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