Grounded is a new survival game developed by Obsidian Entertainment and published by Xbox Game Studios. It takes the survival genre into a unique and unexpected setting – the backyard. Players are shrunk down to the size of an ant and must survive threats from insects and other household dangers in a seemingly massive world.
Unlike most survival games that take place in fantasy worlds or post-apocalyptic settings, Grounded is set in a familiar suburban backyard. The shift in scale makes normally innocuous items like blades of grass, pebbles, and puddles seem intimidatingly large. Simple obstacles like a raised tree root become challenging to traverse. It adds freshness to the survival gameplay by using a setting most people can easily visualize.
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The core gameplay loop will be familiar to survival game fans – gather resources like plant fibers, acorns, sap, and more in order to craft weapons, armor, food, water collectors, and fortifications to withstand attacks. Players need to regularly consume food and water to stay healthy. They can build bases with defensive structures like spike traps to protect from insect attacks at night.
Exploration of the vast backyard is key to progression. Players will need to venture out farther from their home base over time to gather new resources and discover new crafting recipes. There is currently only one biome available, the peaceful grasslands, but later updates will add new areas like the pond, sandbox, and hedge that bring new environmental challenges.
Combat plays a large role as well. Players will encounter hostile insects like spiders, ladybugs, and ants that vary in aggression levels. Crafted weapons include swords, axes, and ranged options like bows to engage in battles. Light adventuring elements are mixed in through analyzing creatures in a scanner device to unlock new crafting recipes.
- Cooperative survival – Play solo or with up to 3 friends in online co-op. Work together gathering resources, crafting items, building bases, and fighting insect enemies.
- Familiar setting, epic scale – The backyard setting adds visual familiarity, but the shift to an ant’s scale makes it feel unfamiliar and dangerous. Experience the survival genre from a totally new point of view.
- Diverse crafting – Gather resources like acorns, clover leaves, sap, pebbles, and more. Use them to craft weapons like insect axes or black widow bows, defensive walls/structures, and helpful machines using blueprints unlocked by analyzing insects.
- Flowing day/night cycle – Gear up during peaceful daylight to gather resources and fortify your base. Defend against waves of aggressive nocturnal insects at night. Manage your light sources carefully to spot sneaky spiders.
- Mysterious plot – Notes scattered around the yard reveal details behind the experiment that shrunk the characters. Discover clues leading to the abandoned shed lab to potentially reverse the effects.
- Ever-evolving early access – Grounded launched in early access Game Preview. New content like biomes, crafting systems, base buildings, and quality of life features will roll out in major monthly updates based on community feedback.
Why You Should Play Grounded
For survival game fans, Grounded brings a creative twist to the genre. It takes a familiar setting and puts players into an utterly alien feeling environment through the ant-sized perspective. The crafting/building systems let your creativity run wild designing unique bases. Fighting spiders straight up with swords or turning their silk against them with crossbows makes you feel powerful, despite being so physically small and vulnerable.
The early access program provides the opportunity to engage directly with the development team. Your feedback helps shape future content additions and improvements. It’s exciting seeing the game grow on a monthly basis.
Playing solo offers fun challenge, but the cooperative experience takes it to another level. Gathering resources, planning base designs, and battling insects alongside friends leads to emergent stories and great laughs. The community on the Grounded subreddit shares amazing fort creations and epic battles.
If you enjoy rich crafting systems, an intriguing scale-focused twist on survival gameplay, and want to directly influence a game’s ongoing development, Grounded is absolutely worth playing today. As it continues evolving throughout early access, it has huge potential to become the next big survival game. The backyard is an unexpected playground full of dangers only an ant could imagine.
- Scan items like grass planks and pebbles to unlock crafting recipes
- Hold LT (on Xbox) or middle mouse click to analyze creatures and gain raw science points. Use them to purchase recipes from BURG.L bot at the oak tree.
- Resources stack to 50 per inventory slot. You’ll fill up fast, so build chests to expand storage.
- Craft a torch right away so you can see threats at night more easily.
- Build a lean-to style shelter, workbench, and roasting spit near the oak tree early on. This spot has pure water making it a good starter base location.
Once the story tutorial ends, you wake up alone next to the mysterious machine that shrunk you. Now begins true survival and base building. Use what you learned to start gathering resources, scanning items to unlock recipes, building tools/weapons/armor, and constructing your home base.
Venture out farther once your base has storage, fire, water collection, food prep, bed save points, and defenses like spike traps. Explore during the day first, collecting resources and fighting basic insects. Return home before dusk and night to cook food, drink water, repair damaged gear, and sleep through the night.
Tips for New Players
It’s easy feeling overwhelmed at first by everything you can do in Grounded. Keep these tips in mind early on to make the opening hours smoother:
1. Accept death will happen
Death is constant fact of life playing any survival game. In the beginning you’ll likely die a fair bit learning what’s dangerous or simply from poor planning. Don’t get discouraged! Death offers learning opportunities to play smarter next life. Store non-essential items before big adventures so you don’t lose everything when you die.
2. Play slow, play smart
It’s tempting to go on grand adventures immediately, butplaying slow and smart early on pays off long term. Methodically explore close areas first and gather lots of materials. Scan lots of mundane items to unlock crafting stations. Slowly expand your home base with essential buildings before venturing farther. This makes loss from death less punishing.
3. Gear up before fighting
Insect enemies Pose significant threat early on. Avoid fighting until you’ve crafted bandages for healing, armor to reduce damage taken, and better weapons than your starting axe. Lure individual enemies to base defenses rather than fighting groups in open areas. Use towers to rain arrows or lead enemies into spike traps. Preparedness prevents poor performance!
