Artifact Research

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Artifact Research


Alien saxophone lab.


Research Director, Scientist

Artifact Research


Alien saxophone lab.


Research Director, Scientist

Artifact Research


Alien saxophone lab.


Research Director, Scientist

Artifact Research


Alien saxophone lab.


Research Director, Scientist

Artifact Research


Alien saxophone lab.


Research Director, Scientist

Artifact Research


Alien saxophone lab.


Research Director, Scientist

Artifact Research is a branch of Research concerned with the identification and testing of artifacts, large or handheld items of non-Nanotrasen origin whose function is unknown. Every artifact (or "art") has a certain "flavor" or origin, and many different types artifacts exist, some harmless (anyone want to hear what a Martian flute sounds like?), some dangerous (OH FUCK IT'S A BLACK HOLE BOMB). Whatever the type, the main goal is to figure out how to activate them; this can be done via specialized machines controlled through DWAINE as well as...more manual methods. Beyond just simple curiosity, there are good rewards for those who thoroughly document artifacts.

Obtaining Artifacts

Where do you get these artifacts? Usually, you find them without having to leave the station/ship (or at least, without you having to).

  • The Artifact Research Lab - The most obvious artifact source. You start with two artifacts in the lab, and you might as well analyze them first.
  • Cargo
    • Vurdalak sells completely random artifacts, but they can be rather costly, so don't bug the quartermasters about them unless the budget is doing well; still, if it's reasonably far into the round, they're usually happy to buy out the stock.
    • Gragg sells a singular handheld artifact for a relatively high price.
    • If you sell enough artifacts, the quartermasters will start receiving shipments of random artifacts. You'll get a PDA alert when this happens; head down to the Cargo Bay to collect them, or radio the QMs to send the shipment to your lab via cargo transporter.
  • Mining - Miners sometimes uncover artifacts while mining, but they have a habit of just leaving them, especially if no one expresses any interest in them. Try asking them over the General (145.9) radio channel (Miners don't have access to the research channel) or knocking on their door every now and again to check if they've found anything new.
  • Random Events - Sometimes artifacts just randomly poof into existence. Blowouts often spawn plenty of artifacts, S.T.A.L.K.E.R.-style.
  • Elsewhere on the Station/Ship - Many maps have one or two artifacts squirreled away in some obscure corner of the station/ship, just sitting there waiting to be found. Ask other scientists, fellow crew, or the AI for help finding them.

You can also discover artifacts while exploring while the Debris Field, possibly the best and most reliable source of artifacts. A large number spawn scattered around the Z-level, though it can be perilous to reach them. Now if only there was a way to bring them directly to you...

Beyond that, many artifacts are hidden away in the Mining Level, the Trench and Adventure Zones, waiting for some enterprising explorer(s) to find them. Perhaps it's time to start an expedition?

Flavors of Artifacts

Artifact Image Description Unactivated Name Examples Activated Name Examples
The "Abomination", often cited in mythos. An unknown race, possibly not even from this dimension, however their presence is perpetual. Even looking at the artifact makes scientists feel uneasy. Experiment with your peril. evil-looking thorns
lurid steele
blood of vile yncactath
has'ncacthoth's ichor
will of cthoolac
Wizards, while more of a federation than a race, have very unique technology. Complicated machines, made to look archaic as to give the impression that it is magical, however this magic has been mostly debunked by nanotrasen researchers. ostentatious trophy
regal cane
pearl treasure of eminence
opal jewel of splendor
ebon favor of majesty
Originates from the temperamental aliens from Mars. The Martians have advanced in organic and terraforming technology, and have used these flesh based machines to advance rapidly throughout the galaxy, much to the threat of every other race. squishy clump
gooey organ
ossumuscular depressor
physiometabolic regenerator
neurogenetic suppressor
Also known as Forerunner, the true name and face of this race is shrouded in mystery. Carbon-dating reveals that the artifacts are millenniums ancient, and the creators of these machines are possibly extinct. What is known however, is they hold great power. antique gizmo
quirky device
ultramolecule synchroniser
tachyon fuser
atom synchroniser
A race of silicon based sentients, often confused as machines themselves. Much further advanced than the human race due to their mass consciousness, their machinery has been fine tuned to suit their needs, and therefore is rigidly electronic based. cold menhir
sharp-edged appliance
unit epsilon-x 536
unit sigma-z 304
unit tau-k 712

Running gptio

Discovering an artifact's effects takes more than repeatedly poking it (although this helps in a fashion). Using the DWAINE terminal, you can advance the station's knowledge of artifacts and their properties and make your analysis more precise. To do this, you must:

  1. Insert your card into the terminal, and type term_login
  2. Type cd /mnt/artlab to move to the default location of the artifact research tape.
  3. Decide which test to run, pop the artifact in the corresponding machine, adjust the variables as you see fit, and activate the machine (using the commands below).
  • Troubleshooting: If you can't get this to work, it's likely your terminal isn't connected to the research mainframe. In this case, type term_ping, find the 8-character net ID labelled PNET_MAINFRAME and run the command connect mainframe_id
    • If even this doesn't work, it's likely there's a problem with the mainframe itself, the databank that runs gptio, or the wiring that connects it all. Contact your system administrator and hope it's a simple as turning power back on in the Computer Core.

