Grounded's next content update: What to expect, features, changes, and more

Grounded Landscape Image
Grounded Landscape Image (Image credit: Microsoft)

The game that's currently on everyone's mind is Grounded, which despite its Early Access and Game Preview status amassed over a million players in two days. The team behind Grounded has committed to a monthly content update alongside sporadic patches and bug fixes that will give players new features to play with. This is how Grounded will evolve over time, until it eventually releases in full down the line. In this Grounded guide, we'll be going over what could come with the next Grounded update, going over rumors, speculation, and teasers from the team themselves.

You can check out the changelog for all of Grounded's updates to keep track of new features, as well as follow along with known issues and bugs. The Grounded feature board is also a great tool to use. And, if you want the best possible Grounded experience on a PC, make sure your computer meets all the recommended requirements.

Let's get started. Quick disclaimer: take everything here with a hefty pinch of salt. We're using rumors, speculations, and teasers to build this list, so nothing here is confirmed until the changelog is up (which we'll cover).

October / November, 2020 (Content Update #3)

Grounded Backyard Hedge View

Source: Windows Central / Jared Eden (Image credit: Source: Windows Central / Jared Eden)

The eagle-eyed amongst you may have noticed that, unlike the previous two content updates for Grounded, two months are listed this time around. That's because the Grounded team has teased that this update will be the biggest yet, and that the update needs more time in the oven before it's ready for the public early access. What does this mean? For one, it means the truly dedicated Grounded fans will be able to get a sneak peek at Grounded's third content update on October 26, 2020.

Secondly, it means some of the big features we've been talking about for months may finally be ready to come to Grounded. Which ones, exactly? Well, that's what we're here for. We took a look at which features are most likely or appear to be the closest to being finished, as well as what's just not likely to happen this time around.

Almost definitely in the next update

Grounded Hedge Juicebox

Source: Windows Central / Jared Eden (Image credit: Source: Windows Central / Jared Eden)

Grounded version 0.4.0, or Content Update #3, is almost certainly going to be the biggest update Grounded has received so far, and thanks to a combination of leaks, rumors, and Grounded's own feature board, we have a good idea of what we might see. We've seen speculation and rumors for all kinds of things, including flying insects, more story content, mountable insects, and more, but some of it is far more likely than others.

  • Update to the Pond area. We've seen leaks and speculation practically since Grounded first came out, so the Pond update is a likely candidate for Grounded's first major update. While we don't know exactly what will be included, we've seen hints of:
  • An underwater lab. We've seen hints of a new lab that's stashed underwater, leading to questions of how players are supposed to explore it. It's possible that Grounded plans to add a new lab with each area or biome it updates, complete with more story content.
  • Koi fish. When we first saw the koi fish, it was nowhere near ready. There's a chance it still won't be ready for the big pond update, but the Grounded team taking the extra time and possibly pushing the update into November makes us hopeful we'll see this swimmy boi.
  • New insects and enemies. Grounded plans to add tons of new insects and enemies, and the pond shouldn't be any different. We've seen tadpoles and a new species of spider (that swims!) before, but there could be more that we don't know about yet.
  • New craftable gear and weapons. Whenever we get new insects or areas, there's bound to be new materials. Wherever there's new materials, there'll be new gear and weapons to craft. Hopefully we'll get some gear tailored to underwater adventures.

Maybe in the next update

Grounded Screenshot Fort

Source: Obsidian Entertainment (Image credit: Source: Obsidian Entertainment)

From what we've seen, the Pond update is absolutely massive, and leaks have been in very early shape. There's a chance that won't be the next update at all, but it is the most likely guess we have for a major update. There are also planned features for Grounded that we don't expect to appear in this update, but they're certainly not impossible.

  • Flying insects. We've seen hints of bees and mosquitos in Grounded, so it's clear the team is working on more flying insects besides the annoying gnat. Will they appear in this update? Unlikely.
  • New base building options. It would be great to truly expand how and where you can build your base in Grounded, with new options for furniture, structures, and more, and we know the Grounded team is working on it.
  • New multiplayer options, like invites and private servers. Grounded is at its best when played with friends, but the multiplayer experience isn't perfect. Improvements here are guaranteed, but may not appear in the next content update.
  • New story content. In Grounded's current early access, there's not a ton of story content to explore. Little bits and pieces are added with every content update, but there's still not a lot. It would be great to see the story expand with Grounded's first major content update.

