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Cyclops Piloting 101 – Subnautica

Everything you will need to know about creating and driving a Cyclops submarine.

What is a Cyclops…?

The Cyclops is a submarine constructed at the Mobile Vehicle Bay. When constructed, it is equipped with a vehicle docking bay, a few storage lockers, a Cyclops upgrade module fabricator, several customization and control panels, a few holograms, and plenty of space for building your own modules inside of it with the Habitat Builder.

At 177 feet (54m) long, 39 feet (12m) wide and 45 feet (14m) tall, the Cyclops is the largest Submarine found in the game. It is designed to pilot 1-6 people, although 3 is the preferred amount. Unfortunately, you’re going to have to pilot this thing alone.

It is capable of going 500 meters without any modules, 900 meters with an MK1 depth module, 1300 meters with an MK2 depth module, and 1700 meters with an MK3 depth module.

Obtaining a Cyclops

Subnautica Console Commands

Before you can construct the Cyclops you will need to scan all 9 fragments for it. (3 hull fragments, 3 engine fragments, and 3 bridge fragments)

Cyclops fragments can be found all over deeper areas. However, there are three different blueprints needed and each one needs three fragments. The Mushroom Forest is the best place to look for fragments, but other biomes will work.

  • Hull Fragments – Mushroom forest and Sea Treader’s Path
  • Engine Fragments – Mushroom Forest, Aurora, Mountains, various wrecks, Underwater Islands, Crag Field, Crash Zone
  • Bridge Fragments – Mushroom Forest, Sea Treader’s Path, Crash Zone

Once you get all three parts, you get the blueprints for the Cyclops itself. To build this colossal submarine, you’ll need…

  • 3 Plasteel Ingots
  • 3 Enameled Glass
  • 1 Lubricant
  • 1 Advanced Wiring Kit
  • 3 Lead

Once you have everything needed for it in your inventory, go to your Mobile Vehicle Bay. Choose vehicles, then Cyclops. If it says to construct it in deeper waters, pick up the Mobile Vehicle Bay from the bottom and move somewhere deeper.

If you did everything right… you should have yourself your own giant submarine!

The Basics

The Cyclops can be entered by using the hatch on the keel of the vessel.

Vehicles can be docked by approaching the bottom center of the vessel. It will open, allowing a Seamoth or Prawn Suit to be docked inside. The Seamoth or Prawn Suit will recharge while docked, draining power from the Cyclops’ power cells. Vehicles in the Cyclops will also be repaired automatically, if the Cyclops is equipped with a Cyclops Docking Bay Repair Module.

When entering the Cyclops through the bottom hatch, the player can use the storage lockers in the keel or climb the ladder to reach the bridge. When entering the Cyclops by docking a vehicle, the player is put into the upper midsection.

On the upper front of the vessel (the bridge), the Cyclops can be piloted at the steering wheel. Press the button on the left hand side that looks like a fan in order to enable the engine.


Below are the basic Cyclops controls

(If you cannot move, make sure your Cyclops is powered and the engine is on)

  • W – Propel forward
  • A – Steer left
  • D – Steer right
  • S – Propel backwards
  • Space – Ascend
  • C – Descend
  • E – Exit steering wheel

The PDA cannot be accessed while piloting a Cyclops.

Cyclops Sections

I will often refer to all of the sections listed below, so learning them would help!

  • Keel Section

The keel section is located at the bottom of the Cyclops. It contains five built-in storage lockers and a hatch for the player to embark or disembark the vessel.

  • Ramp Section

The ramp section is located beneath the engine room. It has two ladders that lead into the engine room and also has a door that leads to the vehicle bay.

(I couldn’t get a good picture, but it should be pretty self-explanatory)

  • Vehicle Bay

The vehicle bay is located in the center of the keel and under the upper midsection. This is where vehicles recharge and are repaired if a cyclops docking bay repair module is used.

  • Upper Midsection

The upper midsection is located in the central top section of the vessel. The entrances to vehicles can be accessed here, and there is a nearby console used to view/manage the upgrade modules, storage, and health and energy of the docked vehicles. There is also a module that can be used to insert decoy modules for later use.

  • Engine Room

The engine room is located at the stern of the vessel.

There are 3 power cells on each side of the engine. The starboard side is equipped with a cyclops upgrade module fabricator.

The port side is equipped with a fire extinguisher and an area used to insert upgrade modules. There is also a panel above that which shows the total energy, health, and equipped modules of the Cyclops.

  • Bridge

The bridge is located on the front part of the vessel. It is accessed from the upper midsection or the ladder located in the front of the keel.

Located on the front of the bridge, there is a steering wheel. When used, it shows the pilot HUD.

On the port side of the bridge there is a hologram of the cyclops showing any hull breaches or lava larva that are attached to the hull. Additionally there is a health bar above the hologram.

On the starboard side of the bridge there are more controls. There is a panel to customize the colors and name of the Cyclops. There is also a panel used to enable/disable the lights.