Important commands

After logging into your terminal and running the artlab directory, you're now ready to use gptio commands. There are two variations of the commands: standard and shorthand. Many of the shorthand commands provide the same action as the standard gptio commands, but are much quicker and intuitive to use. Either can be used at any time while in the directory.

Standard gptio commands

gptio list
Lists the currently connected devices and their IDs.
gptio activate device-id
Activates a device. This can be anything from shooting an object across the room to irradiating whatever is in the x-ray scanner. Note: Some devices, like the electrical tester, don't like being activated without something loaded.
gptio deactivate device-id
Some devices don't automatically deactivate after a short amount of time. You'll need to use this command to make them safe to touch.
gptio sense device-id
Instruct the device to take readings about its state and the state of whatever object is inserted into it.
gptio read device-id
Retrieve the data generated by gptio sense or the most recent artifact an action has been performed on.
gptio info device-id
Show the status of a device, including if it's active, if it's an "enactor" and/or a "sensor" and maybe most importantly what variables it has to mess with.
gptio peek device-id variable-name
Read the value of a variable. Note that most if not all variables can be read on the device itself.
gptio poke device-id variable-name value
Change the value of a variable.

Shorthand commands

act device-id
Turns on the device specified.
deact device-id
Shuts off the device specified.
read device-id
Displays data from a "sense" command or the most recent artifact the machine has acted on.
info device-id
Shows the status and configurable variables of the device.
xray value
If no value is given, will display the x-ray's radstrength. If one is given, will set radstrength.
temp value
If no value is given, will display the heater's temptarget. If one is given, will set temptarget.
elec value(voltage) value(wattage)
If no values are given, will display the elecbox's current voltage and wattage. If one is given, will set voltage; if 2 are given, will set both.
pitcher value
If no value is given, will display the pitcher's power. if one is given, will set power.
stand value
If no value is given, will display the impact pad's stand status. If one is given, will set or withdraw the stand.

Working Artlab

The Devices

The artifact lab comes with five devices: Pitcher, impact pad, electric box, heater and x-ray scanner.

ArtifactLabPitcherV2.gif The Pitcher (device ID: pitcher)

  • The pitcher is not for shooting artifacts, though that's fun too. You insert something for the pitcher to fire (say, a fire extinguisher), and the pitcher fires it at the artifacts on the impact pad.
    • The pitcher has one variable, POWER, which goes from 0 to 100. Simple enough.

ImpactPadV2.gif The Impact Pad (device ID: impactpad)

  • The impact pad is for putting artifacts on. Fire an item at the artifact and then read the sensor data.
    • You can also just throw something at the artifact while it's on the pad instead of using the pitcher, and the impact pad will still return a reading.
    • The pad has one variable, STAND, which is binary (0 or 1). Setting it to 1 extends a stand for putting handheld artifacts on.
    • Two datapoints will be reported: Vibration amplitude and vibration frequency.

ElectricBox.gif The Electric Box (device ID: elecbox)

  • The electric box will run an electrical current through the artifact.
    • It has two variables, AMPERAGE (1-50) and VOLTAGE (1-100). Remember, Wattage = Current * Voltage, so "Selected current" will just be Wattage/Voltage.
    • It returns three datapoints: Returned current, circuit capacity and interference.

ArtifactHeaterV2.gif The Heater (device ID: heater)

  • The heater will heat the artifact, or cool it.
    • It has one variable, TEMPTARGET (accepts 200-400 in Kelvin), which the actual temperature will slowly reach.
    • The sensors will report current temperature, artifact temperature and whether the artifact responds to temperature at all.

XRayScannerV2.gif The X-ray Scanner (device ID: xray)

  • The X-ray scanner will scan the artifact.
    • It has one setting, RADSTRENGTH, which goes from 1 to 10 (multiples of 10%).
    • You'll get a load of data back: Object density, structural consistency, structural integrity, special features of object and like the heater, whether it responds to radiation.

The dirty secret of Artlab is that each specific artifact always gives the same sensor data. So you can potentially know what a certain artifact does after analyzing it in the lab, but you'll still need to figure out how to activate it.

Analyzing sensor data

Vibration Amplitude and Vibration Frequency (Force)

  • Something that has low returns for these categories is something that absorbs physical shock well - if its high, its probably made of something that reverberates a lot when struck, such as metal.
  • These readings are based off of the artifact's origin. Infrequently, artifacts will disguise their appearance as being from a different origin, and this can help you detect what it really is.

