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Not to be confused with the use of the Directional Scanner


Probing is the art of finding that which is hidden in space (Usually in order to do nasty things to that which is hidden).
There are two scanners that you must become familiar with, and eventually master: The Directional Scanner, and the System Scanner (used in conjunction with Scan Probing). It is recommended that you have a firm grasp of the concepts involved with the directional scanner before you attempt to use the System Scanner.
It is not possible to probe out cloaked ships.

Scanning Skills

There are five skills that affect system scanning (no skills affect directional scanning):

  • Astrometrics - Adds one probe in space per level, and determines what types of probes you can use.
  • Astrometric Acquisition - Reduces the scan time (not travel time) of probes by 10% per level.
  • Astrometric Rangefinding - Increases scan strength (and therefore accuracy) by 10% per level.
  • Astrometric Pinpointing – Reduces maximum scan deviation by 10% per level, which allows for more accurate results.
  • The Sisters of Eve make faction probes which while expensive are significantly better than the standard probes
  • Deep Space Scanner Probes - have a weak sensor strength and can't be narrowed far however have an enormous range (good for finding deep-safes)

Covert ops ships also have bonuses to probing and can mount covert cloaks removing any risk of being scanned out of (good) safe spots.

  • Covert Ops - 10% faster scanning with scan probes per level, while in a covert ops hull. This skill trains quicker than Astrometric Acquisition (And gives added benefits), so it may make sense to train this to V before Astrometric Acquisition.

The only rigs that affect scanning are Gravity Capacitor Upgrades. These rigs increase scan strength by 10% and 15% (T1 and T2 respectively). There is no stacking penalization for these rigs.

  • Small Gravity Capacitor I's are cheap, only require Jury Rigging I and significantly boost the scan strength.

There are a few implants that improve scanning, the most sought after being Poteque 'Prospector' Astrometric Rangefinding AR-810 which will reduce the time by 10%, and will cost a pretty penny. However if all skills are to V and you have two Gravity Capacitor Upgrade rigs, you can reduce your scan time to 22 seconds. This will make you the best damn scout in all of TEST…until someone warps to zero on you and you get blown up.

Requirements and Equipment

The absolute minimum requirements:

  • Astrometrics I (Requires Science III)
  • Core Probe Launcher
  • Core Scanner Probes


  • Astrometrics 4 (Requires Science III)
  • Astrometric Rangefinding 4
  • Astrometric Pinpointing 3
  • Astrometric Acquisition 3

If using a tech 1 scanning ship(Probe, Heron, Magnate, and Imicus), the recommended skillset is almost mandatory. Without Rangefinding to 4, you will often find yourself not being able to get some of the harder signatures (wormholes, ships) to 100%. or more information on the tech II versions of the probing frigates, see Covert Ops Prober.
Probe launchers come in two varieties: Core Probe Launcher and Expanded Probe Launcher. For each of these, a Sisters equivalent probe launcher is available. The Sisters versions are more expensive, but offer a 10% stronger scan strength. Core Probe Launchers are limited to launching Core Scanner Probes, which are almost exclusively used for Exploration. Expanded Probe Launchers are capable of using Core Scanner Probes as well as a host of other probe types, so these are the ones used in most scenarios.
Scanner probes come in a few different varieties, as can be seen in the chart below. It is worth nothing that probes of the “Core” variety cannot scan for ships/structures and are therefore of limited use.

Range (AU) Sensor Strength Base Max Scan Deviation (AU) Astrometrics Level Requirement
Core Scanner Probe I 32 40 0.250 1
Sisters Core Scanner Probe 32 44 0.250
Combat Scanner Probe I 64 20 0.500
Sisters Combat Scanner Probe 64 22 0.250

Basic Probing Setup

Dropping Probes

To start with get to a safespot and start your ship moving (no mwd, just slow-boat along). this isn't an infallible defence (as this guide will show you) and often it isn't 100% necessary however it is an excellent habit to get into. A cloak will help greatly in this though. You can probe when cloaked.
Once you are in your safe spot, simply click your scanning module. It will drop 8, or however many probes you have loaded, and arrange them automatically.

Solar System Map

Open the system view by pressing F10. If the Eve universe map opens, click on the Toggle Map button on the World Map Control Panel to bring up the solar system map. You need to be familiar with moving your camera on this map and understanding 3d space. left-dragging in empty space rotates the camera, right click dragging moves the cameras focus (the point it rotates about) relative to the plane parallel to your screen. Double clicking the name of an object will center your view on the object.

