Barotrauma, the 16-player submarine sim, hits Early Access

Disaster-prone submarine sim Barotrauma has launched on Steam Early Access, letting crews pilot a floating coffin through a nightmarish alien ocean. Up to 16 players can work together in a submarine, taking on the role of captain or engineer or whatever else needs filling. There will be fires, tentacles and respectful discussions that will definitely not devolve into friendship-ruining arguments. 

In Andy Kelly's Barotrauma preview, he said it reminded him of FTL, but on a larger scale. You've got more players, rooms and components to worry about. 

"And, inevitably, this stuff is gonna break. Europa’s oceans are filled with alien horrors, and a shunt or a chomp from one of these massive, toothy beasts will damage the sub, letting water in or causing machinery to malfunction. This is when the crew has to spring to action, plugging leaks, sealing bulkheads, pumping water out and repairing things. But that’s easier said than done with up to 16 players per submarine online."

You can get out of your sub and explore the randomly generated biomes up close, if you fancy, and you'll need to if you want to keep your sub up and running. Resources harvested from the ocean can be brought back to the sub, and you'll be able to make tools, drugs and weapons using the crafting system. 

Check out the feature trailer for a quick overview:

Everything listed in the Steam page's Key Features section is already implemented in the Early Access version, though they'll be fleshed out over the next few months. This includes the modding tools, so you'll be able to tweak the game with the submarine, character and procedural animation editors. 

Barotrauma is expected to be in Early Access until autumn 2019. 

Fraser Brown
Online Editor

Fraser is the UK online editor and has actually met The Internet in person. With over a decade of experience, he's been around the block a few times, serving as a freelancer, news editor and prolific reviewer. Strategy games have been a 30-year-long obsession, from tiny RTSs to sprawling political sims, and he never turns down the chance to rave about Total War or Crusader Kings. He's also been known to set up shop in the latest MMO and likes to wind down with an endlessly deep, systemic RPG. These days, when he's not editing, he can usually be found writing features that are 1,000 words too long or talking about his dog.