Insta lock + One Shot?

Last night while attempting to roam null sec I got killed while trying to jump through a gate. My usual practice is to command “Jump” from a system safe spot. This time, as soon as I landed on the gate grid I was blown up. No fight. No red on my console just gone.

I chatted with the player who killed me and he said it was an Alpha shot (Insta lock + one shot).
He was flying a Loki armed with 720mm Howitzer.

Another in-game friend (with years of Eve experience) told me that what I am describing is impossible, not allowed by game mechanics. If I use Jump to gate I shouldn’t be able to be targeted and killed that quickly.
I am 99% sure I did this.

Is Insta lock and one shot a thing? and if so, how can you defend against it.
I was flying a Magnate with about 1600 hep

Even when using the Jump command, you’ll sometimes land a little farther from the gate than the distance required to jump which then requires you to head towards the gate a little bit. It’s during this time that someone can one shot you if it happens.

It’s rare, but it does happen.


Is there anything I can do to avoid it? Obviously D-scan the gate if possible, but many systems there is nowhere you can easily get within 14 AU of the gate. I could use the drained cap warp trick but that would take forever to travel in null doing that every time.

If you don’t have anywhere near the gate, warp to 100 (though this might not save you from an instalock loki, not sure how far they can shoot) and make a bookmark before you land that’s an au from the gate. Then warp to that and warp back if safe


Yes. That makes sense. Thanks

Fit a cloak, if you have it use it. If you are out of jump range when you land turn the cloak on and approach. Decloak range is 2km and jump range is 2.5km.

Thanks for the suggestion. But, I didn’t have time to activate anything. I was dead before there was red on my console.

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Not really. Different angle approach won’t work because of range on the arties. Ironically, if you landed close enough to him you might have survived due to being “under” his guns. But you can’t do that because you don’t know what a gate camper is fit with and you are much better off landing at an odd angle rather then in range of high DPS weapons.

This sounds like lag or a server hiccup. TBH there should be at bare minimum a 1 second delay in which you should have been eitehr already jumping or at least able to activate something. Eve Online works on 1 second ticks. This is the hard minimum. Even when I get taken out by smartbombs on gates it is not instant like that, and smartbombs do not require any targetting, just positioning.

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I got killed at 7:40 and the next kill from that player was 9:24. Net about 2 mill isk in dropped loot. Not a very profitable strategy if you ask me.

I checked the range of the howitzer and it is 24 km. Landing at 100 km and bounce to on-grid bookmark should work. Unless there is other longer range insta-lock one shot set up

Some good responses thus far. I’ll throw in my piece too. :slight_smile:

- Is “insta-lock and one-shot” possible?
Short answer: Yes.

- How do they do it?
It is a combination of two things: One or two Sensor Booster module(s) with (a) targeting “script(s)” and Projectile Artillery.
Sensor boosters enhance targeting range and speed and can be loaded with “scripts” to further enhance range or targeting speed (at the cost of the other).
Projectile Artillery is the “long range” class of projectile weaponry. Its defining characteristics are medium range and VERY high volley damage (make it the perfect “shoot and run” weapon).

- Is this tactic common?
Somewhat. A ship that wants to be “optimal” at this tactic often has to sacrifice in other areas… making it pretty specialized and vulnerable outside of that specialty.
This means that the player is taking a risk when they do this sort of thing. Doubly so if they are solo.
You won’t usually find this kind of thing outside of Stargates and Stations (usually heavily trafficked ones).

- How can this be countered?
Well… a few things come to mind… but let us first discuss game mechanics so you have an understanding on what you are about to do.
– NPC Stations grant about 30 seconds of “invulnerability.” People can still see you, but they cannot target or shoot you until you activate a module or the 30 seconds are up (whichever comes first).
It should be noted that you CAN stop the ship (ctrl-SPACE) and you can be bumped by other ships before the invulnerability is up.
– Stargates grant about 60 seconds of “cloak immunity” after you have jumped to a new system. While cloaked, no one can interact with your ship as long as you do not move, activate a module, or the 60 seconds are up (whichever comes first).
– The server operates at a “tick” rate of 1 second. This means that every second the server accepts commands given from the game client, processes the information, and updates the client (roughly speaking).

