Missions provide players with a structure for exploring the world of Spiral Knights.
Missions are organized into three types: Rank, Prestige, and Expansion. The Arcade button provides easy access to four major gates. Understanding Cradle via expeditions into the Clockworks via arcade gates as well as missions is an important goal of Spiral HQ.
There are 97 rank missions, 24 prestige missions (10 of which are part of different events), and 1 expansion mission, for a total of 122 missions.
Each mission type has objectives. These objectives are used to categorize a mission with a subtype. The subtype of the mission is generally indicated by a symbol in the mission's start button, though this only includes Clockworks, Dialogue, and Supply. There are additional significant subtypes that do not have their own start button symbols. Subtypes include:
- Clockworks: This is Player vs. Environment (PvE). The player must actively explore areas to complete the mission.
- Supply: The player is asked to turn in one or more items.
- Dialogue: The player must listen to one or more NPCs. Exclusive to rank missions.
- Hall of Heroes: The player must have appropriate equipment to receive certification and progress. Exclusive to rank missions.
- Danger: A particularly hazardous clockworks mission. Exclusive to prestige missions and shown on the mission's card.
Rank mission progression unlocks after the player navigates the Crash Site and talks to Rhendon in the Rescue Camp. All rank missions can be repeated by the player (except the missions in 1-1 to 1-4), but rewards will not be received from rank missions after the first time. Recruit missions will automatically be marked as completed for players who crossed the chasm into Haven before release 2012-02-22. All item rewards are bound when earned via completing a mission.
Upon completion of a Rank mission, the Mission interfaces' progress bar at the top of the interface will fill by a fraction depending on how many missions are available within that rank. When filled (all missions within that rank are completed), the player's knight will rank up and more missions will become available. Important rank-up intervals involve Hall of Heroes certification. There are ten ranks, of which most are divided into two sub-ranks (with the exceptions of ranks 4 and 7, which are divided into three, and rank 9, which is divided into four). All missions from one sub-rank must be completed before missions of the next sub-rank become available, though they do not always have to be completed "in order" (from left to right) within the rank.
The player's rank is displayed as a title in the Missions Interface's progress bar and in the inspect window.
Daily prestige missions reward an amount of Prestige, based on the player's rank and the variant of the mission that day.
Daily prestige missions are part of a daily Prestige Mission Rotation. Because of the way these missions cycle (clockworks missions on a 6-day cycle, supply missions on a 9-day cycle and danger missions on a 4-day cycle), under normal conditions at Rank 10, there is a 36-day cycle for unique combinations of clockworks and supply missions. A total of 14,760 prestige can be gained over a 36-day period, of which 6,480 is from danger missions, 5,040 from supply missions and 3,240 from clockworks missions.
Daily prestige missions can be split into three subcategories: Clockworks Missions, Danger Missions, and Supply Missions. One of each type may completed every day, one "day" being from 12:00 AM to 12:00 AM in the U.S. Pacific Time Zone.
- Regular clockwork missions feature a monster family. They always contain two combat floors with areas heavily associated with the relevant monster family as the final floor. These prestige missions can be hosted by players ranked 3-1 or higher.
- Daily danger missions are especially hazardous clockwork missions that contain four floors, two of which are combat floors. The first floor is a special lobby and the final floor is always a Treasure Floor. The combat floors typically feature areas exclusive to that mission. Note that the player cannot invite others after the first combat floor because the party locks. These prestige missions can be hosted by players ranked 4-1 or higher.
- Supply missions request certain items. Once the player has the necessary items, the Start button for the mission unlocks and the mission can be completed immediately without any requirement to actually visit an NPC. There are four main supply missions, each with 2 or more variants. More mission variants become available as the player rises through the ranks. They are otherwise replaced by a different supply mission in the rotation.
Event prestige missions are only available during a specific event. Upon completion, they can reward an amount of prestige, event-related tokens, or nothing, depending on the mission. Some of these missions can be repeated as desired. As a rule of thumb, if the mission does not have rewards, it can be repeated. This is because special items are exclusively obtained via gameplay during the mission. These are considered to be the "reward" and they are usually needed in bulk. Thus the mission can be repeated to obtain them. Some events also feature Mysterious Rooms or other scenarios in the arcade to help collection outside of missions.
One of the knights on the player's account must have completed the 3-2 Mission: The Pioneers in order to be eligible for expansion missions. Once eligible, select an Expansion Mission from the Expansion Mission menu and select 'Purchase Expansion'. Steam users will be taken to Steam and Web users to the Energy Depot to complete their purchase. As of release 2013-09-26, Steam users can also use energy to purchase expansions. All knights on the player's account will have access to purchased expansions.
Purchasing an expansion unlocks a pack of the same mission objectives available in all three tiers, with each tier variation offering tier-related rewards. These are unique rewards which, as with rank missions, can only be obtained the first time the mission is completed. Expansions can be played as often as desired once unlocked. There are other items associated with the expansion that are not part of the completion rewards that must be collected several times, but can only be collected once per playthrough. For example, players will need to play Tier 3 OCH three times to collect three Perfect Seerus Mask Fragments required to craft the Perfect Mask of Seerus.
Currently, there is only one Expansion Mission - Expansion Mission: Operation Crimson Hammer.
Arcade expeditions involve exploring the clockworks without specific objectives via gates. The mission interface provides players with the convenience of creating and joining parties in the clockworks. Start at the Haven Arcade or a subtown and explore the vast possibilities within Cradle. Rare scenario rooms and dangerous areas are often randomly encountered in the arcade, something that doesn't occur with missions, where such phenomenon are never randomized - instead, special areas are specifically located for players to reach and observe.
Most missions offer rewards that are guaranteed with completion in addition to loot acquired during the mission itself. Most mission rewards are only obtained once, when the mission is completed for the first time. Players are qualified to receive rewards if they start in the lobby, complete objectives, and return to Haven via elevator. Mission rewards often consist of items that the player needs many of. Not to worry, there are many other ways to acquire most mission rewards. In fact, only expansion mission reward items are exclusively obtained via the expansion's completion.
Missions range from simple tasks such as speaking with an NPC to going on a major expedition within the Clockworks. One of the key features of missions is that everything is managed within the mission interface. Players can immediately jump into action.
There are several out-of-game references regarding missions. For example, the 1-1 Mission: Should You Choose to Accept alludes to Mission:Impossible, while 4-3 Mission: Elemental My Dear alludes to Sherlock Holmes.
- release 2012-02-22: Several missions up through rank 6-2 introduced - previously, players explored exclusively via gates.
- release 2012-02-29: First expansion mission added.
- release 2012-03-07: More rank missions up through rank 9-4 added, allowing players to achieve Vanguard.
- release 2012-04-18: The prize wheel spins for missions as well as arcade expeditions.
- release 2012-05-09: Pre-Haven missions and areas improved.
- release 2012-06-28: First dangerous prestige mission added.
- release 2013-07-30: Several rank missions involving Battle Sprites added, difficulty can be adjusted via mission interface, removal of mist energy mechanic.
- release 2014-05-21: Several rank missions and levels were changed to involve The Artifact.
- release 2015-02-11: Several rank 10-1 missions added.
- release 2015-05-13: Several rank 10-2 missions added.