Mobile structures

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Mobile Structures are deployed by individual pilots in space to provide a wide variety of services. First introduced in 2013 with Rubicon, Capsuleers can use these structures to aid their own activities, such as providing storage, increased rewards or resources, or a microjump maneuver; or they can be used to disrupt enemies: such as by starbase siphoning, jamming probes and cynosural fields. Some of these structures can help to replace modules on the ship, such as a Tractor Beam or a Cloaking Device, allowing more fitting slots for other modules.

They are distinct from Citadels and starbases; which take longer to deploy, are much more expensive, and are owned by player corporations rather than individuals. Mobile structures are more similar to jettison containers, in that interacting with another pilot's structure does not cause a CONCORD response.

In short, mobile structures fill a variety of roles and can affect nearby players in aspects of survivability, utility, espionage, bounties, and defense. As such, they have rapidly become used in nearly every walk of life within New Eden, from the systems with 1.0 security to Null security space, and especially even in unknown wormholes.

Mobile Depot

A Mobile Depot deployed in space

Mobile Depots act as an in-space fitting service and storage facility. Once you deploy a depot, you can use it to refit your ship's modules and subsystems, move items between it and your cargohold, and move drones between your cargohold and drone bays. A Mobile Depot takes up only 50 m3 of space and will easily fit in most frigates. It can hold 3,000 - 4,000 m3 once deployed.

Deploying a Mobile Depot takes 60 seconds. Once in space, it will last for 30 days, at which point it will vanish with its contents. However, interacting with it will reset this 30-day timer--so remember to bookmark it. It can be scooped back to your ship's cargohold at any time. Any contents will appear in space in a cargo container at that time. A Mobile Depot can only be accessed or scooped up by its owner; you cannot launch it for use by other players at this time.

Other players can scan down your Mobile Depot with combat probes and attack it (receiving a suspect flag, not a criminal flag; CONCORD will not intervene!). At 17,500 HP, the Depot is not particularly tough, but if it's damaged to 25% of its shield hitpoints it will go into a "reinforced mode" for two days. During this period it cannot be damaged further, giving you enough time to either defend it or scoop and escape. After the two-day reinforcement timer is up, if it has not been repaired, it can be destroyed and its contents looted. Although scooping the mobile depot and immediately deploying it does take it out of reinforcement it does not repair the shields. If the shields are still below 25% when redeployed and have not had enough time to repair shields to 26% or above on its own when attacked it will not go into reinforcement but will be destroyed. You will receive no notification that your depot has been attacked, but will receive a killmail should it be destroyed. If you don't want to repair the mobile depot, you can scoop it into your ship's cargo bay, dock at a station, repackage it, and it will be fully repaired. During the anchoring period, the mobile depot can be targeted and destroyed. If it's damaged to 25% of its shield or less it will not go into reinforcement and will continue to take damage until it's destroyed even after the anchor timer is finished. If for some reason the enemy loses lock on it the mobile depot can be relocked and take damage until destroyed.

Mobile Depots are often deployed at safe spots, allowing you to swap fittings and store any excess items. This can be useful while ratting, as you can store excess loot in the depot and swap fittings depending on which NPCs you are fighting. A Mobile Depot is also useful when traveling through dangerous areas of New Eden, since you can travel fit on the way there and then refit for whatever purpose at your destination.

Another useful trick when flying in dangerous areas of space is to keep a Mobile Depot and a warp core stabilizer in your cargohold. If you're attacked and don't think you can win the fight, deploy the mobile depot, wait out the 60-second activation, then refit your ship with the warp core stabilizer and try escaping.

Variations

There are three variants of the Mobile Depot: the standard Mobile Depot (built by players using NPC-sold BPOs), and two "improved" variants (the BPCs for which are found in Ghost Sites), the 'Yurt' Mobile Depot and the 'Wetu' Mobile Depot. The 'Wetu' Mobile Depot takes up a bit more space in your ship's cargohold (100 m3 vs 50 m3), but has more cargo capacity (4000 m3 vs 3000 m3), and has a higher sensor strength, making it more difficult for other players to scan down the location of your Depot. The 'Yurt' takes this last attribute to its extreme, with a very high sensor strength making it very difficult for all but the most skilled players to scan down.

The basic Mobile Depot is reasonably cheap (around 1 million ISK), but the more advanced versions are one or two orders of magnitude more expensive.

Name Volume
(m3)
Capacity
(m3)
Sensor strength
(points)
Mobile Depot 50 3000 50
'Wetu' Mobile Depot 100 4000 250
'Yurt' Mobile Depot 50 4000 400

The minimum scan strength to scan down a 'Yurt' Mobile Depot, which is the hardest structure to scan down in the game, is 69 probe strength.

