If a player changes the natural order of a planet, moon, or solar system too drastically, then the player's wanted level will increase using a range of 0 (no wanted level) to 5 (highest wanted level), indicated by the five diamonds in the top right corner of the player's HUD. Actions such as intensive mining, killing creatures or interacting with precious resources can instigate a wanted level.
Each planet has a rating of how active the sentinels are there, ranging from Passive, where sentinels only attack when provoked, to Ferocious, where they attack on sight.
Several interviews with Sean have hinted that the wanted level is similar to that of Grand Theft Auto, and the only comment from Sean was that GTA did not have a patent on it. When a player's wanted level increases, sentinels will sent to check the area, and they may start to attack the character. To decrease their wanted level, a character can either destroy all sentinels currently hunting them or avoid detection for long enough. When successful, a message saying "Sentinel force deactivated" will appear and and the character will lose all wanted levels.
|Wanted Level||Effects||Ways to Remove||Causes|
|1||Sentinel behavior||Avoid/kill all Sentinels||Caused by angering Sentinels|
|2||More Sentinels appear||Avoid/kill all Sentinels||Wanted level 1 sentinel calls for reinforcements|
|3||Two drones and one quadruped sentinel appear.||Avoid/kill all Sentinels||Caused when picking up Gravitino Ball or Albumen Pearl|
|4||A bipedal sentinel will appear.||Avoid Sentinels||Wanted level 3 sentinel calls for reinforcements|
|5||All sentinels disappear until you fly into space, then you get attack by sentinel starships.||Avoid sentinels||Killing the bipedal sentinel in wanted level 4.|