icarus mission walkthrough cryogenic research melting frozen mammoth
Game: ICARUS
Content Type: Gaming Guides


The VOYAGER-like mission, CRYOGENIC takes prospectors all across the northern part of the map to complete a series of multi-part objectives. Sinotai loves to push the limits with exotic mutations, and they believe there is valuable biological data to be scavenged from preserved arctic specimens. The question is: how are you supposed to get a sample out of something that is frozen solid?

CRYOGENIC weaves construction, extermination, recovery, and “king-of-the-hill” elements into a giant slalom of a mission. Read on to get advance intelligence of key objectives, optional loot, as well as boss mechanics and strategies to make it back before your prospector becomes yet another preserved arctic specimen.


  • Difficulty: (icon skullicon skullicon skullicon skull dark)
  • Recommended Level: 25
  • Location: Arctic and Desert Canyons
  • Weather: Moderate-to-severe
  • Mission timer: 7 days
  • Approximate time to complete: 4-6 hours
  • Objectives:
    • Investigate the Mammoth Graveyard
      • Retrieve 5 DNA samples from the carcasses
    • Investigate the Ice Structure
      • Approach the Ice Wall
      • Travel to the equipment drop-zone in the Desert Canyons
    • Assemble the Prototype Weapon
      • Recover the three components from the Desert Canyons
      • Reconstruct the Vapor Laser in a Machining Bench
    • (Optional) Recover and repair a power source
      • Recover a broken Solar Panel and Electricity Tool from the Desert Canyons
      • Repair the Solar Panel in a Machining Bench
    • (Optional) Recover survival supplies from the Desert Canyons
      • Defeat the Bear boss guarding the supplies
      • Salvage the Shotgun, Polar Bear Armor (3 pieces), and Hot Cocoa (with Thermos)
    • Melt the Ice Wall
      • Deploy Vapor Laser in front of the Frozen Wall
      • Power the Vapor Laser and activate it
    • Defrost the Frozen Mammoth and recover a sample
      • Remain in the cave until the specimen is thawed (30-60 minutes)
      • (optional) Deploy and fuel heat sources around the specimen to accelerate melting
      • (optional) Defeat the Exotics-enhanced Mammoth
      • Recover a sample from the specimen
    • Return with the samples to the Dropship
  • icon rencurrency 650
  • icon metaexotic 200
  • Creature melee damage: -50%
  • Creature health: -50%
  • Creature movement speed: -10%
  • Bear spawn rate: -50%
  • Lion spawn rate: -10%
  • Polar bear spawn rate: -50%
  • Wolf spawn rate: -10%
  • Aggressive creatures perception: -50%
  • Neutral creatures perception: -50%
  • Passive creatures perception: -50%
  • Experience gain: -25%
  • Creature melee damage: +20%
  • Creature health: +30%
  • Creature movement speed: +10%
  • Aggressive creatures perception: +30%
  • Neutral creatures perception: +30%
  • Passive creatures perception: +30%
  • Scorpion spawn rate: +30%
  • Lion spawn rate: +30%
  • Wolf spawn rate: +30%
  • Experience gain: +25%
  • Player respawn count: 3
icarus mission walkthrough cryogenic research map full
From the Dropship in the Riverlands, the path of least resistance might be the short pass through H4
  • Bear (optional, various names)
    • Health: 3000 (approximately)
    • Location: M8
    • Critical points: Head
    • Drops: Fur, leather, bone, raw meat, T-bone steak (rare)
    • Attacks: Swipe (melee)
    • Behavior: Will charge at a prospector if nearby, or if the prospector attacks it. Gives chase until killed, or if the prospector creates enough distance.
    • Notes: Similar to a Level 70 Bear. Guarding survival gear crate (optional mission objective)
  • Exotics-enhanced Mammoth (optional, various names)(
    • Health: 22000 (approximately)
    • Location: 𝙸5
    • Critical points: Front of the head, between the eyes
    • Drops: Fur, leather, bone, raw meat, giant steak (rare), mammoth tusk (mission objective)
    • Attacks: Ground pound (melee)
    • Behavior: The Mammoth will charge at a prospector if nearby, or if the prospector attacks it. It gives chase until killed, or if the prospector creates enough distance. The Mammoth has a tight turning radius and will track the prospector closely with every change in direction.
    • Notes: Similar to the boss for the mission CLEAN UP. It will begin to heal if it disengages from the fight to return to its starting location. The Mammoth also seems to resist weapon talent debuffs like Slow, Bleed, and Immobilize. (Killing it is optional and not a mission objective.)

