How to use the scanner in Atomic Heart

Analyze your surroundings.


Screenshot by Gamepur

Scanning is a fundamental part of Atomic Heart. This mechanic allows you to see resources and enemies around you and analyze any threats for weaknesses. However, it’s unclear how you use the scanner because the in-game instructions are wrong. This guide explains how to use the scanner, so you don’t get stuck in the prologue.

How to use the scanner – correct controls

Screenshot by Gamepur

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To use the scanner in Atomic Heart, double-tap R1 or RB, depending on which platform you’re playing. This will change the screen to blue, showing enemies or living creatures in red, resources and lootable containers in blue, and important interactable objects in white. There are a few instances of purple objects, which are essential quest items you’ll need to use to progress the story.

The scanner lets you see detailed information about most NPCs in the game. For enemies and friendly robots, it’ll bring up a list under a name heading with weaknesses, resistances, and some light lore. You can view detailed lore on everything you’ve scanned in the game’s menu. Just make sure you scan a robot or creature before you try to learn more about it, or the information won’t be available to you.

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Is Atomic Heart’s scanner instruction wrong?

Screenshot by Gamepur

Yes. During Atomic Heart’s introduction, you’ll pick up the scanner module and receive in-game instructions to use it. This instruction contains the wrong buttons, meaning you can easily get stuck here. The in-game text asks you to press both shoulder buttons on your controller simultaneously. However, as outlined above, the correct way to use the scanner is by double-tapping the right shoulder button. While we played for our Atomic Heart review, we got stuck in this section of the game for about 20 minutes. If you don’t use the scanner, you can’t progress.

Atomic Heart is a first-person shooter with a strong narrative that allows you to explore an alternate history where the Soviet Union won World War II. This nation has discovered a new technology that’s pushed them to become the most advanced society on the planet, leading to innovations in robotic technology and all science. When you land in the story, the robots aren’t playing ball, and it’s up to you to fight your way through them to find out why.