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Icarus (Steam link) is a session-based survival game. You have to start from scratch in every session. There are some workshop items that you can buy and take with you that make the startup much faster.

Note: Some of these are outdated since I wrote them. I returned to the game in 2023 and a lot of things have changed. For example, you need to use an Orbital Exchange Interface to return exotics to orbit. If you try to take them with you the old fashioned way, they will disappear.

Good Workshop items

Note there are two costs associated with each workshop item. First we need to research the item and then pay another fee to craft it. You get the actual item after crafting. After the first research, you can just keep crafting.

Items are lost if they are left on the planet. You need to bring them back with you either in your inventory or in the dropship cargo slot when you are leaving a mission.

If your items break, they are magically repaired when you take them back to the station. Don't throw away workshop items.

  1. Canteen: Drink once and it will refill the canteen. You don't need to worry about water for a long time. It also reduces your body temperature which is useful in the desert.
  2. O2 Canister: Build a Crafting Bench and then build an Oxite Dissolver to fill it with Oxite and Sulfur.
  3. Knife: These increase the skinning yield which give you more Leather and Fur. The original MXC Knife is a good start. As you get more Ren, move to Qie knife for skinning speed and better yield.
  4. Pickaxe: Not only they have better mining yields, they break later. MXC and then Heike are good starting pickaxes. Later down the road you want to go for the Neves pickaxe.
  5. Envirosuit: Duo is a good start to open up but go for Hark.
  6. Armor: When you get some Exotics, open (but not craft) the line towards the left and get one of the Bihu or Dongtian envirosuits. Then craft the Naneo armor which only need Ren. THIS WILL HELP ALOT.
    1. Later you want to go for the CX-400 armor for the Ore yield.
  7. IC-001 Radar: It has its own power source and makes finding Exotic veins easy. You can also use it like a "wildlife attraction" module to get them to come to you and kill them for meat, fur, leather, and bone. Makes the initial grind for these easier.
  8. Mass Dampener Module: Increases speed. When you get an envirosuit with slots, buy a few (they stack). They are very useful for Exotic farms because a lot of your time is spent running between veins and the dropship.
  9. Backpack: The initial Survival Backpack is super cheap and awesome. Later you can specialize. I use the 12 slot backpack now.
  10. Biofuel Can: For mining Exotics, it's more than enough to run the Biofuel Generator to extract three veins.

Great website at Choose the filter icon (2nd from the top) and then select the map and mission to get the info including the location of caves (and their rank) along with possible location of veins.

Routine for Tech Up Missions

These are missions where I usually need to tech up to a certain tier or I am just farming Exotics. I usually tech up in a star cave near the target location or the nearest star cave to the drop pod.

Note I have some workshop items like armor, pickaxe, axe, knife, canteen, O2 canister and speed modules.

