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For a sidequest I have to find several traits in different systems. So I jump to the mentioned system and then start scanning the planets from orbit to find out if it even has traits.

Once I find the possible planets or moons, how can I reduce the legwork to find a specific trait, especially if there are multiple possible locations? I mean, I could start and land my starship dozens of time without finding the needed traits.

I assume that it would take weeks to scan every possible planet and moon on foot, just using my handscanner.

How do you reduce the search time until you detect the possible trait targets as exact as possible?

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Probably the most beneficial thing you can do is to rank up the Astrophysics skill. Rank 4 unlocks the following:

You can scan any planet or moon within 30 Light Years. You have a 50% chance to discover a trait when scanning.

Having a 50% chance to reveal a trait simply by scanning a planet should make this quite a bit faster. And being able to scan from lightyears away (i.e. nearby star systems) also helps, since you don't have to travel to a system each time. The first three ranks also have some useful benefits:

  • Ability to scan moons of the current plan (rank 1)
  • Ability to scan any moon or planet in the system you are in (rank 2)
  • Ability to scan any moon or planet within 16 light years (rank 3)

Each rank also has a percent chance of discovering a trait (10%, 20% and 30% respectively), but rank 4 caps out at the highest of 50%.

In my experience however, I don't have this skill ranked up at all! Perhaps I didn't do a ton of exploring, but I did 100% at least 10-15 planets I'd say. For getting the traits, I would land my ship somewhere, open my scanner, and look for any "Life Signs", "Natural", or "Gravitational Anomaly" indicators on the HUD. Those are the ones that traits can be found at. If anything was within maybe ~700 meters, I'd make the journey to it. Essentially, I'd run to a location, scan it, fast travel somewhere else on the planet, and repeat. I personally didn't think it was a bad method for trying to find traits fast.

I would also use a skip boost pack to make horizontal movement faster when running to the locations (pro tip: unsure if this is a bug or not, but if you add a secondary key binding to your jump action, when you use the secondary key for your boost pack, you move significantly faster as I learned in this Twitch clip - this makes traversing planets much faster).

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  • I haven't watched the Twitch clip, but as described, that secondary keybinding effect is almost certainly an exploit/bug. Unless there's an unrealized combination of the power sliding ability (unlikely since it is described as a combat ability, so I assume it's only available when you're in combat... can't say for certain since I've never unlocked it) and the boost pack. Nice find, though! Several things in Starfield seem intentionally designed to waste the player's time unnecessarily, so anything to reduce those is great in my book.
    – TylerH
    Oct 23, 2023 at 15:13
  • @TylerH The "boost pack exploit" I described works outside of combat. I never unlocked the skill for sliding either. In a weird way, I almost feel like its a bug that the jump action interferes with the boost pack in such a way to begin with.
    – Timmy Jim
    Oct 23, 2023 at 15:22

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