Grounded celebrates 15 million players with new holidays update

Grounded image celebrating 15 million players.
(Image credit: Xbox Game Studios)

What you need to know

  • Grounded is an open-world survival crafting game from Obsidian Entertainment, and left early access this year.
  • Just in time for the holidays, Obsidian is celebrating 15 million players in Grounded — Up from 13 million a month ago.
  • All Grounded players can now enjoy a plethora of new features and improvements in the new Grounded 1.1.0 update.
  • More Backpack inventory space, a way to go up ziplines, new base decor, and much more is included.

One of the stand-out titles of the year is Grounded, an open-world survival game that graduated to a full game after over two years in early access. It seems that Grounded is far from finished, however, as Obsidian Entertainment is currently releasing a beefy content update with brand-new features and quality-of-life improvements — just as Grounded celebrates a major new milestone.

According to Obsidian Entertainment, over 15 million players have joined the Backyard in Grounded. That's a huge jump from the last official update just over a month ago, when we reported that Grounded had reached over 13 million players. Despite being a smaller project from the storied developer, Grounded continues to defy expectations and is amassing a sizeable community of players and fans.

To celebrate this achievement, and to reward players ahead of the holidays, Obsidian Entertainment is now releasing the 1.1.0 patch to all Grounded players across Xbox consoles, Windows PCs, and other devices through Xbox Cloud Gaming. Yes, this includes all Xbox Game Pass subscribers, which can play Grounded from now until the end of time, as Grounded is a first-party Xbox Game Studios title.

So what does the Grounded 1.1.0 update include? It certainly isn't a mere patch, as Obsidian Entertainment is baking in a plethora of new features and major improvements that players are sure to enjoy. The above video details some of these changes, but we'll also summarize the biggest additions below.

  • More inventory space. The Backpack is used to house all of players' items and gear, and it's now an entire row bigger. The Backpack is four rows large instead of three, but that's not all. The Hot Pouch is also getting new customization, with players able to quickly switch between up to three different Hot Pouch configurations on the fly.
  • The ZIP.R. Ziplines are a fantastic way to get around the Backyard quickly in Grounded, but they've also only been one way. With the ZIP.R, which is powered by an aphid and a gear train, players can now travel up ziplines, making them even more valuable for travelling.
  • A huge amount of new building decor. Grounded also contains plenty of furniture and decor to customize your base, but the list just got a lot bigger. With the 1.1.0 update, Grounded players can look forward to:
    • 3 new vases
    • 3 folding partitions
    • A functional grandfather clock
    • A grass side table with storage
    • A new holiday tree and holiday wreath, with the tree able to drop random gifts for players
    • A huge number of new stuffed creatures and wall mounted creatures
    • Mushroom stairs and half stairs
    • Grass half stairs
    • And more!
  • Light colors. Players can now customize all the lights they place in Grounded to be any color of the rainbow, thanks to easily accessed brightness, color, and saturation sliders.
  • Other building improvements. Building your base is a huge part of Grounded, and it's now a little better.
    • Building customization settings can now be copied and pasted onto other building parts
    • Recycling buildings now returns 100% of the spent resources
  • Quality-of-life improvements. Not only is this update packed with new features and content, it also brings with it an army of general improvements to elevate the Grounded experience, including (but not limited to):
    • Always wake up at 6:00 a.m. at the earliest, regardless of how early you went to sleep
    • Killing creatures with a spicy weapon now drops cooked meat instead of raw meat
    • Labs now have water cooler furniture, which can be used to replenish your thirst
    • Mutations are getting major changes to be more consistent and less random
    • Depth-of-field can now be customized
    • "Nearby Storage" ranges have been doubled, making it easier to quickly build or craft from local chests, pallets, and more
    • Thrown items will now appear from a greater distance away, and always be present on your screen
    • You can now name all Trail Markers with custom text
    • You can toggle player name plates, opening up hide-and-seek possibilities
    • You can now respawn at the nearest Field Station upon death
    • Looking at a creature through PEEP.R that has already been PEEP.D will now bring up that creature's card
    • Bows and crossbows can no longer be thrown
    • Players no longer drop crafted items when they die
    • Pets are now invincible by default on Medium difficulty
    • Combat balance has been tweaked with greater damage for Charged Attacks, blocking for bows and crossbows, tweaked damage resistance and stamina regen for blocks, and more
  • Bug fixes. Of course, there's also a huge number of bug fixes included in this release, making Grounded more stable, performant, and reliable. You'll have to check the article linked above for the full, substantial list of fixes.

Grounded was already hands-down one of our favorite Xbox games, and one of the very best games released in 2022. Just as Grounded crosses the 15 million player threshold, this update makes it a whole lot better than it already was. If you've been waiting to jump into Grounded or looking for a reason to return, the Grounded 1.1.0 update is now available to download.



Join 15 million players in the Backyard with Grounded, the award-winning, critically-acclaimed open-world survival game from legendary studio Obsidian Entertainment.

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Zachary Boddy
Staff Writer

Zachary Boddy (They / Them) is a Staff Writer for Windows Central, primarily focused on covering the latest news in tech and gaming, the best Xbox and PC games, and the most interesting Windows and Xbox hardware. They have been gaming and writing for most of their life starting with the original Xbox, and started out as a freelancer for Windows Central and its sister sites in 2019. Now a full-fledged Staff Writer, Zachary has expanded from only writing about all things Minecraft to covering practically everything on which Windows Central is an expert, especially when it comes to Microsoft. You can find Zachary on Twitter @BoddyZachary.