Test Voltage, Load Impedance, Circuit Capacity and Interference (Electricity)

  • Test Voltage is just the voltage you have the electrobox set to.
  • Load Impedance is how much of the electricity put into the artifact was returned to the electrobox. If you're getting back 100% of what you put in or close to it, you've likely got something that involves electrical charge on your hands.
  • Circuit Capacity is how much electrical charge the artifact seems to be able to hold. Anything with this most likely has some kind of internal charge it draws on to power itself. The higher this is, the longer the artifact can do its thing without having to stop and recharge. However, sometimes artifacts can contain internal power cells which hold the charge - if this is the case, the artifact may return a very low value since the artifact itself is useless without its battery.
  • Interference is how much the electrical charge is being disrupted when ran through the artifact. Something with a lot of this is probably some really goddamn weird thing. It's normal for any kind of artifact to have a little of this though.
    • Other things can affect these readouts - certain artifact origins can skew the results a little, and if an artifact is faulty it can disrupt the capacity and interference readouts. The best way to figure this out is to take multiple readings and compare them - if your readings are all the same there's likely nothing wrong with it, but if they're inconsistent you might want to be cautious.

Current temperature, Artifact Temperature, Response to Heat (Heat)

  • It only checks to see if the artifact responds above or below certain temperatures. This is useful to basically tell you this artifact will activate if you raise/lower the temperature some more
  • The heater pad also has a details readout, which will give information on the artifacts features specifically to heat.

Density, Structural Consistency, Structural Integrity, Response to Radiation and Special Features (Radiation)

  • Density is how dense the artifact's mass is. Readings above 10 mean the artifact is more likely to be something weird or something that can fuck with physical forces. Low density means the artifact is likely built to contain something else or is otherwise hollow/cavity-filled.
  • Structural Consistency means how much of the artifact's internal structure is solid or similar. The higher this is, the less likely the artifact is to be something useful. Readings will always generally be fairly high though, but ones at or close to 100% are probably worthless. Remember - machines and biological things have lot of complex parts inside so they're not solid!
  • Structural Integrity is how "solid" the artifact is in terms of construction, is it very damage-resistant and well put together or is it something you could probably crush like a soda can? Very low readings can also indicate the artifact may have something wrong with it, such as it is damaged/malfunctioning/dangerous or what have you.
  • Response to Radiation is how much the artifact responds to being irradiated. You'll have to play around with the radiation strength setting on the equipment to get an accurate picture of what's going on here - the artifact's origin can muck with this reading sometimes. The stronger the response, the more likely it is the artifact is activated via radiation - you just need to find out the right amount to use.
  • Special Features details anything that is paticularly unusual about the artifact's shape - these are mostly a hint towards what the artifact does.

...But I just wanted to know how do I get the artifact out of the damn device??

Click-dragging from the machine onto the floor will remove an artifact that's inside of it. Additionally, right clicking the machine will show the "Eject" verb.

Artifact Interaction

Artifacts can be interacted, and thus activated, through other ways than the devices in the laboratory. The various stimuli mentioned below can be used to substitute the various devices; however they do not give as much control as the dedicated machinery. This is worth noting because a certain amount, not just the presence, of a stimulus is needed to activate an artifact. Higher isn't always better; some artifacts will require a lower amount of a certain stimulus, such as radiation, and won't activate if too much is used. ALL artifacts can be activated within artlab; external devices are not required, but having them tends to greatly reduce the tedium involved.

The correct mild stimulus in an artifact will give you a hint if you are on the right tracks to activate the artifact. You'll get something along the lines "The quirky contraption makes a faint noise."

It is possible to damage an artifact, this is down to too much stimulus. In addition to potentially destroying the artifact if too much damage is done, it can also cause them to develop faults and malfunctions, which are almost always a bad thing.

Artifacts will glow, shimmer and generally look turned on when activated. If the artifact produces a temporary effect like a Forcewall or Darkness upon being activated for the first time, in most cases it will only need a simple touch to activate again depending on the effect.

In addition, if an artifact's origin is properly identified on an artifact form, its name will change to its "real name", which is based naming scheme of its artifact family. If the origin on the artifact form is incorrect, however, the artifact will instead have a naming convention from an entirely different family. For example, if you properly identify a "regal sculpture" artifact as a Wizard artifact, it might take on the name "sapphire jewel of majesty". Sometimes, an artifact's true origin won't match what it looks like, so you may need to do some additional testing to identify it.


