Grounded Screenshot AphidSource: Obsidian Entertainment

After their arrival into the Xbox Game Studios family and the launch of RPG hit Outer Worlds, Obsidian Entertainment quickly moved on to their next project: Grounded. This unique, quirky survival game shrinks the players to bugs' size and lets them loose in an average backyard, which quickly turns into a dangerous battleground. An Xbox and PC exclusive, Grounded looks like it could be a survival classic.

Here's everything you need to know about Grounded on Xbox One and PC.

Microscopic survival

Grounded

It's a big(ger) world out there.

Obsidian Entertainment makes their exclusive debut on Xbox One and PC with Grounded, a unique survival experience that literally makes all of your problems much, much bigger. Join your friends as you're shrunk down to the size of an ant, forced to survive in a dangerous backyard.

Grounded

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What is Grounded for Xbox One and PC?

Grounded Screenshot ArmorSource: Obsidian Entertainment

Grounded is an Xbox Game Studios title that will be exclusive to Xbox One and PC when it releases officially sometime in 2021. It's a co-op or single-player survival game that sees players scavenging supplies to survive in a hostile landscape: a backyard. Developed by heavy-weight studio Obsidian Entertainment, Grounded offers a unique, quirky experience you can't find anywhere else. Instead of continuously going bigger and grander, Grounded promises to make the mundane and boring exciting again.

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Our very own Miles Dompier had some thoughts on Grounded when its initial demo first appeared. Our own preview of Obsidian Entertainment's passion project shows that Xbox Game Studios could have another big winner on its hand, following the success of Minecraft Dungeons and it's intense co-op action. We still might not see Grounded for a while yet (at least outside of Early Access), but there's still a lot to talk about right now.

Microscopic survival: Grounded

It's a big(ger) world out there.

Obsidian Entertainment makes their exclusive debut on Xbox One and PC with Grounded, a unique survival experience that literally makes all of your problems much, much bigger. Join your friends as you're shrunk down to the size of an ant, forced to survive in a dangerous backyard.

$30 at Microsoft

What are the latest news and leaks for Grounded?

Grounded announces massive Pond Update, gives us an interview, and joins Xbox Insider Program—October 26, 2020

It's a huge day for Grounded, with the announcement of the absolutely massive Grounded Pond Update, our Grounded dev interview with Game Director Adam Brenneke, and the news that Grounded is joining the Xbox Insider Program to let dedicated fans play the Pond Update even earlier.

Third September content update patch seems small, fixes major save and cloud issues—October 19, 2020

The latest patch update, 0.3.3, for the September content update in Grounded looks small on the surface, but fixes some serious problems with cloud saves and crashes.

Grounded is already getting a second patch update for the September content update—October 9, 2020

Hot on the heels of the first update, Grounded's September content update is getting patch 0.3.2, which resolves some issues lingering after the previous update, and fixes some crashing problems.

The first patch update for the September content update is here—October 6, 2020

As expected, Grounded is rolling out the first patch update for the September content update, fixing some bugs and other various issues introduced in that last release. 0.3.1 is rolling out now.

The September content update for Grounded has been released—September 30, 2020

After having been announced earlier, Grounded's September content update is finally going live. Another relatively minor update, but still adds some great new features like new building types and more.

0.2.2 hotfix fixes a major saving issue introcuded in the last Grounded update—September 10, 2020

Another patch update for Grounded is already here, this time the 0.2.2 update, but this one only fixes a save-related issue introduced in the last update.

0.2.1 patch for Grounded fixes a lot of bugs with the August update—September 4, 2020

Grounded gets the 0.2.1 patch for the August content update, fixing tons of bugs and known community issues.

Grounded debuts feature roadmap and community Trello board—August 28, 2020

To better communicate with fans and keep track of recent known issues and bugs, Grounded debuted its promised feature roadmap and community Trello board, which players can use to see what's in store for Grounded, as well as what bugs are known, actively being worked on, or have a fix en route.

Grounded gets its first major content update, adding new perks and a bird—August 26, 2020

The first major Grounded update finally arrived, and it includes a very lengthy list of bug fixes, as well as some new features. Additions include a bird, new character perks, quests, crafting, and more. The update is an exciting step for Grounded and hints at what the future can offer. Original report can be found here, and all changelogs for Grounded can be found here.

