New Player Exploration Career Guide (part 2)

This is my attempt to write a guide for newish players that are interesting in doing Exploration in Eve. It will be a multi-part guide written over the course of a few weeks months.  It is based on my experiences and research. Accuracy is attempted, but not guaranteed.

Part 1: Overview

Part 2: Getting started


Phase 1a: “Hacking” High sec profession sites

Ship: T1 exploration Frigate

Training: ~ 1-3 months

Major Skills: Racial Frigate IV, Archeology IV, Hacking IV, Astrometics IV, Astrometric Rangefinding III,

Modules: Core probe launcher, T1 Data/Relic Analyzer, T1 rigs

Cost: < 10M

Risk: Very low

Reward: Approximately 5-10M per hour


This is something that you can do just a few days after completing the tutorials (depending on how long they take you).



The Heron, Imicus, and Probe are all good T1 exploration ships. The Heron has the advantage of an additional midslot to improve your scanning strength – but it is only a 5% improvement (where the rigs give you give you 10% each). The Imicus and Probe have the advantage of an additional low slot for either better agility or more storage (or both). The Amarr Magnate is a poor choice because it only has 3 midslots.

The fitting that you want looks something like this:

High Slots

Core Probe Launcher I : Core Scanner Probes

(optional) Prototype Cloaking Device (for short trips into lowsec)

(optional) Auto Targeting System (1-2 more locked targets)


Mid Slots

Data Analyzer I

Relic Analyzer I

Cargo Scanner


(Heron) Scan Rangefinder Array (+5% scan strength) / Sensor booster (lock & scan faster and from further away)


Low Slots

Nanofiber Internal Structure(s) / Fitting Mods / Cargohold Expanders / Signal amplifier


Small Gravity Capacitor Upgrades (x2)

Generally, I would go for cargo expanders in the lows.  Data sites particularly drop loot with high m3 requirements.  The signal amp lets you lock more targets for scanning, but as a newer player, you should be hacking all the cans anyway so it is ok if you can lock 5+ simultaneously.    You don’t need cap stability, so the only fitting mods you need are for power or CPU if your fitting skills are low.  Once they are a bit higher, you can drop the fitting mods as needed.



Your training priorities should be getting your chosen racial Frigate skill to IV, Hacking to IV, Archeology to IV and then go after getting Astrometics to IV, and Astrometric Rangefinding to III. You will of course need to train some fitting skills to fit and run the modules. Beyond that, you can spend your time training for the next phases while you rack up some exploration loot.


If you need help scanning stuff down, here are a couple of scanning guides….

Once you have your ship and basic skills you are ready to head out. The further away from market hubs the better. I went to Genesis, but there are lots of options. Generally, you can check the number of jumps per 24 hours on Eve Maps and look for a low-travelled area. As long as you stay away from the major market hubs (Jita, Amarr, Rens, Dodixie, Hek) and the immediate routes between them, you should be able to find some sites.

Once your hacking/analyzer skills are to at least IV (and preferably V) and you have the ability to use a prototype cloak, you may want to use the occasional wormhole to venture into lowsec. If you find a HS-LS wormhole, leave your loot safely in a station and try out lowsec. Don’t wander too far from your entrance system, but you should be able to explore a few systems and maybe find a few data/relic sites. Lowsec sites are slightly more difficult, but usually have much better rewards.

When you are in highsec, you have the option of taking sites from other pilots and vice versa. Alternatively, you can team up and split the loot you gain.

If you go it alone, you should try to do the data sites first. Scan them with your cargo scanner as soon as you land and do the most profitable cans first. The most valuable items are faction BPC’s (data scatter cans) and decryptors (parts scatter cans). Relic sites aren’t as good in highsec, but may have faction BPC’s (data scatter cans), Tech 2 Rig BPC’s (data scatter cans) or salvage materials (parts/materials scatter cans). You should target and scan all cans and then go after the best ones first. A targeting system and signal amplifier increase the number of targets you can lock allowing you to keep track of more cans. A sensor booster/signal amplifier will let you scan them from further away. Sometimes cans are 60km away and you have to fly a bit to be in targeting range.

Once you have scanned the cans, MWD to the first one.   As soon as you are within range, turn off you MWD. I usually right click the can and “Keep at Range 500m”. This gives you a good shot at getting the loot when it is “spewed”. Activate the appropriate analyzer module and the hacking mini-game will appear.

For a very detailed overview of the hacking mini-game, please check out Eve University’s Hacking 101.

Here is my quick list of tips:

–          The System Core is usually on the opposite side of the mini-game board. I used to try the “edge” approach of clicking on edge nodes and moving around the board that way. But I think I actually have better luck just going straight to the opposite side with as few clicks as possible.

