Subsistence is a sandbox, first person, solo or co-op, PvE open-world survival game. Struggle to build a base and gear-up in the hostile environment. Defend yourself from wildlife and AI hunters (who also build bases in the world). Progress your base technology for advanced item crafting and upgrades.
Recent Reviews:
Mixed (186) - 67% of the 186 user reviews in the last 30 days are positive.
All Reviews:
Mostly Positive (3,275) - 70% of the 3,275 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date:
Oct 25, 2016

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Early Access Game

Get instant access and start playing; get involved with this game as it develops.

Note: This Early Access game is not complete and may or may not change further. If you are not excited to play this game in its current state, then you should wait to see if the game progresses further in development. Learn more

What the developers have to say:

Why Early Access?

“I want to start getting more players involved, so I can continue shaping the game based on their feedback.

The early access version is only intended for those who are interested in participating in the game's development as I continue to move forward with the project.

I am the sole developer of the project, which I work on in my spare time as a passion project. I feel this is an important disclaimer for those considering playing the game, so that players can make a more informed purchase decision.

Edit: As of March 2018, I have decided to leave my full-time employment to dedicate myself to the game and its continued development.”

Approximately how long will this game be in Early Access?

“I plan to keep the game in EA up until I'm confident there is a sufficient content and depth to the gameplay.

I'm not in a hurry to move out of EA. I feel EA is perfect while I continue to add features and make changes to the game.”

How is the full version planned to differ from the Early Access version?

“There is no fixed direction that the game is taking. The game is evolving naturally based on feedback from those playing the game, and watching gameplay.”

What is the current state of the Early Access version?

“The game currently offers a singleplayer and co-op PvE sandbox experience, and has many features already in place (including base-building, crafting, animal husbandry, farming, AI hunters, etc).

I encourage anyone who is considering trying out the game, to first watch some YouTube gameplay videos. There have been many gameplay series from many YouTubers, which show the current features (and the progress the game has made).”

Will the game be priced differently during and after Early Access?

“I'm unsure if the price will change after or during EA. I want the price to be reflective of the potential enjoyment a player can take from the game.”

How are you planning on involving the Community in your development process?

“Since releasing early builds of the game (December 2015), I have been active on YouTube and the Steam discussions to get feedback from those playing and watching the game.

The feedback has had a huge influence on how the game has evolved, and will continue to play a vital role in it's continued development.”
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Recent updates View all (56)

November 17

Update Details (Alpha 45) - Hunter Fortresses, Indoor Combat, and a LOT more!

Hi all, hope everyone is doing great! This new update is largely focused on bringing greater depth to the hunters and their behavior in the world. As well as expanding on later-game activities and an assortment of other features and fixes.

Hunter Fortresses:
In the later-game hunters will now start constructing giant fortress bases. These monster bases are multiple stories high and heavily defended. They are also prime for looting if you can get inside.

You can see some raw video footage of a lone-wolf fortress raid here:
The hunters will eventually start armor-plating the base to secure it, so players will have to use greater force to gain entry.

New Indoor AI System:

Hunters now have an entirely new AI system allowing them to operate and function indoors. This has been a goal since the hunters were first introduced, and by far the most challenging technical aspect of this update.

Typically games use pre-baked navigation meshes to implement pathing for AI controlled NPC’s. This usually requires a predetermined/fixed map layout, and be generated in advance due to costly performance.

Due to the free-form modular building system in the game (where buildings can constantly change shape and grow/shrink over time), using a traditional nav-mesh approach seemed problematic (and possibly why I’ve never seen indoor AI-pathing within dynamic modular structures in an open-world base-building game).

I instead built a custom indoor pathing system, designed to allow hunters to calculate paths at run-time through dynamically-built modular structures. I’ve done a lot of bench-marking and the system has a very low performance impact. It’s still in a prototype phase, so please report any issues.

The implications of this new system (and a key motivation for the approach) is to open the possibility of hunters entering player bases during attacks, which would offer some interesting depth and tactical gameplay when defending your base. This would be something to explore in a future update however.

Hunters now go fishing:
Hunters will now venture away from their camps to fish the lakes on the map. This is actually not just a visual facade. They go through the exact same process that players must; from casting, waiting for bites, striking and reeling in.

They won’t always choose the same fishing spots and sometimes travel large distances to reach water. This can introduce some unexpected, emergent hunters encounters as they travel around the map.