Grounded gets a new fan kit including concept art, screenshots, and more—August 22, 2020

To thank fans for all their support, Obsidian Entertainment released a new fan kit for Grounded, including concept art, screenshots, wallpapers, and more for players to use however they want. The fan kit can be downloaded for free as well. Original report can be found here.

Grounded's second patch is much smaller but still important—August 12, 2020

The second patch for Grounded is smaller than the first, but it's still essential to making the game more stable and resolves more major issues for the game. You can find the original report here, and all changelogs for Grounded can be found here.

Grounded's first patch fixes lots of bugs with the early access—August 6, 2020

Now out in full force, the Grounded team is working hard to resolve any issues and bugs. The first patch update for Grounded resolved several multiplayer issues and problems that result in game crashes and fixes. You can find the original report here, and all changelogs for Grounded can be found here.

Grounded gets a tiny patch just for Windows 7 users—July 31, 2020

A small patch rolled out for Grounded that focused entirely on resolving Windows 7 players' login issues, letting them join in on the action. You can find the original report here.

Grounded gets a brand-new trailer at the Xbox Games Showcase—July 23, 2020

At the Xbox Games Showcase, Grounded got a brand-new trailer filled with humorous jokes and even a reference to Cyberpunk 2077. You can check out the full trailer here, which gets us all hyped for the upcoming Game Preview on July 28, 2020.

Where can I watch the trailers for Grounded?

Right here! These are all the trailers and official gameplay videos so far for Grounded, in chronological order for your viewing pleasure.

The reveal

The story

The gameplay

The Xbox Showcase

The thank you

The August update

The September update

Who is developing Grounded?

Grounded Screenshot BaseSource: Obsidian Entertainment

Grounded is being developed by Obsidian Entertainment, one of the newer additions to the growing Xbox Game Studios family. This infamous studio is responsible for one of the best post-apocalyptic RPGs in Fallout: New Vegas and many other incredible games. Recently, they made waves with Outer Worlds, a sci-fi take on all the best parts of Fallout and other similar RPGs, which also debuted on Xbox Game Pass day one.

Their next project is a side project by a passionate group of only 13 developers, who are all working very hard on an all-new franchise that takes the premise of the classic movie "Honey, I Shrunk the Kids" and imagines it as a difficult survival title. The game will also be developed alongside an Early Access program for Xbox One and PC so that the developers behind it can gather feedback and make changes before the game officially releases sometime in 2021.

Grounded was announced at XO19, where Microsoft surprised everyone with a strong lineup of upcoming games for their platforms. The announcement came alongside an official reveal trailer, which showcased some of the game's survival-based gameplay. If you're interested, you can also check out the blog post announcement from Obsidian Entertainment's website to get the full feeling of Grounded's first day in the public eye.

What is the story and setting in Grounded?

Grounded Screenshot BaseballSource: Obsidian Entertainment

The premise of Grounded is that you (the player) have been shrunk down to the size of an ant in a suburban backyard. That means that things such as child toys, flowers, and plant roots are massive obstacles instead of insignificant objects. Creatures that regularly-sized humans wouldn't think much about, such as ants, cockroaches, and bees, are now an enormous threat to your livelihood, and thus, you'll have to figure out a way to survive their attacks. Grounded is set in the 1990s, which influences the design and feel of much of this incredibly detailed world.

As far as a narrative is concerned, there is almost certainly a storyline to the game, but we don't know a ton about it. All we know is that the players have been shrunk by some kind of complicated machine that is no longer functional and are being aided by a robot that is involved in some way. Using a variety of skills and instincts, players will need to, well, survive, surrounded by threats of all shapes and sizes. There will be mysterious structures and locations scattered across the map that allude to a greater story.

Someone (or an organization) conspired to shrink you down, and now you have to get to the bottom of why and how this was done to discover the method to return to your normal size. Apparently, the Early Access for the game will include the initial 20% of Grounded's storyline, but after that, we'll have to wait for the full release of the game. The story for Grounded can be summed up by one sizzler sentence in the official story trailer: Go big, or never go home.

What is the gameplay and content in Grounded?