4. Pay attention to statuses
Hunger, thirst, exhaustion are key statuses shown under your health bar. Keep them satisfied! Hunger drains quickly early on. Always carry plant fiber or nuts/berries to snack on so you don’t starve. Drink pure water you’ve stored often. Try to sleep before becoming exhausted. Letting statuses lapse makes everything harder.
5. Join public games
Playing solo is fun but lacks social elements. Join public co-op games to collaborate on big projects, get advice/guidance from veterans, or trade duplicate scans. Helping new players as a veteran yourself trains skills while allowing you to amass huge material stockpiles! Public games keep survival exciting.
The most important tip is simply to have fun! Death, struggle, discovery, creativity, triumph…it’s all part of the Grounded experience. Embrace mishaps as learning opportunities. Savor small victories like successful perfect block counters. Experiment with unusual base designs using acorns for decoration. Early access is about the journey as much as the destination. The backyard holds endless potential for adventure and you get to help guide its ongoing development. Enjoy it!
Crafting is core to progression and survival in Grounded. By collecting basic resources like plant fibers, acorns, sap, pebbles, and more, you can craft weapons to defend yourself, structures to fortify a home base, helpful machines to automate tedious tasks, and much more.
Unlocking crafting recipes requires finding the item in the backyard and holding down the analyze button to scan it. For satisfying more complex recipes, you’ll need a crafting workbench built in a base that lets you combine various basic materials into complex items.
The key items are:
- Workbench – Basic crafting station for most items
- Spinning wheel – Crafts bone tools and powerful smoothies by combining several ingredients
- Armor workbench – Special station for crafting all types of defensive gear
- Oven – Converts sap into charcoal that fuels improved furnaces
- Grill – Quickly cooks meat and insect parts into filling meals
Once you understand the core resources and functions of the various buildable crafting machines, your ability to thrive in the yard grows exponentially.
Many resources used for crafting are easily obtained from typical backyard elements like plants or gathered rocks. Common early game resources include:
Plant fiber – Stripped from most plants like grass, weeds, etc. Extremely common and used in many crafting recipes.
Acorns – Knock them loose from the branches of the oak tree using rocks or your weapons. Also appear near squirrel sites on the ground.
Pebblets – Small stones lying around the backyard, visually distinct from gravel, rocks and quartzite.
Grass planks – Long blades of grass segmented into planks when chopped. Used for building and water collection.
Sap – Obtained from damaging resource-bearing plants like dandelions, thistles, and sprigs. Use sap liberally for torches to light your way or fuel for campfires and roasting spits. It’s incredibly versatile early game.
Quartzite – Large jagged rocks containing raw quartzite material used for smooth stone building pieces. Requires a level 2 axe or higher to mine after scanning it first.
Of special note early game are sprigs and dandelions:
- Sprigs – Appear as small sprouts on the ground with glowing orange mushroom caps atop them. Damaging them yields both sap and spores, an early game food source. They respawn over time.
- Dandelion tufts – Dandelions provide lots of materials for crafting and food. Hacking the tufts yields both sap and fuzzy tuft spores. The flower petals are great for making smoothies that grant beneficial statuses. And you can attack the puffball itself repeatedly to get loads of fuzz used to start fires.
Other resources become available as you explore farther from the oak tree and revolve more around enemies or new biomes:
- Insect parts from ladybugs, stink bugs, bombardier beetles, ants, mosquitos and more are key for better armor sets and filling meals
- Bones from dead fireflies or infected mites serve as handles for axes, hammers and shovels
- Honeydew, milk molars, and ant parts become available once you unlock the hedge biome
- Sand, clay, and pebbles are abundant in the sandbox biome
- Minnow meat and scales from pond fish enable water breathing helmets and fins for easier swimming
Prioritize collecting staples first like plant fiber for building structures, sap for fuel utility, and spores/meat for food resources. As you scan more complex gadget, food, or armor recipes, hunt down insects to gather the parts you still need.
The crafting menu unfolds into many categories based on item type like tools, containers, consumables etc. Key items to craft early for exploration include:
- Torch – Essential light source for night time excursions
- Canteen – Carry pure water to stay hydrated away from base
- Smoothies – Grant major temporary status buffs like attack up, stamina regen, or poison resistance
- Koi armor – All-purpose set offering balanced defensive protection
- Insect bow – Effective ranged weapon for kiting enemies or pulling individuals from groups
- Shovel – Digs up loose soil patches containing abundant clay resources
For base building, prioritize projects that establish survival fundamentals before cosmetic vanity items:
- Lean-to – Simple angled grass floor tile offering first form of shelter to sleep
- Spinning wheel – Lets you process ingredients together into useful items like smoothies
- Dew collector – Passively generates clean water over time at a water source
- Fire pit – Controllable campfire for cooking and slowly converting sap into charcoal
- Standing torch – Permanent yard light that keeps your base visible at night
Defensive gear is also vital to explore more threatening biomes safely:
- Bandage – Stop bleeding status effect and slowly heal health
- Gas arrow – Temporarily wards off clouds of mosquitos
- Crossbow – Pull away individual enemies with the attached rope
- Spike traps – Lead enemies into punji sticks for huge damage
And don’t underestimate jerky treats for keeping hunger at bay!
Crafting gear for personal use is only half the battle. You’ll also need to construct full bases with crafting stations, storage chests, lighting, and defensive fortifications.
The build menu offers dozens of structural pieces in various materials like grass, acorn shell, insect parts, clay, pebbles, and more. From simple floor tiles and walls to angled roofs, wrapped stairs, doors, windows and more decorative objects.
