Grounded: Which Order Should You Do The Labs In?

You may be able to tackle Grounded’s four labs in any order, but this is the best way take then on.

Grounded: Which Order Should You Do The Labs In?

After your first few story missions in Grounded, you’re let loose on the whole yard. Burgl’s asked you to find four labs, and find the chips contained with them.

So far, all of your activities have been around the Oak Lab and the Lower Grasslands. But now that you’re striking out, which order should you do the labs in?

Technically, you can do all four labs in any order. However, some are definitely more difficult than others, and so doing it this way gives you time to upgrade your equipment for the nest challenge.

First Lab: The Oak Lab

Grounded: Which Order Should You Do The Labs In?

If you’ve not even rescued Burgl yet, this is your first lab. It is located under the Oak tree, behind the glowing pink rubble.

On your approach to the Oak Lab, be careful of the Orb Weaver Spiders and Wolf Spiders that patrol the area. The entrance to the lab is particularly dangerous, as it is right next to a sleeping Wolf Spider and in the nighttime patrol path of one of the Wolf Spiders that calls underneath the three its home.

Grounded: Which Order Should You Do The Labs In?

The lab itself, though, is harmless. Unless a spider manages to wander its way into the lab (which is exceedingly rare), there are no enemies in it. It is full of equipment you’ll be using a lot, like a resource scanner, an ASL terminal, the Super Dupr, and a Resource Analyzer.

You’ll be coming back to the Oak Lab a lot. For instance, when you have a better hammer, you’ll be able to harvest the Mega Milk Molar found at the back of the lab in a room with large batteries.

From the back room of the Oak Lab, you can also find a hole in the window that gives you access to both the Abandoned Ant Hill and a way to get to the Pond. In this room, you’ll also find Burgl if you haven’t rescued him yet.

Grounded: Which Order Should You Do The Labs In?

You’ll need to activate the biometric scanner in the Oak Lab in order to access most of the other labs.

Second Lab: The Hedge Lab

Grounded: Which Order Should You Do The Labs In?

Your first real challenge in Grounded is to explore the Hedge Lab. This can be found in the southeast of the map, in the large hedge up against the wall of the house.

At first, your only way up to the Hedge Lab will be via the Hedge Ascent on the southern wall. This can be easily spotted, as it’s a pair of yellow garden shears propped up against a tangle of roots and hedge twigs.

Grounded: Which Order Should You Do The Labs In?

Once you’re up in the hedge, you simply have to follow the branches and ziplines across, being careful not to fall to the floor. About half-way across, you’ll find a small lab building that can be used to activate the resource scanners and give you a nice view of the whole yard.

Before hitting up the Hedge Lab, chop down some dandelions and collect the tufts. This allows to float to the floor if you fall and avoid taking damage.

Unfortunately for arachnophobes, the big theme of the Hedge Lab is spiders. This lab is by far the most abundant area for them, with Orb Weavers and Orb Weaver Jrs. patrolling the ground, and Orb Weaver Jrs. and Spiderlings found up in the lab itself.

Grounded: Which Order Should You Do The Labs In?

You’ll also encounter larvae on the ground, and robots both on the ground and in the lab itself. There are also three Bombardier beetles in the far corner of the Hedge, by the porch.

Other than the spiders and the height, the Hedge Lab is by far the easiest of the four to access. It is a heavily damaged lab, and much of the challenge is in navigating it, rather than anything that can actually kill you.

Grounded: Which Order Should You Do The Labs In?

As you progress through the game, you’ll have other ways of getting to the Hedge Lab than going the long way round through the Hedge Ascent. For instance, the Upper Yard leads directly underneath the main body of the Hedge Lab, and the birdbath has access to branches that lead to the middle section, just before the frisbee and Broodmother’s lair.

Third Lab: The Pond Lab

Grounded: Which Order Should You Do The Labs In?

The next lab you’re going to want to access is at the bottom of the large pond in the Lower Yard.

Though the Pond is full of threats like Diving Bell Spiders, Water Flears, and, of course, Trudy, the unkillable Koi fish, the big challenge of getting to the Pond Lab is, instead asphyxiation.

Before you start exploring the deeper areas of the Pond, make sure you’ve crafted at least a Gill Tube and Fin Flops. This gives you just enough time to get to the Pond Lab entrance, or time to get the Sunken Bones needed to craft the much more useful Bubble Helmet.

To access the Pond Lab, you need to first dive into the Pond Depths, with entrances found both at the far western point of the Pond, and slightly east of the middle. The one in the middle is the safer entrance, as it has fewer Diving Bell Spiders, but either way will be a wild dash to the air of the lab.

Killing a Diving Bell Spider will replenish your oxygen in a pinch.

As mentioned, time is the big enemy here. With the right equipment, and the Merteen mutation, you’ll have enough time to activate the three switches in the Pond Depths, but without any sort of aquatic assistance, you’ll likely not even make it to the front door.

