At the start of the mission, objective markers will appear showing the location of Excavators.
Travel to these points, and use power cores to activate the Excavators. Defend the Excavator until it can unearth what it was looking for. Up to three Excavators can be activated at the same time.
When artefacts or resources are buried below the surface of a planet, the Lotus can deploy Excavator units from orbit that will drill down and extract anything of import. These Excavators must be supplied with power cells taken from fallen enemies, and produce cryotic as a frigid byproduct, in addition to the excavation rewards. The Tenno are sent to defend the autonomous Excavators from enemy sabotage, as well as keep them supplied with power cells. These are the dialogue lines given by the Lotus during Excavation missions.
This mission type requires the Tenno to travel to marked locations in the area to trigger the deployment of Excavators. Each Excavator requires 100 seconds to complete its dig, and arrives with 20 seconds' worth of power. Power cells must be collected from fallen enemies designated as Power Carriers; each power cell contains 20 seconds of power for the Excavator. The Tenno must carry the power cells to the Excavator, and are limited to secondary weapons or melee only while doing so. The Excavator must also be defended from enemy fire while active. The Excavators have scaling shields and health, and have their shields fully refreshed upon receiving a power cell. Up to three Excavators may be active at a time. Each Excavator, when completed, will award 100 cryotic, in addition to a rotation reward. If an Excavator is destroyed prematurely, the Tenno will receive an amount of cryotic proportional to the digging progress, and no rotation reward. Once a single Excavator has been completed, extraction is available, but this mission type is endless, and Tenno can continue deploying and defending Excavators for as long as possible.
"We're here in search of lost artefacts and items buried deep below the surface. The Scanner has picked up a target. Go to the dig site."
Marking a dig site
"An artefact has been located. Proceed to the dig site."
"The Scanner has picked up a target. Go to the dig site."
Starting an excavation
"Excavator deployed. Protect the unit while it extracts the artefact."
"Excavator is ready to go. Keep it powered and protect it from enemy fire."
Finishing an excavation
"Dig complete. Your hard work has just been rewarded."
"Excavation complete; look what we found."
"Look what we just uncovered."
When an Excavator runs out of power
"The Excavator has lost power. Find another cell."
"The Excavator has run out of power; find a cell."
"We need another power cell for the Excavator."
Losing an Excavator
"Excavator destroyed. Protect the remaining dig sites."
When extraction is available
"Extraction is available, if you choose."
"Extraction is now available."