Starfield, please help (“geological features”)

Starfield is so infuriatingly BAD at explaining anything. I stumbled over an “unexplored geological feature.” What the actual heck ARE these? Blue stuff shows up on my scanner and somehow I got one when I blasted open some iron. No idea what I’m supposed to do to find the other one. As usual, the description of what to do is vague. I’m running around but don’t know what I’m supposed to do at all. How far from this first area am I supposed to go? What in the heck am I ACTUALLY looking for?

Starfield has been “a few hours of fun, followed by an incomprehensibly poorly explained mechanic that forces me to beg the internet to give a REAL guide to figure out.” Did they just not complete the game? Why is so little explained?

I’m starting to feel it deserved those 7/10 scores. Skyrim and Fallout weren’t so horribly riddled with poorly explained mechanics.

Look at how to survey planet traits

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This article ACTUALLY explained it—I thought having the scanner activated with left bumper WAS scanning. No other guide bothered to explain I needed to press “a” while the scanner was open. This includes the in-game help menu.

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For me, the in-game screen directly says “A to Scan” at the bottom when you bring out the scanner. That’s probably why the help system didn’t repeat it.


I’ve never seen it, but maybe it’s because I didn’t have a reason to look at the bottom of the screen. Took forever to realize you hit “Y” on the main pause screen to see afflictions/status effects. For most things, you go to a corner, so why would you do a simple button press to access something on that screen? Yet there it is. Wildly counterintuitive.

You can also fast travel by locking onto things (open scanner, select them with A) with your scanner then hitting X (or PC equivalent). Its been the most helpful thing I found out that wasnt really explained.

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The scanner button was visible to me(X for me after I changed somethings), but pressing why Y to see status was definitely not until after I got sick and Y was right in the menu.

I think the menus can be a little obtuse, but I enjoy playing the game and learning something new everytime. It’s just like I’m learning the mechanics for the first time, and considering how similar it is to previous Bethesda games in some aspects. Having new things to learn really makes it more fun for me.

Heres a spare one for the future !

So I’ve done five or six missions from the board where you have to scan 100% of the planet and have some advice. Always have the scanner open and I do this almost everywhere as it also highlights lots of stuff in missions and exploring I might have missed plus it also shows you where you have to go with arrows on the ground in missions.

When you get to a planet in space scan it so it highlights all the resources on the planet. When you hover over a place you want to land it will give you a percentage of the resources you’ve scanned. Minerals just need one scan or to mine it once but animals and plants need like eight scans though this number can be reduced with skills. If there are empty circles on the bottom, those are points of interest you need to scan. Just use your scanner, point at any icon you see, press the scan button and it will tell you what it is. Your looking for the natural ones. Just go to it and scan it but there are times where the same thing you need to scan may be on the tile in multiple places so you can use the map to show you if still need to scan stuff in the area you landed on or not depending on the percentage. Now there is a bit of an issue. You may find that you haven’t scanned a certain animal but all the tiles are showing 100%. If that does happen, look for a tile that has costal in the description, land and look for the water. There will be fish you can scan but they don’t appear on the tiles percentage. If the fish is too far away just shoot them, they then come close to the land trying to attack you


I spent ages yesterday looking for the second feature to complete a mission board task, got bored and started exploring a big tower thing. Got attacked and cleared it out and then when looting afterwards found a computer that I could download all of the planet data from. Much quicker than moving around all of the natural features.


I agree the game is pretty obtuse at times, but I’m slightly puzzled as to why you didn’t look at the full UI. ‘Scan’ is right there, next to a button prompt. Sure, there’s no direct instruction, but hardly counterintuitive. The status screen is more so, agreed.

I can’t get on to play at the moment; I just know I didn’t see it. I hadn’t scanned anything since very early on, apparently. I remember having to look up how to get gasses and water, because exactly UNLIKE minerals, you can’t retrieve those resources while the scanner is on. That’s wildly counterintuitive, ESPECIALLY because you CAN use the cutter for your minerals.

