Once the teams set foot on Cyclops they have just 51 minutes to explore the ship via a pre-determined route and return to Vulture; any scavenger who fails to return on time is left behind and their teams score is null and void. Along the way the teams face a series of six physical and mental tasks in an attempt collect salvage from Cyclops; each item of salvage having a salvage points value referred to frequently as sp's. Sp's for an individual item of salvage range from 1sp to 50sp and there are typically 100sp available between the two teams for an individual challenge. Each individual challenge must be completed within a strict time limit otherwise all salvage collected is rendered useless and has no sp value.Twenty teams were divided into two divisions, with each division consisting of five heats and a final. In each heat two teams competed with each other to gain Sp's with their final scores registered on a leader board for that series. The top two scoring teams of the series then competed in the final with much more demanding challenges, the winners from each of the two series finals competed once more to earn the right to become Scavenger Captains.
While on board Cyclops the teams would complete six challenges. All teams competed in Crusher and all heats ended with The Final Abyss the remaining four events varied from week to week.The Android would introduce each challenge by stating its aim, value and special difficulties. The Commander would often embellish these instructions and seemingly impose his own rules such as making certain events a race or setting a minimum amount of salvage to be collected.