Tools of the trade
While scanning only takes a few skills and equipment to start with, there are a lot of ships, equipments, implants and skills that will make scanning much more effective.
Without scan probes there could be no probing. There are three kinds of scan probes used in scanning:
The Sisters of Eve have improved upon the base designs, making their probes available on the open market to all those who take the scanning career seriously.
The RSS probes provides further increase in scan strength and are available as storyline mission rewards.
Probe launchers are high-slot equipments used to launch scan probes and are vital to scanning.
In addition to the standard probe launchers readily available on the market, the Sisters of Eve offers enhanced probe launchers as a reward to those who are loyal to them; these are available for purchase through their loyalty point store.
Several key skills are required for successful scanning:
While any ships with a free high-slot and CPU can fit a probe launcher for scanning, some T1 frigates and covert ops gives special bonus to scan strength to help the player tracking a signature down.
The following T1 frigates give a 7.5% bonus to scan strength per racial frigate skill level, they are cheap and great for beginners to try out scanning.
Covert ops frigates give a 10% bonus to scan strength per level in Covert Ops skill. Additionally, it allows one to fit a Covert Ops Cloaking Device II that greatly increase the safety of traveling between systems in dangerous space. It should be noted that covert ops frigates provides less bonus to scan strength than its T1 counterpart until you train the Covert Ops skill to level III, because the racial frigate V required for covert ops frigates already provides 25% bonus to the scanning specialized T1 frigate.
The gravity capacitor upgrade rigs are used to increase scan strength of probe launchers.
The low-grade virtue implants gives scan strength bonus; the whole set gives 33.83% bonus to strength of scan probes.
The following attribute hardwirings give bonus to different attributes of scan probes.
For all pilots new to scanning, pilots who want a refresher, or even experienced pilots who are looking to perfect their technique, it's recommend that you start by watching the Official EVE Online: Scanning Guide Tutorial video. Not only does the video quickly familiarize a rookie pilot with the basics of scanning, but by watching how someone else approaches the scanning process you may learn a tip or technique that will greatly improve an experienced pilot's approach to scanning.
The scanning system
Following are some basic facts about the scanning system:
The scanning process
The scanning process is based upon a trilateration system, where three probes are used to find a specific point in a 2D plane, and a fourth probe is used to find the specific point in 3D space. Four probes must be positioned within range of the site being scanned out and on different planes in order to get a signature that can be warped to.
To start with, one or more probes should be used to narrow down the signature. Once a solid hit has been acquired on the target with a rather short scanning range set for the first probe/probes, launch more probes to pinpoint the exact location of the site.
An example scanning process can be seen below:
First, access the scanning tool by either pressing Ctrl+F11, or by pressing the scanner button on the left side of the Heads Up Display (HUD) on the user interface in space, as can be seen below:
This will open up the scanning tool. Click the Map button at the top right of the scanning window to view the solar system map:
The first thing you'll do is determine whether there are any signatures in the system. Once on the solar system map, launch a probe by clicking on the probe launcher fitted to your ship. Set scanning range to the maximum potential of the probe being used. There are two ways to do this: click and drag on the edge of the sphere around the deployed probe, or right click on the probe listed in the scanner tool and set the scan range from the drop down list.
In this example, a Core Scanner Probe I is being used, but experienced scanners may want to begin by using a Deep Space Scanner Probe I for the maximum scanning range possible. The edges of the probe will light up when the mouse pointer is positioned correctly for resizing the probe as can be seen in the picture below:
Once the sphere has been dragged to the maximum range, it will snap into place at its new range when the left mouse button is released. Make sure the probe has been positioned to cover most or all of the system, and click the analyze button to get a scanning result.
A result came back within 10 seconds depending on your skills. There is a Cosmic Signature of some sort in the system. However, the strength of the signal which the probe pinpointed was rather weak due to the large scanning range set for the probe. So the distance being reported to the site is most likely extremely inaccurate.
To get a better idea of where the site is located within the system, as well as to get a stronger signal, resize the scanning range of the probe. In this example the probe was resized to 8 AU and the following scan result came back:
From this result, we can deduce that the site is located somewhere near the inner planets in the system. Due to the layout of the system, there are roughly three possibilities for the location of the site. It can be near either one of the outer planets within range of the original probe, or it might be close to the cluster of planets near the center point of the original probing location. It is therefore best to deploy three probes to cover all the bases.