Grounded: Which Order Should You Do The Labs In?

Inside the lab itself is a doddle, with the only enemies being weak robots. Once you’ve completed the Pond Lab and opened the shutters, you’ll also have a number of access ports throughout the Pond, so you won’t have to go back to the Depths to get in again in the future.

You’ll likely be making frequent return trips to the Pond Lab, as the Muscle Sprouts respawn every five days, and make a great base for healing potions.

Fourth Lab: The Haze Lab

Grounded: Which Order Should You Do The Labs In?

The Haze Lab is located in the big cloud of yellow gas south-west of the Oak tree.

This is the first lab that you’ll definitely want to upgrade your armour and weapons for, as otherwise you’ll be stomped on by the various infected bugs that stalk the fumes. The most important piece of equipment before heading to The Haze is the Gas Mask.

To craft a Gas Mask, you’ll need a Weevil Gnose, Gnat Fuzz, Crude Rope, and a Stinkbug Part. The Stinkbug Part is the hardest piece to get, as Stinkbugs can be strong early-game enemies that require frequent healing until you have the Gas Mask to protect from their gas.

If you seal the gas canister with some chewing gum, the Haze will dissipate and you can approach the lab without needing a Gas Mask.

Grounded: Which Order Should You Do The Labs In?

Your entrance to the Haze Lab, which can be find slightly south-west of then gas canister, will be blocked until you blow it up. You’ll need to bring a Bratburst, which, fortunately, only requires ingredients you can find in or near the Haze: Fungal Growth, Red Ant Eggs, and Dry Grass Chunks.

There is another entrance to the Haze Lab found in a broken underwater pipe near the Haze. This requires you have a tier two dagger to cut the roots, and avoid aquatic enemies like Water Fleas and Diving Bell Spiders. It’s also heavily recommended you get a light source, like a Slime Mold Torch to make sure you don’t lose your way and drown.

The Haze Lab is the most dangerous lab you’ve encountered yet, including numerous infected insects, robots, and explosive fungal growths. The biggest threat is also the game’s first mini-boss, an Infected Ladybug surrounded by fungal spores.

Grounded: Which Order Should You Do The Labs In?

This fight goes quickest if you have a decent busting weapon. Keep an eye on the spores and the infected insects it can summon, and also keep away from its own attacks.

Once you’ve killed it, this Infected Ladybug does not respawn, and you can use the biometric scanner to grab the super chip.

Fifth Lab: Black Anthill Lab

Grounded: Which Order Should You Do The Labs In?

The final of the four labs you can clear at this point is the Black Anthill Lab, which is found in the trash pile in the far south-west of the yard. Getting to this area can be a task in and of itself, with the approach either being through The Haze, over the Sandbox, or around the far side of the Sandbox, which is infested with Orb Weaver Spiders.

You’ll also still need your Gas Mask, as approaching rotting food has a similar gas effect that can kill you if you’re unprepared. On the plus side, the only aggressive enemies in this area of the yard are the Black Ants themselves, and only if you get too to their hill.

Grounded: Which Order Should You Do The Labs In?

The Ant Hill entrance can be found behind the bin bags, next to the computer monitor. Getting too to the entrance will attract the ire of the Black Soldier Ants, and attacking any will also anger the Black Worker Ants.

This is the most combat-heavy of the four labs, as you’ll be fending off ants as you descend into the lab. You’ll also need another Bratburst to blast your way into Sector A of the lab, and another to break the glass to the Assistant Manager’s room.

It can be a confusing lab to navigate, but make sure you access Sector A first, then unlock Sector B, then proceed to the Assistant Manager. This is where you’ll find Grounded’s first true boss – the Assistant Manager itself.

Grounded: Which Order Should You Do The Labs In?

This is a large robot that can summon smaller ones, fire plasma orbs, and use laser turrets in the room. It can be an immense challenge if you head in unprepared but, like all robots, it is weak to busting. By now, you should be wearing tier-two armour and weapons, so with enough healing potions you shouldn’t have too much trouble taking it down.

Clearing the Assistant Manager gives you access to an alternate exit out of the Black Anthill, coming out next to the hose in the yard. You’ll also now have the Assistant Manager’s Keycard, which, among other things, unlocks the locked room in the Oak Lab that contains the Zip.r, a device that lets you go in both directions on a zipline.

There is an exit through the Anthill tunnels that leads out into the middle of the Sandbox, but make sure you’re either going out at night or have the equipment to stave off the heat, otherwise you’ll be at risk of sizzle damage.

Once you’ve cleared all four labs, if you haven’t already, head back to the Oak Lab and turn in the chips to Burgl. This will unlock new recipes and progress the story, which, thankfully, now only sends you to one place at a time, so you can’t accidentally go out of order.

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