Searching for materials
In Perpetuum, there are two types of valuable raw materials: plants and underground materials. Plants are easy to identify, since you can see them without any tool, but the situation with hidden materials is a bit more complicated.
Fortunately, a technology is developed enough to map underground areas with geoscanners.
After you've purchased a geoscanner, you need to fit it onto one of your robots. (For such jobs, industrial robots are strongly recommended, because of their bonuses.) Geoscanners operate with special geoscanner charges. There are three types of charges, the area-based, the tile-based and the universal geoscanner charges.
A common feature of area and tile-based geoscanner charges is that you need to use different charges for each kind of material.
Geoscanning results may be somewhat inaccurate due to a default distortion, a noise level that you can lower by installing the appropriate extensions or purchasing a higher level geoscanner from the market.
Area-based geoscanner charge
These charges are designed to reveal minerals in a large square-shaped area. The result of the scan is a percentage, which tells the total occurence of the material in the examined area, but the exact location remains unknown. Let's say you receive a result of 50% titan ore in the examined area. That can either mean that every second tile is fully filled with titan, or every single tile holds exactly 50%. As you see the given result can be deceptive, so aim for a more accurate mineral map by using tile-based charges.
Tile-based geoscanner charge
Tile-based charges examine a smaller area, but these charges give the exact amount of the material on each tile. These values are color-coded as shown on the graph to the right: cold colors mean less material, hotter colors mean more. (An option is also available to display this in grayscale.)
Universal geoscanner charge
The charge is capable of exploring all kinds of raw materials, but only below the single, selected tile.
The process of scanning on the terrain is fairly easy. Stop your robot in the center of the area you want to reveal and click the geoscanner. The result should appear in your geoscanner window immediately.
To display the result on your map, just right-click on the icon, then choose the upload option. To see that result on the map immediately, hit upload and show. This will cause the map to open and show you the data. In the case of tile charges, it will immediately display the color scale on the surrounding terrain.
The best process for geoscanning is to estimate the occurrence in a specific area by using area-based charge, and if you find a relatively large rate, you should try to make a more detailed search for materials by using tile-based charges.
Searching for artifacts
There are not just useful industrial materials but also artifacts under the surface of Nia. These artifacts can be revealed by using geoscanners, but you need to load special artifact scanner charges. These charges come in three variants, with different scanning ranges.
After you've purchased a bunch of these charges (finding an artifact will need quite a lot of charges) deploy onto the terrain and activate your geoscanner loaded with the new charge. You can then see a list with all the artifacts that are within your scanning range. In case this list is empty, move your robot somewhere else and perform another scan. The position of your scanning is also immediately shown on the terrain by a red marker, so you can use it as a reference for your next scanning.
At first you can only see a distance from the artifact. To determine the location, you should choose a direction, move a few hundred meters and perform another scan. On the new, updated list you can see the distance(s) changed, you are either closer or farther from the artifact. Follow this method over and over again until you get so close to the artifact that it appears on the terrain (this distance is usually 100 meters, but can be shorter on more challenging sites). To help keep track of the artifact you desire, you can also left-click an artifact on the result list, which will mark it with a yellow color. It is also important to note that the geoscanning accuracy affects these range readings as well, and they might not be accurate below 100% accuracy. The type of artifacts vary, but revealing artifacts is the only way to obtain items of the ancient Niani civilization, or the calibration templates (CTs) of the new, advanced Mk2 robots. Of course there's no guarantee that you always find something useful.
Artifacts on the terrain are seeded for individual Agents, no one else can see the artifact that you are searching for. Some artifacts are protected by tough NPC robots, so you should always be prepared to defend yourself.
Good luck, gold digger!