Tag Archives: scanning

Scanning Links

Final post in scanning week at Pilgrim in Exile.

I previously covered determining probe strength and how much you need for exploration and combat probing.

Here are some links to some other scanning guides:

Faction Fit Pod Odyssey Scanning Guide  – this is actually part 5 of a good 8 part series on exploration since the Odyssey expansion.

How to scan the Penny Ibramovic way: Odyssey edition – Penny (at Tiger Ears) shows how she scans in a thorough, well-written guide.  As always, she has a style all her own.

Eve University– nice overview of scanning and probing, but not as detailed on the “how-to”

Smurfprime’s Probing Guide – This guide is also hosted on the EVE Uni website.  It is a very good “how-to” guide.  Unfortunately, it was not updated for Odyssey so it doesn’t show the Odyssey probe configurations or the skill changes.  It does show what it means when you get “two red dots” or “a red circle” and explains it nicely.  I am including it primarily for that reason although there is other good stuff there too.

Swift and Bitter DSP Guide – This site was pure gold back when Deep Space Probe were used (pre-Odyssey).  The removal of DSP’s should have obsoleted the guide, but I find that I still use it – primarily to remind me which “bands” all the signatures fall in as well as for quick identification of sites.

8 probe cube guide – There are lots of you-tube videos on scanning and many of them are very good.  I point this one out only because it is a little different.  I used this formation pre-odyssey and really liked it.  I can’t say definitively that it is better as I have been too lazy to really test it.  From a combat probing side, it is good because there is no center probe, so you can potentially have all of your probes out of d-scan range.


How much probe strength do I need? – Combat Probing Edition

Scanning Week continues at Pilgrim in Exile.

In my last post, I talked about determining how much probing strength you need to scan down cosmic signatures. In this post, I will discuss the probe scan strength needed to scan down ships and structures. There are 2 big differences. The first is that combat probes have half the base probe strength of core probes due to the fact that they can only “zoom in” to 0.5AU’s instead of 0.25AU’s. The second difference is in the signal strength of your target is calculated.

The casual, unofficial formula I use is:

Probe Strength * AU modifier * Placement modifier * Signal Strength = Scan Result


Probe Strength is your Base Sensor Strength

AU modifier is 100% at Base Scan Range (ie 100% at 0.5AU’s ; 50% at 1AU; etc.)

Placement modifier is 100% when all of your probes are perfectly centered on the signature

Signal Strength = Target Signature Radius / Target Sensor Strength / 100

Scan Result is the result returned by your scanning. 100% is needed for warp-in.

For exploration probing, the signal strength was determined by the type/band of cosmic signature. For ships and structures, it is a little different. It is the Signature Radius divided by the Sensor Strength (divided by 100 to get percent). How do you determine this? Well, the unmodified attributes can be found in the info about the ship or structure. For example:


For the Mammoth, look under “Targeting” and see that it has 8 points of Sensor Strength and a Signature Radius of 180. It’s Signal Strength is 22.5%. Pretty easy to scan down.

Another example:


This Magnate has 10 points of Sensor Strength and a Signature Radius of 39. It’s Signal Strength is 3.9%. A bit harder to scan down. So how much Probe Strength would you need to scan it down? Well, if we assume 85% placement accuracy, you would need 30.2 (100%/3.9%/85% = 30.2)

Structures also have these attributes. Here is a standard mobile depot:


With a Signature Radius of 500 and 50 points of Sensor Strength, it has a Signal Strength of 10%.

Now, these are the stock attributes. For ships, these attributes can be modified by rigs and modules as well as player skills. For signature radius, there are a number of things that increase signature radius including Shield Extenders, Shield Rigs, and the use of a MWD. There are also a number of things that increase Sensor Strength including ECCM modules and Sensor Compensation skills. It is for this reason that you can’t know for sure how much Probe Strength you will need. For combat probing, more is always better!

The maximum Combat Probe strength I could get with all implants, rigs, modules, and skills was 100. This means a maxed out prober could scan down a Signal Strength of 1.053% (at 95% placement accuracy). There used to be “unprobable” Tengu’s, that could get close to that, but I don’t think they still can. Could be wrong though.

Suppose you want to scan down an Archon carrier without them seeing your combat probes. You would need to adjust your probe layout (so that none are centered on the target) and you would also need to be able to place the probes at 16AU’s. Can you do it? At 16 AU’s, the AU modifier is 3.125%. A stock Archon has a Signature Radius of 2920 with a Sensor Strength of 72. That gives it a very fat Signal Strength of 40.5%. If you can use d-scan well, you could probably get a placement accuracy of 85%. So with 100%/90%/40.5%/3.125 = 93. Doable, but challenging. If you can get a placement accuracy of 90%, you can do it with 89 probe strength.

At the other end of the scale, the new “Yurt” variation of the mobile depot has a Signature Radius of 500 and a Sensor Strength of 400 giving it a Signal Strength of 1.25%. At 85% placement accuracy, you need a probe strength of 94 to scan it down.

How much probe scan strength do I need for exploration?

Scanning Week continues at Pilgrim in Exile.

How much probe scan strength do you need to scan down all cosmic signatures?

The technical answer is 80.  The real answer is about 95.  I will attempt to explain with math.  I will probably fail.  Feel free to ask questions in the comments…

All of this refers to using Core Scanner Probes to scan Cosmic Signatures.  Combat probing will be covered in the next post.

Cosmic Signatures are banded by strengths.  The strongest is 20% and the weakest is 1.25%.  This is true for all areas of space.

The casual, unofficial formula looks something like this:

Probe Strength * AU modifier * Placement modifier * Signal Strength = Scan Result


Probe Strength is your Base Sensor Strength

AU modifier is 100% at Base Scan Range (ie 100% at 0.25AU’s; 50% at 0.50AU’s; 25% at 1AU; etc.)

Placement modifier is 100% when all of your probes are perfectly centered on the signature

Scan Result is the result returned by your scanning.  100% is needed for warp-in.


If you can achieve 100% placement accuracy, you can scan down a 1.25% signature with 80 probe strength.  (100% / 100% / 100% / 1.25% = 80)

But realistically, you can only achieve 100% placement accuracy if you already know where the signature is.  For scanning purposes, I would assume 85% accuracy.  Your scan deviation plays into this, but with a couple of tries, you can usually achieve 85% placement accuracy.

So realistically, to scan down the most difficult cosmic signature of 1.25%, you need a probe strength of 95.  (100% / 100% / 85% / 1.25% = 95).

Anything beyond 95 is pure gravy.  Higher probe strengths allow you to and resolve signatures faster and with less placement accuracy, but are otherwise unneccessary.

CCP has hinted that they may introduce something in the future that would require higher scanning skills.  Assuming that the next most difficult signature follows the pattern, it would be 0.625%.  The scan strength required to find it would be 188  (100% / 100% / 85% / 0.625% = 188.2).  That is not currently achievable without implants.

Currently, with a 50% scanning bonus ship (covops/strat cruiser), All V’s in scanning related skills, 2 Medium Gravity Capacitor Upgrade rigs, Sisters Core Probe Launcher with RSS probes, 2 Scan Rangefinding Array II’s, a full set of Virtue implants, and an AR-810 implant, you can just barely cross the threshold at 193 scan strength 204 scan strength (edit 2/12/14 – forgot the omega implant).

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.