Unstable Artifacts

Unstable Artifacts


Contents of this Guide

  1. Contents of this Guide
  2. Introduction
  3. Your Goal While Collecting
  4. What are Unstable Artifacts
  5. Working a Zone Event
  6. The Market and Unstables
  7. Rewards to Obtain
  8. Appendix A: Other Resources
  9. Appendix B: Guide History

This guide is about collecting unstable artifacts using proper judgment, how to profit and collect all the rewards that are offered.

Note that there are route maps that I have personally made with the routes I use.  These were my own personal choices I made, and I have had people disagree with my choice on these. They have worked successfully for everything I have needed and if you disagree you are more than welcome to use your ownm. To each there own!


Prior Reading:

Artifacts Guide – A guide explaining what Artifacts are, where and how they spawn, and overviews of the differetnt types introduced since release.

(Optional) Bounty Artifacts and Most Wanted- Mathosia     Bounty Artifacts and Most Wanted Storm Legion– Another type of artifact collections that are a long and arduos task to complete, with most not ever able to come near finishing it.


Your Goals While Collecting

Have you ever seen the price of unstable artifacts on the auction house? Prices range from 100 -1600 plat per Epic Unstable Artifact [Current Prices as of Novemeber \. 2018]. 1700 platinum is about five US dollars for just one artifact. In 2017, From August 8, 2017 until October 1, 2018 I ran a tracker and noted how many unstable artifacts I was collecting and from what zones. The tracker was done in google sheets and had a bunch of information automatically generated. i have taken some shots of some of that information and displayed it below. If you would like to take a look at the full spreadsheet you can contact me.

As you can see in about 40 days I made around 50k platinum and collected a ton of artifacts. Remember, the only ones I was tracking were Epics, no others. I never spent more than an hour in one day collecting these either. Normally it was perhaps 20 minutes while i caught up with a friend.

Before you get too excited not that this is not something you can do right away. At the time I had already collected all the unstable artifacts and I have set routes that down that i know like the back of my hand. On the other hand someone who is new to hunting these could easily make 10k a month on perhaps 15 minutres a day and workd towards getting there unstable squirrel mounts without much issue at all.

Determine what your goal is before you start collecting is what you should do if you do before collecting as it can quickly begin pulling you in all directions.  The thought of 50k platinum for doing very little may have grabbed your attention. Before you get aspirations of becoming exceedingly rich for nothing do remember that you are also starting into a collection activity in this game. If you have any of my quirkiness in you then you will want to collect them all also.

Lets say on average an unstable artifact is worth about 400 platinum for one. To complete all of the unstable sets you need to collect a total of 346 epic artifacts through either gathering or buying. Irregardless of which you do you still will be spending the money because it will be bought from someone else, or you could have sold the artifact you found for money. It is always a loss even if you collect it because there was an opportunity cost there that you lost out on. If you add up the total cost here it comes out to around 150k, which is far cheaper than it was a few years ago when my cost easily exceeded one million!

On the NA Shards currently REX is going for around 3400 plat so that would be around a $900 price tag just for these mounts if you were going to outright buy them without trying to recoup anything in the game. Back when it was 1 million the price of REX was only about 2k so the prices of getting these all was around $5000. These are some pretty hefty numbers being thrown around for just a mount on a video game. These insanely high prices is why i advised you should decide what you want to do and stick with it.



What are Unstable Artifacts?

In Rift Patch 2.8 Trion unleashed a patch of staggering misery on the players of Rift. In this new system events would spawn in any of the original or Storm Legion zones called an Unstable Event. These events last 30 minutes and concentrate entirely on artifact collecting. There are two ways to collect artifacts during this time.

  • You can collect artifacts like you would normal artifacts by picking them up off the ground. The same rarity restrictions [common and rare nodes] apply to these spawns. Instead of white they are blue.
  • At 3 minutes into the event Artifact Squirrel Thieves will spawn throughout the zone.  Each squirrel has a rarity of either Common, Uncommon, Rare or Epic and if you use a Unstable Net on the squirrel it will give you a corresponding artifact.