Stimulus Device-Based Methods Other Methods
Carbon Touch None. Having the artifact be touched by any carbon-based life form. You use other people or monkeys as test dummies by grabbing them with Grab intent and clicking the artifact. Blobs also cause this stimulus- try politely asking a blob for help if you can't figure out how to touch something with your hand.
Silicon Touch None. Having the artifact be touched by a cyborg, or a cyborg arm. You can find arms in robotics, or in the guardbuddy room, which is usually close to or within the science department. If you have a robot arm attached, you can touch the artifact using that too!
Force Shooting objects at the artifact via the pitcher. Hitting the artifact with just about anything that deals BRUTE will cause this stimulus, and throwing such objects will have a similar effect. Kinetic bullets and explosions also work, though take care not to miss and/or lose a limb.
Heat Using the heater to expose the artifact to specific temperatures. Burning the artifact with a lighter, welder, or similar will produce a hot stimulus.
Electricity Electrifying the artifact with the electrobox. Zapping the artifact with a stun baton, defibrillator, fly swatter, or multitool or EMPing it.
Radiation Scanning the artifact with the X-Ray. Certain chemicals (see below). EMPs also cause a small amount of radiation stimulus.
Data None. Smacking the artifact with a Thinktape (found in the artifact lab, and elsewhere) or a console circuit board.

Chemical Stimuli

While not a stimulus type themselves, chemicals can produce a wide variety of stimuli. Radioactive chemicals produce a radiation stimulus, hot chemicals produce a hot stimulus, and cold chemicals produce a cold stimulus. Some chemicals even produce a random stimulus!

As a rule of thumb, the more of a chemical you use, the stronger a stimulus you'll get.

Possible Effects

So, what happens when you actually activate an artifact? That's the fun of it, it's entirely random. Aside from the artifact's size, you'll have no way of knowing just what it will do until you activate it. What we can tell you is what the potential abilities of the artifacts are:

Bulky Artifacts

Artifact Image

These are giant-looking things that you can't pick up, only drag around. Note that pulling or pushing them doesn't count as a TOUCH stimulus, you must click it with an active hand for that. This lets you drag it around safely. You can also force someone to touch artifacts by putting them in an aggressive or higher grab (click on them with Grab intent, click on the grab to upgrade it) and then clicking on the artifact, triggering its effects. Obviously, don't wordlessly grab random people and force them to touch artifacts (especially if it's one of the harmful ones), or similar, unless you're an Antagonist.

Artifact Type Description
Forcefield Generator The artifact will produce a shiny forcefield of varying size and duration. Until it powers down after a random amount of time, nothing short of teleportation will break through its stubborn walls.
Lamp Emits a bright, permanent light. Harmless.
Darkness A cloak of absolute darkness will envelop the artifact and area around it, preventing any actions short of walking around in it until it powers down. Having Thermals or Mesons can make it easier to navigate.
Healer One of the few benign artifacts you'll come across. Touching it will heal an equal amount of BRUTE and BURN, between 5 to 75. Most only heal the person who touches it, but occasionally you might stumble upon one that heals everyone within a certain radius.
Aura Periodically, these artifacts will have a certain effect on an area around them. These can either heal all people nearby for a small amount or damage everyone nearby for a small amount.
Plant Helper Easily identifiable by the bright rays it beams to nearby hydroponics trays. Automatically waters plant trays within a certain radius (indicated by a blue ray) and drains any excess water (shown with a red ray), i.e. this will not overfill plant trays. It may also have some additional effects, listed below. They can appear in any number of combinations (e.g. you can have one that kills weeds and accelerates plant growth but doesn't do the other things), and if you're really lucky, you'll get one that does all 4.
  • Speeds up plant growth by 1, which is heralded by a green ray of light.
  • Boosts plant health by 1, shown by an orange line.
  • Damages weeds by 3. This is also red, like draining excess water.
  • Rarely (8% chance) mutates plants in its area of effect, which is indicated by a dark line.

Radius can vary from 4 (i.e. 9x9 area) to 9 (19x19) tiles.

Prison Not as bad as it sounds, the artifact will drag you into it and lock itself for a minute or two before spitting you out again. Handy for trapping people or jumping into for protection. These are one of the few artifact types that don't require activation, and will only do the "lit up" animation when someone is inside of it.
Human-to-Cyborg Converter When touched, it paralyzes you and slowly converts your arms and legs into light cyborg limbs, before finishing off the process by fully making you into a Cyborg with light parts, gibbing your fleshy old body in the process and leaving behind whatever you had on it. If you already had cyborg limbs, the process goes faster. Thankfully, it is possible for another person to pull you away and stop the process, but there is also a 15% chance the artifact spawns as a subvariant that pulls you into itself precisely to make that impossible.

You can always tell these apart from other large artifacts from their inspect message. ONLY Borgers will have a "Vaguely Foreboding" tag when inspected, so be careful not to touch them when testing and trying to activate them!

