Starfield Exploring Barren Planets
Image via Bethesda Game Studios

Should You Explore Barren Planets in Starfield?

Build an empire amongst the barren.

The crowd went wild when Todd Howard revealed that there are over 1,000 planets in Starfield. With every inch of every planet explorable, the idea of that scale promises countless hundreds or thousands of hours worth of exploration. But not every world will feature life—only approximately 10% do. So, what about the rest? There are plenty of good reasons to explore barren planets in Starfield.

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Is It Worth Exploring the Barren Planets in Starfield?

While most of us will likely be attracted to the main cities where the people are, like Neon City or New Atlantis, many will want to explore the vast universe. But the planets boasting varied life proves relatively minor compared to the barren planets.

Related: How to Get to the Wolf System in Starfield

So why should you fly your ship in Starfield to a barren planet?

Barren Planets Are Resource Heavy in Starfield

Starfield features numerous game mechanics that heavily rely on resources gathered within the unique environments on each planet to function. These systems include crafting, research, outpost construction, shipbuilding, etc. You need resources—and a lot of them at that.

The current list of resources in Starfield includes:

  • Water
  • Iron
  • Argon
  • Chlorine
  • Hydrogen Cyanide
  • Carbides
  • Neon
  • Helium 3
  • Aluminum
  • Lithium
  • Cesium
  • 1,3, 5-Hexatriynylaminylene
  • Fluorine
  • Lead
  • Chlorosilane
  • Illinium
  • Tantalum
  • Vanadium
  • Tetrafluorides

You may find pockets of resources out in the wild on a planet filled with life. But in a barren world, you’re far more likely to find resource-rich deposits of necessary minerals to craft and construct across the galaxy.

Constructing Outposts in Starfield

Screenshot of an Outpost in Starfield.
Screenshot by Prima Games

For fans of Fallout 4’s settlement building system, Starfield returns with an extensive outpost construction mechanic that acts as both a base and resource-gathering center for players. But the thing about constructing outposts in Starfield is that they’re pretty expensive. It can take approximately 20 or so hours to build your first outpost. For example:

  • Outpost Airlock – 1 Aluminum, 1 Lead, 1 Sealant
  • Military Hab – 3 Titanium, 2 Lead, 1 Sealant
  • Hab Round – 4 Aluminum, 3 Lead, 2 Sealant
  • Hydroponic Hab Round – 4 Aluminum, 3 Lead, 2 Sealant

On a lonely, barren planet, you can build your outpost and staff it with various characters and companions who will mine resources via extractors. These resources then go toward research projects and crafting queues.

Related: All Starfield Edition Differences Listed

Exploration-Fueled Gameplay

If you’re the type of player who genuinely enjoys exploring every crack and crevice in a game world, then very few other releases this year, besides perhaps Baldur’s Gate 3, will feature the same level of exploration.

The procedural generation system in Starfield means that every planet is unique. The points of interest you find are all unique.

Even when landing on a moon, which Buzz Aldrin described as “the magnificent desolation,” a beauty and sense of wonder may feel unparalleled to most.

To reach new planets in Starfield, you’ll need a Ship. And what better than a free one?

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Brandon Morgan
Brandon began writing in 2012, for websites such as OnlySP, before transitioning to digital marketing in 2016 to learn the ins and outs of SEO. In mid-2023, Brandon returned to write strategy guides for Prima Games, IGN, DualShockers, and more, with a focus on ARPGs, RPGs, and Survival games. His past coverage includes Cyberpunk 2077: Phantom Liberty, Starfield, Skull and Bones, and many more!