Needs refers to the variety of factors that affect Albert West's overall health. There are several different needs to monitor in Subterrain. Most needs are affected by the difficulty that is being played. The needs will be colored differently depending on the urgency of the need to be satisfied at a particular time. (Green: Not urgent; Orange: Urgent; Red: Very urgent)
Numerical values for most needs can be obtained by mousing over the status HUD or respective icon. There is no known way to do this with a controller.
West's HP is a measure of his remaining life; once it reaches 0, game over (note that the game rounds down, so HP between 1 and 0 will be shown as 0). HP can be seen on the game's status HUD, wrapping around the left side of the sphere. The primary thing that will decrease West's HP is mutant attacks, but he can also take damage from a lack of oxygen, stepping on the radioactive waste in the northern part of Central Control, a low body condition, and potentially other factors.
If West's body condition is high enough (about 85 and higher), he will very slowly recover HP over time. West can also apply a medical kit to restore a portion of his HP over a shorter time. HP is one of the few needs that has no colored indicator, nor does West make a note of it at any point. It is represented by the curved bar to the left side of the circle.
West's contamination is a measure of how infected he is. His contamination is shown as red dots in the bottom left circular HUD; the higher the contamination, the more red dots that there will be in the circular HUD. To decrease contamination, eat a decontamination pill. Suits that West wears can resist some contamination that he receives. West can be contaminated by:
- A mutant hitting him (guaranteed)
- Eating rotten food or Biosphere products (guaranteed)
- Opening the wrong Better Bar (guaranteed)
- Eating food that may be contaminated (chance)
- Drinking water from a tap (chance)
Contamination decreases West's body condition in a linear fashion (1.5 Contamination reduces Body Condition by 1), maxing out at 100 contamination with body condition at 33. In addition, contamination very gradually multiplies over time. As examples, 0 contamination will always be 0 without any other factors (see above); 10 contamination will increase by 1 very slowly (approximately 1 per day); and 90 contamination will increase by 1 slowly (approximately 1 per hour). These numbers may not be accurate; they are simply to illustrate the mechanic.
High contamination will also significantly increase how quickly Thirst increases.
West's body condition is a summary of his overall health, and many factors can decrease it. West's natural health recovery is directly linked to his body condition: at 100 body condition, West will slowly recover lost health; however, as his body condition lowers, so will his regeneration rate. If his body condition is low enough (below about 85), West will even lose health as time passes.
West's body condition will decrease as his contamination, fatigue, hunger, and thirst increase. Body condition is represented by the texture inside the circle and does not use the normal "rules of importance" that most other needs do. Instead, as his body condition worsens, the texture becomes more browned and eventually even red.
Note that any "minimum body condition" values given on this page assume only the titled factor being involved.
FatigueEditWest's fatigue increases over time, and increases more quickly when stamina is consumed. It affects both his maximum stamina and running speed. To decrease fatigue, West needs to sleep in a bed. He can only sleep in a bed, and he won't sleep if any enemies are around (including cocoons).
Once West's Fatigue reaches 75, his max stamina will drop to 33 (further lowering to 25 at 100 fatigue) and his body condition and max stamina will gradually decline until his fatigue is restored to below 75. His max stamina and body condition will slowly recover to their normal values while his fatigue is below 75. If West's fatigue is left at 100 for too long (at least one day; still needs testing), his health will begin to quickly drop (losing 1 health about every 3 minutes), regardless of any other needs.
It takes about 3 hours and 35 minutes to go from 100 Fatigue to 0 without waking, which averages to about 1 Fatigue for 2.15 minutes of rest. West will automatically wake up after about 3 hours 35 minutes have passed, regardless of how fatigued he was when he went to sleep. After waking up, West will be well-rested, greatly reducing his stamina consumption for a short time. The duration of this effect is proportional to how long he was asleep for. He cannot go back to sleep while this effect is active.
Fatigue will also decrease very slightly while riding a tram. However, at a rate of about 1 Fatigue for every 1 hour of travel time, this is mainly a supplement rather than the main method for keeping fatigue low.
ThirstEditWest's thirst increases over time. To satisfy West's thirst, you can drink any drinks that can be found in MPO. You can also drink from a faucet, but it comes with a chance of heavy contamination.
Thirst has little impact on West early on, but at about 70 Thirst, West's running speed will decrease, and his body condition will slowly decrease by up to 34 once thirst nears 100, low enough for HP to decrease over time. After about 90 Thirst, West's maximum HP will gradually decrease.
Thirst will increase more quickly if West is running or has high contamination. High contamination is especially dangerous; 100 contamination will cause Thirst to increase by 1 every few minutes (test again soon).
HungerEditWest's hunger increases over time. To decrease hunger, you can eat any food that can be found in MPO, as well as the harvests from the Biosphere (although consuming them contaminates West). If West's hunger reaches 90, his running speed will lower and his body condition will quickly decline by up to 34, low enough for HP to decrease over time.
BathroomEditAfter consuming a drink or food, West will occasionally have a need to urinate or defecate. The only way to alleviate this need is to use a toilet (a urinal also works for urinating, but not for defecating). Bathroom needs have a very minor effect on West's body condition. Ignoring these needs is not inherently fatal or even dangerous; however, if West is already suffering from several other problems, like high contamination and hunger, a need for the bathroom could tip him over the edge. Arguably, addressing bathroom needs is at least important to keep the status HUD clear, so that more urgent issues are more visible.
Oxygen and WarmthEditMost areas start out with a dysfunctional oxygen filter, so an oxygen canister is needed where there is not enough oxygen. An area can be supplied with oxygen by installing a functioning oxygen filter into the area and keeping the power on, negating the need for an oxygen canister for that area. If West runs out of oxygen in his canister, his health will start to rapidly drop after a short time, with the rate of health loss being based on the sector's oxygen level. Note that an oxygen canister is not sufficient on the Mars surface; an IEVA Suit is also required to avoid HP loss.
Most areas also start out with a dysfunctional thermal regulator, so a thermal canister is required where it is too cold for him to survive normally. An area can be supplied with heat by installing a functioning thermal regulator into the area and keeping the power on, negating the need for a thermal canister for that area. If West cannot stay warm enough, he will become crippled (removing his ability to run and dodge) and his thirst will increase significantly faster (at a rate of 1 Thirst per 2 in-game minutes in Nightmare).