If a Cyborg touches it, they'll receive a mysterious message declaring something like UPGRADE COMPLETE.
  • Note to Cyborgs: forcing people to touch a Converter artifact against their will or deceiving people about its true nature is considered harming a human! Don't do this unless your laws allow it!
Mutation This silly artifact will give you a certain mutation when you touch it. Sometimes this is bad, other times it's beneficial! Usually they only last for a limited time either way. This is indicated by the "Eerie Light" message upon activation.
Injector This picks a random cocktail of up to three chemicals and injects anyone who touches it. This is usually never good, though if you're careful and lucky enough you can harvest reagents from it; some very rare reagents can only be found from these.
Implanter When touched while active, will implant the being with one of nine available artifact implants:

Eldritch ("mysterious object")

  • Beneficial: Replaces or fully heals an organ if it is lost somehow or goes into failure. Every few seconds, slightly heals all your organs. The amount healed per organ is very small (0.166, or 1/6), but it does add up over time.
  • Gimmick: Periodically makes you appear to bleed, though the source of the blood is not your own.
  • Harmful: If you have more than 75 BRUTE damage, then every few seconds, the implant inflicts 2 BRUTE damage and gives each of your organs 4 damage (so you get 4 stomach damage, 4 kidney damage to both kidneys, etc.), potentially leading to organ failure; this is accompanied by "Your insides doesn't feel so good... Wait... what?". If you have more than 175 BRUTE or more than 5 organs are missing or dead, you keel over and gib.

In the case of the beneficial and harmful implants, the list of organs potentially affected includes: appendix, eyes, heart, intestines, liver, lungs, kidneys, pancreas, spleen, and stomach.

Silicon ("spiky thing")

  • Beneficial: Will grow you a cyborg arm or leg when a limb is lost.
  • Gimmick: Causes you to periodically say silly slogans about a robot revolution and has a small chance to generate a cyborg scream when you say one.
  • Harmful: If you have more than 75 OXY damage, then every few seconds, you get 75 LOSEBREATH and take 3 OXY ("You feel its harder to breath. Oh GOD YOUR LUNGS. WHAT THE HELL?"). If you reach more than 175 OXY, the implant blows your limbs off one by one and then gibs you.

Wizard ("fancy stone")

  • Beneficial: Teleports you a safe distance away if you have more than 100 BURN damage. Doesn't work in the Adventure Zone, the Trench, or any Z-level besides the one with the station/ship.
  • Gimmick: Periodically changes your mutantrace, reverting back to the original state when removed.
  • Harmful: Themed around either fire or ice.
    • Fire: If you have more than 75 BURN damage, then every few seconds, your body temperature shoots up to 10000 degrees Celsius (if you were already above that somehow, there's no increase), and the implant sets you on fire for 100 seconds ("You feel really, REALLY HOT!"). At more than 175 BURN, you gib in a burst of flames.
    • Ice: If you have more than 75 BURN damage, then every few seconds, it sets your body temperature to 0 Celsius and causes 3 BURN ("Oh god, it's SO COLD!"). If you get above 175 BURN, you become an ice statue, your body encased in an icy tomb.
Gravity A mildly annoying artifact, this will either pull things towards it or push them away from it.
Container When activated and touched, this artifact will vanish and leave its contents behind, which can be anything from items to weapons to critters to mobs. Be on guard in the case of the last two!
Warp Touch the artifact. Now go run off somewhere and wait a couple of minutes, and you'll suddenly be warped back to wherever the artifact is! This one doesn't need to be activated to work. You can tell these artifacts apart on activation as they will give no message when the sound file is played.
Bomb If you see a message about an artifact "catastrophically overloading" or "intensifying its own gravity", and it starts vibrating, blaring alarms, and emitting light, GET RID OF IT IMMEDIATELY! This means that in two minutes the artbomb's going to detonate. During this time, you can click on the bomb with an appropriate activator artifact to halt the detonation and deactivate it, but you better be quick. At the end of those two minutes, you'll see messages about it reaching "critical energy levels" or starting to "collapse in on itself", meaning it's just about to detonate, so run.

There are four types with four different payloads.

