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Starfield: What Are Heat Leeches and Where Can You Find Them?

What is a heat leech and why should you stomp on it immediately?
Starfield Heat Leeches Environment
Screenshot by Gamer Journalist

During your adventures across the Settled Systems, you’ll stumble across all manner of captivating fauna and flora. Some of these alien creatures prove tame, willing to wander straight up to the player and give you a sniff. But others, unfortunately, aren’t. One such beast is the heat leech which, without spoiling too much of the story, becomes part of a faction quest in a big way. So, what are heat leeches, and where can you find them in Starfield?

What is a Heat Leech?

A heat leech in Starfield is a small leech-like alien that bears its fangs and launches itself at you upon discovery. It has no legs and, as such, slithers across the ground with amazing speed.

As the name would suggest, heat leeches are attracted to heat and, due to some inane instinct, to humankind as a whole. As such, they’ll often find their way onto starships and then hold up inside an engine room, generator, or cargo hold. They want humidity and warmth but will feed on the power of the engines themselves. This eventually takes a toll on the system, leaving ships inoperable and damaged.

Without spoiling what is a relatively big and shocking story beat, heat leeches are only the first stage of another alien lifeform that we’ll stumble upon during the game. They’re next evolution is a bit more difficult to face and definitely hostile to everyone in the entire galaxy.

Related: Starfield: Best Build for Space Combat

Heat Leeches: The Making of a Monster

As you progress through the UC Vanguard questline, certain background lore will come to light. Namely, about the heat leeches and their devastating, lasting mark on humanity. Be wary, as there are spoilers ahead!

As it turns out, heat leeches are the adolescent form of Terrormorphs. The longer a heat leech remains alive and active, sucking up energy from human resources, the more likely it is to evolve into a Terrormorph. By then, it’s too late. The moment a Terrormorph gets loose in a human colony, it will eradicate every living being.

As the toughest enemy in the galaxy, you’ll find you have your work cut out for you when dealing with a Terrormorph. It takes a lot of ammunition and plenty of explosives to take one down, so do your very best to kite them and shoot from a distance.

Where to Find Heat Leeches?

You will typically find heat leeches aboard starships, in research facilities, and in settlements. They prefer dark, dank areas with plenty of warmth to cultivate and will attack if discovered. That said, I’ve also discovered them in caves where mining equipment is found.

Basically, anywhere humanity shows its presence, you’ll likely find heat leeches not far behind. Even more likely is that, as previously mentioned, heat leeches feed off energy sources. Most of humankind uses such power to operate machinery and starships, which is why they often attach to ships from the outside and slink in.

There’s a mystery to solve there, and all it takes is enlisting in the UC Vanguard to find out more!

For more Starfield guides, be sure to follow Gamer Journalist. We cover all types of topics on the game, including How to Use Mods in Starfield!

About the author

Brandon Morgan

Brandon is a freelance writer with Gamer Journalist. After jumpstarting a professional writing career in 2012, Brandon went on to cover video games for Prima Games, OnlySP, MP1st, The Nerd Stash, and countless other online publications. For a short period, he worked in digital marketing, learning search engine optimization that helps improve his video game guides today.

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