Mobile Tractor Unit

A Mobile Tractor Unit reaching into the depths of space to pluck the most succulent fruit

A Mobile Tractor Unit (or MTU) is essentially a massive cargo container with a tractor beam bolted on. Once deployed, it uses a single tractor beam to pull in any wrecks and cargo containers. It has a range of 125 km, with a 1,000 m/sec tractor velocity, and a 27,000 m3 cargohold. Deployment time is only 10 seconds, and the MTU will last 2 days in space before despawning. The MTU is only accessible by its owner. When destroyed it drops partial loot the same way a destroyed ship does.

The MTU may not be deployed within 5 km of another MTU, within 50 km of stargates or stations, or within 40 km of a player-owned starbase. It has 50,000 hitpoints. However, unlike the Mobile Depot, it does not enter reinforced mode and can be immediately destroyed. Like the Mobile Depot, the only consequence for shooting another player's MTU is a Suspect flag; CONCORD will not intervene.

The MTU targets the closest item first, tractors it in, and loots it. Due to the "closest first" behavior, you can't use more than one MTU per site, as they will interfere with each other and pull nothing in at all - unless you place them so far apart (250 km for the basic unit) that they don't interfere with each other

The MTU has become extremely popular despite its cost, particularly for looting mission rats. Though not as fast at tractoring and looting as a ORENoctis, the MTU continues to loot a field even when you're not there, and deposits wrecks in an easy-to-salvage group around itself. This can allow your mission ship to salvage while running the mission, using either a utility high slot or salvage drones.

Some systems have seen an increase in organized griefing centered on Mobile Tractor Units. Similar to ninja salvaging and stealing, a gang will take up residence in a high activity missioning area and scan down MTUs. They'll then aggress the MTU, attempting to bait the missioner into engaging them. As with ninja looters, the options for dealing with them are fairly limited. Engaging the griefer will give you an engagement timer with the suspect and allows him to legally shoot back at you. Not engaging will cost you both your loot and the cost of the MTU. Orbiting the MTU at close range mitigates this heavily. As soon as you see them warp into your pocket you can empty the contents of the MTU into your hold and scoop the unit. They will be left with a mission pocket that you have already looted and are likely to move on.

MTUs do not loot wrecks that are not yours. There are some griefers that prey on this misunderstanding. After arriving in your mission pocket they may drop an MTU of their own – hoping you will engage it on the presumption that it will steal your loot, and collect it for the griefer. It is best to ignore these rogue MTUs as apart from moving wrecks, they won't affect you. Even if the griefer warps out and leaves their MTU behind, they can monitor you in local to gank you if they see you've become a suspect, warping right back in with some friends.

MTU Tractor beams in order of the closest to farthest.

Variations

The basic MTU is reasonably cheap, costing around 7 million ISK. There are two advanced variations of the MTU, the 'Packrat' Mobile Tractor Unit and the 'Magpie' Mobile Tractor Unit. The Packrat variant has a stronger tank, while the Magpie has a longer tractor beam range. Both have increased tractor velocities, but the Magpie has the fastest. Both also have increased sensor strength, making them harder to scan down. Both are considerably more expensive than the basic MTU, with Magpies running at hundreds of millions of ISK. The BPCs for these units can be found from Ghost Sites.

The Consortium Mobile Tractor Unit, a faction version of the Mobile Tractor Unit, was added in April 2024.[1] BPCs have a chance of being acquired by exchanging collections of Rogue Drone loot from sentient drones to a special Upwell structure in the system of Auviken. The Consortium Mobile Tractor Unit sports an even higher tractor speed and range than the 'Magpie'.

There is also the Mobile Sanguine Harvester, a special variant from the Crimson Harvest. This variant has been modified by Blood Raiders to collect frozen corpses rather than wrecks.

Name Tractor velocity
(m/s)
Range
(km)
Volume
(m3)
Shield Armor Structure Sensor strength
(points)
Mobile Tractor Unit 1000 125 100 10,000 10,000 30,000 50
'Packrat' Mobile Tractor Unit 1250 125 125 15,000 15,000 40,000 150
'Magpie' Mobile Tractor Unit 1500 175 100 10,000 10,000 30,000 300
Icon faction.png Consortium Mobile Tractor Unit 2000 200 80 30,000 30,000 90,000 50
Mobile Sanguine Harvester 1000 125 100 20,000 20,000 60,000 50

Mobile Cynosural Inhibitor

Cyno=Blocked

The Mobile Cynosural Inhibitor is almost invaluable within 0.0, creating easy to set up inhibitors that can severely limit the enemy's ability to hot-drop on top of your units or gates. It prevents all normal cyno fields (but not covert cynos) from activating within 100km of the inhibitor. It takes two minutes to set up, has a 300 m³ volume, and will stay in space for 1 hour. However, unlike the other mobile structures, this one cannot be reclaimed and will stay in space for that one hour or until someone blasts it apart. It is inherently designed for small or medium gangs as it cannot stay active for long under heavy fire due to a lack of HP that comes from the structure itself. One other limitation is it cannot be deployed in any location that would cause 2 fields to overlap as well as being expensive to produce (150m for the BPO alone).