  • Black Hole: Creates a temporary black hole, similar to the kind created by the black hole random event. You'll know you've found one of these when you get a message about the artifact "intensifying its own gravity". Get rid of it. If it begins to "collapse in on itself", get your running shoes on; it's about to go!
  • Chemical: Deploys a chemical payload in either foam, smoke powder, propellant or just fluid form. There are different types of chems possible depending on the artifact family.
  • Explosion: The third type simply makes an explosion. There is a rare "devastating" subvariant that can reach canister bomb levels of destructiveness and its arming is heralded by a ship/station-wide announcement that includes its location. Deactivating it also sends a server-wide announcement.
  • Matter Transmutation: This type turns everything in a randomly-determined radius (generally within on screen length) into a certain material. Very rarely, it may also transmute people (they're still alive) and their belongings or make people into statues of the material (they're definitely not alive). Wizard versions convert into shiny and/or magical materials, Martian organic substances, Robot metals and industrial materials, and Precursor somewhat exotic materials. You can determine if you have this artifact and what material it'll turn things into by touching it with an item, whereupon it'll transform the object into a certain material
Turret When these artifacts are activated they reveal an array of GUNS. The artifact will automatically 'turn' and shoot nearby people/monkeys. They deactivate after a while if there is nothing to shoot. If destroyed, they drop an artifact gun with a single mode (it never has multiple modes) that fires the same kind of projectile the turret did. Be warned, these can and will shoot you soon after you turn it on for the first time, so run away and come back after a while, the artifact will probably have turned off.
Wishgranter Make a wish! When activated, a booming voice will give you a choice of either great wealth or great power. Depending on its mood (which to say, completely randomly), it may do exactly as you intended, bestowing great wads of credits or fabulous genetic powers (or a great power cell if you're a robot). Or it might just pull a literal genie and just kill you in suitably ironic (and irreversible) fashion.
Surgery Also known as augmentors. Replaces one of your organs with either robotic or plant/synthetic ones when you click on it, dropping your old one on the ground. Certain organs will always be replaced with certain augmentations, and you can use it as many times as you'd like. Just have a few styptic patches ready.

More specifically, any organ in your body can be replaced, with exception of brains and tails, and these artifacts can targe 1-3 of the following groups of organs: arms and legs; eyes; stomach, butt, and intestines; pancreas, liver, and spleen; lungs and heart; and appendix and kidneys. That means you might see one that only changes legs and arms or just your heart and lungs, for example. If the artifact specifically gives cyberkidneys, they have random metabolism modifiers. Limbs from this artifact can also grant special abilities, detailed in their own sections on the Roboticist page.
Generator Click on it while it's over a wire (insulated gloves recommended) to connect it the station power grid, and it'll generate anywhere from 500 kW to 500 MW of electricity. Warning: This type of artifact can burst into flames/rumble, similarly to the Thermoelectric Generator. Placing directly on the grid can result in severe collateral damage. Should you wish to remove it, simply click on it again to disconnect it.
Air Constantly pumps out a fair amount of one random gas, depending on the artifact family, at a random temperature, usually never beyond 0 to 620 Kelvin. These usually tend to emit oxygen or nitrogen, but they can emit any of the gases in the game, including plasma or even farts. Can be useful for repressurizing areas.
Evil Cloner Hold your horses, it's unrelated to the Medical cloner (or its Syndicate version). When activated, if you touch this rare artifact, it'll create a copy of you (sans items) inside itself, and from there, one of the following happens:
  • A short time afterwards (specifically within the span of 5 seconds to 2 minutes), the clone pops out and starts attacking everyone in the vicinity, including you.
  • You swap minds with the clone inside. Your original body, now possessed by the evil clone's mind, will start to speak: they either spout a randomly-chosen line expressing confusion (e.g. "I don't feel any different.") or repeat something someone said earlier in the round. In both cases, they'll then repeat dialogue from earlier. After a max of 2 minutes, they will randomly attack people. You will eventually be released after a random amount of time (again between 5 sec. to 2 min., starting from when you touch it), but during this, you are paralyzed and cannot speak, essentially being forced to watch.

The clone shares same AI as the one behind hellmonkeys, and so is quite apt at weapon usage. At the same, they're still a regular human (or human adjacent) and thus are still vulnerable to fire, poison, space, etc. Speaking of humans, you can't use this as a Critter, Cyborg, Ghostdrone, or some such.

Warper When activated warps around a set number of times, also teleporting anyone nearby to its destination.
  • A subtype exists, that will warp to very remote locations. Enjoy the hunt.
Emoter Force Field Anyone in range, every few seconds will do a selected (random) emote, with randomized range (and naturally precursors get max 30 range).
Heat Surge Sets most of the room on fire when activated.
Psycho-Stimulator Field When activated, people In a nearby radius will get one of the eight hallucinations, depending on the artifact type:


  • Fake flock walls, floors, buildings, and flock themselves.
  • Some basic fake enemies, the same ones you experience from consuming "LSD"
  • Spiders with varying sizes.


  • Constant fart sounds.
  • Walls and floors become flesh, and fake flesh attacks you.


  • Pretty colors, your screen turns rainbow and slowly fades into different colors.
  • Constant fart sounds.


  • Constant Screams, pretty simple.
  • Walls and floors become flesh, and fake flesh attacks you.
  • People turn into ghosts, spawns fake ghost that attacks you.


  • Fake flock walls, floors, buildings, and flock themselves.
  • Pretty colors, your screen turns rainbow and slowly fades into different colors.

Hand-held Artifacts

Smaller artifacts that you can carry around. These will come with extra messages such as "having a handle to hold it by" to tell you it can be picked up.

