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Exploration Guide

This guide is intended as an introduction to the topic, but also covers more advanced areas.

Standing Orders

It is vital to know that there are certain systems that are off-limits for members of Brave to explore in.

If you are in Brave, please read our standing orders page before heading out to explore!


Exploration is a great way to make money especially for new players. It can be skilled into very easily and scales up well if you invest time and SP into it.

Many systems in New Eden have hidden sites called Cosmic Signatures. An explorer will scan the system for certain types of sites and hack the cans at the site for the loot they contain. There are several types of sites that an explorer would be interested in: Relic, Data, Covert and Sleeper.

AHacking is done via a minefield-like minigame. This minigame follows the same rules and procedures at all sites, but varies in difficulty and requires different modules to initiate. depending on the type of site.

The contents of the cans are salvage, BPCs, commodities and various items used for building or inventing advanced ships or modules.



  • Astrometric Rangefinding (+5%/lvl scan probe strength)
  • Astrometric Aquisition (+5/lvl scan prob duration)
  • Astrometrice (+5%/lvl scan strength, -5%/lvl scan probe time, -5%/lvl scan deviation)


  • Hacking (+10/lvl Virus Coherence when hacking data sites)
  • Archaeology (+10/lvl Virus Coherence when hacking relics) (Level 5 is recommended as it unlocks the Relic Analyzer II which results in fewer failed cans)


  • Cloaking (Training to level 4 is recommended as this will unlock the CovOps cloak)



The entry level ships are the four T1 frigates with bonuses towards exploration. There is one for every empire faction and while they have their differences, they share some characteristics: all of them are weak in terms of dps and tank, since they are designed to be used with cloaks. If you use them in Low- or Nullsec, you will have to learn the MWD-Cloak-Trick and use it to avoid gatecamps.

The four ships are the Imicus, the Heron, the Probe and the Magnate.

While the Imicus and the Probe share a balanced 3-4-3 slot layout, the Heron has five midslots and only two low slots, while the Magnate has four low slows and only three mids.

The advantage of the Heron is that it allows the player to fit one or two scan upgrades in the mid slot(s) (depending on if a cargo scanner is used in the fit), so it makes the scanning process easier, while the Magnate with four low slots allows for better protection (for example by fitting four Warp Core Stabilizers to protect against being pointed). The Imicus and the Probe with their layout are able to either fit the cargo scanner or a scan upgrade, while having three low slots offering some degree of protection.

All fits have one comparatively expensive module fitted, the Improved Cloaking Device II. This is required for the MWD-Cloak-Trick. You can replace it for the T1 version, but this has a big impact on your safety while travelling.

You can import the fits from below to EVE by copying the text (including the [Heron, Heron scanner] part at the top), then opening the fitting window in EVE, clicking on “Browse”, then “Import from Clipboard”.

Heron Fit 1 Heron Fit 2
[Heron, Heron scanner]

Nanofiber Internal Structure I
Nanofiber Internal Structure I

5MN Microwarpdrive I
Relic Analyzer I
Data Analyzer I
Cargo Scanner I
Scan Rangefinding Array I

Core Probe Launcher I, Core Scanner Probe I
Improved Cloaking Device II
[Empty High slot]

Small Gravity Capacitor Upgrade I
Small Emission Scope Sharpener I
[Empty Rig slot]
[Heron, Heron upgrades]

Nanofiber Internal Structure I
Nanofiber Internal Structure I

5MN Microwarpdrive I
Relic Analyzer I
Data Analyzer I
Scan Pinpointing Array I
Scan Rangefinding Array I

Core Probe Launcher I, Core Scanner Probe I
Improved Cloaking Device II
[Empty High slot]

Small Gravity Capacitor Upgrade I
Small Emission Scope Sharpener I
[Empty Rig slot]
The Difference between the two fits is only a mid slot and there are many other ways to fit it (like going for a short align time). However, these fits will boost your scanning and relic hacking, so it is easier to find sites and be successful in them. If you are only just starting out, you will still fail to scan down some sites and you will fail hacks, but with increasing experience and SP, it will get easier.
Magnate Fit 1Magnate Fit 2
[Magnate, Magnate Max WCS]

Warp Core Stabilizer I
Warp Core Stabilizer I
Warp Core Stabilizer I
Warp Core Stabilizer I

