Helping make it all a little less savage
Journey to the Savage Planet will never leave you wanting for things to do. Nearly every inch of this strange and fascinating world tugs you in a different direction, begging you to find whatever it’s hiding. Maybe it’s more alien goo for upgrading life and stamina, maybe it’s an alien orb for unlocking new abilities.
The reason we’re here, canonically at least, is in the name of science. There’s a whole series of vital side-challenges that ask you to conduct some experiments — mostly combat-related feats — and report back to Kindred Aerospace, the mega-corp that’s bankrolling this whole venture. Don’t complete them just to be a good employee, though. They’re important for unlocking new tiers of upgrades and abilities. These science experiments are the key to unlocking better gun damage, faster reloads, additional jumps (up to a quad-jump!), and more.
That’s why we’ve put together a guide to get you through all the science experiment challenges as painlessly as possible. Note that these are only available after reaching the second biome and crafting the live sampler tool. After that, some challenges will require you to reach certain story-progression points so that you’ll have the necessary tools to complete them. Without further ado, here are tips for the entirety of the “For Science!” sidequest.
For Science! rank 1 challenges:
- Live samples: Gather live samples from Pufferbird, Baboushka, and Pikemander — This requires getting up close to a creatures and sticking them with the live sampler tool. Most creatures won’t mind, but some of the predators will take exception to your presence.
- Pufferbird: You won’t have trouble finding Pufferbirds. They’re the cute guys that are everywhere in Journey to the Savage Planet.
- Baboushka: These little dudes are kind of shy, so don’t fire around them before you get a sample. Two of them can be always found in that valley region at the beginning of the game, immediately after exciting the snow/ice area.
- Pikemander: Our first predator. The earliest you’ll encounter a Pikemander is across from the Meteor Crater fast travel, as part of the quest for picking up your first alien alloy.
- Nuke It: Kill four creatures with a single Alpha Pufferbird detonation — I like to do this at the Cliffs of Mt. Gzarfyn fast travel in the Landing Site biome. Throw some bait to group everyone together, and then blast away at the alpha. There are two alphas here in case you need a second chance.
- Safety First: Fall 50 meters and save yourself with the Jump Thrusters — This one is easy. Just single jump off somewhere very high and then hit the jump button again before landing so that you don’t take any damage.
- Flight Risk: Kill 5 ground creatures while they are airborne — This can be completed pretty much anywhere because Pufferbirds are the easiest to pull it off with. Just melee them, and try shooting them out of the air. Aim a little low when firing so that they fall into your shot.
- Use your scanner to document at least 25% of the planet’s ecosystem — Just scan everything you see and kill up that Kindex!
For Science! rank 2 challenges:
- Live samples 2: Gather live samples from Kapyena, Jellywaft, and Infected Pufferbird.
- Kapyena — These first appear in the battle arena behind the Fungi of Si’ned VII fast travel. Go through the mushroom trees to find it.
- Jellywaft — There are always four Jellywafts near the Towering Crystals fast travel.
- Infected Pufferbird — The earliest opportunity to get a sample from the Infected Pufferbird (I believe) is in the bottom of the caves that separate the Planetary Flotsam area and the Festering Chasm fast travel. Regardless, you’ll see Infected Pufferbirds decently often.
- Corrosive Rain: Hit 2 creatures with the acid burst from a single dying Prime Jellywaft — A relatively reliable place to get this is in Planetary Flotsam, on one of the isles where you have to use the corrosive plants to unstick the oil-drilling machines. Gather some Pufferbirds and kill a Prime Jellywaft above them (Primes are the red ones). With a little luck, his acid will hit two of them.
- Easy Target: Kill 4 creatures while they are stuck in Binding Bile within 3 seconds — I actually like to double up Easy Target and Bomb Drop (which is the challenge that’s listed next). Near the Fungi of Si’ned VII fast travel (close to the shrine, and away from the waterfall you ascended to get to this area), there are a bunch of wandering amber-armored Pufferbirds. Gather them with bait, and then throw a blight bomb at them to remove their armor. (This is important because they won’t blow up with if they still have their armor.) Now, throw binding bile so they’re all temporarily stuck right next to each other. Finally, throw a bombegranate to kill them all at once.
- Bomb Drop: Kill 3 amber-armored Pufferbirds with a single Bombegranate — See the previous tip.
- Use your scanner to document at least 50% of the planet’s ecosystem — Same as before, scan, scan, scan!
For Science! rank 3 challenges:
- Live samples 3: Gather samples from the Slamphibian, Schnozo, and Imperial Scarab
- Slamphibian — There are only three Slamphibians in the whole game. Fortunately, there’s always one at the Slamphibian Pit fast travel (which is part of story progression), so this sample is always easy to find.
- Schnozo — These are the whack-a-moles that pop out of the smoke spouts all over Elevated Realm. They’re annoying but they’re not hard to find.
- Imperial Scarab — There are always two of these located right at the Xerophilous Landing fast travel.
- Let’s Bounce: Kill 5 creatures with a single Charge Shot — This one is sort of a pain. You’ll probably want to have Bounce Bomb unlocked, which is the most effective form of Charge Shot. (Every time you reload, there’s a quick mini-game where you can press Y or Triangle to use Charge instead of firing as normal; as you upgrade, you can keep doing that mini-game up to three times to fire a pinballing bomb.) There’s a great spot for this at the very beginning of the game. In the ice section, there’s a group of four Pufferbirds and one alpha to the north of the underground cave. Throw bait to get them together and then fire a Charge Shot at their feet.
- Shocking: Kill 4 creatures while they are shocked by lightning within 3 seconds — I found this to be the most annoying challenge until I figured out the perfect place to pull it off. Right outside your ship, those first cave Pufferbirds that you killed to craft your gun at the start of the game — they’re your target. Throw bait and then hit them with a shock fruit when they’re super close. Don’t be shy about using a couple shock fruit because the lightning doesn’t always chain between all of them. It might take a few times to pull it off. If you run out of shock fruit, stock up again at Pillars of Xzorgana and then head straight back to Outside the Javelin.
- I Know Karate: Kill 10 creatures in a row using only melee attacks and without getting hurt — Best to play it safe with this one. There are plenty of Pufferbirds to melee throughout the valleys of Landing Site without stumbling across a predator. Just don’t take unnecessary risks and this one is easy.
- Use your scanner to document at least 75% of the planet’s ecosystem — You’re a diligent explorer, which means you should have no trouble with this.
Armed with these tactics, you should have no problem clearing out Journey to the Savage Planet‘s Science Experiment challenges and unlocking the game’s advanced mechanics. All those Pufferbirds didn’t die in vain; they died in the name of science.