Killing a hunter after he’s caught a fish will mean you can steal his catch and take it home for your own dinner.

Hunters cooking food:
You will now notice hunters sitting by their campfire to rest and cook food.

Kill the hunter and you can steal his dinner for yourself.

New system for hunter base placement:
Due to the large size of the fortresses, the old system for choosing locations for bases was not suitable. The entrances wouldn’t align correctly with the ground, trees would obstruct the structure, terrain would poke through the ground floor, and exploitable nearby ledges would compromise the base security.

There is now new system in place to handle this. There are no preset base locations (and never have been). This is all decided during gameplay and means there will almost never be two bases on separate profiles in the exact same location.

Hunter base operations:
Hunters now have a new system to using the various utilities in their base. Prior to this update, loot would just be spawned in various base items.
  • The woodburner gets topped up with fuel and lit.
  • Fat is added to the woodburner and rendered down.
  • Ores are added to the refinery and refined (drawing power from the main base).
  • Power generators are topped up with fuel and set to run when low on power (also put into overdrive if the power-draw is high).
  • Meats are cooked on the woodburner.
  • Perishable food items are stored in the fridge (and the fridge turned on when food is inside).
  • Base lights are switched on/off depending on the time of day.
  • Cooked meals can often be found in the oven (no pans however).
AI target switching:
Previously AI (animals and hunters) would only switch targets if they took damage from another player while in combat. This led to some odd moments of AI not responding to player’s right in front of them.

There is now new logic to handle switching targets based on the current scenario. I think this will make a big difference to combat in co-op.

Breaching Charge:
To combat the armor plating of the new fortress bases, players can now craft a Breaching Charge at the workbench to destroy doors during raids.

Rogue Transceiver:
The “Rogue Transceiver” is a new loot item that can be found in hunter base loot chests.

They are single-use items and, when used, will place a beacon on a rogue camp somewhere in the world.

In co-op, all team-mates will also see this beacon. Only one beacon can be placed at a time and will last for 15 minutes (real-world time). If all rogues are killed at that camp by the pursuing team, then the beacon will end and another one can be activated.

New hunter aiming and combat:
There has been a lot of fine tweaking of the hunter combat. Previously their accuracy did not decrease with distance, leading to some frustrating long range shots for the player.

They are now less accurate (which diminishes further with distance), however their movement is more precise and focused. With this and the new target-switching, I hope that this will balance out into no difficulty increase, but you’ll have to let me know your thoughts.

Hunter bases will spawn further out from player bases:
I hadn’t updated this since several map expansions ago, so this should give players a bit more breathing room.

Hunter bases will spawn further out from other hunter bases:
This should give players avenues to sneak past enemy bases, and avoid extreme hot-zones.

Defensive walls handling:
Hunters would previously get stuck if encountering a wide perimeter wall around a player base. I’ve now added handling for this, so that they’ll either try to move around or blow a hole in the wall with force!

Hunters start moving into the world earlier:
Regular hunters will now start moving into the world 2 days after a BCU is placed (previously 3).

Rogues also start moving in much earlier, as they were previously mostly a later game addition.

Hunters drop less food items and more munitions:
Previously hunters would drop a lot of food items. Typically players are able to keep themselves fed through hunting, fishing and farming. Now they instead drop more casings and gunpowder, so players can keep up with the demand for ammo.

Hunter squad-mates will not aggro if their teammate engages in combat far from their base:
This means if you kill a hunter who is fishing (and they are some distance from their base), it will not aggro the whole squad and remain as a stealth kill.

Solar panels power production reduced during storms:
This hopefully creates a better balance between solar and wind power.

Time to unlock crates has been reduced:
Down to 2.5 seconds per unlock.

Time to upgrade buildables to armor-plated has been reduced:
Reduced from 5 seconds to 3.

Reduced predator count in certain hot-zones:
I ran some heatmaps on predator roaming locations and have dialed back a couple of the zones.

Many more item types added to the hunter loot drops:
More than 10 new items added to potentially spawn in hunter loot drops.

Armor plated door:
The wooden door can now be upgraded to armor-plated. The will significantly increase it’s hit-points and make repairs cheaper after attacks.

Hunters will also upgrade their entrance doors to armor-plated (for fortresses only).

Foundation stair railings:
Requested many times by players. Now available under the “railings” craft options, which will snap onto foundation stairs.

Half wall (curved):
Players can now craft curved wall halfs. Wooden variants can be upgraded to armor-plated, and there is also a glass variant option.