Relic Analyzer I
Data Analyzer I
5MN Microwarpdrive I

Core Probe Launcher I, Core Scanner Probe I
Improved Cloaking Device II
[Empty High slot]

Small Gravity Capacitor Upgrade I
Small Emission Scope Sharpener I
[Empty Rig slot]
[Magnate, Magnate Align]

Inertial Stabilizers I
Inertial Stabilizers I
Inertial Stabilizers I
Warp Core Stabilizer I

Relic Analyzer I
Data Analyzer I
5MN Microwarpdrive I

Core Probe Launcher I, Core Scanner Probe I
Improved Cloaking Device II
[Empty High slot]

Small Gravity Capacitor Upgrade I
Small Emission Scope Sharpener I
[Empty Rig slot]
The first fit will allow you to pass gatecamps even if you make mistakes with the MWD-Cloak-Trick, as long as you don't get too many points on you. The severe downside is the fact that WCS (Warp Core Stabilizers) increase your locking time, which means that with this fit, locking up cans to hack them will take approximately forever (give or take a few years), so you'd have to bring a mobile depot to get rid of them once you are in a site. The second fit is an example of what you can do to reduce your align time. Since the align time is different depending on your skills, you should use an out of game fiting tool like EFT or Pyfa to see which combination of rigs and low slot modules gives you the best result. Both fits have less scan strength than the Heron fits above, since the Magnate is missing two mid slots.
Imicus Fit Probe Fit
[Imicus, agility]

Nanofiber Internal Structure II
Nanofiber Internal Structure II
Nanofiber Internal Structure II

5MN Y-T8 Compact Microwarpdrive
Relic Analyzer I
Data Analyzer I
Scan Rangefinding Array I

Core Probe Launcher I, Core Scanner Probe I
Improved Cloaking Device II
[Empty High slot]

Small Gravity Capacitor Upgrade I
Small Gravity Capacitor Upgrade I
[Empty Rig slot]

Hornet EC-300 x4
[Probe, agility]

Nanofiber Internal Structure II
Nanofiber Internal Structure II
Nanofiber Internal Structure II

5MN Y-T8 Compact Microwarpdrive
Data Analyzer I
Relic Analyzer I
Scan Rangefinding Array I

Prototype Cloaking Device I
Core Probe Launcher I, Core Scanner Probe I
[Empty High slot]

Small Gravity Capacitor Upgrade I
Small Gravity Capacitor Upgrade I
[Empty Rig slot]

Hornet EC-300 x3
The Probe an the Imicus share a slot layout, so the fits are the same. You can of course go for Warp Core Stabilizers or tank (similar to the Magnate). In terms of low and mid slots, the Imicus and Probe are more ballanced than the Heron and Magnate, so unless you favor a specific fit (max scan strength, or safety) they are excellent ships.


Unless you want to scare off other explorers or want some additional safety, the T2 Exploration Frigates are the next logical steps after the T1 frigates. They offer the huge advantage of a Covops Cloak. This cloak is an upgrade over the normal cloaks used with the T1 ships and allows you to warp while cloaked, making it very hard to catch you (Big gatecamps with bubbles are still a danger to avoid). The fits work similar to the T1 frigates, but since they are heavily skill dependant, you will have to find out what works for you on your own. If you haven't done so already, get EFT or Pyfa or EveHQ to play around with fits. Basic stats to aim for are a Probe Scan Strength of 95 (or higher), to be able to reliably scan down all sites and a short align time.
The T2 explo-frigates are the Helios, the Buzzard, the Anathema and the Cheetah.

Another option when it comes to T2 frigates are Interceptors. They don't have a bonus towards exploration, but can be fit to be “insta-warp” (align time of less than 2s) and are bubble immune, so for null sec exploration they have a certain advantage. If you specialise in one type of exploration (relic or data), then you can use rigs and modules to focus on that and mitigate the lack of a hull bonus a bit. Fits again depend on your skills (especially for the align time), so you will have to find out on your own what works for you.
Interceptors that can be fit to insta-warp are the Ares, the Raptor, the Stiletto and the Crusader.

Sisters of Eve

The SoE ships are faction ships, making them much more expensive that normal T1 and T2 ships of the same size. They do offer some advantages, like a non-level-based bonus on your scanning (however if you train the T2 frigates to five they will have a higher bonus) and more safety, since they feature some defensive capabilities. The Astero, the SoE frigate, also can be fit to insta-warp very easily. Since the ships are drone boats, they can easily kill other explorers (and are often used by hunters who just take an interest in killing them) so you will be able to secure sites you otherwise would not get.

