How to play Subnautica on Mac

Screenshot of Subnautica

Subnautica is a popular open world survival craft game developed by Unknown Worlds Entertainment. It was originally released for Windows and Mac on 23 Jan, 2018.

What is Subnautica?

Here's a quick description:

Descend into the depths of an alien underwater world filled with wonder and peril. Craft equipment, pilot submarines and out-smart wildlife to explore lush coral reefs, volcanoes, cave systems, and more - all while trying to survive.

How to play Subnautica using Parallels

Even if you don't have a PC, you can install Windows on your Mac using Parallels. Parallels is virtualization software with full support of DirectX and GPUs, which will give you a decent graphics performance. With a couple of clicks, you can install Windows 10 on Mac and ten switch between MacOS and Windows instantly. You can run Windows just like on a regular PC, install Steam and enjoy Subnautica game on Mac.

Even though the virtualization is relatively easy to set up, it requires you to buy both Parallels and Windows licenses. Since you'll be running two operating systems side by side, you'll need to dedicate at least 20-30GB of disk space for this setup and also a strong machine to run both operating systems at the same time.

If you have an older Mac or have a Mac with an M1 chip which doesn't fully support virtualization yet, you might want to try a virtual computer running in the cloud such as Second Computer.

How to play Subnautica using Second Computer

Alternatively, you can create a virtual computer in the cloud using Second Computer. Instead of license fee for Windows and Parallels, you pay by the hour (so it's much cheaper if you are using it infrequently) and you control the computer via a web browser. That means even if you have an older computer, you can run the latest games in the cloud without maxing out your processor or memory.

One added benfit is that since the computer is located in the cloud, you can access it from any device you own. So in theory you can play Subnautica not just from your Mac, but also from your iPhone and Android device (it's not going to be a very nice experience though on such a small screen size).

Either way, Second Computer provides a nice alternative for running non-native Mac apps on your Mac by connecting to a computer in the cloud.

Happy gaming!

Open World Survival CraftSurvivalOpen WorldExplorationUnderwater

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Jan 20, 2021



Aug 4, 2020

SubnauticaGenreSurvival/OpenWorldCampaignYesGame length20 - 40 hoursDifficulty modes4Metacritic Score87🔸 We are spoiled for choice in the Survival genre, although many games share similarities to one another. If you like crafting guns from raw metal and shooting zombies in the face, you could pick from any one of a dozen different titles and not find much difference between them. Despite the somewhat uniform design of its early days, the genre has begun to mature and developers have been keen to try out new takes on the same formula.◼️ In Subnautica (by Unknown Worlds Entertainment), the gimmick is that you'll be spending the majority of your time underwater in an alien environment. What makes this particular title even more of a unicorn in the sea of survival games is the fact that it has an actual story.📖 Welcome to Planet 4546B🔸 You awake after making a successful landing on the planet, as successful as an escape pod on fire can be, and you have to quickly put the flames out. After taking a moment, you can access the PDA that tells you the Aurora suffered hull failure and crashed onto an unmapped planet called 4546B, a planet that is almost entirely covered in water. As you ready yourself to leave the lifepod, you can climb up onto the roof via a ladder which gives you a grand view of the Aurora wreckage as well as the vast and endless ocean around you. Furthermore, there’s something infecting the life on this planet, and it’s not too long before you come down with the disease yourself.◼️ Effectively it becomes a race against time as you struggle to save the rescue ship that’s approaching, cure yourself of the disease, solve the mystery of this waterlogged planet, and escape to see home once more. How far will you get before the monsters of the deep scare you into submission? These are questions you’ll have to answer in your own time. Make sure you have plenty set aside for playing Subnautica as well because it will demand it of you. This isn’t a bad thing, like many games in the genre it will eat up your pastime.If you’re new to this kind of game, Subnautica isn’t a bad place to start. Despite it almost entirely taking place underwater, the life forms and biomes are varied enough to offer a wide range of experiences and environments, meaning things will stay fresh for hours to come. 🕹️ Gameplay🔸 Subnautica is very much an audio experience as much as it is a visual one, there are many, many sounds you will have to familiarise yourself with if you want to stay alive, the creatures that inhabit the planet of 4546B can either be your best friend or stuff of nightmares.Exploration◼️ Exploration is a must in this game if you want to progress because doing so leads you to blueprints that open up new areas of the map. You’ll start out with the basics, like a sea-glider that speeds up your swim rate, an oxygen tank, a flashlight, and handiest of all: a knife. The more you explore, and the more resources you discover, you’ll be able to create things like submersibles, liveable habitats complete with power sources, exo-suits, and so on and so forth. Also, The more you explore the more resources you discover! You'll be able to create things like submersibles, liveable habitats complete with power sources, exo-suits, and so on and so forth.Ocean is not friendly◼️ Subnautica is going to require you to be intelligent while you play. Your full attention will be required as well. Keep your eyes and ears peeled at all times for sights and sounds of anything big and nasty, or just nasty, because death doesn’t always come in the shape of a Leviathan class Reaper. Combat will be ill-advised until you’re a bit more suped-up, so running or swimming away will be advisable for the majority of your gaming experience.💡 Assistant & Resources🔸 Your PDA assistant is an essential bit of kit that will keep you on the right track with tabs that have information on how to survive this hellish underwater maze. Blueprints on what to build and how and the materials you will need are nestled among its pages, so looking at this as much as possible will make life much easier. It also captures data signals from various elements but also from other survivors like you. If you follow the signal, you will be lead to many places of interest and some surprising events.◼️ Finding the resources to do this will not always be a walk in the park though – or in this case a swim. Things like titanium, quartz, salt, and rubber will be easy enough to make, but other resources will require some clever scrounging and a lot of patience. For example, precious jewels like rubies and diamonds will have more technical applications here, but finding them will be a test of both patience and courage as you flail about in the bio-illuminated depths.🔍 Graphics Subnautica | Graphics | Low vs High 🔸 The lighting, colors, and use of water make you feel unease in a game that isn't technically a horror title, and that is a feat of solid game design. it all looks stunning. The water effects are great, not to mention the visuals of all the wildlife and various other elements you'll come across. Flora look at the home and nothing really feels out of place, even when you come across strange structures. When it turns to night and you're relying on nothing but a flashlight, that's when the aquatic life really shines quite literally. Both flora and marine creatures each sport light-emitting properties that create wonderful treats for the eyes.🎧🎼 Soundtrack/Audio Subnautica - Full Soundtrack OST 🔸 The sound design for Subnautica is spectacular. Props to the developers because the world seems so much more... alive. After leaving your escape pod and diving into the ocean depths you can hear a complex ecosystem that is constantly on the move. The music is great as well and fits the theme of a sci-fi ocean exploration game but also hinting at your fruitless efforts - more into that later.- This rating system is my personal opinion and not to be intended to replace a professional rating system in any way! Rating (% * X / 100, sum of all as final rating X/10)Story/Campaign (30%) 7Gameplay/Controls (25%) 8Graphics (20%) 8Sound/Music (10%) 9Replayability (10%) 7Achievements (5%) 10My personal rating is 7.8/10📋 Conclusion🔸 Subnautica makes excellent use of its underwater setting, creating a world of wonder and danger. It shrewdly provides basic goals that involve exploring wrecks, caves, and alien structures. You'll be able to craft an extensive range of tools that will help you survive. Many of the improvements and tools relate directly to how far under the surface you can travel and this progression ensures that the ocean setting is not just window dressing. Subnautica may be another fish in a vast sea of survival games, but it also has quantifiable depth and that makes it worth diving into.


July 13, 2020

I just wish i could experience this game again for the first time.