You can mine ore twice as fast in Starfield just by holding one button, and yes I just realized this 40 hours in

Starfield laser cutter
(Image credit: Bethesda)

I'm 40 hours into my Starfield playthrough and only now realizing there's an easy way to mine ore faster. No, I'm not talking about letting Outposts do the mining for you, I'm talking about good ol' fashioned laser cutting. Did you know the laser cutter has a secondary fire? I didn't know that, but I sure wish I did a week ago!

This tip came to me by way of a TikTok by gamesclips247. Yes, the laser cutter has a secondary fire. You can barely tell it's happening, but if you hold both left click and right click with a laser cutter (both triggers on a controller), the cutter goes into overdrive after a second, turning the laser beam from red to orange.

Starfield - Laser Cutter Comparison"

An orange beam will break ore much faster than the standard red, and the only catch is that it uses more energy, so you can't continuously fire for as long. And that isn't really a catch, if you think about it: you're typically only mining ore in chunks of two or three before walking to a new cluster, which is more than enough time for the cutter to recharge to full. This is just a better way to mine that I should've been doing the whole time.

I wouldn't bet my life on it, but I don't believe Starfield bothered to tutorialize this useful feature. There's a chance it did 40 hours ago and I was too distracted by Vasco's dreamy eye, though this wouldn't be the first fundamental mechanic that Bethesda underexplained. In case you're like me and still chipping away at Uranium with only one button held, here ya go.


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Morgan Park
Staff Writer

Morgan has been writing for PC Gamer since 2018, first as a freelancer and currently as a staff writer. He has also appeared on Polygon, Kotaku, Fanbyte, and PCGamesN. Before freelancing, he spent most of high school and all of college writing at small gaming sites that didn't pay him. He's very happy to have a real job now. Morgan is a beat writer following the latest and greatest shooters and the communities that play them. He also writes general news, reviews, features, the occasional guide, and bad jokes in Slack. Twist his arm, and he'll even write about a boring strategy game. Please don't, though.