Probing is an art of scanning down various signatures found in the vast space of New Eden. The scanning system can be used to locate player ships and other player-owned objects in the system, as well as exploration sites and wormholes leading to distant unexplored space. Scanning is done by using probes that can be controlled by players to locate signatures by using simple mathematical trilateration. A successful scan not only is determined by the pilot's skills and equipments, but also relies upon the pilot's spatial awareness and skills at setting up and positioning probes.


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.

Scan Probes

Without scan probes there could be no probing. There are three kinds of scan probes used in scanning:

  • Core Scanner Probe I can only be used to find Cosmic Anomalies and Cosmic Signatures, which are the primary interest to exploration. Core scanner probes cover the scan range from 0.25 to 32 AU and are the most useful probes used in finding exploration sites.
  • Combat Scanner Probe I is used to scan cosmic anomalies, cosmic signatures as well as player ships, structures and drones, they however require the CPU-intensive (220tf) Expanded Probe Launcher I to launch. Combat scanner probes cover scan range from 0.5 to 64 AU.

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.

  • Sisters Core Scanner Probe — 10% increase to scan strength.
  • Sisters Combat Scanner Probe — 10% increase to scan strength.

The RSS probes provides further increase in scan strength and are available as storyline mission rewards.

  • RSS Core Scanner Probe — 12.5% increase to scan strength.

Probe Launchers

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.

  • Sisters Core Scan Probe Launcher - 5% bonus to strength of scan probes.
  • Sisters Expanded Scan Probe Launcher - 5% bonus to strength of scan probes.


Several key skills are required for successful scanning:

  • Astrometrics — Skill at operating long range scanners. +5% scan strength per level, -5% max scan deviation per level, and -5% scan probe scan time per level. Required to operate probe launchers. All characters created after the Odyssey expansion start with this skill at level 1.
  • Astrometric Acquisition — Skill at the advanced operation of long range scanners. 5% reduction to scan probe scan time per level.
  • Astrometric Pinpointing — Greater accuracy in hunting down targets found through scanning. Reduces maximum scan deviation by 5% per level.
  • Astrometric Rangefinding — Skill for the advanced operation of long range scanners. 5% increase to scan probe strength per level.


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. They are also given out as mission rewards in the Exploration Career Agents tutorials.

Covert Ops

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.


There are 3 types of modules that can be fit into ships' mid slots to improve scanning performance.

  • Scan Pinpointing Array — Reduces the scan deviation when scanning with scan probes.
  • Scan Acquisition Array — Reduces the scan time of scan probes.
  • Scan Rangefinding Array — Increases the scan strength when scanning with scan probes.


The gravity capacitor upgrade rigs are used to increase scan strength of probe launchers.

  • Gravity Capacitor Upgrade I — Provides a 10% increase to scan strength for 200 calibration.
  • Gravity Capacitor Upgrade II — Provides a 15% increase to scan strength for 300 calibration.
Please note: It is recommended to fit two T1 rigs, because together they offer a greater bonus than a single T2 rig. Due to calibration costs, you cannot fit a T2 rig and a T1 rig, or two T2 rigs on a single ship.


The low-grade virtue implants gives scan strength bonus; the whole set gives 33.83% bonus to strength of scan probes.

  • Low-grade Virtue Alpha — 1% bonus and 1.1x set bonus.
  • Low-grade Virtue Beta — 2% bonus and 1.1x set bonus.
  • Low-grade Virtue Gamma — 3% bonus and 1.1x set bonus.
  • Low-grade Virtue Delta — 4% bonus and 1.1x set bonus.
  • Low-grade Virtue Epsilon — 5% bonus and 1.1x set bonus.
  • Low-grade Virtue Omega — 1.25x set bonus.

The following attribute hardwirings give bonus to different attributes of scan probes.

  • Slot 6
    • Poteque 'Prospector' Astrometric Pinpointing AP-602 — 2% reduction to scan deviation.
    • Poteque 'Prospector' Astrometric Pinpointing AP-606 — 6% reduction to scan deviation.
    • Poteque 'Prospector' Astrometric Pinpointing AP-610 — 10% reduction to scan deviation.
  • Slot 7
    • Poteque 'Prospector' Astrometric Acquisition AQ-702 — 2% reduction to scan duration.
    • Poteque 'Prospector' Astrometric Acquisition AQ-706 — 6% reduction to scan duration.
    • Poteque 'Prospector' Astrometric Acquisition AQ-710 — 10% reduction to scan duration.
  • Slot 8
    • Poteque 'Prospector' Astrometric Rangefinding AR-802 — 2% bonus to scan strength.
    • Poteque 'Prospector' Astrometric Rangefinding AR-806 — 6% bonus to scan strength.
    • Poteque 'Prospector' Astrometric Rangefinding AR-810 — 10% bonus to scan strength.

How to Scan with Probes

First of all, open up your Probe Scanner window. This can be done by pressing Alt + D, or by clicking this button:


The Probe Scanner window should look something like this:


There are 8 buttons in the middle of this window; their functions are (from left to right):

1. Analyze 2. Recover Active Probes 3. Reconnect to Lost Probes 4. Destroy Active Probes 5. Launch Spread Formation 6. Launch Pinpoint Formation 7. Launch Custom Formation 8. Map

To begin scanning a system, press both the 8. Map and the 5. Launch Spread Formation buttons. Your client will show a map of the solar system you are in, with the probes you just launched.


Now, pressing the 1. Analyze button to perform an initial spread scan would be the first step in scanning down some of the signatures in this system.


Each red circle (or sphere) represents signatures which need further scanning to become accessible. Clicking on one of the red partially scanned signatures will eliminate all red spheres from the map except the one corresponding to the signature you have clicked on. You should now switch from Spread to Pinpoint formation (button 6.) and move the probes to the red circle.


Analyzing once again brings up a red dot in system, and we are getting closer to fully scanning down this signature. Once again we move the pinpoint formation, this time right on top of the red dot.


Analyzing again now brings up an even smaller red circle, and the signal percentage keeps going up. We continue repositioning the probes and analyzing.


Now we are getting very close. A yellow beacon has shown up, and we once again reposition our probes right on top of it, and tighten our pinpoint formation.


Analyzing one last time gives us a green beacon, and the percentage signal is replaced with a warp button!


Please note: The above example was simply that, an example. Not all of the above steps need to be followed for every single scan. Experienced probers may skip many of the above steps to maximize their probing speed. How to narrow down the signature, when to reduce the scanning range of the probes, and other such factors are all up to the pilot to decide. Each pilot should develop and refine their own probing technique.