I’ll continue to expand on the library of building pieces in future updates.

Toolbelt and clothing item-order restored when picking up death crate:
Players usually have a specific preference for how they position their toolbelt items. It’s always been frustrating to have to manually re-position these items (and re-add clothing items) after picking up your death crate.

Now when ”taking all” on a player’s dropped kit, all toolbelt and clothing items will be restored to the positions they were in when the kit was dropped.

Tool degradation:
The axe and pickaxe will now slowly take damage when used against base items (doors), indicated by the small health-bar on the inventory item.

This is to give greater emphasis on other means of breaking into bases, and decrease the incentive for chopping at doors for long periods of time (especially for fortresses that have several safe-rooms). They can still serve this purpose, but you might want to carry some spares.

They currently won’t take damage while logging and mining, although that may follow shortly.

Hunter dropped kit hud icons:
Many players reported difficulties finding hunter dropped kits after a battle, due to dense foliage. They will now show a faint hud beacon, which should remove this frustration.

New berry plant:
Finally the berry plant has its own distinguishable model. Previously it was confusingly similar to the fiber plants.

Base structure collision with ragdolls?
Previously when a player, hunter or animal was killed while in a base, they would clip through the base structure and fall out. This was very immersion-breaking and is now fixed! I think this makes indoor combat much more satisfying to see bodies slump into corners, or fly-over railings, etc.

Reduction of max health/stamina on death reduced:
Players will now lose less max health and stamina when they die. The new loss is 2/4/6 across easy/normal/hardcore respectively.

Older save-game compatibility?
Older save games will work fine, however the hunters will be reset in the world, meaning they'll need to build-up from scratch.

New Supported Languages:
  • Russian
  • Turkish
  • Dutch

Logs and sticks:
Crafted sticks now yield two sticks per log.

Other notable changes:
  • Fixed selected tab not highlighting when accessing the fridge.
  • Fixed bug where low-grade rabbit and chicken meat wouldn’t burn.
  • Fixed bug where you could accidentally use an inventory item at the end of the butcher animation.
  • Added contextual hot-key hint to the use action on item dropdown menus.
  • Gameplay now fades to black when exiting the game.
  • Now only possible to lose a max of one clothing item when dying (in normal and hardcore).
  • Only the bandage issued for free gets destroyed on death (previously a whole stack could get flagged as free).
  • Fixed glitchy AI movement (both hunters and animals) through water to now stay level with water surface (while roaming).
  • Added damage skins for the bed.
  • Added more performant LOD culling for fibers and pickable plants in the world (previously they were being rendered even if very far away).
  • New wind animation for medicinal plants.
  • Removed glitch where players could deal damage by jumping on another player’s head (some players may miss this… :) ).
  • Hunters now no longer use grenades if they’re attacking players who are taking cover in their own base.
  • Hunters will now react to grenades exploding new them at a greater range.
  • Solar panels and wind turbines can now be placed on glass roofs.
  • Many new (lower-poly) LOD models used for base items when viewing at range.
  • Medicinal fluid stack size increased to 100.
  • Fixed bug where loading a SP save game would load the player as the gender they were when the game was saved (rather than what they have selected in the character menu).
  • Fixed glitchy splashing when entering/exiting water while crouched.
  • Removed camera bob when rising or lowering in water.
  • Fixed exploit of producing mass quantities of biofuel from the woodburner (thanks to a community member for spotting this one).
  • Fixed bug with broken leg and bleeding icon occasionally not showing after loading a save.

Thanks for your patience while I worked through this one. I feel the new hunter behavior systems lay a good foundation for some interesting future updates. Also thanks to everyone that helped test the build on the experimental branch, it was a huge help.

Please let me know if you experience any issues with the update.

Hope you have a great weekend,

You can follow the official Twitter @playSubsistence and Facebook page.

Discord invite:

Translation Continued Support Credits
Russian (FRAME)
Turkish (Çağla GURBET, Dogukan Yilmaz)
Dutch (Patrick Oostindjer, Damster_NL)
Spanish (David Lascasas)
Portuguese BR (Thiago Schumacke)
German (Sebastian Künzel, Jazz Jay)
French (Anthony Charrault)
Hungarian (Erb Ármin(Reaper))
Norwegian (Christer Djuvik)
* Please let me know if I missed anyone.
75 comments Read more

September 7

Update Details (7th September 2018) - Female Playable Character, Multi-Language Support, Wind Power and More!

