Grounded launch time: When you can play and how to preload

Grounded
(Image credit: Xbox Game Studios)

Grounded leaves early access this week, marking a historic milestone for Microsoft's fun-sized survival game. The long-awaited 1.0 release follows more than two years of development in the public eye, expanding all facets of its virtual backyard. With this latest update, Grounded is marked complete, with a full story and more content to explore.

The Grounded 1.0 release now looms in what developer Obsidian Entertainment calls one of the game's largest-ever updates. It's an ideal opportunity for new or returning players while serving a ton of content to seasoned explorers. Here's what to expect from the Grounded 1.0 update, including its scheduled release date and time and how to prepare for launch.

What is Grounded's 1.0 update?

A player and a Koi fish in Grounded.

(Image credit: Xbox Game Studios)

Grounded made its early access debut in mid-2020, pitching a survival game drawing inspiration from "Honey, I Shrunk the Kids." The game, sharing a premise with the 1989 movie, sees four kids shrunk to the size of insects and left to explore an abandoned backyard. The game is a remix of the classic survival formula, scavenging for resources and crafting up the chain, but with an endearing backdrop through its playful perspective.

While Grounded has seen regular updates since its initial debut, the move to version 1.0 hugely expands the title. The update includes the final chapter in the game's main campaign, now playable start through the finish, providing a full story within its world. It also adds new areas to explore, critters to fight, and various tools to build.

Yet, for most, the arrival of the Grounded 1.0 update marks the best time to revisit the title since it first hit early access. With a "feature complete" experience, offering the full spectrum of what Obsidian Entertainment plans to offer, the update is the closest yet to what Grounded is meant to be. While future Grounded updates haven't been ruled out, it's a complete experience from the start menu to the closing credits.

Grounded launch time and release date

Grounded departs early access on Sept. 27, 2022, coupled with the rollout of its 1.0 update on consoles and PC. The update's arrival introduces various new content in what Obsidian Entertainment describes as the full version of the game.  

Grounded 1.0 release launches at 1 p.m. ET / 10 a.m. PT on launch day, allowing you to download the full game via the Xbox Series X, Series S, and Xbox One consoles as well as PC storefronts. The update for existing players is also scheduled to roll out simultaneously.

Grounded Release Times

(Image credit: Xbox Game Studios)

Obsidian Entertainment has committed to a universal rollout of Grounded, meaning it unlocks at the same time across the globe. While U.S. players can start midday on Sept. 27, those further east could be waiting until early on Sept. 28 due to timezones.

The complete list of Grounded launch times and dates follows, reflecting a post made to the game's official blog.

Swipe to scroll horizontally
LocationScheduled release time
Seattle10 a.m. PST, Sept. 27
Mexico City12 p.m. CDT, Sept. 27
New York1 p.m. EST, Sept. 27
São Paulo2 p.m. BRT, Sept. 27
London6 p.m. BST, Sept. 27
Berlin7 p.m. CEST, Sept. 27
New Delhi10:30 p.m. IST, Sept. 27
Hong Kong1 a.m. HKT, Sept. 28
Tokyo2 a.m. JST, Sept. 28
Sydney5 a.m. AEDT, Sept. 28
Auckland6 a.m. NZDT, Sept. 28

Grounded 1.0 download size

The oak tree in Grounded.

(Image credit: Windows Central)

We're still to learn Grounded's full download size, though the final update won't be huge based on its footprint to date. The game first launched with a small 4GB download, and while download sizes have increased with time, Microsoft's largest estimates have only doubled that initial figure to 8GB of required hard drive space.

With Call of Duty, Halo, and other blockbusters offering download sizes in the three figures, the Grounded 1.0 release should be a fast update, even for those on slower connections. Expect a download size in the single figures, even with this latest sizeable update.

Grounded 1.0 preload

Preloads are now a popular option for new digital game releases, providing an opportunity to download the full game before launch day. While it's also common for most Xbox-published titles, Grounded remains an exception due to its years in early access testing.

With Grounded available and playable ahead of its 1.0 update, the game's final version isn't available to preload before launch. The full download, which includes features to be added with the 1.0 release, is expected to arrive when the game unlocks worldwide.

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Grounded

Grounded leaves early access after two years of development in the public eye, delivering a stellar survival experience, headed to Xbox and PC. Grounded is an experience that simply shouldn't be missed, especially if you can play with friends.

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Matt Brown is Windows Central's Senior Editor, Xbox & PC, at Future. Following over seven years of professional consumer technology and gaming coverage, he’s focused on the world of Microsoft's gaming efforts. You can follow him on Twitter @mattjbrown.