Atomic Heart: How To Use The Scanner

The Scanner is one of the core exploration mechanics in Atomic Heart; we'll explain how to use the scanner in this guide.

Atomic Heart is a unique first-person shooter game, set in an alternate universe Soviet Union in 1955; knowing how to use the scanner in Atomic Heart will prove to be useful because there are many mysteries to uncover in this alternate history of Soviet Russia.


  • In this alternate history Soviet Union, Agent P-3 has a Special glove that talks to the protagnoist and not only that, also works as a scanner to reveal loot and other objects. 
  • Enemy weaknesses can be found out through the scanner, giving players an edge in battle. 
  • Different colored flares mean different objects of interest.

You’d think that an important and crucial game mechanic like the Scanner would have a better explanation for it, but that’s not the case. The game fails to teach this feature through its UI and tutorials and that has a lot of players stumped as to how it works and what the different object glows mean. With this guide, we’ll do the game’s job and have you well on your way to get scanning.

How To Use The Scanner In Atomic Heart

L shaped scanner || Image Captured By Us/VeryAliGaming

The Scanner is operated by the ever-helpful AI glove of Agent P-3. It responds to a certain hand motion that may be maintained to amplify the impact. To use the scanner in Atomic Heart, just double-tap R1/RB (depending on the platform you play on) then keep holding R1 / RB after the second press. PC players can just press and hold the button they key mapped the scanner button to. Doing so will make agent P-3 hold up his fingers in an L-shape and voila! The Scanner is working.

You may locate objects and chests in the environment as well as locate and scan potential enemies by using the scanner. Thankfully, scanning foes reveal their vulnerabilities as well as what they are immune to, allowing you to prepare ahead of time.

The scanner also indicates objects that maybe of interest to the player by highlighting different objects with specific colors, here’s what each of those colors means:

Different colors can mean different objects of interest for Agent P-3 || Image Captured By Us/VeryAliGaming
  • Green: A computer, terminal, or polymerized corpse. Players can usually learn something about the surrounding area from these objects.
  • Blue: Loot. This might be a container or any slain enemies that haven’t been looted. Use this often to make sure no loot is left behind.
  • Orange: Hostile. The scanner illuminates enemies as well as targets that spawn enemies. If the target is close enough, additional information appears.
  • White: This might be any non-hostile target or interesting object such as a lock, passive robot, NORA, Relay, power line, etc.
  • Red & Blue Lines: The Scanner indicates everything a terminal is connected to with brightly-colored lines.
  • Purple: Items or objectives that are directly related to the story. These are some of the things that you will need to interact with in order to progress the story further and unlock the next section of the game. They also act as markers as to what you should be doing next in the game.

Enemy Scans

Enemies glow a bright orange || Image Captured By Us/VeryAliGaming

More information will show up if Agent P-3 is sufficiently close to the target he is scanning. The Scanner will display the target’s name, a rundown of the loot the enemy has, any weapons it may be carrying, and, most crucially, its strengths and weaknesses.

Certain enemies are resistant to melee weapons, while others are to firearms. Most also possess elemental characteristics. Use cartridges that provide the right kind of damage to exploit an elemental weakness.

The scanner is a very valuable tool in your arsenal and the best part is, it doesn’t cost any energy. So use it to take full advantage of this beautiful albeit depressing world and gain an advantage over the robot uprising.

That’s it for this how to use the scanner in Atomic Heart guide. Atomic Heart is out now on PS4/PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, and the PC.  

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