Subnautica is littered with important resources that are required for equally important crafts, with the most essential resources lying in the deep. Nickel Ore is one of these vital resources, but unsurprisingly, it’s also one of the toughest materials to get. You’ll only be able to obtain it late in your playthrough, as Nickel Ore can only be found in two of the final biomes you’ll visit. This guide will make your time finding this precious metal much easier.
Preparing your expedition for Nickel Ore
As I said, Nickel Ore can only be found in biomes found right at the end of Subnautica’s storyline. This means you’ll be going deep, far deeper than you’ve ever been before. If you don’t have the right equipment, you can forget about even getting close to Nickel Ore.
If you haven’t seen Nickel Ore in your playthrough, I’ll assume that you won’t have made it to the Lost River either. I’ll cover that later, but for now, I’ll tell you what equipment you need to get there. The first thing you’ll need is a Seamoth with a MK3 Depth Module. Having a Sonar System and a Perimeter Defense System would make your expedition into the Lost River much easier, but they aren’t strictly necessary. Without the Depth Module, however, you’ll be crushed before you even get close.
Next, you’ll want a Reinforced Dive Suit and an Ultra High Capacity Tank. Your Seamoth will take you close to Nickel Ore, but you’ll need to dive a little further and collect the Nickel Ore yourself. A Rebreather will help you a lot, but it isn’t necessary as long as you’re quick. A Cyclops with a Prawn Suit docked is arguably the best vehicle duo to get you to the Lost River, but it’s probably better to scout out the area with a Seamoth first.
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Where to look for Nickel Ore in Subnautica
With your equipment taken care of, it’s time to venture off in search of the Lost River. There are four entrances in total, but I’ll focus on the northwest entrance for this guide. From your Lifepod, head northwest in the direction of the Mushroom Forest. If you have the beacon for Lifepod 13, you should use that as your heading.
Once at the Mushroom Forest, look for the massive mushroom tree that sits roughly in the center of the biome; this will be your main point of orientation for the next leg of the journey. From its base, head due north until you reach a trench descending into the Blood Kelp Zone. Follow it down to the bottom, then turn around. Before you will be an entrance to the Lost River, the place where Nickel Ore can be found.
Nickel Ore can be found anywhere within the Lost River, and it’s certainly a biome worth exploring. The Lost River is full of sub-biomes and has a bunch of points of interest, plus a fair few interesting scans for your datapad. That said, there are two main areas that are good for Nickel Ore.
Finding Nickel Ore near the Cove Tree
The Cove Tree is essentially a safe zone in the Lost River, with no hostile creatures lurking within or near the entrance. It’s great for a base, with a few thermal vents, edible fish, and useful resources. Nickel Ore can be found readily here, and since you only need 13 pieces to craft every item once, you probably won’t need to look anywhere else. While you can find some lining the walls and on the ground, you can also head into the blue brine for a decent amount. Unlike the green brine, this stuff won’t hurt you, so don’t worry about going in without a vehicle.
If you took the entrance I described earlier, finding the Cove Tree will be a piece of cake. From the entrance, simply navigate through the main chamber until you reach the brine waterfall on the other side. Keep low and to the sides to avoid attracting the attention of the Ghost Leviathan Juvenile that makes its home here. Once at the other side, follow the waterfall down to the crossroads with something interesting in the middle; you’ll know what it is when you see it. From there, turn right at the first opening; before you will be the Cove Tree in all its glory.
Finding Nickel Ore near the crossroads
If you head back to the main crossroads you passed to get to the Cove Tree, you can find a lot of Nickel Ore in and around the brine. The platform in the center can spawn some, but I’ve found a good haul in the brine around it, both loose ore and large deposits. Another good place is down the passage directly across from the Cove Tree, though I’ll leave the specifics of what’s over there for you to discover.
A mixture of the Cove Tree and the other areas near the crossroads is more than enough to get you all the Nickel Ore you need for the rest of your playthrough. You can find it in the next biome, which lies even deeper than the Lost River, but Kyanite is the main resource you should look for at that point. Besides, Nickel Ore is required to craft the necessary upgrades to access this biome, and once you’ve done so, you won’t have much more use for it.
Where to find large Nickel Ore deposits
If you want to get a good chunk of Nickel Ore as quickly as possible, the best thing to do is search for large Nickel Ore deposits. These deposits can net you 8-16 pieces of Nickel Ore, so you might only need one to craft everything.
Large Nickel Ore deposits can be found anywhere throughout the Lost River, though I’ve had a lot of luck in the brine around the crossroads area. Simply head inside with a Prawn Suit and drill away.
What can be crafted with Nickel Ore in Subnautica
Admittedly, there isn’t a whole lot you can craft with Nickel Ore, but what you can make is invaluable. Here’s what you can make with Nickel Ore in Subnautica:
- Prawn Suit Depth Module MK 1 – 3 Nickel Ore, 2 Rubies, and 1 Plasteel Ingot will be required. This module increases the Prawn Suit’s crush depth by 400m, bringing it to 1,300m. This will be required if you plan on venturing deeper than the Lost River in your submersible mech.
- Prawn Suit Jump Jet Upgrade – 2 Nickel Ore, 1 Lithium, 3 Crystalline Sulfur, and 5 Titanium are required. This module vastly improves the effectiveness of the Prawn Suit’s thrusters, allowing you to jump much higher, faster. Coupled with the Grappling Arm, this module is a significant improvement in mobility and highly recommended.
- Cyclops Depth Module MK 2 – 3 Nickel Ore, 1 Plasteel Ingot, and the previous depth module are required. Boosts the Cyclops’ crush depth by 400m, bringing it to 1,300m. Like the Prawn Suit, this module is necessary to dive deeper into the final biomes Subnautica has to offer.
- Orange Tablet – 2 Nickel Ore, and 1 Ion Cube are required. This tablet is necessary for opening certain structures relating to the story, and the blueprint can be acquired by scanning an Orange Tablet. You likely have one already at this point, but if not, pay a visit to the Degasi Seabase in the Grand Reef.
That’s pretty much everything you need to know about Nickel Ore. There is one more recipe that can be crafted with the material, but it’s closely related to the story. I’ll leave it for you to discover, rather than spoil it here.