Hi everyone! This new update has been focused on addressing some long-standing, big-ticket items that have been on my list for a long time.

Female Playable Character:
This is a feature that has been consistently requested since launch so I’m really happy to have it in place. I feel this will add greater diversity to the visuals during gameplay (especially for co-op) and finally give players the choice to play as their desired gender.

I attempted to repurpose the male skeleton for the female model but wasn’t happy with the results, so I rigged her model to a new skeleton. This meant I needed to redo/update all the existing animations for the new skeleton. Technically she's certainly not perfect, but I’ll be continuing to make improvements over time.

All of the existing clothing items in the game will fit on the female character, and each has been remodeled for her physique.

Hair Physics:
I initially implemented a static model for the female hair but the appearance was just too stiff. So I experimented with the Apex cloth physics engine, and managed to achieve a fairly convincing effect. The hair will sway with the motions and actions of the character. I was careful to ensure this is performant and should have a very low impact on system performance.

Custom Damage Skins:
There are all-new damage skins for the new character. I’m also now using normal maps to give injuries more depth to the geometry. It can look pretty gnarly if the character takes heavy damage during battles and attacks.

Gender Toggle Menu:
Players can select their desired gender from the new Character screen in the main menu. This can be done at any time and will take effect on all existing profiles (no restart needed). You can even update your gender during multiplayer games.

Character Customization?
Currently the only option is simply a gender-select. However, there is room for expansion here, such as skin-tones, face-types, hair-styles, etc., but I’ll wait to hear back from players to see how much interest there is in these types of customization before starting work on anything.

Multi-Language Support:
Finally Subsistence now supports several languages (10 now in total including English). This was where most of the effort this sprint was spent (and why the update is later than usual). I had to pay the price for years of rapid prototyping and neglect for a proper localization system.

Here are the newly supported languages (with more currently in the works):
  • German
  • Spanish
  • Italian
  • Portuguese (Portugal)
  • Portuguese (Brazil)
  • French
  • Norwegian
  • Hungarian
  • Czech
You can switch to your desired language at top-left of the main menu:

International players from many nations came together to help make this happen. I’m deeply grateful to all those who participated and for putting in the time and care. I was truly touched to see the response when I reached out about translation support. It was a true pleasure to work with you all! I will credit below the individuals who helped make this a reality.

This is just an initial launch, so I’m sure there may be issues with context etc in certain parts of the game. If you’d like to contribute with corrections, edits or to help support additional languages, please reach out to me at

Wind Turbines:
Since the dynamic weather system was added, I’ve wanted to incorporate weather into base operations and to give an upside to stormy days.

Wind Turbines are now craftable within the BCU. They provide an alternative means of supplemental power (in addition to solar panels). While solar panels only generate power during daylight hours, wind turbines generate power during windy/stormy days, regardless of the time of day.

I think they add a cool aesthetic to base designs, and also give an visual indication of incoming storms by the increasing speed of the blades.

Extra Shift-Click Abilities:
I’ve added several new quality-of-life changes to shift clicking. Player can now shift-click:
  • Meats and canteens into the woodburner and campfire.
  • Water and fertilizer into plantbeds.
  • Seeds into plantbed grow-slots.
  • Fuel into the power generator.
  • Fat into the fat-renderer in the woodburner.
  • Animals into the animal housing.
  • Food and water into the animal housing.
This should remove some of the tedium in tending to regular chores around the base.

Menu Pause Screen (single-player):
Heavily requested by players; gameplay will now freeze when the player brings up the main menu during single-player. Sorry this wasn’t added sooner.

Character Camera View:
Pressing the “cycle-camera” key will now toggle a moveable camera view of your character. Player movement is limited during this view. The intention is so players can get a better view of their character while gearing-up. It should also give some flexibility when setting scenes for screenshots. I may add expanded tooling for content creators at a later date.

Expanded Hunter Build Zones:
You may have noticed hunters never set up base on the far western side of the map, on the shores and forest areas. This was due to some technical complications on their base-locating logic that I couldn’t address in time for the last map expansion. They can now utilize all of the new area (this includes rogue camps).

Loot Spawn Optimizations:
Previously I was spawning all loot items in crates around the map the moment the crate spawned. This led to needlessly increased item (actor) counts in the game at any time, resulting in memory overhead. I now only spawn the loot once the crate is opened. This means there is a lighter memory footprint.