  1. Grab all your stuff from the pod. Press the interact button while facing it and click Take All. This will put on the armor and put things in the hotbar.
  2. Grab some sticks and stones to make a wood bow if I do not have my Larkwell Bow. Make some stone arrows.
  3. Drop the workshop radar if I want to farm Exotics. This also helps attract wildlife for food, etc.
  4. Move to the target location if I need to build something. Usually a big cave (star or rank 3 based on Drink some water while going there.
  5. Kill some wildlife to get some stuff.
  6. Make a Bone Sickle and some Bone Arrows (kill cave worms faster).
  7. Mine some Sulfur, Oxite, Silica and Yeast (make sure farm Yeast with the sickle for much higher yield) while moving to the target location.
  8. Make Crafting Bench.
  9. Mine stone to make Oxite Dissolver, Camp Fire and Stone Furnace (2x) (you can use the workshop furnace for one).
    1. Fill up the canister in the Oxite Dissolver with some Oxite and Sulfur. Now you don't have to worry about Oxygen for a looong time.
  10. Make some antibiotics with Charcoal (from the campfire), Yeast and Silica. These help reduce the duration of Pneumonia from the caves.
  11. If I got some meat that can be dried up, I make a Drying Rack. This helps give me three types of food for buffs. Berries for stamina (or cooked meat), Cooked Prime Meat and Dried meat. Plus dried meat lasts for a much longer time than cooked.
  12. Mine 80 Iron Ore (this is usually more than two nodes) and smelt them in the furnaces.
  13. At 40 Iron, craft the Anvil Bench.
    1. Craft Iron Pickaxe if you do not have a workshop one.
    2. Craft Longbow if you did not bring the workshop bow.
    3. Craft 12 x 10 Iron nails for the Machining Bench.
  14. Farm enough Fiber (use the Sickle) to make 40 Ropes at the crafting bench.
  15. Craft the Mortar and Pestle and put it on the bench. In it do:
    1. If you have the talent to convert wood to sticks (and be sure to take it). Create 800 sticks (use 40 as the number in the crafting menu because each wood creates 10 sticks). Put all the sticks in the Mortar and Pestle.
    2. Craft 200 Tree Saps.
    3. Craft 50 (or more) Epoxy as you can from Tree Saps (4) and Sulfur (2).
  16. Make the Machining Bench.
  17. Craft the Cement Mixer.
  18. Make 20 Concrete Mix: 20 Tree Sap, 160 Stone, 80 Silica.
  19. Make Concrete Furnace.
  20. Start melting Gold Ore for Electronics.
  21. If you're going for the Biofuel Generator: Make 30 Concrete Mix.
  22. If you did not bring the workshop biofuel can:
    1. Make Biofuel Composter and a Biofuel Can.
    2. 100 Tree Saps (that's 400 sticks) and 400 sticks can fill one can. You generally only need one for the generator.
  23. Mortal and Pestle:
    1. Craft 12 Carbon Paste. 8 for Fabricator and 4 for theElectricity Tool.
  24. Electronics:
    1. 30 Electronics for the Fabricator.
    2. 12 for the Biofuel Generator.
    3. 5 electronics per Extractor.
      1. If going for Spirit, make 30 ish here which is more than enough.
  25. While mining, mine 60 Platinum Ore. We can use it to make a Platinum Axe when the workshop one breaks. Or you can keep using the Iron Axe.
  26. Make 21 steel. Make Steel Bloom from Iron Ore+Coal or Iron ingot+Ore in the Mortar and Pestle and then cook in the Concrete Furnace.
    1. 100 Steel Screws in the Machining Bench: 1 Steel.
    2. Biofuel Generator: 20 Steel.
  27. Craft the Fabricator.
  28. Craft the Biofuel Generator and Electricity Tool.
  29. If going for Exotic farming, Do not craft Extractors.
    1. They go in the Carry slot which is where your workshop radar is.
    2. We will take 5 Electronics and 20 Iron for each extractor.
  30. If you want to make stone buildings by the vein, make the Masonry Bench (20 kg) and take 200 Iron Nails and Leather with you.
    1. We can deploy the bench at the destination and only need wood and stone to craft the pieces. The bench is lighter than the items.
    2. You don't need to make stone floors for the actual shelter floor.
    3. If you're not worried about Snow, you can get away with using floor as roof. So make:
      1. 4 Stone floor for roofs. 8 Stone walls.
    4. If you need proper roof for snow because snow will break floors as roof:
      1. 8 Stone walls. 4 Stone wood/ramp. 4 Stone Wall Angled.
  31. Before leaving the first tech up cave:
    1. Fill up the O2 canister again.
    2. Grab as much food as you can.

Payday Extraction

I can do this in 2 hours for 180-200 Exotics (EIP Guide). I usually run the mission on Easy because it only affects the payout (200 Ren) and not the Exotic amount from the vein.

  1. Drop the workshop Radar on a ledge. This way the animals cannot reach the radar. They will stop aggroing when the scans complete and you can pick them off one-by-one. Yeast and Radar location for PayDay Extraction
  2. Scan the area to see if the vein is in J14.
  3. If the scan results contain both the veins in J11 and J14, it's almost always J14.
    1. If the result is J11 or I10, it's almost always very obvious.
  4. If it's not J14, go back to orbit and try again (don't forget the radar).
  5. Kill the animals that came for the Radar. Make a bone sickle, harvest the Yeast near the entry into the ledge (see the image above).
  6. If J14, run to the star cave at K14. Mine Silica, Sulfur and Oxite on the way.
  7. If you did not harvest Yeast, there's some by the South the lake in L11. More Yeast in Payday Extraction
  8. I do most of my building in the start cave in K14.
    1. As you can see, there are multiple caves around if we need more mats (usually gold). payday extraction target cave
  9. If you need to run to the one at the edge of J14, it's a good idea to craft the shelter at the Masonry Bench and take it with you to drop it by the vein on the way.
    1. I usually make 8 stone walls, 4 stone floor (for use as roofs) and one door.
  10. Make 57 Electronics:
    1. Fabricator: 30
    2. Biofuel Generator: 12
    3. Three extractors: 15
  11. Make 12 Carbon Paste:
    1. Fabricator: 8
    2. Electricity Tool: 4
  12. Make 21 Steel:
    1. 100 Steel Screws: 1 Steel
    2. Biofuel Generator: 20 Steel
  13. Make the Biofuel Radar in the Machining Bench. This is needed for the mission reward (if you want the Ren but you probably already have the materials for it). You can destroy it immediately after that.
  14. After making the following, grab these and go for the vein:
    1. Fabricator
    2. Biofuel Generator
    3. Materials for Extractors
    4. Electricity Tool
    5. Masonry Bench and Iron Nails/Leather for the stone structure.
    6. Bed Roll.
    7. Food.
  15. Drop a Thatch Building with Masonry Bench. Mine enough stone and wood to make 4 Stone floors and 8 Stone walls.
  16. Make 4 Wood floors. This will be the base of the building. Complete it with the Stone walls and use the Stone floors as roof.
  17. I usually like to build right by the vein.
  18. Drop the Biofuel Generator and Fabricator. I like to put it in the shelter closest to the vein.
  19. Put the Biofuel Workshop can in the generator.
  20. Put the workshop Radar in the Fabricator. You can only carry the Extractors in the carry slot.
  21. Create three Extractors and put them on the vein. This vein takes three extractors (see for info on other veins). Make sure you do not drop them outside of the carry slot after dragging them from the Fabricator inventory. They will get lost if it happens.
  22. Use the Electricity Tool to make a junction (click on the ground outside the wall by the generator.
    1. Connect the junction to the generator.
    2. Click on the junction with Electricity Tool again and connect it to each of the extractors.
    3. Select the Biofuel Generator and Activate it.
  23. Grab the workshop Radar from the Fabricator.
  24. Deploy it on the ledge by the vein and activate it.
  25. Wildlife might attack both the Radar and the Extractors.
  26. This will scan the vein. If we made the Biofuel Radar before, this will advance the mission objectives.
  27. Hang around while the extractors finish the job.
  28. Grab the workshop Biofuel Can from the generator.
  29. Update: You have to make an Orbital Exchange Interface to get the exotics out. Make one, call the pod and send them away.
  30. If it's close to sundown (18:00), sleep.
  31. Run back to the pod.