Manipulating Probes

In the Scanning window, there are 2 small buttons for the 2 probe arrangement presets. As a seasoned scanner, I never use the first one(the one which arranges the probes in a big circle). Since the ship scanner automatically cycles when you enter system, and shows you the general location of all signatures, it's only really useful for scanning ships.

Actually Probing

Orient the map so you are zoomed out enough to see everything in the system and you are looking from the “top” down With your 8 probes in space you want to set them all to the maximum range possible (just drag the edge of the sphere, the individual probes will move themselves to optimal distance from the center automatically).
Now hit the “Scan” button, the probes should shoot off to their intended destinations, put on a pretty display and beep for about 10 seconds(minus one second per level of Astrometrics Acquisition. See, we told you that skill was useful), then the scan results pane should fill up with stuff you have found, (anything with a full 100% is directly warpable to, and is outside of the probing scope) if there is nothing there then try another system.
Now select one of the results in the window, right click it and then opt to ignore everything else. You should now see a red mark on the map.

  • If this is a sphere only one probe is hitting the entity and the entity is somewhere on that sphere, so hold shift and left-click-drag the top face of a probe to move the formation over an area of the red sphere which has only 1 probe covering it then re-scan.
  • If this is a circle then two probes are hitting the entity, so again you need to move the formation to get more probes impacting it then re-scan.
  • If there are two red dots three probes are hitting the entity and one of those locations is the entity, so either move the formation to cover both then re-scan, or try each one in turn.
  • If you have a single red dot, fantastic, there are 4 probes getting a reading off the entity, it is likely to have a very low signal strength, this need to be increased to 100% to be able to warp-in, in order to do this you will need to narrow down your search.
  1. Shrink the scan resolution of all the probes by half (shift drag) at the same time.
  2. By dragging shift the top face of a probe place the centre of the formation over the entity.
  3. Rotate the camera down so it is in-line with the solar plane.
  4. Shift-drag one of the vertical handles if the probes need to be oriented vertically.
  5. Re-orient the camera to a top down position.
  6. Move the outer probes in so they are approximately half-way into the center probes scan radius.

Now you can scan again, if you still have a single point for the signature then narrow the search further otherwise re-orient the probes.
Once you have the signature to 100% you can bookmark it or warp onto it.

Cleaning Up

In order to re-use the probes you forget to recover before docking/jumping, click the “recover active probes” button in the system scanne. Your probes will immediately return to your cargo hold, and there is no need to uncloak, except for re-loading the probe launcher. This must be done before the timer on the probes runs out or you dock/jump.


  1. Review signatures, and their locations after jumping into system, while holding cloak.
  2. Uncloak and launch probes. No need to burn away from them - Just re-cloak
  3. Using the system map, manipulate your probes to cover as much area as you can
  4. Click “Scan”. Your probes will warp to their assigned areas and scan.
  5. The results will indicate scan signatures. As you click on each one, you may see one of three visuals:
  • If one probe hit, you'll see a translucent orb indicating the outer distance from the probe that the hit was made. Scan the outside of this.
  • If two hit, you'll see one or more red circles that indicate the area that the hit was made. Scan the inside of this with more probes.
  • If three or four hit, you'll see dots. Cover as many of these dots that relate to one signature as you can, and the signature result will become stronger and eventually become one dot. Then you just narrow your scanning range and move your probes closer.

You may only warp to a result with a green 100% rated dot.
The results that are returned are a snapshot of the moment the probe finished analyzing. If your target was in warp, or has moved since the probe finished, you may warp to a location with nothing in it.

Things to Scan

Cosmic Anomalies

These are the easiest class of entities to discover. After jumping into system, your ship will automatically run a scan of the system, and any anomalies will read 100% off the bat. There is no need to do any special work to scan them down. These can be either combat sites, or ore sites.

Cosmic Signatures

These can be found with any probes and come in 6 types:

  • Relic sites are Salvaging/Archeology profession sites.
  • Data sites are Hacking profession sites.
  • Gas sites are gas clouds.
  • Unknown sites are either complexes or wormholes.


You must use “Combat” probes as opposed to “Core” probes to find these. Combat probes are too large to fit into a core launcher so you will need an Expanded Probe Launcher. The Expanded Probe Launcher requires Astrometrics II. Also:

  • Ships in missions run by Mission Running.

Other than the above scanning ships works much like scanning signatures.
Scanning in combat as a scout can be somewhat different. Refer to the Combat Probing article for a more detailed tutorial.