Even with all those limitations, it will still become a common sight in 0.0 due to the massive benefits that come from being able to control owned space and combat zones so effectively.

Mobile Scan Inhibitor

Ever wanted to hide your entire fleet?

The Mobile Scan Inhibitor provides a way to hide ships within a 30 km radius from the probe and directional scanning. Ships within this radius will also find their own instruments rendered inoperable. The mobile scan inhibitor itself is not invisible, but highly visible to combat probes and directional scans. Therefore the usage of this structure does not completely hide somebody's presence. It will be very clear to others that somebody is hiding something - it is only unknown what is hidden. Even more importantly: while the ship hides inside the structure's radius its sensor systems are inoperable. Finally, it is important to note that in known space, those hidden will still be visible in local chat. Therefore its use is far more convenient for fleets operations than for lone travelers. Activation time is 1 minute and cannot be retrieved - it is only a one-time use disposable structure. The structure self-destructs after one hour of operation.

Thunderdome has a special version of the Mobile Scan inhibitor called the Tournament Practice Unit. It has a much larger radius of 3,000 km, a lifetime of eight hours, and uniquely can be anchored right next to other inhibitors and control towers.

Mobile Observatory

Mobile Observatories are deployables designed to counteract cloaking ships. When an Observatory is deployed, it "pings" the system every ten minutes, with a 40% chance each ping to decloak each cloaked ship in a system that has exhausted its cloak stabilization timer. The chance is "rolled" for each cloaked ship in the system individually: it is not a 40% chance to decloak every cloaked ship in the system together, but a 40% chance calculated for each ship.

The cloak stabilization timer lasts for 15 minutes from the point at which a ship activates its cloak. It is visible to the cloaked pilot above the circular capacitor / heat / hitpoints indicators at the bottom centre of the screen.

Mobile Observatories require Anchoring III—which means that Alpha.png Alpha clones cannot deploy them—and take up 100m3 of cargo hold space. It takes 10 minutes to deploy one, and it issues its first ping when it finishes deploying. A Mobile Observatory has 30,000 hit points. Mobile Observatories last for up to 2 hours, so they cannot be left to ping a system for days. They cannot be deployed in highsec, Pochven, wormholes, deadspace, or Abyssal deadspace. They cannot be scooped back up after anchoring. They only have to be anchored 100 km away from the control tower of Player-owned starbases allowing automated defense of observatories.

Mobile Micro Jump Unit

Now you can jump like a battleship

The Mobile Micro Jump Unit launches a ship 100 km in whatever direction the ship is facing, similar to the Large Micro Jump Drive module. It has no cooldown between uses or limit to how many ships can use it at once, but it does have a warm-up time of 12 seconds before initiating the jump. It can be used by ships with less than 1,000,000,000kg mass and can be used both by friendlies and enemies. It has a 1-minute activation time, a lifetime of 2 days, and cannot be retrieved - it is only a one-time use disposable structure.

Mobile Siphon Unit

Theft: Now you don't even have to be there!

Mobile siphon units were used to steal materials from player-owned starbasess that were used to mine moon goo. The structure has no use after the introduction of moon mining though they still can be deployed.

Encounter Surveillance System

The Encounter Surveillance System used to be a player-deployed mobile structure but is now a built-in feature of sovereign nullsec systems.

Mobile Warp Disruptor

A large deployable self powered unit that creates an Interdiction disruption field around its anchored position. Ships within its area of effect will be unable to activate their warp drive, and any ships arriving within 500km of its vicinity on a vector that would theoretically cross its field, will find themselves pulled into its uncaring grasp.

These are only launchable in null-sec like space, including pochven and wormholes. It comes in 3 sizes and has T1, T2, and faction versions. These provide different sizes ranging from 5km to 40km generally, along with requiring different levels of Anchoring and cargo space to put them into position. The time to anchor is generally relative to their size and advancement. The Tournament Bubble is only in CCP space, while the Syndicate disruptors are rarely used due to their cost, though can require lower skills.