Pilot HUD

The Pilot HUD has most of the main functions of the cyclops. It is only available while the player is piloting the Cyclops. This is done so by walking up to the steering wheel, located in the bridge, and using LMB while looking at it.

Port Side (left)

At the left of the window, there is a fan button that can be used to toggle the engine on/off. If the engine is on, the player can choose the speed of the Cyclops. There is also a panel that shows the health and noise the Cyclops is making.


  • Off – No sound, no energy used, vessel cannot move or be seen
  • Slow – Least sound, some energy used, slow speed
  • Standard – Moderate sound, decent amount of energy used, moderate speed
  • Flank – Most sound, lots of energy used, fast speed (will overheat often, causing a fire)

Starboard Side (right)

On the right side of the window, you can control and view more features. Silent running can be toggled on and off and cameras can be accessed. If any creature decoys are loaded, they can be launched from here. Other functions will appear here with certain upgrade modules.


  • Conning Tower – Central top of vessel
  • Keel – Front underside, near hatch
  • Stern – Back underside, under engine


There is also a hologram/radar to the right that shows nearby creatures and the amount of noise the cyclops is making, displayed as a faint blue sphere. Creatures displayed as a yellow triangle do not notice the Cyclops, but will notice it when the triangle enters the blue sphere and will turn red. Creatures displayed as red triangles can attack the player.

Making Noise

Noise is the amount of sound the vessel is making (duh). It draws the attention of nearby creatures to the cyclops.

The amount of noise created depends on several factors.

Noise Factors

  • Slow speed makes a bit of sound
  • Standard speed makes a moderate amount of sound
  • Flank speed makes a lot of sound
  • Silent Running makes the cyclops creates 50% less sound. However, it also uses a lot of power…
  • The engine produces much more sound when the Cyclops is moving.
  • Disabling the engine or not moving while silent running is on makes the engine silent

The radar on the right of the Pilot HUD visualizes the sound of your vessel. There is a blue sphere that changes size depending on the factors shown above.

All nearby creatures that can attack the cyclops appear as yellow triangles on the radar. When they hear the sound the Cyclops is making, the triangle will turn red and they will soon attack you. If you turn the engine off after being attacked, the creature will most likely swim away, ignoring your presence.

The external floodlights do not create any sound, but may attract unwanted Crabsquids to your vessel. They use their EMP attack when light is shined on them.

Hostile Fauna

The following creatures are able to attack the Cyclops

  • Ampeel
  • Crabsquid
  • Ghost Leviathan
  • Reaper Leviathan
  • Sea Dragon Leviathan

Damage and Destruction

The Cyclops can be damaged from nearby hostile fauna or a fire inside the vessel. However, it cannot be damaged by high temperatures, small predators, or collision with fauna.

The hull can only be breached once the vessel has 80% or less of its health. When hull breaches are present, the Cyclops loses health that can only be regenerated after the player repairs it. Water will also leak into the Cyclops (this is only a visual effect). Fires may also start in random positions. Over time fires will create smoke and deal damage to the player until it is extinguished.

The breach location is seen on the port side hologram in the bridge. In order to do repair a breach, you must go outside and look for the breach then hold RMB with a powered Repair Tool in your hand.

Using the Shield Module can help avoid taking more damage at the cost of high power usage. Turning off the engine will make hostile fauna ignore the vessel after a moment.

Silent running can decrease the range of hostile fauna noticing you by 50%.

Your Cyclops can only take so much damage before completely failing. When it is finally destroyed, it will explode and the following will happen.

  • Docked vehicles are destroyed
  • Placed modules are still present and can be deconstructed or looted.
  • The upgrade modules, engine power cells, built-in locker items, and fire extinguisher can also be collected.
  • All Power Cells are drained to 0%
  • Some metal salvage and computer chips are scattered around the wreckage
  • If the player is on the Cyclops, he/she will be killed instantly
  • A wreck will remain, which will have openings in the bridge, vehicle bay, and tail for access.
  • A Beacon is deployed at the location of the wreck.

Managing Power

The Cyclops has a limited amount of power, like all submersibles in Subnautica. The total percentage of power can be viewed on the pilot HUD, and the individual numbers can be viewed on the panel in the Engine Room.

Power is consumed by…

  • Charging vehicles
  • Charging batteries and power cells
  • Crafting items
  • Moving and steering the vessel
  • Using silent running
  • Using the Cyclops Shield Generator Module
  • Using the Cyclops Sonar Module
  • Using the Cyclops Fire Suppression System

Power cells can be taken out of the engine room and put them into a power cell inside a nearby seabase. Do not try to put power cell chargers inside of a cyclops.

When the Cyclops runs out of power, the lights turn off, modules can not be used, the ship cannot be steered, vehicles cannot be charged, and oxygen production is disabled.

Power usage can be limited with an Engine Efficiency Module, but only with moving the submarine itself. Large amounts of power can be generated with a Thermal Reactor Module.

