A basic guide on scanning, hacking sites and ship fitting to gain isk reliably.
Scanning basics (skip if you did the scanning mission/tutorial)
Data and relic sites do not appear from agent missions! You have to find them yourself.
For scanning down anomalies (red crosses in space) you will need a probe launcher and probes. To scan down a site you have to move your probes to the center of the site and decrease the scanning radius eventually until the site is 100% scanned and you can warp to it.
Combat probes function the same way, except you will see ships and other scannable objects, that you can warp to when fully scanned. You cannot scan cloaked (invisible) ships.
Types of anomalies that you can find:
Combat sites: Sites with rats (pirates, hostile npcs) to kill
Wormhole: Like a gate, except it disappears over time or if used too much. Clicking on their information you can find out a lot about a wormhole. Be careful and don’t get trapped in an unknown system when the wormhole collapses!
Data site: a site that contains ‘cans’ that have to be hacked with a data analyzer module. If it has the prefix “Unsecured” or “Forgotten” it will always have rats in it that will shoot you! Similarly there are sleeper sites with sleeper npcs inside, and dangerous ghost sites.
Ghost site: A data site that has “Covert research facility” in it’s name. If you fail/stop hacking a can, it will explode and damage your ship, destroying it most of the time. As soon as you warp to the site, a countdown between 30~60 seconds starts, at the end of which rats will warp to the site and shoot the cans, exploding all of them and dealing that same explosion damage to you. A disposable ship to hack 1 or 2 cans and run is advised.
Relic site: Similar to data, but requires the relic analyzer module to hack the containers.
Ore anomaly: Typically contains better ores (and sometimes ice) then asteroid belts.
Gas anomaly: A site that contains gas that can be huffed using a gas harvester.
How to find loot and avoid danger
When making money by exploring, it typically means making money from data and relic sites.
It should not come as a surprise that the more dangerous the area, the more lucrative the sites are. Data and relics in high security usually do not earn you much at all, and relic sites especially are rubbish, but they are the safest way to earn money from exploring.
This means you will find more money in lowsec, nullsec and wormhole systems, of course. “But I’m an alpha player, and I can’t use a cloak. How do I survive in these places?” Might be your question, especially if you are a new player that finds anywhere outside of high sec scary. And the answer is simple. Always be aware of your surroundings. Your best tool for this is D-scan (short for directional scan, hotkey: V) and your best friend is paranoia. Do not stay in systems with players who aren’t your friends or corpmates. Key objects to look for in D-scan: Any type of probe (core scanning probes are scanning your anomaly, combat probes are scanning your ship, bubble probes scram you and pull you out of warp), and any ship that isn’t a hauler, especially frigates, destroyers and cruisers that might be looking for people like you. If you are in low-sec, no matter if the player has cloak or not, he will appear in local chat. You are also not always safe the moment you jump into high sec, as someone might try to pry your loot out of your ship anyway, if they see it profitable.
Sometimes, however, there is a good reason that you don’t want to go to low/null sec, like when the nearest low/null system is frequently gate camped or has too many players. For that the alternative is wormhole space (also known as J-space or W-space). D-scan is more important then ever, and always assume that a cloaked ship is following your every move. Since you likely don’t have cloak, be ready to warp to safety in a heartbeat. To enter J-space you have to find a wormhole that leads to unknown space. Bookmark your wormhole entrance! . There are different classes of J-space, from C1 to C6, the bigger the number, the more lucrative the sites are inside (unknown = c1/c2/c3, dangerous unknown = c4/c5, deadly unknown = c6). It is inadvisable to go through wormholes that have the text “reaching the end of it’s lifetime”, as they have anywhere from 4 hours to a few minutes left until collapse.
Pro tip: If you suspect a cloaked ship is in your site (they can wait for an explorer to open the cans for them and then kill him), bookmark the last or second last can but don’t hack it, and warp to safety immediately to stash your loot at a station or depot, especially if you have highly valuable loot on you already.
Don’t try to keep exploring until your cargohold is filled, as you can lose all of it in an instant and risk more death the longer you stay undocked.
Safe spots are very convenient for hiding or scouting the area. There are multiple ways to make them (Hotkey: ctrl+B):
1. Save the locations of sites that you finish. Once they disappear, they can make for nice safe spot. Be aware that other players can also bookmark your sites while they are still visible on the map.
2. Create a bookmark mid-warp between celestials (sun and planets, including moons) and static objects (gates and stations). Be aware however as any player warping along the same route might spot you inside your safe spot. A very stubborn or lucky player can make his own mid-warp safespot close enough to yours to then approach and kill you. You can also save the location of a fleet-mate while they are in warp.