The downside of the Astero is the significant price tag, compared to the T1 and T2 frigates. Unless you know what you are doing or looted a Titan recently, don't use them!
In terms of fits, the options are a travel fit with some tank, combat fit, full tank, travel fit with extra cargo hold for longer trips, etc. When you are getting your first Astero, you already should have an idea of what you are doing, so finding a fit that works for you shouldn't be too hard. It is still recommended you talk to someone with experience using them, before you set out.
The Atero also allows you to do the Sleeper Cache sites, high end exploration sites. They come in three sizes: Limited, a site for frigates you can do in any exploration ship (if you can scan it down), Standard, designed for cruisers, but you can still do part of it in an Astero, and Superior, designed for very tanky ships, but, with some planning, you can do most of it in an Astero (all of it, but that requires luck and a lot of experience with the specific site).

The bigger version of the Astero is the Stratios. It is cruiser sized, has much more tank, dps and a larger cargohold, enabling it to carry multiple refits and more cargo.

It can also be used as a pure combat ship, but for the purpose of this guide we will stick with the exploration role. The Stratios can fit a covops cloak like the Astero and the T2 frigates and can force any of them out of a site. It presents the next step up over the astero in that regards. It has a huge drone bay, can deal massive damage and if fit properly can tank the damage in a Standard sleeper Cache (a high end exploration site) easily. Fits depend on your needs, but you always should use a travel fit and a tank fit, since you will need it for the Sleeper Cache sites (not doing them when you are in a Stratios is a waste of money). You can not do the Limited Site, since the Stratios is too big for it, but the Standard can be done completely. In the Superior site you can do the same parts as the Astero, but with less effort, since your tank won't be stressed.

The third ship in the SoE line is the Nestor. It is a battleship, and while it has an exploration bonus, usually isn't used for exploration (excluding some special cases where you have a Sleeper Chache close to you and can use a Nestor to easily run it. The Nestor has too many downsides to be used in exploration, it can't fit a covops cloak, it is slow (both in warp and in sites) and easy to catch, making it a billion ISK wreck waiting to happen.


T3s are the most versatile ships in the game and it is this versatility that allows them to participate in exploration. Due to their subsystems they can be fit to ignore bubbles, use a covops cloak and maintain a reasonable tank and align time as well as carry refits with them.

The ship, no matter which you pick, will be the most expensive of all the exploration ships. The hull itself costs less than the Stratios, but with the subsystems and fits, you will have to spend more than half a billion ISK. It can be worth the price however, since the only downside of using a T3 cruiser for exploration is the relatively small cargohold, so you'll have to drop off your loot more often than with the Stratios, limiting your range a bit. The advantages are significant: you are very close to being uncatchable, can tank the damage of even a Superior Sleeper Cache (at least the “massive Waves” in the last room, to tank the “colssal” ones you will need more than 100k tank and very good reps) and will be able to scare away other exlporation ships, since they won't know how much DPS you can dish out (you could be combat fit after all… don't fully rely on this however, some people will call your bluff!).

Where to Explore

When you do exploration you can do it in any part of New Eden (taking standing orders into consideration).

Where to explore is mostly up to taste, skills & the ship you use among other things.

If you are new to exploration, try to work your way up in difficulty, so you have some funds to replace your ship when you lose it.

When you are a bit more experienced, try out new things and find your sweet spot where risk, reward and the sites you are doing all are to your liking.

Region Types

High Sec

High Sec offers relative safety (unless your exploration character is in Brave which is often be wardec'd), but the payouts are very low compared to the other areas of space.

while the sites in high sec are highly contested and don't pay too much, they are a good starting ground to familiarize yourself with the hacking minigame. There are also a few high sec systems that are close to null sec entries to give you easy access to better space. Be aware: these entry systems are often camped, so check dotlan/the in-game map for recent kills before you go there!

Low Sec

Low sec has higher risk and payouts, but the absence of bubbles makes it a good starting ground. Make sure you don't warp into a smartbombing gatecamp and you should be fine.

Faction Warfare Space

Try to stay away from Faction Warfare space, since you will find more activity and many people hunting other players there. The advantages here, though, are that you are close to high sec (to get your loot to safety) and no bubbles are allowed.

