Starfield | Planet Surveys And Where To Sell The Data

Exploration is a wondrous element of the Starfield experience. Bethesda has crafted well over 1,000 planets and moons for you to scan and, most times, explore. But don’t think that exploring doesn’t garner it’s own set of monetary rewards. There’s definitely a reason to pop down into the atmosphere of a planet and scour its landscape for animals, vegetation, resources, landmarks, and even derelict stations. Planet survey data holds a value of 4,500 credits per planet (or moon), though most opportunities to sell the data throughout the game will net you less than 1,000 per survey. That can still mean big money if you are efficient in surveying planetary data.

What constitutes a complete planet survey?

There are a few steps you must take in order to complete most planetary surveys. They are as follows:

  • Scan the planet or moon from orbit.
  • Land in resource-rich territory to search for:
    • Fauna
    • Flora
    • Resources
    • Traits

Many planets or moons may have wildlife. After an orbital scan, the number of species of both plants and animals will be made known to you. However, it’s up to you to find the wildlife and scan it for your data. But don’t think scanning one plant or animal does the trick. You will have to scan the same species multiple times to complete that piece of the survey. You can either mine or scan minerals or resources in order to add them to your survey as well.

Planetary traits are a different ball of wax. These are often represented as natural landmarks or geographical features. For instance, you could find a glacier or a something referred to as an ecological consortium. Maybe there’s electromagnetic features on the planet.

So, how do you find these traits? The best plan of attack is opening your scanner and looking for icons on the horizon that indicate “unknown” features. Once you find these geological features, find something on them to scan in order to add the trait to your survey.

Where can you sell planet and moon surveys?

At the end of the day, you don’t want your time spent exploring to go to waste. Sell the data you obtained from your efforts. When you have completed a survey 100%, you will find it in your inventory under “notes.” But despite it be labeled as “notes” you can definitely sell it. Your inventory states that survey data contains a value of up to 4,500 credits. But you will rarely find someone willing to pay that much for them. If you sell them to the Trade Authority or other generic vendors, you’ll likely be given somewhere South of 600 credits per survey.

In Cydonia on Mars, you can find a gentleman at a table in a bar that will buy some of what you have to offer. His name is Phil Hill and you can locate him by heading to your immediate right when first entering Cydonia. You’ll find Phil sitting at a table with a massive stack of papers. He’s looking for habitable planets. So, he’ll only purchase surveys for planets that are habitable. However, he’ll pay you well for your efforts. So, be sure to save your habitable planet surveys for Phil.

For all other surveys, go to Vladimir at the Eye – the station in orbit around Jemison. You’ll eventually encounter Vladimir in the main storyline, but he will pay 1,125 credits per survey which is substantially better than most vendors.

Tip: How to earn credits fast with surveys

Sure, scouring planets might be time consuming and you’re wanting to make money with planet surveys fast. Never fear, there is a way. You’ll notice that there are many planets throughout the galaxy that you can’t land on because they’d crush you, they’re made of gas, or their atmosphere and climates are just devastatingly hazardous. These are gas giants, ice giants, and asteroid-grade moons. Since you can’t land on them, that means there are no fauna, flora, resources, or traits to research. Scanning them from orbit completes the survey 100%.

Simply zip around from system to system scanning these types of planets/moons and sell the survey data to good ‘ol Vlad for 1,125 credits each. Just think, 10 quick scans of these planets will net you 11,250 credits. That’s good money! So, take that winning strategy to the bank, space-faring friends. Be sure to check out our other guide to earning credits in Starfield.

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