Elite Dangerous: Collecting Samples – The Ninja Biopsy Method

For the past few days, I’ve been risking life and limb (and several rebuys) trying to work out a way to safely extract a biopsy from a Thargoid Cyclops Variant without taking damage. I’d discovered in previous attempts that Silent Running seemed to cause the Thargoid to lose tracking if I was far enough away. I decided to employ the tactic earlier in the process and discovered that if I engaged Silent Running before the Research Limpet attached to the Thargoid, and maintained it throughout the biopsy process, I could get away with my sample without alerting the Thargoid in the slightest. You can see the whole process in the video above.

There are a few gotchas I discovered, while testing the process:

  1. If there isn’t enough wreckage in the USS, the Thargoid will complete its scans and leave before the biopsy completes. I’ve found 2-3 wrecked ships in the USS is generally enough to keep the Thargoid busy for long enough for the Research Limpet to complete its task. YMMV.
  2. Wait until the Thargoid completes its scan of your ship, and turns away, to fire your Research Limpet.
  3. Engage Silent Running just before the Research Limpet attaches to the Thargoid.
  4. Open your Cargo Scoop. The limpet won’t be able to return if it’s closed.
  5. Remain still during limpet recovery; I had several limpets die on my hull because I was moving as the limpet was trying to enter the Cargo Scoop.
  6. Maintain Silent Running until you’ve recovered the Research Limpet and the Thargoid has frameshifted out of the USS. I had one Thargoid cancel its jump, mid animation, turn and fire on me because I dropped Silent Running before it was completely gone. Having a few Heat Sinks will make this go a lot smoother. I fired a Heat Sink each time I approached 70% heat.

I hope this process helps others get the samples they’re looking for. I don’t know if it will work for everyone or for how long it will work before the Thargoids adapt and are able to defeat Silent Running, but it has been working consistently for me.

Good luck, and fly safe, Commanders.

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