Spirit Walk: Exploration

This map is used for Exotics mining. There are three veins. I run it on Easy because there's no payout and difficulty does not affect the number of Exotics in a vein. You can usually figure the general location by the first scan after landing.

Update: With the introduction of Orbital Exchange Interface, you don't have to haul the exotics back to the ship every time. You can call a pod an put them there. But make sure to keep at least one exotic in your inventory if you have the speed boost talent.

Also, you don't have to run all the way back to your pod anymore, you can either make a Composite Dropship Recall Beacon or buy a cheap workshop item to call the drop pod to your location. You can also put items in it and call it around the map to move them.

  1. Drop the workshop Radar and scan. This will give you a general idea of where the veins are.
  2. If the vein in C4 is not active, I usually go away and reset the mission.
  3. If the vein in C4 is active but I see the L12 and M14 veins active, I also go away. They take a long time to run.
  4. Go to the star cave in C3 to build up. The star cave in C2 is a backup for bad RNG (e.g., not enough of a certain node like Gold).
    1. Another option is the star cave in E3 with three more backup caves. Spirit Walk tech up options
  5. Build up to these:
    1. Fabricator
    2. Biofuel Generator
    3. One filled Biofuel Can if you do not have the workshop one.
    4. 30-ish extra Electronics and 60 (or more Iron ingots).
    5. Electricity Tool.
    6. Caveworm Bow and a ton of arrows.
    7. Masonry Bench.
    8. 150 ish Iron Nails for Stone shelter.
    9. Food and filled O2 Canister.
    10. Medium Iron Crate.
    11. Platinum Pickaxe.
    12. Orbital Exchange Interface.
  6. The rest is monotonous:
    1. Run to the vein.
    2. Mine some wood and stone for 4 stone roof and 8 stone walls (you could go down to 2 roofs and 6 walls if you want a smaller place).
    3. Drop a Thatch 1x1 shelter. Make the stone structure.
    4. Drop the shelter and make Extractors with the Fabricator. Usually the vein is near a cave where you can make the extra Iron ingots.
    5. Mine the vein while you hangout. I usually like to kill the wildlife and make some food or make a Crafting Bench and the Oxite Dissolver to fill my O2 canister.
      1. If you're worried about Oxygen. You can mine Oxite and put it on your suit while the veins are extracted to conserve the O2 canister. Make sure to pick it up after you start moving.
    6. Drop the Orbital Exchange Interface to send the exotics away.
    7. Keep a single Exotic in my inventory because I have the speed talent when carrying Exotics.
    8. Grab all the essentials for the run to the next vein. If you have extra space, grab some of the Stone walls and floors. If not, you can always create nails at the next vein in a nearby cave.
    9. Destroy the Extractors to get some material back.
    10. Go to the next vein.
  7. I usually start with the C4 vein.
    1. This veins needs three Extractors.
    2. After it's done, I destroy the Extractors and get 6 Electronics and 30 Iron ingots back.
  8. Send the exotics away along with the workshop pickaxe (usually broken by then).
  9. Rinse and repeat until three veins are done.
  10. After the last vein is done you can either run back to your pod or call it to your location with a beacon.
  11. Make sure to keep one Exotic on you at all times if you have the speed talent while carrying Exotics.
  12. Before lifting off, make sure:
    1. You have all your workshop item from the crate and from the field. At this point if you have left the Biofuel Can, you can let it go because it's cheap but hopefully you still have your radar or the expensive items.
    2. Sent all the exotics up using the Orbital Exchange Interface. You cannot send them with the dropship.