3. Create a bookmark mid-warp not between 2 celestials or static objects. Let’s say there is S(un), C1(planet 1) and C2(planet 2). You can make your first bookmark while warping from C1 to C2. Then, warp to that bookmark and warp to S (or any other object that isn’t C1 or C2) and make a new bookmark mid-warp. It will now be impossible to warp by extremely close to your safespot, and finding you now requires D-scan and combat probes.
D-scan your surroundings no less then 10 seconds apart (preferably press the V button every second) to make sure you know of every uncloaked visitor and any probes probing out your location! If you see combat probes, warp between multiple safespots or to safety to be harder to scan and to avoid compromising your safespots, as a player that has combat probed your ship can bookmark that location.
You can change your D-scan radius to see how close probes or ships are to your position, and angle if you want to scan a destination for danger such as a gate camp.
Fitting your ship for hacking
The t1 frigates intended for exploration are: Magnate (Amarr), Probe (Minmatar), Heron (Caldari) and Imicus (Gallente). They are great as they are cheap and easy to replace.
The logical next upgrade – Astero, and T2 covops frigates, in my opinion, should not be used until you have omega and can use Covert Ops Cloaking Device. Regardless, you can still hack pretty much any site with a t1 exploration frigate.
Core Probe Launcher – You can’t find data or relic sites without it! They use core scanning probes, and while the normal probes are good enough, Sisters Core scanning probes are recommended when you can afford them as they have better scan strength.
Salvager – optional, you are very unlikely to find wrecks, not to mention lucrative ones.
Relic and Data Analyzer – You can’t hack cans in the respective type of site without these! There is a module that can hack both relic and data, but they are expensive and weak.
MWD (MicroWarpDrive) – Cycle it once (click it and then cancel it before the loading bar around the module goes around twice) and you can go between cans way faster, and spend much less time simply burning towards something. Especially useful in some data sites that appear at least in J-space, that has vast distances between each can.
Cargo Scanner – Optional, lets you see the contents of cans before you hack them to avoid wasting time on empty ones.
Scan Rangefinding Array and Scan Aquisition Array – Optional, as long as you have enough mid slots, as they can make scanning slightly faster.
Inertial Stabilizer – Let’s you align and escape danger faster, also makes hopping between cans a bit quicker.
Nanofiber Internal Structures – Same as above. Exploration frigates are too weak to survive any pvp encounter anyway, should you get target locked.
Rigs: (Frigates and destroyers use small rigs)
Emission Scope Sharpener – Bonus to virus coherence in relic hacking (your virus hp).
Gravity Capacitator – Increases probe scan strength (more scan % per scan, and lets you scan higher scanning difficulty sites)
Memetic Algorithm Bank – Bonus to virus coherence in data hacking (your virus hp).
Low Friction Nozzle Joints – Decreases time to align and inertia
Polycarbon Engine Housing – Same as above but also an increase to ship speed. Less bonuses to each stat overall.
Skills: (Try to get each as high as an alpha account allows)
Archeology – Bonus to virus coherence in relic hacking (your virus hp).
Hacking – Bonus to virus coherence in data hacking (your virus hp).
Astrometric Rangefinding – Increases probe scan strength
Astrometric Aquisition – Decreases time needed for each scan
Astrometrics – Overall bonuses to scanning
The rest is up to you to decide! Remember, everyone has their own preferences, find what fits you the most and fit it to your ship.
And most importantly: Your goal is not to just hack cans, but to also get the loot back to safety!
As long as you make more money then your ship losses cost you, you are doing great!
A much more detailed guide is available on https://wiki.eveuniversity.org/Hacking_101 – [eveuniversity.org]
1. Don’t open data caches (white orbs) unless it’s your last resort. They can make your situation worse just as easily as they can help you.
2. Don’t fight with the defences until you have ran out of paths, or if it’s a restoration node (it buffs a random defence each turn).
3. Use self repair as soon as you gain one, there is no limit to your virus hp.
4. Use Polymorphic shield when you risk losing a lot of hp, such as from antiviruses. It will not use up a shield when you open a normal node and don’t attack anything.
5. Never let restoration nodes unchecked, they can fail you the whole hack easily.
6. Unless you are in a ghost site, you have 2 attempts to hack a can before it self-destructs (without damaging you)
7. Destroy virus suppressors with the help of items, as otherwise it can easily fail the hack or leave you barely any hp left.
8. Don’t forget to D-scan while hacking!
Hope you enjoy the Guide about EVE Online – Basic Scanning Mission/Tutorial Tips and Loot Location, if you think we should add extra information or forget something, please let us know via comment below, and we will do our best to fix or update as soon as possible!
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