Grounded Mutations Tier List: Ranking All Mutations

At first glance, Grounded might not seem like a great experience, but when you start playing it, you realize what Obsidian Entertainment has achieved is truly spectacular. Many elements of the game make it stand out in the recent past of the survivalist genre, and one of them is the mutations in the game, which we will explain and rank in our Grounded Mutations Tier List.

The game reminds us of Losta book by Natasha Preston. It will hook you from day 01, and most of you will not realize how much time has passed since. The game does require you to know certain things, and to aid you in one of that aspects, we have made this Tier List. Let’s talk briefly about Mutations in the game.

Mutations In Grounded

The game consists of challenges and tasks that are rewarding for you on a personal level but in-game, you get perks; mutations are one of them. Initially, you have a humble start, but with time, as you unlock mutations and unlock phases, life becomes easy for you in the game as they help you, for example, in combat, farming, hunting, and other things you can do in the game.

It is important to know that the mutations are unlocked from BURG.L and are not unlocked in normal gameplay. We can’t tell you further about BURG.L as it might spoil the game for you, but be sure it is one of the most awesome characters in the game & likewise, one of the most important ones.

As you upgrade in the game, your mutation slots open. By default, you start with 2 mutation slots. The next three are opened by buying them from our favorite robot BURG.L. In total, there are 5 slots, and with each upgrade to the number of slots, it becomes increasingly hard to open the next. Having a maximum of 5 slots means you have to be very clever in choosing the right mutations, and our Tier List can come in handy here.

Tier List’s Criteria

Our Mutation Tier List consists of all the notable mutations in the game. We will rank them from the best to the worst to help you in the game. They are organized in tiers that go from best to worst.

  • S Tier: The best mutations 
  • A Tier: The second-best mutations 
  • B Tier: Average mutations
  • C Tier: Below-average mutations
  • D Tier: Mutations best avoided

S-Tier 

Best Mutations in Grounded
Must have mutations in Grounded

The Mutations in this tier are the best in the game. You can book a permanent slot for them out of the 5, and it will make your life easy in the game where the world has shrunken. 

Buff Lungs

  • Effect: Increases your Stamina by 50.
  • Unlocking: Can be bought for 3000 Raw Science and the Red Anthill Chip from BURG.L 

Buff Lung is one of those mutations you might want to equip because it is essential for us in all the general tasks. Your sprinting, chopping, and smashing abilities are boosted, while your defense improves greatly in a fight. This is one of our favorite mutations and a must-have because the general tasks are something you can’t get away from and a boost of 50 to the stamina makes the game easy for you, and the grinding is not hard as a result of this.

Meat Shield

  • Effect: Increases your max health by 30.
  • Unlocking: Can be bought for 3000 Raw Science from BURG.L

One of those mutations had given us a hard time because it was not easy for us to choose between this and Buff Lungs. This mutation is very good if you have an issue with blocking and want to take as little damage as possible because of your inability. To be very honest, we would not call it an inability; the game makes blocking hard.

Mom Genes

  • Effect: Friendly Spiderlings Help You
  • Unlocking: Kill the Hedge Broodmother in the Boss Fight

When you initially use this mutation, you might curse us for putting it on the S Tier, as it is not everyone’s cup of tea. Still, it is on the ultimate tier of our Grounded Mutations Tier List because you can have a deadly combination of daggers and spears.

The pro tip would be to avoid using it with heavy weapons. Daggers and spears are generally good weapons in the game and having Mom Genes equipped, you can get the most out of them. Besides, the friendly spiderlings spawn because of this can help you in fights.

Coup de Grass

  • Effect: +10/+25% Critical Hit
  • Unlocking: Phase 1 can be unlocked by discovering the 3 Leaf Clover Landmark, while Phase 2 needs you to roll a 20 with a die in the Minotaur Maze

There was a very frustrating bug in the past, but with the recent updates, they have fixed it, and you can now get to phase 2/2 very easily. This bug was so annoying that we would never have placed it on this tier, but since the fix, we can’t stress enough how good this mutation can be. 

It boosts your critical hits and can complement all weapon types, unlike the Mom Genes, which is well suited to daggers and spears. The boost to the critical hits can bring down enemies that are not easy to beat and save you a lot of time.

Juicy

  • Effect: Thirst Decreases Slow
  • Unlocking: Discover the 5 juice boxes in the game

The mutation will decrease the thirst drain by almost half. The issue of hunger and thirst dropping quickly was in the game, but with the new development and updates, the dev team of Grounded has done a great job of fixing it. It doesn’t drain as fast, but it doesn’t mean thirst has stopped dropping. Juicy can help you and is essential for those hindered by thirst draining quickly.

