Cosmic Anomalies (not to be confused with Cosmic Signatures) are exploration PvE sites that can be found throughout EVE. They are found using the system scanner, and require no skills to locate (unlike Cosmic Signatures, which require probes and probing skills). There are several types of Cosmic Anomalies:
- Combat Sites contain multiple NPC rats to be killed with a combat ship. They come in a variety of difficulties depending on the security level of the space where they are found.
- Ore sites contain asteroids to be mined for minerals or ice products; the ore often includes types not normally found in systems of that security rating, i.e. anomalies in high sec may contain low sec ore etc.
- Ghost Sites (also known as "Covert Research Facilities") contain 4 data/relic cans to hack, which explode if the explorer fails the hack. Also, an invisible timer (about 2 minutes) starts on the first warp-in to the site, and once it is up, indestructible NPC rats will warp in, cause all cans to explode and shoot at the explorer for a while. Tanked cruisers or larger ships, or "egg-thief" (hacking only one can quickly, then leaving) tactics are recommended. Either analyzer (and its relevant skill) may be used for the hack.
- Contested Covert Research Facilities may be found in high- or low-sec and are very similar to the regular Covert Research Facilities (Ghost Sites). They contain 1 data/relic can that explodes if the hacking/archaeology attempt fails. Just like Ghost Sites, there is also a hidden timer (45-60s) after which the can explodes.
- Besieged Covert Research Facilities, which are found only in low-sec, are more similar to combat sites, containing multiple cruiser- and battleship-class NPC rats to be killed with a combat ship. In addition, they may contain destructible structures with loot.
How to find Cosmic Anomalies
Cosmic Anomalies can be found by using your onboard scanner.
To find these sites, you simply jump into a system, check the onboard scanner and warp to any results. Cosmic Anomalies appear within a 4 AU range around planets. Open your onboard Probe Scanner by pressing ALT+P, and results will update automatically. When you have found an anomaly, warp there or create a bookmark of its position. Once an Anomaly has been completed, it will disappear after some time.
On occasion you may need to 'jiggle the wires' of your onboard scanner by de-selecting and re-selecting the show all check box to encourage them to appear.
Difficulty and classification
Combat site anomalies are ranked by difficulty into 10 levels/classes, and follow a naming scheme of (faction) (anomaly). Generally, the higher the difficulty of the site, the higher the rewards for completing it. Each faction's sites will only appear in regions where their rats are normally found (with the exception of Rogue Drone sites, which can appear anywhere). For example, the Heimatar region has Angel Cartel rats, and therefore only Angel Cartel and Rogue Drone combat sites will be found there. For a list of which pirate factions can be found in which regions, see EVElopedia.
The rank of the anomaly depends on the security status of the system you are searching in. Within high-sec (security status 1.0 to 0.5) the lowest third (in terms of difficulty/value) will be found. Low-sec (security status of 0.4 to 0.1) contains the mid third of them and the highest third will be found within nullsec. The anomaly names are identical for all factions with the exception of Rogue Drone sites, which also differ slightly in which classes of space they are found in.
Some anomaly types may have more difficult variants (featuring elite/commander rats) in addition to the basic version, sub-divided into 3 more categories:
- (Faction) Hidden (anomaly) - easiest, but still harder than the basic version
- (Faction) Forsaken (anomaly) - middle
- (Faction) Forlorn (anomaly) - hardest
- Main article: Ghost Site
Ghost Sites occur in all classes of space, from high-sec to null-sec, and even in wormhole space. They are only divided into 4 difficulty/size categories, with progressively better loot but also more damage and rats (but always having 4 cans to hack). Ghost Sites are named according to a standard scheme of (size) (faction) Covert Research Facility, with (size) depending only on the security class of the system:
- "Lesser" in high sec
- "Standard" in low sec
- "Improved" in null sec
- "Superior" in wormholes
Besieged Covert Research Facilities
Only 1 version is known, the Besieged Guristas Covert Research Facility. They appear only in lowsec. The site has two waves of Mordu's Legion cruiser and battleship rats. They use missiles and will use different damage types to test your resistances to find the weakest one, in addition to tackling you with webs and points. Notable loot, some of it coming from the destructible structures (Guristas Research and Trade Hubs and/or Thukker Labs) which may be found in these sites, includes higher-end implants and ship skin BPCs, as well as some special module BPCs.
Contested Covert Research Facilities
The only known variant is the Contested Guristas Covert Research Facility. It contains 1 hackable can, called a Guristas Transponder Tower. If the hack fails or after about 45-60s from the first warp-in to the site (even if the can has already been emptied), the can explodes for roughly 2000 raw explosive damage. The tower has 1 Guristas Data Sequence (eve-central price) as loot, 75/200/700 of which can be turned in at the Mordu's Legion headquarters in nullsec for BPCs to build the Mordu's Legion ships.
Even an exploration frigate (Magnate, Heron, Imicus or Probe) can be fitted to survive this with 2-3 cheap T1/meta tanking modules swapped into the regular exploration fit: for example, on the Imicus/Heron/Probe using this wiki's basic exploration/scanning fits, one could:
- keep 1 analyzer and the microwarpdrive in the mid slots,
- remove the other analyzer and the cargo scanner/rangefinding array (and optionally the Heron's 5th slot, but this isn't even really necessary, the Heron has/ends up with the largest shield tank anyway)
- add a small shield extender and a explosive deflection field (add a 2nd explosive deflection field on the Heron if you want)
- change 1 lowslot module (usually speed/align modules on exploration ships) for a damage control if the fit doesn't have one yet.
These modules take up only 10-15m³ in your cargo hold and can be fitted in at any nearby station whenever you come across a contested covert research site while exploring, and back out once you've done the site.
With a Magnate using the "exploration basic" fitting, just switching the drone damage amplifier to an armor explosive hardener should be enough, thanks to the 100mm reinforced plates, damage control and energized adaptive nano membrane already included in the fit. After fitting the armor explosive hardener, the EANM isn't necessary anymore to prevent the 2k damage from spilling over into structure hp, so the EANM can be swapped for a small armor repairer if you don't want to pay to repair your armor, but you may run into lack of power grid with low/mediocre fitting skills. In any case, the limited mid slots and low base shield hp of the Magnate make pure shield tanking impossible while keeping both the microwarpdrive and an analyzer, compared to the extra low available for armor tanking.
Note: The author of this section did model all 4 frigates in EFT, using a damage control I + explosive deflection field I + small shield extender I (except for the Magnate, as noted) and with the "without skills" option, and got just over 2k (Imicus) to 2.7k (Heron with 1 EDF) shield ehp vs. explosive damage on all the above ships except the armor-tanked magnate (which had about 2.5k shield+armor ehp vs. explosive, with AEH+100mm plates+DC+EANM). However, TEST YOUR OWN FIT with a fitting tool and/or calculate your EHP vs. explosive damage before you go blow yourself up. Remember to repair any armor/hull damage you may have suffered afterwards (as noted, this should only be necessary with the Magnate).
- Exploration combat sites for new players
- Dev blog introducing Ghost Sites
- Dev blog introducing the Contested and Besieged Covert Research Facilities