Grounded opens Public Test for next content update, debuts new area and tons of creatures

Grounded 0.12.0 January Content Update
Grounded 0.12.0 January Content Update (Image credit: Xbox Game Studios | Twitter)

What you need to know

  • Grounded is an open-world survival game developed by Obsidian Entertainment and Xbox Game Studios.
  • In a stream on Wednesday, Obsidian revealed details of the next major content update coming to Grounded's Game Preview
  • The 0.12.0 update will add brand-new environments to the world, 10 new creatures, and dozens of other additions and changes
  • Interested Grounded players can now test the 0.12.0 update early through Grounded's Public Test ring on Xbox and PC.

Grounded is almost a year and a half into its early access program, and yet it continues to grow and evolve over time. Obsidian Entertainment is intent on making Grounded one of the best Xbox games for fans of the survival genre. On Wednesday, the team behind Grounded revealed the next chapter of Grounded's development; the 0.12.0 Grounded content update is coming, and it's filled to the brim with new features and changes.

The 0.12.0 update looks to be absolutely massive, filled with three new environments for players to explore in the upper yard, 10 new creatures including termites, roly polies, dust mites, and scarabs, new Custom Game Options with plenty of settings for customizing your worlds, and much more. There's still no word on a 1.0 public release for Grounded, but it's clear Obsidian still has plenty of plans for how to further improve Grounded and its fun-sized survival experience.

There's no defined release date for the 0.12.0 content update, yet, but committed Grounded players can already jump into the update through Grounded's Public Test ring on Xbox and PC (through the Xbox Insider Program) and on Steam. This early build may be filled with bugs (and not the kind you want) and features may change before release, but that and submitting your feedback to Obsidian is a small price to pay for early access.

The full changelog for Grounded's 0.12.0 content update Public Test includes:

New features


  • The first expansion into the upper yard!
    • BBQ Spill: Get ready for this sizzling hot area as you prepare to journey through the ashy wastelands of the BBQ Spill
    • Shed Surroundings: Filled with plenty of items to explore and new creatures to encounter, we know you'll find plenty to do in this exciting new area
    • Woodpile: Traverse into the depths of woodpile, but beware, because as you lumber deeper down the halls you will quickly realize you are not alone


  • Termite
  • Soldier Termite
  • Ladybug Larva
  • Ladybird
  • Black Ox Beetle
  • Roly Poly (not sickly)
  • Green Shield Bug
  • Dust Mite
  • Scarab
  • Infected Wolf Spider

Crafting content

  • Termite Axe (Tier 3)
  • Black Ox Hammer (Tier 3)
  • Termite Chest Armor
  • Splinter Arrows (Tier 3)
  • New (secret) Weapon
  • New set of base floors (Burr Weed)
  • Two new meals (one available now and one to follow in an update!)

Resource survey stations

  • Field Stations now have survey stations that can be operated to search for resources in the yard. After flipping the switch in the Hedge Lab, the surveyor system across the yard will become powered.
    • Surveyors are found at Field Stations
    • Analyze resources to be able to survey for them
    • Each survey station activated adds to the survey area across the yard
    • Place a waypoint on the map where there's a high concentration of a specific resource you want to mark
    • You can survey for any analyzed material, including insect parts!

Custom game options

  • Custom Game Options are a new way to fully customize your yard experience. If you select the custom game option from the lobby screen, you can adjust settings and make the yard your own:
    • Difficulty
    • All Recipes Unlocked and Free
    • Bugs Spawn
    • Bugs Ignore Players
    • Building Integrity
    • Quests
    • Player Damage
    • Friendly Fire
    • Pet Invincibility
    • Hunger/Thirst Drain
    • Stamina Drain
    • Equipment Durability
    • Food Spoiling
    • Menus Pause Game
    • Backpack Items on Death


  • Peep Resonance is a SCA.B Executable feature turning your tiny hands into light-wave amplifying chambers that bring the distance into focus. Peep off into the far reaches of the yard and drop player waypoint markers. These markers show up on your map and other players' screens for better team peeping and navigation around the yard!
    • Place a waypoint by looking at a spot in the yard and pressing a button
    • Place a waypoint by opening the map and selecting a location to drop a waypoint

Building customization

  • There's a new menu to a selection of buildings which allows you to customize the look or behavior of the building
  • Bounce Webs can be adjusted for angle and power
  • Firefly Hanging Lantern, Sap Sconce, and Mold Sconce can be turned on and off, and adjusted for strength and color
  • Armor Dummies can be posed with any of the poses usable in Photo Mode

Data page

  • The Data tab in your SCA.B menu has been improved to organize better and show new information
  • Items and information will be categorized by where it came from or what it pertains to
  • You will also have entries and descriptions of all notably locations discovered in the game as well as know how many you are missing from each area

Status effect display

  • Status Effects are now displayed with tooltips on the Backpack and Status screens
  • Active Status Effects will also be displayed on the HUD below the SCA.B display


  • New languages
    • Turkish, Thai, Arabic, and Japanese
  • Craft many
    • "Craft Many" button in the Crafting menu will allow you to craft 5 of something at a time
  • Copy placed building
    • You can quickly select a building blueprint to start placing down by walking up to an already placed building and hitting the "Copy" interact action
    • This way, you can quickly copy building blueprints without always needing to open up the building menus
  • Storage hot deposit
    • You can now "Hot Deposit" like items on storage buildings by holding Interact on them
    • "Hot Deposit" will automatically deposit any items in your inventory that match any items already in the storage container
  • Achievements
    • Added eight new Achievements (Note: Achievements on Steam will not be viewable during the Public Test Build period)