Item Warp Disruption range
km
Time to Anchor
minutes
Volume
m3
Anchoring required
Mobile Small Warp Disruptor I 5 2 65 Anchoring II
Mobile Small Warp Disruptor II 7.5 1 65 Anchoring III
Mobile Medium Warp Disruptor I 11.5 4 195 Anchoring III
Mobile Medium Warp Disruptor II 17.5 2 195 Anchoring IV
Mobile Large Warp Disruptor I 26.5 8 585 Anchoring IV
Mobile Large Warp Disruptor II 40 4 585 Anchoring V
Syndicate Mobile Small Warp Disruptor 7.5 1 65 Anchoring II
Syndicate Mobile Medium Warp Disruptor 17.5 2 195 Anchoring III
Syndicate Mobile Large Warp Disruptor 40 4 585 Anchoring IV
Tournament Bubble 125 km N/A N/A GM Only

This disruptor can operate in space continuously for two days, after which it will automatically decay. Small bubbles are killable by frigates, medium bubbles have a strong recharge that takes a few frigates or destroyers, and large bubbles require quite a bit of firepower to kill.

CONCORD Rogue Analysis Beacon

A CONCORD Rogue Analysis Beacon (CRAB) is a deployable beacon added in the Summon the Swarm Update in October 2021. It is a beacon that can be used in Low and Null security space, that when activated will cause waves of special Rouge Drone rats to spawn for the duration of the beacon, attacking any capsuleers present as well as the beacon itself. Essentially deployable PvE sites, they are combat sites that are meant to be run by capital ships, and require a capital ship to link to the beacon to activate.

These sites can be run by Supercarriers, Titans, or a mix of multiple regular capitals, though the best is a Supercarrier. The amount of runnable CRAB sites per character is limited by the number of Complex Encryption Qubits (CEQs), a personal resource used exclusively for CRAB activations. A single character can only activate 3 sites at the max CEQ capacity of 100, which if fully spent takes approximately 22 hours to recharge back to full. Despite this limitation, a single character can run more than 3 sites in a row by having a different character drop and activate the CRAB beacon for the first character to run. The system that a CRAB is run in has an Signal Interference value that slowly increases, and tops out at around 12 CRABs in a row, after which further CRAB beacons can not be linked to. It takes approximately 25 hours for a system to recover from maximum Signal Interference.

The CRAB is activated by having a capital ship establish a link to it for 4 minutes. During that time, the capital ship can not warp, cloak, or tether, though it does get a universal 10% resistance bonus. Once the link process is complete, the beacon can then be activated at any time. Once activated, the CRAB scan process takes 10 minutes, which will be interrupted by waves of rogue drone rats. The spawned rats will have high value bounties, and the CRAB will additionally have special loot, including mutaplasmids, upon a successful scan. The loot is initially only accessible to the player who dropped the deployable, but will automatically self-destruct after two minutes with no loot loss, making the scan loot accessible to all.

BPCs to make CRABs are available in the CONCORD loyalty point store.

Mobile Cynosural Beacon

A Mobile Cynosural Beacon is a 400 m3 one time use item. This launches a cyno that takes 1 minute to spool up, and lasts one hour. It has the hitpoints of a cruiser (5k shield HP, 5k armor HP, and 20k structure HP), so it is somewhat easy to kill during that time frame. To launch one, you need to Anchoring III, fit 400 m3, and be in a fleet. From then on out, that fleet will see the beacon appearing in that fleet for that hour.

Depending on intent, these can be a good alternative to shipborne Cynosural Field Generators in dangerous areas, since shipborne cynos are only fittable on Force Recon and the Black Ops ships, which are considerably more expensive than this beacon typically is.

Once deployed, the beacon will last for 60 minutes, or until destroyed.

Covert Mobile Cynosural Beacon

Similar to there being a distinction between regular and covert cynosural field generators, there is also a covert version of the Mobile Cynosural Beacon. This version has less health (5k shield, 5k armor, 10k structure HP), and lasts for 30 minutes once activated (or until destroyed).

Given that Force Recons or Black Ops can light a covert cyno and only be inhibited for 30 seconds, significantly less time than the 5 minutes they'd be stuck lighting a regular cyno, this beacon is of very limited utility, and sees little use commensurate with that fact.

General limitations

All Mobile Structures have a minimum distance they have to be away from certain structures in order to be deployed (see below) and all of them are capable of being destroyed by anyone and the attacker will only get a suspect flag for it so a watchful eye needs to be on your goods as often as you can. Some of them can be relatively easy to scan down due to low sensor strength which makes them rather vulnerable, however, the Wetu and Yurt Mobile Depot variants are very resilient to probing, the Yurt, in particular, boasting a hefty 400 sensor strength against all sensors which makes it very hard to pin down for all but the highest skilled probers.

References

  1. ^ What's in Auviken? EVE Online. 4 April 2024.

External links