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The Rarefaction Cell temporarily distorts gravity when used. Being larger and heavier than most objects, the Rarefaction Cell cannot be swallowed and weighs Slugcat down when held, resulting in a lower jump height, swim speed, and a gradual downwards slide when not moving on poles or in tunnels. Pressing and holding Grab activates the Rarefaction Cell, distorting gravity for ~15 seconds and allowing for dramatically increased jump heights and swimming speed. Afterward, it enters a cooldown for ~10 seconds, after which it can be used again.
Bringing the Rarefaction Cell from The Rot to Submerged Superstructure is necessary for achieving the An Old Friend ending. Without the Remix option Key item tracking, if the Rarefaction Cell is lost through any means, the player needs to restart the cycle. When the option is toggled on, the Rarefaction Cell appears on the minimap, and if lost, respawns at the location it was last in contact with the player. Dev Tools can be used to manually respawn the Rarefaction Cell using the 7 key.
- According to Five Pebbles and Looks to the Moon, Rarefaction Cells are the emergency power systems of Iterator superstructures, allowing them to keep functioning if conventional energy sources are lost or cease to function due to decay.
- The Rarefaction Cells are also the main cause of the superstructures' gravitational anomalies, distorting space and gravity around them while active.
- If a Cell is lost or removed from a superstructure, the Iterator in question slowly dies.
- Looks to the Moon lost her Rarefaction Cells when her superstructure collapsed, as they were washed away by the Shoreline's ocean.
- Should the Rarefaction Cell be destroyed, e.g. through manipulating a Leviathan, a slightly larger version of the Singularity Bomb's explosion occurs.
- Five Pebbles does not have multiple Rarefaction Cells, despite Looks to The Moon stating that she lost several. This implies that he somehow lost his others in the events leading up to the Rivulet campaign, perhaps through being consumed or displaced by the Rot. Alternatively, his structure cannot house several Rarefaction Cells.
- If multiple Rarefaction Cells are spawned in Arena mode and one is activated, it will shoot lightning to every other Rarefaction Cell in the Arena, activating them all at the same time.
- Despite weighing Rivulet down when held, the Rarefaction Cell floats in water, implying buoyancy.