Directional Scanning 101

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See also: Directional Scanner Guide

This is a deprecated class syllabus, intended as historical record for the teaching department.

Creating syllabi is no longer our process for new classes, and no classes in the syllabus library are considered current. They are here for historical purposes only, as well as an optional starting point for designing new classes. Please do not assume any of the classes you find here have slides, or have even been taught for many years. If you do use information in a syllabus, ensure that you have brought it up to date with contemporary EVE.

Class Information

This is a syllabus for a class provided by EVE University. This section contains information about this class and its contents. General Information includes materials to create a proper class listing on the EVE University forum. Additional resources and teaching tips are listed under Notes for the Teacher.

General Information

This is a class on the functions and uses of the Directional scanner - often called the "d-scan". There is a large amount of information stored in the scanner, and it can be overwhelming if you don't know what your looking at. The d-scanner has a wide variety of uses that can be used even by total beginners. This class teaches the fundamentals of using this tool in a format easily understandable by the newest of EVE players.

  • Duration: 1:00 hours
  • Location: Start docked up in station

Class contents:

  • What is D-scanner?
  • Setup
  • Map
  • Range
  • Angle
  • Uses
  • Exercises

Student requirements:

  • Mumble registration and access - make sure you have Mumble sorted out and operational well before the class begins. Use this guide for set-up:
  • Access to the Class.E-UNI in-game chat channel
  • A ship, any type of ship can use the d-scanner.

Additional information: This class consists of a long in-space practical component.

Notes for the Teacher

Required materials:

  • Class.E-UNI chat channel, to receive questions and post relevant links
  • Bring any ship you feel comfortable sitting in one spot for a long time in.

Practice during the class is required as it is difficult to understand the d-scanner effectively without it.

Note that the d-scan interface changed dramatically in mid-2015. These class notes assume that the "Try the new Probe and Directional scanners" box is checked in the General settings. This is the default, so it should not be a problem.

At the current time there are no up-to-date videos available, but these may appear in the future.

This EVE DevBlog entry explains the 2015 changes to the d-scan interface. (It also covers changes to probe scanning.)

Class Contents


Welcome to this class on using the Directional Scanner!

This course is designed primarily for teaching you how to use the d-scanner.

New pilots often underuse this tool, mostly because they don't understand how it works. This course will show you everything you need to put it to work for you on a regular basis.

(Instructor should then introduce himself or herself - covering relevant experience level and background.)

We have a few ground rules for this class:

  • Please put your Mumble settings on "Push to Talk" if you have not already done so.
  • Feel free to type any questions in the Class.E-UNI chat channel as we proceed - I will try to answer your questions as they come during the class. At the end of my lecture, we'll open Mumble for any further questions or general discussion.
  • You should be docked up in [starting station]. The first part will be done while docked up. The second part will be done in-space.

Everyone ready? OK, then - let's begin....

What is the Directional Scanner?

The directional scanner is a tool which allows you see objects within a range of a little over 14 AU. Think of it as a mini-map, letting you see what's near you, but with some restrictions. It does not give a range to objects that are not on-grid with you (you can't see them). It also is not able to find cloaked ships, nor can it get you warp-in coordinates like scanner probes can. But it comes free with every ship, requires no special skills, and you can use it to give you advance warning if you are being probed, and to find targets at locations you can warp to such as planets, belts, and moons.

Using the D-Scanner

[Have your class undock and meet you at the planet of your choice. Once there, have them open the scanning window.]

To open the scanner, click on the "radar" icon to the left of your ship's control panel. When you click, you will see three tabs. The Moon Analysis tab is useless in Empire space, and beyond the scope of this class. The scanner window, familiar to those who explore, is also not included in this class. The d-scan tab is the one you want to select.

When the d-scan window opens, move it to a convenient place on your screen. You will also need to be able to see your Overview window.

If you prefer, you can also press alt-D to open the d-scan window.