These get collected and turned in to the normal vendor in either Meridian or Sanctum faction NPC’s or the equal opportunity character in Tempest Bay., These NPCS also offer a variety of rewards, starting with 6 different unstable squirrel mounts, dimension items and active use items.There are also dimension items such as the ghost clock and desk that can be obtained. There are many points of achievements and any serious achievement collector will want to collect unstable artifacts.



Working a Zone Event

Unstable artifacts are artifacts that are normally acquired from an Unstable Zone Event You can see a list of them below on a a screenshot from Yaret {Yet Another Riven Event Tracker] and are labeled as “Unstable [Zone]” or as shown blelow “Unstable Gloamwood“.  One bit of caution that should be taken with this particular event tracker is that it is not 100% accurate in regards to the time. This is mostly a concern if you are trying to mentor to the level of the event but on a typical farming you should have no issues.


These events run for exactly thirty minutes. Unlike many other zone or world events the population requirement for these events is very low. This actually attracts players to the zones specifically for these events ads there is no requirement of a minimum number of players to vanquish a boss. After all, if you have problems with a squirrel, you should perhaps try to find something a little less challenging than a game on the internet!

Because of the low population requirements many of these events tend to run  in the middle of the night than during the day. The artifacts spawn in almost the same exact locations as normal artifacts, but appear blue instead of white. When looting an artifact make sure you do not leave one as many times two spawn in the same spot, a normal and an unstable. The rarity of the artifact you loot works much like any of the original zones. A large percentage of easy to get or find spawns are common, that is they give white artifacts. A smaller percentage are uncommon and may give green. The rare spawns are the ones you really want to look for. They will never give a common artifact and occasionally give an epic.

Stick With Squirrels

While you can farm this way, I personally believe it is a waste of time. Your reasons for hunting are to collect and or make money. This is not a very efficient way to actually accomplish either of those goals. Instead what I recommend is farming the squirrels that spawn during an Unstable Zone Event. After a zone event has been up for three minutes, squirrels spawn at different parts of the map. These spawn right around the 27:00 minute mark and can occur a few seconds before or after.

There are four different types of Unstable Artifact Thief Squirrels that spawn just like rarity: common, uncommon, rare and epic. Now there are set points in a zone where these squirrels spawn, much like rare monsters. They may or may not spawn in these areas. Two squirrels might spawn in one area. It is common to see an epic squirrel next to a common squirrel. One of the first things you should do when becoming a squirrel hunter is make a macro that can be spammed to locate them. With this macro when you run around a zone during an unstable invasion you can put it on a new bar, one that is not your normal combat abilities, along with your artifact thief catchers

Macro for Artifact Thieves

targetexact Epic Unstable Artifact Thief
targetexact Common Unstable Artifact Thief
targetexact Rare Unstable Artifact Thief
targetexact Uncommon Unstable Artifact Thief
This will target all four squirrels, starting with the Epic first. Even if you are playing the market without using rares and uncommon it does help to have the search for them in the macro so you know if a spawn has a different version up.



The Market and Unstables

Artifact Pricing

You obtain catchers by crafting them from them Dream Weaving craft. I personally only make two different kinds of these: Epic and Common. The reason I only make these is due to price.

Recipe Crafting Level Ribbons
Common Artifact Thief Catcher 1 5
Uncommon Artifact Thief Catcher 100 25
Rare Artifact Thief Catcher 200 75
Epic Artifact Thief Catcher 300 150

The recipe for an Epic Artifact Thief catcher requires 150 dream ribbons. Right now the going price is about 18g per which comes out to 27 plat per catcher, 13.50 for a rare. If you look at the price of rares there are only a couple that will ever sell for this amount. The same is for uncommons. Commons you may want to do if you are doing the monthly sparkle quest, otherwise stick to epics. You can make the rare and uncommon catchers. I suggest that you do NOT make these because you will lose money, even if you are trying to collect them all. It took me about two years to collect them all, so you have plenty of time to find them on the ah for 1/10th of the price. Or don’t listen and lose money, its up to you.

