Metabolism Overhaul - A (meh) Suggestion

Unnecessary pre-amble

I’m still alive! Barely! Haven’t had the time to do a proper suggestion post in forever (thanks a lot, uni), so this oughta be a minor one in terms of quality or length compared to what I’d ideally like to do. The ideas hopefully still carry the same weight, though!


In another push for survival-centricism, I’d like to turn our attention towards a huge topic that has seen surprisingly little scrutiny IMO, one of U3’s biggest failings; a proper representation of metabolism. I don’t think I need to explain myself much here. Actual survival in U3 was ridiculously easy because all you had to do was top off 2 bars by consuming items you’d literally find on the fly. Naturally, since UII is moving the focus back towards survival again, metabolism has so many possibilities for drastic improvement. Here’s a few (hopefully) straightforward ideas I’ve come up with, admittedly they’re mostly on the immersive/hardcore side so I’m expecting a lot of criticism.

Sadly this suggestion contains no pixel art.


Basis #1 - Units, Values, and You

Changing units and values to be less arbitrary and behave more realistically.

For starters, it always irked me a bit that the nutrition and hydration bars in U3 were just % bars. I suppose it’s fine for U3, but definitely too arbitrary for UII since it just doesn’t make all that much sense other than to be extremely simplified. Proper capacity values and units of measurement will be a lot more versatile.

  • In a real world survival situation, your main struggle at any given time is the intake of enough calories to fuel your bodily functions as well as daily tasks. Therefore, the nutrition system should be entirely measured in calories, with appropriate consumable items (including beverages) having a caloric value. Ideally, the nutritional information of a consumable should be displayed somewhere in or near its description.

  • Appropriately, hydration should be measured in litres. This hopefully also allows for us to have a universal fluid system where all containers that can hold liquids will share the same measurement, making it incredibly easy to keep track of quantities rather than the nightmare that % values would pose.

  • Generally, the amount of calories/water your belly can hold should be a lot higher. Capacity and drain rate for both calories and water will be two separate values that fit in with the stat multiplier system of UII.

  • Rather than hitting a hard limit on your nutrition and hydration bars, you should (obviously) be able to eat or drink a bit more than you actually need to make your feelings of hunger/thirst go away. You will, as a result, enter a state of satiety which can grant additional bonuses (albeit being unable to stuff yourself any further).

  • Portioning consumables rather than eating them all at once. Drinking beverages, you should automatically only drink as much as you need, never wasting any extra fluids. Certain food items can be eaten fractionally (e.g. slices of a pizza), while others such as packaged MREs would act more as nested storage with different components of the meal inside.

Basis #2 - Calories, and Conserving Them

Calories as a mechanic in the game

I could literally have made an entire post for calories alone, but for the sake of simplicity, here’s some main points and perhaps interesting ideas instead.

  • Calories are constantly being depleted, but physical activity and certain other conditions (e.g. illness) will cause you to burn calories faster. You can run everywhere around town like a macho mall cop and you’ll probably get a good workout, but be ready to replenish all those calories you just used up.

  • You can perform certain actions and use items in your environment to get comfort, reducing calorie drain rate. For instance, kick back and relax on your couch to conserve energy even more than normal. Lounge next to your AC unit and stay cool during a hot summer day to further boost this effect. This also gives beds an alternate use as opposed to just respawning and skipping the night.

Basis #3 - Making Debuffs Impactful

Reworking hunger, thirst, and other debuffs.

Hunger and thirst were pretty lackluster and quite easy to counter in U3 to be quite honest, assuming you ever got to that point. (Note: I’m using these timeframes as examples, things are subject to change if UII’s day cycles or timeframes are different than U3’s)

  • Since we’re switching over to the calorie-based system, hunger will manifest when you haven’t eaten anything in over, say, an ingame day. You’ll start to notice your aim getting a bit shaky and your tummy will occasionally grumble, audible enough to be heard by players and zombies in a confined radius around you. The onset of thirst may occasionally and briefly blur the player’s vision slightly in a similar manner of timing.

  • If you run extremely low on calories or hydration, then stamina regeneration, movement speed, and carrying capacity (assuming weight returns to UII) will be substantially affected. If you let them decrease further still, your vision will turn to grey and then you will die. (I’d rather not use direct damage as this can be briefly stalled by medical items that really shouldn’t be effective.)

  • When you’re suffering from hyperthermia or the flu, a sweating debuff will cause increased water loss. When suffering from hypothermia, limb manipulation will be impacted, affecting dexterity-related actions such as manipulating a weapon (e.g. making you melee slower or more weakly, lengthening reloads and recoil recovery).

Basis #4 - Unique Consumable Mechanics

Various consumable tweaks and new characteristics/mechanics to improve diversity.