Craft the field stations first to unlock recipes. Then build chests for storage space. Use basic grass or stem floors and walls to create enclosed rooms. Add lean-to style roofs overhead. Place standing torches around the perimeter for light. Build outward from there with materials gathered from biomes.
Mixing materials creates unique aesthetics. Incorporate acorn accents, clay bricks, or insect shells into walls and floors for visual variety. Some players even decorate heavily with items like gum nuggets.
Defensive structures become vital as you provoke more insects:
- Spikes – Cheapest deterrent causing damage over time to enemies moving through them
- Wall mounts – Attach spike spikes and sprig bows to walls/floors for automated perimeter defense
- Fences/Railings – Bug proof borders to prevent unintended access or falling from heights
- Turrets – Mounted crossbows and sprig bows that automatically fire at enemies in range
Elevation keeps you safe from grounded insects trying to attack your walls. Build stairways to roof access where you can fire down freely with arrows or throw bombs. Create towers with log spikes underneath to lead enemies into while pelting them from safety.
Fortifying and decorating a main central grass base while expanding into satellite bases nearer key resources nodes works extremely well. Connect them with zip lines for rapid transport across the massive backyard.
You can upgrade tools, weapons, and buildings to higher levels by applying quartzite to improve their stats and grant additional modifier perks. For example, upgrading shovels lets you dig faster. Higher tier axes chop faster and yield more resources per swing.
Each item type maxes at level 5 upgrades. To upgrade gear, equip it in your hand then open the upgrade menu from your inventory. Hover over the item and hold the upgrade prompt to spend 1 quartzite. The more times upgraded, the higher each level costs.
Weapons gain significant damage bonuses from upgrades. Effects like bleeding, poison, salt, or sizzle can be added to quickly defeat tough enemies. Make upgrading your go-to weapons a priority.
For bases, certain buildings like spinning wheels can also be upgraded to unlock additional crafting recipe tabs for items like smoothies. Prioritize upgrading your food prep and cooking stations early to avoid starvation.
With weapons and bases upgraded as needed, spend spare quartzite on niche utility items like gas arrows for exploring the haze or canteens to minimize thirst on long adventures. Quartzite is plentiful from mining large stone outcroppings. Don’t let it go to waste in storage chests!
Combat is inevitable trying to survive the backyard. As you gather resources, expand bases farther from the oak tree, or provoke creatures, you’ll be forced to fight a menagerie of insects. From ambushing spiders to territorial ants, stingers-up bombardier beetles, and swampy mosquitos, there are many threats to defend against.
You start with a simple axe and bow for melee and ranged combat. As you gather insect parts from scavenging dead bugs or defeating live ones, your arsenal rapidly expands to offer creative solutions for dealing with specific creatures or playstyles. Combat difficulty also increases exponentially at night when hostile nocturnal predators emerge from hiding to hunt.
While some insects like aphids and gnats ignore the player, many you encounter will be aggressive. Learning optimal tactics for each type takes time. Preparation always eases difficulty. Make crafting stronger weapons, restorative healing items like first aid bandages or hearty meals, and defensive armor key priorities. Gear up before picking fights!
Common early game insect enemies include:
Ants – The worker and soldier ants patrol the hill protecting their treasure-filled nest. Disrupting their work angers the colony. Variants include soldier ants (heavy melee damage), workers that spray acid, or rarer flying red ants.
Dust mites – Appear during the day as lone creatures the size of mice. Easily scared if confronted but hit hard in groups due to infectious bites that cause slowing venom.
Black ox beetles – Large tanky beetles with thick shell armor you first encounter. Do heavy slam damage. Can’t climb smooth stems.
Bombardier beetles – Vile tempered bugs that shoot boiling acid spray jets as a ranged attack. Strafe around them briskly.
Larvae – Squishy fleshy grubs found stuck on the side of plants or trees. Use torches to burn webbing and access them. Harmless alone but call nearby spidelings for aid.
Spiders – Nocturnal predators present the most constant threat. Several types exist:
- Wolf Spiders – Howl before skittering forth on five legs to chase prey. Incredibly fast! Use hit and run tactics. Can climb anywhere.
- Orb Weavers – Phase in suddenly ahead dropping sticky webbing traps then vanish again. Carry bandages to heal over time!
- Jump Spiders – Pounce long distances if attempted ranged combat but very frail up close. Counter attack after dodges.
The crafting menu unleashes plenty of unique weapon archetypes to tailor towards your playstyle. Both ranged and melee ultimately prove vital. Shoot weaker ranged attacks to pull lone creatures from groups for isolated fights. Wield spears or swords when groups close into swinging distance.
- Spear – Long skewer letting you attack from safety outside enemy strike range
- Larval blade/Insect axe – Upgradable insect limb axes with balanced speed/damage
- Black ox hammer – Slow crushing weapon that inflicts impact trauma damage
- Spider dagger – Quick short blades coated in weakening venom that prevents healing
- Salty Morning Star – Spiky orb at the end of a stick drenches foes to inflict steady salt damage over time
- Mosquito needle – Lunging rapier able to hit flying creatures. Pairs well with crossbow to pull enemies in for a deep stab!
- Acorn bow – All purpose starter bow shooting fast acorn arrows
- Insect bow– Charged shots inflict piercing spike damage. Adds elemental effects when upgraded. Can cripple insect limbs!
- Bombadier bile sack– Lobs volatile acid globs that ignite into sizable persistent acid patches upon surface impacts.