The scan from these positions has revealed that the site is located somewhere close to the inner cluster of planets, meaning that we can forget about the two planets which were separated from the rest. By clicking on the signature, a red result sphere will be displayed, telling us which probe got a hit on the site.
Next, narrow down the signature by inching our way closer to it. Gradually raise the strength of the signal by decreasing the range of the probes.
To move the probes around, simply click and drag one of the directional arrows around the center of the probe. When all your probes have been repositioned, click the analyze button and they will physically warp to that new location and run their scan.
In this example, one probe was used to scan the area around the inner planet cluster, close attention being paid to the signal strength indicator to get an indication of how close the probe was to the site. As the probe was moved further to the “left” relative to the above picture, the signal got a bit stronger, but upon moving it even further the signal was lost, which means that the site is most likely located on a higher or a lower plane than the planets. A second probe was then brought in and positioned “above” the planet cluster. This is the scan result of the two probes:
The red circle indicates that the site registered on both probes, and the site will be roughly located somewhere within the red circle. At this point, the scanning range of the probes can be shortened to get a stronger signal, which has been done in this example. Once the red circle has been narrowed down, a third probe should be brought in and setup to intersect with the path of the red circle. When all three probes get a strong enough hit on the signature, the scanning screen will present two signature dots.
The real location of the site will be either one of these two dots and all that remains is to bring out the fourth probe and make it intersect with one of the two dots. When you have found the right one, the signature will be narrowed down to one entry:
Although we have pinpointed the location of the site relative to the whole system, we will still need to further reduce the scanning range of our probes in order to get a stronger signal for the site. This should prove to be a rather simple process since the exact location of the site has been found.
The signature dot will cycle through red, yellow, and finally green once a signal is strong enough to warp to. In order to be able to warp to the site, you must have a signal strength of 100% which is represented by a green signature dot. Once you see a green dot, either right click on it or select the signal in the scanner tool and right click on that to warp to the location. A finished scan can be seen below:
Now the signature is fully probed down and provides a result you can warp to or bookmark. The result will stay at 100% scan strength until you leave the system, dock at a station or disconnect from Eve.
If you still cannot get the signature to 100% even if you are using the smallest scan radius possible, it could just mean that your scan strength is not enough to scan it down. You can try to use a ship with a bonus to scanning, train up skills or get better equipments.
The scanner interface
The scanner interface can be split into upper and lower parts, the upper part is used for probe management and the lower part is used to display scan results.
In addition to the Analyze button on the scanner tool, there are a few more buttons available for probe management. They can be seen in the picture below:
The buttons from left to right are:
Individual probes can be selected, disabled, recovered, resized or destroyed by right-clicking on them and selecting the correct option from the context menu.
The scan result section of the interface displays the results from your probes after they have analyzed their surroundings.
This list displays the scan group of the signatures your probes found, the strength of the signals they found, and a rough distance to them. The weaker the signal, the less accurate the displayed distance will be.
It should be noted that an ID column is also present in the result window, which is missing from the image above. This gives an unique ID about the signature and is useful for one to distinguish different signatures within a system. The ID is only used as an identifier of the signature and currently is not known to provide any information about the site. The ID also changes between downtime.
As the signal gets stronger, additional information will be displayed under the “Group” section, in regards to what kind of frequency the signature is giving off. Once a very strong signal has been achieved, the name of the signature will be displayed under “Type”, as can be seen in the picture below:
The Scan Result Filter
The filter for scan results is a powerful tool that can be used on the fly to filter out undesirable scan results. After a scan has been done, the filter can be adjusted at will to show different results. New scans of the system do not need to be performed after the filter is adjusted, it will simply display what was within range of the probes which were active during the last scan done.
To select a new filter, click on the small white arrow on the left of the “scan result filter” box name, and from the menu that opens, select the “create new filter” option.
A window will then open which allows a pilot to select which scan groups he wants his current filter to show. Once the filter has been saved, it can be selected from the scan result filter drop down box and it will sort the displayed scan results out on the fly.
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