Exploration - scanning

Couple questions:

  1. If I’m scanning a cosmic signature and it keeps coming up zero %. does that mean it was already taken by someone?

2)Is the +5 bonus to scanning ship (like the Magnate) really that significant? That is, is the bonus on that ship worth being somewhat undefended (2 turret slots + some drones) in low sec?

Would I be safer to scan it down and then go there with a destroyer?


1: It means that no probes are able to isolate it - it is there, it’s either very faint and hard to scan or you haven’t got it in range of a probe. If it’s a big sphere make sure the probes (on point scan) cover it (increase their diameter - the target is “somewhere in there, or maybe just outside”.)
2: The scanning bonus does help. As do the various add-ons and training. That 5% bonus is, as I recall, per level of Amarr Frigate trained. It does add up quite nicely.

The trick with a pure scanning and hacking explorer isn’t “fight off the attacker” because he didn’t attack if he wasn’t confident of the kill. It’s “run away at the slightest sign of trouble”. Getting the loot to market is the important bit!

You may want to swap ships depending on what the target you get is - something like a Magnate isn’t going to handle a combat site. So saying, a combat fitted destroyer isn’t going to Hack either.


The scan process does not give any information concerning if anyone might still be there or even if it’s been visited before. To find out about such things you’ll need to scan it using d-scan, though a few ships are not visible on D-scan.

If scanning a signature keeps returning a 0% result then you have not pinpointed the source of the signature yet; try increase the scan range, start at 8-16 AU range and go down 1-range tick as you scan the signature. there may be times when a signal source may appear to be in 2 locations, if your scan returns a 0% result on the first one you try then go back and scan the other point. On a general rule of thumb, if you see 2 locations for a signature then scan at the location that is nearest a celestial body.

The benefit T1 Exploration Frigates have is that they are dirt cheap. The Astero is the best Frigate-sized ship you can find and it brings a little defenses, some small tank and decent drones. All bonuses is worth having as it makes scanning easier. Furthermore you can also increase your scan Deviation (more accurate), Strength and Speed by fitting modules, to compensate for low skills or low bonuses on the hull you’re using.


1 ) No - when someone completed the site, it vanishes from probe scan completely.
2a) yes - Special use of a special ship, typically EVE.
2b) yes - Don’t feel safe with 2 small guns in Lowsec. Fast alignment is much healthier.
Dessie) No - For a Stratios, a Dessie is easier to kill than a fast Frig.


as Pierre said

  1. no. You ■■■■■■ up. Watch videos or read guides about scanning
  2. the +5 bonus of Magnate is not a bonus for scanning but for hacking. Yes it helps a lot. Specially when you are a newbie. Because 1) your skills are not at max levels and 2) you are not good at hacking. When you have l5 skills and have already hacked hundreds of cans, the hacking bonus is less important.
  3. the safe way for an explo is to hack quickly and warp out. Not to fight back.
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