Scanning is a method of finding objects, ships and hidden sites in space. Every ship in Eve has an On-Board System Scanner that can be used to search for objects not found on the Overview. Every ship in Eve with the exception of shuttles and freighters can fit a Scan Probe Launcher module to launch probes. Probes greatly increase both the number of types of objects that can be detected and the range at which they can be scanned.
All ships are equipped with on-board scanner can be used to find Cosmic Anomalies and directionsl scanner that can be used to discover, but not pinpoint, objects up to 14 AU away from your ship. More serious scanning requires scan probes launched from probe launcher.
Scan results are divided to cosmic signatures and cosmic anomalies depending on how they are located. They are also split to wormholes, combat, ore, gas, data and relic sites based on their contents.
Cosmic anomalies are PvE sites that can be found throughout EVE. They are found using the system scanner, and require no skills or equipment to locate. To locate cosmic anomalies just open the scan window and they are visible as warpable sites.
- Combat Sites are ungated pockets with multiple waves of rats to kill. For more details see Combat_sites#Combat_anomalies.
- Besieged Covert Research Facilities, sepcial combat sites which are found only in low-sec. They containing multiple cruiser- and battleship-class NPC rats to be killed with a combat ship. In addition, they may contain destructible structures with loot.
- 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.
Cosmic signatures are scannable locations in space. To locate a cosmic signature it must be scanned with scan probes. You can see that a system contains cosmic signatures but identifying them and locating them requires scan probes. The type is identified at 25% scan, the name is revealed at 75% scan and the site is warpable at 100% scan.
- Combat Sites are gated deadspace complexes with rats to kill. They can drop valuable faction modules, deadspace modules and can escalate into expeditions. For more details see Combat_sites#Cosmic_signatures.
- Gas Sites contain gas clouds that can be harvested. For more details see Gas cloud harvesting
- Data Sites contain containers that need to be hacked with data analyzer. They range from completely safe to deadly dangerous. For more details see relic and data sites
- Relic Sites contain containers that need to be hacked with relic analyzer. For more details see relic and data sites.
- Wormholes are temporary unstable connections between two systems. For more details see wormholes.
Site Respawn Mechanics
Much of the information surrounding the respawn mechanics of cosmic signatures is based on theory, with little hard data offered by CCP. Nevertheless, the sites will respawn immediately after being fully cleared by a player. It is unknown what range the new site will spawn in (if it's in the same region or not) or whether it will be of the same or similar type as the one cleared. Note that, based on this information, we know that sites will not respawn after daily downtime. They will only spawn when sites are cleared somewhere else within the game world.
All scan probes can be used for scanning down cosmic signatures. Combat scan probes can scan also structures, ships and drones. Wrecks, cargo containers and cloaked ships can not be scanned with probes.
You need a Probe Launcher module, and some Probes.
Core Scanner Probes cannot find ships, so are primarily useful for finding Cosmic Signatures (exploration sites and wormhole entrances). While they suffice for getting you into (and out of) a wormhole, if you are planning on operating inside W-space it is likely a good idea to be able to probe out ships. Combat Scanner Probes will detect ships, in addition to Cosmic Signatures. The two also have different maximum and minimum scan ranges - see the table below.
Expanded Probe Launchers have much higher CPU fitting requirements than Core Probe Launchers.
Any probe can be used in any launcher with the capacity to load it. Practically, this means an Expanded launcher can launch any probe, and a Core launcher can only launch Core probes.
Sisters faction probes and launchers each increase the probe scan strength by 10%, but are considerably more expensive than the basic versions.
- Core Probe Launcher
- Expanded Probe Launcher
- Core Scanner Probe
- Combat Scanner Probe
- Sisters Core Probe Launcher
- Sisters Expanded Probe Launcher
- Sisters Core Scanner Probe
- Sisters Combat Scanner Probe
- RSS Core Scanner Probe
- Main article: Directional Scanner Guide
The Directional Scanner, or "D-Scanner," is built into every ship and
Probe have two attributes that effect scan result: sensor strength (higher is better) and maximum deviation (lower is better).
Probes also have attributes that effect their use: Scan time, flight time and base scan range.
Flight time limits for how long probes can be kept in space. For RSS probes this is 1000 seconds (less than 17 minutes) while all other probes have 4000 seconds (over one hour). If probes are left in space for more than this duration they will be lost.
Base scan range dictates what scan ranges the probe can use. For core probes this is always 0.25 AU while combat probes have base scan range of 0.5 AU. Smaller scan range gives better results but scans smaller volume. This makes core probes better at scanning hard to scan signatures where the smallest scan range needs to be used. When scanning with range larget than 0.25 AU this has no effect.
