Prospecting Pick

From Vintage Story Wiki
Jump to: navigation, search
Prospecting Pick
Grid Copper prospecting pick.png
Stackable No

Prospecting Picks are used to help find ore deposits for mining.




Copper prospecting pick


A prospecting pick can help you find deposits of certain ores. It will not detect quartz, rock salt, or surface copper. As of version 1.9, ores only appear in certain rock types. You can look at a stone block, hold shift+H, and it will tell you what ores can appear in that stone.

Using the prospecting pick is an intricate but rewarding experience. One must first understand that it does not detect the *actual* presence of ore blocks. The game generates ore density maps whenever it generates a chunk, and these maps govern the *chance* for ore to appear. This is what the prospecting pick detects. The chance. So even if you mined all the ores out of a chunk, the reading would still be the same, as the density map does not change.

The prospecting pick can only be used on raw stone blocks. Not dirt, not cobble, not ore. Only raw stone. You must break 3 stone blocks in 'close' proximity. These blocks must have a minimum of 3 blocks between them. If you break a block that is too close, it will repeat the request for that sample number, however you must then be this same minimum distance again from the faulty sample you just took, even though it did not count toward your total. So try to be careful. If you get too far from the initial sample (over 16 blocks away), You will get a message telling you this, and also telling you that it has now made this one your new starting sample. So basically if you get too far away you'll have to start over. It is possible to do the three samples in a square, or in a line where the last sample is 8 cubes away from the first sample.

Upon breaking the third valid sample block, the game reads the chunk density map at the first of the three blocks you broke. It then tells you what the densities of all the ores are. This is the potential density, remember that it is not detecting actual ore. From greatest to least dense they are: Ultra High, Very High, High, Decent, Poor, Very Poor. This is followed by a number in parenthesis, which is parts per thousand (per mille - note there are two zeros below the slash, ‰, as opposed to a normal percent sign, %, which has one zero below).

Note that different ores will have drastically different density descriptors for the same ‰ reading. For instance Deep Copper, Coal, and Sulfur will have Very High densities at around 18‰ and Very Poor below 5‰, while rare ores like diamond and emerald will be Very High at around 1.0‰ and Very Poor at 0.2‰. These densities are based off of a density map that is generated with the world, at a resolution of approximately 32 blocks. So when you find a reading, it should be similar for 4 or so chunks in the area, though there are interpolations that happen from block to block. The ore densities will tend to have a dense 'center' and then thin out moving away from that center. So if you find a low density reading of an ore you want, try getting other readings some distance away in other directions, and see if you get a higher reading. With enough sampling you can zero in on the center of the ore field. These fields often span a great many chunks. It is easiest to use this to find a good region, and then explore caves within that area. But in a pinch, it can be used to blindly mine downward and hit veins of ores in solid stone areas. Note that the prospecting pick only detects ores above a certain threshold. You will occasionally run across ore deposits in a region when the prospecting pick did not show them to be present. Such 'undetected' occurrences are very rare.


There are several variants that you can craft. Each variant has a different durability, attack power, and mining speed. Prospecting pick heads can be made from metal via smithing or casting.

Variant Durability Attack Power Mining Speed
Copper 150 1.25 2.5
Tinbronze 250 1.75 3.3
Bismuthbronze 300 1.5 3
Blackbronze 350 2 3.5
Iron 650 2.25 4.5
Gold 60 1.75 2.7
Silver 80 1.75 2.7

Tutorial Video

Vintage Story: Vanilla Game Content
Terrain blocks Grid Gravel Granite.pngGravel Grid Granite sand.pngSand Grid Barren low fertility soil.pngSoil Grid Granite cobblestone.pngRock
Metal Working Copper Anvil.pngAnvil Crucible.pngCrucible Forge.pngForge Ingot Mold Burned.pngIngot Mold
Decorational Grid Painting.pngPaintings Grid Diagonal logs plaster.pngPlaster
Functional Firepit lit.pngFirepit Grid Ore blasting bomb.pngOre blasting bomb Grid Loot Vessel.pngLoot Vessels Grid Chest.pngContainers Grid Quern granite.pngQuern
Tools & Weapons Grid Copper Axe.pngAxe Grid Copper hammer.pngHammer Grid Copper hoe.pngHoe Grid Copper knife.pngKnife Grid Copper pickaxe.pngPickaxe Grid Copper prospecting pick.pngProspecting Pick Grid Copper Saw.pngSaw Grid Copper scythe.pngScythe Grid Copper shears.pngShears Grid Copper shovel.pngShovel Grid Bow.pngBow Grid Copper spear.pngSpear Grid Copper sword.pngSword Grid Wooden club.pngClub
Resources Grid Firewood.pngFirewood Grid Charcoal.pngCharcoal
Plants Grid Cattail tops.pngCattail Flax.pngFlax Onion.pngOnion Parsnip.pngParsnip Rice.pngRice Rye.pngRye Soybean.pngSoybean Spelt.pngSpelt Turnip.pngTurnip Flower-californiapoppy.pngFlowers Grid Sapling (Oak).pngTrees Berrybush red currant ripe.pngBerries
Mobs Bighorn.pngBighorn sheep Rooster.pngChicken Normal Drifter.pngDrifter Locust.pngLocust Pig.pngWild Pig Wolf.pngWolf Hyena.pngHyena
Grid Lore Scroll.pngStarter Guide Grid Lore Book.pngCrafting Recipes Grid Charcoal.pngFuel Grid Copper hoe.pngAgriculture Grid Copper pickaxe.pngMining Grid Copper Ingot.pngMetal Grid Empty skep.pngBeekeeping Grid Ruins.pngRuins Grid Copper sword.pngCombat Grid Anvil copper.pngSmithing Grid Blue clay.pngClay Forming Heat Torch.pngLight sources