Spoiler (you might not want to read this until you get to the Alien Thermal Plant): The Power Cells in the Cyclops can be replaced with Ion Power Cells once the recipe is acquired. These store much more power than traditional Power Cells.

Lava Larva, found in the lava zones, can attach to your Cyclops and suck power from it. They can be knocked off with a knife (not a thermoblade), or you can use the shield module to quickly knock them off.

Customizing your Cyclops

Once you have constructed your Cyclops and learned the basics, you can place your own modules inside of it. Use a habitat builder to bring up the build menu. Only base parts in the Interior Modules and Miscellaneous section can be placed.


It is recommended to have a few interior growbeds that can sustain you. A few Lantern Trees will be plenty of food, paired with a few Marblemelons or Bulbo Trees for water.


A few medical kit fabricators can be placed inside to periodically create a med kit. Three is plenty, if not too much. A bit expensive but very useful


Although the Cyclops is equipped with a few built-in wall lockers, you can still build your own. Floor lockers are recommended as they hold the most items, with the cost of some quartz and taking up more space. For me, it took 6 floor lockers, 2 wall lockers, and all the built-in lockers to get me through the game.


For crafting things, you’ll want to build a fabricator in your cyclops. A modification station can also be used to upgrade depth modules for all vehicles.


While it might be somewhat pointless, you can use the space between the upper midsection and the bridge as a bedroom. Beds can be used to skip a large amount of time without losing any hunger or thirst. Cyclops power also does not seem to drain while sleeping. You can also decorate your bedroom with posters and other aesthetic items.

Charging Batteries

While battery and power cell chargers function normally in the Cyclops, it is not recommended to use these. Power Cells charge just as quickly as your vessel loses power. It’s a 1:1 ratio and just wastes time and materials.

Battery chargers also use power but not as much as the Power Cell Charger.

Upgrade Modules

The Cyclops has several upgrade modules that can add/improve certain functions.

Depth Modules
  • None – 500 meters, can only go to shallow areas
  • MK1 – 900 meters, required for Lost River
  • MK2 – 1300 meters, required for Inactive Lava Zone
  • MK3 – 1700 meters, required for Lava Lakes
Energy Modules
  • Engine Efficiency Module – Gives the Cyclops 300% engine efficiency. This only applies while the vessel is moving and does not affect any modules.
  • Thermal Reactor Module – Creates energy when the engine is in an area of 35ºC or greater. It generates energy quickly enough to be able to go through the lava zones without losing any power. (However, some areas in the Inactive Lava Zone have extremely cold temperatures, and this is most likely a bug.)
Other Modules
  • Sonar Module – Displays the topography of the nearby terrain and large fauna. Helpful in dark or foggy areas. Uses a decent amount of power until disabled manually.
  • Fire Suppression System – Extinguishers all fires when activated. Lasts for 30 seconds and uses 200 power. Helpful in emergency.
  • Docking Bay Repair Module – Automatically repairs docked vehicles. Helpful when exploring areas with high temperatures that force you to stay inside a vehicle.
  • Creature Decoy Tube Module – Increases maximum decoy storage from one to five. Helpful in areas with large amounts of hostile fauna.
  • Shield Generator Module – Creates a shield around the vessel which keeps hostile fauna away and negates any damage taken. Uses a lot of power but is very helpful when dealing with hostile leviathans such as Sea Dragons. This is also used in a late-game crafting recipe (Neptune Escape Rocket Cockpit).

Exploration Tips

Subnautica Mods

  • Bring plenty of cured food and water or use interior growbeds.
  • Use the Cyclops to transport and recharge a Prawn Suit because of its poor mobility.
  • Park the Cyclops engine over a thermal vent if you are running low on power. (if you have a thermal reactor module)
  • Disable the engine when not piloting it or the location is unsafe.
  • Only use silent running and the shield module in an emergency.
  • Use the sonar module in dark locations where it is hard to see.
  • Medical Kit Fabricators can create large amounts of med kits.
  • Warpers cannot teleport you out of a Cyclops.
  • Use cameras to look out for hostile fauna or avoid colliding with terrain.
  • Unless it is a life or death situation, flank speed should not be used for longer than 20 seconds.

Will the Cyclops be in Below Zero?

There are currently no plans for the Cyclops to be implemented in Below Zero. The Sea Truck, a vehicle planned to be in Below Zero, will be replacing both the Seamoth and Cyclops.

The Sea Truck pilot module itself is fast, maneuverable, and compact. More modules can be added onto it, making it almost like an underwater train.

Feedback and stuff

If you have anything you’d like to tell me or have anything you want me to fix, please tell me in the comments. I’d love some constructive criticism. Also if you enjoyed it, please upvote and rate it!

If you have any questions, also ask in the comments and I’ll try to answer ASAP. If I don’t answer soon, I might be busy or asleep, or just taking a break.

I hoped this helped you.

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