Uncover ancient relics and hidden pathways outside of the known universe
What is Exploration Anyway?
Exploration in EVE Online involves using specialist probing equipment to go beyond what most Capsuleers can see. On this page, you'll learn which ships to use, how to fit them, and how to use the Probe Scanner and Analyzer tools to uncover hidden treasures. In your journey as a new Explorer, you'll be able to break into exploration sites for profit and, if you dare, venture into the deep unknowns of wormhole space.
If you like the idea of discovering unmapped, ever-shifting space in search of rare loot then this is the place for you.
There are many ways to experience and find value in exploration across the world of EVE; one may quietly slip into data and relic sites, carefully excavate dangerous research caches, or discover and engage overwhelmingly powerful forces in fortified installations.
Fits to fly
Going exploring? Great! A Core Probe Launcher will fit onto nearly any ship in the game, but ideally, you're going to want something a bit more specialized. Each of the four empire races has their own Tech 1 (basic technology) scanning frigate which is bonused towards probe scanning, salvaging, and hacking. As you progress, your skills will allow you to use stronger Covert Ops frigates or even a stealthy strategic cruiser. Your ship progression path can easily be viewed using the in-game Ship Tree.
The key to fitting your exploration ship is to make good use of navigation equipment such as a Microwarpdrive to move quickly, and Nanofiber Internal Structures or Inertial Stabilizers to make your ship more agile. You want to get in and out fast before anyone else can catch you. Next, make sure to equip Data and Relic Analyzer modules to hack data vaults and unlock relic caches for their loot.
The final and most important part of the fit will be to ensure that you have a Core Probe Launcher I fitted and 8x Core Scanner Probe I's in the cargo bay. A useful module to augment your scanning is the Scan Rangefinding Array which increases the strength of Core and Combat Scanner Probes. Later, you might opt for an additional Prototype Cloaking Device to keep you safe in wormhole space, but this is by no means necessary to take your first steps.
Skills to survive
The best way to get a head start with exploration in EVE Online will be to start training the relevant scanning and hacking skills. To make this process easy, check out the certified Skill Plans in-game. Simply visit the skills panel from the top left of your Neocom, select Explorer, then pick the race of exploration ships that you wish to train for. The description on the Plan will tell you more about what it offers and what you’ll be able to fly once complete.
Check out the list below for a brief description of what each skill does. You can always find out more by viewing the Show Info panel on the skills in-game.
Key Exploration Skills
- Astrometrics - Allows the use of scanners and improves your effectiveness with them
- Archaeology - Improves your ability to hack Relic Sites
- Hacking - Improves your ability to hack Data Sites
- An Empire Frigate - Training a frigate skill will improve your bonus on the ship, increasing the strength of your probes.
Exploration Support Skills
- Astrometric Rangefinding - Improves the strength of your probes
- Astrometric Pinpointing - Improves the accuracy of your scan results
- Astrometric Acquisition - Speeds up your probe scanss
- Cloaking - Allows the use of cloak modules
These skills are primarily for use in non-combat exploration activities. If combat sites sound exciting then mixing in some of the advice from the Enforcer path is the way to go.
Try it out
Now that you've got the knowledge, you need to put it into action! Pick a goal that excites you, undock, and find out what awaits you in New Eden.
- Fit your ship with the Probe Scanner, and Analyzer modules
- Scan down and hack a Highsec Relic Site
- Scan down and jump into a wormhole
- Bookmark every Cosmic Signature in a system to visit later
- Find and follow a combat site Escalation
- Find a Class 2 wormhole
- Find a second wormhole deeper into wormhole space
- Scan down and hack a Lowsec Relic Site
- Hack your way through a Ghost Site before the site explodes
- Find your way to Nullsec by scanning wormholes
- Scan down and hack a Nullsec Relic Site
- Defeat the Sleepers in a wormhole combat site
Exploration sites can be found randomly in nearly any system by checking your Probe Scanner window. Cosmic Anomalies can be warped to immediately, but you'll need a Core Probe Launcher and eight Core Probes to begin scanning for Cosmic Signatures on the solar system map. If you're having trouble scanning a site to 100% then try equipping a Scan Rangefinding Array to your ship.
Ready to move on? The resources below have all been created by Capsuleers in the EVE Online community. They're available in almost any format you can choose to learn in the way that suits you best.