Artifact Type Description
Self-Teleporter Click the floor, any floor. VOOM! You are there.
Melee Well yes, you could technically whack someone with any kind of handheld artifact, but these specific ones inflict a random amount of a certain damage type. Additionally, they can also inflict stuns similar in fashion to security batons. You cannot get any one-shot-kills with these, but you can get something better than what you'd normally find on the station/ship...or you may be better off with your fists. You'll know if you have one of these if it makes a bizarre sound when you hit someone with it. Generally, test these on NPC's rather than yourself.
Gun Like the Melee artifact, but ranged. It picks a random damage type, damage amount and number of bullets fired in one burst. Rarely, it may come with an extra fire mode, with its own randomization, or even a third, which can you toggle by clicking on the thing while it's in your hand (Hotkey: C for Goon WASD, Z for /tg/-style WASD). Depending on how the RNG rolls, these can be amazingly deadly. Note that gun artifacts deteriorate with use, often causing more and more side effects. These can range from self detonation, to injections of toxins, random teleports, or rarely, self-gibs. Careful not to spam too much!

Additionally, all Gun artifacts contain their own unique Small artifact power cell, which can be extracted by swapping its battery with another or destroying the gun, through wear and tear or certain stimuli. Oftentimes these are considerably better than their on-station equivalents, with the added bonus of being self-charging. These powercells are not the same as the artifact cells which can be found outside of artifacts, and can only be used for battery powered equipment, rather than cyborgs and APC's.
Forcewall Like the bigger artifact, but it only makes a wall in one direction.
Watering Can More commonly called "artifact beakers" or simply "artbeakers", since that is how they are usually used. A Scientist's best friend, these things have obscene reagent limits and come pre-loaded with massive amounts of obscure chems (usually Saltpetre, which means happy days for any Scientist or Botanist). These can fit into any machine that a regular beaker can, and don't need to be activated before they can be used. Note that these do not have the "has a handle" message when examined, so you'll have to pay attention to whether it looks like it can be picked up or not.
Pitcher Specifically, a beverage pitcher, meaning you can chug from it and put it into drink dispensers. In addition to the typical base alcohols and mixers you'd get from drink dispensers, these can contain a special selection of wild and crazy chemicals of questionable quality, such as Bombini, moonshine, and hairgrownium. The amount you drink from the pitcher with each sip is random, and, similar to artifact beakers, so is the pitcher's capacity, which is generally between 500 and 2000 units.

Artifact pitchers have a 15% chance to spawn as inert, which means that chemical reactions can't take place inside them at all, similar to a cocktail shaker (except you can't shake it to mix things together, naturally). There's no indication of whether or not a pitcher has this property, so the only way to figure it out is to test it. This property does not appear on artifact beakers -- only artifact pitchers.

Magic Casts a powerful magical attack. There is a lightning variant that zaps people, an ice variant that creates ice trails and freezes people into ice cubes, a fire variant that throws columns of flame, a sonic variant that stuns everyone within a certain radius, and a variant that randomly does one of the four. Has a cooldown between each use. These can be very deadly even to the user, so be careful with them!
Instrument Click on it/activate it in-hand to play...something that can probably be called music.
Activator Quite possibly the holy grail of artifact research, this can activate and deactivate any artifact of its type (Eldritch, Wizard, Martian, Precursor, Robot), and sometimes every type. If you obtain this, then throw your hands up in the air you lucky bastard, because you are really goddamned lucky.
  • Note that while they're handheld size and (usually) have the sprites for such, they're have a "It kinda looks like it's supposed to be inserted into something." message when examined. Makes sense, they are, technically, activator keys.
Bag-Of-Holding Stores items, with different gimmicks depending on its origin. Sometimes can be worn, like a backpack, but is sometimes more like a box.


  • Varies widely in storage ability. Has 3 to 13 item slots, and the more slots there are, the smaller the maximum weight class, e.g. you might have a bag-of-holding with only 3 slots, but it can hold bulky items, or one with 11 slots but it can only hold tiny-size items.
  • If it has more than 6 slots, you can wear it on your back.
  • The size of the bag-of-holding itself varies depending on how many slots it has. If it has 5 slots or less, it will be small-sized. If it has 6 to 8 slots, it'll be normal-sized, like a box, and if it has more than 8 or can carry bulky items, it will very likely (90% chance) be classified as bulky, like a backpack.
  • Adding and removing items is pretty involved, because it has no HUD (you cannot grasp its true form.) It either store items in a random order; in a queue/first-in-first-out (FIFO) order, so taking an item out removes the first item inserted; or in a stack/last-in-first-out (LIFO) order, meaning taking an item out removes the item most recently inserted.


  • Can be worn on your back or belt.
  • Every once in a while, it "begins to change shape", randomizing maximum weight class holdable (from tiny to bulky) and the amount of storage slots (ranging from 3 to 13).
  • Generally bulky-sized (like a satchel or backpack), but if it has 8 slots or less, it's normal-sized (like a box), and if has 5 slots or less, it's small-sized.


