The Scanner is one of the player’s most important tools in Starfield, so it’s important you understand how to scan your environment as early as possible.

Using your Scanner can reveal crucial information about the planet around you, as well as net you a Survey Slate, which can be sold for credits.

Below, we’ve outlined exactly how you scan in Starfield on both PC and Xbox, as well as how to upgrade your Scanner and where to sell your Survey Slates.

How to Scan in Starfield

To scan in Starfield, players must press the following button depending on platform:

  • PC – F
  • Xbox – LB

Players can use the Scanner in Starfield to reveal significant information about their surroundings, highlight objects and NPCs, and even fast travel.

The player scanning a Crimson Fleet ship

Pressing this button opens up your Scanner, which will replace your HUD with a new layout. Items that have not been scanned will have a blue outline, whereas items you’ve already scanned will appear green.

Some items, such as plants, will only be partially discovered when they’re first scanned. To completely scan such items, you’ll need to scan multiple versions of the same item.

The Scanner can also be used in the Star Map to scan entire planets. It is the same button to activate it, and it can give you a clear idea of what resources you can expect to find on the planet.

To completely scan a planet, you’ll need to land on it and scan every single one of its unique resources, flora, and fauna. Doing so will fill its progress bar up to 100%.

The Scanner has several functions in Starfield, including:

  • Reveal information about flora, fauna, minerals, and general objects on a planet
  • Reveal information about the planet itself
  • Show new Points of Interest nearby
  • Access discovered fast travel points
  • Highlight enemies, NPCs, and collectibles
  • Show the path to the next quest location
the player scanning a dust root in Starfield

Best Scanner Upgrades in Starfield

The best upgrades for your Scanner are the Surveying, Scanning, and Astrophysics skills. They improve your Scanner in a number of ways, including:

  • Surveying – Increases your scan distance in increments of 10 per rank
  • Scanning – Increases the rarity of resources that you can detect with your Scanner
  • Astrophysics – Increases the range in which you can scan moons and also increases your chance of discovering a new Trait when scanning
The Astrophysics skill tree in Starfield

How to Sell Survey Slates in Starfield

You can sell Survey Slates at Trade Authority Kiosks, which are located in all major cities, as well as to Vladimir in the Eye Space Station when you unlock it.

Survey Slates are gained whenever you completely scan an entire planet. While they don’t have much value to you, they are worth a couple of credits to the right buyer.

Initially, the only vendor that will take them is the Trade Authority Kiosks. However, once you unlock the Eye Space Station above Jemison, Vladimir will offer you the best price for your Survey Slates.

Former Staff Writer
Whether it's an indie platformer or a 100-hour JRPG, Tom loves talking about games. So much so, he made it his career. Since starting in 2020, he's covered a wide range of topics at sites including TheGamer and The Game Crater.