Useless artifacts?

For some reason artifacts don’t seem to do anything in my save. I’ve gotten like 6 different artifacts, (smooth disc, 2 or 3 winding/flexible rods) 2 from a strange temple and 3 from the mine where there’s a reference to the horror story about human shaped holes in the walls. None of the artifacts have any passive effects as far as I can tell and even though they have charges whenever I activate them it just says “blank cannot be used here” where blank is the artifacts name. I found a really old post about a game file that describes what your artifacts do but I couldn’t even begin to find it. Any help appreciated, is it possible I just got unlucky rolls?

In the past just have them in the inventory was enough. Still remember shadow snakes jump out every time a monster hit me. But now you need wield them, so:

  • Wield artifact
  • Wait one or two turns
  • Check for stat increase or decrease
  • Activate artifact (risky)
    For me, only use now is read faster, mostly.
    Perhaps a recipe for make necklace or ring with them make these more useful.
    Sorry my english.

What version are you on?

There has been a bug: Artifact activation broken since 2021-11-10-0654 · Issue #52850 · CleverRaven/Cataclysm-DDA · GitHub

The reason it is advised to not activate random artifacts is because they may have devastating effects. E.g engulfing you in a cloud of flames, while drenching you in acid. They are totally random so the usefulness varies.

Change in file “artifact_item_types.json” , in “type” put “ARMOR”.
Artifact are a lot more useful that way.
You need Wear them to know their power.