Quick Tips

  • It might be possible to shrink by two notches with good skills/rigs.
  • Life is easier if you sort the results by descending scan strength.
  • At 25% a signature will reveal its “group” (data, relic, gas, unknown) and will also turn yellow.
  • At 50% or 75% a signature will reveal its type (average omber deposit, unstable wormhole, Serpentis lookout site etc.)
  • At 100% you can warp to or bookmark a signature (and it will turn green).
  • The higher the signal strength the higher the accuracy of the probe.
  • Core Scanner probes scan twice as hard as combat scanner probes (and can be narrowed further) so these should be used for finding signatures.
  • If you keep 5 probes in your launcher and 5 in your cargo hold the launcher will automatically reload 5 probes when you have launched the current 5, this makes life slightly easier.
  • You can set filters to only show some types of items (I have one which is just signatures for exploring and one which is just Battleships for ninja-salvaging).
  • There is a method of centering the camera on a probe, accomplished by clicking on the name of the probe you wish to be centered on in the solar system map.
  • Scanned entities which are not within the current scan range of a probe appear greyed out, which makes it more difficult to see them.

Scan Probe Math

There are two factors that affect probe results: Signal Strength and Accuracy. The formulas to calculate each are found below.

Signal Strength

Signal strength is the chance that a target will appear on a given scan (Signal Strength also affects Accuracy). The forumla for signal strength is as follows:

Signal Strength = (Probe Sensor Strength * (1 + Astrometric Rangefinding Level * 0.05) / 100) * (1 – (0.65 1)) * (Target Signature Radius / Target Sensor Strength)

Variables Defined/Explained:

  • Probe Sensor Strength/Probe Max Range: Determined by the probe in use. Shorter range probes will have higher sensor strengths.
  • Astrometric Triangulation Level: Each rank in this skill increases Signal Strength by 5%.
  • Target Range: Distance from the probe to the target. Closer targets increase Signal Strength.
  • Target Signature Radius: Determined by the target(Larger Ship, Larger Sig Radius). Larger Sig Radii increase Signal Strength.
  • Target Sensor Strength: Determined by the target (Larger Ship, Larger Sensor Strength), and ECCM modules fitted by the target (More ECCM, Higher Sensor Strength). Larger Sensor Strengths decrease Signal Strength.

Higher signal strengths give better results. Targets that would have a signal strength of under 1.0 have a chance to not show up on your results (And if using multiple probes, even a 1.0 signal strength is not a guarantee of a result). With one probe, the percentage chance that a target will show up in the results is:

Chance of target showing in results = Signal Strength * 100


Accuracy is the deviation of your result from the target, and is a randomly generated number between 0 and the Maximum Effective Scan Deviation. The forumla for accuracy is as follows:

Maximum effective Scan Deviation = Probe Maximum Scan Deviation * 2) – (1.6 * Signal Strength) + 1) * (1 - Level of Astrometric Pinpointing * 0.1)

Variables defined/explained:

  • Probe Maximum Scan Deviation: Determined by the probe in use. Shorter range probes will have smaller deviations.
  • Signal Strength: Higher signal strength will show less deviation.
  • Astrometric Pinpointing: Ranks in this skill lower the deviation.

Results with deviations of more than 250km run the risk of being on a different grid than the target. Shorter range probes will minimize deviation, both through their max deviation, and through increasing signal strength.

General Advice

  • Wormholes often have a signature strength an order of magnitude greater than the other signatures in a system. (Thanks to Abekkus)
  • Often if you are just jumping onto perches you can just have your probes at their tightest radius and put them directly on the gate/station/whatever
  • If you are a fleet/wing(/squad?) commander you can warp the fleet/wing onto signatures.
  • group warp ONLY warps members who are on grid with you
  • If you hit ctrl+space after initiating fleet warp you will not follow them and remain safe (but unable to whore killmails).
  • A moving target causes problems because you can only lock to the position it was in when your scan completed (or started, I have no idea)
  • I recommend a safe near the target but off grid (this way the target doesn't see your fleet move but there is still a low travel time from the safe to the target)
  • It might be necessary to have the safe at-least 15AU away from the target if they are clever with the D-Scanner.
  • If you have a target pinned down with 5 probes you can set one probe to an immense radius and re scan, this way when you do ignore all it will ignore everything in system (Or just remember the signature ID)
  • Some people watch the D-Scanner for combat probes, it might be worth getting a rough guess on the target with the d-scanner then moving the probes onto him rapidly at a tight radius.
  • Probes too close to each-other can't combine results (hence not leaving them all on-top of each-other)
Target Range / Probe Max Range) ^ 1.5
0.6 * (Signal Strength ^ 2
training/guides/scanning.txt · Last modified: 2022/07/14 07:42 by Fof