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Grounded's first major update adds a big scary bird, water fleas, perks and more

Out now on Xbox One and PC.

Grounded, Obsidian Entertainment's delightful (and occasionally terrifying) game about inch-high garden survival, has just received its first major early access update, adding a big scary bird, water fleas, a new perks system, new craftable items, and more.

Obsidian's plans for Grounded have so far remained somewhat shrouded in mystery, aside from the developer's pledge to keep expanding on the game's already enjoyable core until full release with the likes of new features and story content based on community feedback. Today's update, however, brings something tangible to the studio's expansion plans, introducing a broad range of new features touching on all areas of the game.

Robo pal BURG.L, for instance, now offers two new types of quests - Chipsleuth quests which require players to locate chips in specific locations around the yard, and Artificer quests that task players with crafting specific items - with both rewarding Raw Science.

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Additionally, players can now unlock perks as they explore and fight. Perks are described as "mutations" that will make backyard survival a little easier, and players can equip any three at one time. 13 perks can be unlocked as of Grounded's latest update, with today's developer video (above) revealing the likes of Natural Explorer, Juicy, and Coup de Grass.

Elsewhere, the water flea is a new ambient insect in the flooded biome (which now benefits from improved water effects), and bug-high builders can craft Sprig or Acorn fences for their bases, Grass or Clover tables, and even, finally, a proper bed.

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The latter, alongside the new craftable Marksman's Cap item, leads us nicely onto this month's biggest new addition (although 'big' is obviously relative as far as Grounded is concerned) - the bird. Players can use this airborne addition's discarded feathers to craft a variety of items, and while Obsidian's bird reveal trailer indicates it can also land, the developer is letting players find out for themselves exactly how it will impact their adventures.

Full details of today's update - which, you'll be thrilled to hear, has also made spiders stronger, so, uh, safe travels - can be found in Obsidian's latest patch notes. The studio is also working on a Grounded development roadmap that it plans to share soon.

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