Excavation is an Endless Mission type 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. 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 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||Tier 1|
|Venus||Kiliken||Corpus||3 - 8||Tier 1|
|Mars||Augustus||Grineer||9 - 14||Tier 1|
|Europa||Valefor||Corpus||18 - 23||Tier 2|
|Neptune||Despina||Corpus||27 - 32||Tier 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|
|2000 Credit Cache||14.29%||Hornet Strike||7.69%||Lith C6 Relic||11.06%|
|2000 Credit Cache||14.29%||Incendiary Coat||7.69%||Lith D1 Relic||11.06%|
|2000 Credit Cache||14.29%||Intensify||7.69%||Lith D2 Relic||11.06%|
|2000 Credit Cache||14.29%||Parry||7.69%||Lith M5 Relic||11.06%|
|100 Endo||14.29%||Serration||7.69%||Lith M6 Relic||11.06%|
|100 Endo||14.29%||Steel Fiber||7.69%||Lith P3 Relic||11.06%|
|100 Endo||14.29%||Lith C6 Relic||7.69%||Lith S10 Relic||11.06%|
|Lith D1 Relic||7.69%||Arrow Mutation||3.76%|
|Lith D2 Relic||7.69%||Cleanse Grineer||3.76%|
|Lith M5 Relic||7.69%||Pistol Ammo Mutation||3.76%|
|Lith M6 Relic||7.69%||Rifle Ammo Mutation||3.76%|
|Lith P3 Relic||7.69%||Shotgun Ammo Mutation||3.76%|
|Lith S10 Relic||7.69%||Sniper Ammo Mutation||3.76%|
|Rotation A||Rotation B||Rotation C|
|2500 Credit Cache||16.67%||Charged Shell||7.14%||Neo A3 Relic||11.06%|
|2500 Credit Cache||16.67%||Fast Deflection||7.14%||Neo I2 Relic||11.06%|
|2500 Credit Cache||16.67%||Hornet Strike||7.14%||Neo M3 Relic||11.06%|
|100 Endo||16.67%||Provoked||7.14%||Neo R4 Relic||11.06%|
|100 Endo||16.67%||Serration||7.14%||Neo T2 Relic||11.06%|
|100 Endo||16.67%||Steel Fiber||7.14%||Neo T3 Relic||11.06%|
|Vital Sense||7.14%||Neo Z5 Relic||11.06%|
|Meso E4 Relic||7.14%||Arrow Mutation||3.76%|
|Meso I1 Relic||7.14%||Cleanse Corpus||3.76%|
|Meso K3 Relic||7.14%||Pistol Ammo Mutation||3.76%|
|Meso N10 Relic||7.14%||Rifle Ammo Mutation||3.76%|
|Meso N9 Relic||7.14%||Shotgun Ammo Mutation||3.76%|
|Meso P2 Relic||7.14%||Sniper Ammo Mutation||3.76%|
|Meso P3 Relic||7.14%|
- Valefor, Europa
|Rotation A||Rotation B||Rotation C|
|3000 Credit Cache||25%||Flow||6.67%||Axi A10 Relic||11.06%|
|3000 Credit Cache||25%||Hell's Chamber||6.67%||Axi A11 Relic||11.06%|
|3000 Credit Cache||25%||Hornet Strike||6.67%||Axi B3 Relic||11.06%|
|400 Endo||25%||Serration||6.67%||Axi B4 Relic||11.06%|
|Split Chamber||6.67%||Axi C5 Relic||11.06%|
|Stabilizer||6.67%||Axi T4 Relic||11.06%|
|Steel Fiber||6.67%||Axi W1 Relic||11.06%|
|Neo A3 Relic||6.67%||Cleanse Infested||3.76%|
|Neo I2 Relic||6.67%||Pistol Ammo Mutation||3.76%|
|Neo M3 Relic||6.67%||Rifle Ammo Mutation||3.76%|
|Neo R4 Relic||6.67%||Shotgun Ammo Mutation||3.76%|
|Neo T2 Relic||6.67%||Sniper Ammo Mutation||3.76%|
|Neo T3 Relic||6.67%|
|Neo Z5 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 S8 Relic, and finally an Arrow Mutation mod, in that order.