- Sprig bow– Shoots multiple needles rapidly hosing weaker targets with a flurry of shots. Use wall mounts for turrets!
- Gas arrows – Temporarily drives away hostile mosquitos and gnats in the target area
- Stones – Pebblets and chunks of Quartzite can be chucked as throwing weapons to conserve arrows
Don’t ignore craftable ammunition either! Basic arrows work initially but speciality bolts add helpful effects:
- Feather arrows – Increase arrow velocity and range significantly at the cost of some damage
- Gum arrows – Splash goo that slows insects movements temporarily with direct hits
- Marble arrows – Heavy projectiles that smash through shell armor delivering crushing damage
- Lint arrows – Use near torch fires to ignite wrapped lint increasing damage. Burns away in sunlight.
Mix up weapons to capitalize on specific weaknesses. Hammers and marbles crack sturdy shells while axes chop off soft legs. Acid and sizzle debilitate flying foes hovering safely out of melee reach. Taking a prepared arsenal tailored to known threats removes frustration battling bugs.
Crafting sturdy armor reduces incoming damage from attacks allowing you to survive longer against groups or individual heavy hitters. The crafting menu unlocks multiple complete sets as you gather chitin, shells, pupa pelts from dead insects or explore farther biomes.
Each set focuses on either energy efficiency by reducing stamina costs for dodging and jumping, raw defense to absorb more damage, or elemental resistances. Mixing one piece of each type yields a well-rounded build.
- Acorn shell
- Clover suit
- Black Ox
- Ladybug puppet
- Broodmother Chitin
- Firefly/Lightning bug shell
Prioritize crafting the ladybug set first for general exploration. Antlion gear enhances quick hit and run tactics while Black Ox builds deliver ruthlessness tanking hits to trade back heavier damage. Mixing gear and upgrading with quartzite is key to balancing defense and offense capabilities.
The tier 2 spider armor set excels providing immunity to annoying web snares and venom effects making spiders themselves trivial to defeat!
Every new foe tests your adaptability to react correctly defensively while identifying prime opportunities to safely counter attack. Be patient learning behaviors! Rushing thoughtlessly into combat typically proves fatal. Use these strategies:
Lure out individuals – Many enemies lurk in groups with strength in numbers. You rarely want to fight packs alone up close. Instead utilize corners, grass blades and ranged attacks to pull individuals away from support safely.
Elevation wins – Guarantee the high ground advantage whenever possible. Grass blades, stems, and leaf edges serve as natural platforms to rain down attacks outside melee range.
Retreat is valid – Know your limits! If a fight goes badly with lots of dodging and blocked hits draining stamina, it’s no shame to disengage and run away. Regroup by sleeping to recover health and refresh hunger/thirst. A tactical retreat ensures you keep your sweet new ladybug armor parts without death risk!
Traps disable threats – Learning behaviors to trick enemies into environmental traps removes all difficulty quickly with comedic results! Lure bombardier beetles under suspended acorns to crush them instantly. Push ladybugs into the red anthill trail to be swarmed. Get spiders caught on your own craft spike traps!
Divide and conquer groups – Wolf spiders travel in packs at night. Orb weavers spawn camp with sticky webs. Ant hills swarm to protect their precious eggs. You’ll quickly die tackling more than two enemies at once starting out. Instead utilize corners and grass walls to break line of sight and isolate one target from their friends. Bombs, gas arrows and kiting melee attacks all distract groups allowing you to dash through gaps and pull individuals away to even odds benefiting your chances of victory tremendously. Rinse and repeat to clear masses safely.
The most important tip is simply knowing when to walk away and come back better equipped later once your skills and gear improve! Certain insects like the infected mite will overwhelm new players fast. Return later wielding the mighty salt morning star and antlion armor set to clobber the source of past woes with ease. Grounded offers that wonderful power fantasy payoff as your backyard prowess grows exponentially. Soon you’ll be the monster insects tell horror stories about!
The backyard may seem small and safe at first glance but once shrunk down to the size of an ant it becomes an expansive, treacherous environment brimming with threats. Exploration unlocks the crafting potential needed to thrive in Grounded.
The oak tree, mysterious machine, and simple grasslands serve as the starting area. You’ll want to construct an initial base here with all the crafting stations, chests for storage, lighting, and basic fortifications. Use this as a jumping off point to explore farther regions.
Venturing out during daylight when most predators sleep makes early forays safer. Move methodically gathering resources, scanning new items for blueprints, and fighting easier insects. Return home to sleep/eat/drink/repair before night falls.
Eventually you’ll need to explore more dangerous biomes offering unique crafting ingredients found exclusively within them. The effort braving these lethal zones results in gear that eases subsequent return trips.
The opening zone offers a relaxed difficulty perfect for learning basics before riskier biomes. Familiarize yourself with:
- Oak tree – Massive landmark serving as initial guidepoint to get your bearings. Build first base here. Offers pure water.
- Mysterious machine – Discover clues about the experiments that shrunk your character. Locate the abandoned shed lab!
- Grasslands – Rolling fields of tall grass with vital early game resources like plant fiber, sap, dandelions. Offers protection from ground insects unable to break the grass wall barriers.
- The hedge – Imposing bush wall blocking one corner of the yard. Treacherous but holds juicy rewards for pushing through!
- Picnic table – Elevated wood platform perfect for isolating yourself from melee range ground insects. Lets you fire down freely with arrows.
- Trash heap – Pile of discarded junk by the fence holds countless little areas to explore. Great source early quartzite.
- The sandbox – Sandbox by the back patio mixes safety with deadliness. Dig underground to escape threats on surface while battling darkness and underwater creatures.
