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Surviving The Abyss – Guide | Tips & Tricks | Known Issues

Surviving The Abyss Guide – Disclaimer

All info provided in this surviving the abyss guide is accurate (as far as I am aware) as of the 23rd of January, 2023. This guide is still a WIP, so the information provided is fragmentary at best, but presented here as I obtain it so that everyone can benefit from my work, while also throwing in some lore-friendly flavour to the presentation. I hope this guide is informative to everyone both rookie and veteran alike.

Tips & Tricks

Originally posted by Lore:

We have been able to decode what we can only see as helpful pieces of advice scattered throughout the contents of the data we managed to retrieve. For convenience, all that info will be collated here.

The Art of Tunnel Building

As you are in no doubt aware, tunnels are used to allow the transportation of crew and oxygen throughout your base. Also, tunnels currently have no negative problems caused due to long pathways. As long as it is built in a lit area, you can essentially make tunnels for free, in any shape you choose. Connecting tunnels to one another though is a different story, as tunnels typically will not allow another tunnel to connect to the middle of an existing tunnel under normal circumstances. You can use a junction to provide a way for a tunnel to split off into any of the 8 directions available to you, and an elevator shaft, while it can only split off into the 4 main cardinal directions, has the ability to provide tunnels the means of traversing the somewhat uneven terrain of the abyss.

But did you know that there is actually another “junction” you can use that doesn’t require a constructor sub to come over and build it for you? Tunnels actually utilise a start point and end point when connecting point A to point B, and at these two points are what I consider tunnel-only junctions. You can interact with them like a regular junction, allowing for the placement of new tunnels to and from those tunnel-only junctions. The best part of all this is that you can shift+left click anywhere while in the middle of building a tunnel to place a brand new tunnel-only junction. Used correctly, you can make beautifully placed tunnel junctions that look way cleaner than the alternative.

Rush Research!!!

Research is EXTREMELY important to increasing your ability to survive down here in the abyss. The basic research lab is your only source of research data in the early game, and accumulating enough research data can make or break your ability to survive. Also, don’t just research things as soon as you have enough points for them. Only research technology you truly need to progress. Lastly, be prepared to build more than just 1 of these, as the amount of research data you will need to unlock tech from later tiers can become prohibitively expensive.

Rush Air Purifiers!

Air quality is, and always will be, an issue you will have to deal with. Rather than attempting to isolate and ignore the problem by disconnecting parts of your base and making everyone move around via docks, prioritise researching the relevant tech in the tech tree. You will have enough material early game to immediately build 2 purifiers, which will counteract the pollution from one coal generator each. Prioritise searching for more aluminium on the map in order to build more purifiers, in order to keep your whole crew nice and healthy.

Scan, Expand, Repeat

Scarcity of resources is a thing down here in the abyss, so it is always in your best interest to seek out the next source of the material that you desire. To pull this off, a recommended tactic is to always build a sonar tower along with each 2nd new light tower you build. This way, any new area you gain access to can be immediately scanned for all of its resources, while reducing the amount of steel you waste. Once you are certain that the sonar tower can no longer pick up anything else in its range, simply scrap it to regain some steel back (or leave it, your choice), expand to a newly lit area, and repeat.

Fauna Traps, Habitats & Their Rarities

As you know, our goal is to succeed in cloning the next generation of humans. However, we need the genetic samples of other deep sea creatures to help advance that research. We can obtain these genetic samples from the various habitats littered around the area down here in the abyss. Each habitat can be classified into different categories: Common, Uncommon, Rare & Very Rare

You’ll need a steady supply of the previous tier of genetic samples to use as “bait” for higher tier samples. For your first fauna trap, build it on top of an Common habitat. Once built, it should automatically provide you with genetic specimens. The habitat must be a Common one as it is the only type that doesn’t require any additional bait to operate.

Higher tier habitats will need bait obtained from a lower tier habitat. For example, in order to obtain genetic samples from an uncommon habitat, you will need genetic samples collected from a common habitat to use as bait. Higher tier genetic samples have been found to provide better genetic samples for use in cloning, but as a result you will need a robust supply chain in order to ensure an uninterrupted supply of genetic code is available for your cloning lab to use.

However, without additional work, habitats will eventually become depleted. To secure said steady supply of genetic material, position a habitat stabiliser nearby. Ideally, it would be servicing at least 2 or more habitats at the same time. Early game, you will only need a single member of your crew to operate it, but that should be plenty for your purposes for the time being.

Crew Health & Well-being

Your crew is important, so you need to treat them well. While you may be able to ignore the needs of your crew to a certain extent, ignoring it for too long can result in a death spiral of your crew relations. This may result in your immediate banishment from your position as overseer, so you have been warned. To help prevent this, plan out the layout of your base to take into account the positioning of key facilities like the mess hall, as well as isolating air polluting buildings and/or ensuring the air is fully purified.

