Content Type: Gaming Guides
Exotics! Lore-wise, they’re the reason every faction in space is so interested in Icarus. Gameplay-wise, they’re the currency you’ll need to unlock the high-tier Workshop equipment. In this guide, we’ll go over how to first acquire Exotics, as well as how to get them to show up all over Icarus.
Please note that this guide is a work in progress: more information and tips will be added as they become available.
How to Unlock Exotics
There are currently two ways to extract Exotics from Icarus: Ore Nodes and Veins. Unlocking each type requires a specific mission.
Exotic Ore Nodes
First, you’ll have to complete the DEEP VEIN mission, which is on the bottom of the ICARUS mission tree. You’ll need to complete the following mission to unlock access to DEEP VEIN. Lucky for you, we’ve got walkthroughs for all the tricky ones:
Once you complete the DEEP VEIN mission (which we’ve also got a walkthrough for), Exotic Ore nodes should appear randomly anywhere that other higher-tier ores would: caves, some ridges, etc. Note that the higher-tier your pickaxe is, the more Exotics you’ll obtain from the node.
The other way to access Exotic Ore is with special drilling equipment. Again, you’ll need to complete a mission, PAYDAY, to unlock this feature. Once you’ve done so, you’ll be able to drill for Exotics all over Icarus. You’ll need to complete the following missions to unlock PAYDAY:
- BEACHHEAD: Recon
- LIVEWIRE: Terrain Scan
- ICESTORM: Expedition (lower path)
- SEARCHLIGHT: Scan (lower path)
- WATERFALL: Expedition
Note that you can take the upper path through the mission tree for missions #3 and #4 in the above list. We’re currently working on walkthroughs for all these missions, so check back soon!
Finding Exotic Veins is significantly more complex than finding the nodes (which essentially requires stumbling upon them in a cave). You’ll have to tech up to Planetary Tech Tier 4 (the Fabricator) and craft the Radar and the Extractor. Both the Radar and the Extractor are special equipment that take up the [G] slot on the hotbar, so you can only carry one at a time. To place either one, press [G] and then left-click.
The Radar can be placed anywhere and activated with [F] — it scans for a few moments, and then adds its data to your map:
Each radar scan creates a circle with a yellow indicator within it. The yellow bar indicates both distance and direction: the wider the yellow bar, the further the Exotic Vein is. The location of the bar relative to the center of the circle (the black dot) tells you what direction the Exotic Vein is. Once you find the specific location of the vein, you’ll see a special Exotics icon that looks like a rock (see above image).
You’ll then need to head to the exact site — you can double-click the Exotics icon on the map to set a waypoint. Once you find the exact spot (see image below), you can place the Extractor on it. The Extractor needs Biofuel to run; running the Extractor long enough to completely mine a vein requires 5+ Biofuel Cans.
How to Farm Exotics
- For nodes found in caves, make sure you’re using an Iron Pickaxe, or one of the higher-tier pickaxes from the Workshop. This will double your yield from Exotic Ore nodes.
- The DEEP VEIN mission guarantees the spawn of four Exotic Ore nodes, and is repeatable. Until you’ve unlocked the PAYDAY mission, this is the fastest way we know of to grind for Exotics.
- Once you’ve completed the PAYDAY mission, you can farm Exotics from Exotic Veins on any mission via the method explained above. Exploration missions are a great way to do this without a time limit. Note that you’ll need to craft the Radar and the Extractor to drill Exotic veins.
Getting Exotics Back to Orbit
It isn’t enough to simply find and mine Exotics, however. You’ll need to get them back to the dropship, either in your hotbar or in the dropship’s cargo space, in order to reap the benefits of your hard work.
Once you’re back in Orbit, you’ll also need to find the yellow “Prospect Complete” message, click it, and accept your reward in the window that pops up. You should now have your Exotics available to spend in the Workshop.
We hope this guide on Exotics in ICARUS was helpful! Please leave any questions or suggestions in the comments section below.