Probably not in the next update

Grounded Screenshot Aphid

Source: Obsidian Entertainment (Image credit: Source: Obsidian Entertainment)

It's still early days for Grounded, and that means a lot is in the pipeline for Obsidian Entertainment's very impressive survival game. However, there are future features that are very unlikely to appear in the near future, no matter how big Grounded's next update is.

  • Insect pets. We know Grounded is looking at adding an option for players to possibly tame insects to keep as pets (I want an aphid army), but other than the idea there's no reason to think this will appear any time soon.
  • Mountable insects. This is still more a community-fueled dream than a possibility, but being able to mount and ride insects to get around faster isn't a huge departure from insect pets, so maybe.
  • Weather effects. Grounded's world is dangerous, gorgeous, and a little static. Weather effects, dynamic or not, are definitely planned for Grounded beyond its current day/night cycle, but I don't believe we'll see this any time soon.
  • New areas or biomes. An overhaul to Grounded's Pond is likely, an overhaul to other existing biomes like the Haze a little less likely but almost certainly happening at some point. New areas and expansions to Grounded's backyard, however, are very far out if they are planned.
  • Higher tiers of gear and buildings. The sky is the limit when it comes to Grounded's tech tree, but we probably have a long ways to go before we're building advanced weaponry and powered bases.

September, 2020 (Content Update #2)

Grounded Screenshot Roses

Source: Obsidian Entertainment (Image credit: Source: Obsidian Entertainment)

It's nearing the end of the month, and we still don't have a release date for the September 2020 content update, or the second major content update for Grounded. The August content update came exactly when the Grounded team promised, and brought a host of new features (many of which were certainly a surprise!). As for the September content update, we'll have a better idea of what will definitely be present, thanks to a new Public Test ring that lets players test out new updates.

In this case, that means update 0.3.0, or Content Update #2. The second content update appears to be more conservative, just like the first one, but will still hopefully bring lots more content for players to try out. In this Grounded guide, we'll go over what will almost definitely be in the next update, what might be present, and what probably won't be.

Almost definitely in the next update

Grounded Screenshot Combat Hedge

Source: Obsidian Entertainment (Image credit: Source: Obsidian Entertainment)

We already have a good idea of what the next content update will likely include, thanks to the Public Test ring and the accompanying changelog. Let's take a look.

  • Changes to the Hedge. It looks like the Hedge area of the game will be getting new content and features, and will be revamped as a fresh new area for players to explore. This could mean anything, from new bugs, resources, challenges, and more.
  • New buildings. There will be several new additions in this category, the most exciting being the zip line. Using this building, players should be able to build more vertical and expansive bases and navigate them quickly, or dramatically reduce travelling times for traversing across the map. There's also something called a "Spinning Wheel."
  • Signs. It looks like players will finally be able to label locations, chests, and more with dedicated signs, rather than sometimes-limited and vague markers on the map. This is a fantastic addition, especially for more organized players.
  • New landmarks. The map will be changed up with some new landmarks and food items that players can discover and add to their map, in order to better find their way around the place.
  • Halloween themed content. It looks like Grounded also intends to change its world over time, adding themed seasonal content for Halloween that should persist throughout October, like a candy corn food item and new landmark.
  • New perks. Perks were added in the August content update, and it looks like Grounded will keep adding more perks as time goes on, giving players new upgrades to choose from.
  • Different kind of spider webs. A feature confirmed for the next update is a new kind of spider web that would be more difficult to see and detect, and would trap players and insects who come into contact with it.
  • Localization for more languages. One of the most requested items for Grounded is support for more languages, and the next content update should add them. Support for French, German, Spanish, and Italian will all be likely added with this update.

Maybe in the next update

Grounded Screenshot Emote

Source: Microsoft (Image credit: Source: Microsoft)

This time around, we have a decent idea of what the next Grounded update will include, but Grounded is bound to have kept some things secret, even from the Public Test, in order to surprise players when the update finally lands. Here's what could be in the next update, but has an equal chance of not being there at all.