Batch-extract for Seeds:
Prompted by a player suggestion, you can now extract multiple seeds when working with a stack of vegetables. Small change, but should save a lot of right-clicking while farming.

Other Notable Changes:
  • Optimized save-game logic to require less data be written to disk during saves.
  • Fixed progress bar not showing while upgrading weapons in the workbench.
  • Many minor tweaks to existing male character animations (this is ongoing).
  • Halved the craft time for bandages.

  • Death message now shows actual mapped keybindings.
  • New sound for accessing the refinery.
I understand that some players (those that only play solo, English-speaking and as the male character) may feel disappointed by the main features on this release. I hope you will appreciate that these are necessary steps to move the project forward and fulfill promises made to players since launch. I’m excited that there is now a female character and I’m excited that players from other nations can now join our community while playing in their native language.

Thanks for everyone’s patience while I worked on this one, and another huge thanks to everyone who contributed to the translations. If you haven’t already, come and join the community on the official Discord (invite below) and steam forum. You can also follow the official Twitter @playSubsistence and Facebook page.

Hope you have a great Friday,

Discord invite:

Translation Support Credits (in no particular order):
  • José Gabriel Rodríguez González
  • Toni Racing
  • Erb Ármin(Reaper)
  • Bodó Ádám (Dyxon)
    Portuguese (Brazil):
  • Marcos Lacerda
  • Thiago Schumacke
  • Robson Prioli
  • Luiza Gimenez
  • Rafael Ahab Squarça
  • Lucas Lima
  • Sebastian Künzel
    Portuguese (Portugal):
  • Sandrine Magalhaes
  • Claudia Rocha (Xena)
  • Federico D. Ravagli
  • Anthony Charrault
  • Sven Geissler
  • Svein Tore Stegemoen
  • Petr - Dílna U mnicha
(really sorry if I missed anyone)

111 comments Read more
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About This Game

Subsistence is a sandbox, first person, solo or co-op, PvE open-world survival game. Struggle to build a base and gear-up in the hostile environment. Defend yourself from wildlife and AI hunters (who also build bases in the world). Progress your base technology for advanced item crafting and upgrades. Farm crops, raise small animals and harvest and refine resources to rise in dominance in the world. If you enjoy open-world sandbox survival games, resource gathering and grinding to build a base, you may enjoy playing the early access version of the game.

Current features:

* Singleplayer and Co-op PvE sandbox experience.
* Crafting mechanics.
* Dynamic base building.
* Weapon upgrade system.
* Mining and refining of ores.
* AI Hunters (with AI base building).
* Farming.
* Animal husbandry.
* Food cooking mechanics.
* World day-night cycle.
* Temperature change based on time-of-day and altitude.
* Character hunger/thirst/strength mechanics.
* Character clothing system.
* System for inviting/removing players to access bases.
* Central power system for bases (base items require power to function).
* Npc enemy leveling system.


The public Early Access is intended for those interested in supporting the project and participating in it's continued development. You will most likely experience balancing issues, performance issues, bugs and missing features. If you are looking for a complete gaming experience, I would recommend allowing some time before trying out the game. There are many YouTube game-plays showing the current state of game. I am the sole developer of the project, which I work on in my spare time as a passion project. I feel this is important to mention, so that those considering playing the game can make a more informed purchase decision. A full detailed list of the updates since launch can be viewed here:

Goals of the project:

The aim is to integrate the kinds of base-resource micro-management typically found in RTS titles, into a boots-on-the-ground shooter. Each base has an underlying economy of power and raw materials that must be maintained and expanded in order to rise in dominance.

The focus is not of primitive survival (although there are many elements during the early-game), but instead a focus on the base, its security, technology and resources.

Mature Content Description

The developers describe the content like this:

Mild violence hunting and harvesting various wild animals. Fictional gunfights with AI humans.

System Requirements

    • OS: Windows 7+
    • Processor: Intel Core 2 Duo E4600 2.4ghz or Athlon 64 x2 Dual Core 5200
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Graphics: Geforce GT 460 or Radeon HD 3800
    • DirectX: Version 9.0
    • Storage: 1500 MB available space
    • OS: Windows 7+
    • Processor: Quad Core
    • Memory: 8 GB RAM
    • Graphics: Nvidia GTX 760+ or Radeon HD 6950
    • DirectX: Version 9.0
    • Storage: 1500 MB available space

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