Weather is one of the events in ICARUS that produces the “everything is going great until it doesn’t” situation. Here you are, mining rocks and minding your business, and then a weather event warning pops up.
A more experienced player will only need a glance at the icon that comes with the notification to immediately devise a plan of action. Light rain? Eh, I will eat some berries, fish, meat, and press on. Lightning? Ah, great, need to go repair my wooden base. A heatwave? Okay, need to quickly refill my water. … A heavy snowstorm? CAVE! CAVE! WHERE IS A CAVE?!
With the sheer variety of weather events occurring in different biomes of Icarus, you will develop this kind of intuition on your own over time. However, in this guide we will walk you through some basics and give you a few useful tips to start you on your journey.
The ICARUS Weather Event Timeline
When a storm is approaching, the Weather Event Timeline will appear in the upper-right corner of your screen, just below the temperature. The type of storm will be displayed in the red bar beneath the Timeline in between warnings of a “STORM INCOMING!”.
Each storm has a combination of events and intensities. As the storm approaches, colored bars will start sliding right-to-left across the Timeline. On either side of the bar is an icon that illustrates the event, like clouds with rain or lightning that you see in real weather forecasts. The event begins when the colored bar reaches the left side of the Timeline and ends when the entire colored bar disappears off the left side.
Every type of storm on Icarus eventually wears your prospector down. When this starts, the Exposure Meter will appear near the top center of the screen and start to fill.
Until you get to shelter, it will continue to fill, and as it does your prospector will get increasingly worse exposure status ailments:
The status effects of different levels of exposure can depend on the biome. In all biomes, exposure limits your movement speed and heavy exposure will start to cause damage to health and armor. In the Desert, there is an additional penalty to heat resistance. Finally, the temperature changes due to the storm can cause additional temperature-related status ailments. (See the Desert and Arctic Storms section.)
The progression from light to medium to heavy exposure is the same for every storm and in every biome. However, the rate that the Exposure Meter fills depends on the intensity of the storm. This is discussed in the next section.
Weather on ICARUS comes in Mild, Moderate, Heavy, and Very Heavy varieties. You can judge them by the background color of the periods displayed on your weather tracker. The tracker will be empty until a weather event is announced. When that happens, direct your attention to the top-right corner of the screen to observe the current and upcoming storm intensity.
Exposure accumulation is slow during the Mild weather, it’s faster with Moderate periods, and is very fast during Very Heavy storms. Weather intensity differs between biomes: worse kinds of weather in the Forest are dangerous, but not quite as dangerous as those in the Desert and the Arctic. Same applies to the Storm Exposure debuffs you will acquire in these three biomes.
When to Run for Shelter?
When the storm is mild, you can stick around and accumulate a little bit of Storm Exposure before seeking shelter.
In the Forest biome, moderate weather (Medium Showers, for example) isn’t too bad if you need to finish one last thing before heading in or you have some food and healing to power through.
It will start dealing some damage to your Thatch and Wood structures, so you might want to check on your base after a longer storm to make sure your items are safe.
In the Arctic and the Desert, the issue of compromised temperature resistance with Heavier Exposure becomes an issue. Storms here are generally less forgiving, so you should always seek shelter even with a moderate storm.
Heavy storms always warrant hiding inside a shelter. Very Heavy storms will fill your exposure meter in seconds, slowing you down to a crawl and starting to deal damage to your health.
Thatch and Wood structures are very susceptible to these kinds of weather. Thatch will quickly crumble, making it a poor construction material for higher levels.
Wood structures need frequent maintenance during and after heavier storms: you need a Repair Hammer to repair wind damage and a Fire Whacker to immediately put out fires caused by lightning strikes.
Stone construction is an excellent investment for future expeditions. If you have ways of dealing with Pneumonia, caves provide a good alternative.
Couple of additional tips:
As of the end of Beta, the storm will ignore the jump in time when you sleep. This means that you will still have to wait after you wake up. To have more daylight to complete some work, we advise you to wait the storm over before sleeping.
The sky is a little brighter during some kinds of storm in the Forest. As of the end of Beta, storms also significantly increase the ambient light underwater, which makes them a great time to fish or search for underwater caves.
Desert and Arctic Storms
Aside from slowed movement and loss of experience gain, higher exposure in the Desert and the Arctic also comes with decreased Heat and Cold resistance, respectively. In addition to the slowed movement and damage from the exposure, you could get Overheating in the Desert and Frosty or Hypothermia in the Arctic.
The primary effect of these additional debuffs is decrease in Stamina or Stamina regen, with additional damage taken to health if the status effect progresses. Even if you can endure some of the storm exposure, be wary of accumulating temperature debuffs.
To help yourself reach the shelter during a Desert storm, it’s advised to take a sip of water from your Waterskin, Canteen, or Thermos. This will give you Cooling effect, slightly bringing down your temperature down in the Desert.
This is particularly important when dealing with Heatwaves.
Do not waste time running to a water source with any other weather event in the Desert, unless it’s directly on your path to the shelter.
Try not to consume water if you have Hypothermia in the Arctic, since it will further lower your body temperature.
During an Arctic storm, a Heat Bandage can cure a Frostbite and increase your body temperature. It’s a great idea to bring a stack of these bandages if you expect to spend some time in the region.
We hope you found the information in this guide useful. Have you developed some tricks to deal with the weather? We have a DIY Lightning Rod coming up for you guys, and would definitely appreciate any other observations or tips from you! Leave them along with any other suggestions in the comments below.
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Dedicated contributor at EIP Gaming and a part-time collector of books she will never have time to actually read. Jumps on the newest releases just as quickly as on the uncovered dusty collections from the basement. For her, shiny graphics can never be an excuse to not have a polished player experience or an immersive story.