November 10, 2020

Early Access Update 0.4: The Koi Pond Out Now

Early Access Update 0.4: The Koi Pond Out Now Header Image


We have a new trailer, a letter from the devs, an update full of previews, and patch notes! Welcome to Grounded's Early Access Update 0.4!

A Letter from the Developers

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Text version (update continues below):

The team is thrilled that we've have had so many people enjoy Grounded, and we are very excited for today's release. We wanted to give you all a quick update on the development of Grounded and share a bit of what's on the horizon in future updates. Moving forward, the team is going to be focusing on larger content releases that are more spread out. This is a direct result of community feedback and will allow us to improve the stability, quantity, and quality each time we release meaningful content. We are still a small team, but regardless, we want to always provide features and content that we think will deliver the best experience possible. All of this takes time, and our priority is to get things right. Now, this doesn't mean we won't continue our monthly updates, but the next few will be focused on areas of stability, polish, and bug fixes. So, let’s dive deeper into the details for what we have planned in the coming months.

First, we have a bunch of quality-of-life fixes on our plates that we want to get to. This includes revamping how save games work for improved stability, inventory changes like having equipment not take up slots (this was more difficult than expected, but should be coming soon!), and improvements to base building. On the content side, flying creatures are a high-priority feature. We feel this will be a game-changer on how you defend and build bases while adding a bunch of cool new crafting items into the mix.

Like everything in Grounded, The Koi Pond is a work in progress, and we want to incorporate your feedback to make it the best it can be. This is just the start of development of this area, and our team is already hard at work adding more into the pond, including a large revamp of the lab in the depths which will add more content and variety of gameplay. Along with that we are adding more elements to all areas: new points of interest, new materials to find, more explorable content including underwater caves, tweaks to creature behavior, and more. Some of these improvements will be dropping in the next update in December.

For new areas, after the Pond, we are going to move our attention to the Haze and then the Sandbox. Once we feel all the content is in a good place, the next step is a story, quest, and content pass over all the existing labs. The goal is to unify the experience by adding quest connective tissue and a satisfying payoff for completing each lab. In an upcoming story update, you will be able to complete this quest, which will tie into what we are calling the first story chapter of Grounded. We will have more details on when this will land early next year.

With all of that, we still want to add more into existing areas, and we are continually discussing areas where we can refine. For example, we plan on re-adding and improving the Spider Broodmother in the Hedge to make her a challenging and memorable boss fight experience.

There is a lot of work to do and we want to thank you for your patience. We want the game to be the best that it can be, and with a small team that can take time. If you are curious where other features are going to land, check out the feature board that we update monthly. And as always, please provide feedback - we can't do this without you.

Thank you and see you in the Backyard!

-The Grounded Team

Welcome to the Koi Pond

Hello all explorers of the backyard, both old and new, and welcome to our first major Early Access update for Grounded: Early Access Patch 0.4, or, as we've been calling it, The Koi Pond Update. We know this is one that many of you have been waiting for, so let's dive in!

New Biome: The Koi Pond

New Creatures

The Koi - This boss of the pond might only have one good eye, but it only needs one eye to notice you, and you never, ever, want it to notice you.

Diving Bell Spiders - You may blame these upon the players who used the pond to escape the poor spiders that can't swim. You're welcome.

Tadpoles - Cute! And, some say, delicious?

Water Boatmen - These peaceful swimmers just want to mind their own business and would appreciate it if you would not murderize them for their Fin Flops.

New Equipment

Koi Armor

Bubble Helmet

Fin Flops

...And more tools to help you light or fight your way through the depths.

Took a break? Here are a few things you may have missed!

Took a break? Welcome back! The dev team has continued to patch and add content to the game since launch, and, in addition to the fixes and adjustments we made, here are just a few things you missed while you were gone:

The Bird - we added a bird to the game! This feathered friend will sometimes drop... well, feathers, but those that are crucial making a few items that might make your arrows fly a little more straight and true.

New Buildings

New Landmarks!  

And much more! Check out our full list of the Koi Pond update's patch notes below, or check out our website for a closer look at what we've been doing so far.

Patch Notes for Update 0.4.0

New Features

  • The Pond has been revamped with new content
  • New Threat: Koi Fish
  • New Hostile Creature: Diving Bell Spider
  • New Passive Creature: Tadpole
  • New Passive Creature: Water Boatman
  • New Armor: Koi Armor
  • New Building: Buoyant Foundation
  • New Building: Buoyant Marker
  • New Material: Koi Fish Scale
  • New Material: Fish Bone
  • New Material: Tadpole Meat
  • New Material: Water Boatman Fin
  • New Material: Lilypad Wax
  • New Material: Eelgrass Strand
  • New Recipe: Gill Tube
  • New Recipe: Bubble Helmet
  • New Recipe: Fin Flops
  • New Recipe: Pebblet Dagger
  • New Recipe: Bone Dagger
  • New Recipe: Decoy Bait
  • New Recipe: Bone Trident
  • New Recipe: Slime Lantern
  • New Food Recipe: Cooked Tadpole Meat
  • New Smoothie: Fluid Flippers
  • Three New Mutations to Discover
  • Three new SCA.Bs to find

Additional Features

All platforms

  • HUD Markers can be visually toggled off on your HUD on an individual basis in the Map screen.
  • HDR support added with additional HDR options menu.
  • Xbox and Steam game invites now supported. Added an in-game invite screen that works with cross-play.
  • Added a "Fix Creature Locations" button in the Options screen so you can reset creatures in the yard back to their starting spawn point in the case too many creatures are under the level or are in weird locations.