- The pond – Life-giving fishing holes vital for keeping hydrated…if you can avoid becoming minnow food yourself!
Familiar sights like lawn flamingos, backyard Scientifically flowers, and the lonely juice box take on special significance now that you’re shrunken tiny. Sometimes just finding ways to reach areas previously inaccessible delivers that exciting feeling of exploration and discovery Grounded builds upon so well.
The sandbox becomes available immediately once you disposal analyze the wooden plank leading up to it. This small zone only takes a few minutes to cross corner to corner, but offers key clay soil resources, hiding spots from insects, and unique threats.
Sandboxes make perfect fort locations given their raised lip keeps grounded insects out. Ladders or grapple hooks let you scale in and out safely. However, dangers lurk below and above. Establish chest storage nearby rather than inside to minimize losses when you die…and you will die frequently at first!
Hostile inhabitants include:
- Black widow spider – Enormous predator that spawns at night. Incredibly deadly poison. Avoid or use ranged attacks only!
- Bombardier beetle – Burrows under the sand shooting acid high into the air. Listen for its hissing “weapons hot” audio clue before it attacks from below!
- Water fleas – Nearly invisible to the naked eye. Aggressively attack anything entering water filled zones of the sandbox, quickly overwhelming you from all sides with tiny biting mandibles while obstructing your vision with their sheer numbers!
Surviving the sandbox means exercising extreme caution at night and exploiting underground tunnels during the day cycle. Dig into submerged areas but ensure to wall off the entranceway with clays or doors preventing fleas from flooding inside after you.
Craft sand diving gear to safely reach bounties below. Mining clay soil unlocks sturdy building materials to replace vulnerable grass pieces in bases. Quartzite deposits yield upgrade materials. Analyze jellyfish remains for future smoothie recipes. Just stay wary of surprise bombardier ambushes!
Beyond the ominous hedge lies the pond biomes – still water pools that introduce dangerous new insect denizens alongside much needed hydration. Surviving here means balancing water collection with staying off the menu for hungry predators!
The pond unlocks entirely new crafting trees utilizing various materials:
- Oxygen tree – Create tanks, pumps and bells to allow breathing underwater
- Gill tree – Mutates your genetics (temporarily) to grow gills and webbed feet for swimming ease
- Fishing – Craft a fishing spear and start skewering delicious minnows!
Aside from aggressive fish, the ponds host other deadly insects like water spiders marching along the silty bottom and diving bell spiders waiting to ambush along the surface. Prepare before diving straight in!
Tips for thriving
- Establish a pond base with lean-to shelter, fire spit, chest storage. Use dam walls to isolate a safe water source free of hostile spiders and fish
- Collect clay soil from pond bottoms to craft sturdy seabed-themed base pieces resistant to water decay
- Oxygen gear reduces stress while gill smoothies transforms you into an amphibious antperson at home in the briny deep!
- Fix leaks in your underwater base using repair glue crafted from science samples
While intimidating at first glance, the pond biome serves as a bountiful treasure trove once properly prepared for. Use raw science to unlock stronger spears and bows tailored to defeating spiders both ashore and afloat in their aquatic hunting grounds – then feast on sashimi to your tiny heart’s delight!
The ominous haze barricades the mysterious upper corner of the backyard early on. This biome lives up to its foreboding appearance for unprepared travelers. Within lies treasure and crafting potential unmatched elsewhere…for those capable of surviving the journey.
The hazy air itself brings danger over time. While non-lethal alone, it obscures vision allowing easy ambushes. Dense spore particle concentrations irritate lungs causing health to drop when sprinting unless wearing gas masks. Littered moldy food scraps means starvation builds rapidly.
Fungal growth inside the haze offers new base building materials with oddly satisfying bioluminescent glows. Spongy mycelium floors, towering mushrooms, and towering stem walls echo environments of classic fantasy games. Quartzite crystals jut randomly adding hazards underfoot but deliver upgrade materials easily when mined.
Battling through the haze tests combat prowess against strange mutated infected variants of familiar insects now sporting fungus exteriors. Their erratic attacks spread dangerous infections that cripple your stamina regeneration. Ants crawl with additional spider-like limbs. Bombardiers spew searing acid indoors forcing sudden retreats. Bring ample bandages and salves to cure infections immediately before they stack too high!
Later expeditions reveal an abandoned termite nest looming tall as a skyscraper with multiple interior chambers. Each room introduces several new threats such as putrid waste explosions. Yeasty carbonated lakes may trap the unwary ultimately drowned in bubbly vats teaming with bizarre microbes. Exercise extreme care exploring vertically here!
The effort braving the haze’s dangers proves worthwhile. The scavenger smoothie prevents food decay temporarily while milk molars gathered from haze ants open the amazing base potential of domesticating aphids yourself later on for a sustainable resource farm. That alone makes pushing through worth it!
Surviving the backyard requires constantly balancing four key statistics displayed under your health bar: hunger, thirst, stamina, and rest. Let any of them lapse too long and consequences rapidly spiral causing demise. You’ll need to craft gear to automate collection of food and water over time while being vigilant to sleep before becoming exhausted.
Hunger drains fairly rapidly through activity like chopping plants, running, fighting enemies or taking damage. Carry plant fiber or cooked meat to snack often.
Thirst builds more slowly initially but ramps up quicker if exerting yourself under hot daylight or without a hat protecting you from exposure. Drink clean water anytime you pass by storage caches rather than waiting for the indicator to flash red.