– Now… regarding counter-tactics (please note that NONE of these are “silver bullets,” they merely stack the odds more in your favor)…
---- Around NPC Stations, it is easy. But it requires advance preparation.
If you frequent certain stations, take the time to create “insta-undock” bookmarks. In a nutshell; grab a frigate with a Microwarpdrive, undock, and then try to align yourself “straight out” with the undock point of the station. Once you are 150+ km (the minimum distance your ship needs to warp) you can create a bookmark.
Now, whenever you undock and see baddies, you can quickly pull up the bookmark and be away in mere seconds.
— Around Stargates you have few options. Especially if you are not prepared.
----- Ideally, you will want to be able to use a Covert-Ops cloak (can only be used on certain ships). Simply hit “cloak” as soon as you see the “warping” notification.
----- Another thing you can do is to try to get your alignment speed under 2-3 seconds. This makes it VERY hard to target you as human reaction speed, combined with server update speed, and ship targeting speed may take just as long or longer.
----- If done right, the cloak-MWD trick works wonders on larger, slower ships. You merely need access to the Improved Cloaking Device (which any ship can use) and a MWD. Since it will take too long to explain the mechanical nuts and bolts of this tactic, I’ll simply direct you to Youtube.
----- Tank your ship. By this I mean, “fit buffer.” You want to be able to absorb at least 1 hit from a ship. To do this, fit Armor Plates / Shield Extenders and resistance modules. Armor Repairers and Shield Boosters won’t work here as they take time to “absorb” damage… which is kind of pointless when you may potentially die in an instant.


Thanks for your very detailed comment. I had earlier in the evening ventured into null with a fast align Executioner (under 2 sec). But the ship couldn’t successfully hack the Relic sites. So I went back for my Magnate, which has much stronger virus strength. And, still an align of under 3 sec.

As we know, there is no perfect all purpose ship. Live and Let Die.

He wasn’t doing it for profit.

It was either just to blow some stuff up or possibly a “stay out of our turf, punk” thing.

Most gate campers aren’t as good - or maybe lucky. Insta-lock setups can indeed be a pain, though.

Travel through 0.0 security space (nullsec, of course) is going to take longer than just going gate-to-gate directly in most cases (for example; unless you know for sure both sides of a gate are controlled by friendlies - don’t just jump directly)

The guy who popped you was probably alerted by you coming onto the local list that someone(s) were in system and might go through his gate.

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Challenge accepted :slight_smile:


Upon re-reading the OP, I think I know what actually happened.

Since it was stated that the OP was “landing on grid” from warp, the more likely scenario is smartbombing ship.

Smartbombing ships are pretty simple.
Merely sit within the common warp-in points (and far enough away from the Stargate) and activate smartbombs as soon as something appears on the overview.

No targeting is needed as smartbombs are Area of Effect weapons.

There are two ways to get around this kind of gatecamping:

  • Fit a buffer tank: Shield Extenders / Armor plate and resistance modules. Smartbombs damage is relatively low and thus is only really suitable against Frigates, Destroyers, and pods (because none of them have much innate EHP). So if a ship has enough “beefiness” it can power on through.

  • Warp in at “off angles.” The whole idea behind smartbombing camps is that they are sitting right on the common warp-in points.
    To get around this, simply warp to a planet or celestial body that provides a warp-in angle that is far enough away from the common warp-in points (note: the celestial doesn’t have to be something close to the stargate itself).


You can check your log, so you can see which kind of weapon killed you in which order and amount of shots.
To me, it sounds like a smartbomb, they don’t need any lock.

People should stop using the term insta lock. Mostly because it’s not insta at all so it’s a misnomer, and also because the name pretty much implies there’s nothing you can do about it because it happened instantly, right?

There’s lots of things you can do about it, Fluffers mentioned the majority of options you have. So it’s not insta and yes you can counter it.

From kill report.

Ship: Loki
Weapon: 720mm Howitzer Artillery II
Damage Done: 927

Okay… so my first post in this thread will be the most relevant. :slight_smile:


This thread proves that the game mechanics favour the hunter over the hunted.

… and makes you even prouder every time you got away.
Speed tank ftw!