Salvaging is an activity and game mechanic in Xenoblade Chronicles 2. As a salvager, Rex is able to dive beneath the Cloud Sea to recover lost treasures. He will encounter several salvager NPCs through the game, they all wear a diver suit.
Salvaging can be a significant source of Gold, as well as Mechanical and Fish collectibles and Treasure items. Some Key Items needed to complete Quests must be obtained through salvaging. Enemies can appear as a result of salvaging.
To salvage, Rex must use Cylinders. Cylinders are available in four types: Normal Cylinder, Silver Cylinder, Golden Cylinder, and Premium Cylinder. Initially only Normal and Silver cylinders are available. Gold, and eventually Premium cylinders become available as the story progresses and Rex increases his Salvager Rank.
When salvaging, the player selects a cylinder type, and is then given a button prompt. At most Salvage Points the button prompt is always the same, although at a few Salvage Points the buttons are random. After the last button, Rex dives into the Cloud Sea. He returns some time later, with treasure and sometimes enemies.
The treasure acquired consists of a number of Collectibles and up to three Treasure Troves (chests), which appear on the ground nearby. An icon symbolizing the quality of the results is displayed briefly; if more than one chest was obtained, the icon represents the best one:
No chest (collectibles only)
The rarity and amount of treasure, and whether or not enemies appear when salvaging is influenced by three elements: the player's success on the button prompts, the quality of cylinder used, and the Salvaging Mastery Field Skill.
According to a translation of Xenoblade 2: The Complete Guide:
- The probability of a Blade activating their field skill at a Salvage or Collection Point is 60% for a Lv.1 skill, 80% for Lv.2, and 100% for Lv.3.
- Salvaging Mastery increases the appearance rate of treasure and collectibles by +5% per level, and reduces the appearance rate of enemies by 2% per level, to a maximum of 9 levels.
- The button challenge also affects the appearance rate of both items and enemies. Failure on the 3rd button-press invalidates the first two.
- Better cylinder = higher chance of salvaging rare treasures and lower chance of enemies.
- Nia (during Unforgiving Terrain)
- Fish collectibles
- Mechanical collectibles
- Salvager's Diary (Key Item)
- Salvager Rank A Cert. (Key Item)
- Salvager Rank B Cert. (Key Item)
- Salvager Rank C Cert. (Key Item)
- Salvager Rank D Cert. (Key Item)
- Salvager Rank E Cert. (Key Item)
- Salvaging Made Easy (Pouch Item)
- Salvaging Wisdom 1 (Info item)
- Salvaging Wisdom 2 (Info item)
- Treasure items
- Treasure Troves
A DLC for The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild bringing "Rex's costume" to Link was released on November 9th, 2017. It offers the new side quest Collaboration: Xenoblade Chronicles 2 where Link must discover three red treasures across Hyrule, each of them containing the Salvager Headwear, Vest and Trousers. These three pieces of Rex's costume individually grant Link the bonus effect Swim Speed Up, with a set bonus of Swim Dash Stamina Up if all three pieces are worn together.