Blog Development

Nitrox 2024 Q&A

Hello everyone! A while back we opened up a Q&A channel on our Discord server, there you asked a bunch of questions, and today we are answering them. Keep in mind, that some of the questions have been slightly rewritten to reflect how we understood what was being asked.

Here we go!

A screenshot from the game Subnautica, where a player character model is bugged and goes super stretchy across the screen

Q = Question
A = Answer

From: A Fellow Homosapien
Q: Who are the “generous contributors”, is there just a billionaire sponsoring y’all or?

A: Hah, now that would have been pretty neat. Yeah no, we do not have any rich donors or anything. When it comes to paying for our website and domain it is entirely from our own pockets (as mentioned, none of us are billionaires).

From: Yrwwen
Q: What is the current feature you are working on, and what is the most difficult one. Is it compatibility with the newer version of Subnautica or more like issues with syncing things and bugs in general?

A: Tornac: “I’m currently working on improving the water park (aquarium) experience. From having its contents synced exactly, to syncing fish mating, egg hatching, and fish movements in the water park, there are some shenanigans to be introduced and fixed. The most difficult stuff might be syncing systems that were exclusively and deeply rooted in single-player, just as Leviathan syncing (also bases, cyclops movements). [signed Tornac ur favourite dev]”

Jannify aka. Don Huan-Huanify:
While there surely are features/bugs which take more time than others, the most difficult thing is for sure that we can’t test the mod inside the UnityEditor (the program in which Subnautica was made). That means that testing the smallest thing requires 2 game starts, connecting to the server one after another and recreating the thing we wanted to test. So while UWE could do that in like 10-20 seconds we need 2-3 minutes. And depending on the feature/bug you need to do this A LOT….

From: Leto
Q: In the future, will Nitrox support Mods?

A: Nitrox itself currently provides no documented ways for mods to interact and exist within the Nitrox environment, however, mods can be used in the Nitrox environment assuming they follow a couple of rules.

  • Modded items cannot perform tasks Nitrox does not know about.
  • Modded Items are not randomly spawned in the world.

Things such as Modded Upgrade Modules, Crafted Items, Minimap, UI changes, and maybe mods that add more constructible base pieces depending on what they do.

But once we have a Nitrox in a 100% playable state we want to add an extra API modders can use to implement all the mentioned problematic features.

From: Chopper & Twilight
Q: Will Nitrox support VR mods and hand tracking?

A: We can’t speak for any VR mod out there, but we are not doing anything in particular to support VR mods more than any other mod.

From: SilentZK
Q: What part of developing the mod is the most fun for you?

A: The most fun tasks are syncing gameplay features (e.g. stasis rifle, Leviathan sync etc) compared to lots of “hidden” tasks on which the project heavily relies but isn’t visible (e.g. server infrastructure, persistence and data handling).

A screenshot from Subnautica, showing off the new buildable big room with a huge aquarium with various alien aquatic creatures and plants.

From: Vazarin
Q: Who and what is Moonrunner?

A: Moonrunnner, a demon of the ancient world. This foe is beyond any of you… Swim!

From: Wandary.
Q: What inspired the development team to start working on Nitrox? Why does it exist, what inspired it and how did it start?

A: Jannify aka. Don Huan-Huanify: I got into contact with Nitrox from a content creator who presented an early, early, early stage of the mod (as it had only around 3 developers). Since I really liked Subnautica and wanted to improve my Unity skills (I was developing my own game around this time) I saw my opportunity. And well, since that faithful day nearly 7 years ago I never felt the urge to leave. Regarding the general why question: I think many wanted to experience the terror of the ocean with their friends. It only needed someone to start this tedious journey.

Tornac: I wanted to play with my brother a good experience in Subnautica and discover the game together

From: Rapto
Q: Will there be optimization choices? I admit I may not completely know how exactly Nitrox works, and from what I understand loading a world and caching the entities can relatively optimize it or is it more of a network thing?

A: The mentioned caching is only moving calculations from in-game (when moving into new chunks) before the server fully starts. General optimization is happening all the time. especially when we rewrite parts of the code or find slow parts (like the reduction of paket size from 1kb from the last update).

From: H.E.C.U Grunt
Q: Vehicle fixes, is there going to be an update fixing the sync of vehicles?

A: Of course there will be an update fixing this. Cyclops is currently the largest issue due to how the game has its Player controller programmed. It is a joint issue with Players being launched in the Cyclops. It is difficult to find, even more difficult to make a reliable fix that doesn’t impact the user experience.