It is placed in the S Tier as the thirst drain in the game’s initial hours can be very annoying as you need to have good stamina to do the basic tasks in the game. In addition to that, in fights, you can not afford to have your stamina drained. 

Sharpshooter

  • Effect: Temporarily freeze the enemy.
  • Unlocking: Kill 40 creatures using a bow to unlock phase 1. For phase 2, kill 100 creatures with the bow, and for the last phase, kill 200 creatures with the bow.

One of those mutations we avoided in the past was because we thought it stopped increasing damage. Still, while playing the game, we learned that unlocking the Smithing Station is the best way to increase the damage you can inflict with your weapons and one shouldn’t rely on mutations for that.

Our perception about it changed, and we think there is no better mutation than Sharpshooter for pinning the enemies and creating a distance between you and them in the game. Yes, it doesn’t increase the damage but temporarily freezing an enemy makes life easy.

A-Tier

Good Mutation in Grounded
These are very good mutations to have in Grounded

The mutations on this tier list can be easily put on the S Tier if you think we have done injustice to them because the margin of difference between them is very less. Nevertheless, both tiers have the best mutations in the game.

Smasher

  • Effect: Daze the enemies easily.
  • Unlocking: You will need to kill 40 creatures with a hammer to unlock phase 1, and for the next to phases, you need 100 and then 200 kills with a hammer.

We suggest you always use a hammer at level 6 with the smasher. Yes, weapon types don’t increase damage when coupled with a mutation, but they surely add a unique effect to your chosen weapon type. The hammers gain a unique effect from the smasher mutation is a slow attack/daze effect giving you more time to hit your enemies.

Natural Explorer

  • Effect: +3%/+6%/+10% boost to sprint speed
  • Unlocking: For Phase 1, discover 5 landmarks, and for the next two phases, discover 20 and 50 landmarks, respectively. 

Sprinting in this game has been very painful for us. It drains very easily, and the world is very large; we feel it should not drain as fast. Many argue that it is good to get the true essence of the game, but for us, we can’t compromise. Thus the natural explorer will speed up things for you, and your exploring and dodging become very easy in the game.

Chopper

  • Effect: Restrict the movement of opponents
  • Unlocking: Kill 40 creatures with an axe for phase 1, and for the next 2 phases, you need to kill 100 and then 200 creatures with an axe, respectively. 

Small insects are perhaps one of those enemies that annoy us a lot. You might want to disagree, but they are damned. So for them, the axes are weapons that you must keep. They are not as lucrative as other weapons in the game, but when you have the chopper mutation, the nasty insects can easily be killed with quick swirls.

It can give you the ability to stagger your enemies and will restrict their movement. We would have put it on the S Tier, but only if the mutation was good with all weapon types.

Ant-nihilator

  • Effect: +5%/+15%/+25% damage to different types of ants.
  • Unlocking: Kill 40 black ants, fire ants, or red ants for phase 1, and for the next two phases, you need to kill 100 and 150 ants.

Red Ant Eggs, Marbles, and Quartzites are some of the essential things to have in Grounded, and the best place to find them is in the Anthills. It would be very stupid to go there without the Ant-nihilator mutation. Equipping one gives you the ultimate resistance against them at phase 3 and increases your damage to kill them off.

Ants are very annoying in this game, and it is one of the must-have mutations. Bringing death to them is very soothing, but we wish the mutation was not just ant specific so we could put it on the S Tier.

Blademaster

  • Effect: It makes combos easy with a sword and reduces the stamina cost of using a sword.
  • Unlocking: 40 creatures being killed with a sword will unlock phase 1, and for phases 2 and 3, you need 100 to 200 kills, respectively, with a sword.

Certain weapons in the game, like the swords, need you to be rapid. This drains your stamina, making it harder for you to cope with it if you don’t have a mutation like a blade master in your mutation slots. Speaking of this, there was a bug associated with the blade master in the game at one point, where attacks from weapons cost zero stamina but were later fixed. 

We would have easily put Blademaster on the S Tier had it not been for our disliking for swords and how better weapons are available than the sword.

Cardio Fan

  • Effect: +10%/15%/20% to stamina, and stamina can be regained quickly.
  • Unlocking: Exhaust yourself 100 times for phase 1, while for phases 2 and 3, you need to do it 250 and then 500 times.

Our Grounded Mutation Tier List targets every player, from beginners to experts. Thus this Cardio Fan’s inclusion on the A Tier might make the experienced ones sad. It boosts your stamina which is much more than, for example, the natural explorer and is on the higher side. Experienced players know how to conserve stamina, so for them, it might be annoying, but for those who are starting new, this is a must-have mutation as it makes your life easy.

