The best planets for your first outpost in Starfield

Gamersadmin September 7, 2023

Choosing a location for your first outpost in Starfield can be daunting — 100 systems! 1,000 planets! — but it’s a critical part of the process. If you want to build a helpful and, eventually, profitable base, you’ll need to find the ideal planet to build your outpost on.

In this Starfield guide, we’ll walk you through how to find the best planet to place your first outpost on, and offer a list of the best planets to build your first outpost on.

Choose your outpost planet based on resources

The most important qualifier when selecting a planet in Starfield is the resources it has available on its surface. When you hover over a planet or moon, you’ll see what resources it has that you can mine. (These display with their abbreviations from the periodic table of elements, but you can hover over the icons to get the real names if you can’t remember them from chemistry class.)

You can only see which elements you can gather from nearby planets and moons if you’re in their same solar system, so you’ll need to spend quite a bit of time grav jumping to different systems if you want a good look at the planets. You’ll also only be able to scan a planet — where it shows you the exact location of its resources — when you’re in orbit around it.

Early on, you’re really looking for a combination of two resources: one of the major building resources (iron or aluminum) and helium-3. With that combination, you can keep your base harvesting 100% of the time.

Once you find a combination of resources you like, it’s time to see if the planet is actually habitable or not.

The best planets for outposts don’t have extreme environments

Extreme Conditions elemental scan in Starfield

Some planets have “extreme environments,” which limits what you can do with them — at least early on in the game. These planets or moons are normally particularly close or far from their star, leading to extreme heat or extreme cold.

Mercury in the Sol system is a great example of this in Starfield. Mercury has both aluminum and helium-3 on it, which would allow you to build a self-sustaining Aluminum farm very simply. However, it’s very, very close to the Sun, which unfortunately marks it with an extreme condition — it’s very, very hot.

You cannot build outposts on planets or moons with extreme conditions until you unlock the Planetary Habitation skill in the Science tree (and level it up, depending on the type of hazard you want to circumvent). This is a shame, as elements like tungsten — crucial for building more complex machines — are often found on planets that have hazards.

The best planets to build your first outpost in Starfield

If you’re looking for a specific resource, your best bet is to travel to random systems, clicking on each planet or moon to see what resources they can offer you. However, if you’re looking for the best planets to build your first outpost on, we’ve already done the legwork for you.

Callisto or Io

A system showing Callisto and Io in Starfield

Callisto and Io are both moons of Jupiter in the Sol system.

We’re looping these moons together because it’s really a “dealer’s choice” situation here. You can’t go wrong with either of them. Both have excellent helium-3 and iron deposits, making them perfect for a first outpost. If you’re new to base-building, these are the simplest moons to get started on, as you’ll almost certainly find an area where you can easily grab both resources in one outpost.


A system in Starfield showing Pontus

Pontus is a small moon orbiting Erebus in the Olympus system.

It has a relatively low number of resources to offer, but it’s got the two that count: helium-3 and aluminum. It also has beryllium, which is great, as it’s a rare resource. Because there are so few resources here, it’s easy to find a location that includes helium-3, aluminum, and beryllium. This helps elevate Pontus as one of the best starting locations to cut your teeth in Starfield, as you can get everything you need without overwhelming yourself.

Maheo II

A system screenshot showing Maheo II in Starfield

Maheo II is absolutely packed with resources. You can find it in the Maheo system. It’s got:

  • Water
  • Helium-3
  • Copper
  • Iron
  • Lead
  • Alkanes (rare)
  • Tetrafluorides (very rare)
  • Ytterbium (legendary)

So why don’t we just suggest you land here and call it a day? If this is your first outpost, it can be a little overwhelming to land on a planet like Maheo II. Not to mention that it can be tough to find a location where your desired resources overlap how you want them to.

Still, of the planets/moons we’ve list here, this one is one of the most beautiful, making a great candidate for your first real home base.


A system screenshot showing Zamka in Starfield

Zamka is another beautiful, resource-packed moon. You can find it orbiting Olivus in the Alpha Centauri system. It has:

  • Water
  • Helium-3
  • Copper
  • Nickel
  • Iron
  • Uranium
  • Cobalt (rare)
  • Vanadium (very rare)

Like Maheo II, the sheer number of resources on Zamka makes it both very appealing and a little overwhelming. There are tons of resources to mine here, but that also means finding the perfect sweet spot that has all the stuff you need can be tough. Where we’ve landed on Zamka has also been quite foggy, which may or may not bother you.


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