Exploration in Eve is the process of using Probes to scan down Data and Relic sites in a system and acquiring the loot in containers at these sites by hacking them. It is especially advisable for Rookies who are looking for ways to make some ISK early on in the game, since skill requirements and base capital needed are low.
Exploration is fairly easy, once you have the knowledge of how everything works, so be sure to read this guide thoroughly.
The skills needed for Exploration are very basic and you have probably trained some of them already to some extent.
|Science III||Core Probe Launcher, Relic Analyzer, Data Analyzer|
|Astrometrics I||Core Probe Launcher|
|Hacking I||Data Analyzer|
|Electronics Upgrade III||Data Analyzer|
|Power Grid Management II||Data Analyzer|
|CPU Management II||Data Analyzer, Relic Analyzer|
|Archaeology I||Relic Analyzer|
|Survey III||Relic Analyzer|
|Astrometrics||Increases Probe strength, precision and lowers the time scan take by 5% per level|
|Astrometric Rangefinding||Increases Probe strength by 5% per level|
|Astrometric Pinpointing||Increases Probe precision by 5% per level|
|Astrometric Acquisition||Decreases Probe scan time by 5% per level|
|Archaeology||Increases your coherence (health) when hacking Data sites by 10 points per level|
|Hacking||Increases your coherence (health) when hacking Relic sites by 10 points per level|
Exploration can be done with almost any ship, as long as it has a high slot that can fit a Launcher. There are multiple support equipment that allows you to be more efficient, however.
Check out this guide on how to fit ships for exploration.
Since Exploration is non-combat PvE (Player versus Environment) you want to look for a system that does not list many kills and is not visited by many people.
You may want to look for a system with a low number of gates, because the chance of people coming through will be lower. To see recent kills visit DOTLAN where you can check statistics on single systems.
A single system will in most cases not fill your cargohold with loot and therefore you want to plan a route covering multiple systems that fit the standards.
When you have found one or more signatures in a system you want to scan down, the first step is making sure you are safe. Check local to see how many people are in the system. Some examples to show the risk:
!!! Extremely Dangerous !!!
If you feel safe enough warp to a random planet within 50-100km distance and align to a gate. The gate will be your exit point if things get too hot. Be careful if you are in a dead-end system (only one gate). Enemies know your only way out and could be waiting at that gate. In that case align to another planet.
Scanning is the first step in exploration and doing it correctly can save you a lot of time. The steps below seem long, but it will come natural after you have done the first few Explorations.
You can always sell the loot in the state you have acquired it. It is easy, doesn't involve many steps and you get a nice bit of profit.
Most times it is more advisable to use a buyback service which every bigger corporation or alliance provides. These players will take your loot to one of the main trade hubs in Eve and sell it there, where profits are almost always higher than in Nullsec. Most will take a share of the profit (expect around 10%), since they are doing the hauling, but this still leaves you with much higher profits than selling it locally. You can use Evepraisal to see what your loot is valued at in Jita and other markets.
This website is a community effort to create a database of system signatures all over New Eden.
You log in through eve SSO. The website will automatically detect the current system you are in and show discovered signatures in this system and their group (e.g. Data site, Relic site). You can compare the ID of these with the ones you find in your Probe Scanner window and by that filter for the ones you want to scan down. Best-case scenario is that all signatures you see have been scanned down by other users already and you are free to choose the ones you want to explore as well.
If you find signatures in your Probe Scanner window that are not listed you can help expand the database by scanning them down to the Group and adding them through the dashboard. Future explorers will thank you!