Security tags, or clone soldier tags, are items which drop from Clone Soldier NPC rats in low sec, and can be used to increase a player's security status if it is below zero, or sold to NPC buy orders. They are quite valuable, ranging in price from 1.5 to 20 million isk on the market.
Clone soldiers are cruiser size NPCs which spawn in low security asteroid belts, following the regular faction distributions. That means you'll find Angel Clone Soldiers in Angel Cartel space, Sansha Clone Soldiers in areas held by Sansha's Nation etc, and they share the usual resistance and damage profiles of their faction.
They have higher resistances, very long range, high damage, and correspondingly high bounties compared to other asteroid belt rats. Negotiators can warp scramble out to 24km, and Transporters can webify out to 10km.
These special clone soldiers spawn infrequently, though they are more common than faction or officer spawns. Once you find one however, they will always drop the corresponding security tag, and possibly some other random loot.
There are four different tiers of clone soldiers, each dropping a different type of security tag. Each of the different type of clone soldiers come in the flavour of the local pirates, so there are five different clone soldier recruiters for example, one for each of the pirate factions. However the security tag items are generic and not affected by the faction of the NPC they drop from.
There are four different security tags, one for each tier of clone soldier. The tags can be turned in at special CONCORD stations in low security space to repair negative security status and can be sold and bought on the market just like any other item. Right click the tag in your items and select INFO. At the bottom of the page will be a button to find the nearest CONCORD exchange facility.
Each tag increases your security status by 0.5 points but has innate limits to how far a specific tag can take you. The Trainer tag can only bring your security status up from -10 to -8, after that you'll need a Recruiter tag for example. Thus, the transporter and negotiator tags are several times more expensive than their counterparts due to be needed for the last and most important standings increases.
| Clone Soldier Trainer Tag x 4|
(between -10 and -8)
| Clone Soldier Recruiter Tag x 6|
(between -8 and -5)
| Clone Soldier Transporter Tag x 6|
(between -5 and -2)
| Clone Soldier Negotiator Tag x 4|
(between -2 and 0)
You cannot use a tag if your security status is greater than 0, but the last tag you hand in will give you its full value. For example, you can go from -0.09 to 0.41 with your last hand in. Tags are only meant as a means of repairing negative security status. If you want to raise your security status above that you'll have to use more traditional means of raising your security status.
In order to exchange security tags for security status, you'll need the Security Office service, which is only available in CONCORD and DED stations in low security space. Turning tags in will have an additional cost in ISK as well. It can be quite expensive.
If you want to use the star map to find your nearest security office, press to open up your map, then under the Star Map and Stars tab there's a Services folder with the option to view Security Offices. Alternatively check CONCORD Assembly's settled systems in low security space to see which is closest, both CONCORD and DED stations will have the services you're looking for.
There are two basic strategies that can be used to hunt clone soldiers efficiently:
- Roaming around a number of low-security systems checking all belts and killing only clone soldiers
- Clearing all the belts in one or a few systems completely to trigger respawns - which happen after around 15-20 minutes
A less common strategy is to use a cloaked ship or a fast, agile frigate to scout the clone soldiers' location first, then bring in a heavier damage dealer to kill them.
Clone Soldier Transporters use Stasis Webifiers, while Clone Soldier Negotiators use warp disruption. Both of these can be dangerous due to being located in lowsec, where pilots are vulnerable to being attacked by opportunistic hostile players.
Like all hostile NPCs, clone soldiers will patrol a system's belts on a hidden timer. Unlike more newly-implemented NPCs, warp disruption is ineffective on clone soldiers, and they will warp away even when pointed. Warp disruption can still be useful when fitting for possible PvP, however.
Clone soldiers use long-range cruisers, so pilots should either try to approach and brawl them with short-range, high-dps fits, or be able to tank them safely.
- Tech 1 destroyers (such as the Thrasher) have the advantage of being extremely inexpensive - and thus disposable - while still having excellent short-range DPS. They are also accessible to Alphas and other new players with few skill points.
- Tech 3 destroyers (such as the Confessor are more capable, but are also a greater loss if destroyed. They are able to efficiently kill clone soldiers while still fit for PvP.
When using a brawling fit, an active propulsion module is recommended to close in on the target quickly. In a frigate or destroyer, the tank will only need to survive this initial approach, as a small, fast ship should be able to avoid most damage by orbiting the target closely (500m).
Kiting and sniping ships have the big advantage that they are able to stay away from the belt - where gankers might easily warp-in - and also outside the Clone Soldier Negotiator's warp disruption range (24km). All clone soldiers have an optimal range of ~70km, so ships must either be able to tank them or avoid their damage. Drone boats (such as the Algos) are a popular choice for this tactic.
Strategy and tactics
Kiting ships should aim to stay at least 24km away from Clone Soldier Negotiators due to their warp disruption capabilities, as noted below.
Further, because clone soldiers spawn in asteroid belts, it is important to be aware of possible collisions with asteroids during combat. Pilots can inadvertently become "asteroid-tackled" if they are not paying attention, and this can result in taking unnecessary damage due to loss of speed and transversal velocity.
Though the following guide is outdated, the basic ratting principles noted within remain generally the same.
- [Ratting] Clone Soldier Farming (outdated)
- WantToTrade: Tags for Security Status (dev blog)