Grounded releases December Content Update, improves Pond, saves, and more

Grounded Pond Update Tadpole
Grounded Pond Update Tadpole (Image credit: Obsidian Entertainment)

What you need to know

  • Grounded is an open-world survival game that shrinks players down to the size of insects.
  • The game is unique, charming, and has already amassed a large community even in early access.
  • The latest update for the game, 0.5.0, adds new features, content, and makes some important improvements.
  • The December Content Update is available right now for Xbox and Windows platforms.

Grounded is an open-world survival game from Obsidian Entertainment that sets itself apart by making the players very small, and subsequently making everything else feel very big. The game is currently in early access, which means it receives constant updates and patches to improve the experience before launch. The 0.5.0 December Content Update is the latest to be released, rolling out to all Grounded players today after being tested in a Public Test run first. While this update isn't as big as the November Content Update, or Pond Update, 0.5.0 still adds some awesome new features and makes good changes in all the right places.

There's also a new Developer Vlog that goes over some of these changes, which you can watch below:

The biggest new features in the December Content Update are actually further improvements to the Pond, which was completely overhauled in last month's massive update. There's also support for several more languages, which is always fantastic to see, and will make the game accessible to even more players. Finally, Grounded is redoing the way that save files work to make them more reliable, easier to manage, and faster to back up.

Grounded has already crossed 5 million unique players since its debut into early access, and looks poised to be one of the Best Survival Games around. To get the most out of the game, ensure no angry insect can ever sneak up on you, and that you can stay in touch with friends while playing co-op, invest in one of the Best Headsets for Xbox Series X|S for a premium audio experience. Grounded is fully optimized for the Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S with improved visuals, performance, and load speeds.

The full changelog for the 0.5.0 December Content Update for Grounded includes:

New features

Pond revamp

  • The Pond and Pond Lab have been revamped with additional puzzles, gameplay, and secrets to discover
  • New underwater caves to find and explore
  • New Pond Lab outposts
  • New Resources: Algae, Muscle Sprouts
  • New SCA.Bs to collect

Crafting content

  • Fin Flops+
  • Diving Lantern+
  • All smoothies now have a + version to unlock

Language translations

  • Russian, Polish, Korean, Chinese, and Brazilian Portuguese localization added

Save system revamp

  • The save system for Xbox and Windows Store platforms has been refactored to be more robust and lightweight
  • New saves going forward should be more reliable when it comes to saving player data and properly uploading it to the cloud
  • The game will no longer need to do long cloud sync each time you boot it
  • Syncing between consoles should be more reliable
  • This will require a one time save conversion step after logging in to convert any older saves to use the new system

Changes & tuning


  • The player can jump out of the water at any location instead of just the edges


  • Spear weapons can now be thrown in water
  • The Koi Fish can eat creatures (and you!)
  • 2 handed weapons now deal slightly more damage
  • Water Boatmen now flee at a slower speed and have less HP
  • Tadpoles flee at a slower speed
  • Adjusting Dazzling Riposte; now reduces enemy defense after perfect block instead of reducing enemy attack
  • Timing in between creature attacks is now random instead of it always being the same fixed amount of time
  • Stamina regen is now reduced while you're actively holding block
  • The blocked damage percentage is now based on weapon type instead of always being 75%


  • There is now a game option to display the distance over player nameplates to see how far they are


  • New caves to explore in the pond
  • The Koi can now push pond foliage out of its way
  • Juice Droplets despawn after 3 days, allowing new ones to drop out of the straws in case a spawned drop somehow got lost
  • Eelgrass now respawns over time
  • Holiday lights added to the house
  • Improved lighting in the Pond / Pond lab
  • Additional pond and pond lab set dressing


  • Some structures such as Foundations, Scaffolds, and Walls, now align to the ground from their corners instead of their center
  • Some other buildings such as the Jerky Rack, Zipline Anchor, and Dew Catcher, now sit on their legs instead of on their center point only
  • Tweaked the order of some buildings in the radial
  • The Squared Roof Corner will now block wall crenellations below it


  • The recipe for decoy bait has been adjusted


  • Audio improvements for drowning

Bug fixes

Top community issues

  • Grid-snapping non-structural buildings on top of existing structures now work correctly
  • Underground blueprints can now be canceled, either by looking at them or with Cancel Nearby Blueprints in the Game Preview Debug menu
  • Fixed issue where dying in the depths would place your backpack at the starting spawn ravine
  • Clients will no longer experience twitchy movement when moving on large structures
  • Instances of "lame" were replaced or removed


  • Buildings can no longer be briefly placed on canceled buildings
  • Buildings can't be built on stuffed insects
  • Buildings can't be built on other players' unplaced buildings
  • Floating structures will stop bobbing if connected to solid ground
  • The player can no longer jump while gliding

Items / equipment / resources

  • Spike Strips can now be placed next to each other when snapped to a grid
  • Hedge berries will now float correctly inside the pond lab, should you somehow manage to get one there
  • Signs no longer flicker when they are being placed on walls
  • Signs can now be optionally snapped to the grid
  • Buoyant markers now float properly on the water's surface
  • Decoy Bait now properly behaves as a lure for both swimming and non-swimming creatures
  • Diving Bell Spider Chunks are now properly marked as a tier 2 material
  • Decoy Bait no longer causes non-swimming creatures to float in wacky ways
  • Fixed random crashes with Grass Plank Storage and Weed Log Storage buildings
  • Chair interaction not working for building or recycling has been fixed


Pond bubbles should pop before poking out of the surface Koi collision better matches its animations to prevent the player from clipping into the model as much



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.