Sneak peek and poll: Permadeath

Hello everyone, and happy 2024!

We’re back at our desks now and the next year in Barotrauma development has kicked off. The first order of business is getting some early feedback from you on a planned new feature: Permadeath mode in multiplayer campaign. Alongside this, we’re making some revisions to respawning in multiplayer campaigns, more generally. Let’s take a closer look!

Respawning changes

One prominent change is that we will be discontinuing Reaper’s Tax. This feature was made with the best of intentions, but that was a while ago, and we mostly get negative feedback about it these days.

We’re not removing respawning penalties, though, just making them fully customizable. To replace Reaper’s Tax, we’re introducing additional skill loss upon shuttle respawning, which can be adjusted. This means respawning skill loss will have two separate sliders: one for mid-round respawning and one for end-of-round respawning. Skill loss upon respawning can be disabled entirely in the server settings by setting each slider to 0%.

Finally, we are adding a death screen with some information pertinent to your demise.

  • Information about skill loss upon respawning
  • Option for new character creation
  • Possibly an overview of respawn settings, as well as other information.

Permadeath: let us know what you think!

Besides the above changes, which will apply to multiplayer campaigns by default, we’re planning an optional Permadeath mode for those players who are looking for an extra challenge. We’ve got a few ideas prepared but wanted to bring your feedback to the table early. So, below are our current strongest candidates for this feature.

Please note that the approaches presented here are works in progress, and the final outcome of this feature may or may not turn out as outlined here. We will evaluate these options depending on your feedback, game balance and technical demands, and revise them as needed.

1. Reincarnate: Upon death, players have the option to respawn as a currently active bot. Their character from then on, permanently, will be this bot.

Shuttle respawning is disabled, so when there are no available bots, you cannot respawn during the round. Reaching an outpost allows for buying a new character, with some starting skills and XP, from the HR manager. Skills and talents of the previous character are lost whether you reincarnate during the round or get a new character the next round.

This option has a few outstanding technical considerations, but it would bring the multiplayer respawning closer to the singleplayer experience, which we might like. What do you think?

2. Create a new character: This option is more straightforward: players who die respawn normally on the shuttle but always lose all skills and talents. Upon death, you are presented with a character creation window to choose the name, appearance and job of your new character.

3. Wait it out: This option also means creating a new character – but that can only be done at an outpost, and will cost money just like hiring a new crewmate. Shuttle respawning is disabled. We may use the HR manager screen for buying the new character, so you can respawn as a character that already has a default name and some starting XP and skills.

Extra, not a Permadeath approach: We’ve also been talking about an additional optional high-difficulty mode for the multiplayer campaign, the “Ironman mode”. It would mean no respawning whatsoever for the whole duration of a campaign, only spectating after you die. You can give your thoughts on this, too, along with the permadeath designs.

How to give feedback on Permadeath

Time to chime in! There are two things you can do:

  1. Take this Google Forms poll to let us know which Permadeath option you like best, and to weigh in on the Ironman mode too. You will have to sign in to respond, but we will not see your email address. Sign-in is used only as a countermeasure against multiple answers from a single account.
  1. Find the thread called “Planned feature: Permadeath” in the #baro-ideas channel of our Discord or on the Development Suggestions forum on Steam, and share your thoughts. We’re looking forward to seeing discussion on this topic and will be reading closely!

We will begin working on this new feature fairly soon, so sharing your thoughts in the next week or two would be much appreciated. However, the feature will be in development for a while longer, so we will continue monitoring the discussion over a longer period of time.

As a final reminder, the Permadeath mode will be entirely optional and will not affect regular campaigns in any way. Instead, we’re looking to make a new and challenging game mode – please give feedback accordingly!

What else is new

In other news, we’ve taken on board three new teammates since late last year, so you may spy some new names in commit messages and on Discord before long. We’re working towards the next update, to be released in the spring; besides these respawning and Permadeath changes, you can look forward to new additions in the medical and monster departments, and new content in general. More information about the update will keep coming as spring approaches.

That’s all this time. Thank you in advance for your feedback!


  • January 10, 2024
    federico viacava

    Hola, estaria bueno que en el modo multijugador cada equipo pueda controlar su estacion, en diferentes partes del mapa, controlar a la poblacion e ir investigando mejoras y con la nava recoger recursos que de el mapa para preparar un ataque a la estacion enemiga. seria una batalla con bases, increible. se que es facil decirlo y hacerlo es otra cuestion. una opinion de un fan del juego. saludos y viva barotrauma

  • January 10, 2024
    federico viacava

    Hello, it would be good if in multiplayer mode each team could control their station, in different parts of the map, control the population and investigate improvements and with the nava collect resources from the map to prepare an attack on the enemy station. It would be a battle with bases, incredible. I know it’s easy to say and doing it is another matter. An opinion from a fan of the game. greetings and long live barotrauma

  • January 11, 2024
    Alexander Ruel

    oh damn, hopefully the ironman mode is added
    love no respawning campaigns like that, and it’d be easier than just banning someone who dies

  • January 12, 2024
  • January 13, 2024
    Mark U

    I think Perma death death should mean you are permanently dead for the entire campaign. Or there should be a way to switch from having a bot respawn, and never being able to respawn.

    • March 6, 2024
      Christian Xander Christensen

      Ironman mode

  • March 6, 2024
    Christian Xander Christensen

    I would love to see the first option in-game

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