Outposts are LOVE, Outposts are LIFE~!

So, under normal circumstances, an outpost is an amazing means of building a new, separate base, far from your main one. This is due to its ability to generate its own power, oxygen, and light source with zero need for crew to operate it. Well, we can take advantage of that fact early game for essentially free power and oxygen, while also being able to expand the main base at the same time!

Noted, it is a rather steep upfront cost, but as long as you can continue expanding and collecting resources along the way, you will have no issue surviving the abyss with just your default crew.

Stage 1: Preparing Your Base For Clones, Step #01

Originally posted by Lore:

As you look through the notes, you discover the original owner’s plans for his own deep sea research base somewhere nearby, complete with numerical data, blueprints, and the reasoning behind each aspect of the design. You may be able to gain some insight as to how to start on the right path…

As with all amazing governments out there, the surface government decided to use their vast resources to make a fancy building in a location they chose, but not much else. So, it’s time to take things into our own hands.

Step #01: Build the Laboratory & Survey the Area

Build mining relays to provide a working area for mining subs to collect resources

Make sure to assign all your subs, prioritising areas with steel, concrete, quartz glass, and coal.

Establish power, oxygen & food supply

Design made to be compact, making it easier for a mess hall to service all these buildings later. Cable lines placed to grab the power provided by the central hub, along with covering all currently built buildings. Make sure to maximise the distance of the power cables per steel used. Note that you will still need an additional source of food soon, but the one carbohydrate farm being built now will help mitigate that need to be fulfilled till later down the line.

Construct research lab

This will be your first priority from here on out. Increasing research. We can only really build one for now, but we will need to build a second one soon.

Build sonar tower

You can build this anywhere you want, but I recommend placing it as close to the central hub as possible, in order to reduce cable costs. If you haven’t already, this is the time to let all the buildings at this point finish building.

Scan immediate area

You will want to first scan for fuel using the sonar tower, followed immediately by scans for both resources and habitats. You will want to focus the last two scans near the same area as the first fuel scan, all of which should be placed to maximise the amount of resources it will reveal. Do note that the sonar tower can only be used 3 times in quick succession before you need to wait for more scanning attempts to recharge.

The goal of scanning for those three things in the same general facility is to help you make an informed decision on where to expand to maximise your gains. You need to mine for a steady supply of coal soon, so figuring out what’s around it is extremely important. I would still recommend scanning everywhere with those three types of scans first before you progress any further, just so you know where to go to maximise your gains.

Build living quarters

If you’ve waited long enough due to scanning the area, you should have stockpiled enough food by now. You will now need to expand your base just a little bit more so that not only are you ready for the next step, but that you’ll also have the crew numbers to staff all the buildings you need. I have decided to mirror what we already have on the other side of the central hub, building the new living quarters and coal generator.

Expected Results

New Buildings:


  • 2x Coal Generator
  • 1x Oxygen Generator
  • 1x Carbohydrate Farm
  • 1x Basic Research Lab
  • 1x Sonar Tower
  • 2x Living Quarters
  • 60x Concrete
  • 35x Steel
  • 12x Crew

Net Positives:

Net Negatives:

  • +21 Power
  • +3 Oxygen
  • +10 Low Quality Food (per day)
  • +12 Research (per day)
  • +6 Permanent Crew (From Surface)
  • -13 Air Quality

Stage 1: Preparing Your Base For Clones, Step #02

Step #02: Secure Coal Supply

Light up & expand

Using the information you have obtained from the sonar tower, position the light tower to cover both the coal extraction point and (hopefully) an Abundant Habitat. If there are no abundant habitats nearby, then prioritise the coal. You need the fuel ASAP, especially since you will now have a second coal generator in operation.

Side note: Yes, I was unlucky here… the coal was by itself… =(

Research and construct coal extractor

Once you research it in the tech tree, build the coal extractor on the coal deposit revealed by the light tower. By this point, you should also have enough research points to pick up the “Coal Efficiency Upgrade 1” node in the tech tree, helping reduce the amount of coal you need to keep the lights on. Once you can, you should also pick up the “Rate Per Day Attachment Module” node in the tech tree to help almost double your current research data output with a simple one point increase in both power and oxygen costs.

Stabilise and purify

Did you build the coal extractor? Good. We now need to stabilise and ensure the base can run self-sufficiently in its current state, while still improving where we can. Build a new research lab and carbohydrate farm, along with an oxygen generator, and assign a single crew member to each building.

After that, pick up the “Mess Hall” node in the tech tree. We need this to prevent our crew from suffering any further negative effects eating low quality food would normally give them. With our current number of crew, we will need 3 mess halls to service everyone (8 crew served per building).

Lastly, pick up the purifier and O2 tech, build two of the purifiers, turn off the oxygen gen that only had one guy and relocate him to research, and then wait.

