How to Scan in Starfield (Planet Scan, Flora, Fauna & Resource Scan)

Anastasios Antoniadis

How to Scan in Starfield

Exploring the vast and unknown expanse of Starfield requires the mastery of scanning. This crucial tool helps uncover the secrets of the universe, revealing valuable resources and hidden landmarks waiting to be discovered. Although navigating the scanning process might seem daunting at first, fear not, as our comprehensive guide is here to help illuminate your path.

We provide a comprehensive guide to help you unlock the full potential of your scanner, covering every aspect in detail. Whether it’s scanning the tiniest nook or exploring the vast expanse of the universe, we’ve got you covered. Additionally, we’ll reveal tips and tricks to enhance your scanner’s capabilities, ensuring that no secret of Starfield remains beyond your reach.

How to Get a Hand Scanner in Starfield

How to Get a Hand Scanner in Starfield
Image: Bethesda via Meta Game Guides

Barrett will provide you with his Hand Scanner towards the middle of the One Small Step quest, the game’s first main mission. This achievement provides a powerful scanning tool, a gateway to endless discovery.

Effortlessly accessible, the Hand Scanner springs to life with a simple press of LB on Xbox or F on PC, unveiling a new layer of the universe through its intuitive UI. As you peer through this lens, the environment transforms; scannable objects, intriguing NPCs, and potential threats stand out, bathed in a revealing glow.

While scanning is universally applicable, you’ll soon learn that different entities and elements require their unique approach, adding a layer of strategy and depth to your exploration.

How to Scan Planets in Starfield

Navigating the celestial wonders of Starfield, you’ll find that scanning planets is a unique and intriguing venture, differing slightly from the other scanning techniques you’ve mastered. The first step in this cosmic dance is to glide your spacecraft near the planet that piques your interest.

Once in the same system, direct your journey to the Starmap. Here, proximity is key; as you draw close enough, a new option – ‘Scan Planet’ – emerges on the menu to the left of your screen. Should you be too distant, a ‘Scan Unavailable’ warning will prompt you to adjust your position.

Activating this feature unveils a treasure trove of information about the planet, including an invaluable ‘Show Resources’ button. This newfound tool reveals a resource-centric map of the planet, unlocking a detailed overview of what lies beneath its surface and helping you find the best regions for farming and building outposts.

You can also enhance your ship‘s scanning range with the Astrophysics skill in the Science skill tree.

  • Rank 1: You can scan the moons of your current planet. You have a 10% chance to discover a trait when scanning.
  • Rank 2: You can scan any planet or moon in this system. You have a 20% chance to discover a trait when scanning.
  • Rank 3: You can scan any planet or moon within 16 Light Years. You have a 30% chance to discover a trait when scanning.
  • Rank 4: You can scan any planet or moon within 30 Light Years. You have a 50% chance to discover a trait when scanning.

Astrophysics is a fantastic skill that allows you to scan planets and moons fast in different systems and gain tons of EXP.

How to Scan Resources in Starfield

Unlike the diverse flora and fauna that require repeated scans to understand fully, each resource surrenders all its secrets with a single, decisive scan. The method mirrors that of scanning plants and creatures — approach your chosen resource and engage your scanner. Alternatively, for resources that can be harvested with your Cutter, you can use the Cutter to break them and they will be instantly scanned.

How to Scan Flora in Starfield

As you traverse the diverse planets of Starfield, the flora you encounter offers a rich tapestry of botanical mysteries, each waiting to be unraveled. To begin this journey of discovery, simply activate your scanner while exploring on foot. As you approach a plant that catches your eye, engage the scanner to glean initial insights.

However, the story of each plant species is complex and layered. Uncovering the full narrative requires you to seek out and scan multiple specimens across the planet’s landscape; remember, rescanning the same plant adds more information about it: the resource you can harvest from it, the biomes you can find it in, its genetics, its reproduction method, whether you can produce it at your outposts, and the resource required for production.

As you 100% scan more plans, the number of Flora scanned will increase on the left side of the screen whenever you are using your scanner. You can move on to the next one once you complete a biome’s flora and fauna.

The Botany skill will help you acquire more resources as you harvest flora, while it also provides extra information, like whether you can cultivate the plant at your outpost and the resources required.

  • Rank 1: Get more common and uncommon organic resources from plants, learn additional info about them from the scanner, and allows some plants to be cultivated at your outposts.
  • Rank 2: Get more rare organic resources from plants, and learn information about them more quickly using the scanner.
  • Rank 3: Get more exotic organic resources from plants, and learn information about them more quickly using the scanner.
  • Rank 4: Occasionally harvest additional rarer resources from plants, and learn information about them more quickly using the scanner.

How to Scan Fauna in Starfield

How to Scan Fauna in Starfield
Image: Bethesda via Meta Game Guides

Your encounters with fauna – the diverse wildlife populating the planets – unfold as engaging discoveries. Like the study of flora, fully understanding each animal species demands patience and curiosity; multiple encounters and scans are essential to achieve 100% completion in your knowledge of them. As you engage with these creatures, your progress in the current biome is conveniently displayed on the left side of the screen.

An added interaction layer comes with each scan, as you’re immediately informed of the creature’s disposition – whether it’s hostile or passive, the resources you can harvest, whether a non-lethal harvest is available, and whether you can domesticate the creature at your outposts – displayed prominently alongside its name. This feature enriches your understanding and guides your interactions with the myriad life forms you encounter on your journey across the Settled Systems.

  • Rank 1: Get more common organic resources from creatures and harvest from them without harming them, learn additional info about them from the scanner, and allows you to produce animal resources at your outposts.
  • Rank 2: Get more uncommon organic resources from creatures, and learn information about them more quickly using the scanner.
  • Rank 3: Get more rare organic resources from creatures, and learn information about them more quickly using the scanner.
  • Rank 4: Occasionally harvest additional rarer resources from creatures, and learn information about them more quickly using the scanner.

How to Upgrade Your Scanning Capabilities

Enhancing your scanner becomes an essential strategy for those eager to streamline their exploration in Starfield. Within the realms of the Science skill tree, a trio of skills, each with its own set of upgrades, stands ready to elevate your scanning capabilities:

  1. Surveying: This skill transforms your scanner into a more powerful tool, adding a zoom function and significantly extending its range, allowing for more detailed and far-reaching observations.
  2. Scanning: With this upgrade, your scanner evolves to detect even the rarest of resources, unveiling hidden treasures that would otherwise remain undiscovered.
  3. Astrophysics: This skill deepens the well of knowledge gained from scanning planets, providing richer, more detailed information and insights about the celestial bodies you encounter.

Each of these skills not only refines your scanning experience but also opens new doors to discovery, making every moment of exploration in the vast universe of Starfield more rewarding and efficient.

Anastasios Antoniadis
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