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In order to activate a data post, one must press the Action button when near the data post, then keep tapping the button repeatedly. The data post will extend its antennas in several distinct stages, and to complete the activation the antenna must be fully extended (when capturing an enemy-owned, already activated data post, the antenna will be retracted and extended again, taking more time). This process is quicker with several players activating the same Data Post at once. Data posts supply nearby activators with Thermal Energy and provides friendly users with a radar of the area surrounding the data post.
In Lost Planet 2, data posts can also be activated while piloting some VSes, namely the GTT-01 Nida and the GTF-11 Drio. The key combination to achieve this is in the electronic VS manuals. On the PS3, hold down L3 (this is also used usually as a modifier for other keys while piloting the VS) and tap on the circle button (the same used to activate the data post while on foot). There's no on-screen prompt to do that while approaching a data post in a VS, and when the player begins the activation procedure there's no visual cue that the player is actually doing something (while on foot, the player automatically kneels down near the data post and starts using his PDA to activate it), until the data post antenna finally starts deploying. This makes the on-VS activation a little trickier.
In single player, once activated, it shows where to go or the location of the next data post with a flare.
In multiplayer, the flare just rotates. In teamplay multiplayer the colors are red, blue, and if there are more than 2 teams there is also green and yellow. To cut off someone's radar very quickly, descending the flare is enough.Since they are indestructible, hiding behind it is the safest way to claim one.
In Lost Planet 2, they also serve as respawn points.
|Data Post Color||What Color means|
|No Color||Is Neutral and can be taken control of by sides.|
|Orange||Is in yours or allies control, Can only be taken by ENEMIES.|
|Purple||Is Controlled by your enemies and can only be taken by YOU or ALLIES.|
Since they always provide Thermal Energy, they seem to be able to gather it in order to provide it to their next activators.
There are always found inactivated when no humans are near the area where the data post is), meaning that they could auto-deactivate themselves when their activators are out of range for long period of time.