Excavation is a game mode introduced in Update 14.5 for the Operation Cryotic Front event, and formally introduced as a standard mission type in Update 14.10. This game mode tasks players with searching and then extracting various artifacts buried deep within a planet's surface. This mission is the primary source of Cryotic.
Players will first need to locate dig sites whose positions are located on the minimap by the Lotus every 30 seconds, with a maximum of 4 potential dig sites being available. From Update 18.4 onwards, dig sites will not spawn near a freshly-excavated area, necessitating constant relocation as the mission progresses. Once players walk within 20 meters of a dig site, an Excavator will drop in on the location and start digging. An Excavator has 500 Shields and 2500 Health and requires 100 seconds to accomplish its task, and must be protected from enemy fire during the duration of its operation in order to receive additional rewards. However, each Excavator only has 20 seconds worth of energy when deployed, thus players will have to locate Power Cells which are carried by designated Power Carriers. Killing a Power Carrier will drop a Power Cell, and each cell adds 20 seconds worth of energy to the Extractor and restores its Shields. Holding a Power Cell will limit the player to their Secondary weapon or Melee weapon, identical to a Mobile Defense datamass, and is automatically consumed once the player walks within 5 meters of the Excavator. Extractors will only accept Power Cells if it lacks the necessary amount of energy to complete the task or if its shields are depleted.
Regardless if the Excavator is successfully defended or not, all players will receive Cryotic for every second the Excavator was active (thus awarding 100 Cryotic for a successfully-defended Excavator). Additionally, if the Excavator survives to complete its digging, all players will receive a random reward. Once at least one Excavator is defended, the mission's extraction point will be revealed, allowing players to complete the mission if they choose to. However, Alert Missions (Including Syndicate Alerts and Nightmare Alerts), Invasions and Sorties will only allow extraction after 500 units of Cryotic have been extracted.
Similar to Survival missions, the rewards for every successful excavation stack, and players can claim all artifacts that have been recovered upon extraction. Also, multiple Excavators can be active at once if desired, limited only by the squad's ability to defend them. While survival works by a reward every 5 minutes, Excavation is per extractor. With the ability to run multiple extractors simultaneously, and taking far less than 5 minutes each, Excavation missions lead to more frequent, and usually more numerous rewards.
|Earth||Everest||Grineer||1 - 6||1|
|Venus||Kiliken||Corpus||3 - 8||1|
|Mars||Augustus||Grineer||9 - 14||1|
|Europa||Valefor||Corpus||18 - 23||2|
|Neptune||Despina||Corpus||27 - 32||3|
Besides the bonus amounts of materials, experience, and mods from the increase in enemies compared to normal missions, certain rewards can be awarded at the end of the mission if the mission is a success. Mission rewards will vary depending on the level of the mission's enemies (the starting level; this tier does not scale during a mission as higher level enemies spawn) and also depends on the amount of time spent.
- Enemy level tier (in average):
- Tier 1: Level 1 - 10
- Tier 2: Level 11 - 20
- Tier 3: Level 21+
- Note: While most missions obey these enemy level tiers, there are a few exceptions, such as Valefor. Refer to the table above for a more accurate list of mission enemy level tiers.
- Drop Rotation (the rewards rotation starts again after every 4th successful extraction):
- Rotation A: 1st, 2nd; 5th, 6th; 9th, 10th; etc.
- Rotation B: 3rd; 7th; 11th; etc.
- Rotation C: 4th; 8th; 12th; etc.
- The easy way to remember the Rotations is AABC with each successful excavation moving onto the next letter
- Rewards stack the longer you play.
- The Rewards for Tier 2 and 3 Excavations are identical to the rewards for Tier 2 and 3 Survival missions
|Rotation A||Rotation B||Rotation C|
|500 Credit Cache||14.29%||Hornet Strike||7.69%||Lith B3 Relic||11.06%|
|1000 Credit Cache||14.29%||Incendiary Coat||7.69%||Lith C2 Relic||11.06%|
|1500 Credit Cache||14.29%||Intensify||7.69%||Lith H2 Relic||11.06%|
|2000 Credit Cache||14.29%||Parry||7.69%||Lith P1 Relic||11.06%|
|15 Endo||14.29%||Serration||7.69%||Lith T2 Relic||11.06%|
|50 Endo||14.29%||Steel Fiber||7.69%||Lith V5 Relic||11.06%|
|80 Endo||14.29%||Lith B3 Relic||7.69%||Lith Z1 Relic||11.06%|
|Lith C2 Relic||7.69%||Arrow Mutation||3.76%|
|Lith H2 Relic||7.69%||Cleanse Grineer||3.76%|
|Lith P1 Relic||7.69%||Pistol Ammo Mutation||3.76%|
|Lith T2 Relic||7.69%||Rifle Ammo Mutation||3.76%|
|Lith V5 Relic||7.69%||Shotgun Ammo Mutation||3.76%|
|Lith Z1 Relic||7.69%||Sniper Ammo Mutation||3.76%|
|Rotation A||Rotation B||Rotation C|
|1500 Credit Cache||16.67%||Charged Shell||7.69%||Neo K1 Relic||11.06%|
|2000 Credit Cache||16.67%||Fast Deflection||7.69%||Neo L1 Relic||11.06%|
|2500 Credit Cache||16.67%||Hornet Strike||7.69%||Neo L1 Relic||11.06%|
|15 Endo||16.67%||Provoked||7.69%||Neo M1 Relic||11.06%|
|50 Endo||16.67%||Serration||7.69%||Neo N8 Relic||11.06%|