Null Sec

Null Sec has again more risk (bubbles!) and payout, but since many systems have next to no activity, once you get away from High/Low Sec you will be mostly undisturbed (unless you jump into someone's staging system). However, you must still be vigilant and check intel.

Brave Space

The best places to explore are Catch itself (not in GE since at any given time there may be hunters) and Stain. Stain is more dangerous but the rewards can be great.

NPC Null

if you find a good system with good connections to empty null space, this is a good option and will give you high income. However, you also have some risk (bubbles, people hunting explorers) and you are more limited to a specific area, unless you take wormholes.


Wormhole Space, or J-space, also has relic and data sites. However but most of those can't be done in an explo frigate since they contain rats.

In C1, C2 and C3 wormholes you can find faction sites that are relatively safe for frigates to hack. These have the same names as the sites in normal space, with a faction name (Sansha, Guristas,…) in their name.

While sites in wormholes can give you a good payout (they are the same as Null Sec sites) you have to be very careful in Wormholes (see our section on wormholes below).


Very dangerous, but if you are dedicated and like the randomness you will have a good time. Maybe get some experience before you give it at try.


A recommended system to base your operations out of depends on a few things.

Dedicated Exploration Character

If you set up a character exclusively for exploration, you can use that to your advantage as you have more leeway to focus on what's good for this operation specifically.

  • You may want to consider staging close to where you prefer explore. This way you never need to travel far to get there.
  • Having a safe or convenient route from your staging system to a trading hub is a great advantage.

Multi-Use Character

If you do not have a dedicated explo character and you have a primary staging base that is not explo-focused, we recommend 4 options:

Corporation staging Get into explo ship right away Available for primary activities May be far from optimal explo route May be far from optimal trading hub
Stage close to your explo area Get into explo ship right away May be far from primary activities Close to optimal explo route May be far from optimal trading hub
Stage close to a market hub May need to travel to get into explo ship May be far from primary activities May be far from optimal explo route Close to optimal trading hub

Wormhole Travel

Another option would be to stage from wherever you want and look for wormholes that will take you to a region type of your choice. This gives you far greater range and flexibility. However, it also has a random element to it, since you don't know where you will end up, not to mention the dangers that exist in wormhole space.

Choosing a Region

The general value of loot dropped depends on the rats that inhabit a given region (In Catch & Stain, for example, you will find Sansha rats which drop the most valuable loot. In Fountain it would be Serpentis, etc.) The Sites themselves are run more or less the same.

In Wormhole Systems, you will find an entirely different type of sites (sometimes in addition to standard sites). Those have rats in them and require more than a T1 frigate to run.

In Drone Regions you won't find Relic sites. The Data Sites have loot that is completely different from all other space. While they can drop valuable Items, in general you won't find enough of them to make up for thir rarity.

Planning a Route

When it comes to looking for all those sites, planning where you want to go is key to successful exploration. The systems most likely to contain viable sites are the ones that don't get visited a lot. this is because the sites spawn randomly. Choosing relatively empty systems gives you another advantage: if nobody goes there, you won't be as likely to get shot at or encounter gate camps.

In general, You should find a route with:

  • No or almost no active people
  • No recent kills
  • Few recent jumps

A great tool for intel in this regard is Dotlan (

Abiding by the above guidelines will give you the best chance for great results.

If you see that a certain route usually provides great results, you can record that route using the in-game notepad (Neocom Menu > Accessories > Notepad)

  • Click the A on the left side of your client next to the current system designation
  • In the search bar enter the first system & click search
  • In the window that pops up, double click the correct system
  • In the next window that pops up, drag the picture of the solar system into the notepad
  • Repeat for the next system
  • You do not need to record every system - only nodes along your path that will allow the resulting route to be recorded properly
  • When you next head out - before you undock - open the notepad file (from the menu on the left of the notepad), right-click on the first system and select “Add Waypoint”. Do the same for the next system in the list.

Now you need some great people on comms to talk to, a good playlist or both.

General Safety

You should go through these safety measures before you undock.

Standing Fleet

If you're exploring in Catch it's a good idea to join standing fleet. This way if you're pointed, you may increase your chances of survival by calling out xxx's to standing.


Just like joining standing fleet, joining the appropriate standing comms in Mumble can enable you to call for help and provide intel.

Intel Chat Channels

Sign in to the intel chat channel for the region. We have 2: Int.Catch & Int.Impass.

