Hacking is a technique used by the player to unlock doors after a lockdown, release the hostage, retrieve a data key from a console, receive data from spy vaults, reset alarms, or to seal a hull breach. In order to perform a hack, you need to locate a hackable terminal, shown as a green diamond with a lock on the mini map, and press the action key.
For Corpus consoles, the player must rotate a random number of hexagonal tiles so that their patterns align. Left clicking will rotate a tile clockwise while right clicking will rotate it counter-clockwise. The players are given eighteen seconds to perform the task, and turning around half of the total number of tiles will activate the intrusion system, doubling the speed of the timer. The complexity of the patterns in the console are relative to the mission difficulty. If failed, then a new cipher must be hacked. Timer of the console ranges from 20 to 15 seconds, according to the mission range level.
|Corpus Console Failed Hack||Corpus Console Successful Hack|
This puzzle can be effectively solved every time by following this recipe.
For Grineer consoles, the player must press the space bar when hovering over visual slots as the selector rotates quickly around, a successful timed click will insert the slot into the center. All slots must be inserted in order to hack the console. Inserted slots can be released by accident, in which it has to be inserted again. Additionally, as more slots are pinned, the selector will increase its rotational speed. The number of the slots in the console are relative to the mission difficulty, additionally high level consoles will switch its rotational direction upon pinning or unpinning. There is no time limit in deciphering Grineer consoles. However, in Sorties, unpinning at least 3 slots in the console will automatically exit the console and mark the attempt as a fail.
|Grineer Console||Grineer Console Successful Hack|
These consoles only appear in The Sacrifice quest and are solved by matching Orokin symbol pairs found on walls within the vicinity to the symbols on the console.
- Main article: Cipher
Using a Cipher will solve the puzzle immediately. A Cipher must be equipped in the player’s consumables slots before the game. It is a one-time use item and the number a player has on them is shown at the bottom of the screen. A maximum of 200 can be used in any given mission, like most consumables.
- Multiple people can hack at different terminals for a lock down or breach at the same time and both will get a small amount of affinity, but once it's completed it can no longer be attempted by anyone. Only one player can hack at a single terminal at a time.
- Hitting ESC will abort the hacking attempt, which can be useful if you are under attack or if another player succeeds on a different terminal. Doing this, however, will count as failing the cipher.
- Hacking stats can be seen in the in game profile as quantity, failed hacks, and average time in seconds.
- Hacker Challenge requires the player successfully hack one terminal.
- After having rotated half the tiles on Corpus consoles, the 'INTRUSION DETECTED' alert will appear. Currently it is almost impossible to solve the Hacker Challenge without it (the use of ciphers will prevent the 'INTRUSION DETECTED' alert from appearing). This effect will make time go twice as fast.
- 'INTRUSION DETECTED' can only be avoided if the middle piece is already correctly oriented and left that way, or the Hacker Challenge only consists of two nodes, and both can be oriented correctly with only one click; orienting the second node will solve the hack without displaying the message. There is no practical effect to avoiding 'INTRUSION DETECTED' in this manner.
- There is a bug where sometimes the middle tile of an X puzzle will not appear. This is not an error, as it can still be hacked by pointing both pairs together.
- Being physically interrupted (by Rollers, for instance) will exit the hacking HUD, counting it as a fail in your in game profile.
- It was possible to spam space bar repeatedly in low level Grineer missions to hack the console extremely quickly. Adopting a faster response can accomplish high-level hacking to a minimum of 6 seconds.
- Ciphers cannot be used in Sortie missions, and when the timer runs out in Corpus consoles or the pins on the console were pushed out 3 times in Grineer consoles, the hacker will be Electricity procced and dealt some damage to both health and shields.
- The Orokin tilesets (Orokin Moon/Orokin Tower) currently use the same hacking puzzle as the Corpus Consoles. This is just a placeholder for a future Orokin hacking puzzle as mentioned by DE in Devstream 75.
- The Sacrifice uses a special, combination-lock type of hacking puzzle on Orokin tilesets. This is not seen anywhere else in the game.
- While hacking, a player is vulnerable to attack. It is best to clear a room, or have teammates protect you while hacking. Being invisible is a great help in high level missions, like sorties, too.
- If you have a cipher, you can press the key to quickly use it (default binding).
- If you're having trouble, the Intruder mod can give you more time at Corpus consoles, and decrease the spinning speed of Grineer ones.
- Using Air Support Charges with the Liset equipped can be useful in a pinch:
- It will disable lock-downs by resetting alarms, removing the need to find and hack a console.
- It will temporarily pause the timer if the alarm has been triggered in a Spy vault, giving you more time to hack.
- A MOA Companion using Security Override can hack consoles for you.