Killer koi and nightmare spiders in next Grounded update

Grounded koi
(Image credit: Xbox Game Studios)

Tiny human vs giant bug survival sim Grounded launched in Early Access in July, (much to the discomfort of many here at PC Gamer), and has been receiving a steady trickle of content updates ever since, with new critters and equipment arriving alongside smaller tweaks and more practical additions like language localisation. It's now been confirmed that the forthcoming November update will focus on a significant retool of the koi pond, making that previously inaccessible part of the landscape fully explorable—and suitably terrifying.

Players who venture into the previously unknown depths will risk incurring the wrath of a grimacing koi carp that would probably inspire feelings of peaceful contemplation and wonder at the majesty of nature—if it wasn't big enough to swallow your thimble-sized adventurers whole. Go toe-to-fin with this monstrosity though and you'll be able to harvest its scales, which can be turned into a fetching new armour type.

The update also adds a new hostile creature in the form of diving bell spiders, a.k.a. spiders who can swim and will pursue you underwater—and yes, they look exactly as scary as they sound. What's more, water fleas (added in the August update and formerly quite indifferent to your presence) have become hostile in this new environment. On the plus side, you'll also encounter two new passive creatures, tadpoles and water boatman, who at the very least won't be trying to kill you, although to describe them as your friends is probably a bit of a stretch—you can, after all, dismember them for food and materials.

The good news for those who can't stand certain eight-legged creepy-crawlies is that the game's arachnophobia safe mode—a thoughtful feature that's been present since launch—will work its magic on the diving bell spiders too, rendering them far more palatable to go up against if you're afflicted with that particular phobia. Ichthyophobes fare less well, as there's seemingly no plans to introduce a mode that turns that horrifying whale-sized koi carp into anything less threatening.

Grounded is published by Xbox Game Studios, but is available for PC players too—with the option of purchasing directly from the Microsoft Store or from Steam, as well as being included with Xbox Game Pass on PC. It currently sells for £25/$30, though since it's in Early Access/Game Preview, it's likely the price will increase as more features are added.