This mission takes you through both the hottest and coldest biomes for significant periods of time. Naneo Armor will provide both physical and thermal protection in both cases. There are up to 10 non-stackable items that must be scavenged from supply drops. Craft the Leather Backpack or the Gatherer’s Backpack and the Patcher II Module to increase storage.

You will need access to a Machining Bench to assemble the Vapor Laser, and to make Steel Screws and repair the Solar Panel, unless you plan to craft an alternate Tier 4 power source. A Concrete Furnace also will be required to make Glass to repair the Solar Panel. This is a good opportunity to upgrade to iron tools or better.

The Frozen Mammoth takes up to an hour to defrost, and the process halts if you leave the cave. Consider bringing the materials or components for a portable shelter to sleep, wait out storms, or retreat from predators.

icarus mission walkthrough cryogenic research frozen cave battle aftermath
The party in the cave of the Frozen Mammoth can get a little busy, so it pays to bring enough favors (ammo) to take care of everyone

While there are raw materials to make campfires in the cave, there is very little fuel — so, this one must be carried in. The Gatherer’s Backpack will help with this. As the Frozen Mammoth melts, it will attract all sorts of predators. If your primary weapon requires ammo or frequent repairs, consider bringing extras.

You also have an opportunity to kill an Exotics-infused Mammoth, like in the mission CLEAN UP: Extermination. This fight can be avoided, and your choice may influence the weaponry you craft, or the level of technology you build.

For CRYOGENIC, you will need workstations like the Machining Bench for objectives that take place far from the Dropship. But first, get your basics (equipment, armor, shelter, food, weaponry, and restoration items) sorted.

Then, decide whether you want to craft the repair workstations and materials first and carry them in, or set up a forward base in the Arctic or Desert and craft the materials on-site. Also, consider what weapons and armor you will need to get through the bear-infested Riverlands-Arctic transition zone.

Your first task in the arctic is to raid a Mammoth Graveyard for some opportunistic sample collection (grave robbing). Head to 𝙸6, and when you see several mammoth skeletons in a wide circle, go to each one and collect a Mammoth Sample.

icarus mission walkthrough cryogenic research frozen cave exterior 1
The Ice Wall is the clear-colored wall on the right, even though the glacier-blue ice sticks out much more

Once you recover the last sample, turn South and look for a rock formation in 𝙸7/𝙸8 that sticks out from the mountain. This “Ice Structure” is where the second half of the objectives will take place. For now, you only need to approach the Ice Wall.

icarus mission walkthrough cryogenic research melting frozen mammoth map desert equipment dropsite

Sol will tell you there is more to do, but he doesn’t know what or why. You will get the location of an equipment drop-zone: it is on the island in the lake in K7/K8 of the Desert Canyons. Once you arrive, you will get the locations of several dropped crates in the area and finally find out what you are asked to assemble.

You are asked to assemble a prototype weapon that amounts to a laser drill to cut through the Ice Wall (similar to AVALANCHE: Expedition). This equipment, along with a broken power source and some survival gear, have been dropped to the planet in five separate crates strewn across the Desert Canyons.

icarus mission walkthrough cryogenic research melting frozen mammoth map desert laser components
Use the lakeside resources to craft a stack of 10-15 ladders to more easily access the laser component crate drops north of the lake

The only required crates to be salvaged contain the laser components, and these lie along a path north of the lake. The mission objectives correctly warn that they are difficult to reach. Bring ladders or structures to help you get to high places. Watch out for cougars or scorpions; if they detect you, they will attack your structures and may leave you stranded on a pillar.

Assembling the Prototype Weapon (Vapor Drill)

icarus mission walkthrough cryogenic research vapor drill repair recipe 1

This requires the Machining Bench. You will need to deploy the workstation in a sheltered location, or return to the base with the “prototype weapon” components. Place them in the bench, find and select the Vapor Laser recipe, and craft. There are no extra resources required, so you can assemble the drill in the field and carry it on your back to free up three inventory slots.

While technically an optional objective, recovering the broken Solar Panel is a low-risk task that shaves a lot of time off the mission. If you are planning to hunt for exotic veins during CRYOGENIC, repairing the Solar Panel is a good option because it puts out the same amount of power as the Biofuel Generator. In any case, the Electricity Tool in the crate is not broken and is definitely worth salvaging.