  • Look around the channel to see if a system is trouble.
  • You can report neut and hostile sightings
    • Drag the name from local
    • Drag the system from the system name on the top left of your clie
    • Drag the ship type from D-scan.
    • If your D-scan does not pick up the ship, put NV for No Visual
    • If a lot of neuts or hostiles show up, select all in D-scan or local chat, paste in the form on the site, click submit, then copy & paste the URL to the intel chat. Remember to include the system.


Research the system you're about to enter or a pilot who's in the system in Zkill. Zkill provides intel about combat activity in the system and by players. A recently active system or a player that you know is in the system who has a lot of kills (especially explorers) can mean that the system is still dangerous.


Aside from finding out how many players have been through the system, Dotlan can also tell you how many kills there have been recently. A high number of recent kills may mean there are hunters in the system.

Eve Gatecheck

this is another useful intel tool that shows you safety intel along your selected rout. Enter the systems you will fly through, or at least the systems that will loutlne your path as you did when planning your route. this site will show you intel along the rout and provide the appropriate links to Dotlan and Zkill.

Paranoia Levels (Vigilance)

You constantly need to have some level of vigilance regarding your environment at all times. We like to gall this “Training to Paranoia”.

Space TypeSkill Level
High SecTrain Paranoia to level 1, just to be sure
Low SecTraining to Paranoia 3 or higher is a must.
Watch out for other people in local, use D-scan a lot.
Null SecParanoia 5 and Advanced Paranoia 3 are a must have.
Look up people's & system's killboards on Zkill, D-scan, watch local like a hawk, don't do anything hasty (like uncloaking) without being sure you are safe.
Wormhole SpaceParanoia 5 and Advanced Paranoia 5 are necessary to survive.
If you go there without your paranoia skills maxed out, drop off your cargo a lot, so you don't lose it all when that cloaky Proteus and his Loki friend appear next to you.

Site Intel

In order to help you save time and enable you to help other explorers, there are tools that provide intel on the various signatures in a system.


  • Log in with Eve CREST (login). Deepsafe will follow you, loading to your current system when you jump.
  • To the right of the map is a list of the signatures in the system that people have logged and a description of what they are. Be advised the list may not be current.
  • To remove a signature that no longer exists, click the delete button for that line item (x).
  • To add a signature, scan it to 75%, copy it from your probe scanner panel (CTRL-C), paste in the form (CTRL-V) and click submit.


  • Scan signature until you know what it is.
  • Log in with Eve CREST (login).
  • Find the system your in by clicking the sub-region tab (eg: East Catch) and finding the system that has your name (use CTRL-F to bring up browser search if you're having trouble).
  • If the system you're in is not found right click in am empty spot and select add system.
    • if feasible drag it in the correct place and link it to the correct systems.
    • Otherwise leave it anywhere empty.
  • Select your system by clicking on it & scroll down to the system info.
  • Click Signature reader, copy the signature from your probe scanner panel (CTRL-C), paste in the form (CTRL-V) and click submit.

Scanning Down Sites

The ability to scan down sites quickly and efficiently relies on skills trained, effective probe strength and experience. Fast scanning is important: the first one to the site is entitled to the entire site, meaning no one else can start hacking cans at that site while the first pilot is doing so.

Scanning Safety

It is important to make sure you are safe while scanning. Neuts, especially hunters, can catch you unawares and destroy your ship before you have enough time to react and handle the situation effectively.

Safe Bookmarks

Always scan from a safe. Safes are bookmarks you set that are not along the warp path between any 2 celestials or structures. Ideally they should also be as close as possible to being out of D-scan range of any celestials or structures. This makes an encounter with a neut or hostile much less likely.

  • Find a triangle made by 3 structures or celestials. Find a spot in the middle that does not line up with the warp path between one of the triangle's points and that spot.
  • Warp between 2 and leave a bookmark (CTRL-B, then submit to set) in between.
  • Warp between another 2 and leave another bookmark on the other side of the triangle from the first bookmark.
  • Warp between the 2 bookmarks leaving a third bookmark. This will be your safe. Delete the other 2 bookmarks.
  • Instead of creating a second bookmark, you can warp from the first bookmark to another point of the triangle.


A cloak is an essential mod since it further decreases your chance of being detected, especially since you can no longer be scanned by combat probes. While scanning from your safe, remember to cloak up.

Train to Cloaking IV to enable you to fit a CovOps cloak which allows you to warp while cloaked.

