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Starfield: How to Use the Flashlight

Wondering how to use the flashlight in Starfield? Here's how.

There are countless places to explore in Starfield, and many of them are dark, with shadows hiding their mysteries and rewards. Indeed, Bethesda’s galaxy also has a day/night cycle like our own, shrouding worlds in pitch at regular intervals. To see more clearly, you may be wondering how to use the Flashlight in Starfield.

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How to Use the Flashlight in Starfield

To use the Flashlight in Starfield, use the following inputs:

  • Press and hold “F” on keyboard.
  • Press and hold the left bumper (LB) on controller.
  • To turn it off, press and hold the same buttons.

When you do, your torch will illuminate an area in front of you, shedding light on dark environments. As you can see from the photos above, it provides a fairly decent amount of light and certainly comes in handy when exploring caves or other dimly lit areas, even in cities like New Atlantis.

Keep in mind that the input for using the Flashlight on PC and Xbox is also tied to the same input that activates the scanner. It’s easy to use one when you’ve meant to use the other. It’s also worth noting that the Flashlight can be used in conjunction with the scanner to illuminate objects while logging things like flora and fauna.

The Starfield Flashlight doesn’t have a battery, so you don’t have to worry about it going out at inconvenient times. Likewise, there aren’t any batteries to collect, craft, or take up points of your precious carry weight

Starfield Flashlight Not Working Bug

Some players have taken to Reddit and the game’s Steam forums saying that they’ve run into a Starfield Flashlight not working bug. Though I haven’t run into it myself over 20 hours, some research shows this could be an issue with a controller, though that’s unconfirmed.

Some players have said there have been issues with PS4 controllers, specifically. Switching to a PS5 controller or Xbox gamepad has fixed the issue. There are some other small tidbits to acknowledge:

  • Which helmet you’re wearing shouldn’t matter. Some have said the starting helmet matters, but I’m wearing a different one, and the Flashlight still works.
  • Make sure you’re pressing and holding the binding for the Flashlight.
  • Update your drivers. Some players have fixed the issue (and/or made the Flashlight look better) by updating their drivers.
  • Some have said that clearing their shader cache has worked.

If this truly is a bug that some players are encountering, Bethesda should release a patch in the future to fix it. Additionally, for those finding the Flashlight too bright, it’s possible that will be tweaked, too, or a mod will be released to change its intensity. Changing brightness settings right now just isn’t a good option.

That’s how to use the Flashlight in Starfield. It’s fairly straightforward, though made needlessly awkward because it’s tied to the same input as the scanner by default. But with this knowledge, you’ve gained an essential understanding of one of the game’s more useful tools — and you’re ready to explore even the darkest of areas in the galaxy. For more tips, tricks, and walkthroughs for the game, head over to our guides hub.

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Jonathan Moore
Jonathan Moore is the Editor-in-Chief of GameSkinny and has been writing about games since 2010. With over 1,200 published articles, he's written about almost every genre, from city builders and ARPGs to third-person shooters and sports titles. While patiently awaiting anything Dino Crisis, he consumes all things Star Wars. He has a BFA in Creative Writing and an MFA in Creative Writing focused on games writing and narrative design. He's previously been a newspaper copy editor, ad writer, and book editor. In his spare time, he enjoys playing music, watching football, and walking his three dogs. He lives on Earth and believes in aliens, thanks to Fox Mulder.