Repairing the Solar Panel

icarus mission walkthrough cryogenic research solar panel repair recipe

Luckily, only the Machining Bench is required to repair the solar panel, even though a Fabricator is required to make one. However, the Glass and the Steel for the Screws have to be made in a Concrete Furnace. If you craft this 40-kilogram workstation at a forest base, it might be easiest to leave it there and bring the materials to the Arctic.

The last crate contains an assortment of Arctic survival tools and armor. In order to get to this crate, you will have to defeat a bear mini-boss located surprisingly deep in the desert. Check out the Bear Survival guide for ideas on how to deal with this displaced creature. This named mini-boss has the stats of a bear of about Level 70.

Your reward for dispatching the bear is three pieces of polar bear armor, a shotgun, and a thermos of hot cocoa. There is no ammo for the shotgun, so you will have to craft your shells in the Machining Bench.

Like the other crates, you cannot complete the objective until you move all the equipment into your inventory. Afterward, the equipment you don’t want to keep can be dropped. Also remember that if you consume the hot cocoa, you can keep the thermos and move it into your envirosuit’s water slot.

If you crafted a Biofuel Generator, set it up in a sheltered place near the Ice Wall and fuel it. If you did repair the Solar Panel, set it down in a sunny spot. A good choice is in front of the cave wall to the left of the Ice Wall. The Vapor Laser must be deployed at the hologram in front of the Ice Wall.

Use the Electricity Tool to connect the Power Source to the Vapor Laser. (See the Electricity Guide for wiring guidance.) Once the two are connected, go up to the Vapor Laser and activate it. As soon as the Ice Wall melts, the final encounter at the Frozen Mammoth starts, so enter the cave as soon as possible.

The mechanics for the Frozen Mammoth encounter are of the king-of-the-mountain variety you experienced during research missions like UNEARTHED and CARAPACE. As long as you remain in the cave with all the dangers, the mammoth will defrost. You will experience the full effect of storms while inside the cave, so consider bringing a portable shelter, as well as a campfire and bedroll to sleep through the night.

icarus mission walkthrough cryogenic research melting fire range
The fire at the far right marks the furthest a heat source can be placed and still accelerate melting

It takes approximately 60 minutes to melt completely, and this can be reduced to 30 minutes by placing and fueling heat sources like campfires in the vicinity of the specimen. Each heat source will increase the melting bonus by 10%, or, in other words, reduce the melting timer by 3 minutes. A maximum of 10 sources can contribute to the bonus.

icarus mission walkthrough cryogenic research melting mammoth during storm
The ice will continue to melt even during a storm, but more slowly. Restart the fires once it passes

To keep you company, there are about 10 Caveworm spawn points around the Frozen Mammoth. If you are in range of any of them, a Caveworm will emerge and attack. Even if you kill one, the cooldown on their respawn timer is just a few seconds, so it may reappear if you reenter its detection range. As an added bonus, Arctic predators will be drawn to the cave and detect you rapidly once they enter the mouth.

The ideal place to construct your shelter is on the other side of the Frozen Mammoth from the cave entrance. It is about 8 meters (4 squares) up the hill, but close enough that your shelter campfire can be one of the 10 helping melt the specimen. Here, there is a gap in the placement of Caveworm spawns, and most predators will leave the cave before they detect you if you are in stealth.

icarus mission walkthrough cryogenic research frozen cave shelter placement
Stay down. As the ice melts, it provides less cover

After the Frozen Mammoth has melted approximately 10%, an Exotics-enhanced Mammoth will spawn just outside the cave and come in to attack. Remaining in the cave for this fight is not advised as your shelter and campfires might get destroyed, so kite the angry beast outside as soon as possible.

This fight can be avoided. But, if you choose to kill it, check out our walkthrough for the extermination mission CLEAN UP for tips to take down this type of a boss. If not, lead the Mammoth far enough away, so that when you double-back to restart the melting process you will lose its aggro.

icarus mission walkthrough cryogenic research frozen mammoth sample
At last! The ice gives up its charge. Take it back to the dropship and claim the reward

Once the ice has melted, run down to the Mammoth carcass and check its inventory. The (no longer) Frozen Mammoth Sample will be there to remove. Once you take the sample, pick up the other 5 Mammoth Samples if you stashed them in your base and return to your Dropship to return to the station. Sol doesn’t have much confidence that you are going to return alive, but if you made it this far, then the trip back is a victory lap. Just don’t push too fast through the Arctic-Forest transition zone, as meandering predators tend to congregate there.


Hope you enjoyed this walkthrough and the mission! Let us know how you liked it and, if you have any question or corrections, share them in the comment box below. Then, go spend those well-earned mission rewards and get back to prospecting!

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