In the middle of the Directional Scan window you will see a line labeled "Scan Results." To the right of this is a drop down menu. Click on the menu and select "Active Overview Filters" ... this is the first entry on the menu. The menu items are filters that tell the directional scanner what to look for. With Active Overview Filters chosen, the scanner will look for the same items that are selected by your current overview tab. Now click the big button labeled SCAN. You can see that everything that is within 14 AU on the overview also shows up on the scanner. (Have them choose a different overview tab and then click on "Active Overview Filters" again in the scanner to change the scanner setting.)

Here are a few tips on the filter settings. First, the scanner does not differentiate by the states shown in the Overview tab settings. This means that it cannot tell the difference between friendly ships and enemies. Keep this in mind when using the d-scanner in fleet.

Second, because the d-scanner uses your overview filters, it is important to have your overview set up to UNI standard. You MUST do this if you are going to fly in UNI fleets. So if you have not set up your overview, you should do that ASAP. (Someone will probably need the link: -- or tell them to search the UNIWiki for "Overview Guide".)

Third, for safety, be sure to scan for probes. Probes are used by hostile ships to pinpoint the location of their potential victims. All of your settings should include probes, so you can tell when someone is scanning you down. If you are using the standard E-UNI overview settings, then probes are included in your settings.

[Have class set the scan filter to "All". Then have them scan with it set to the "1-PvP" filter. Talk about the difference.]


At the top right of the d-scan window is a button labeled "Map". Press that button now and you will see a window open that shows the map of this solar system. If you want to, you can resize the map and move it out of the middle of your screen.

Looking at the map you will see a big red sphere. Your ship is at the center of this sphere, and the spere shows the area that your d-scan can see. If you warp from one place to another, you will move on this map, and the red sphere will move with you.

We are going to look at some of the features of the d-scan that show up on the map, so keep it open for now.


At the top middle of the d-scan window is the range slider. You can move this from the max range of 14.3 AU down to 10, 5, 1, and 0.1 AU. The slider is what you usually use to set the range, but if you need a more specific number, you can type it into the range box and then use the up and down arrows to fine tune it.

By default the range is shown in AUs (Astronomical Units). But by clicking on the label box, you can switch it over to kilometers. An AU is approximately 150,000,000 kilometers, though you will usually only need to work in kilometers if you are scanning for something that is very close to you.

Move the range slider down to its minimum setting - 0.1 AU. Notice how the red sphere on the map shrinks to show the new range. You cannot change any of your d-scan settings directly on the map, but it does give you a fast way to check your current setup.

Most of the time you will have the range set to maximum and the units set to AUs. But there are times when you don't want to use maximum distance. For example, sometimes you want to see if someone is near you, i.e. in the same planetary system or just off-grid, and you don't want to see people on the other side of the system. In a highly cluttered system, reducing the range can clear things up a lot!

[Let your class play with the range for a bit. When you are ready to continue, have them all set their ranges back to the maximum.]


The easiest way to understand how the scanning angle works is to set a new angle and look at how it changes the map. So drag the Angle Slider to a spot halfway to the left of where it is now. The number for the angle should change from 360° to 60°.

Look at the map. See how the red sphere has changed into a red cone? The cone shows the area that the d-scanner can see. Next, drag the Angle Slider down to its lowest setting, all the way to the left - the number will be 5°. Look at the map. Now the cone has become very narrow.

If you click on the map and drag, you can move your view around, and this may give you a better look at the cone. Now drag the Angle Slider all the way back to 360°. On the map, the cone becomes a sphere again. At this setting, you are scanning the space all around the ship. Now drag the slider back to 60°. On the map, the cone shows that you are scanning an area in front of the ship.

This is important. You can only scan in front of your current position. Wherever you point the camera, that's where the scanner points, too. Dragging on the map only changes your view of the system, it does not move your camera angle, nor the scanner angle. To point the scanner in another direction, you have to change the direction of your camera in space. (However, this is NOT TRUE if you turn on "align with camera" in the map settings. With this option ticked, rotating your perspective in the map will simultaneously move your camera in space, and therefore change the effective direction of your scanner.)

Notice that you only have to change the camera, you do not actually have to realign your ship -- your ships heading is irrelevant. To test this, click somewhere in space and drag to move the camera - watch the map, you will see the red cone move to match your mouse movements.

[Let the class play with this for awhile, changing angles and orientations. After a bit, remind them that they can also change the range.]