From: AllyPallyUK
Q: Why do you guys not accept donations?

A: Adding donations into a project like this with so many moving parts and members so late could potentially split the team(s), how would it be split fairly? Purely to the development team? What about the original creator of the mod Sunrunner? What about the support staff that runs the website, dev blog and Discord server?

It is not easy to do this fairly. But what we all can agree on, is that instead of fighting over who gets how many % of the pie, we can instead refer people to donate to Doctors Without Borders (Médecins Sans Frontières). They go out in the world and try to do their best to save people and improve lives. If we get even a single donation by referring people over to them instead of throwing money at some mod for a game on the internet, then it was worth it.

– If you want to support them, you can check out their website here
Or if you want to directly go donate you can head here

Another question from Vazarin
Q: What are the Dev and Staff teams most excited about for the next update?

A: It’s always cool to know people are finally able to play what we’ve spent hours building on our side. We’ll be shipping an entire rework for most systems and we really want to know how foolproof they are. The building system has always been unstable due to its early implementation in the early stages of the game and due to its absurd complexity. It should now be more reliable than ever and we’ll be glad to see such an important part of the game stable for you all to enjoy. We’ve also had the pleasure to include some exciting new features. We plan to release the beginning of a new sync system for creatures starting with leviathans. In the next update, you’ll be able to dive with your friends and cooperate under the frightening threat of the biggest sea monsters out there.

A screenshot from the game Subnautica, with multiple bugged characters stuck in the "floor" of the lifeboat, and a miniature Seamoth (1-man Submarine) with a player in it also being inside of the lifeboat

From: Jan_ito007
Q: Have you thought of making a way to, for example, link a prawn to a Cyclops and have a way to watch what the prawn sees through the Cyclops cams? Like someone stays in the Cyclops while their partner is mining stuff out and they can see what they do.

A: Building Nitrox, we’ve only ever been focused on syncing Subnautica features to ensure you have a stable experience at first. But quite recently we did introduce a Nitrox-exclusive feature: the player list. This is only a hint of some exclusive cooperative-driven features we’d love to improve your gaming experience with.

From: Xzayr & Gojo-Fan-4141
Q: Will there be Linux support? A lot of people are asking for the Nitrox Mod to support Linux/MacOS, what about an installer for Bottles/Lutris?

A: Yes! Next update we can offer a Nitrox Launcher that works on Windows and Linux. Mac support is likely to come at a later date, as with the Linux update we should be able to start testing it on MacOS too. No estimates for when MacOS might be playable.

From: Pebling
Q: After you are done with Nitrox, will you start working on Subnautica Below Zero?

A: Working on Below Zero is something that we talk about from time to time. But we have not made any decisions about it. If we do work on it, we will be using Nitrox as the base. It will likely take years to make it fully complete.

Another question from Pebling
Q: Will the Nitrox Launcher update by itself?

A: The launcher won’t update automatically. The updates we release need to go through manual testing which is time-intensive and something we don’t want to do for every change we make. But if we find ways to automate testing, we’ll consider. Keep in mind, that the launcher will notify you that there is an update available!

Our last question is from Alemenha.
Q: What will the team do after Subnautica/Nitrox? Will you work on Subnautica Below Zero? Or maybe try to add multiplayer into a completely different game?

A: HeN’s thoughts on this: Ahah, there is an after Nitrox? There is always more to be synced or a bug to be fixed… Being serious though, yes it would be great to get it working on Below Zero but first, we want to get it working perfectly on Subnautica itself. And beyond that who knows, maybe UWE will make a third game in the series and we work on that as well.

Jannify aka. Don Huan-Huanify: I don’t know if Nitrox (and Nitrox BZ) will ever be completed in my time with Nitrox, but if I am still around I would love to implement more multiplayer-related features (like the multiplayer bench or shared intro cinematic) and a complete new co-op-story expansion.

A video showcasing the intro cinematic where the player(s) are now escaping the Aurora in the lifepod with two seats, before the crash and knock the player(s) out

We hope this gives everyone a bit of insight into what is going on behind and in front of the mod. There is more to it than you’d think.

Don’t forget that we are on BlueSky! So if you want to stay up to date there on when we post blogs, releases and other announcements make sure to follow us at

– The Nitrox Team

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By Shalix

Community Manager of the Nitrox Project

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