At the start of the game, stamina is one of the biggest challenges you may face. It is not easy to manage it. Certainly, the chances increase if you have not played a game from the survivalist genre.

B-Tier

Grounded Game's Average Mutations
Average Mutations in Grounded

The average Tier of our Grounded Mutations Tier List. You can use these mutations but they are not a must and can be switched around according to your needs in the game.

Barbarian

  • Effect: Increases attack damage.
  • Unlocking: To unlock the 3 phases, you need to kill 40 creatures for phase 1, then 100 creatures for phase 2, and lastly, 200 creatures for phase 3 but all of them with a club.

The barbarian, at one point, was perhaps a go-to mutation. But the developers of Grounded decided to encourage players to use other methods to combat the Wolf Spiders in the game. In the past, they were menacing, but we feel they aren’t as intimidating with the recent changes in the game.

The barbarian was for the biggest weapons like the clubs, but now the Wolf Spider can be slashed, and the developers have tried to decrease overreliance on clubs thus, it didn’t make the S or A Tiers, but it is an essential mutation to boost attack damage.

Truffle Tussle

  • Effect: Create a fungal explosion if you have no weapons equipped.
  • Unlocking: You can unlock it by killing the infected Ladybug of the Haze Lab in the deep subterranean area of Haze.

There can be instances in the game when all the weapons might give up on you. In that case, the Truffle Tussle can be a great mutation. But other than that, I don’t find any substantial reasons to put it in one of the mutation slots. It can be good against noninfected bugs, but against the infected ones, it’s of no use; it works, for example, in close-range with grenades, which is a bummer.

In short, for mob control, Truffle Tussle can be used if, by chance, all your weapons break. Besides that, this average mutation can be avoided.

Fresh Defense

  • Effect: Resistance to burning increases by 25%/50%/75%, and Sizzle is reduced by 25%/50%/75%
  • Unlocking: For Phase 1, eat 1 Mint Shard; for phase 2, eat 5 of them and for the last stage, eat 10 of them.

If you need some coal, having this mutation is a plus, but only if you have the lion armor with you! The lion armor is easy to find but only having the line armor to have protection against the sizzle effect is ridiculous. For this reason, it is part of the B Tier of our Grounded Mutation Tier List.

This gives the impression that the mutation is weak and glitched, but in short, it is just a very weird mutation. Hopefully, the devs will consider changing it a bit, as it is a must-have in areas with BBQ fumes and haze.

Javelineer

  • Effect: Spear Attacks get a boost.
  • Unlocking: For phase 1, kill 40 creatures with a spear, and for the next phases, you need to kill 100 and then 200 creatures with a spear.

We don’t think many players like spears because of how sluggish they can be, but they, on the other hand, drain less stamina. While they increase your range, they can be sluggish and result in less damage. To increase the damage, one can use the Javelineer mutation, but again the increase will not be substantial, and the Switching Station is your best bet to increase the damage of your weapons. Thus it is not placed on the higher tiers, but it is not completely useless, so it was fair enough for us to put it on the B Tier.

Guard Dog

  • Effect: Extra attack damage during Factional Raids or MIX.Rs.
  • Unlocking: To unlock phase 1, complete the 1 MIX.R, and for the next two phases, you need to complete the 3 MIX.R and then the 6MIX.RS.

Raids are hard for many players, and they often complain about how their whole bases are destroyed, but in our opinion, they can’t do much damage with the right strategy. One of the ways to combat this is using a mutation like the Guard Dog. The Raids happen very rarely, though, but when they happen, the Guard Dog mutation will help you defend your base better.

Assassin

  • Effect: Daggers result in the DOT effect.
  • Unlocking: Kill 40 creatures with the dagger to unlock phase 1; for phases 2 and 3, you need to kill 100 and then 200 creatures with a dagger.

The Bone Dagger is one of our favorite weapons from the game. It has a short range but is very quick. With the Assasin mutation placed in the holder, the damage from the dagger increases. One can argue that the Dot (damage over time) from the dagger is a good thing, but we find it underwhelming. 

Spicy Safety

  • Effect: Reduces damage from smashing, stabbing, and explosive attacks.
  • Unlocking: For phase 1, you need to consume a Spicy Shard; for Phase 2, you need to consume 4 of them.

A useful mutation against enemies that relies on stabbing or smashing you. For example, the larva will chop you to death if you are not careful, but the Spicy Safety can help you have good resistance against its damage. Enemies with explosive attacks can also be menacing, but they are very few. This mutation is average at best until the devs introduce more enemies who rely on stabbing, explosive, and smashing.