- Astrometrics (3x, 450k ISK) 5% increase in scan probe sensor strength and 5% reduction in scan time and maximum deviation per level.
- Astrometric Acquisition (5x, 450k ISK) 5% reduction in scan time per level.
- Astrometric Pinpointing (5x, 450k ISK) 5% reduction in maximum scan deviation per level.
- Astrometric Rangefinding (8x, 450k ISK) 5% increase in scan probe sensor strength per level.
The deviation is the distance between the scan result shown on the map and the actual location of your target.
The actual deviation cannot be calculated at this time because it is unknown how CCP has factored signal strength into the equation. However, the maximum deviation, the worst case scenario, can be calculated. The stronger your signal strength, the less actual deviation you will have - therefore the deviation of your scan will always be less than the distance shown below. (Knowing your relative signal strength will help you get an idea of how far way that dot might actually be from your target.)
In order to calculate the maximum possible deviation you use the constants provided for the type of probe, the scan size your probes are set to, and your skill level of Astrometric Pinpointing.
Here is the formula:
- Max Deviation = (Scan Range/Base Scan Range) × Base Maximum Deviation × (1 − Pinpointing Skill/10)
Below is a table that shows how your pinpointing skill affects the maximum possible deviation of scanner probes. Keep in mind that while Sisters probes and/or launchers have no effect on maximum deviation, they do have an effect on signal strength that will affect the deviation that you see in your scans.
|Scan Range||Astrometric Pinpointing Skill Level|
| 1 Combat Scanner Probes have a minimum scan range of 0.5 AU.|
2 Core Scanner Probes haves a maximum scan range of 32 AU.
Note that as your Astrometric Pinpointing skill increases, the maximum deviation at each increment of the probes' scan range decreases. Referring to the table for an example: if you have no skill in Astrometric Pinpointing, with your probes set to a 4 AU scan range your maximum deviation is as much as 2 AU. Increasing your Astrometric Pinpointing skill to level 4 reduces the maximum scan deviation at that scan range to 1.2 AU.
Another thing to note is that both combat and core scanner probes experience the same maximum deviations at the same scan ranges. The reason is that although the core scanner probe has a base maximum deviation of 0.125 AU and the combat scanner probe has a base maximum deviation of 0.25 AU (implying the core probe is more accurate), the two types of probes have base scan ranges of 0.25 AU and 0.5 AU, respectively. Plugging those numbers into the equation above yields the same maximum deviations at each scan range for both kinds of probe.
Implants and Attribute enhancers
There are numerous Implants that range from almost disposable to exceedingly expensive.
- Attribute Enhancers occupy slots 1 to 5. Some of these also affect Skills
- Skill Enhancers occupy slots 6 to 10.
Attribute Enhancing Implants
|Secondary Effect||Set Name||Set Bonus per slot||Effect Bonus per slot||Total Effect||Attributes|
|Probe Scan Strength||Mid-grade Virtue||10%||25%||1%||2%||3%||4%||5%||33.83%||+3|
Skill Hardwiring Implants
|6||Poteque 'Prospector' Astrometric Pinpointing||AP-6xx||Scan deviation||2%, 6%, 10%|
|7||Poteque 'Prospector' Astrometric Acquisition||AQ-7xx||Scanning Time||2%, 6%, 10%|
|8||Poteque 'Prospector' Astrometric Rangefinding||AR-8xx||Scanning Strength||2%, 6%, 10%|
Normal core probes have 40 sensor strength and combat probes have 20 sensor strength. Both 4000 seconds flight time. Core probe launcher can be used to launch core probes. The expanded probe launcher can use both core and combat probes but has very high CPU requirement.
The following increase probe attributes:
- Gravity capacitor upgrade rig (T1 +10%, T2 +15% sensor strength)
- Probe launchers:
- T2 core probe launcher (+5% sensor strength)
- T2 expanded probe launcher (+5% sensor strength)
- Sister core probe launcher (+10% sensor strength)
- Sister expanded probe launcher (+10% sensor strength)
- Sister core probes (44 sensor strength)
- Sister combat probes (22 sensor strength)
- RRS probes (45 sensor strength, 1000 s flight time)
- Scan array (midslot module)
- Acquisition arrays (T1 -10%, T2 -15% scan time. Can fit only one)
- Pinpointing arrays (T1 -10%, T2 -15% maximum deviation)
- Rangefinding arrays (T1 +10%, T2 +15% sensor strength)
Tech 1 (T1) Frigates
Each race has a T1 frigate with a 7.5% increase to scan strength of probes per level of racial frigate skill trained:
Tech 2 (T2) CovOps
Covops ships get a 10% per level bonus to scanning. Note that you must uncloak to launch scan probes, but you can use them and recover them while remaining cloaked.