  • Changes to the pond area. We know that Grounded is working on a super big update for the pond area in the game, but it seems the team is still hard at work on it. While we don't expect the September content update to drop the entire pond upgrade on us, we may get a trickle of new features starting with this content update. Possibly some new insects, decor, or an area to explore?
  • New crafting recipes. It's reasonable to assume that Grounded will include some new crafting recipes in the new update, possibly going along with a new insect that could be added to the Hedge. Keep your eye out for any new gear or items in the September content update.
  • A new spider species. The next update looks like it's going to add a new kind of spider web that can ensnare unknowing players and insects in its clutches. It's not clear if this web will simply be added to the arsenal of existing spiders, or if we can expect a new spider species altogether.

Probably not in the next update

Grounded Screenshot Hedge Dusk

Source: Obsidian Entertainment (Image credit: Source: Obsidian Entertainment)

The "Maybe" section wasn't too large this time around, mostly because we have a pretty fair idea what's going to be included in the new update (at least, we think we do). However, that won't stop us from speculating on new features, which are almost certainly being worked on, but are very unlikely to be seen in updates in the near future. Since both September and August appear to feature more conservative updates, there will be some overlap in this section.

  • The full pond update. The addition of another biome (and completely overhauling the pond) is a massive affair, and is unlikely to come in this update, or there would've been some mention in the Public Test. This pond update will include several new insects, areas (including an underwater lab), resources, crafting recipes, story content, and even a koi fish.
  • Hives, bees, and wasps. Another feature that has been heavily rumored is the addition of hives, and new insects like bees and wasps. With these additions would come new game mechanics, areas, and tons of new gear and items to craft using resources harvested from the new insects and the hives.
  • Mosquitoes, dragonflies, and other insects. Large flying insects seem to be a theme of rumored updates and planned features, as well as new ant species, roly polies, and in general a ton of potential insect species.
  • New inventory management features. Grounded's inventory is still a pain to manage sometimes, and the team is working on new improvements to make this easier. I don't expect these improvements to appear in the next update.
  • New multiplayer and social features. Grounded intends to roll out private lobbies (password protected games), friend invites, and more, to make it easier to play with friends.
  • Rideable insects or mounts. One of the most heavily requested features for Grounded still hasn't been confirmed as planned, but with the amount of community requests asking for this feature, I figure it's only a matter of time before we see it. Not this update, though.
  • Mouse and keyboard support on Xbox. Another feature that's planned but probably won't show up in the next content update is mouse and keyboard support for Xbox consoles, giving players more control with how they play Grounded, even if they're playing on a console.

The September content update, much like the August content update, will very likely be more conservative than ground breaking, but I expect at least a few major features to make themselves known with the following content update, which should arrive in October. Of course, plans are subject to change, game development is a tricky business. We have nothing but speculation, rumors, and teases for some of these features, so we won't know for certain until the update is out in the wild.

August 26, 2020 (Content Update #1)

Grounded Xbox One

Source: Microsoft / Obsidian Entertainment (Image credit: Source: Microsoft / Obsidian Entertainment)

Grounded's very first content update was originally slated for an August 27, 2020 release date, but alongside a short teaser video for the update, they announced that the update will be coming one day earlier than intended, on August 26, 2020. In the teaser, we get a sneak peek at some of the features to come, but we can also speculate based on what we've seen from leaked builds, data mining, and more.

There's a good chance Grounded's first content update will be a little more conservative than future updates might be, and we're not necessarily expecting any sweeping changes with this initial update. Instead, it's more likely that the team at Obsidian Entertainment will set the stage for future updates, and implement some smaller changes and new features to appease players in the meantime. That being said, we'll still go over some of the rumors we've seen, and different features we might see in Grounded later down the road.

Almost definitely in the next update

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We can take Grounded's teaser video for the first content update as evidence of what will definitely be present, so we took a closer look at the video to see what might be coming on August 26.

  • Changes to the map. It looks like Grounded's map may change over time through updates, slowly altering as the owner of the backyard goes about their life. We can see a new Oreo cookie next to the pre-existing hot dog, as well as a mysterious (and massive) footprint that's altering the landscape of the backyard. What could this mean for the future?
  • New building parts. Grounded already has a solid list of building parts, but the players could always use a lot more creative freedom in how they build their base. We see in the teaser video some sprig fences / railings, indicating Obsidian Entertainment is working on exactly that.
  • Grave Robbery BURG.L chip. "In a hill to the west is where you start this quest. Straight through a rotted room gets you closer to the tomb. Past a tunnel of red rests a soul that is dead. Down the hole lies your goal." BURG.L gains new upgrades and options with BURG.L chips, like unlocking floors and stairs. It looks like BURG.L will be getting new chips, complete with missions to track them down.
  • New crafting recipes? If there's a new BURG.L chip, it stands to reason there's also new crafting recipes to unlock via the BURG.L chip, or possibly other upgrades. Only time will tell.

