How to harvest resources in Starfield

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A collection of resource-gathering tools and guides neatly arranged on the back of a futuristic space exploration backpack.
September 8, 2023: With the game out now, brush up on how to harvest resources in Starfield.

A major part of the Starfield experience revolves around busywork. Those ships are expensive, and you’ll need to learn how to harvest resources in Starfield to make the most of them. You can always loot your way to luxurious life in the cosmos, but if you’re looking to make a life for yourself with passive income, learning the trades will get you there.

There are a bunch of different ways you can make your mark in Bethesda’s new open-world sci-fi adventure. If you don’t want to worry about losing your life to scavengers and space pirates, harvesting materials is the way forward. Not only do they sell for a pretty penny, but they’re instrumental in your ability to craft new and powerful items.

For more on the game, read up on how to heal in Starfield, plus how the dialogue system works.

How to harvest resources in Starfield

Wherever you end up in Starfield, you won’t need to search far for essential resources. Whether you’re picking up essential supplies at an outpost and rummaging through containers to find a little bit extra, or surveying a whole planet for a rare ore or material, you’ll almost always find a new item to toss into your inventory.

Even if you don’t know what to do with it initially, you’re certain to come across a recipe that will put it to good use, potentially solving a problem you never knew you had.

Harvesting resources in Starfield is done via your standard equipment. You can use your scanner to survey and identify resources or the materials that make them up, picking up organic items like flora and animal parts with your hands, or using your mining tool laser to extract things like iron from veins.

Using a cutting tool to harvest iron from a vein in Starfield.
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When you’re ready, fashion them into medicines, items, weapons, and anything else your recipe book suggests.

Found a figurative (or literal) goldmine? If you have the resources to make it happen, consider building an outpost on a lucrative planet. By hiring workers, you’ll be able to earn passive income by having them harvest nearby materials for you while you jet off to find another planet to economically conquer for your own gain.

For more on Starfield, click that link at the top to jump to our dedicated section. For more guides, brush up on how to change helmet in Starfield, plus how to defeat pirates.

For more articles like this, take a look at our Guides and Starfield page.