Local Chat

Always check local to monitor for neuts. Never explore in a system with neuts unless you are experienced in handling them or escaping if you're caught


Even though you'll see a neut in local if he enters the system, checking d-scan every so often can help you spot him if you miss him in local

Scanning Technique

  • Launch core scanner probes in the pinpoint formation by clicking the most lower left button in the probe scanning window.
  • Center the probes
    • If the signature is close to a structure or celestial, center the probes over it.
    • If the signature is far away from any structure or celestial, center the probes over the signature and expand the probe radius to 8AU
    • Double click anywhere in space to rotate the camera 90 degrees and center again, completing the centering in all 3 dimensions.
  • Scan by clicking the button in the probe scan window or by pressing B.
  • It's a good idea to D-Scan at the same time by pressing V right before or after.
  • Re-center, reduce the scan radius and scan again
  • Continue scanning until you discover that you don't want that signature (remember to record it in Deepsafe or Pathfinder) or you get the site scanned to 100%.
  • If you have trouble getting 100% you can control individual probes to further reduce the radius.
    • Hold SHIFT
    • Drag the probes closer to the signature individually. You will need to move 7 probes (5 around, 1 on top & 1 on bottom).
    • Do not move them too close, or you will create a void pocket where no scan signal will reach.

Warping to Sites

Exploration sites are first come first serve (meaning if one explorer is already on the site you may not hack the site). Because of this, it's important that you warp to the site as quickly as you can to beat other explorers who may be after that site.

If you suspect the site may be camped, warp cloaked to a significant distance to avoid detection and observe the situation.

As an added safety feature you can drop a cheap piece of cargo (like carbon) at the warpin. This will cause any cloaked ship warping to 0 to decloak as soon as it lands, potentially buying you precious seconds.

Types of Cans in a Site

Before you start hacking, you'll need to find a suitable 'can' to hack. There are a few different kinds of 'cans' in the site. In order of increasing value, they are :

Relic Data
Rubble Com Towers
Remains Mainframe
Ruins Databank

It's important to realize that cans of generally lesser value can still hold a jackpot in this specific instance. they therefore should not be ignored.

Hacking Cans

Hacking Safety

Remember to check local chat and D-scan every so often

Hacking Technique

On activating the appropriate module on the can, the hacking interface will come up.

At the bottom left is your hacking virus status. The bottom number & the meter to the left is your virus strength - the amount of damage you do with each click on a hostile node or system core. The top number & the meter on the right is your coherence (health). This can be hurt by hostile nodes & the system core.

Your starting point is the empty orange circle - shown here on the top left. You can proceed by clicking on empty green nodes that are adjacent to your starting point & the ones you've already selected.

As you click on nodes, you'll see a number in the node ranging from 5 to 1. The lower the number, the closer you are to a utility subsystem, data cache or the system core.

In each hack, you will encounter several types of hostile nodes, helpful tools, and the system core which is your goal. The health and damage on those nodes are represented just as your own stats are.

System Core

All of the Core nodes function in the same way, with an increasing health as the difficulty of the hack increases. These are the nodes found in the sites.

This is the Core node for the Rubble/Com Tower hacks. It has the weakest coherence.
This is the Core node for the Remains/Mainframe hack. It has moderate coherence.
This is the Core node for the Ruins/Databank hack. It has strong coherence.

Hostile Nodes

Firewalls take two to three clicks to kill but you will take take 20-40 total damage to defeat it. It's best to leave unless you have no other option.
Anti-Virus subsystems may only take two to three click to kill, but you will take 40-80 damage in doing so. Try to ignore these until you have no other option. If you need to attack it, make sure you have the Kernal Rot or Polymorphic Shield utilities
The Restoration Node is the second most annoying node you will encounter. You must attack this defensive system as soon as it pops up. Aside from having high health (albeit low damage), with each click or action this node will increase the health of another revealed node on the grid. This node take 3-4 click to take down with 20-30 damage taken. Use a Kernal Rot or Self repair to mitigate the damage.
The Virus Suppressor will ruin a hack for you. Aside from having high health (albeit low damage), once revealed your damage capability will be halved. It will take 4-6 clicks to take this node down, while you takes 45-70 in damage. The secondary Vector utility is most effective in attacking this defensive system, with the Kernal Rot not far behind..