Grounded Screenshot BombardierSource: Obsidian Entertainment

Based on what we know so far, Grounded is a reasonably traditional survival game that sees players scavenging resources and supplies to craft weapons and armor, foraging for food and water, constructing shelters and secure bases, and navigating the game's mysterious campaign. To get the resources they need to survive and thrive, players will need to traverse obstacles such as thick patches of tall grass and the towering stalks of flowering plants and venture deep into crevices and caves created by hostile insects.

Grounded can be played in either first-person or third-person (depending on your preference for survival games), and this camera perspective can be swapped between instantly. You can also choose to jump in on your own in solo play or join up with up to three friends in co-op. However you decide to play, the goal is to survive by steadily searching for better resources to upgrade your gear, collecting Raw Science to purchase upgrades, fortifying your home (like with multiple stories and levels) using the game's many building parts and utilities, and defending against the many threats that see you as another part of the food chain.

The game also has a full ecosystem that continues to run even while you aren't around. For example, if you kill a particular insect in one area, that insect's predators will look for food elsewhere. In another example, ants are non-aggressive, merely taking food they find. However, if you continue to kill their scouts, the colony will send soldier ants after you. Wolf spiders hunt at night, burrowing during the day. All these factors and more make the world in which you live feel more real and dynamic.

Related: How to use Grounded's Arachnophobia Safe Mode

This means there are many kinds of insects, with possibly more added in the future, and distinct "biomes" to explore as well with unique landscapes and ecosystems. Obsidian Entertainment also wants to include dynamic weather at some point, so the world can truly feel like it moves and breathes on its own. The development team wants to continuously improve and add to the game until its eventual release in 2021.

What is the content roadmap for Grounded?

Grounded Screenshot BombardierSource: Obsidian Entertainment

Obsidian Entertainment has committed to monthly content updates for Grounded's early access and more sporadic patches between them, seeking to constantly improve the game over time. The first content update will come in late August, with more to hopefully come every single month. There's always a question of what the next content update will include, which we'll try and answer for you.

You can always find the changelogs for every content and patch update here as well, so you can keep up to date with the latest changes.

Pond Update 0.4.0 (November, 2020)

Both prior content updates for Grounded added some awesome new features and enhancements, but neither held a candle to the colossal size of... the Pond Update. Size, of course, being relative to perspective. When you're the size of an ant, though, a pond is a vast place. The Pond Update adds a huge list of new features and content to Grounded, and we even got a dev interview with Grounded's Game Director, Adam Brenneke to talk about the update and the future of Grounded.

You can also sign-up to test the Pond Update early as Grounded joins the Xbox Insider Program, giving dedicated players a way to check out the new changes before the update comes later in November.

For the full rundown, you'll want to check out our article (linked above). If you want a quick overview, check below:

  • The pond is now the Koi Pond. As the name surmises, this update focuses on the pond already present in Grounded, completely overhauling it and filling it with all kinds of content, making it an entirely new area for players to explore. Just...watch out for the fish.
  • Adds a ton of content. The Pond Update adds underwater mechanics, three new creatures, and a major change to an existing creature. It also has new equipment like weapons and armor, new base building options, and a ton of reasons to take a swim around.
  • No update in October. Because of the sheer size of the Pond Update, it needs a little bit more work. This means there will be no content update in October. Instead, interested players can join a public insider test of the Pond Update starting today, with the full update heading to Grounded's early access sometime in November.

You can also check out some early images of the Pond Update below:

Content update 0.3.0 (September 30, 2020)

The second content update for Grounded was released September 30, 2020 and followed in the footsteps of the August content update in being a more conservative update. However, there are still a lot of good things here, most notably including:

  • The Hedge has been revamped with new content
  • New Building: Zip-lines
  • New Building: Spinning Wheel
  • New Building: Signs
  • New World Landmark: Frankenline
  • Halloween Additions: Jack-o-Lantern landmark, Candy Corn food item
  • Localization for French, German, Spanish, and Italian (more to come at a later date)
  • New spider webs that stick to unsuspecting players and critters

Content update 0.2.0 (August 26, 2020)

The first content update for Grounded dropped August 26, 2020, and was a more conservative update, as we expected. That doesn't mean it didn't add plenty of goodies for players to sink their teeth into, however. Besides lots of bug fixes, the first content update for Grounded included:

  • Bird!—Includes new crafting materials and recipes from bird feathers
  • Perk system with 13 unique perks to discover!
  • New BURG.L Quest types: Artificer (crafting quests) and Chipsleuth (quests asking you to locate BURG.L chips)
  • Added Fence buildings (Sprig and Acorn)
  • Added Table buildings (Grass and Clover)
  • Added Water Flea ambient insect to flooded biome

What should I know about the Early Access or Game Preview for Grounded?

