You will traverse multiple planets in Mass Effect Andromeda and each one of them will pose a threat to your character. This is connected with the Hazard level of the planet. Hazard causes some of the terrains to be extremely difficult to go through, while making some impossible to access. It manifests itself differently for every planet, namely:
- Eos - here you will find simple radiation. Additionally, sometimes you will stumble upon electrical discharges.
- Voeld - cold.
- Kadara - toxic water.
- Elaaden - heat.
- H-047C - radiation that prevents the party from leaving the NOMAD.
Aside from planet H-047C, where the radiation level prevents the player's party from even leaving the NOMAD, travelling through the surface of the rest of the planets will simply deplete the life support of your character - the status of the life support can be checked in the lower right corner of the screen, but it appears only when you enter a hazardous environment. Once the life support depletes entirely, you will lose all your shields and will start losing health. If you fail to find a place where you can replenish life support, your character will eventually die. Some places, like shaded areas on Elaaden, and areas around Forward Stations will protect you from hazards - your character will regenerate life support one near them.
Hazards have a different impact on the life support system. Level 1 Hazard will slowly deplete it, but as the levels increase so does the speed at which the life support depletes - level 3 will need several seconds to eat through it, whereas level 4 depletes it instantaneously upon any contact (which happens, for instance, on planet Kadara when you enter some of the toxic water reservoirs).
Level of hazards can be decreased by increasing the viability of the planet. Each point of planet viability will have a positive impact on it. However, finding, clearing and activating a Remnant Vault has the highest influence. Once activated, the conditions on the planet will change drastically - water on planet Kadara won't kill you once you step into it and the previously inaccessible terrains on other planets will now be practically harmless to your character.