HMD Odyssey+ and some critics believe this is actually a better way to go.

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In fact, there are over 20 different VR headsets that are compatible with the game. If you’re unsure whether your VR headset will work with Subnautica VR, it’s best to simply check online or contact the headset manufacturer to find out for sure.

How To Launch Subnautica VR

Ok, now that you’ve established that you have the right equipment to run the game, let’s go over how you actually launch and play the game.

You should purchase and download the game from the Steam Store and wait for it to install in your library.

While this is installing, it’s also a good time to download and install the Steam VR app, which is needed to play all VR games on Steam.

Once everything has finished downloading and installing, you’ll have to restart your PC to finish the process. It should be noted that restarting the PC is only necessary if you’ve installed the Steam VR app for the first time. If you already had it on your PC, restarting won’t be necessary.

Once everything is installed, simply locate the game in your Steam library, right click the icon and find an option in the drop down menu that allows you to launch Subnautica in VR mode.

From this point, it’s as simple as plugging in your headset and controller (if using one), and waiting for the game to load up. You’ll be brought straight to the game’s main menu where you’ll be able to jump right into the gameplay.


Playing Subnautica couldn’t be easier, once you have all your equipment set up and ready.

For gamers who already have a VR system set up, this process will be even easier, as Subnautica follows the same process as pretty much every other mainstream, VR compatible game.

Just follow the steps we’ve outlined here and you’ll be exploring these mysterious underwater worlds in no time!

Richard Jones
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