Maybe in the next update

Grounded Screenshot Armor

Source: Obsidian Entertainment (Image credit: Source: Obsidian Entertainment)

The teaser video up above only shows a handful of changes, and nothing is a dramatic change from what we already have. Again, there's a very good chance Grounded's first content update is going to be extremely conservative, but we can still hope.

We know from datamining and leaked builds (like in this YouTube video) that Grounded is working on a ton of new content behind the scenes, including a dramatic overhaul of the pond with a water update. So what could that update include?

  • A new biome. The pond receiving so much attention would essentially make it Grounded's fourth biome, with an entire ecosystem thriving within its borders. Who knows how much could be discovered beneath its surface, hidden in the depths. I guess it's up to us to discover.
  • Koi fish. With the upheaval of the pond, we'd also get koi fish! These fishy bois are huge, presumably hungry, and already battle-scarred from previous battles, and could pose a unique threat for players to overcome.
  • New insects and creatures. Beyond koi fish, the water update could add diving bell spiders, tadpoles, leeches, water fleas, striders, and more.
  • New armor, weapons, and tools. To go along with all these new creatures, we would also see lots of new equipment, like koi armor, diving masks, new weapons, including a harpoon gun (!), and much more.
  • New resources and plants. Cattails, lily pads, and underwater plants and resources are all possibilities with the water update, including things like moss, new stone, and more.
  • Underwater base. There are hidden labs scattered all throughout the backyard, but there could also be a full underwater base inside of the water update, which requires advanced diving gear to reach, and could be protected by hostile creatures like leeches.
  • New story elements. The story in Grounded right now is quite limited (only about 20%, according to the team), so future updates will slowly add more and more story elements to the game. This water update should do exactly this.

Probably not in the next update

Grounded Screenshot Spider Explosion

Source: Obsidian Entertainment (Image credit: Source: Obsidian Entertainment)

It's already unlikely that this "water update" will be Grounded's first content update, but even more unlikely are some of these additional changes we've heard mentioned in rumors and leaks. These changes seem like they're still a little ways off, but are still in active development for the game.

  • Wasps and bees. Two new insect types could be wasps and bees, which should add a lot of the living breathing world of Grounded. Wasps would likely be far more aggressive creatures, and could end up being one of the toughest baddies in the whole games. Bees would likely be more docile, but they could possibly have a prey-predator relationship with bees, and special crafting materials if players find their hives.
  • Mosquitoes and dragonflies. Mosquitoes (already hinted at in Grounded's first release with a bug) and dragonflies could also make their debut in Grounded. Mosquitoes have a higher chance of being released earlier, since it seems like they're closer to being finished.
  • Other insects, like fireflies. The sky is the limit with Grounded, and lots of other insects could be in the works for this rapidly expanding tiny survival game. Fireflies look to be in the game already, but other insects are also likely being developed and planned.
  • Hives. If wasps and bees are going to be added, it makes sense for them both to get a home as well.
  • A new tier of weaponry, including swords. Right now, weapons and tools only go up to Tier III, which are already plenty powerful for even the strongest enemy in the game, the wolf spider, if in the hands of an experienced players. It looks like future updates could add new higher tiers of weaponry, including swords, with at least two variants made from mosquitoes and dragonflies confirmed.
  • New decor, like mounted heads. In order to ward off hostile attacks, future updates could allow you to mount, say, ant heads on a stick and place them outside of your base. Spooky.
  • Rideable insects, or mounts. This hasn't been confirmed to be in development, but it has been heavily requested by the community and makes sense for Grounded, so it's possible that a distant update could add the ability to ride insects around.

Keep in mind this is all speculation at this point, but most if not all of this has been confirmed by leaked builds and datamining as being in the game and being worked on, so there's a very good chance we'll see a lot of this eventually. That being said, take this all with a pinch of salt until the updates start rolling out in full. We'll see Grounded constantly improve and add new features with an update planned every month, and we'll be here to discuss those updates as they come.

What are you wanting to see in the next update for Grounded? Have you heard any rumors or speculations about what could be around the corner? Let us know in the comments below!



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.