Tag Archives: tips

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.

Tengu Fit: Exploration Travel

I have received a couple of emails and comments recently asking about my fit for scanning and travelling through lowsec before switching to some of my posted fits for lowsec exploration complexes.

I don’t have one “travel fit” that I use exclusively, it kind of depends on the space I am in, and what I plan on doing.  Occasionally, I travel in a PVP fit for snagging unobservant frigates in data or relic sites.  But most of the time, I use a fit that is focused on exploration efficiency.

Since I am currently in Blood Raider space again I will show my entry level BR fit.  Items in RED are just for travel.  The other items get re-used in combat complexes.

[Tengu, ham tengu ls travel (BR) ]
Nanofiber Internal Structure II
Expanded Cargohold II
Damage Control II
Nanofiber Internal Structure II

Relic Analyzer II
Experimental 10MN Microwarpdrive I
Explosive Deflection Field II
EM Ward Field II
Experimental 10MN Afterburner I
Large Shield Extender II
Cargo Scanner II

Sisters Expanded Probe Launcher, Sisters Core Scanner Probe
Covert Ops Cloaking Device II
Heavy Assault Missile Launcher II, Mjolnir Rage Heavy Assault Missile
Heavy Assault Missile Launcher II, Mjolnir Rage Heavy Assault Missile
Heavy Assault Missile Launcher II, Mjolnir Rage Heavy Assault Missile

Medium Hydraulic Bay Thrusters I
Medium Rocket Fuel Cache Partition I
Medium Capacitor Control Circuit II

Tengu Defensive – Amplification Node
Tengu Electronics – Emergent Locus Analyzer
Tengu Offensive – Covert Reconfiguration
Tengu Engineering – Capacitor Regeneration Matrix
Tengu Propulsion – Gravitational Capacitor


In this fit, it is really all about the mid-slots.  I pretty much always dual-prop my travel fits.  I used to dual-prop with a 100MN afterburner, and that is still a pretty good idea for Null-sec, but I have gotten lazy about this.  I haven’t seen a gate camp for several weeks and I haven’t seen a GOOD one for several months so even if the 100MN afterburner would help me escape, I would probably screw it up for lack of experience.

After a dual prop, every thing else in the mids is for being able to clear a Ghost Site without refitting.  Ghost Sites deal explosive damage when the cans pop so an explosive hardener and LSE are very important.  The rats at Ghost Sites deal damage according to the space they are in so having an EM hardener is required.  Even if they didn’t, you have a gaping EM hole and keeping it plugged is a good idea.  Finally, having a cargo scanner and relic (or data) analyzer is required for scanning and getting the Ghost Site loot.

I use a relic analyzer because in lowsec I am (slightly) more likely to run relic sites than I am data sites.  I will sometimes scan data sites, but I won’t run them unless I see a good BPC that is worth refitting for.

In the high slots, I have my probe and cloak.  The missile launchers give you some dps, but it is really more about storage than anything.

The low slots are open to individual preference.  I like a DC, and having an expanded cargohold helps me carry enough missiles to run several sites without restocking.  The NIS’s bring your align time down and help with navigating the debris of relic sites.  I used to use WCS’s, but I hated what they did to my targeting range.  I eventually dropped them entirely.

This is what the fit looks like in EFT along with storing the modules needed for running combat sites.  If I have no other modules or loot, I have enough space for about 300m3 of missiles (I usually carry a medium secure container so that adds a spare 90m3 of space).

Tengu - BR travel

And just for reference purposes, here is the BR combat site fit that I am carrying:

[Tengu, ham tengu ls combat (BR)]
Ballistic Control System II
Ballistic Control System II
Ballistic Control System II
Caldari Navy Ballistic Control System

Cap Recharger II
‘Copasetic’ Particle Field Acceleration
Pith C-Type Large Shield Booster
EM Ward Field II
Experimental 10MN Afterburner I
EM Ward Field II
Cap Recharger II

Heavy Assault Missile Launcher II, Mjolnir Rage Heavy Assault Missile
Heavy Assault Missile Launcher II, Mjolnir Rage Heavy Assault Missile
Heavy Assault Missile Launcher II, Mjolnir Rage Heavy Assault Missile
Heavy Assault Missile Launcher II, Mjolnir Rage Heavy Assault Missile
Heavy Assault Missile Launcher II, Mjolnir Rage Heavy Assault Missile

Medium Hydraulic Bay Thrusters I
Medium Rocket Fuel Cache Partition I
Medium Capacitor Control Circuit II

Tengu Defensive – Amplification Node
Tengu Electronics – Emergent Locus Analyzer
Tengu Offensive – Accelerated Ejection Bay
Tengu Engineering – Capacitor Regeneration Matrix
Tengu Propulsion – Gravitational Capacitor

Here is that fit in EFT.  Tengu - BR combat sides (medium skill)

Skillwise, this pilot has 5’s in Engineering fitting skills, 4’s in rigging skills, 5’s in Tengu subsystems, 4’s in Navigation, 4’s in shields and 4’s in missiles (except where 5’s are required for T2 missiles)



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 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.

PI Compression: 6000m3 => 1m3

Do you have lots of PI production, but have problems with storage and transportation?  Do you have access to a single manufacturing slot?  Would you like to compress 6000m3 of P3 materials down to 1m3 without losing any value?

Look into manufacturing Ascendany implants.  Here is a screenshot from a great manufacturing and probability calculator site.

ascendancy implant manf

click to enlarge

The Ascendancy Alpha BPC sells for around 8M isk on contract.  Using that and about 34m3 of Shattered Villard Wheels and Morphite, you can convert 6444m3 of P3 materials to 1m3 of implant.  The manufacturing time is only 1 hour.  The BPC is a fairly common Ghost site drop and the price of the implant is mostly tied to PI prices.

I probably won’t do this for a couple of reasons.  First, I already have a working plan for exporting my PI goods out of lowsec.  Second, I don’t feel like messing around with my planets again to set up P3 production.  Third, while I have a plan to export materials, I don’t have a reliable plan for importing the Shattered Villard Wheels (SVW’s) and BPC’s.

I could see this as being pretty nice for wormhole dwellers.  A variety of BPC’s drop in WH space so they could either buy BPC’s or use their own drops.  They would still need to import SVW’s as I don’t think those drop in WH space.  It might require some reworking of planets (and having the right combination of planets) so that may or may not be worth it.