  • Mouse / Keyboard support added for Xbox One and Xbox Series X/S consoles.
  • Screenshots now display on the Save / Load screen for Xbox for manual and auto-saves.

Changes / Tuning


  • The player will now sit at the surface of water more easily when swimming.
  • The player will no longer automatically jump out of water when at the edge; instead, they must press the jump control.
  • The player now breathes through their face.
  • Increased how much time the player can last underwater without air before dying.
  • Running out of air underwater will now instantly kill you as opposed to slowly reducing your health.


  • Doubling the bonus damage for all weapon-based "class" mutations.
  • Doubling the effectiveness of the Juicy mutation.
  • Doubling the effectiveness of the Meat Shield mutation.
  • Doubling the effectiveness of the Buff Lungs mutation.


  • Explosive damage can no longer be blocked.
  • Reducing the rate at which Bombardier hazards deal damage.
  • Bombardier shotgun spray attack now has double the windup time.
  • Bows now deal a little bit more damage.
  • Water Fleas will now attempt to attack.
  • Poison effects now deal 50% more damage (to creatures and the player).
  • Players can only attack with daggers, spears, and shovels while underwater.
  • Bombardiers now have a new set of attacks to pick from.
  • Fixed issue with Larva attacks so they miss less often.


  • HUD Marker Icons now fade out a bit as they approach the edge of the screen to reduce noise when there are lots of Trail Markers built.
  • Increased the number of key items slots shown in the Data screen so if more than 30 are collected, you can view them all.
  • Added "Unset Respawn Point" to the Rest/Respawn Point screen.


  • Items floating on water will eventually drift to the edge.
  • Reducing the cost of all tech chip science purchases by up to 40%.
  • Fixed zipline lines disappearing for clients while they are riding it or when get far enough away.
  • Shovels are easier to harvest underwater.


  • Placing grid buildings that are snapped to other grid buildings should be much smoother for clients, especially at higher pings.
  • Other buildings can be placed on top of tables.
  • Signs can now be placed on the ground in addition to walls.
  • Buildings can be placed on lily pads.


  • Liquid Gills smoothie now grants additional underwater breath time instead of granting water breathing.
  • Liquid Gills recipe has changed.
  • Performance
  • Significantly reduced a large hitch when completing buildings in games that have a bunch of buildings already built.
  • Improved render thread performance with games that have a lot of buildings built that emit fire.
  • Improved CPU performance with games that have a lot of trail markers built.
  • The game will no longer lag when in an interactive range of a building piece that's part of a large structure.
  • Additional general improved rendering performance.


  • Drowning now has a fade to black effect as you run out of air.


  • New music added to the Upper and Lower Pond

Bug Fixes - All Platforms

Top Community Issues

  • Harvestable objects in or near bodies of water can now respawn correctly (ex. Husky weeds).
  • Clients can now successfully join games with large amounts of removed foliage.
  • Fixed a random crash when loading into the yard.
  • Fixed a crash that could occur when kicking players from a game.
  • Fixed some issues with Cloud Saves not always properly redownloading when updating/reinstalling the game.
  • Fixed a random crash that could happen when loading into the yard.
  • Fixed issue where clients that save or disconnect while dead are not loading back into the game correctly on join.
  • Cloud saves should properly delete when you delete a save game from the Save / Load interface.


  • 'Craft' BURG.L quests for recipes can also be completed by crafting the upgraded version of the recipe, if available.
  • Clients can no longer cause hauled items to float in the air by constructing buildings while hauling certain stacks of items.
  • Fixed issue where conversations would stop working in-game (including the BURG.L conversation UI showing nothing when interacting with him).
  • Fixed issue where the keyboard hotkeys on the Map screen stopped working after dragging your mouse.
  • Fixed a handful of low frequency crashes for clients dealing with item replication.
  • Science spawn points that were patched into the game and haven't yet been collected will now spawn correctly.
  • Fixed issue where Raw Science spawns that were added in patches were not showing up for people who were loading a save from a prior patch.
  • Client movement will no longer be blocked by dead bodies that were killed before the client joined.


  • Analyzing Silk Rope now actually unlocks recipes instead of just displaying that it does.
  • Floors can no longer be placed on top of foundations, clipping into them.
  • Items and harvestables will no longer respawn while the player can see them.


  • Orb Weaver Jr's now have proper death messages.
  • Fixed issues with water creatures being able to get out of the water.


  • The Motion Blur setting will now be properly reapplied when restarting the game.
  • Drowning now has a fade to black effect as you run out of air.
  • Fixed the O2 meter overlapping the Mutation Unlocked notification.

Ominent Practical Technologies

  • Dramatically decreased the increased [REDACTED]

Thank you everyone for your continued support and reports, we appreciate them!

To stay current with the commonly reported issues and to follow their status, please visit our Grounded Issue Tracker, or you can bookmark our Known Issues List.

If you are experiencing an issue that is not listed on either the Trello board or in the Known Issues List, either email us directly at or fill out the Contact form located on our Support Site and include the following information:

  1. Platform (Xbox Console, PC Game Pass, PC Microsoft Store, PC Steam).
  2. Multiplayer or Single Player Game. (If multiplayer, can you let us know how many players in total in the game, and their platforms if you know this)
  3. Description of issue.
  4. Last thing you did in the game before the issue occurred, if applicable.

Thank you again, and have fun out in the backyard!


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