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Mass Effect Andromeda guide: How to best use the scanner to your advantage

Mass Effect: Andromeda is all about exploration and discover, so it’s no surprise that one of the most important tools you’ll use in your playthrough is a scanner.

The scanner is a core component of your exploration of the Andromeda galaxy. It allows you to dig a little deeper and understand the intricate details that hold together the planets, ecosystems, and galaxy more broadly.

Importantly, it will fill journal will random quests, and your log with important information about aliens, technology, planets, people, and more. It adds depth and context to the galaxy that you would otherwise miss out on should you ignore the prompt to pull out the scanner and use it.

mass effect andromeda scanning

Some quests will require you to use the scanner to complete: for example, one quest has you scanning a lake for dead bodies, which can only be seen through the murky waters using the scanner.

The scanner will detail the cause of death, and help you investigate further to complete the quest.

You can also scan alien tech, and learn more about the dangers of the Kett, and the mysteries of the Remnant.

So why is using the scanner so damn important? It’s because for every one thing you scan that was previously unknown — be it a species or tech — you are granted Research Data (RD).


There are three different types of Research Data:

Milky Way Research Data

  • This data is related to the colonists and their equipment

Heleus Research Data

  • This data is related to the races living throughout Andromeda

Remnant Research Data

  • This data is related to technology left behind by the Remnants

Research Data is a very important currency in Andromeda, because it allows you to research new weapons and armor at the research centre, which can be found on the Tempest and on the Nexus.

So how do you use the scanner? It’s fairly simple. Hit down on your d-pad to bring it up. It will automatically begin scanning. Note that once you bring it up, you won’t be able to jump or engage in combat. When your controller vibrants and an item glows, scan it by pressing A/X to receive the research data.

And that it’s! Remember to scan whenever the prompt comes up in the bottom left-hand corner of the screen. This tells you that there is important data to scan nearby.

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