Stamina allows sprinting, dodging incoming attacks, and chopping tools rapidly. Certain armor reduces costs while smoothies or food temporarily increase maximum stamina and regeneration rate. Try not to fully exhaust stamina during combat or you’ll be unable to flee safely if overwhelmed!
Rest represents sleepiness. Doing activities gradually progresses an exhaustion meter that once filled completely prevents regaining stamina while active. Find a safe spot to sleep on grass or in an enclosed shelter before hitting maximum exhaustion or you may pass out randomly outdoors leaving you extremely vulnerable!
Ignoring any of these key statistics for too long quickly spirals out of control. Hunger prevents regaining stamina which eventually leads to collapsing from exhaustion. Exhaustion without sleep means you can’t refill stamina or defend yourself. Thirst accelerates other drains rapidly. Keep all statuses balanced and you’ll thrive!
Hunger strikes rapidly in Grounded even when sitting idle. You have maybe two in-game hours before starvation becomes fatal. However, many nourishing options exist to stave off pangs:
Foraging drink and food
- Plant fiber – Abundantly renewable source to craft bandages as well
- Sap – Drinkable calories from damaged plants like grass and dandelions
- Sprigs – Glowing mushrooms offer early food. They respawn over time when cut down.
- Spores and fuzz – Gathers from bursting fungal growths on dandelions and burst spore sacks scattered around
- Aphid honeydew- Once tamed at bases, aphids passively drip sweet honeydew. Craft bottles to gather easily.
- Insect meat – All bugs or spiders drop various types of meat good for basic jerky. Ant heads make great candy!
- Fresh minnow meat, gnat meat, water flea meat – Fishing introduces great new proteins
- Pupas and larvae – Silk cocoons and larvae grubs offer exotic treats with various effects
- Complete meals (roasted, boiled, fried)- Mix and match proteins and vegetables into complete hardy meals that offer greater nutrition
- Smoothies – Blend plants, insect parts and milk molars into odd tonics granting temporary boons
Build storage chests to safely bank excess food you gather to avoid losing it unexpectedly. At minimum create the following projects early:
- Dew collector – Passively collects clean water over time needing only periodic emptying into canteens
- Lean-to shelter – Safe respawn point for when you die with interior fire spit to cook basic meat items into filling jerky.
- Drying rack – Cures fresh meats into non-perishable jerky. Vital until acquiring fridges!
- Oven – Processes flammable sap oddly into long burning charcoal needed for higher tier gear
- Grinder – Combine proteins and vegetables into complete filling meals
Water appears the abundant pure early on from dew droplets or collected in shell containers. However, inventory space limits how much you can carry forcing frequent return trips.
Eventually you’ll need to unlock technologies to automate renewable clean water sources:
- Dew collectors placed near plants passively gather clean water drips over time that can be bottled up.
- Several smoothies allow safely drinking dirty contaminated water temporarily without risk of disease. Craft when exploring new biomes before bases are built!
- Dams crafted from clay soil dug up block water flow letting you isolate safe pools protecting access.
Placing pallets enables passive body temperature regulation so you’re not sweating constantly under the baking sun. Wear hats woven from woven fiber to reduce exposure gaining thirst.
Once you’ve established renewable food and water production, hunger and thirst rarely threaten. You can focus exploration efforts on gathering upgrade materials and new ingredients to try cooked recipes for their beneficial effects!
Safe resting spots are vital to recover health or simply sleep through the treacherous night time cycle avoiding spider hordes on the hunt. The crafting system offers several shelter options from bare minimum to ultimate luxury:
- Lean-to – Simple protective grass or stem ceiling. Functions as basic respawn point if killed and contains campfire interior. Provides safety to sleep avoiding idle threats.
- Multiroom base – Core living building with walls, door, ceiling. Add storage, gear display stands, lighting and rebuilt crafting stations. Make cozy!
- Luxury tree sap villa – Impressive towering buildings made of polished sap walls lit by colorful lights. Puts ant architectural engineering on full display with a balcony view!
Obtain quartzite and start replacing vulnerable grass bits with sturdy clay foundation and insect paneled walls. Add lean-to roofs overhead to reduce weather exposure. Align entrances away from external dangers. Then build upward once bottom floor is fully enclosed.
Leaving oak tree sap tapped over time generates huge sap deposits that polish into shiny pleasant varnish. This aids waterproofing and neon ambient lighting options. Transform simple utilitarianism into welcoming extravagance!
Add comfort items like pallets, paint art on walls, decorate with memorabilia found while exploring. Building mushroom chandeliers, quartzite water features, sweet sweet comfortable chairs after hours of adventure reminds you creature comforts offer motivation pushing forward through adversity!
Health often feels straightforward – don’t take damage and you’ll stay alive. However, health links intricately with the other survival systems. Taking hits inflicts wounds from various damage sources:
- Generic damage – Direct reduction of health bar
- Poison damage over time – Inflicted by spiders or infected mites. Negates passive regeneration. Carry bandages!
- Venom damage over time – Weaker poison from dust mites that halves health regeneration rate
- Infections – Exposure to spore clouds or the haze itself risks growing an infection meter filling slower than poison. At 25% threshold your maximum stamina begins dropping making activity punishing. Use smoothies with living goop resource or fungal growth biomes to cleanse infections.
- Bleeding status – Quickly trickles down health after certain devastating attacks. Bandages stop blood loss! Eat food to start regen.
So while keeping health high seems simple conceptually, in practice it proves more complex. Utilize the crafting systems to automate passive health regeneration and cure debilitating status ailments:
- Lean-to shelters contain interior fires that passively regen health over time when you sleep safely. Utilize them!