Utility Subsystems

The following hacking tools, and how you use them, can make or break a hack. The tools will show up when you uncover a node on the grid, and once you click that same node they will be added to your utility toolbar (the row of slots in the bottom of the above image of the hacking interface). To activate one of the tools, simply click on it.

This is the Self Repair Utility. When you activate this tool, it will heal your coherence a little on activation and for each of the next 2 turns. These are useful to activate when you are about to take or have taken some heavy damage.
This is the Secondary Vector Utility. Activate the tool then click on the hostile node you want to damage. This will apply 60 damage to the target node over 3 turns - 20 damage immediately and another 20 for each of the next 2 turns. This is great for softening up some of the higher health target and really useful to take down the 'halving' node.
This is the Kernel Rot Utility. After activation, you can click on a hostile node and take that node down to half of its health. For most hostile nodes, this means that you will take the node down in 1-2 clicks. Save these for the Restoration Node or the Virus Suppressor.
This is the Polymorphic Shield utility. It prevents damage from any hostile node for 2 clicks

Data Caches

The Data Cache will randomly give you a tool or create a hostile node. These nodes can really mess up your hack though, so approach with caution. The best way to deal with these nodes is to first try to solve the hack without clicking them, then clicking them when you're stuck.

System Core Location

The system core can be anywhere - in the middle of nowhere blocked by layers of hostile nodes or even right next to your starting point! Often, however, it is located in the general vicinity that is at the opposite end of the hacking window. This should be your goal at least in the beginning of the hack.

The Rule of 6

You will sometimes find a node surrounded by 6 other nodes (as can be seen in the hacking interface above among the as-of-yet unavailable nodes). It is very likely that the center node is safe. You may even find a path made by nodes surrounded by 6 other nodes that provide you (probably) safe passage to where you want to go in the hack. If you do encounter a defensive subsystem in a center node (like a firewall), then the system core will always be adjacent to that subsystem.

Failing a Can

Each can allows for 2 opportunities to hack it, with the exception of ghost site cans.

It is a good idea to set your hacking mod auto-repeat to off (right click > Auto-Repeat Off). Once set, the mod will only cycle once, which is enough to get the hack going, then shut down. This allows you to start the mod again for the second hack right away instead of needing to wait for a cycle to complete.

If you fail a can twice it will explode. This normally does no damage to you, however in the case of ghost sites the can will explode after one fail and deal enough damage to instantly destroy most explorers, so be careful!


Looting the Can

After successfully completing the hack you can loot the can as you would any other container.

Loot Types

There are 3 primary types of exploration loot: T1, T2 & Datacores. Datacores can be looted from data sites while T2 loot can be looted from relics. T1 is identified by an orange or yellow background, while T2 loot is identified by a blue background. Datacores are identified by a circle with a line of light against a digital background. T2 is generally worth more. You may also pick up other types of salvage - some worth little while other worth a lot such as faction BPCs.

Loot Safety

We all get blown up some time or another. Why risk that happening to a boatload of loot?

It is advisable to drop your loot off every so often so if you are killed, most of your loot is safe and retrievable.

Loot should be kept in friendly-player-owned structures such as citadels. It should not be stored in stations. The reason is as follows: If a player-owned structure is destroyed, your loot will be placed in asset safety. Stations, while not able to be destroyed, can be taken over by hostiles. Your loot will therefore not be placed in asset safety, but will remain locked in a station that you can't dock in. Read more about asset safety here:

The threshold for the amount of loot that needs to be stored is up to each explorer. You need to think about & decide how much loot you feel comfortable taking along with you. That includes considering how great the risk of losing it is & the inconvenience of going back and picking up all your loot in various locations. A generalized rule of thumb is double the cost of your fitted ship, but you need to do what's comfortable for you. As you gain more experience, you may feel comfortable scaling back the number of times you deposit loot and even strategically set specific stations along your route as hubs for convenience in travelling.

Selling Loot

You can contract your loot to one of the buybacks we feature. Although they buy at a percentage of Jita buy, you are essentially paying a little for convenience and the ability to avoid market trading activities if you do not enjoy that. Learn more and find buybacks at[]=buyback.

If you would like you can ship you loot to markets like Amarr and Jita and manage orders. Learn more and find freight services at[]=hauling

Site Respawn

When a site is finished, another is spawned. There is debate as to what area the site respawns in and what type of site it is. The only known fact about respawns is that if finished, it respawns almost immediately. If, however, it is not finished, it takes time to respawn, possibly half an hour.