Dark Sector ExcavationEdit
|Earth||Tikal||Infested||6 - 16||Tier 1|
|Europa||Cholistan||Infested||23 - 33||Tier 3|
|Pluto||Hieracon||Infested||35 - 45||Tier 3|
Healing Interactions With ExcavatorsEdit
- Main article: Defense Objects
Only static defense objects can be healed or receive damage reduction from other sources in accordance with the tables below:
|Healing source||Normal effect||Effect on all types of static defendable objects (Cryopods, Excavators, etc)|
|Gara's Mending Splinters||3 HP per sec for each active splinter||Same as normal|
|Hildryn's Haven|| 500 Max Shields|
80% faster Shield recharge
|Same as normal|
|Protea's Grenade Fan|| 500 Shield restore on attach|
50 Shield restore per second
|Trinity's Blessing||Up to 100% HP and Shield restore||Heal for 500 over 5 seconds, can’t stack|
|Equinox's Mend & Maim (Mend)|| 25 Shields for each enemy killed|
Burst heal based on how much damage was dealt
|Shields component to work and heal for 500 over 5 seconds, can’t stack|
|Vazarin's Protective Dash|| 5 seconds invulnerability|
60% Heal over 5 seconds
| No invulnerability|
Heal for 500 over 5 seconds, can’t stack
|Khora's Venari||Heal for 50 HP/sec||Same as normal|
|Hydroid's Curative Undertow||Heals 30% hp every 1.5 secs when ally stands on it||Heal for 100 per 1.5 sec|
|Harrow's Penance||Heals allies for a % of damage dealt||Heals are capped up to 50 per second.|
|Oberon's Renewal|| 125 burst heal|
50 health per sec
|Same as normal|
|Garuda's Blood Altar||Heals by % of missing health/second||No effect|
|Inaros' Scarab Swarm||Heals for damage dealt by Swarm Projectile divided by allies in range.||Same as normal|
|Nidus' Ravenous||Heal allies standing on it for 20 HP per second||Same as normal|
|Wisp's Reservoirs (Vitality mote)||Increase max hp by 300 and heal for 30 HP per second||Same as normal|
|Volt's Capacitance||Grants shields based on 3% of damage dealt||Capped at 250 shields, no overshields|
|Titania's passive||4 HP per Second for 20 Seconds||Same as normal|
|Sancti Magistar||Heals for damage dealt in an AoE||Heal for up to 500 over 5 seconds, can’t stack with other players. Going from a burst to Heal over Time.|
|Ancient Healer Specter||Heal for 100 HP every 20 seconds||Same as normal|
|Rejuvenation||Heal 3 HP per sec||Same as normal|
|Arcane Pulse||60% chance to heal for 150 HP when picking up a health orb with a 15 sec cooldown||Same as normal|
|Damage Reduction Sources||Normal effect||Effect on all types of static Defendable objects (Cryopods, Excavators, etc)|
|Trinity's Blessing||50% Damage reduction||Capped at 50% Damage Reduction|
|Mirage's Total Eclipse||Grants 75% Damage reduction to allies||Capped at 50% Damage Reduction|
|Titania's Tribute (Thorns buff)||50% damage redirected to enemies||No effect|
|Gara's Splinter Storm||70% Damage reduction||Capped at 50% Damage Reduction|
|Ember's Immolated Radiance||50% of Immolates Damage reduction applies to allies||Capped at 45% Damage Reduction|
|Baruuk's Desolate Hands||80% Damage reduction||Capped at 50% Damage Reduction|
|Harrow's Warding Thurible||40% Damage Reduction||Capped at 50% Damage Reduction|
|Nezha's Warding Halo||Absorbs 90% of damage||Capped at 50% Damage Reduction|
- On their own 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.
- Gara can use her Splinter Storm to give up to 50% damage reduction to any excavator and is also able to reset the timer of the ability with Mass Vitrify.
- Lost Excavator health can be restored by using a Warframe equipped with the Rejuvenation Aura.
- Khora can directly heal an Excavator by using Venari's Heal posture while having it in the reticle.
- Lost Excavator health can also be restored by using Protective Dash in the Vazarin Focus tree. Prior to Update 27.4, this previously made the Excavator invulnerable for a short time as well, but now heals flat HP/second.
- 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. No extraction is provided for void fissure excavation unless one full 100 Cryotic excavation is completed.
- Sometimes when a host migration occurs, Power Carriers will stop spawning and 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.
- Power Carriers may stop spawning making it impossible to proceed. Allowing enemies to destroy one of your Extractors should fix this and trigger Power Carriers to appear again.
- Operation Cryotic Front, which introduced this mission type.
|PvE||Standard||Assassination • Capture • Exterminate (Crossfire) • Hijack • Mobile Defense • Rescue • Sabotage (Deception, Gas City, Hive, Orokin, Reactor, Sealab) • Spy|
|Endless||Defection • Disruption • Defense • Excavation • Interception • Survival|
|Archwing||Exterminate • Interception • Mobile Defense • Pursuit • Rush|
|Arena||The Index • Rathuum|
|Free Roam||Bounty • Heist|
|Special||Assault • Granum Void • Infested Salvage • Junction • Recovery • Sanctuary Onslaught|
|Conclave||Cephalon Capture • Annihilation • Team Annihilation • Lunaro|
|Arbitrations • Dark Sectors • Environmental Hazards • Invasions • Kuva Siphon • Kuva Lich • Nightmare Mode • Nightwave • Sorties • The Steel Path • Void Fissures|