How do I determine my probing scan strength?

This is going to be scanning week at Pilgrim in Exile.

A question a newer explorer might ask is “How do I determine my probing scan strength?”  The next question is “How much scan strength do I need?”.  We will cover the second question in the next post.

Determining you probe scan strength is fairly simple.  In EVE, you can open your fitting window and let your mouse hover over your probe launcher.  If you have probes loaded, you will see a couple of small buttons pop up.  One is “show info” on the launcher and the other is “show info” on the probes.  Select “show info” on the probes.  This will bring up a screen that looks like this:

probe sensor strength

Notice in this example the Base Scan Range is 0.5 AU’s and the Base Sensor Strength is 27.8.  That means that at 0.5 AU’s, your Base Sensor Strength is 27.8.  These are  combat probes.  If they were core probes, it would say Base Sensor Strength of 55.6 at 0.25AU’s.  (Core probes appear to have double the base sensor strength, but at the same range, 0.5AU’s for example, they have the same strength as combat probes.  Their only advantage is they can be set to a smaller range of 0.25AU’s to increase strength.  More on this in the next post).

You can also see this information in EFT (EVE Fitting Tool).  Open up the ship fitting and right-click on the probe launcher and select “Show Charge Info”.

probe strength show charge

probe sensor strength EFT

There are several ways to improve your scan strength.

Skills: Astrometrics (5% level), Astrometric Rangefinding (5% per level)

Ship Skills: (racial) Frigate, Covert Operations, (racial) Electronic Subystems all improve the scan strength of their associated skips per level.

Ship Equipment: Scan Rangefinding Array I/II (improves 5% / 10%).  You can equip multiples, but stacking penalties apply.  Core/Expanded Probe Launcher II and Sisters Core/Expanded Probe Launcher both improve scan strength.  Gravity Capacitor Upgrade I/II rigs improve scan strength.

Ammo: Sisters probes and RSS probes both offer improved base scan strength over standard probes.

Implants: Poteque ‘Prospector’ Astrometric Rangefinding AR-802/806/810 and the Low Grade Virtue set both improve scan strength.

Most players will use a mix of the above.  Dedicated scanning ships will almost always have Gravity Capacitor Upgrade rigs.  Most explorers will use a Sister Probe Launcher with Sisters Probes.  Implants are often used with a dedicated scout clone.

So how much scan strength do you need?  I’ll discuss that in the next 2 posts.