Missions – ICARUS

In ICARUS, you’ll spend most of your time completing prospects (missions) for the various factions attempting to extract resources from the eponymous planet. These range from simple exploration jobs to long and dangerous treks to recover downed satellites or rare exotics.

Unlocking Missions

Prospects are part of a Mission Tree, and you’ll need to complete prerequisite prospects in order to unlock subsequent ones. The missions you unlock for one character will be accessible to all your other characters. This allows you to choose which of your characters is most appropriate for each mission.

icarus guide missions map full
ICARUS Mission Tree and biomes. Expedition missions are outlined in blue

The missions are grouped by common Icarus geographic region, and completing Expedition missions will open up new regions for you to explore. You do not need to complete all the prospects in a region before you move on to the next region.

Currently, ICARUS does not have character level requirements or recommendations for any mission. However, while prospects do not have a minimum level, they have a level below which you will not have access to the recipes needed to complete that mission. A still higher level could be recommended based on the prospector stats and equipment that make completing the mission easier.

Recommended levels are provided in the Mission Walkthroughs below. While it’s possible to complete prospects while below the recommended level, it is significantly more challenging.

Mission Types

Different missions require different prep and strategies. If there’s a mission you’re stuck on, please let us know in the comments.

Click a mission type to see details and walkthroughs.

Construction missions give you a task of reaching a designated point and establishing a base of operations: building a base in a specific place with specific items inside of it. The task of building is often made into a challenge by either the environment, its fauna, or both. Preparing your tools and strategy ahead of time can make the build safer and faster.

Construction Walkthroughs

Delivery is a bit similar to Recover missions: you will need to locate and retrieve an important item. However, your transportation of the item will be the focus of the mission, often presented with a unique constraint, such as returning the package within a time limit.

Delivery Walkthroughs

These missions usually require Prospectors to enter dangerous terrain and complete an objective such as recovering and/or setting up equipment.

Expedition Walkthroughs

Extermination missions require you to track and kill a tough, boss-style predator. You will receive a unique medal in the game for dispatching each of these targets. Naturally, these missions are combat-focused, so make sure you’ve got a plan that involves creating decent armor and weapons before you set out on your hunt.

Extermination Walkthroughs

These prospects are all about finding and extracting special mining resources like exotic and deep ore veins. Of course, exotics are the main reason Prospectors are on Icarus at all. Once you’ve completed one of the “Unlock” exotics Extraction missions, that type of Exotic source (node or vein) will begin to show up on Icarus.

Extraction Walkthroughs

Survey missions usually require you to set up multiple Geo-Stations around an area, and therefore involve a decent amount of hiking. Like the radars in Scan missions, the Geo-Survey equipment can sometimes attract predators, so be ready for a fight.

Geo-Survey Walkthroughs

Extended Survey Walkthroughs

Recon missions tend to be short, and usually involve simply staying alive in an area for a pre-determined length of time (or until you reach a certain character level).

Recon Walkthroughs

Recovery missions involve locating and retrieving technology, usually satellites or other tech that has fallen from orbit. Some missions may require trekking long distances, while others have the tech you need to grab placed in difficult-to-reach locations, like up on a cliff. Some longer Recovery missions will require you to repair a cargo pod to send the recovered item back to orbit.

Recovery Walkthroughs

These prospects tend to involve finding specimens of some kind, and require lots of hiking and searching (sometimes the samples are tough to locate). Samples can sometimes be in predator-rich environments, so equipping yourself for combat is recommended. Some longer Research missions require extensive construction to power a sample analyzer and process the specimens. These missions “Unlock” special recipes like weapons and traps that you can use on other prospects.

Bio-Research Walkthroughs

Geo-Research Walktkhroughs

Research Walktkhroughs

Scan Missions are similar to Survey missions, in that you’re setting up a tool and turning it on. Turning on the radar often attracts predators, and so these missions usually involve combat — prepare accordingly.

Scan Walkthroughs

Stockpile missions can be compared to construction missions, where the focus of the mission is reaching a designated area and then working with the crafting aspect of the game. Expect to be acquiring a surplus of valuable materials, processing them in bulk, and dropping them into cargo pods set up at specific locations.

Stockpile Walkthroughs

Presently, all of the missions in ICARUS offer the same set of difficulty settings, so the player can tailor the entirety of ICARUS content to their skill level. There are three difficulty settings: a base difficulty level that must be selected (Easy, Medium, or Hard) and two special options (Hardcore and Insurance). Each choice affects the rewards for completing the mission.

  • Easy Mode: Reduces overall prospect difficulty and experience gain
  • Medium Mode: The default ICARUS difficulty
  • Hard Mode: Increases overall prospect difficulty, experience gain, and limits self-respawns to 2
  • Hardcore Mode (optional): No self-respawns allowed. Must be revived by a fellow prospector
  • Insurance Mode (optional): Your character will be returned safely to orbit if the mission ends in failure (i.e. the mission timer runs out or you terminate the mission before returning to orbit)

More details on mission rewards and each of these modifiers is provided in the following sections: Easy and Hard, Hardcore, and Insurance Modes.

