Prospecting Picks are used to help find ore deposits for mining.
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.
|Variant||Durability||Attack Power||Mining Speed|
|Vintage Story: Vanilla Game Content|
|Terrain blocks||Gravel Sand Soil Rock|
|Metal Working||Anvil Crucible Forge Ingot Mold|
|Functional||Firepit Ore blasting bomb Loot Vessels Containers Quern|
|Tools & Weapons||Axe Hammer Hoe Knife Pickaxe Prospecting Pick Saw Scythe Shears Shovel Bow Spear Sword Club|
|Plants||Cattail Flax Onion Parsnip Rice Rye Soybean Spelt Turnip Flowers Trees Berries|
|Mobs||Bighorn sheep Chicken Drifter Locust Wild Pig Wolf Hyena|
|Starter Guide Crafting Recipes Fuel Agriculture Mining Metal Beekeeping Ruins Combat Smithing Clay Forming Light sources|