Update Preview: Blood in the Water

Hello everyone!

The Blood in the Water update is finally ready and coming next week. In this update, we introduce a lot of new challenges and customization options – as more and more players are getting very familiar with Barotrauma, and as we also keep seeing lots of new players getting on board, we want to offer suitable challenges for everyone. The update also adds new content, including a monster some players may remember from early, pre-Steam builds of the game.

Let’s take one last look at everything in the update. Read on for a bit of recap of our previous sneak peeks, as well as a couple of new additions that we haven’t revealed before!

Medical system “mini-rework”

Opiates get more hazardous this update, even if they are still powerful treatment items.

We’ve rebalanced medical items to make each have a clearer use-case and added a few new afflictions. Opiates in particular have been re-tuned, and there are some interesting new details, such as a treatment use for adrenaline and an anti-husk use for sufforin and cyanide. Read more about the medical system overhaul in this earlier post.

Two new monsters

It’s been a while since we’ve added monsters to Barotrauma, but here come two! One of them is a variant, and the other is a creature that used to exist in early builds of the game: the mantis.

The new mantis in the character editor (discover it in the wild next week).

The mantis has actually been “re-added” once or twice already: About five years ago, we felt that it didn’t really belong in the game as it was at the time, so we removed the mantis and created the mudraptor to take its place in the roster. The raptor was well received and we couldn’t imagine Europa without it now, but the mantis has continued to have something of a fanbase, so we later introduced a miniature version of it, the Orange Boy pet.

Even then, we never scrapped the mantis as a possible bring-back candidate, and now the work we did with the medical system offered the perfect opportunity to reintroduce this creature, as it employs poison in its offensive behavior. Look for it in caves, starting next week (hint: you will really have to look for it).

The other new monster is of course the viperling, the poisonous spineling variant we already wrote about a few weeks ago. It’s an extra dangerous late-game ranged enemy that can inflict you with morbusine poisoning. Rest assured, though, it will need to hit you multiple times before the poisoning sets in, and its dead body has a small chance to drop the key ingredient of an antidote, in case you have none around.

Viperlings in action.

New attacks for Abyss monsters

In keeping with our theme of monsters and new threats, we’ve taught the largest monsters in the game some new tricks. They’re better at pinpointing crew member locations inside the submarine, so they are more likely to deal damage to characters and not just to the submarine. Read more about Abyss monster attacks and see a short video about their surprise attack capabilities at the end of this post.

Diving suit rebalance

We’ve made changes to diving suits to make it less overwhelmingly effective to use one round the clock. Suits are still cut out to handle their primary job: protecting you during a hull breach or EVA mission, and we’ve also slowed the flooding speed to give you more time to suit up. Different suit types have been rebalanced on the whole to give them clearer use cases. Read more about the diving suit changes in this earlier post.

The diving suit rebalance is not all nerfs: the exosuit for instance has been buffed and is a lot tankier now.

Conditional animations

We added new walking animations for diving suits, and since we then had support for conditional animations (animations which are triggered by something specific), we added a couple of other new animations too for extra visual flair. The conditional animation support offers modders new possibilities, and we look forward to seeing your custom animations! Read more about the new animations in the same post as the diving suit changes.

Three new conditional animations, can you tell which is which?

Event system overhaul: show, don’t just tell

Previously, our scripted events which occur e.g. aboard stations have been mostly text-based. Barotrauma was initially conceived of as a “not very narrative” game, but as the years have gone by, we’ve found story elements to be in more and more demand. Some years ago we introduced the scripted events system that we use today, and now we’ve made the events also “play out” visually. This adds a lot of immersion to our story-telling, and we’re really excited about our new visual events.

The event overhaul was done based on volunteer work submitted by Uberpendragon, one of our long-time players and Unstable testers. Thank you for the top-notch work!

In addition to making events more visual, we have revisited many of the event outcomes to make player choices more meaningful. We’ve also addressed an earlier oversight and made it possible for multiplayer crews to complete events even when the first crewmate who encounters the event onset ignores it. No more missing events because the first person to trigger the start accidentally ran right past it!

Now when you talk to Mike the Idiot during an event, you will really get to sit down with him.

New wrecks and beacon stations

We’ve created a handful of new wrecks and beacon stations for added variety. There is also a new wreck mission type “Lost Cargo” which has a couple of variants, and in a later update we’ll be adding a few more new wreck and beacon missions.

New campaign difficulty settings

We’re adding a number of new difficulty parameters, which are available as balanced, recommended presets, and as freely adjustable values. These increase and decrease campaign mode difficulty in various ways and allow you to tailor the difficulty experience to your own taste and skill level. The difficulty changes are accompanied by a new server lobby layout which makes all our server settings easier to find. Read more about the campaign difficulty changes in our previous blog post.

New and improved server lobby layout!

What else is new

The update contains the usual list of bugfixes and smaller improvements, besides all the bigger changes introduced here. Below are some highlights from the miscellaneous section.

  • Improvements to the respawning system in multiplayer: We’re removing Reaper’s Tax and replacing it with customizable respawning skill loss, making the skill loss penalties of respawning fully customizable.
  • Option to make messages in the text chat (includes bot dialog and texts sent by players in the text chat) show in a speech bubble above the character. It’s very easy to miss the text chat when it’s “hidden away” in the corner of the screen, so this addition should come in handy. The bubbles also make it much easier to see who’s speaking.
  • A new order for bot crew members to deconstruct items. This is a long overdue quality-of-life improvement: processing items and getting rid of unnecessary items manually has taken a lot of boring, manual labor. Now you can mark items for deconstruction and let the bots take care of the work.
  • Improvements to handling loose items on the floor. It used to be very difficult to target individual items lying around, so we added a highlight system which allows for easier targeting and interaction.
  • A new “drop item” hotkey to quickly drop any item you’re holding. Not bound to any key by default, you can bind it yourself in the game settings.

The Blood in the Water update is scheduled for release halfway through next week on Steam and Epic Games Store. Stay tuned, and let us know how it plays!

Blood in the Water update


  • April 19, 2024
    Kutareev Pavel

    I am really looking forward to the new update, but I would also like to see improvements in fires in the future. In 365 hours, I have encountered only two accidental fires and they were really interesting to deal with. Therefore, I would like you to increase the causes and frequency of fires as an additional element of the variety of the game.

  • April 20, 2024
    Absolute slav


  • April 21, 2024

    Hey, nice work.

    Just add reloading weapons anims and hotkey, for doing that action and thus autosearch into the inv the mags.

  • April 21, 2024
    Roman Corezki

    I really hope that the update will change the gameplay!)

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