U3’s consumable variety was a bit bland. Everything more or less did the same thing, but in different amounts. Let’s mix that up a bit, shall we? :wink:

  • All food, depending on their volume, will “saturate” the player for different amounts of time, briefly slowing or stopping hunger. E.g. a hearty soup or a slab of steak will keep the player saturated longer than a candy bar. You could argue that this isn’t very useful if you can just tweak caloric value, but it does create yet another factor that can be used in balance of consumables, especially in modding.

  • Confirmed feature, but worth a mention: keeping track of various nutrients and vitamins (but not going super overkill mode like SCUM and similar titles). However, as opposed to a penalty of some kind for not meeting umpteen different quotas, maintaining a healthy balance of these in the long-term should grant minor passive bonuses. For instance, vitamin K would be associated with blood clotting rate.

  • We could take the above one step further, even having this system work in tandem with the Skill System Overhaul by employing skill multipliers! For instance, keeping a high protein intake would be perfect for muscle development, thus granting a boost in various physicality-oriented skills such as sprinting.

  • Sugary drinks will give you a notable amount of calories in addition to quenching thirst. However, there’s a catch: consuming large quantities of sugary drinks (say, over 1 L) will cause temporarily increased rates of water loss! This encourages players to source pure or natural water rather than their (historically OP in U3) artificial alternatives.

  • Various beverage containers are now reusable when empty. You can also boil water in glass or metal containers!

  • Speaking of beverages, overall, they should be higher capacity in accordance with portioning. I don’t think anyone normally consumes an entire 2 L pop bottle in one go. Except brave souls.

  • Certain drugs and medical items can affect your metabolism. Multivitamins, IV drips, appetite suppression pills, and more. Certain items may also have side effects that affect metabolism, such as having powerful berries antibiotics make you hungry/thirsty faster. If we were to go one step further still, overdosing or spamming certain types of medicine repeatedly in a short time can screw you over this way too. :smiling_imp:

You made it to the end!

You did it! I might be back in a bit, or I might instead fade away into obscurity. In the meantime though, I’d love to see your feedback. There’s definitely still plenty of room to expand on this suggestion.

Thank you to the absolute madlads of Pineridge for constant motivation and support, and to the Suggestion Squad (in memoriam) for the inspiration a fortnight ago. You guys are the best. :smile:

Evaluation Poll

Comments in all cases are strongly encouraged! Thank you!

  • Hey, that’s pretty good!
  • Not bad, but I have something to add…
  • I don’t like it.
  • It’s long so it must be good These jokes are dead, stop it. Vote this if you literally skimmed through the post without reading it fully. :frowning:

0 voters

Further reading: “the best of GHJ”

Skill System Overhaul - A Mega-Suggestion

Skill System Overhaul - A Mega-Suggestion

Sectionalized Clothing (confirmed!)

Sectionalized Clothing - w/ Concept Art

Survival Overhaul - A Mega-Suggestion

Survival Overhaul - A Mega-Suggestion

Immersive Details: Identification

Immersive Details: Identification


It’s long, so its good.


I’d like to present the possibility of higher metabolisms for better caloric efficiency and slower metabolisms for energy preservation, especially in colder climates.

Adding such a slider in character customization could work wonders with diversity between players.


This reminds me of NEO Scavenger, where when selecting traits at the beginning of the game, the player has a choice of a low metabolism or a high metabolism (or if they choose neither, an average metabolism by default). This metabolic rate affects not only calories, but also the speed at which medicine such as antibiotics take effect.

If we factor the Skill System Overhaul into your proposal, I think that rather than a linear slider (and one that might be exploitable like switching skillsets in U3), we could potentially have other dynamic factors actually affect the metabolic rate independently.

Interesting idea.


For a split second, I thought you were replying to your own post, and I was thinking “that’s just sa- oh wait”

You fucking did it wrong.


Being honest with my vote, IMO sounds overly complex and kinda unneeded.


I commend your honesty, but do you have anything specific in mind? I could probably find something to improve on! :slight_smile:


(I should probably note that the way my ideas are strewn about in this particular thread are a bit less directionally oriented than usual, if anything it’s more of a collection of different related concepts I’ve come up with)

I mean to me this just seems unnecessary


I gotta agree with Spebby here. There’s more with this suggestion that I like over which I dislike, but I still think this level of detail is a bit over the top. While I do think the current way food works in 3.0 should be expanded upon, I think it could be better done in a system that’s simply less complex. I do agree with saturation, portioning, and some kind of basic calorie system that rewards more uncommon, healthier food, and increased amount of food/water being consumable at the cost of stuffing yourself, and a lot more on the post.