–          Don’t attack Firewall or Antivirus subsystems unless they are blocking your path. You may be able to skip them.

–          In Low or Null sec (extremely rare in high sec) you will see Restoration Nodes. They need to be destroyed immediately.

–          Also in Low or Null sec, you will see Virus Suppressors. Use a utility if you have one (Secondary Vectors as best), but you must destroy this ASAP. If you get a Restoration Node while a Virus Suppressor is active, you are finished.

–          Use a Self-Repair utility immediately. You don’t gain anything by saving it for later.

–          Polymorphic Shield (2 charges) is best used on 2 different AntiVirus defensive nodes. Use it to knock each of them in half and you can usually destroy them in 1 click (and thus take no damage).

–          Secondary Vectors are best used on Virus Suppressors. If you are unlikely to encounter one (like in high sec), then you can use it on a Firewall.

–          Kernel Rot is best used on a Firewall or on a node buffed by a Restoration Node.

–          I usually skip Data Caches unless I absolutely need one.

–          If you are in lowsec and/or worried about getting ambushed, orbit the can at 3km until you have the System core down to 1 hit. Then approach (or Keep at Range 500km). Do the last hit when you are ready for loot spew.

–          Once loot spew hits, go after the priority cans first (Data if there is a BPC you want, otherwise Parts for Data Sites and Parts/Materials for Relic Sites). For a breakout of contents by mini-container click here.

–          During loot spew, you can single click on a can to tractor it to you. While it is tractoring, you can single click on the next can. It will be pulled in as soon as the current can is done. This way you can queue up cans for your tractor beam. Double clicking on a can causes your ship to approach it and activate the tractor beam. This actually SLOWS DOWN your collection so only do it if a can is going to be out of range (beyond 3000m).


If you don’t want to play the hacking mini-game and want to move toward combat sites, a good way to make ISK while you work on your ship skills is to try out some Ninja Salvaging/Looting.

Phase 1b: “Combat” Ninja salvaging

Ship: T1 exploration Frigate

Training: ~ 1-3 months

Major Skills: Racial Frigate IV, Astrometics IV, Astrometric Rangefinding III, Salvaging IV-V, Drones IV, Salvage Drone Operation III-IV

Modules: Expanded probe launcher, T1-T2 Salvager, T1 rigs

Cost: < 10M

Risk: Low-Moderate

Reward: Approximately 5-10M per hour; higher if also ninja looting

This is something that you can do just a few days after completing the tutorials (depending on how long they take you).


The Heron, Imicus, Magnate, and Probe are all ok for Ninja Salvaging. The Imicus is probably the best because it has nice fitting ability and can use up to 4 drones for additional salvaging speed.

The fitting that you want looks something like this:

Imicus- Salvager

 Highs Slots:

Expanded Probe Launcher I

Salvager I x2

Mid Slots: Limited 1MN Afterburner I

F-b10 Nominal Capacitor Regenerator

Small F-S9 Regolith Shield Induction

Surface Cargo Scanner I

Low Slots:

Co-processor I

Nanofiber Internal Structure I x2


Small Gravity Capacitor Upgrade I x2


Salvaging Drone x4


There is lots of room for experimentation here. You can force an MWD to fit, but I don’t think the extra speed helps all that much. You already move pretty fast and don’t have to worry about cap stability. The small shield extender gives you some breathing room if you warp into a room and rats are still there.



Your training priorities should be getting your chosen racial Frigate skill to IV, Astrometrics to IV, Astrometric Rangefinding to III, and Salvaging to IV. You will need a few fitting skills to III. Next you should get Drones IV and Salvaging Drone Operations to III before going back and getting Salvaging to V.

After that, you can focus your training time on the next phases or focus on your getting your scanning skills to IV/V across the board.


Once you have your ship and skills ready to go, you are ready to head out.   You are looking for regional Mission hubs that are just a bit away from the major market hubs. Sansha’s are generally regarded as having the best salvage, but Angels and Blood Raiders are good too. Guristas and Serpentis are just ok.

You can read about my experiences and suggestions regarding Ninja Salvaging here.

For another take, check out “Scumbag Hanz“.  He was only blogging for a few months, but he posted some interesting experiences in ninja salvaging and looting as a new player.

Ninja looting is even more profitable, but of course carries more risk.  It also has some downtime with it as you don’t want to be flashy by high sec gates.  It is also a bit harder with the new Tractor modules that auto-loot wrecks.  Destroying tractor modules and stealing their contents can also be pretty profitable.  It isn’t necessarily something I recommend for a newer player, so I am not going to go into details here.