I also think it was dumb to start with such limited ship functionality. Apparently I’ve got “thrusters” now, but I don’t have any idea how to use them because I didn’t have them when first learning. Now I have to go online for a guide to figure out what that is, as well as “targeting” once I unlock that—because I KNOW the game won’t actually teach me how to use them.

And SO DANG MUCH of the game is like this. It’s like no one QCd this for basic UI or systems accessibility…

True story: I’d heard you can’t use booster packs until you put a point into the skill, so I did that right away and waited. My expectation was that someone would eventually give me a pack and a short guide for how to use it. I had NO IDEA “packs” was your booster because it’s not obvious. I didn’t know if it was inventory space you customized with whatever you got (like a personal cargo hold). It LOOKS like a backpack, and there’s nothing that tells you that hitting “jump” again is how you use booster.

The WHOLE game is like this—poorly explained mechanics, downright unusable maps, a fast-travel system that’s as likely to deliver you to the wrong spot as the right one. Just trying to FIND the system for the Mantis quest was insanely obtuse, as was finding any sort of jump path to get me there.

It’s “a few hours of fun” interrupted predictably by me struggling with a poorly- or unexplained game or system mechanic.

The game lacks tutorials, yes, but seriously: press buttons. Read the UI. It could be better at explaining, but I literally did all those things without any trouble. It uses standard gaming language: tooltips on the UI.



I’m sorry if this sounds harsh but… try reading what’s in front of you. I had none of these issues, but then I read and pay attention. Is this your first game?

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I played Morrowind, Oblivion, Skyrim, FO3/FO:NV, and FO4.

So yes, it sounds both harsh and defensive. This game is BAD at telegraphing what’s expected in too many ways, and it’s why even experienced reviewers had trouble with it. Dedicated Xbox players were talking about how they spend upwards of 25 minutes trying to figure out how to dock with a ship. That… shouldn’t happen, and it’s not just happening to newbies.

Had designers adequately onboarded new players, I think some of those 7/10 would have been 8/10—that and how long it takes before the game and its playstyle starts making sense, but that’s to be expected in a game of this scope. I HOPE it gets a sequel, because no other game has been attempting ALL this in one game before, but it has so many tough edges that point to game designers who forget all the iteration it took to arrive at a UI and how they naturally understand it because they built it.

It feels like they needed to give this to absolute newbies and fix all the things people stumble over. Again, I’m not the only one who’s having trouble, and I’m predisposed toward LOVING BGS games.

That…is not hard either.

Also some things do take a while to learn and discover, there’s nothing wrong with that. In fact it’s fun and rewarding. But the things you point out are right there, on the screen.

I’m sorry but I just feel these things you talk about read like an IGN reviewer trying to play video games.


No, fumbling over poorly explained mechanics isn’t “part of the fun” for me. It’s not the depth of the mechanics, it’s that they aren’t well signaled.

If I’m going to struggle uphill with so little reward over easily fixable things, I want to be paid for it or obtain a life skill in exchange. Games are an ESCAPE from extreme frustration for me. I avoid Dark Souls.

My take on all this. I personally love learning how to do all this stuff, I see it as part of the puzzle and trying different things to solve it. I can certainly see how other people would get frustrated by it though, I must admit I spent about 15 minutes trying to work out how to dock to another ship and was surprised they didn’t shoot me after ramming their ship over and over!

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I need a bit of help too.

I am trying to understand the outpost system.

At the moment I am dumpting it all at the storage box in the lodge basement, and I fear it is going to be a pain to move eventually.

The only thing I need at the moment is to have an residential/crafting outpost when I can have all my loot and if possible unload all the loot and hand picked resources directly from the ship to the outpost.

How can I do that?

Moving it shouldn’t be an issue as we can’t die from the Co2 damage.

As for how? I don’t know, but this video was published 19hrs ago.

Only started watching but, Outpost build is very resource heavy and needs investments into the science skill lines. But it’s supposed to be very profitable, so I can understand why it takes time to get it up and running.