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How to Use the Codex Scanner in Warframe (PC, PS4, Xbox)

How to Use the Codex Scanner in Warframe (PC, PS4, Xbox)

Warframe has an insane amount of lore and intel on almost all aspects of the game which you can view in the Codex. Most of this info is locked and requires you to actively gather it. To find this information and fill in the Codex, you will have to use the Codex Scanner to scan each item or enemy in the world. How you go about using this Codex Scanner will be discussed in detail below.

While playing, you can select the Codex Scanner in your Gear selection menu then equip it and press the Aim button to activate a scanner HUD. Aiming at a highlighted scannable object and pressing the Fire button will scan the target and unlock an entry in the Codex.

Codex Scanner In Warframe

codex scanner

The Codex Scanner is a consumable device that is used to scan objects and enemies to fill their missing information in the Codex. The scanning reveals all manner of information regarding the object like enemy drops and lore. Scanning and collecting intel is also part of some missions and it helps in fleshing out the lore of Warframe.


The device allows the player to spot enemies, destructible objects, and important items through walls and obstructions. It can also be used as a range-finding device that can measure the distance from the scanner to the targeted terrain or object up to 50 meters. This is also the maximum range where players can see highlighted objects with a periodic pinging noise.

Codex Scanner in Market

You can buy the Codex Scanner from the Market in the Gear section. It costs 500 Credits to buy 25 charges. It is a consumable item so each time you use it, the charges are consumed. It is best that you carry more so that you may not run out while on mission.

Using The Codex Scanner


After buying the Codex Scanner you will have to access it easily by going to your Loadout menu and equipping the Codex Scanner to your Consumables wheel.

Gear selection menu

Once equipped, you can begin any mission or visit any location and while there you can activate a Codex Scanner by opening the Gear/Consumable selection wheel menu (default Down/South D-Pad button on a PS4 or Xbox controller), scroll around the Gear wheel to highlight the Codex Scanner and select it.

Scanner Mode

Once selected, you will enter a “Scanner Mode” for your controls. Holding down the Aim button will activate a scanner HUD to view objects. Pointing the reticule on a highlighted scannable object while in Scanner mode and then holding down the Fire button will scan that object.

Any object or enemy that you scan will unlock a portion of their respective entry in the Codex. Multiple scans (the number of scans depends on the target) of the same enemy or object type need to be done to fully unlock their entry and all their information. Scanning also rewards XP and if you Stealth Scan an unalerted enemy then it will count as 2 scans and reward more XP.

Selecting and activating the scanner will not use a charge. A charge is only consumed when a scan is completed by holding down the Fire button for the full duration of the scan. To exit “Scanner Mode” simply hit the button on your controller or keyboard to equip a Primary or Secondary weapon.


Some tips for the Codex Scanner:

  • While the scanner is active in-game, both primary and secondary weapons will be holstered. Melee still works normally as quick attacks.
  • You can only carry 100 charges at a time in a mission. If you own more than 100 charges, the appropriate amount will be equipped from reserves to equal 100 after the completion of a mission.
  • If you try to scan the same enemy, object, or Sentinel a second time during a mission it will not scan. Instead, it will say “Target Already Scanned”.
  • Attempting to scan a fellow Warframe will also display a “Target Already Scanned” message meaning you cannot scan them.
  • Enemies and objects whose requisite number of Codex scans have been completed will be highlighted with a green tint, along with a “Codex Entry Complete” message, preventing the object from being scanned.
  • Note that objects that had already been scanned do not activate the blipping noise.
  • Codex Scanners can see through walls and other obstacles, allowing for the detection of scannable objects behind them. This can be used to detect secret passageways or hidden rooms that have containers within them. This function can also be used to detect and observe enemies from behind cover, or even destroy them if you are using a weapon with a high enough Punch Through. This is especially useful for taking out Security Cameras in Spy missions.
  • Scanning Sunlight Threshcone, Sunlight Dragonlily, Sunlight Jadeleaf, Moonlight Threshcone, Moonlight Dragonlily, or Moonlight Jadeleaf will yield +1 of the corresponding extracts which are needed in crafting antitoxins.

Using The Codex Scanner On Mars

Cephalon Fragments

There are no specific missions that will guarantee you to get Cephalon fragments. You will have to choose any mission on Mars and hope that the RNG is in your favor. Each mission will have a chance of spawning at least one Cephalon fragment. Once you find them you can simply use your Codex Scanner to scan them.

As you have to actively look for these fragments and they are never a mission reward, the ideal missions when looking for Cephalon fragments are those that will allow you to roam around like Spy, Exterminate, or Capture, for example. Defense, Excavation, and Mobile Defense.

Codex Scanner Vs Synthesis Scanner

Synthesis Scanner

The Synthesis Scanner, which is an alternative to the Codex Scanner, is acquired from Cephalon Simaris and is necessary to conduct Synthesis for his Sanctuary. This device functions very much like the Codex Scanner and can even be upgraded to make it even more effective.

There are 4 upgrades called Widgets for the Synthesis Scanner that once bought make the Codex Scanner obsolete:

  • Data-Parse Widget – Synthesis Scanner will now show target enemy weaknesses and resistances.
  • Vector-Thread Widget – Reduces the time required to scan a target with the Synthesis Scanner (+45% scan rate).
  • Cross-Matrix Widget – Chance for each scan with the Synthesis Scanner to count as two scans (45% chance).
  • Sol-Battery Widget – Recharges Synthesis Scanner charges (Scans no longer consume charges).

All of these Widgets are a great addition to your scanning needs but the Sol-Battery Widget is the best as it takes away the constant need to buy charges for scanning like you have to for Codex Scanner. This upgrade alone is enough to replace the Codex Scanner and use the Synthesis Scanner as your primary scanner.

The Codex Scanner is a useful tool to not only provide the lore of the land but also give information that helps in dealing with enemies and collecting the various items in Warframe. Once you have enough credits, you should invest in the Synthesis Scanner and its widgets to get the most out of scanning.