Changes & tuning


  • If players die with a bow equipped, the equipped ammo type will carry over when respawning
  • You can now rest at any time of the day. You will rest for 8 hours and will not be able to rest again until you have been awake long enough to rest again


  • Added "Level Camera on Sprint" option
  • Many UI controls that were not previously rebindable in the options menu now are


  • Blademaster no longer repairs the durability of swords
    • Now reduces the stamina cost of the next several attacks when procced
  • Javelineer no longer slows enemies
    • Now reduces enemy Damage Resist when procced


  • Added "Wide Interaction" option, which allows the player to interact with objects without looking directly at them
  • Several interfaces have had narration support added or improved
  • Added "Read To Me Speed" option
  • Various notifications are now narrated when shown
  • Important narration such as quest notifications will not be interrupted by lower-priority narration


  • Weapons now deal progressively more damage with each hit in a combo sequence
    • The first attack of a weapon combo does the least amount of damage
    • Combo finishers deal the most amount of damage
    • Overall DPS of a full combo is the same
    • Specifically, instead of a 3-hit combo doing 100 → 100 → 100, now it'll deal 50 → 100 → 150
  • Hammers now have a 3-hit combo to utilize the above combo system changes
  • All weapon types have had a damage curve pass to make sure they're in-line with each other
  • Shields no longer slow down movement when blocking
  • Reduced the movement penalty for moving backward
  • Crow arrows now apply a bleed DoT

Building health & repair tool

  • The attack input can be held to constantly trigger the repair action repeatedly while holding the repair tool
  • The repair world icons are now replaced with a red outline around the buildings that need repair
  • Building structure health values have been increased across the game


  • You can assign similar tools that are at different upgrade levels / types to different slots on the Hot Pouch
    • For example, one slot can be a Spicy Pebble Axe while another slot is a Fresh Pebble Axe. Tools of the same upgrade level / type will be grouped to the same slot if you have more than one
  • Players can now place a temporary waypoint on the Map UI
  • Dropped item / arrow icons become less visible if the player is in combat to remove HUD clutter while fighting bugs
  • Selected items in the storage UI will display what level upgrade they have if any
  • Damage type icons shown when looking at harvestable objects now only show when the object is in range

Weapon upgrades

  • Weapons can now be upgraded to +9
    • +8 and +9 require a new upgrade material
  • Damage and durability increase per level up has been reduced across the board
  • Upgraded weapons will now require additional resources to repair


  • Base doors now properly save and load which direction the door was open
  • Curved doors now only open in the outward direction


  • Updated Smoothie Mixer art
  • Buildings of the same shape are now grouped in the building radial. The building material can be changed with the "Next Building Material" control (default F key / Y button)
  • Structural buildings are no longer allowed to overlap unbuildable materials (plastic, glass, metal)
  • Large foliage such as grass and rocks will now block placement of certain non-structural buildings

The Spinning Wheel & Grinder

  • The Spinning Wheel and Grinder UI's have been updated to work similar to the Oven UI to support more features:
    • Pulling items from Nearby Storage works now.
    • You will see a list of all recipes you can do at these buildings even without having said items to process.
    • You can grind any Grass Planks or Weed Logs you are hauling into Plant Fiber.
    • Note: To backwards support this with saves prior to 0.12, any items that are finished and not collected or currently being processed in the Spinning Wheel or Grinder will be lost when loading a save prior to 0.12 for the first time


  • Improved CPU performance for hosts of multiplayer games. Improves framerate for host and experience for connected clients

World & resources

  • Grass blades drop planks with only a 20% drop rate when destroyed by explosives
  • Grass blades break immediately when destroyed by explosives


  • Slickly Roly Polies no longer drop sickly parts


  • Using the Dandelion Tuft no longer requires stamina
  • Crusty Roly Poly armor no longer craftable
    • A complete crusty set can be found hidden around the yard instead
  • Antlion armor now considered Medium armor

Bug fixes

Major fixes

  • Creatures will stop clumping into certain areas when players are not around
  • Arrows shot from the player should no longer occasionally come out delayed
  • Player voices while wearing the Gas Mask will no longer cause audio corruption


  • The crafting interface can no longer become unresponsive to keys after pressing enter in the filter box


  • Pond breakers will now show a red indicator when powered but not yet reset
  • Some assets that could not have buildings placed on them now can
  • Building validity checks for very flat or narrow buildings are now more consistent

Items, equipment, & resources

  • Roof Squared Corner will no longer change into Roof Corner after placing one
  • Drying Berry Chunks on the Jerky Rack now credits "Artificer: Berry Leather" quests
  • When slime molds are harvested, clients will see the correct number of remaining stalks in the cluster


  • Clients will now see the pet Inventory prompt on their pet after rejoining a game in progress
  • Pet Memorials will no longer forget the pet's name after being demolished


  • Fixed ultra-widescreen issues in a handful of UIs

Windows 10

  • The 'Export Save' option in the save / load menu now shows the correct hotkey
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.