The Warframe Sanctuary Researcher Nightwave challenge might throw some folks for a loop. Its vague description makes it sound like you simply need to bust out the Synthesis Scanner and get to work. Nearly anything in Warframe — from enemies to objects — is ripe for a snapshot, after all. Sadly, you’ve got a bit more work ahead of you. That’s why I went ahead and put together this Sanctuary Researcher guide for Warframe!
First things first: Cephalon Simaris. This useful, probably-actually-evil NPC is a bit out of the way. You can find his big orange face on any public relay. That includes Mercury, Saturn, Earth, etc. Just check your star map and look for any node that includes the word “relay,” such as the Kronia Relay on Saturn.
Simaris and his Sanctuary function a bit like the variously opposed Syndicates on these Tenno hubs. You do tasks for him to gain “Standing.” This reputational currency can then be spent on various things: mods, items, blueprints, and so on. He’s especially notable for selling Exilus Adapters and quest-specific loot. Just in case you accidentally sell something you can’t easily retrieve!
You primarily gain Simaris Standing through scanning. This is functionally identical to the Codex Scanner — which provides lore text for various things in the game. Though the Synthesis Scanner is a separate item. You purchase charges for it from Cephalon Simiaris, typically in addition to Kinetic Siphon Traps. Thankfully both pieces of equipment (which must be equipped to your “Gear” loadout to use mid-mission) only cost basic credits. You don’t need to waste Standing to make Standing.
Those aforementioned traps are the real key to this Nightwave challenge. Every 24 hours, Cephalon Simaris will allow you to take on a new daily Sanctuary target. This is a randomly selected, but usually pretty standard enemy type you’re required to essentially hunt across the system. It’s not enough to simply find, say, a Corrupted Crewman and scan them normally, however. You need to find a specific unit that Simaris has in mind.
To do so, just start a mission where those enemies usually spawn. The target’s description will usually show which locations that includes. To make things easier, you can even switch to solo or friends-only play. The reason being that, if any player kills the target before you capture it, you’ll need to try again on another mission. Every Sanctuary target will be harder to kill than its average counterpart. But why risk it?
You’ll know you’re on the right track when you start the mission. After the usual Lotus dialogue explaining your objective, Cephalon Simaris will inform you there is a synthesis target somewhere in the location. From here on out you can often play the mission normally. There’s a good chance you’ll find your prey along the way. If you don’t find them organically, aiming with the Synthesis Scanner will show glowing tracks that mark the route to your creature in question. Either way you find them, they’ll be marked with an orange-gold objective marker (the same color as Simaris). That’s your cue to get near and drop a Kinetic Siphon Trap from your Gear wheel.
These useful consumables stun synthesis targets — and only synthesis targets — while suspending them in the air. This is more important than it might sound. Normally, scanning something in Warframe is a one-and-done affair. You pull out the Codex or Synthesis Scanner, point it at your target, and hold the fire button until it completes the scan a second later. It doesn’t matter where you scan so long as it’s over the target’s silhouette… normally. Daily Sanctuary objectives work differently. They’ll have several round, glowing “weak points” marked on their bodies. These are only visible through the Synthesis Scanner and must all be scanned individually.
When you hit all the soft spots, the enemy will freeze and become invincible. That’s good! It means you can’t mess up and kill it by accident anymore. You’ll also get a dollop of Simaris good boy points for your horrific digi-murder. The targets do canonically die horribly when you hit them with your fancy Fatal Frame camera.
Each fully scanned unit will contribute to the Sanctuary Researcher challenge. That means every individual foe you find — not every, full daily hunt you complete. So you can get multiple scans per day towards your Nightwave challenge.
Crucially, though, you also need to turn the bounty in to Simaris. Preferably before the next daily reset at 0:00 GMT. Cephalon Simaris is a stingy old coot. He won’t assign you a new daily target until the reset after you turn in the bounty. Simply put: if you complete the hunt one day and report the results to Simaris on the next, you’ll only get one “daily” bounty across two days.
You can speed up the process of getting to Simaris, thankfully, by simply using fast travel. Every relay has a simple fast travel option shown in the pause menu. You can even fast travel to a relay directly from your ship (without looking for a location on your map) by approaching the Syndicates terminal. It’s one of the computers at the front-left of your Orbiter. Just interact with the device, head to the Miscellaneous tab, and click on Cephalon Simaris. There will be a simple “Visit Cephalon Simaris” button shining back at you.
It may take a few daily targets to catch all five necessary for the Nightwave objective. That’s okay, though! Weekly Nightwave challenge progress saves from week to week. A full seven days is plenty of time to collect all necessary scans for Cephalon Simaris. But even if you miss it, the partially completed challenge will reappear in your Nightwave transmissions if you complete enough fresh weekly challenges in subsequent periods. Best of luck getting it done quickly, either way!