Mass Effect Andromeda: How to Scan Planets and Perform Personal Scans

Scan through our guide to learn how to find riches and secrets by scanning planets in Mass Effect: Andromeda.


Scanning planets is a long-standing tradition of the Mass Effect series, and Mass Effect: Andromeda continues the trend. Although scanning returns, it works differently for Scott and Sara Ryder than it did for Commander Shepherd and her (or his) crew. In fact, it's even easier. This guide will teach you the fundamentals of scanning planets, as well as performing personal scans.

How to Scan Planets in Mass Effect: Andromeda

Scanning planets was a chore in previous Mass Effect titles. You had to work your way through section by section to turn up minerals and other goodies, like combing a beach with a metal detector. Fortunately, Andromeda streamlined scanning.

Suvi—one of your companions and a potential love interest for Fem Ryder—will speak up when she detects something worth scanning on a planet. Simply activate the scanner by pressing LT on Xbox One and PC, or L2 on PS4. A red ring appears like an "X" on a treasure map, acting as a beacon to wear an item can be found. If no ring appears, just move on; there's nothing on the planet worth finding, at least in terms of loot.

You should be able to pick out items as you scan; most of them stick out. Your scanner in conjunction with your own eyeballs will guide you to your findings, which usually end up being experience points or crafting materials. Once you zero in on your target, press LT or LT again to dispatch a probe that harvests the goodies for you.

How to Use Personal Scans in Mass Effect: Andromeda

Personal scans are just as efficient as planetary scans. When you approach something interesting, your controller will vibrate and a notification will appear in the lower-left corner of your screen. Personal scanning is done by pressing A on Xbox One and PC, or X if you're playing on PS4.

Always take advantage of opportunities to do personal scans. You'll earn research credits that go toward crafting and other upgrades or, if you're on a mission, will progress further along the line of objectives you're supposed to complete.

Bushed after a busy day scanning rocks? Romance a character during your downtime aboard the Tempest, or check out our collection of other Mass Effect: Andromeda guides for other tips and tactics. 

Long Reads Editor

David L. Craddock writes fiction, nonfiction, and grocery lists. He is the author of the Stay Awhile and Listen series, and the Gairden Chronicles series of fantasy novels for young adults. Outside of writing, he enjoys playing Mario, Zelda, and Dark Souls games, and will be happy to discuss at length the myriad reasons why Dark Souls 2 is the best in the series. Follow him online at and @davidlcraddock.

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