Strategic cruisers can be fitted with the Emergent Locus Analyzer subsystem that gives them probing bonuses. If you're in a roaming gang of strategic cruisers, this might be useful -- but note that you can buy about 50 covops ships for the price of one of these.
Sisters of EVE ships
The Sisters of EVE faction frigate and cruiser both have a 37.5% role bonus to scanning and are also able to fit a Covert Ops cloak. They have lower skill requirements than CovOps T2's, but they are insanely expensive compared to other frigates/cruisers.
- Astero Frigate. (CPU is low, making it hard to fit an Expanded Probe Launcher.)
- Stratios Cruiser.
- Nestor Battleship. Role Bonus: 50% bonus to Core and Combat Scanner Probe strength. Can not fit a Covert Ops cloak.
Scanning & Probing Techniques and Tricks
Quick and Dirty How-To
(Read Probing In Simple Steps for a more detailed guide with tips and troubleshooting)
- Look at the system scanner and determine if there are any Cosmic Signatures to be found.
- Drop your probes. Scan, and use the filter to limit your results to what you want to find.
- Once you get a result, position probes to cover that result. This may be as easy as moving them around a little, or covering a sphere. Either way, keep in mind results from wide scans are very inaccurate sometimes.
- With luck, you will get "one dot" result. If you get circles, or more spheres, your initial guess was off and you need to reposition and try again.
- Once you get it down to one result, close probes in, bring them to the same plane as the result, drop scan radius, and re-scan.
- Repeat the process of dropping range, positioning arrows on the result circle, and rescanning until you get your result. If you hit the minimum probe range and still can't get 100%, try repositioning your probes more closely to the signature (holding ALT and sliding the probes closer to the target works wonders). There are some sites that you may not be able to probe -- to get them, try to increase your "probe scan strength". You can use Sisters launcher & probes, rig your ship, buy hardwired scanning implants, scannign arrays and/or train higher levels of the relevant skills.
- By default all probes will move as one constellation unless you hold SHIFT, ALT or CONTROL which modifie how probes are moved. Holding SHIFT moves a single probe instead of all at once, ALT makes them resize and control moves them radially around center point, useful for pinpointing those sites which are hard to get 100% on. This allows for some very fast repositioning of probes.
- The probe-cube can be clicked and dragged. If you grab the top or bottom, they slide on a horizontal plane, if you grab the sides of the cube, they slide on a vertical plane. This is why every so often you grab the cube and it slides away to somewhere weird- you accidentally grabbed the side of the cube instead of the top.
To reset the formation press either of the two preconfigured probe-patterns to reset both scan-range and position. This does not however reset probe constellation position in space.
Where to Find Sites
Sites only seem to spawn in a sphere 4 AU around celestials (may only be planets). If you are scanning large reaches of empty space, you might find mission sites and abandoned drones, but probably not much else.
Solar System Map
The Solar System Map can be rotated using the Left Mouse Button, and panned using the Right Mouse Button as well. Clicking an object (celestial body, station, probe, signature etc.) changes the pivot point when rotating with the Left Mouse Button. Hint: Double clicking on the probe cube sets the probe cube to be the rotation pivot point, and re-centers the view to probe cube.
Carry exactly twice as many probes as you use at a time. When you load your launcher initially, only load the amount of probes you can have active. (For example, if you have 8 probes active, carry 16 but only load 8.) As soon as you've launched your maximum number of probes and are busy placing them, the launcher will automatically load the next stack -- exactly the amount you need for the next system (be aware, activating a cloaking device while the reload timer is ticking down will cancel the reload due to being cloaked). That way, the launcher will always be ready without you ever having to manually load it.
Results, and What They Mean
- Sphere: The result is somewhere in the sphere. One probe only has a hit and approximate range. You can get multiple probes with independent hits, it can be messy. This is the least accurate hit.
- Circle: Two probes have approximate distances. More accurate, and likely to yield better hits with more probes. Target anomaly is located near the cirle.
- Two Dots: Three probes have distances, which narrows it down to between two possible locations. Likely to be more or less accurate, but beware of deviation. Target anomaly has been narrowed down to being near one of the dots.
- One Dot: Four or more probes can see the result. Once scan strength reaches 100%, the result will be warpable.