Reliable Friend

  • Effect: +25%/50%/75% to player revive speed.
  • Unlocking: Revive a friend 5 times to unlock phase 1. Phase 2 can be unlocked by reviving a friend 15 times; for phase 3, you need to revive a friend 30 times.

If you have the right strategy, then this mutation is of little use to you but if on your team there is a newbie, then using this mutation helps you as it boosts your speed to revive the friendly players in the online multiplayer mode. Thus we placed it on the average B Tier of our Grounded Mutations Tier List to keep a balance.

Lil Fist

  • Effect: Fist Attacks are boosted by 25%/50%/75%
  • Unlocking: Kill 40 creatures with fists for phase 1. For phase 2 you need to kill a 100 of them with fists and for the phase 3 you need 200 kills with a fist.

It is considered useless by many players, but in our opinion, it is not completely useless. As it can help fight the Gnats in the game easily; moreover, it is of great use if your weapons break or you want to preserve your weapons. Returning to Gnats, they are very annoying and can make you drop your weapon, then Lil Fist can come in handy. It is, in our opinion, hated for no reason, as it deserves a little less hate.

C-Tier

Bad Mutations
You can avoid this mutation.

This unfortunate mutation is below par but not outright gimmicky, as you can use it if needed. If the devs decide to add more underwater places in future updates, it might jump a tier or two.

Merteen

  • Effect: +10% boost to oxygen underwater also boosts the swim speed by 15%.
  • Unlocking: You need to discover 3 underwater landmarks.

When you discover 3 underwater landmarks, then you will be able to unlock the Merteen mutation. You might be excited, but we want to tell you that it has little to no usefulness. Grounded has very few underwater areas, and one such place is the Kai Pond, which might be useful as it gives you an underwater oxygen boost. Besides that, just put it aside.

D-Tier

You must avoid these mutations
Mutations to avoid at any cost.

The worst tier of our Grounded Mutations Tier List. Some of these are broken because of an update, while the others are gimmicky and have no substance use in the game.

Parry Master

  • Effect: A perfect block results in stamina being added.
  • Unlocking: For phase 1 you need 20 perfect block, for phase 2 you need a 60 of them and for phase 3 100 perfect blocks are needed.

We would have placed this on the A or the S Tier in the past, but since the bugs strike back to update, it is better avoided now. We had it ranked 2 for us, which was very underwhelming. In the past, it aided in boosting your stamina upon a good block, but now it does nothing. Therefore it is best avoided.

Mithridatism

  • Effect: +25%/50%/75% resistance to Poison
  • Unlocking: Kill 1 Wolf Spider to unlock phase 1; for phase 2, you need to kill 5 of them, and for the last phase, you have to kill 10 wolf spiders.

This mutation again would have been part of our best tiers, but since the latest update, it has been bugged. It will fluctuate between levels, sometimes at level one; then it will jump to level 3. This continues back and forth. Thus, we expect it will make your life hell while fighting enemies with venom.

Rock Cracker

  • Effect: +25%/50%/75% increase in busting
  • Unlocking: Bust 25 rocks for phase 1, for phase 2 you need to bust 75 of them and for phase 3 you need to bust a total of 100 rocks.

Who even harvests rocks in the game? Just kidding, some people might do it. Everyone has their mindset but once you are done rock harvesting, pack it somewhere. Don’t waste your mutation slot on it.

Grass Master

  • +25%/50%/100% increase in chopping efficiency.
  • For Phase 1, chop 50 Blades of Grass; for the next 2 phases, you need to chop 200 and then 500 of them.

Ok, you are done collecting grass? Empty the slot and use another mutation from the C Tier and above. A useless mutation!

Daredevil

  • Effect: Reduces Fall Damage by 50%
  • Unlocking: You need to buy it from BURG.L and it requires 3000 Raw Science and the Hedge BURG.L Chip.

Save your Raw Science, and don’t buy this mutation from BURG.L. With time you can buy it, but for the most part, you don’t need it because if you are careful, falling to your death is nearly impossible in this game.

Disclaimer

This Tier List is based on our time in the game. We have clocked many hours in the game, and as a result, we were able to form this Tier List. So we are very confident that the information you see is accurate, but we can not make sure you agree with this Tier List ranking 100% as the nature of it is subjective.

Wrap Up

The Mutations Tier List comes to an end here. We ranked all the major mutations from the best to the worst with a logical explanation of their ranking, and we would love to hear from you in the comments below. Meanwhile, you can also look at our other Grounded content below.


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Muhammad Sanan Khan


With half a decade in Video Game Journalism and an everlasting bond with all things related to video games, Sanan Khan can't even stop himself from blabbering about video games in his sleep. He is also the Founder of TopTierList.

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