You can easily aim the scanner by left-clicking on an object in the Map. This will bring up the Radial Menu, and when you select the "scanner" icon at the bottom of that menu, the scanner will move to point at the object. Try that now - choose something that you see on the map, LEFT click on it, and select the scnner icon from the menu that pops up. You can also easily aim your scanner by turning on camera tracking on your HUD, and selecting items in your scanner map.


The d-scanner has many uses:

  • Probe Detector. While mining or exploring, use your d-scan constantly. If you see combat probes, collect your probes/drones and get out of there.
  • Advance warning. If you see a combat ship, note the distance and check it against your Overview. If the ship is near a station or gate, give it a few seconds to dock or warp out. If it hangs around, then pack up and leave.
  • Scouting. You can warp in and count the number of enemy ships in system without having to deploy combat probes.
  • Limited scanning. Determine if a target is located somewhere you can warp to. Done by first determining which planet he is near, then after warping to that planet using an angled scan to find which belt/moon he's at.
  • Reduced probing time. If you are hunting, you can use the scanner to determine the general location of your target, and then use probes to find him.
  • Remember, the d-scanner cannot see cloaked ships or certain specialized covert ops ships.

Angle can be one of the most useful parts of the scanner. Notice that the d-scanner shows distances to objects, but not directions. This means that if you want to fly your ship to something that you have scanned at 360°, you must first narrow the angle of your scan and move your ship around until it is pointing at the object. As you continue to reduce the angle, your orientation gets more and more precise. You probably don't need the exact coordinates of the object, knowing that it is near a moon or asteroid belt is usually enough.

For example, if you are hunting enemy ships, you can determine where someone is by aiming your scanner. First find which planet your target is at, and then determine which belt/moon. To do this, you must turn on "All" in the scanner filter, so that the symbols for belts and moons show up. Then you aim your scanner at each one until you find your mark. This is also useful in lowsec to check out if moons have POSs, which in lowsec can shoot you.

Whether you are scouting for enemy ships, or mining and checking for incoming hostiles, you will find that you need to refresh your d-scan results frequently. There are two ways to do that:

  1. Click the SCAN button.
  2. Press the "Refresh Directional Scan" hotkey. This key is off by default, but you can turn it on in the Game Preferences. Press ESC to open the Preferences window. Click on the "Shortcuts" tab. And then on the "Combat" tab inside of Shortcuts. In the list of commands, go down to "Refresh Directional Scan" and click on it. Click on the "Edit Shortcut" button at the bottom of the window. Now press the key that you want to use to refresh the scan. That does it! Close the window.

[Have students set up the hotkey, then let them practice rescanning for a short while.]

Directional Scanner Scenerios

Easy Hunting a Target

Pick a planetary system in the local system. Any one will do, as long as it has moons or belts. Have your class warp to the planet while you warp to a moon or asteriod belt. Tell your class to find which moon or belt and warp to you.

Bowling For Students

Have your students warp to a planet. Make sure everyone knows what you are flying. Tell your class you're an evil fleet of T3 cruisers that likes to eat unistas. Warp yourself outside scanner range (more than 14 AUs). Have you class use the d-scanner to get advance warning when you are about to land, and tell them to warp out when they see you. If anyone stays on-grid for more than a few seconds, they're "dead". [The Roxx Weltraum training fleet can be used. It consists of 50 Legions, 100 Tengus, 80 Proteuses, and 3 Lokis. Cloaky Lokis.]

Full-on Hunt

Warp to a random moon or belt anywhere in the local system. Do not tell the class which planet you are near. Tell your class to find and warp to you.

Hide and Seek

Couples: Split students up into pairs. Have one partner fly off and "hide" somewhere, and have their partner track them down. Once found, switch and repeat.

Group: Have everyone split up, and then once everyone is alone and away from everyone else, name a random person. "Aaron is the target!" Once found, split out and name another. Rinse and repeat. This will likely only work with a smaller group, since it many students might end up at the same celestial.

Class Wrap-up

  • Thanks for attending this class!
    • I would appreciate any feedback from people on how to improve the class
  • Questions ?
  • Shameless teacher recruitment insert.