Alien Ruins

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The Alien Ruins are vast, underwater complexes that the player can encounter and explore in Barotrauma.


Alien Ruins are characterised by their sturdy walls, massive rooms completely filled with water, and the absence of ladders or stairs in vertical passages. However, many doors and corridors connecting the rooms are slightly smaller in size than a regular human, implying that the species that constructed them are smaller than humans. They are most commonly found embedded into rocks and ice underwater, sometimes spawning as mission locations in some missions. Exploring the Alien Ruins will often yield sizeable amounts of Rare Materials, powerful Alien Weaponry, and sometimes even an Alien Artifact.


There are 3 types of Missions which can take place in Alien Ruins.

  • Salvaging an Artifact, where the player has to find the Vault, then bring the Artifact from it onto the submarine.
  • Scan Ruin, where the player has to scan 3 spots in the ruins using provided Ruin Scanners, then bring the scanners back onto the submarine.
  • Clear Ruin, where the player has to eliminate all Fractal Guardians and destroy all Guardian Pods in the ruins.


Exploring Alien Ruins is dangerous, they are a filled with collosal menacing rooms connected by many claustrophobic and confusing corridors full of dangers and traps acting as obstacles which players must work around or defeat if they wish to explore the ruins to their full extent.


Alien Ruins are often inhabited by Fractal Guardians as well as Swarm Feeders and Husks, which can be a considerable threat to an unprepared player. Proper weaponry and medical supplies, including Calyxanide or Broad-spectrum Antibiotics are recommended when exploring a ruin.

Traps and Contraptions

Alien Terminal
Alien Terminals are used to control various installations and many Alien Doors in the ruins. They require one of the minor artifacts inserted into them in order to be operable,

Guardian Pod
Guardian Pods provide a secure place for wounded Fractal Guardians to retreat to, and heal. They can be destroyed using any weapon, but preferably using the Alien Terminal next to them.

Ruin Vent
Ruin Vents can spawn Swarm Feeders in great numbers when the player is nearby.

Gravity Sphere
Gravity Spheres attract to itself any character within 10 meters of it and will slowly crush them if they are within 5 meters. They can be turned on or off using the Alien Terminal they are connected to.

Motion Sensor
Alien Motion Sensors are the trigger for some of the traps in Alien Ruins. When the player moves within proximity, the sensor detects the movement and sends a signal to the trap its connected to.

Alien Coil
Alien Coils discharge electricity when activated by a signal. They are usually linked to one or more Alien Motion Sensors. Triggering the sensors causes the walls of the room to be electrified, stunning and inflicting heavy burns on unfortunate divers within. Remaining in proximity of motion sensors will cause the coil to emit a constant shock, which could ultimately result in asphyxiation and death of the divers. They can be turned on or off using the Alien Terminal they are connected to.

Button puzzle
This obstacle features two corridors with doors unlocked by completing a simple puzzle, and a treasure room behind them. The puzzle is composed of three Alien Buttons in a line and two corridors with 3 doors each. Each button will toggle the state of different doors. All three doors in a single corridor must be opened in order to pass through. Notably, the third door of the top corridor is not connected to any button, and therefore will never open, meaning it's only possible to pass through the lower corridor without destroying the doors.


Alien Ruins are the best location to gather sizable amounts of Rare Materials and unidentified genetic materials. These are the main incentives for players to explore ruins they come across. Most loot in Alien Ruins spawns inside Alien Chests. Sometimes Minor Artifacts spawn inside Alien Terminals.


Main article: Artifacts

During some Salvage Missions they can be found in an Artifact Holder, and have a 5% chance to spawn in the treasure room outside of missions. It's advisable to bring an Artifact Transport Case for the artifact to make its transportation much easier and safer. They can be deconstructed to gain a good amount of Rare Materials.

There are 5 types of artifacts:

Minor Artifacts

They can be deconstructed to gain some Rare Materials, or used to operate Alien Terminals.

Rare Materials

Rare Materials required for many advanced recipes can often be found here.



  • As of Version, items taken from the ruins in Campaign mode will now be present in the next round. Previously, these items were deleted after ending the round.
  • Before Thunder Under the Ice update was released, players were unable to cut open Alien Doors with a Plasma Cutter and had to use a Crowbar to force the doors open instead.
  • Contrary to popular belief, the relic holder does not negate the various disruptive effects caused by Alien Artifacts. This is most easily seen as Faraday Alien Artifacts still emit EMP shocks (and corresponding visual effects) when they are in relic holders. In addition, Thermal Alien Artifacts have been observed to set themselves ablaze while still remaining inside relic holders in ruins.


Structures & Locations