Homestead: Construction

I usually do it to farm Ren. At Hard with Hardcore it pays 400 Ren and usually takes me around 45-50 minutes. Bring the workshop Furnace, no need for the radar.

I started using the wzg-icarus-balance-overhaul mod to reduce the grind. The workshop furnace can melt gold with this mod so we don't have to build the tier 3 table, cement mixer and concrete furnace.

  1. If near the lake, drink.
  2. Go up towards the cave in N10 and parallel to the cliffs. Make bow and arrows. Homestead map
  3. If the cave at the edge of O11 is open, take a peak and mine 20 Gold ores if you see a node.
    1. This is to make sure you have enough ore for the two statues.
  4. Kill some wildlife, enough to make two Rustic Beds.
  5. Harvest some Yeast around the edge of O10 and N10 by the cliff (see image above).
  6. Mine 50 ish Sulfur and Oxite and any Silica you can find (you need around 100 total).
  7. Build in the N10 cave.
    1. We will not need to leave the cave for the most part.
    2. No need to make a bedroll, you can use a Rustic bed instead
    3. Antibiotics are useful.
    4. Crafting Bench.
    5. Mine 80 Iron ore immediately and start melting in the workshop furnace.
    6. Make a stone furnace to help with the iron melting.
    7. Make Oxite Dissolver and replenish the O2 can. 50 Oxite is more than enough here.
    8. At 40 Iron ore make the Anvil Bench.
    9. Make Machining Bench.
    10. In the meanwhile, farm 80 Silica and 160 + 200 stone for the Concrete Mix.
    11. Make Cement Mixer.
    12. Make 20 Concrete mix.
      1. 20 Tree Saps.
      2. 160 Stone.
      3. 80 Silica.
    13. This will take a few minutes, if you do not have 20 Gold ore in this cave or did not find any, go around and mine them.
    14. Grab your workshop Furnace.
    15. Make Concrete Furnace.
    16. Melt 10 Gold Ores.
  8. Craft Fireplace in the Crafting Bench and put it in the Rustic Bench. Needs 120 Stone!
  9. Deploy the Rustic Bench and craft (you will need mostly wood with some Iron nails and 10 Gold ingots):
    1. Bookshelf.
    2. Large Couch.
    3. Medium Couch.
    4. Large Dining Table.
    5. 6x Dining chairs (make sure to choose dining chairs).
    6. 4x Nightstands.
    7. 2x Rustic Beds. Use one instead of a bedroll in the cave.
    8. 2x Rustic Statues (need 10 Gold ingots).
  10. Grab everything and the Fireplace. Drop everything else except workshop stuff. You should be at almost maximum weight limit. Otherwise, grab any wood that you have.
  11. Go to the blue circle above the ledge until you get the Sol soundbite and the first objective completes.
  12. Make a 3x3 house, it can be Thatch but I prefer wood in case a storm starts while I build. You will mostly need wood and fiber which are plentiful up there. You will need:
    1. 18x wood floor (you can go 9x Wood floor for roof and 9x Thatch floor).
  13. Put everything together.
  14. Check that you have your workshop Furnace with you, otherwise grab it on the way back.
  15. Run back to the pod and check you have everything with you.
  16. Lift off.

Strange Harvest Map

I had a lot of trouble finding the flower (the top area) so here it is.

strange harvest map

Hotbar Slots

I usually have them in this order:

  1. Pickaxe
  2. Axe
  3. Bow
  4. Knife
  5. Sickle

Everything else after this is fluid. Sometimes I make a stone pickaxe to open entrances to the caves or mine stone instead of using the workshop pickaxe so it goes into 6.

Ctrl+clicking an item in the inventory while not interacting with an appliance (e.g., crafting bench) will put it into the hotbar. This is useful for placing items. Ctrl+clicking the hotbar item to put it in your inventory.

Repair Workshop Items in Orbit

They do not get repaired automatically anymore (maybe because of the mod?). Right-click on them in the loadout screen in orbit and repair them for 10 ren each. Pretty cheap.

Editing Credits and Exotics

Save file is in %appdata%\Local\Icarus\Saved\PlayerData\[id]\Profile.json. See the MetaResources key.

"MetaResources": [
        "MetaRow": "Refund",
        "Count": 30
        "MetaRow": "Exotic1",
        "Count": 1
        "MetaRow": "Credits",
        "Count": 50

If a key doesn't exist (e.g., you don't have any exotics), just create it.