- 1 Skills
- 2 Scan Equipment
- 3 Scan Bonuses
- 4 Implants and Attribute enhancers
- 5 Ship Equipment
- 6 Scan Results
- 7 Scanning & Probing Techniques and Tricks
- 8 Links
Scanning & Probing 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.
The Directional Scanner, or "D-Scanner," is built into every ship and can be used to discover, but not pinpoint, objects up to 14 AU away from your ship. You can do a lot with this little gem. See the Directional Scanner Guide.
On-board System Scanner
The on-board scanner can be used to find Cosmic Anomalies, which are combat, ore or ice sites. The combat sites contain rats depending on the site type, lower security space is more likely to find the harder sites (with higher rewards). To find anomalies with your on-board scanner, pressing ALT+D, select the "Probe Scanner" tab and ensure the "Show Anomalies" checkbox is checked. This will show all sites within 64AU of your ship immediately at 100%. When you have found an anomaly, warp there or create a bookmark of its position. Once an Anomaly has been completed, it will disappear after some time. (These sites can also be found by probes which will find all sites within range at 100% (warpable) on the first scan even with one probe.)
Scan Equipment Types
You need a Probe Launcher, 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. Expanded launchers can also be used to launch moon mining probes.
Sisters faction probes and launchers each increase the probe scan strength by 10%, but are considerably more expensive than the basic versions.
- Sisters Core Probe Launcher
- Sisters Expanded Probe Launcher
- Sisters Core Scanner Probe
- Sisters Combat Scanner Probe
- RSS Core Scanner Probe
Deviation can be defined as the difference between an observed value and the expected value of a variable or function.
In the case of scanning with probes the observed value is the scan result shown on your map whereas the expected value is the actual position of your target in space. The deviation is the distance between the scan result shown on the map and the actual location of your target.
The actual deviation (or effective deviation) cannot be calculated at this time because it is unknown how CCP has factored signal strength into the equation. The next part here explains how to calculate the maximum deviation. It is known that the stronger your signal strength is the less actual deviation you will have therefore the deviation of your scan will always be less than the distance shown below. It helps to have an idea of how far way that dot might be from your target.
In order to calculate the maximum possible deviation you can 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 sisters probes and/or launchers have no effect on maximum deviation however they do have an effect on signal strength which therefore will affect the devation 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 how 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 a 4 AU 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%|
- Gravity Capacitor Upgrade
This rig increases the scan strength of your probes by 10%, which is not subject to the usual stacking penalties. Installing the T1 rig only requires Jury Rigging 1. With the release of small rigs, you can now rig the usual scanning ships very inexpensively.
Each of these is available in a standard and a faction (Sisters of Eve) version. The faction versions give scan strength and cycle time bonuses.
Core Probe Launcher
This module has modest fitting requirements, but can only use core scan probes, not combat or specialty probes.
Expanded Probe Launcher
This module is a pain to fit, due to the high CPU requirements. However, it's the only launcher that can fire combat scanner probes, deep core probes, and explorer (moon) probes.
Ship Equipment - Scanning Upgrades
Three different types of mid-slot items are available to help with scanning.
- Acquisition Arrays reduce the scan time of probes. (Only one can be fitted at a time.)
- Pinpointing Arrays reduce the scan deviation. (Stacking penalties apply.)
- Rangefinding Arrays increase the scan strength. (Stacking penalties apply.)
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 a 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.
- Legion (Amarr) utilizing Emergent Locus Analyzer
- Tengu (Caldari) utilizing Emergent Locus Analyzer
- Proteus (Gallente) utilizing Emergent Locus Analyzer
- Loki (Minmatar) utilizing Emergent Locus Analyzer
Sisters of Eve Faction/Pirate ships
Sisters of Eve has Faction frigate and cruiser which have a 37.5% role bonus to scanning, and can 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.
Once the target's signal strength reaches 25%, the scan result will display one of the following 5 groups. If it is a group that doesn't interest you, it is safe to move on at this point.
|A long, long time ago...|
|Previous terms for these sites followed the same naming convention for ship sensors, as follows: Ladar--Gas, Radar--Hacking, Magnetometric--Archeological, Gravimetric--Asteroid fields|
Scanning & Probing Techniques and Tricks
See Smurfprime's Probing Guide for a complete guide on how to probe down a signature. (very old information)
What You Cannot Probe Down
- Wrecks (player or NPC)
- Cargo containers (jetcans, anchored secure containers, etc.)
- Corpses (biomass)
|A long, long time ago...|
|An earlier version of the game grouped these types under the "Scrap" category, and they were possible to probe.|
Controls for rearranging probes have recently changed in the Odyssey expansion
- By default all probes will move as one constellation unless you hold SHIFT or ALT which modifies how probes are moved. Holding SHIFT moves a single probe instead of all at once, ALT makes them zoom in or out around their common center, 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.
Scan Probe Placement (With 4, 5, 6, 7 or 8 probes). You can find any site with just 4 probes, assuming you have enough sensor strength. If the site is too weak, you can pile on additional probes and it may work. By default your probe launcher will always try to launch maximum amount of probes (8).
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, 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. That way, the launcher will always be ready without you ever having to manually load it. All you have to do is remember to recall them before moving to the next system.
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.
- Two Dots: Three probes have distances, which narrows it down to two possible locations. Likely to be more or less accurate, but beware of deviation.
- One Dot: Four probes can see the result. Once scan strength reaches 100%, the result will be warpable.
Quick and Dirty How-To
- Look at the system scanner and determine if there are any Cosmic Signatures to be found. (Before Odyssey expansion you had to drop probes and scan before you could determine if a system had any Cosmic Signatures in it.)
- 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. One way to easily cover a sphere-result, is to put 4 probes around the edges at enough range to cover the entire sphere. If this is impractical, overlap the sphere as much as possible and try to narrow it down to a circle-result.
- 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, and/or train higher levels of the relevant skills.
Smurfprime's Probing Guide(old information)
- A very good video guide on scanning with 5 probes: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=heYfTA00Idg
- Seamus's guide to scanning with 7 probes: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rTf4ZYPAX1s
- An old guide to Deep space probes :http://swiftandbitter.com/eve/dsp/highsec.html