The artifact causes random items to drop as boxes, which are colored based on rarity: Common white, Uncommon green, Rare red, or Equipment orange. You still need to purchase regular chests, which will drop these choice boxes.
The available options of a box depend on what color the outline is: a white box has all Common items such as the Warbanner, Monster Tooth, and Rusty Knife. There is no box for Boss items. Any item from the box's rarity can be selected, regardless of unlock status.
To select an item,
- Move over a box.
- Press the interaction button.
- Navigate the menu with the movement buttons.
- Press the interaction button again.
The item will then spawn above the box, with a brief window before it can be picked up.
While selecting items:
- There is no way to prematurely exit the menu, so selecting an item leaves you at the mercy of nearby monsters.
- Be careful when selecting items dropped by an existing shrine (especially a health shrine), as the character will try to purchase the shrine again as you select the item.
- You can use any actions that can be done on a rope (e.g. jumping, using a Use item, certain abilities).
- For any other actions, it seems that if buttons are held down when starting the selection process, those buttons are considered held down. For example, basic attacks still seem to spam.
- If the character is on another box when making a selection (probably from a Shrine), selecting an item will open the other box.
All items will drop as boxes, except:
- Items from Roulette Chambers.
- Items from Shops, though a Random (question mark) will drop as a box (possibly a Equipment box).
- Certain boss items. See #Bugs.
- The White Undershirt (M).
- Items from the special containers of the Armory and the Medical Bay in the final level.
- Use Items spawned by the Nano-Chest in the final level.
In the Artifact variant of Hive Cluster, the artifact will appear in the top right area. In that area, there are several pink vines that slowly flicker; the character must jump from vine to vine to collect the artifact. The vines can still be climbed while invisible.
A player with a Photon Jetpack, or enough jumping items/skills, can simply fly up and grab the vine directly beneath the platform, which doesn't disappear. A Huntress can simply jump and use her teleportation ability.
- It is still possible to acquire boss items, such as Ifrit's Horn and Nematocyst Nozzle[verification needed]. Other item drops are unconfirmed.
- Using the Captain's Brooch and Skeleton Key in Co-op may cause you to no longer be able to open anything, including these boxes. If this bug occurs it will be fixed by going to the next level but will trigger again as soon as one of these items are used, thus, for the entire duration of the game session. There is no known way to predict if the bug will happen, but seems unlikely to be triggered by the host player.
- If two players activate the same box, one player (usually the host) will be unable to move or use skills, though they can still jump and activate use items.
- If the character is on multiple boxes, all of them will open simultaneously, and the player must navigate all selections simultaneously.