Types of Resources
There are three primary types of resources that you can collect in Firefall, and within each type there are four resources, one of each rarity. The three types and their resources are:
- Iron Bars
- Tungsten Bars
- Titanium Bars
- Uranium Rods
- Chitin Fibers
- Carbon Powder
- Biopolymer Threads
- Crystatic Nucleotides
- Copper Wiring
- Crystatic Powercell
- Optical Coolers
Some crafting recipes also require “hybrid” resources which you can create in the "Molecular Printer" (crafting terminal) by blending two different resources together.
In general, the rarity of resources you can find depends on the level range of the area you are in. In low level areas you'll only find Iron, Chitin Fibers, and Copper Wiring, but as you progress your character and reach higher level zones you'll start to encounter the higher rarity resources.
Each of the three types of resources is collected in its own specific way, making it easy to find that particular kind of resource that you’re looking for.
Raw Biomaterials are gained as drops from killing non-humanoid creatures. You can refine these Raw Biomaterials into the usable versions via the “Refining” tab in the Molecular Printer.
Electronics are gained via salvaging. Humanoid creatures will drop “salvage” items which are items that have no function other than to be salvaged. Salvaging items (either designated “salvage” items or just regular battleframe equipment/abilities) will give you Electronics, Crystite, and Research Points.
Metals are mined out of the earth in a process called “Thumping.”
Thumping is the process of calling down an object called a “Thumper” in order to mine resources out of the ground. Thumpers get their name from the rhythmic pounding noise that they make as they extract the valuable metals from the earth. Unfortunately for you, that pounding noise also has a habit of attracting the attention of some nasty creatures. When you drop a Thumper, you will have to defend it from these creatures until it has reached its capacity and you send it back. If your Thumper is in danger of being destroyed, you can send it back before it’s full for partial rewards. However if you manage to defend it successfully to 100%, all Thumpers will give a completion bonus of extra resources, providing an incentive to hold out until the end instead of calling the Thumper back up early.
Thumpers come in two different types (Personal and Squad) and four different stages (Stock, I, II, and III). The stages designate what metals that Thumper is capable of gathering. A Stock thumper can only mine Iron, a Stage I can mine Iron and Tungsten, and so on. Higher stage Thumpers will also attract more creatures, making them more of a challenge to defend.
Personal Thumpers have capacities ranging from 250-325 and are designed for one or two people to be able to complete on their own. If more than one person squad up to complete a Personal Thumper, the amount of resources gathered will be divided evenly between all squad members who participated in defending it.
Squad Thumpers have capacities ranging from 300-375 and attract far more creatures than a Personal Thumper of the same stage, making them generally take 4-5 players to successfully defend. In contrast to a Personal Thumper where the resources gathered are divided up between the participants, a Squad Thumper will award the full amount of resources it collected to each player who participated in defending it from the owner's squad. Squad Thumpers will also give at least some rewards to all members of the Thumper owner's squad, even if they do not participate in defending it (though if they do not participate, they will not receive the full rewards).
Any players who participate in defending a Thumper but are not in a squad with the owner will receive a small reward from the Thumper for helping out. These rewards do not detract from the rewards gained from the Thumper by the owner and their squad mates.
It's important to note that you can't just run by a Thumper and shoot one or two creatures and expect to get credit for completing it. Only players who are there and fighting for a good portion of the Thump are counted as having "participated."
You can’t just drop a Thumper anywhere in the world and expect it to land on valuable resources. The first step in any Thumping expedition is to locate an area where the concentration of resources is high using an object called a Scan Hammer (which you receive automatically upon completion of the Thumper defense mission in the New Player Experience). When you strike the ground with a Scan Hammer, it will give you a couple of important pieces of information. One is the percentage of various resources present at that spot, and the other is a colored graphical display that covers the ground in front of you that represents the concentration of resources over that entire area.
The real art of Scan Hammer usage comes from reading the colored waves that the Scan Hammer generates and using that information to find where the resource concentrations are at their highest. Looking at the image above, you will notice a series of curved lines in the colored display. These lines will move, with all of them moving towards a single point. Finding the highest concentration of resources is as simple as following these ripples to the place where they converge. At that location, you will see a visible “peak” in the colored readout which denotes the location of the highest concentration of resources.
Metals, like Biomaterials, are gathered in a “raw” form and must be refined in a Molecular Printer before they can be used for crafting. However unlike Biomaterials, Metals will also give Crystite when refined. Veins of Metals are dynamically spawned, meaning the locations of the peaks will move and vary. What was a high-concentration peak one day may be a useless patch of dirt the next. Veins also have a limited quantity of resources inside of them: if you keep thumping the same spot over and over, eventually you'll bleed it dry.
In addition to Thumping, Metals can also be found around the world in the form of Surface Deposits. These are small rocky nodes filled with resources that you can break open with the use of an item called a "Sonic Detonator" to harvest the resources inside. If you don't have a Sonic Detonator handy, you can also break open a Surface Deposit by hitting it with your Scan Hammer, though it will not yield as many resources.
Thumpers, Sonic Detonators, and Scan Hammers can all be accessed through the "Resource Gathering" tab of your Calldown menu (default C).