What is Quantum Essence in Starfield?

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Puzzled by Starfield Quantum Essense and what it does? As you visit temples courtesy of navigational data provided by Vladimir, you’ll take on a Starborn Guardian each time you acquire a new power. Defeating them gives you Quantum Essence, but the game doesn’t go into much detail about this consumable item nor how to use it.

For more help on picking up new powers, check out our how to get powers in Starfied guide that contains a near-complete Starfield powers list. We also have a Starfield quest list, and, if you haven’t already, take a peek at our impressions of Bethesda’s massive space RPG in our Starfield review.

As Starborn, Quantum Essence, and artifacts feature heavily in the main story quest, be warned that the following contains some spoilers, so tread carefully.

Starfield Quantum Essence: Starborn Guardian in scope at Temple Kappa.

Starfield Quantum Essence explained

Starfield Quantum Essence is a consumable item acquired from killing Starborn that boosts the rate at which your Starborn power regenerates for 60 seconds. Every time you use one your Starborn abilities, you use up Starborn power, illustrated by the blue bar in the bottom right of the HUB underneath the health bar draining.

In practice, consuming Quantum Essence allows you to unleash and chain unique abilities within a shorter time frame because it regenerates Starborn power much faster, a great resource to have if you’re exploring an underground base teeming with spacers or taking on a Starborn enemy or several at the same time. It’s similar to other aid items that buff your combat abilities, increase your resistance to hazards, cut down on O2 consumption, or reduce certain types of damage. 

How to get Starfield Quantum Essence

Quantum Essence is awarded every time you kill a Starborn, either on a planet or out in space. You’ll find them at the temples pinpointed by Vladimir where you pick up new powers. Defeat the Starborn after acquiring the power to get a Quantum Essence. You’ll also come across them as you go through the main story missions, notably when hoovering up the later artifact pieces for the Armillary. Lastly, Starborn will spawn at random when you’re out in space as they hunt you and the artifacts down.

Starfield Quantum Essence: powers menu in Data Menu.

How to use Starfield Quantum Essence

To use Starfield Quantum Essence, open up the Data Menu (tab on PC), and choose the Powers menu at the top of the dial. In the bottom left, you’ll see how many Quantum Essence you have and a prompt to consume (R on PC).

This special resource is in short supply, so we recommend managing your Quantum Essence usage sparingly whenever you want to increase your Starborn power regeneration speed. If you ever run out, set up your Armillary on your ship, grav jump a few times, and you should stumble into some Starborn to fight and get more.

For more guides, check out our Starfield High Price to Pay guide and how to persuade mayo Elias in the Starfield Rough Landings side quest.

About the Author

Tom Bardwell

Tom is guides editor here at VideoGamer.


  • Release Date: 06 September 2023
    • - 06 September 2023 (PC, Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S)
  • Platform(s): PC, Xbox Series S, Xbox Series S/X, Xbox Series X
  • Genre(s): Adventure, RPG, Science Fiction, Space