Scanning entire planets can earn you good credits in Starfield, but the process is time-consuming. Here’s how you can scan planets much faster.
Here’s the deal: In Starfield, some lucrative jobs beckon from the screens of the job exchanges, including scanning entire planets. In such a case, the customer is interested in comprehensive scan data on flora, fauna, resources and special properties of a planet – and pays high four-digit amounts for it.
It’s a shame, however, that this kind of data has to be obtained by the customer himself in a time-consuming process – i.e., in the course of exploratory missions. So is there any way to shorten the process of scanning an entire planet? Yes, it is possible, and this guide explains how it works.
Starfield Planets: Valuable Tips for Faster Scanning
First of all, it is important to know that customers in Starfield have good reasons to hire you to get planetary scan data. Especially if there is a high reward in prospect. The higher the reward, the more dangerous the task.
Therefore, always be prepared to enter a planet with dangerous animals, mercenaries and extreme environmental conditions. Enemies can easily put up to 25 levels above you here, while extreme environmental conditions will saddle you with status effects seemingly at will. Problems that can come your way here include, for example …
- corrosive rain
- harmful gas that often visibly leaks near certain raw materials
- poisoning, the origin of which is difficult to detect
- “lung damage” with effects on oxygen regeneration
- radioactive contamination
So stock up on as many remedies as possible before you go exploring. Ideally, you should have at least two remedies for each “ailment”, as status effects are called in Starfield.
Otherwise, it can quickly happen that your exploration ends prematurely and you are transported to the last save point. This is especially annoying if you have already run miles. Therefore, use the quick save function frequently.
How to Scan Planets Effectively
To complete a planetary scan relatively quickly, it is essential to invest at least one skill point in the “Analysis” skill. You can find it in the skills menu (key “P” on the PC) under the category “Research”. This increases the scanner’s range by 20 meters and also adds a zoom function.
The scanner’s HUD displays white land markers, which are usually located around your landing site. Focus your scan on this area first, as this is where the most common resources, plants and animals are found. It probably goes without saying that you should walk around with your scanner activated all the time. To scan something, target the creature, plant or resource and press the “E” key on the PC.
Scan Plants and Animals Faster: A Matter of Skill
Upgrade the “Botany” and “Zoology” Skills
In order to fully understand the flora and fauna of a planet, you must scan each plant and creature multiple times (your scan progress is displayed in an info window when you select an animal or plant). The number of times you need to scan a plant or animal to complete coverage is determined by the Botany and Zoology skills. Upgrade these skills to significantly reduce scan times.
To analyze animals, it is not necessary to go over their corpses with the scanner. No, you can scan living creatures quite comfortably if you get close enough to them (if necessary from behind in the case of dangerous creatures). Here, too, you benefit from the improved analysis ability, which allows scanning from a certain distance.
This also allows you to avoid combat, which is good. Because while fights may be sources of experience points, they are also big time wasters. So concentrate on scanning and take your legs in your hands if you are attacked. While running, you can immediately target the next scan objects – and your attacker will let you go again after a short time.
Find all Resources in Starfield: Targeted Searching is Unnecessary
“Of course” the developers did not distribute all resources of a planet over a single area, at least not the last resource in each case. In fact, you may even get the impression that the last resource doesn’t exist at all. During this search you run the risk of wasting a lot of time, but it doesn’t have to be that way at all. Here are two tips:
Look at the Star Map
The beauty of the star map is that it shows data about planets that you have not yet discovered by scan. Also the resources of a space sphere are listed there at least in sufficient number. So open the star map to see the resources of the planet in the window to the left. If you move the mouse over element names here, you will also get full names and possibly information about the element properties.
This is helpful in that you know you are looking for a liquid, for example. You can look for mounds that have different liquids on their surface. However, you don’t have to focus on specific areas; see the next point.
Just Walk Straight Ahead
The planets of Starfield contain fixed elements, but where exactly more specific resources appear is not set in stone. If you get stuck with your search, simply leave the area around the landing site and run out into the open landscape.
Stay in a straight line and wait until the resource you are looking for appears in front of your scanner. Of course, you have to keep a slight lookout to the right and left while running, but in principle it is enough to run straight ahead. Which resource pops up on the horizon is randomly determined within certain parameters. Alternatively, you can also land in another biome of the planet, but this is not necessarily the faster way.
By the way, you can discover resources in the same way, which are neither considered by the star map nor by the task profile. So a planet can have nine or even ten resources, if the map or the task only speaks of eight.
Finding Out the Planet Traits in Starfield
One of the fastest ways to find out the traits of a planet is to visit the different biomes. To do this, you just have to visit the different biomes, because each biome reveals at least one trait. And you can do it quite quickly.
As you may already know, you don’t have to rely on landing sites alone. You can search for another biome on the star map by rotating the planet model. With a mouse click as well as the “X” key, you then land in the selected area.
Once at the bottom, activate the scanner again and look around for a landmark like the one in the picture below. Such markers show places that reveal a trait of the planet without further ado. All you have to do is go to the marked location to immediately unlock a trait.
However, you still need to scan the blue highlighted part of that trait, such as a rock. You know you’ve hit the right spot when your scanner’s HUD reads “Unknown trait, scanned (0/1).” Then press the “E” key and the trait is noted.
All in all, these tips seem like there’s a lot to do, but you will see that you can quickly get the data you need this way. Last but not least, there is a trick that will get you complete planetary scans in a flash.
That would be to scan a gas giant from orbit. After all, you can’t land on them, so gas giant scans count as complete scans. Unfortunately, the customers of the job exchanges are not stupid enough to let you scan a gas giant for a lot of money …