- Craft bandages at bases to carry on adventures stopping bleeding, slowly regaining health.
- Upgrading huts with comfy chairs speeds passive regeneration nicely.
- Medicinal smoothies grant regeneration boosts and cure venom/infection statuses.
With food, water, rest and medicine readily available back at bases your health becomes much easier to sustain maxed outside of combat. Then you can focus offensive upgrades to wipe out insects before they ever damage your precious little exoskeleton!
Surviving the backyard alone offers satisfying challenge testing your mettle against swarms of insects and environmental hazards. However, playing cooperatively with friends multiples enjoyment exponentially! Grounded supports up to 4 players adventuring together.
Benefits abound teaming up:
- Gather more resources thanks to combined harvesting efforts
- Build bigger bases by assigning construction tasks
- Drastically eased combat against problematic insects
- Creative problem solving tackling obstacles as a group
- Social engagement joking around while you play
If you have gaming friends with an Xbox console or PC who enjoy survival games, you absolutely must convince them to download Grounded for some co-op backyard antics! Solo players can also join random online games through matchmaking by toggling Public on from the main menu if none of your existing friends play currently.
How to Play Together
- On Xbox consoles, the friends playing together need an Xbox Live subscription to play online multiplayer. Local splitscreen is unavailable.
- PC players connect online through the Xbox PC app using an Xbox account. Crossplay allows combining PC and Xbox players seamlessly.
- On Xbox, group up by inviting friends directly from your friends list. Or utilize integrated LFG posts through the system itself seeking public groups.
- PC users invite by Shift+Tab > Social > Groups then selecting players from your friends list who own Grounded.
When partied up, have one player host a new game or load an existing backed up save. Set game type to Co-op. For a new game, everyone will begin trapped together beside the mysterious shrink ray device ready to start fresh adventures. In existing saves, joining players spawn at the hosts’ current position in that saved backyard.
While only the host environment saves permanently, other players keep equipped gear and resources gathered when playing together through temporary profiles. So splitting up gathering certain materials that can be shared around benefits individual progress.
Playing co-op allows tackling objectives as a specialization team:
- Explorers venture out gathering stories pieces and finding optimal new base locations
- Builders transform raw materials hauls into fully functional crafting stations at home
- Guards stand watch sleeping nearby key base installations providing an early warning system if raided overnight. Or escort expedition groups keeping threats at bay.
- Hunters feed survivors by mixing combat prowess with cooking know-how preparing meals
- Scientists capture insects for analysis then distribute leftover parts for armorers crafting upgrades
Benefits of Playing Together
Teamwork conquers challenges faster through number advantages:
- Carry more food types scrumptious group meals simultaneously utilizing full palettes
- Construct quarries rapidly mining abundant quartzite for upgrades
- Establish outposts across the expansive yard marking key resource nodes or links to distant regions
- Share scanning discoveries to rapidly open crafting potential for everyone
- Capture live ladybug specimens in insect jars to airlift home analyzing later safely
Specializing into roles allows playing favorite aspects without burning out handling everything solo. You effortlessly end with ample supplies by separating duties conveniently.
The social aspects shouldn’t be understated either! Adventure stories organically develop (like dramatically escaping ambushes by boat across pond waters). You’ll laugh frequently at silly misfortunes befalling someone. The tension awaiting nightly insect sieges on your shared home connecting walls together feels palpable. Having company along the journey improves morale when you undoubtedly die often early on learning the backyard’s many perils through painful trial and error.
Tips for Playing Together
Avoid duplication lag – Crafting tons of objects strains network connections causing dramatic lag spikes from data synchronization. Have each player build unique gear rather than everyone spam crafting full acorn armor sets individually. Duplicate needed essentials like bandages instead.
Use your words – Describe what you’re doing to avoid confusion on split objectives. Say you’re breaking off pine needles gathering fibers rather than silently wandering away mid-conversation. Updates avoid players losing track of each other.
Mark landmarks – Utilize the distance-visible construct印easomeones to flag pathways home as you push farther out. Having frequent visual checkpoints avoids disorientation if separated.
Specialize roles – Focus individual players on key tasks like base defense, resource harvesting, exploration trailblazing based on personal strengths to maximize productivity. Review discoveries later sharing wisdom around a campfire!
Synchronize operations – When tackling tense dungeons filled with infected bugs or raiding ant hills, coordinate gameplans so everyone understands the objective priority. Maybe establish a rally point to retreat safely if someone goes down in the field. Review with the team afterwards regardless of success or failure to improve group tactics.
Backup saves regularly – Only host worlds save permanently. So jumping into an established server means you’ll lose current inventory/buildings by leaving later. Have hosts upload cloud copies to avoid losing tens of hours of combined construction because they didn’t manually save before a catastrophic wolf spider attack!
Be courteous – Avoid attacking others randomly when at bases. The backyard itself serves enough hardship without so called “friends” introducing more grief! If you must duel, speak up first and start far outside valuable base limits.
Following these tips ensures your multiplayer backyard escapades go smoothly. Soon you’ll be proudly giving virtual tours showing off epic towers built collaboratively that you’d struggle alone constructing in the same reasonable timeframe. Shared success bonds teams together. The future promises exciting additions like drivable ants and decorative building sets too!
Grounded launched as an early access game in 2020, with Obsidian planning to keep it in active development for at least a few years adding substantial new content over time. As a game preview title, players get insight into the evolution from barebones beginning to (hopefully) feature rich completion.
Obsidian shares a public Trello roadmap outlining upcoming features in each major patch. You can vote on cards to influence priority. Developers and community managers give Tweet updates plus livestream deep dives into new additions on their YouTube channel.
