One of the coolest items in Subnautica is the Cyclops: The gigantic 54 meter long submersible mother ship you’re able to craft after searching for an exhaustive 9 wreckage fragments. The cyclops sports several unique features such as the ability to customize the interior using your habitat builder and the ability to dock and charge smaller vehicles inside its built-in drydock. However, for all its advantages the Cyclops does have two key drawbacks: its cumbersome maneuvering and its tendency to suck power cells dry relatively quickly. There’s not much you can do for the former other than practice, but there are several tips you can use to make the most out of your Cyclops’ power supply and not be left stranded in the deep:
– First, borrow from real-world boating and follow the Rule of Thirds: Plan to use a third of your energy on the way out, a third on the way back, and leave the last third reserved for emergencies. This rule does nothing to help *extend* your power supply, but it does help you plan your expeditions out better so that you’re far less likely to run in to a low energy crisis in the middle of a situation.
– Second, always carry spare power cells, but never plan on using them. I know I told you in the previous tip to leave a third of your main power supply reserved for emergencies, but that in itself isn’t enough. It’s always good to carry extra power cells on hand in case things get really bad. However it’s important that you seriously only use the spare cells for a TRUE emergency – don’t just use them to extend your expedition time, or else you might not have them available when you actually need them.
– Third, consider setting up small charging shelters around the map. This obviously has some resource cost to it, but it’s worth the investment. A charging shelter is just a simple microbase (usually only a single tube module) stocked with some power cell chargers and hooked up to a renewable power source such as solar or geothermal. If you have room you can even throw a medkit fabricator and a locker full of emergency rations in there so that you can patch yourself up while you’re waiting for your ship’s cells to charge.
– Fourth, remember that driving isn’t the only thing that drains your power! I’ve seen a lot of new players who have had their ship’s energy supply suddenly die out on them unexpectedly, and it’s always because they had used equipment or features that they didn’t realize fed off of the ship’s engine. Remember that any time you dock a smaller vehicle it will charge itself off of the ship’s cells. Likewise keep in mind that most of the ship’s special features (such as “silent running” mode or the optional shield feature) will drain MASSIVE amounts of power since they are designed to only be used in emergencies. Lastly, remember that any habitat equipment you install such as fabricators and battery chargers will drain power just like they would inside a base.
In addition to these four tips keep in mind you can also craft in-game items to help extend your ship’s longevity, such as the “Engine Efficiency” upgrade module and the “Ion Power Cells”, which carry double the energy capacity of the basic power cells. However, with the tips I’ve outlined above you’d be amazed at how long you can run a “stock” Cyclops before having to return to base!