Grounded Screenshot Combat ExplosionSource: Obsidian Entertainment

Since Grounded is being developed by a relatively tiny team, Obsidian Entertainment wants to elicit feedback from players to help the game grow into something amazing. To help this along, Grounded will be launching into an Early Access program on Xbox One and Windows, letting prospective fans share their thoughts on the game before it's finished.

This Early Access program will be on Steam for PC and the Xbox Game Preview program for the Microsoft Store on PC and Xbox One.

Related: Everything you need to know about Grounded's Early Access and Game Preview programs

What will the Early Access and Game Preview include?

According to Grounded, the Early Access and Game Preview program will include the following game features:

  • Roughly 20% of the full storyline
  • 3 major biomes—the grasslands, the hedge, and the haze
  • Crafting
  • Base building
  • Single-player and online co-op play
  • First two tiers of weapons and armor
  • At least ten insects
  • Arachnophobia mode

The team behind Grounded will continuously add new content to the game as they collect feedback from the community, so of course, this list is subject to change in the future.

How can I join the Early Access or Game Preview?

To join the Early Access program on Steam, you'll have to wait until it drops on July 28, 2020, for pricing information and further availability details. For those on Xbox One or playing through the Microsoft Store, all you have to do is be a part of Xbox Game Pass. That's right, even the Game Preview of Grounded will be launching day one into Game Pass, so you can jump right into the game the moment it's available to test. For those not on Game Pass, you'll also have to wait for more pricing information.

If you're playing on PC, you'll probably want to ensure your PC meets the minimum or recommended requirements first, however.

The Early Access or Game Preview should continue until the game fully releases, giving players plenty of time to watch the game grow (and plenty of time to figure out how to make your character grow). Once the game is officially released, players will be able to unlock all the content the game has to offer and hopefully play Grounded for years to come.

How much will the Early Access and Game Preview cost?

Grounded's early access will cost $30 at Microsoft and $30 at Steam, so players can jump in wherever they play. Grounded will also be included in Xbox Game Pass.

Players who buy into the Early Access or Game Preview early on will benefit from a consequent discount on the game, as Obsidian Entertainment intends to slowly increase the price of the game as new features and content are added over time, so if you're interested in this game, you'll want to jump in as quickly as possible. However, those playing through Game Pass won't have to worry about this, as Grounded will always be included there.

How long will the Early Access and Game Preview last?

There's no definitive date yet, but Grounded's Early Access and Game Preview programs should continue right up until the game is fully released. Obsidian Entertainment has promised they want to keep the community updated continuously and will provide their best guesses, with the understanding that plans can change further down the line.

How will Obsidian Entertainment involve the community?

It's imperative that Obsidian is able to hear the voices of their community loud and clear, so there will be a variety of ways in which Grounded's team will update testers and collect feedback. Be that through their website the development blog, Discord server, monthly dev diaries, or Twitter; there are plenty of ways for the feedback loop to stay in motion. We're also keeping a full list of all the known issues, bugs, and problems in Grounded, as well as when specific issues are fixed by updates.

What Xbox gaming features will be supported in Grounded?

Grounded Screenshot Combat HazeSource: Obsidian Entertainment

After Minecraft Dungeons confused players about its lack of Xbox Play Anywhere support and its initial lack of cross-play between platforms, it's understandable if you're concerned about Grounded making the same mistakes. It doesn't appear that this will be the case, as the official landing page for Grounded on the Microsoft Store confirms that Grounded supports:

  • Xbox Play Anywhere. Buy the game once, and own it on both Xbox One and Windows.
  • Xbox Live online co-op. Play with your friends over Xbox Live.
  • Cross-platform co-op. You can also play with friends who are playing on either Xbox One or Windows.
  • Xbox One X enhanced. The game will have additional visual enhancements for the Xbox One X, but the exact details are unclear right now.
  • Xbox cloud saves. No matter how many devices you game on, your save files will sync over the cloud.

