Campaign progression: submarines & some other things

Hello everyone!

Time for another campaign update sneak peek. Outposts may be the single biggest part of it, but there’s going to be much more besides that the next update brings – such as having your submarines progress with you in the campaign.

Submarine upgrading

Barotrauma submarine upgrading interface

“Does the engine on your Dugong suck? Spend some marks and it will suck less. Not enough power output from the piece of sh*t reactor in your Typhon? You know what to do!”

Now that we have those outposts in place, we get to buy services. Upgrades are purchased from the engineering crew chief at any station; you’ll usually find them in the station engineering section with the reactor and the oxygen generator.

Subs may have their hulls and systems upgraded in a variety of ways to improve durability and effectiveness. The crew chief offers multiple upgrades per upgrade category to further improve them, but each additional upgrade in the same category also costs more than the one before. Thus, more money buys more and nicer things.

Each sub in your inventory may be upgraded independently of all your other subs, so how many different subs you choose to invest your hard-earned marks in is up to you.

This is how you might boost your walls and engine, for example:

Item (for all instances per sub)EffectStarting pricePrice increase per upgradeCap
WallsIncrease hitpoints by 2%200015–20%10 upgrades
EngineIncrease min and max deterioration delay by 5%100010–15%10 upgrades
Decrease deterioration speed by 5%100010–15%10 upgrades
Decrease low skill fix duration by 5%100010–15%5 upgrades
Decrease RequiredSkill level by 5%150010–15%5 upgrades
Increase max force by 5%250015–20%5 upgrades
Decrease power consumption by 1%100015–20%10 upgrades

Disclaimer: Everything in that table is still WIP. Welcome aboard the public unstable version to test drive those values!

What about all the custom subs on Steam Workshop, then? Player-made subs can be upgraded in exactly the same way as vanilla subs, and the community boatwrights don’t need to do a whole lot to support this feature. Of course, there are certain default values for items on your subs that you might want to tune in order to create a more professional end result, but for the time being at least, this feature affects campaign gameplay more than it does sub building.

Submarine buying and exchanging

“We plan on a progression of subs through the campaign, with the player starting out with a weak, shallow diving, barely armed rustbucket, and gradually purchasing better subs with more capabilities as money allows and missions require.”

The “barely armed rustbucket” part is maybe a bit of an overstatement at the current stage, but in keeping with the theme of getting better subs by upgrading them, you can also buy better boats that you can then upgrade further. And naturally, when you’ve put some money into upgrading your old tin can, you don’t want to just throw that all away when you replace it with a better sub – the upgrades won’t transfer to your next vessel, but you can exchange your old sub to be compensated for some of the upgrades’ value.

What else?

Barotrauma new store interface
Buying, and soon also selling!

Buying subs and upgrades involves money changing hands, and the system for doing that is being improved for the next update. First off, the store interface as we know it is going to be removed entirely, and all transactions will be done in the outposts by talking to NPCs.

Secondly, it will be possible to not only buy but also sell items. In fact, you may even be able to buy things cheap in one place and then sell them for a higher price in another – profit! While the economy is not going to be truly dynamic at least just yet, it is becoming more fine-grained. The price and availability of items will depend on the outpost type as well as your reputation in the area, so just because you can say something mean to an NPC doesn’t necessarily mean you should.

Last but not least, there’s an art unification pass taking place. Surprise! We’re also doing a(nother) visual overhaul. This has been in the works for many months, but being unsure when we would be able to release it, we haven’t talked about it a lot until now. The art unification pass touches on almost every part of the game, and you can now read a little bit more about it on our Trello.

Barotrauma art unification Azimuth new decorative sprites
And here’s the Azimuth, demonstrating some of the upcoming new sprites.

That’s all this time

As a side note, you may have noticed we’ve finally renamed the in-game currency. The Europan Mark takes its name from the historical Finnish currency, markka – proof that Finland became a superpower somewhere along the line.

With that, we wish everyone a great midsummer. Don’t drown!


  • June 18, 2020

    That is cool. Here are some upgrades I’d like to see in the update.
    Upgrade the powergrid so they don’t easily get overloaded and make it more durable.
    Upgrade to the reactor to increase the speed of auto-adjusting.
    Upgrade the weapon for more damage, maybe add double-barreled coilgun.
    Upgrade the divesuits for faster movement/ better protection/ higher oxygen effeciency.

    Besides I really want some upgrade about multiplayer campaign, can we hire perment bot crew as in single player?

    • June 18, 2020

      Hi! You’ll be glad to hear almost all of these are going to happen 🙂 I’m not sure about diving suits, and I’m not sure when the MP bot crew will make it to the game, but the upgrades on your list are pretty much coming in the next update already.

    • June 21, 2020

      No they wont make the diving suits move faster, its not like you could make it faster even if you wanted to since it a giant hunk of metal that you have to make just durable enough to survive DEATH outside your sub. Also I saw it on the beta that everyone has access to.

  • June 18, 2020

    The resources that have been mined should respawn again after a certain time on site or at another location…
    But it sounds good!
    I don’t like the lobby screen because it’s always such a game breaker

  • June 19, 2020
    Shayd Green

    The store will be moved to NPCs that you have to talk to in game?…. Can this be optional, it IS cool and immersive, but it also slows the game down even more. In single player where you already have to run around doing any tweaks, sorting and such by your lonesome, we do NOT need to make the prep work even more tedious and time consuming. I REALLY don’t want to have to run around, climb ladders, and find people just to be able to buy things. OPTIONAL PLEASE. You don’t need to be hitting this game’s pace and fun value negatively. It would be especially tolerable if you can save after your shopping spree without leaving and reentering the outpost, but even then, again, I don’t want to HAVE to run around tediously just to do shopping. I don’t mean to sounds critical, but my concern comes from a place of love and appreciation, I want this game to grow and thrive and for you to be successful and acclaimed.

    • June 19, 2020
      Shayd Green

      Also, on the subject of managing storage and stuff in single player, is there any possibility we could access and sort our sub inventory from some kind of sub interface at outposts? Moving things around the sub between missions with simple clicks and drags would be positively aces.

  • July 2, 2020

    Also share the pacing concerns. One could make use of the computer terminal asset to introduce a shop interface when docked…but then, that’s what you effectively have in the lobby. Don’t think going to the store NPC to purchase goods is to way to go. What about visiting the NPC for selling items at the end of a mission (crate capacity increase needed?) and the ability to purchase additional items not already purchased from the lobby screen?

  • July 4, 2020
    Jared Neaves

    Going to have to echo SHAYD there. Optional npc interaction would be the sweet spot. Or for only major upgrades maybe? I am not looking forward to bumbling around running to the wrong npc then having to run back to the other side of a base to buy just one thing then running back again and up and down ladders and finally getting in my sub to have to mess around trying to save the game so I don’t have to got through that struggle again if I die.

  • July 7, 2020

    Pacing is surprisingly alright in the outposts guys. Trader isnt usually far, and you spawn already in the outpost after you dock. While walking around the oupost, there are events that can happen to you to spice things up. You can even get mugged, so you never know what happens! I like to redock to original outpost after doing a mission to increase my reputation there repeatedly, so already knowing where the trader is even stronger speed boost. Bots help me carry suits and crates to the seller. When you are done, you can press “Exit outpost” whenever you are near the docking module on outpost, which is nice and quick too. tl;dr: pacing is fine

  • July 8, 2020

    Will we be able to sell alien artifacts we find outside of missions?

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