Salvage Operation

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This page is possibly not up to date. It was last updated for Update 33: New Frontiers
Updated for U33

Salvage Operation is a mission type in Deep Rock Galactic.

This is a Salvage mission! A previous crew lost their Mini M.U.L.E's, their Drop Pod, and their lives in this cave. Find and repair the lost MULES, get the Drop Pod operational, and return to base. Expect heavy infestation - and try not to mess it up like your former colleagues!
— Mission Control

The Dwarves are sent in to clean up a failed mining operation and must repair broken down Mini M.U.L.E.s and power up an abandoned Drop Pod. Salvage Operation missions have multiple primary objectives which must be completed in order. They are the third unlockable mission type, the first being Egg Hunt.


The goal of a Salvage Operation is to salvage 2-3 Mini M.U.L.E.s, establish an Uplink between the lost Drop Pod and the Space Rig, refuel the Drop Pod with fresh Fuel Cells, and survive while the Drop Pod powers up. After the Drop Pod powers up, you will have a minute to get in, or be left behind.

While you must complete your primary objective to finish the mission, you can choose to collect an optional secondary objective resource for a Credit.png Credit and Experience Points Experience bonus upon mission completion.

Salvage Mini M.U.L.E.s

A Mini M.U.L.E. Leg
Mini M.U.L.E. chassis

The first objective is to locate and repair 2-3 broken down Mini M.U.L.E. units, which are scattered around the cave. The Mini M.U.L.E.s are easily identifiable, as they emit a constant beeping noise. Each Mini M.U.L.E. is missing three legs which, along with an extra leg, are typically scattered nearby and embedded in the terrain. Mini M.U.L.E. legs glow with a small amount of light until reattached. Scanning a Mini M.U.L.E., by holding [USE] ("E" by default) on it, will cause all legs to beep and emit a faint white circle around them as well as appear on the map as a large purple Mini M.U.L.E. leg, regardless of whether they are still embedded in the ground. They must be dug out of the ground, carried over to the broken Mini M.U.L.E., and attached. Coming within 2 meters of a Mini M.U.L.E. for the first time will trigger a large wave of enemies after 12 to 30 seconds. Another, smaller wave of enemies will spawn when one of the legs that are found near each Mini M.U.L.E. is dug out. This leg is picked randomly.

Legs are attached by holding the leg and then interacting with the corresponding Mini M.U.L.E.. Once three legs have been attached, the Mini M.U.L.E. must be repaired. Repairing a Mini M.U.L.E. will reward the team with between 40-60 Nitra and 40-60 Gold.

Since minerals cannot be deposited into Mini M.U.L.E.s, being near one while the Veteran Depositor perk is equipped does not grant the defensive buff.

After all of the Mini M.U.L.E.s have been repaired, a button will appear on the back of The M.U.L.E.. Once pressed, the Mini M.U.L.E.s and the M.U.L.E. will dock with the broken down Drop Pod, allowing the next stage of the mission to begin.

Uplink to Mission Control

After the M.U.L.E. units have been recalled to the Drop Pod, the team must then repair an Orbital Relay Uplink to proceed. Once repaired, Mission Control will begin triangulating the position of the broken down Drop Pod. During this time, the team must defend themselves against waves of enemies and stay within the radius of the Uplink while the triangulation proceeds. The progress bar will progress more quickly if more players remain within the triangulation zone, and will rapidly decrease if no players are within the radius. Players who are downed within the triangulation zone will not advance the progress bar. Mission Control will chastise the players until they return to the zone. If the progress bar is completely depleted, the mission will instantly fail.

Refuel Drop Pod

After the triangulation is complete, the Fuel Cells will land nearby. The Fuel Cells must be connected to the Drop Pod using the fuel cable found at the base of the Fuel Cells. After the Fuel Cells have been connected to the Drop Pod, the Dwarves can build the Fuel Cells with the [USE] ("E" by default) button to begin the refueling sequence. Once the Drop Pod has been fully fueled, it will power up over the course of one and a half minutes. During this time, the team will be able to move around freely, but the incoming swarm of enemies will not stop from this point onwards.
Once the Drop Pod has been powered up, its doors will open, allowing the Dwarves to board and leave. The Drop Pod will wait for one minute before leaving for orbit.


Salvage Operations take place in a linear cave system, with one small starting room branching out into a large cavern containing the mission objectives. There are short tunnels that branch out of this main cavern, which always lead back to the main cave. One end of the tunnel is blocked by Compacted Dirt, while the other end is open to the cave.

Broken Resupply Pods can generate anywhere in the caves. This is unique to Salvage Operations. They appear almost completely buried in the ground, with only a small portion sticking out. Directly above them is a tunnel created by the resupply originally dropping in, making those resupply pods highly noticeable thanks to the Terrain Scanner. After repairing them, they have a chance to give 0 to 2 resupply racks and up to 2 can be generated per mission, although this is very rare.


Primary Objective

The amount of Mini M.U.L.E.s to salvage differs depending on the cave complexity and length. The payout is affected by Hazard Bonus.

Length Complexity Objective Primary Payout Secondary Payout
Cave length 2 Cave complexity 2 Salvage 2 M.U.L.E.S Credit.png 700 Experience Points 2000 Credit.png 200/250 Experience Points 900/800
Cave length 3 Cave complexity 3 Salvage 3 M.U.L.E.s Credit.png 700 Experience Points 2000 Credit.png 200/250 Experience Points 900/800

Secondary Objective

Fossil Collect 10 Alien Fossil

Apoca bloom Collect 15 Apoca Bloom

Boolo cap Collect 20 Boolo Cap

Ebonut Collect 14 Ebonut

Fleas Exterminate 10 Fester Flea

Gunk Seed Collect 12 Gunk Seed

Hollomite Collect 35 Hollomite


  • Salvage Operation was the first new mission type to be implemented into the game after closed testing. It was added in Update 14: Feature Creep.
  • Mini M.U.L.E.s are unique to this mission type, and only appear elsewhere in the Space Rig. This raises a question of what type of mission the previous mining team were on.
  • Though it is relatively rare, Mini M.U.L.E.s can spawn in the starting room. Typically this is only one Mini M.U.L.E., but it is possible for two to spawn in the starting room. No player has ever documented finding three Mini M.U.L.E.s in the starting room.
  • The spawning of four Mini M.U.L.E. legs was removed in the original release of Update 32: Roughnecks At Work.
    • It was added back in Hotfix 9 of Update 32 due to some legs not spawning, creating an un-beatable Salvage Operation.