Fortuna brought with it a bunch of new activities and things to collect, not the least of which being Animal Conservation. Not only is it a fun addition to the chores and repetition of resource farming, but you can also collect cute little Floofs to put in your Orbiter or Dojo.
And once you see them, collect them you will. Because they are cute.
However, there’s not much REASON to do this activity beyond collecting Floofs (accruing standing, yes, but there are plenty of ways to do that), and the game never really forces you to do it, so there are plenty of players out there wondering what to do – hence the guide!
What you need
In order to be able to start the Animal Conservation tasks, you’ll need two things, both of which can be purchased from The Business using your Solaris United standing:
- Tranq Rifle
- Pobber Echo Lure
You’ll note that the Echo Lure is specific to specific critters, so you will need to keep an eye on that (but the starting points will only appear on the map if you are holding the lure). Each of them costs 500 standing, so it won’t take too long, but note you won’t be able to grab these until you’ve done at least one bounty.
Once you’re in the Orb Vallis, pull out your Tranq Rifle. This will cause the appropriate critter tracking starting points to pop up on your map. Waypoint the nearest one, and head over there!
Once you’re in the area, you’ll want to look for… well… a steaming pile of poop. It will be smack bang in the centre of the location on your mini-map, so it shouldn’t be hard to find, but we’ve included an image below for reference.
Get close to the poop, and you’ll notice a tooltip that pops up, asking you to press a button to start tracking… so start tracking! This will bring up the 4-step status indicator at the top of the screen as well (which generally only shows when you reach the next step). Kicking off the hunt will enable some footprints to be highlighted, moving away from the starting point. Follow these.
The footprints CAN be hard to see, depending on the critter you are hunting, and the environment you are tracking through. However, following them is easy. If you lose track, simply return to the last place you CAN see them until you can see the next set, and move slowly until they become clearer again. That said, I can’t speak for anyone that may have some form of colourblindness.
When you reach the end of the tracks (which will be somewhere in the yellow circle, but not necessarily in the centre), you’ll come across a carcass – something the critter was feeding on. This is the Echo Lure call point, and this is where you will need to whip out your Echo Lure – the status indicator at the top will shift to the next step, suggesting you need to call the animal. Before you do so, however, ensure the area is free from any potential incursion from Corpus enemies, as they may hamper you or scare away the little critter.
Initially, using the Echo Lure is a simple task – press and hold the appropriate button to make a call. Not long after, you will hear a return call from the animal itself, and it is at this point that you will need to attempt to replicate the call.
But don’t fret – it’s not as complicated as it first seems!
After hearing the call, a small white bar will be added to the bar representing the Echo Lure at the side of your screen – this is the starting point, so you need to move your cursor until the “lit” section of the bar is within the lure – then kick it off again!
The white bar will either go up, or go down, and you need to follow it in the right direction, stopping where the bar stops. You don’t need to be accurate – in fact, I’m convinced just going in the right direction is all you actually need to do, but just in case, do your best.
If you’re successful, you’ll hear the animal return your call another time, and the status indicator at the top of the screen will shift again, this time indicating the need to capture the animal. You will need to hide, and look for the direction of the wind – different critters work in different ways; some will smell you, some will see you, and if they don’t think it’s safe, they’ll run away.
If you hide successfully, you’ll see the critter enter the screen. Some of them will walk right up to the lure point. Some will come in groups. Some have armour. Either way, you need to shoot them with your Tranq Rifle to put them to sleep (or alternatively, you can use a frame with a sleep ability, which also works on them).
If you manage to snag one – congratulations! Head over there and collect the little sleepy ball of fur (or feathers) to get a better look at them and collect your tag!
What do you get out of this?
Well, you get tags. With each successful capture, you get one tag. You can take these tags back to The Business, and he will allow you to trade them for something – 5 tags for the same animal will get you a single Floof of that animal. A bunch of tags for different animals will get you an Animal Conservationist sigil, which you can proudly wear to show others your dedication to the cause. And that’s about it. You’ll get some standing as well, but let’s face it, you wouldn’t go to all this trouble for the standing when you can just catch fish or go mining.
Points to note!
- Using a resource booster will net you double the tags!
- There are multiple versions of each critter, which show up at different times and in different locations (for example, there’s the Sunny Pobber, the Delicate Pobber, and the Subterranean Pobber). You can get a Floof for each type, but you specifically need 5 of the same tags (i.e., 5 Sunny Pobber tags)
- Using Ivara’s Sleep Arrows or Equinox’s Sleep does work on these animals, and given the Pobbers generally come out in groups of three, you can possibly catch more than one at a time, netting up to 6 tags if you have a resource booster active!
- Take note of the animal you are hunting (the start point will say “Pobber Starting Point”, for example), as you will need to make sure you are using the right Echo Lure when calling
- Keep an eye on the wind direction – if the floaty things in the air are heading towards the lure location, move in the opposite direction (i.e., with the wind).
- Different animals require different tactics to catch – keep an eye out for a future article outlining this