|80 Endo||16.67%||Steel Fiber||7.69%||Neo S7 Relic||11.06%|
|Vital Sense||7.69%||Neo V7 Relic||11.06%|
|Meso B2 Relic||7.69%||Arrow Mutation||3.76%|
|Meso D2 Relic||7.69%||Cleanse Corpus||3.76%|
|Meso O2 Relic||7.69%||Pistol Ammo Mutation||3.76%|
|Meso S7 Relic||7.69%||Rifle Ammo Mutation||3.76%|
|Meso T1 Relic||7.69%||Shotgun Ammo Mutation||3.76%|
|Meso Z1 Relic||7.69%||Sniper Ammo Mutation||3.76%|
- Valefor, Europa
|Rotation A||Rotation B||Rotation C|
|2000 Credit Cache||25%||Flow||6.67%||Axi A3 Relic||9.68%|
|2500 Credit Cache||25%||Hell's Chamber||6.67%||Axi A4 Relic||9.68%|
|3000 Credit Cache||25%||Hornet Strike||6.67%||Axi E2 Relic||9.68%|
|400 Endo||25%||Serration||6.67%||Axi H3 Relic||9.68%|
|Split Chamber||6.67%||Axi K3 Relic||9.68%|
|Stabilizer||6.67%||Axi L2 Relic||9.68%|
|Steel Fiber||6.67%||Axi O3 Relic||9.68%|
|Stretch||6.67%||Axi V7 Relic||9.68%|
|Neo B5 Relic||6.67%||Arrow Mutation||3.76%|
|Neo K1 Relic||6.67%||Cleanse Infested||3.76%|
|Neo L1 Relic||6.67%||Pistol Ammo Mutation||3.76%|
|Neo M1 Relic||6.67%||Rifle Ammo Mutation||3.76%|
|Neo N8 Relic||6.67%||Shotgun Ammo Mutation||3.76%|
|Neo S7 Relic||6.67%||Sniper Ammo Mutation||3.76%|
|Neo V7 Relic||6.67%|
Excavation rewards follow a similar logic to Survival missions and draw from the same pools of possible rewards, with each excavator successfully deployed counting as a 5-minute interval. This makes Excavation missions ideal to farm Relics, since its reward rotation is quicker than a Survival rotation.
As an example of a possible reward sequence, successfully deploying four excavators in Everest, Earth, could result in players receiving a batch of 1500 credits, 80 Endo, a Lith S3 Relic, and finally an Arrow Mutation mod, in that order.
Dark Sector ExcavationEdit
|Earth||Tikal||Infestation||6 - 16||1|
|Europa||Cholistan||Infestation||23 - 33||3|
|Pluto||Hieracon||Infestation||35 - 45||3|
- Excavators cannot regenerate health, but can replenish their shields. An Excavator's shields can also be replenished by delivering a Power Cell to it or using Warframe powers like Mag's Shield Polarize.
- Excavators have 2500 Health and 500 Shields, regardless of mission level. This makes a strong defense an absolute must against higher level enemies.
- Lost Excavator health can be restored by using a Warframe equipped with the Rejuvenation Aura.
- Lost Excavator health can also be restored by using Protective Dash in the Vazarin Focus tree. This will also succeed in making the Excavator invulnerable for a short time, allowing it to regenerate shields and health from Protective Dash undisturbed.
- Power cells can be more easily picked up by keeping your Use control (default ) held down while running over one (or standing under one as it falls to the ground). As with datamasses, they can be dropped by switching to your primary weapon.
- Excavation is the one of the few missions from which Cryotic can be reliably acquired.
- 4 Power Cells are enough to complete one excavation.
- During a Void Fissure on an Excavation mission, fissures will appear and spawn enemies even when an excavator is not powered, or has not been placed. Squads with players who are low on Reactant may wish to temporarily halt excavator progress until they have enough to open their relic.
- Sometimes when a host migration occurs, Power Carriers will stop spawning, the ones that were already spawned in the area will not drop a power cell when killed. However, any Power cells left on the ground before the migration occurs will remain.
- The excavator's hitbox is larger than the size of the excavator itself. This can be seen if the player attempts to shoot an enemy near the excavator as the shots will not hit the enemy because the excavators' hitbox is in front of them.
- Despite being a machine, the Excavator has flesh-type health.
- Attempting to pick up an energy cell immediately after climbing up will cause a player to fall out of the map.
- After approaching an excavation zone the excavator may not spawn. This can always be fixed by eliminating existing enemies in the map.
- Picking up a powercell while equipped with a dual-wield secondary weapon will force single-wield animations, even after dropping the powercell. This causes both weapons to clip since single-wield animations have both hands together, among other graphical problems. No effect on gameplay.
- Occasionally the dig site's location will not be marked on the mini-map, causing the dig site to not activate.
- Any players who join after the mission has started (even if an extractor has not been started) will not receive any reward (besides cryotic) for a full extractor.
- Operation Cryotic Front, which introduced this mission type.
|PvE||Standard||Assassination • Capture • Defection • Defense • Excavation • Exterminate • Hijack • Interception • Junction • Mobile Defense • Pursuit • Rescue • Rush • Sabotage (Deception, Hive, Orokin, Reactor, Sealab) • Spy • Survival|
|Unique||Arena (The Index, Rathuum) • Assault • Infested Salvage • Recovery • Sanctuary Onslaught • Trial|
|PvP||Clan||Duel • Solar Rail Conflict|
|Arena||Cephalon Capture • Annihilation • Team Annihilation • Lunaro|
|Alert • Crossfire • Hazards • Invasion • Nightmare Mode • Quest • Sortie • Tile Sets • Void Fissure • Free Roam|