Supervisor: The Deck Chief and the Executive Officer
- Civilian: Contractor
Alternate Titles: Drill Technician, Salvage Technician, Shaft Miner
Duties: Go on wacky space adventures. Mine for gold. Pick through the ruins of ancient civilizations.
Related Guides: Guide to Mining, Guide to Ships, Guide to EVA and Internals
The Prospector is a dedicated salvage and mining retrieval workhorse. They join in away missions in an attempt to retrieve valuable minerals, samples, and items for the rest of the Torch's benefit.
As a member of Supply, the Prospector answers to the Deck Chief and the Executive Officer, though the Deck Chief is the far more active of the two in this regard.
Tools of the Trade
As a prospector, you first want to get your equipment. There are two lockers full of prospector equipment in the Expedition Prep room, across from the ladders on Deck 5. In there, you'll find most of the equipment you'll need. There's a lot in there, and not all of it is useful, but that which you'll likely need is listed below.
- Mining Drill – essential. You can get several better versions from Research such as a plasma cutter, a sonic jackhammer or a diamond drill – any one of them is useful, however.
- Mining Satchel – very useful. If you're using an exosuit or the big drill, you might not need this as much, but it's still useful for snatching up any loose ore you find.
- Optical Meson/Material Scanner – It's essential to take one of these. The meson scanner is probably more useful for finding surface ores, but the material scanner has its uses too. If combined with a hardsuit meson visor, it gives nearly full x-ray vision.
- Toolbelt + Tools – extremely useful. You never know when you'll need to breach an away site, or conduct some emergency maintenance on your shuttle. I recommend filling your toolbelt with a wrench, a crowbar, a screwdriver, wirecutters, a lantern, and a welding tool.
- Webbing – More storage space is always a plus
- Ore Detector – Useful for operating the big drill, plus lets you collect a couple additional credits for supply.
- Shortwave Radio – Essential for communicating while away from the Torch
- Relay Positioning Device – Essential for avoiding getting lost in space
- Mining Voidsuit – found the Expedition EVA room. Absolutely mandatory, along with a few spare oxygen tanks.
That's it for the items in Expedition Prep – however, there are a few more things you might want to pick up from across the Torch
- Jetpack – Found in EVA Storage on Deck 4, useful if you're mining on an asteroid or salvaging a ship.
- Inflatables – Also found in EVA Storage, useful if the shuttle you're on gets vented.
- Industrial Hardsuit – Found in Hangar Expedition Storage – a very powerful mining hardsuit with access to some of the best mining tools available. Its only disadvantage is that you can't wear a backpack with it, and it doesn't come with maneuvering jets by default.
- Large Mining Drill + Braces + Ore Box – The big mining drill will provide far more ore than you can get on your own, especially if upgraded by Research and Development The drill head, two braces and an ore box are critical to any good prospector.
- First Aid Kit – found in the Supply Warehouse in a medical crate, this can be the difference between life and death on an away mission.
Choosing a Shuttle
As a Prospector, you can head out either aboard the Charon with the Explorers or take the General Utility Pod (GUP) yourself. Each of these has advantages and disadvantages. You have a larger team and a more secure shuttle on the Charon, but having to work around the Exploration schedule can be irritating. Taking the GUP yourself will likely let you get moving quicker and work to your own schedule, but it comes with its own risks. If you take the GUP, you're on your own unless there's another Prospector or a Xenoarchaeologist coming along, which can make it difficult to get help if you encounter trouble.
Whichever shuttle you're taking, inform the Deck Chief and, if you're taking the GUP, file an appropriate flight plan. Load your gear up, and you're ready to set out and make the Torch rich.
How To Do Your Job
As a Prospector, your primary goal is to collect and bring back ore to process. For that, your most useful tool is the large mining drill.
Once you arrive at an exoplanet or an asteroid, you want to find a spot to set up. Use your ore detector on tiles near your landing spot and find one with large deposits. Then drag the drill head to that tile, place the braces on either side, and wrench them to the drill. Then just click it with an empty hand to start digging. Minerals excavated will go into its internal storage, which can be emptied into an ore box adjacent to the drill head by right-clicking it and pressing 'unload'.
The drill will run on its own, so you can go dig up some surface minerals and collect them with your satchel. Make sure to come back and check every once in a while that it's still running. If the light is red, it means the drill has stopped. Stopping it and restarting it will reveal what the error was.
- Insufficient storage space – the drill's internal storage is full. Empty it into an ore box, stop it, then restart it again.
- Insufficient power – the power cell has run out of charge. Recharge it or replace it.
- Insufficient mineral resources – you have successfully drained all the ore on this tile. Good job, you. Move it about five tiles away from where it was and repeat the process.
At the start of a round, the mining drill will be slow and eat through power quickly. To this end, you want to upgrade it. Research can print you the parts needed, which are:
- Ultra-high-power micro-lasers. These are the most critical, as they increase the drill's mining speed immensely.
- Super matter bins. These will increase the storage capacity of the drill.
- Super capacitor. This will decrease the rate at which the drill consumes power.
- Superior power cell. This, unsurprisingly, will increase the amount of power the drill has.
Which parts to add in what numbers is entirely up to individual preference. One good setup is 4 lasers, 2 bins, and 1 capacitor. This setup is designed to maximise speed of mining, at the cost of storage space. It's best used when you're planning to primarily focus on operating the drill as opposed to leaving it running in the background.
Though salvage is not a prospector's primary duty, it is part of it. Generally you want to try and get mining done while you're salvaging, so look for any noteworthy structures on the planet to investigate for valuable tools, materials or other items the Torch could use. Make sure not to step on exploration or xenoarchaeology's toes by ripping an alien temple to shreds, however. Aside from that, salvaging mainly consists of keeping an eye out in the course of your mining duties. Make sure to note anything you see of potential scientific interest for exploration as well.
Robotics can construct exosuits for mining, or you might find one while salvaging. These are extremely powerful tools for collecting surface ore, and combined with an upgraded mining drill will give you a ridiculous amount of raw material. Prospectors get the Exosuit Operation skill by default, which will allow you to operate these titanic machines.
For a mining exosuit, there are two core components you want – a drill and a hydraulic clamp. If a mining exosuit has an ore box in its cargo storage, it will automatically deposit all mined ore into that box instead of leaving it on the ground. It's also good to have a floodlight for illumination, some plasma cutters for additional mining ability, and radiation-shielded armor in case of any radioactive planets or anomalous surprises.
Tips for Antagonising
- As a Prospector, you'll be out on your own a lot. This can make it difficult to antagonise, but your job's nature makes it easier to antagonise away teams and missions.
- If you take someone else with you on the GUP, an isolated exoplanet can be the perfect spot for a conversion (for Cult/Mutiny roundtypes), or any other nefarious actions.
- Mining drills are good melee weapons in a pinch, and if you have an exosuit its drill will do devastating damage to any opponent.
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