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Salvage Gameplay Is Finally Coming To Star Citizen

Welcome to some more Star Citizen, Alpha 3.18 is an incredibly important patch for Star Citizen with it’s many milestone in tech and features… it should be starting it’s long testing cycle soon for hopefully a release around the end of September.

Today I wanted to talk about Salvage in a bit more detail as this is one of the focuses of that patch and CI have hinted at recently that we are already working on deeper salvage gameplay than just the Vulture hull stripping and Hand Salvage.

3.18 Salvage Features

The first implementation of Salvage into the persistent universe, which includes both hull stripping as well as repair. This will include both performing hull stripping and repairs by hand, as well as hull stripping using the systems aboard the Drake Vulture.

Hull stripping by hand will be done with a salvage multitool attachment, this rip suck up the other hull of a ship and store it in a canister. This hand tool attachment will allow you to repair ships with that stored material or you can sell it for profit.

The Drake Vulture Light Salvage Ship is planned to be flyable. Having the hull stripping mechanics at a much larger scale than by hand, tho no way of repairing. It sounded like you would be able to fill your multi-tool with the salvage material from the Vulture tho.

In fact we got a preview of the ship from Fleet Week, where it was actually tourable there.

It appears however that we might be getting the Reclaimer functional and updated somewhat at the same time, we saw in a recent Development Update CI Say:

Significant progress was then made on ship salvage, with an improved HUD being created for the Drake Vulture’s salvage mode. They also added additional aiming functionality tailored to the unique setup of the ship’s arms. The Reclaimer’s salvage turrets were also properly setup and can now scrape hulls.

This suggests that they may be ready for Alpha 3.18 as well giving the Reclaimer similar functionality to the Vulture.

This is combined with CI updating the reclaimer for Reclaimer Derelict & Settlements that are in Alpha 3.17.2… tho we don’t know if that work will filter down to the Reclaimer for 3.18 but I think it’s likely we will see some polish and lighting passes of the ship when they make those salvage turrets functional.

How exactly will Salvage Mechanics work in Alpha 3.18? We don’t know exactly yet…

Things might change but from what we have seen so far you’ll be able to go up to any ship and remove the outer coating of it’s hull using a Salvage Ship Hull Stripping Beam or Hand Tool. This looks to work very similarly to mining but all you are doing is extracting, the mini-game here comes from efficiently removing the hull.

It’s not been confirmed what ships you’ll be able to salvage… but to me it’s looking like it will be ones that players or NPCs fly atm… and it might be that settlements and derelicts (that are POI) aren’t salvageable at this stage due to the way they are setup. This should be great with Full Persistence potentially saving destroyed ships and then being able to come back and salvage them later. 

That said some people think it will just be very specific ships at locations that you’ll be able to salvage…

But that material will be stored on your ship and you can sell it for profit.

And in the future you should be able to salvage all ships.

There is a lot more to come with Salvage, they are also working on Vehicle Munching to expand out the Salvage Gameplay – Implementing the ability to transform large chunks of metal salvaged from ships into a refinable material. This will use the grinder systems aboard salvage ships like the Vulture and Reclaimer. Work for this is planned to wrap up end of Q1 2023 and I believe that this was originally called maw salvage… tho it’s possible that munching just refer to the process of refining salvaged materials into refined material.

It looks like in a similar way to mining that salvage will be getting a lot of additions and interactions added to it reasonably quickly to make it more functional and fleshed out.

Salvage Mechanics Example

There are multiple types of Salvage that CI plan to have in the game:

Hull Scraping both via ship and by Hand Salvage (and that obviously ties into repair too)

Vehicle Munching (which I believe was previously called Maw Salvage?). I am thinking that these material will also be used for larger scale repair and component manufacture.

CI had previously talked about Salvage Charges, blowing up ships into parts and then you’d munch them down, pulling them in with claws or tractor beams or both.

Syphoning (Gases / Liquids) is another type, taking fuel, atmosphere from a ship. Potentially it might be something the Starfarer will be able to do OR they might build a specialist ship for it.

There is also Component Removal, literally removing weapons and components from a ship.

Tractor beams play a big part to salvage allowing you to help move ships, bits of ships or their components, you could also potentially call the hauling back of a whole ship via an SRV… a type of salvage too. 

What Ships can do it and how

What can the Vulture Actually Do? well hull stipping in 3.18 BUT beyond that.

Rip wrecks apart like a pro without the cumbersome hardware and multi-crew rigmarole of a larger ship. Answer to no one, cut out the middleman, and throw caution to the wind. In a Vulture, you can pick up the lucrative scraps of larger operations, run the regular trade circuits fast and light, or hit the open sky and carve out your own place in the great big empty.

So the Vulture has it’s hull stripping but also a large specialist tractor array so that it can easily bring chunks of salvage onboard and it features a super-compact onboard processor capable of separating and prepping raw salvaged materials. So should be able to munch that into valuable materials too just on a smaller scale than the Reclaimer. 

It looks like CI are working on Tractor Beams for ships at the moment too and I am expecting them to talk more about it later this year.

What can the Reclaimer Actually Do?

The Reclaimer is supposed to be getting a lot of functionality as well.

We know it’s going to be able to hull scrape hopefully in 3.18…

But beyond that it’s also Equipped with a massive multi-tool arm, the Reclaimer can grab spaceborne salvage and then carry it aboard for processing. In addition to a large cargo hold, the hull is packed with reclamation equipment capable of processing and storing up to a Constellation worth of salvage! Tractor beams and a massive set of salvage processing spinny things aid with that salvage munching too. I am expecting the claw to actual just hold ships in position a lot of the time while bits are getting pulled off with tractor beams.

There are some other things that the Recalimer may get in the future too or at least were planned for it during it’s original concepting.

A manned cutter craft which may be deployed for EVA/recovery operations – the cutter will carry tools and supplies and transport recovered artefacts back aboard ship.

An array of Surveyor-class drones for seeking out valuable items in the distant depths.

The ship could potentially have some modularity later down the line allowing to to specialise.

But we will have to wait and see.

I am expecting other Salvage ships and potentially ground vehicles in the future or at least modularity for some ships like the caterpillar to be able to have some salvage options.

Boom that’s it for your Star Citizen Salvage Update today. We are getting close to having this extremely elusive mechanic in game… I’ve wanted and expected it to turn up at anytime over the last 3 years… and it’s finally on the horizon.