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A Monolith is a large asteroid-like object that appears only inside Rifts. Each rift sector contains approximately 6 monoliths, often spaced out several dozen kilometers from one another. Primary mission objectives are almost always found within the immediate vicinity of Monoliths. Long series of navigational buoys create visible paths between adjacent Monoliths. Each Monolith is marked on the HUD and Strategy Mode with an icon that is always visible, and will get a green tick mark once all mission objectives in its vicinity have been resolved. Otherwise, Monoliths serve no actual function in and of themselves, and cannot be interacted with in any way.

Appearance[ | ]

The game contains several models for Monoliths. When a Monolith is spawned inside a rift, the game selects a model at random for it:

  • Basic: An asymmetric bulbous shape with uneven edges, most similar to claimable asteroids found commonly outside the rifts.
  • Blocky: An elongated shape comprised of multiple long square shapes, similar to a Titanium asteroid without resource veins.
  • Classic: A flat oblong, somewhat similar to the famous "Monolith" from the film 2001: A Space Odyssey.
  • Cube: A massive equilateral cube.

In practice, there is no difference between these shapes aside from their appearance. However, remembering the shape of the Monolith that's next to an important object may help with navigating back to that object, since Monoliths can be identified from a distance by selecting them as a target.

Note, however, that two or more Monoliths inside the same rift sector may be identical (or at least very similar).

Each Monolith is surrounded by a small asteroid field.

HUD[ | ]

All Monoliths inside a rift are automatically marked on the HUD as soon as you enter the rift, and remain marked until you leave.

Monoliths are marked with a grey icon resembling a "Blocky Monolith" shape (see above). When selected, a Monolith's icon has a grey bracket around it.

Once a Monolith has been physically visited by a player ship, and all primary mission objectives within its immediate vicinity have been resolved, its icon is marked with a green tick. This allows easily identifying locations that should be visited in order to complete the primary mission objectives. Note that some missions do not require visiting all Monoliths in the rift, while others do.

When targeted, a Monolith is listed as an "asteroid" in your targeting display; however they do not behave as asteroids, and cannot be damaged or destroyed, nor drop any resources when attacked.

Function[ | ]

Monoliths themselves serve no actual function. They may not be interacted with, and do not drop any resources or items when damaged or destroyed.

Nevertheless, Monoliths serve as an important navigational landmark within a rift, and are the focal point for the generation of other objects - particularly mission objects and enemies.

With the location of all Monoliths in the rift being visible from the moment you enter that rift, they serve an important function of aiding in navigation. You may target a Monolith at any time, at any distance, to orientate yourself broadly within the rift. Remembering which shape of Monolith you're looking for can assist this further.

Additionally, the game generates a string of buoys between each two adjacent Monoliths. These not only provide a visible navigational tool that can be seen from a long distance away, but also provides a safe passage that can help avoid the attention of the Xsotan (since traveling through empty space, far from the buoys, often causes more Xsotan to spawn). On the other hand, Ancient Defense Platforms are often positioned along these buoy paths.

When looking for primary mission objects, it's important to remember that Monoliths with no "unresolved" mission objects remaining in their immediate vicinity are marked with a green tick.

Defenders[ | ]

Approaching a Monolith for the first time will trigger a small wave of Xsotan ships to appear to its defense. As with all other Xsotan, they will initially be neutral until the player fires any kind of turret. Subsequent approaches to the same Monolith will not trigger another wave.

Applied Xenology[ | ]

The Applied Xenology mission involves the Monoliths themselves as mission objects, rather than any independent object in their vicinity. This mission requires you to place scanning probes in the vicinity of a Monolith in order to gain information about it. The probes may only be dropped within 9 kilometers of the Monolith. A spherical indicator may or may not appear on screen when flying next to a Monolith to indicate the maximum range of placement.

Each Monolith may only be scanned once. The number of Monoliths to be scanned is equal to the number of probes added to your inventory at mission start, divided by 3.

Xsotan Core Extraction[ | ]

The Xsotan Core Extraction mission requires you to visit various Monoliths to destroy Xsotan Larvae in an attempt to draw a Xsotan Alpha, which must then be destroyed. The mission objectives display shows the number of Monoliths which have so far been visited, as X/6. Visiting all 6 Monoliths, whether or not any Xsotan Larvae have been destroyed near them, instantly triggers the appearance of the Alpha.