  • Always a bulky-sized storage that can be worn on your back, essentially making it a wizard backpack.
  • Can only hold either tiny- or small-size items, but have between 20 to 40 slots.
  • You can only see 2 to 5 slots at a time, and every time you add an item, take one out, or look into it, you'll see a random set of items.

Do note that storing items may cause "faults". Putting a bag-of-holding inside another bag-of-holding (which requires them to be different sizes) destroys both bags and results in one of the following events, each of equal likelihood: a small explosion (can put a one-tile dent in the hull), a tiny, harmless singularity forming and disappearing, the items inside teleporting everywhere (50-50 chance of either ending up in random locations or in random people's inventories), and you getting stuck in a pocket dimension. Putting an activator key in a bag-of-holding has the same effects, if said key can activate the bag-of-holding's flavor of origin.

Healing Wand Heal thy neighbor (and rarely, thyself). When used on someone adjacent to you (i.e. it's melee-range only), it heals them of BRUTE and BURN damage. Amount healed is same for both damage types and is set to between 5 and 15, with a 10% chance to be between 15 and 40. It has a cooldown between uses, set to between 5 to 20 seconds, with a very rare (1%) chance for a one-second cooldown. In addition, it has a different 10% chance to be usable on yourself. In this case, it never has a one-second cooldown or expanded healing range.

Tiny Artifacts

Similar to handhelds in that they can be picked up, but they'll look pretty small. They come with an extra "It kinda looks like it's supposed to be inserted into something." message when examined.

Artifact Type Description
Cell The ultimate (large) power cell. Has an absurdly wide range of charge limits and can charge on its own without need of a cell charger. When activated, they usually are low on charge. When deactivated, they lose all their charge, and their capacity drops to zero. In any case, they're "large" power cells, so while they won't fit into energy weapons, they can be inserted into cyborg docks, put into a cell charger, etc., regardless of it's activated or not.

Occasionally, it may make concerning noises and leak certain chemicals, with higher capacity cells being more likely to leak. Most cells spill onto the floor, but, rarely, it is possible to get a cell that discharges into the air as a tiny smoke powder cloud. Martian cells tend to release organic-themed substances, Wizard cells very flashy and showy chems, Robot cells fuels and machine-related liquids, and Precursor literally any possible chem in the game, barring a handful of exceptions.


For some artifacts, a good way of telling what they do can be ascertained simply by examining them! These artifacts will have special text on the line after the generic "You have no idea what this thing is!". These lines only appear if you have Scientist Training.

  • "It is covered in highly conspicious markings." Can be either a bomb, a turret, a gravity manipulator, or air artifact.
  • "It looks vaguely foreboding." Steer clear of artifacts with this label: only human>cyborg converters have this examine text!
  • "It appears to have a handle you can hold it by." Most handheld artifacts have this examine text. If you find one that doesn't, it's either an instrument, a beaker, or an activator.
  • "It looks like it's supposed to be inserted into something." Ditto for tiny artifacts. If you find a handheld with this text, then it's definitely an activator, lucky you!
  • "It is sparking." Similar to borging artifacts, only electrical generators have this examine text.

Alien Invasion

If you're a traitor with a penchant for the weird and are willing to play chicken with the RNG, then you're in for a fun time. Here's some possibilities:

The Rare Chemical Connoisseur

Some of the chemicals in pitchers and watering cans are rare (or otherwise unobtainable!) and extremely powerful. You can go on a rampage while hopped up on booster enzyme and energy drink, poison the captain with painbow fluid and loose screws, and/or leave pills of argine all over maintenance. You can also harvest these types of chemicals from injectors and chemical bombs, but the process is a bit more difficult (and usually involves monkeys).

The Artifact Assassin

Many of the handheld artifacts make for fearsome combat tools. The simplest are melee weapons and guns, as they kill people dead (or just disable them to stop them fighting back). Additionally, magic wands can cause an AoE ruckus from a distance, and teleporters can get you anywhere you need to be. With a few strong handheld artifacts, you can be zipping across the station causing havoc.

The Science School Dropout

Artifact is catastrophically overloading? It's probably fine, you should hide it in maintenance. Found a borger? Just leave it in the halls, it's useful for people who want to become cyborgs! Activated an injector? Those chemicals are probably good for you- label it "Healer" and stick it at the entrance to medbay. If done well, it'll be impossible to tell you're a traitor at all, as most people will view science as a safety hazard by default. Remember- if security executes you for gross incompetence, you've already won.

Department Guides
Engineering Making and Breaking · Construction · Gas · Power Grid · Thermoelectric Generator · Singularity Generator · Geothermal Generator · Catalytic Generator · Nuclear Generator · Mining · Materials and Crafting · Wiring · Hacking · MechComp · Mechanic components and you · Control Unit · Ruckingenur Kit · Reactor Statistics Computer · Cargo Crates
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Computers Computers · TermOS · ThinkDOS · Packets