'Super duper' Grounded update really does look super until you realise they added fricking wasps

A wasp threatens to sting the player character in Grounded.
(Image credit: Obsidian)

I'm a bit of a pantheist I suppose: I don't believe in a big beardy god in the sky, but I choose to believe there's something divine in all living creatures. Barring the wasp, which can do one. I hate wasps, the feeling seems to be mutual, and as the summer rolls around I once more gear up for battle with the bastards of the skies. If I could press a button and remove all wasps from the face of the Earth I would do it in a heartbeat.

Sir, this is PC Gamer. Ah yes, well I was just looking at this spiffing new update for Grounded, Obsidian's excellent garden-em-up survival sim that pits you against the innate hostility of insects. It's called the Super Duper update because, drum roll please, it adds an item duplication machine called the Super Duper.

This new device lets players duplicate specific equipment and items using Raw Science and a new item called duper discs found in the yard. Your first disc will unlock the machine, and subsequent discs will unlock higher-tier duping possibilities. The machine can duplicate trinkets, unique items, and upgrade stones, and most notably the cloned item will retain all of the original's smithing upgrades. Basically this is going to remove (some) of the item grinding, which is great.

Alongside the Super Duper comes a new Base Coziness system (in Grounded you take shelter from the insect masses in your base). Buildings, furniture and decorations now all add up to a certain coziness level for your base, which in itself will cause your character's coziness level to rise in this environment and grant beneficial status effects: decrease hunger, thirst drain, and slow healing. There are five levels of coziness and each one unlocks new decorative options, a base building mutation, and new emotes. Tied-in with this are almost 100 new crafting items.

The good news doesn't stop there: now you have a companion in base building, the Handy Gnat. God love this game. The gnat can be roped-in to your base building plans and, as long as there's the resources in your stockpile, left to get on with the actual building. Players will need to choose to activate the Handy Gnat in Survival games, but it's unlocked by default in Creative and Creative with Bugs.

It was all going so well and then… wasps. Wasps are now swarming the yard. "These hostile enemies will surely sting," per Obsidian's patch notes, "and caution should be used when attempting to meet them in the upper yard. If you locate their nests and mess with them too much, you’ll release the full fury of the hive. Keep your eyes peeled for the hidden main nest as well. A word of caution: piss off their kin and you'll release the full fury of the hive."

Great. Just fabulous. Wasps will come from a wasps' nest that players can locate and attempt to take on, whereupon you'll face an army of angry yellowjackets and the new boss creature of the Wasp Queen. Brrr. At least killing her lets you craft a new armour set and trinket.

This update also sees Grounded become Steam Deck verified, and with all these new frills and features the game is having a free period that begins at some point today and will run until May 1: So you can take on some wasps yourself

Rich Stanton

Rich is a games journalist with 15 years' experience, beginning his career on Edge magazine before working for a wide range of outlets, including Ars Technica, Eurogamer, GamesRadar+, Gamespot, the Guardian, IGN, the New Statesman, Polygon, and Vice. He was the editor of Kotaku UK, the UK arm of Kotaku, for three years before joining PC Gamer. He is the author of a Brief History of Video Games, a full history of the medium, which the Midwest Book Review described as "[a] must-read for serious minded game historians and curious video game connoisseurs alike."