icarus extracting
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.

There are currently two ways to extract Exotics from Icarus: Ore Nodes and Veins. Unlocking each type requires a specific mission.

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:

  1. BEACHHEAD: Recon
  2. LIVEWIRE: Terrain Scan
  3. ICESTORM: Expedition

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.

exotic ore deep vein icarus walkthrough
An Exotic Ore 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:

  1. BEACHHEAD: Recon
  2. LIVEWIRE: Terrain Scan
  3. ICESTORM: Expedition (lower path)
  4. SEARCHLIGHT: Scan (lower path)
  5. 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:

exotic vein farming map icarus guide
Note how the yellow bar in the radar scan circle indicates both direction and distance (though the direction can be inaccurate at longer ranges)

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.

extraction site exotic vein icarus guide
An Exotics Vein
  • 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.

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.

dropship cargo exotics icarus

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.

prospect complete icarus

We hope this guide on Exotics in ICARUS was helpful! Please leave any questions or suggestions in the comments section below.

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17 days ago

Very informative guide, thank you for the information.
Just wondering, can there be more then one Exotic Vein on any given map?

Reply to  Kevin
16 days ago

We have the same question. We have spent two days to grind the extractor and radar. after exctracting the exotic from the vein, we start to search the next vein, but pour radar is just indicating the poor vein, we already drilled.

Reply to  WolWo
10 days ago

I was doing Ramp Up Stockpile and returning home to finish the mission. It was dark and a blue light caught my eye, found an unexpected deep vein of exotics in the lower left corner of c4. Mining it now actually.

Andrew Hayes
Andrew Hayes
Reply to  Kevin
14 days ago

Excellent points, but I’ve also had prospects where the radar does not indicate any vein. Hopefully this is just a bug. The crazy amount of copper and gold needed for the radar is too much for there not to be a reward for the grind.

D Dot
D Dot
9 days ago

Just a heads up. You just have to have the exotics on you when you leave (inventory or put them in the cargo on ship). The same as the loadout equipment you come with

8 days ago

If i start another character all the missions are completed already for my new character since i completed them with my old character. are the exotics available on my new tune or do i need to re do the missions on this one too?

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