The cloak trick is a maneuver that takes advantage of the secondary effects of cloaking devices to reach 75% of maximum velocity (and thus enter warp) more quickly than would normally be possible. This maneuver is primarily used to avoid being targeted after jumping through a gate by aligning whilst cloaked.
What is it?
This is a technique that enables pilots to align while cloaked after jumping through a gate. When done properly, this allows the pilot to almost instantly warp the second they break cloak. General information on cloaking can be found at the Cloaking page.
You will need:
- one Improved Cloaking Device II
- one Microwarpdrive of the correct size for your ship. That is: 5MN for frigates and destroyers, 50MN for cruisers, battlecruisers and haulers, and 500MN for battleships
- the shortcuts for these should be placed somewhere easily accessible, as you will need to hit them pretty quickly
You should not use:
- a Prototype Cloaking Device - although it can help to make some of your align time cloaked, you can't reach the required speed to warp instantly after, so you will spend a few seconds uncloaked
- a smaller-sized microwarpdrive - doesn't give enough velocity bonus
- an afterburner - doesn't give enough velocity bonus. Unless it's oversized which will not work due to the increase in mass that will reduce acceleration too much.
- an Orca - too heavy for the 500MN to provide enough velocity (however, see below)
The other high volume haulers ( Bestower, Tayra, Kryos, Epithal, Miasmos, Iteron Mark V and Mammoth) don't have the raw powergrid available to fit a 50MN MWD, and without extensive fitting for extra powergrid and higher skills, pilots may not be able to fit them at all. As such, don't count on being able to do the cloak trick with these ships without sacrificing cargo capacity (low slots will need powergrid modules, and even rig slots may be needed for enough powergrid) and lower engineering skills.
How does it work?
Do these things in this order after jumping through a stargate or wormhole. Although you can do MWD then cloak (or do both at once), it is not recommended as having your MWD active before your cloak is a bad idea due to the signature radius bloom and the likelihood of spending more time uncloaked.
- Hit align to your point of interest.
- Immediately after hit the cloak.
- Immediately after you hit cloak hit your MWD (this does work, you can activate non-offensive modules for 5 seconds after you activate a cloaking device).
- When your MWD cycle is about 90-95% complete, deactivate your cloak and spam warp to your point of interest.
- The MWD will deactivate automatically, and when it does you will instantly enter warp.
While you are cloaked the cloak will apply 75% speed penalty but at the same time the MWD boosts your speed by 500%. As a result your ship is able to reach at minimum 75% of its unmodified top speed in the ten seconds of single MWD cycle while cloaked. And since you hit align before the cloak you will be aligned and at warp speed when the cloak drops. So when you deactivate the cloak (right before the MWD cycle is complete) the ship is able to enter warp immediately. This equals near insta-warp. With practice, you can be uncloaked for literally less than a second total on a gate. Practice in high-sec and you will find this is actually pretty easy and effective.
Warping with larger ships
Part of the requirement to make the microwarpdrive + cloak trick work is to have a size-appropriate microwarpdrive, 5MN for a frigate, 50MN for a cruiser, 500MN for a battleship etc. The Orca is technically a capital-class sized ship, but can only fit 500MN microwarpdrives due to fitting restraints. As such they cannot normally use the microwarpdrive + cloak trick. It does however appear that the Orca can use the MWD trick utilizing Overheating on a Microwarpdrive in order to successfully perform the cloak trick, though this should not be taken as a guarantee of success in all cases
For normal capital ships (carriers, dreadnoughts, force auxiliaries, supercarriers, titans and the Rorqual) there are capital sized 50,000MN microwarpdrives, that can allow them to do the same microwarpdrive + cloak trick, although they have a cycle-time of 20 seconds (instead of the usual 10 seconds) and might require additional agility modules to ensure they get the speed up in time.
Some of the smaller capital ships, like carriers and dreadnoughts, can also use the undersized 500MN microwarpdrives to align in ~15 seconds by pulsing the microwarpdrive once then warp shortly after. While they are normally not agile enough to warp in 10 seconds flat, it's usually much faster than aligning normally or through the use of an appropriately sized 50,000MN microwarpdrive due to its cycle time of 20 seconds.
Freighters are unable to utilize the cloak trick due to not having any fitting slots, and thus cannot equip a cloak or MWD regardless.