When you click on a prospect in the mission selection screen, the Default Rewards listed are for completing the prospect on Medium difficulty with no special Modes. Selecting Easy Mode will subtract 50% of the Default Rewards from the Total, while Hard Mode will add 50% of the Default Rewards to the Total. The Hardcore Mode will add 50% of the Default Rewards to the Total. On the other hand, the Insurance Mode will reduce the Total Rewards by 33%, or one-third. The Total Rewards is displayed on the mission select screen so that you will know what to expect to earn before you claim the prospect.

icarus guide missions prospect difficulty selection
Starting with Medium rewards (icon rencurrency 600 and icon metaexotic 200), the Hard and Hardcore Mode choices together increased the rewards by 100% (icon rencurrency 1200 and icon metaexotic 400). Then, the Insurance Mode selection reduced the total rewards by 33%, or one-third (icon rencurrency 800 and icon metaexotic 267)

Note: Easy and Hard Modes currently apply the same difficulty modifiers to all of the prospects. This may change in future updates.

The modifiers affect aggressive animal stats (max health, movement speed, spawn rate) as well as the detection radius for passive, neutral, and aggressive animals. The spawn rate of certain aggressive animals is also modified. Taking on a Harder/Easier challenge also increases/decreases the rate that experience is gained.

For Hard Mode, the number of respawns is also limited. If you run out of respawns, you will have to get another prospector to revive you. See the How to Revive in Hardcore Mode section below for tips on how to ask for a rescue using the official ICARUS Discord server.

The modifier values for Easy and Hard Modes are listed below.

Easy Mode:

  • 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%

Hard Mode:

  • 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 (This includes your initial spawn, so in reality Hard Mode limits self-respawns to 2)

Hardcore Mode

This special Mode is optional and provides prospectors with a true survival challenge. It does not limit the number of revives by other prospectors. However, you cannot self-respawn at a bed; you can only be revived by other prospectors. This is especially an issue for solo players, who then are basically playing with no extra lives. However, there is a solution for solo players (or groups that get wrecked) — ask for help.

icarus guide missions prospect difficulty hardcore

How to Revive in Hardcore Mode

If you’re rendered unconscious on a prospect with the Hardcore Mode activated, someone else in your prospect can revive you. If you’re alone, or if your entire group gets knocked out, you can invite someone to your prospect (as long as it isn’t full) and have them revive you. The official Discord’s #lfg channel is a great place to ask for help.

To allow others to join, make sure you set the prospect privacy type to “Steam Friends Only” when you first claim the prospect. This can only be set when you claim the prospect, before you descend to the planet. (If instead you want a true permadeath solo challenge, set the privacy type to “Private”.)

If you can’t get someone to revive you, you can also use the “Remove from Prospects” button on the Character Select screen. Fair warning: this doesn’t always work, and you will lose any Workshop items you brought with you. This option will likely be removed in a future update.

Insurance Mode

icarus guide missions prospect difficulty insurance

The Insurance Mode is usually optional and protects your character from the consequences of being stranded on Icarus. What this means is that if your character is still on Icarus when went the mission timer runs out, that character won’t be lost forever like it usually is. Instead, your character will be returned safe and sound to Orbit, and you’ll be able to send them out on another mission.

content update insurance icarus mission
Some ICARUS missions have drop insurance by default. You cannot deselect this option

Tips ‘n Tricks

  • By double-clicking on the map, you can create a waypoint, which will then show up on your compass. This is a great way to track objectives without having to constantly check your map.
  • For missions without completion rewards, such as Exploration missions, you can select the Insurance Mode without penalty. Why not protect your character’s progress for free?
  • The mission tree is very large. You can zoom in and out using the mouse wheel and pan by clicking-and-holding the right mouse button (RMB).
  • You have to remove workshop items from the loadout of one character in order to add them to another character. They will not show up in the Loadout inventory until they are removed.
  • The workshop Canteen and Oxygen Tank are the first two workshop items for a reason. They are cheap to research and craft (or replace), and once filled you often will not have to worry about water or oxygen for the rest of a mission.

We hope this guide on ICARUS’ missions was helpful! If you have any questions or suggestions, just use the comments box below.

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Unabashed FromSoftware fanboy still learning to take his time with games (and everything else, really). The time he doesn't spend on games is spent on music, books, or occasionally going outside.

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Kim André Neumann
Kim André Neumann
2 years ago

Tried the “search valley” mission yesterday.
5 hrs on that mål, all of it opened, and still did not get the mission.. any tips?

2 years ago

I finish the mission, it says complete. but I am not able to select the next one, the clock still in the countdown

Reply to  andre
2 years ago

go to your landing pot and fly home

Darryl W Richmond
Darryl W Richmond
2 years ago

I need a single page document showing the mission list involving the following:

Mission Name : Danger Level : Time Alloted : Easy, Medium, Hard : Reward Ren / Exotics 😉 

Mila Grish
Mila Grish(@igreeni)
Reply to  Darryl W Richmond
2 years ago

Good idea! We are currently quite busy getting all of the latest updates for the guides, but I think this is something I will add to the list if I manage to get to it 🙂 Appreciate the idea, Darryl.

Our of curiosity, why do you need it?

1 year ago

Ive never once lost a single piece of workshop equipment when removing myself from prospect after dying in hardcore mode

Doug Shackelford Jr
Doug Shackelford Jr
1 year ago

It sort of ruins the immersion by not seperating mission progressioon per character and allowing the exotic and Ren bank to be accessible across all characters as well.

1 year ago

Guys I’m sorry if this is a dumb question but how the heck do I view the mission screen?? I just started playing, picked the only mission it would let me pick and now I am just playing on Olympus hunting and gathering but I don’t even know what the objective for the mission was.. How do I look again?

Reply to  Joe
1 year ago

if we are talking about Beachhead: recon.
first mission is just to give you a taste of what it is like on Icarus. You have our chance to get to know all the mechanics, do some basic stuff and level a bit – no objective as such.
you can complete it by jumping on landing pod at any moment. (even without leaving the pod after landing) 😉