Starfield resources and what they're used for

Mining Starfield resources with a laser cutter
(Image credit: Bethesda)

Starfield resources are needed throughout the game, from crafting to weapon mods, base building and more - everything needs the resources you can mine and collect as you explore. While Bethesda has only shown a small glimpse of what there is to get, I've collected all the info there is to explain what resources are in Starfield, how to get them and what to do with them. 

What resources are there in Starfield?

Starfield planet scan showing resources

(Image credit: Bethesda)

One of the main places we've seen resources identified in Starfield is when surveying prospective planets to land on. What's on the planet will be displayed in a summary of the planet's details. We've also seen a few resources in crates, recipes and loot. 

So far, these are the Starfield resources we've seen: 

  • Water
  • Fe (iron)
  • Ar (argon)
  • CL (chlorine)
  • HCn (hydrogen cyanide)
  • R-COC (carbides)
  • N (neon)
  • He3 (helium 3)
  • Al (aluminium)
  • Li (lithium)
  • Cs (caesium)
  • C3Hn (1,3,5-Hexatriynylaminylene)
  • F (fluorine)
  • Pb (lead)
  • SiH3Cl (chlorosilane)
  • Il (illinium)
  • Ta (tantalum)
  • V (vanadium)
  • XF4 (tetrafluorides)

What we don't currently know is exactly how abundant things are in the galaxy. As we'll see below some of these appear to be common crafting and research ingredients, but others will be rarer and probably limiting factors in certain recipes. 

How to get resources in Starfield

Collecting Starfield resources on planet

(Image credit: Bethesda)

There are two main way to get resources in Starfield we've seen so far: 

  1. Mining them from rocks using a laser cutter
  2. Mined from outposts fitted with an extractor

You can also pick resources up in the world, as I've seen them in crates you can search. You can also more than likely buy them, we just haven't seen any vendors apart from ship builders at the moment. However, by far the most useful way to get them seems to be mining. That can be manually; blasting rock nodes with a laser to get them out, or via a Starfield outposts. These can be set up on planets with the resources you want on them and, once kitted out with an extractor and some Starfield crew to run it, will gather material ambiently while you do other things. 

What are Starfield resources used for?

Starfield research station

(Image credit: Bethesda)

We've seen three main uses for Starfield resources so far: 

  1. Starfield crafting and research
  2. Mods for Starfield weapons
  3. Building Starfield outposts

Crafting, research and Weapon mods are all linked as you need to pay resources to research things and then, once unlocked, pay more resources to craft them. 

Here's an example of a Starfield research cost: 

Using Starfield resources for research

(Image credit: Bethesda)

Once you've paid and waited for something to be researched - effectively unlocking it - it's then available to craft as long as you can pay the resource cost to make it. 

Here's an example of the crafting costs of an explosive round mod for a gun: 

Starfield resources

(Image credit: Bethesda)

As you can see, Adhesive is a component here as well. It's not currently clear if that's something you can pick up in the world, made by breaking down other items (the system used by Fallout 4 and Fallout 76), or crafted.

Resources are also vital in outpost building, relying a lot on lead and aluminum, with sealant apparently taking the place of adhesive as a binding medium. 

Starfield outpost building resources

(Image credit: Bethesda)

I've also seen titanium needed for base building but in smaller amounts so I suspect the need for certain resources might well gate your progression or access to higher level modules.

One part of the game that doesn't seem to need resources is Starfield ship building and customization. That seems to be a purely money-based interaction, as you buy parts from the various space ports you visit.

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Leon Hurley
Managing editor for guides

I'm GamesRadar's Managing Editor for guides, which means I run GamesRadar's guides and tips content. I also write reviews, previews and features, largely about horror, action adventure, FPS and open world games. I previously worked on Kotaku, and the Official PlayStation Magazine and website.