Starfield | Best Ways To Get Credits

Traveling the known universe isn’t a cheap affair. Everything has a cost, and if you want the best gear, weapons, and items, you’ll need a boatload of credits. At some point, you’ll want a ship with better modifications or a new ship altogether. After all, you’re base level Frontier won’t be capable of jumping to distant systems. Buying new hardware for travel is a particularly expensive endeavor. So, what’s a lowly space explorer who’s just landed a full-time membership with Constellation to do?

Well, the answer is clear, you need credits and ideally fast. While you can never truly eliminate the grind of leveling or pooling funds in big open RPGs such as Starfield, there are ways to ease the task so that it doesn’t feel like a total chore. We’re here to help you learn some of the best ways to earn money as you explore the known the universe and fend off space pirates along the way.

Planet Surveys

Starfield is a massive game. There are well over 100 systems to explore if you’re up to the task. You might wonder: what’s the point of exploration if it doesn’t fulfill any of your current mission objectives? For starters, it’s really neat to witness the varied and interesting worlds that Bethesda has created. But exploration can also be beneficial to your wallet. So, there’s definitely an incentive.

What does it mean to survey a planet?

Surveying a planet means that you collect data through scanning specific elements of the celestial body’s make-up. When in a planet or moon’s orbit, you can go to the galaxy map view and hold the scan button to find out the details of the floating space rock. You can find out what it’s gravitational pull is like. For a baseline, Earth is 1.00 G. So anything below a 1.00 gravity reading will have you lighter on your feet. Anything above 1.00 will likely not allow you to jump very high. You can also learn whether the atmosphere is breathable and what resources are on the planet that you can mine.

Some planets have fauna and/or flora (wildlife and vegetation). A quick scan of the planet will tell you exactly how much of each exists. But in order to complete a survey 100%, you must land on the planet and find these species and scan them. Beware, many strange alien lifeforms don’t take kindly to strangers.

Additionally, a scan of a planet in orbit might also indicate that it has a certain number of traits. These are essentially major landmarks on the planet’s surface. When landing, use your scanner view to look for unknown markings on the horizon. Head in that direction and you’re usually going to find some sort of landmark that indicates a specific trait about the planet. Maybe you’ll find a glacier or a crater. At the end of the day, surveying a planet in its entirety requires that you perform an orbital scan and then land planet-side to scan any potential animals, planets, resources, or notable planetary traits if any exist.

How does planet surveying make you money?

Once you survey a planet in it’s entirety (100%), you obtain a data record in your inventory of the survey. You’ll have to go to your Notes section of your inventory to find it. If you select the survey, you’ll see that it has a value of 4,500 credits. That’s pretty substantial. That doesn’t mean all vendors will pay you that much money for it. In fact, a lot will offer your less than 1,000. However, that’s still significant money if you have several surveys to sell.

Here’s the trick to acquiring a lot of planet surveys fast and easy. Travel to solar systems and perform orbital scans of gas giants, ice giants, or asteroid-grade moons. These are all celestial bodies that you cannot land on because they’re entirely unsuitable for life to even exist. Therefore, they have no flora, fauna, or planetary traits to find. You will achieve a 1oo% survey by simply scanning them from orbit.

Furthermore, don’t forget the planet’s resources. Depending on the rarity, these resources that you mine while on the planet’s surface can be valuable. Sell what you find to fatten your bank account. You can also acquire the Astrophysics skill which is a Level 3 skill in the Science skill tree. Each level allows you to scan planets further out which makes surveying ice and gas giants as well as asteroids easy without the need to Grav Jump as often.

Selling Weapons, Spacesuits, Helmets, and Packs

There’s a lot of loot out there among the stars. As you raid various Spacer-controlled facilities, or blow Crimson, Va’runn,  and Ecliptic ships to smithereens, you’re going to pick up a lot of materials. You can even board disabled ships or space stations and find plenty of valuables. Weapons, spacesuits, helmets, and packs will undoubtedly be the heaviest items in your inventory. So you’re not going to want to carry a lot of extras. Sure, you can store them at your home base at the Lodge or your house, but why not make some dough instead of leaving them there to sit and get dusty?

The legendary gear goes for top dollar, of course. But even simple rare or epic weaponry can go for several thousand credits. You can head to Akila City, the Commercial District, Mars, and many other hot spots with vendors ready and willing to buy these goods. So, manage your inventory. But do your best to continually sell goods instead of storing or dropping them in the field. You’ll build wealth mighty fast.

Looting the Dead

It sounds pretty sketchy. But if you’re playing the field as a morally ambiguous explorer or can accept that looting lifeless virtual bodies isn’t a reflection of your real-world character, then be sure to check all of your targets for valuables. Many often have credits aside from other items. Sometimes, you won’t even have to lift a (trigger) finger and simply enter an area with corpses strewn about due to nefarious campaign-related circumstances. Even still, loot the dead every chance you get. Besides credits, you’ll also find much-needed health items and digipicks.

Complete Mission Objectives

There are many mission elements that reward you in pay. In particular, if you join certain factions like the UC Vangaurd or the Freestar Rangers, you’ll receive compensation for your efforts. There’s never a bad time to enlist in a cause that’ll boost your overall XP and earn you a decent wage on the side. In the early moments of the game, you can enlist in the UC Vangaurd on Jemmison by speaking with Commander Tuala. When you eventually travel to Akila City with Sam Coe in the story, you will have an opportunity to offer you skills to the Freestar Rangers and pick up some grunt work.

Aid Ally Ships

While traveling from system to system, you’re likely to encounter fun happenings in the universe. You might find a fellow singing a shanty over the comms, or perhaps, you’ll run into a stranded ship with passengers desperate for your help. But many times, you’ll encounter hostile forces. Sometimes, they’ll come looking for you specifically and it’s up to you to defend yourself.

Other times, however, you’ll enter the orbit of a planet or moon with ally ships like the United Colonies engaged in battle with hostiles. If you help them bring down the bad guys there’ll be a reward in it for you. They’ll thank you for your help and ask how they can repay you. Of course, you can play the hero and accept nothing. But where’s the fun in that? You can ask for credits for your reward and they’ll often pay you 1,800 for your troubles. That’s far from pocket change for a quick job sweeping bad guys into the garbage can.

Take and Sell Contraband

Sometimes, you’ll come across materials labeled as contraband such as illegal weapons parts or things of that nature. Every time you enter the orbit of patrolled planet like the UC-controlled Jemmison, authorities will scan your ship for contraband. If they find it, you’ll be arrested, likely have to pay a fine, and give up the goods that got you into trouble.

But, if you make a modification to your cargo hold shielding it from outside scanners, you can then take it to the planet’s surface and sell it off for big money. So, where to you make these valuable ship modifications? Well, you’ll have to find places that might offer the illicit modifications like the pirate station known as The Key in the Kryx system. But once you have shielded cargo, any contraband you acquire from hostile territory or abandoned space stations will be a veritable gold mine for you. To learn more about Contraband and what to do with it, check out our handy guide on the subject.

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