A few additional things I dislike:

Hydration shouldn’t just be in litres. It’d be nice for cups as well. (for us god blessed Americans)

A calorie system that ideally would take a whole post of its own? I don’t think an extremely complex calorie system is going to do the game any favors. I do think a simplistic system tied to your stamina and such would be a good idea, with the player needing to replenish calories after running for a long time and having ways of reducing the drain rate, but much more and it starts getting excessive.

Stomach growling loud enough to aggro Turned? Really?

I’m not sure if I like the idea of carrying capacity being affected by low hunger/thirst simply because it makes moving towards a source of either much more frustrating for a player with an already filled inventory. Dying straight away once you have fully run out however makes sense.

Even with a more simplified nutrients/vitamins system I’m still rather skeptical.

I do think overall though that this post has many features I would like to see. I just think that overall super complex systems regarding food/water should be avoided to some degree to insure gameplay is preserved and not overcomplicated, but at the same time kept more complex than 3.0’s super basic systems.


It really is very complex by Unturned 3 standards, however, Unturned 4.0 is a completely new game, and much more detailed than the previous one, so I believe a calorie system, the need to look for healthy consumables and stuff like that would be truly a good implementation.
It would bring a greater realism and a greater immersion.


Go with quarts; they’re more equivalent to liters.
the real question is whether we should use U.S. quarts or Imperial quarts.


The stomach growling is kinda laughable, but I personally think the rest of it is pretty good.

One thing to think about though, if there is a vitamin system there would have to be such a large range of food items that it could actually be used in a way that people would have to think about it, which would be ridiculous. I understand that CDDA did it great, but CDDA also has 500 different food items. Also, if UII had a food system this advanced (which I would be happy with) it would feel very out of place unless there were many other systems similarly advanced.

Another big think is how you would actually put players in a situation where they have the possibility to run out food, because in every multiplayer survival game I have ever played, you have to be pretty dumb to run out, and in a game whose past games all revolved around “loot this city, move to next city” you would have to either make cities massive and have very dangerous enemies to incentive hunkering down in buildings, where one could run out of food, or put a massive emphasis on outdoors survival, which would also require a large amount of space between locations, which could drive this away.

This would be a addition I would love, but honestly, it seems like it will end up more so being a mod that I will love.


@tehswordninja @anon67155151 both of you bring up some very solid points!

As I said responding to Spebby earlier, this suggestion is a bit less organized than I’d like mostly because I made it during exam week. In hindsight it probably wasn’t the best idea, but :man_shrugging:

My responses are a bit lengthy altogether so I condensed it here out of courtesy :)

I do agree on your feedback for the belly rumbling aggroing zombies, it’s one thing I wasn’t fully certain with.

I assume that much like U3, this will be an option of some sort. The values are gonna be some funky decimals for y’all yankees though since Nelson will most likely use liters to initially create everything.

Do keep in mind this only affects weight tolerances and not actual space. It sounds really quite severe on paper but the effect will often be not as serious in actual practice. Plus, to be fair, by the time it does become a problem you’d have to have seriously neglected your nutrition/hydration regardless, and this would more urgently force the player to essentially stop hauling extremely heavy items/whatever they’re already doing to go find nourishment.

I’m sure Nelson has a good plan for this since he’s been intending on adding a vitamin system long before I made this post. I do share some concern there though, but we’ll wait and see.

Valid point. If we get more information about related mechanics in the future, I’ll be sure to refine my suggestion further and make it more concise/perhaps simplified based on what developments we see down the road. As of right now though, this is more akin to an organized brainstorm.

I do agree with that, which is why I also don’t think the player should be penalized for having a deficiency of vitamins/minerals. Making it a solely beneficial mechanic will reduce the negative complications of such a mechanic on gameplay in an early development stage (and probably remove a lot of the potential frustration too).

glances at my past suggestions awkwardly

Absolutely! C:DDA did this well with massive urban areas combined with equally expansive wilderness, but since UII presumably won’t be able to go the former route without huge performance hits (yeah it’s Unreal Engine 4, but every game has their limits), I think a more vast wilderness could really seal the deal on this one. After all, even from what we’ve seen with Pineridge, the areas outside of town look a lot better than U3’s “forests” did. Lots of opportunity for survival-centricism and other gameplay elements to occur too!


I’m not giving a like because of this

1 Like

A well needed push for influencing a survival based game.
I like the use of real units of measurements such as litres and calories. The fact that exercise and extended amounts of physical activity will increase the loss of calories will make people think twice before going Usain Bolt around the entire map all day.

Very good post, I give it a 10/10 buddy.


I’m sorry for disappointing you, to compensate I will never make a suggestion post ever again

I bring dishonor to family :cry:


Change your name back to Molton MK. II

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