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.
How to Unlock Exotics
There are currently three ways to extract Exotics from Icarus: Ore Nodes, Veins, and Missions. Unlocking ore nodes and veins each requires a specific mission. On the other hand, some late-game missions provide exotic rewards upon completion.
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 pickaxe yield bonuses do not apply to Exotics nodes: the yield is the same for each one.
Another 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: For now, you don’t actually have to complete the mission to unlock the ability to collect Exotics. Once you land on Icarus, you can open your tech tree, and as long as you have the two Blueprint Points you need, you can unlock the Extractor and the Radar from Tier 4, and then leave the planet. You should then be able to craft both objects and mine Exotic Veins on most missions.
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. The Radar is a piece of heavy equipment that takes up the [G] slot on the hotbar, so you cannot carry an Extractor at the same time. To place either one, press [G] and then left-click.
Note that if you already know where the exotics veins are (either from previous playthroughs or looking up the locations on sites like IcarusIntel), then you do not need the Radar. All you need to craft is the Fabricator and the Extractor.
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
- 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. You will have to craft a Fabricator and Extractor to drill Exotic veins. If you look up where the exotic veins are (e.g. on IcarusIntel), then you can avoid having to craft a Radar.
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, select the same prospector you used to harvest the exotics, and accept your reward in the window that pops up. You should now have your Exotics available to spend in the Workshop.
Missions with Exotic Rewards
Finally, several missions grant significant exotic rewards upon completion, especially with Hard/Hardcore multipliers. These missions are typically longer, multi-objective missions that can require high-level technology and several hours to complete. These missions tend to be late-game, so you will find them toward the right side of the mission tree.
Below is a list of missions with exotic completion rewards, along with the reward amounts at Medium difficulty level. (Click on the name to be taken to a walkthrough.)
We hope this guide on Exotics in ICARUS was helpful! Please leave any questions or suggestions in the comments section below.