Due to respawn mechanics, we strongly request that all explorers finish any sites they start. Once you hack the first can, you are responsible to finish the site unless you are in danger. If you are scanning the cans before hacking, fail any worthless cans until they self-destruct. This enables as many sites as possible to be available to fellow explorers at all times.

Special Sites

Covert Facilities / Ghost sites

Some data sites will turn out to be covert facilities (also called ghost sites).

When you land at these sites, a timer with a random duration will start. The timer is not displayed. When the timer ends, rats will warp in, destroy all the cans and defend the site. The rats do not drop loot nor are they worth anything in terms of bounties, but they deal a lot of damage.

The damage dealt whenever any can explodes, whether due to can failure or the timer running out, is massive. Any frigate will be destroyed.

Sleeper Cache Sites

These sites come in three flavors. Limited, Standard and Superior. The hacking remains the same in each of these caches. The main difference are the step required to safely run these sites. This added difficulty also increases the reward.


After you scan out the site, you will warp to the first room. Here you will see a can and an acceleration gate. Hack the can.

The second room is where things get difficult. You start by hacking the Remote Pressure Stabilizer to the right. Right after you hack this can, you'll need to rush over to the Dented Storage Depot. You will only have 2-3 minutes to hack the can. After you do, immediately return to the warp in beacon or you'll get hit by the gas cloud.

The next step is to hack the Remote Defense Grid Unit. After you hack this can, you will have free access to the rest of the cans. You will need to watch out for the gas clouds and avoid those areas. Hack the remaining cans and enjoy the spoils!


Wormholes, dangerous and mysterious as they are, can provide quite a profitable and adventurous experience. At the very least, when done properly, it can add an extra system to explore along your route.

Wormhole Intel

There are tools available to provide some measure of intel with regard to wormholes. If you do scan down a wormhole, please report it whether you plan on entering it or not.


  • Apply as you would any other signature
  • Once you enter the wormhole, you can apply the system designation by clicking on “unassigned” in the signature line item under the system column and choosing the system from the dropdown.


Apply as you would any other signature

Brave Hole Scouts Scanning Rewards

Brave Hole Scouts offers a 10 million ISK reward for C5 holes in Catch submitted to Pathfinder.

This is to encourage reporting of C5 wormholes. This is important as hostiles can send a significant force against us through via the wormhole. It also alerts people who want to form wormhole krabbing fleets of the availability of the wormhole.

  • Join the Brave Hole Scouts mailing list
    • On the bottom left of your mail panel click “Add Mailing List”
    • Enter “Brave Hole Scouts” in the popup panel and click “Join”
  • Apply the wormhole signature to Pathfinder
  • Enter hole, apply system, scan down all anomalies in the system & apply them to Pathfinder
  • Send an Eve-mail to Brave Hole Scouts with the wormhole information

You are entitled to payouts whether or not the wormhole is used.

Wormholes in the 9KOE-A → HED-GP pipe are not accepted.

Wormhole Safety

Wormhole space, or J-space, is more dangerous than null due to the difference in how local works. In J-space pilots do not show up on local chat unless they chat while you're there. Needless to say it's far easier for someone to sneak up on you & kill you before you even realize what is happening.

D-scan is therefore your best friend, as are a heightened awareness and greater adherence to proactive safety measures. In addition, some exploration sites have rats, some of which will be too difficult for a single pilot to defeat.

J-space also does not have gates. An entrance/exit is not readily available on your overview.

The following safety guidelines can help you survive and even come to enjoy exploration in wormhole space and the rewards it can offer.

  • Bookmark (CTRL-B) your entrance wormhole the second you enter. Otherwise you'll need to scan down and check each wormhole in the system to find the correct one when you want to leave.
  • Train both Paranoia & Advanced Paranoia to V. In other words - be extremely vigilant.
  • D-scan D-scan D-scan. Then D-scan some more. Although probably annoying at first, the lack of intel from local makes constant, repeated use of D-scan vital.
  • Cloak is a must. Preferably CovOps cloak.
  • If you see ships or probes on D-scan and you are not prepared for a powerful confrontation, get out.

Wormhole Exploration

Wormhole exploration is recommended for advanced users only. This is due to the danger wormhole space (or J-space) poses and the experience and skills needed to safely & effectively use that space.

combat explo, selling sites, probing for fleets…