Obsidian Entertainment is doing a fantastic job supporting all of Microsoft's gamer-friendly features right out the gate, which is incredible to see. While Minecraft Dungeons is an excellent game in itself, its lack of this support was strange and hurt the game's overall appeal for players who want to play with friends on other platforms or have multiple devices. Grounded will not make the same mistakes, it seems.

How will the Xbox Series X and S be supported by Grounded?

Xbox Series X, Xbox Series SSource: Microsoft

The Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S are the next-gen powerhouses that are bringing a wave of new gaming features to your living room. Lots of games are already slated for release on the consoles or will be getting next-gen updates, along with thousands of titles as part of backward compatibility, but what about Grounded? Well, Grounded is planning to fully support the Xbox Series X and S with a free next-gen update, and with we recently learned more details with Grounded's Pond Update announcement.

On November 10, Grounded will receive a free update that will include:

  • Smart Delivery support. As expected, Grounded will fully support Xbox's Smart Delivery, which means you'll get the best possible version of the game for your device with no additional costs or effort.
  • Performance targets for both consoles. Grounded will deliver to the max on the Xbox Series X at a sharp 4K resolution and 60fps, as we already knew, but now we also know the Xbox Series S will deliver the same smooth 60fps, but at a lower 1080p resolution.
  • Improved draw distance. Grounded looks great, but things tend to fade into the distance a little quicker than expected. Next-gen consoles will dramatically improve this.
  • Improved shadow quality. Again, thanks to next-gen improvements, Grounded will also feature higher quality shadows.
  • Reduced load times. The standard and lightning-fast SSD included in both of the new Xbox's means loading into Grounded will be faster than ever.
  • A performance boost on all platforms. Grounded's next-gen enhancements don't just affect the Xbox Series X and S. Expect some increased performance on every device, including the aging OG Xbox One and One S.
  • HDR support. If you have a compatible TV, Grounded will look better with HDR on, featuring better contrast, brighter colors, and more vibrancy in general.

Finally, we now know that Grounded has been keeping something very sneaky hidden from us. Thanks to its early access status, Grounded has been built from day one on Xbox's new GDK, making it one of the very first games to be built entirely using Xbox's latest development kit. This won't really affect players with the result, but it's still very cool!

What is the release date and price for Grounded?

Grounded Screenshot Combat HedgeSource: Obsidian Entertainment

So long before the game is slated to release officially, we don't have a ton of information regarding exact dates and pricing at the moment. What we can tell you is that the Early Access or Game Preview for Grounded will be available starting July 28, 2020, through Steam or the Microsoft Store. We also know that both the Game Preview and the final release of Grounded will be available through Xbox Game Pass on day one, so subscribers won't have to lift a finger to have Obsidian Entertainment's latest game be available to them.

The Early Access and Game Preview of Grounded is $30 at Microsoft and $30 at Steam, and should slowly increase in price as the early access continues, ending when the game fully releases. This means, at least right now, there are not multiple versions or editions.

We don't know what the exact release date for Grounded is, only that's it's planned to be sometime in 2021. We also don't know how much the game will cost, although since it's a game built by a small team, it's safe to assume it's not going to be priced like a full-budget "AAA" title like Halo or Gears. We'll be sure to keep our eyes peeled for all the latest tidbits and update this post the moment we know more about when Grounded is coming and how much it's going to cost. If you want to make sure you're prepared, you can bolster your Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, which is $45 at Amazon for a 3-month subscription.

A big survival game at a small scale

Survival is a massive genre in video games, and there are a ton of people that adore pouring hours into these adventures. Taking the traditional survival formula we all know and love and looking at it from a much smaller perspective is brilliant, and I'm ecstatic to see what Grounded becomes over the following months. Obsidian Entertainment has a big reputation to uphold, but I think its smallest game might be just up to the task.

Are you excited to get your hands on this unique survival experience from Microsoft? What do you think about the premise of the game? Let us know in the comments below!

Microscopic survival

Grounded

It's a big(ger) world out there.

Obsidian Entertainment makes their exclusive debut on Xbox One and PC with Grounded, a unique survival experience that literally makes all of your problems much, much bigger. Join your friends as you're shrunk down to the size of an ant, forced to survive in a dangerous backyard.

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