As an early adopter, you’ll experience fresh backyard expansions monthly influenced heavily by player feedback. Enjoy the ride watching Grounded grow!
Whole new regions of the yard await future unlocking, dramatically increasing the explorable playspace:
The shed – Derelict lab interior with clues about past experiments
The field – Vast plains filled with ravenous ladybugs and birds
The hedge maze – Winding dark labyrinth teeming with spiders
The picnic table – Towering elevated wood platform for base building
The garage – Massive indoor workshop zone with oil pits and noisy machinery
Each new area introduces not just fresh crafting materials from unique plants or insects, but also environmental hazards to overcome like floods. Having more themed base building sets inspires creativity letting you construct a lakehouse treebase or murky marsh hut blending into specific areas smoothly.
What fun would expansions offer if they only added pretty places to see? New inhabitants arise challenging your combat skills:
Bee swarms – Angry buzzing bees defend their hives aggressively attacking any perceived threats near precious honey stores
Infected wolf spiders – How could fangs and fangs dripping with rabid goop be even more intimidating? Making spiders faster of course!
Ladybug larvae – Vicious offspring of the normally docile ladybug species who attack unprovoked in groups
Mosquito swarms – Thought one bloodsucker was bad enough? Try facing down doppler drone clouds Covering whole zones
Chompy bird – Early glimpses show bipedal birds towering taller than players lurking in the grasslands
Future foes push backyard prowess earned defeating current creatures. Utilize gear perfected against past bugs: lure scrappy larva under acorn boulders, ignite sticky spiderwebs to burn encroaching infected variants, plug bamboo spears Spider cracks then kick them into hazards while they repair damage! Knowledge endures between battles.
Obsidian plans expanding existing crafting trees plus a few all new ones:
Ziplines and pulleys – Construct conveyor lines linking bases to rapidly transport resources across map areas. Craft counterweight elevator platforms along towering stems
Domestication system – Analyze aphids fully to earn unlock saddles letting you mount them as controllable steeds and moving supply convoys! Lead impromptu jousts charging atop fierce weevils into battle. Employ explosive bombardier beetles as living artillery siege weapons against rival player bases!
Mounted combat – Epic warring atop insects spreads beyond just riders. Equip specialized flooring allowing housing spiders or ants inside your fort walls unleashing them against invaders!
Food cultivation – Grow your own renewable food supplies on plots safely located on rooftops and inside greenhouses free of trampling threats.
New Gameplay Mechanics
Aside from new craftable objects, fresh features update sandbox interactivity:
Electrical systems – Complex power grids open mass automation potential. Build power sources converting kinetic energy from spinning wheels into stored battery charges powering devices remotely like turrets. Disable rival fort defenses sneakily cutting their main lines!
Weather effects – Frequent rains or blazing heat waves make basic survival more challenging forcing adaption. Use temperature regulating gear to prevent heat stroke while exploring desert areas. Seek shelter avoiding lightning strikes during storms or risk getting fried!
Mounted NPC factions – Friendly riders patrol preset paths through regions offering dialogue, trading, or questing opportunities. Help fix an injured moth’s wings and gain safe air transport unlocking elevated base locations. Fend off aggressive wasp invaders threatening allied firefly villages to access their precious light-based gear crafting knowledge!
Drivable rides – Analyze juice box straws and grass stems to construct land sail skiffs trailing twine knots speeds across flat fields. Engineer diving bells from eggshells granting underwater mobility. Salvage batteries powering remote control cars found abandoned around the yard and race friends dizzyingly around obstacles!
The Future of Grounded
As an early access game, Grounded’s future remains full of potential. Obsidian plans to keep actively developing it for at least another few years, adding a plethora of new content and features based on community feedback.
The roadmap includes expansive new backyard regions to explore like the hedge maze and garage workshop, complete with fresh crafting resources and dangerous insect inhabitants like the terrifying bird. New gameplay systems will dramatically expand base building and survival mechanics through electricity grids, controllable mounts like rideable ants and bees, dynamic weather, and NPC faction quests.
It’s an exciting time experiencing these backyard developments sequentially firsthand rather than getting everything together at 1.0 launch. Early adopters get to guide priorities helping evolve Grounded towards its best self over multiple updates. The finished product will feel intensely personalized as ideas you voted for become realized content to enjoy.
Obsidian plans to support Grounded long term too with cosmetic DLC packs and potential story expansions down the road. For just $30 at launch, you gain endless adventure as the backyard continuously grows over an evolving journey the dev team shares openly through development blogs, videos, and streams.
Why You Should Play Grounded
Grounded flips the survival genre perspective to an unexpectedly familiar yet alien scale. The shift in scope adds freshness through visual flips turning benign objects like flowers or puddles into epic set pieces. It taps into childhood potential imaginatively looking at the micro world below unaware feet.
The crafting systems reward mixing and matching cross-category creations organically leading to unique moments of emergent play. Leading groups into spikes unpredictably snares them while luring bombers into splash traps pins them helplessly for ranged barrages. You grow meaningfully empowered definably over time by smart world knowledge application.
The inviting atmosphere provided through environmental set dressing lore reminds you of past innocent summers without escaping fantastical confrontation. Juxtaposing gleeful play areas against imposing deadly spiders poking fun at tropes. Contrast breeds engagement.
Early access extends an invite behind the scenes fostering transparency and collaborative development unity complementing excellent moment to moment backyard bliss. Key coming content additions feel tangibly anticipated rather than vaguely promised harvesting roadmap hype. Journeys unfold ahead together!