What next, you ask? Well, we wait. Seriously. Let your research data, coal and other resources build up. Bleeding resources? As long as you don’t build anything else, you’re good to go. My reasoning for waiting is because the more research you have access to, the easier the rest of your time down here in the abyss will be. I will advise you to ignore the alloy furnace research however, as we should still have access to a lot of steel in the surrounding area. If you must, research the hospital and reassign one of you crew from the research lab to man it. You should only need 1, as you are not in any rush to heal. If you need more staff to keep things running, just reassign your researchers until the others are healed back up.

Let your mining subs grab everything that they can to fill your resource reserves, while waiting for your research data to build up. You should also turn off your sonar tower, as you won’t be needing it any time soon (as of the current version, there doesn’t seem to be any other uses for the sonar tower once the area is fully scanned, so feel free to destroy it to recover resources). Once you have access to Tier 2 tech, prioritise upgrades to power and oxygen production, and then unlocking all the tech under the exploration tab. I will leave how long you decide to wait up to you. You can wait for as long or as little as you want, but before you move on, at least research as much of the genetic tech that you can get your hands on. The more you get, the higher your chance of cloning loads of short-lived crew, or a few long-lived crew. Ideally, you will want crew that will live forever, but we will need access for specific genetic material, which will be hard to obtain for now.

Step #03: Secure Genetic Samples


Step #04: Establish Cloning Facility


Stage 2 (Incomplete)

Goal: Stabalise, Expand, Adapt

Originally posted by Lore:

Things get a little vague, as not enough information has been decoded from the encrypted files within the data drive. All we know is this:

  • Obtain rarer, harder to get genetic info
  • Secure supply of coal and building materials
  • Diversify food supply

Genetics: Cloning the Perfect  Crew


Known Bugs

The following is a list of confirmed bugs that may impact your ability to play the game. I will try to provide screenshots and what can cause the bug to happen whenever possible. I will also list any potential fixes or workarounds to keep in mind when dealing with these bugs.

Hey, this game is early access, so we should already know these things happen. This is why I am collating all the info here.


Issue: Players unable to save progress for unknown reasons
Likely Cause: Extended playtime or reloading saves multiple times in a single session
Workaround: Save often, and quit when you are unable to save.
Potential Fix: Patch attempted to fix this bug, but not confirmed if this has been resolved.

Bug: Oxygen Generator’s oxygen demand incorrect

Issue: Oxygen Generator shows 0 oxygen usage, but still requires 1 oxygen. Also affects total demand displayed within the building.
Likely Cause: Doesn’t actually take oxygen from the existing system, but supplies itself with oxygen.
Workaround: N/A
Potential Fix: Devs need to work on displaying information better. This “bug” has been catalogued to help explain the inconsistency with the numbers displayed.

Bug: UV Light button problems

Issue: The purple button for the UV light can have several issues.
1. Does not respond from time to time, even when an anomaly attack is currently in progress.
2. Claims UV lights are on when the anomaly attack starts, but actually isn’t.
Likely Cause: The auto-check on whether or not an anomaly is attacking isn’t fully syncing up with the UV light button. As a result, the game may have assumed that the anomaly isn’t attacking, preventing the player from protecting themselves and turning the UV lights on. The desyncing of the auto-checker may also be the reason why the button thinks that the UV lights are on, as they were previously left on in the last attack before the anomaly left. When the anomaly returned, the auto-checker noted that the UV lights were on previously and turned the indicator for the UV lights on, but not the ACTUAL UV lights, opening the base up for attack.
Workaround: Spam the UV light button during an anomaly attack while the game is unpaused until you see the light towers emitting the purple UV light. No purple light? Keep spamming that button.
Potential Fix: Devs, please get rid of any automation you built into the UV light button. It is currently extremely bugged, and would serve all us players better if you let us turn it on and off manually. This will hopefully make the button more responsive, and not leave us players open to attack by the anomaly. Coal wastage? Don’t worry, we can deal with that.


Jan 18, 2023

  • Found RemTM’s Personal Notes
  • Discovered part of “Stage 1” notes
  • Discovered part of “Stage 2” notes
  • Begun noting discoveries here
  • Collating all discovered “Tips & Tricks”

Jan 19, 2023

  • Updated “Tips & Tricks” section with newly decoded info
  • Updated “Stage 1” section with newly decoded info
  • Slowly decoding images related to already discovered info

Jan 20, 2023

  • Updated “Tips & Tricks” section with newly decoded info
  • Updated “Stage 1” section with newly decoded info
  • Decoding more images related to already discovered info
  • Added “Known Bugs” section

Jan 21, 2023

  • Updated all currently decoded notes to sync with info from patch
  • Decoding more images related to already discovered info
  • Splitting Stage 1 info into sections for easier navigation

Jan 23, 2023

  • Added newly decoded tip regarding outposts
  • Preparing environment for info dump on decoded “genetics” data…

Author: RemTM

You can check out the original article here – Original Post

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