One thing to take precaution of when using these catchers is the thief’s which can be caught with each. A common catcher may only catch a common thief, while an epic catcher can catch any squirrel. For this reason i separate them by several different buttons o my action bar, after all i don’t want to spend 27 plat on a squirrel that only net me 20 gold. As you can see below one thing I do to avoid even accidentally hitting the wrong catcher is to spread them out on the action bar. It is far too easy to hit one number off than 3 or more.

     When you locate one of these squirrels get as close as possible to it and click on the artifact catcher on your action bar. Only press once and do not move. If you move at all while using a catcher it gets interrupted. Don’t waste money by doing this. You will obtain one or more artifacts in your rift loot bag. You have a chance of getting 1 to 3 of each, with a higher chance of more with lower rarities.I have made a ton of platinum by farming these. Each day I may spend 3 or 4 minutes, maye 20 minutes farming these. At the beginning of the month I tend to do these more just because it lines up with the sparkle quest. I have shown many people how to farm and given them all my routes and information, No one seems to stick with it, and i think I Know why.

There are very few people I personally know who have completed every set of these. It is a very long and very expensive undertaking. As I wanted to do all these I kept collecting over time and built a stock pile i had for sale on the auction house I sold at suggested prices and did not undercut. For the first few weeks I did not sell many at first, but as my stock of these went up each day my earnings started rising. If i farm 5-15 minutes per day now I easily bring in up to 1k plat per day. Many people who ask me to learn how to farm want quick profits. They want plat the same day and do not want to wait for it. If you sell at the auction house sell at suggested prices, don’t undercut as someone will buy it from you but most likely just put it back up for a profit. Keep at it and you will definitely make more platinum than you can handle.



Rewards to Obtain

Planar Mounts – Six Total!

Each costs 23 Planar Nuts (1 Nut Obtained Per Set)
Shadowtail Rivertail GemTail
Flametail Brambletail Cloudtail

Dimension Items

Cugly (Companion Pet)

Unstable: Unstable Scarlet Gorge

Froggy Caller (Summon a Frog)

Unstable: Things You Saw After Licking a Frog

Ungie {Companion Pet)

Unstable: Qaijiri Planar Totems

Spider Crate

Unstable: Shaper Doodles

Fly Meat

Unstable: Crumbling Fragments of the Undead

Dragonfly Lilies

Unstable: Fleeting Flora and Fauna of Silverwood

Hailol Jig Ball

Unstable: Unstable Dendrome

Haunted Bell

Unstable: Moor Bits of the Dead

Lightning Rod

Picture Coming Soon

Achievement Coming Soon

Riding Halfwits

Picture Coming soonw


Unstable: Shady Dealer Wares

Butterfly Flowers

Unstable: Cleanwood

Dream Desk

Dream Desk

Ghost Clock    




Appendix A: More Resources

Magelo Artifact Database
Searchable List of Artifacts

Squirrel Maps By Seductive and Alyvian

Forum Post By Dead Simon About Unstable Event Spawn

Forum Post by Dead Simon Explaing Artifact Spawns


Appendix B: Guide History


Date Update Editor
7 February 2018 Posted a simple guide on Discord Caddern
29 June 2018 Updated guide was completely rewritten and posted on GFR Caddern
13 July 2018 13 July 2018: Added Squirrel Maps, Some Cleanup Caddern
19 July 2018 Updated Macros to use a targetexact macro Caddern
10 November 2018 Complete Format Revamp, old style was sloppy and out of date with rest,Correct misc. errors all over, Added numerous links in Resources. Added in old Map Guides that were excluded from previous editions released. Caddern