EVE Academy | Explorer | EVE Online Exploration Guide | EVE Online


Uncover ancient relics and hidden pathways outside of the known universe


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.

Certified skill plan


Treasure Hunter


Ghost Sites


Sleeper caches


Wormhole Space


Harder Sleeper & DED Combat Sites

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.

To start your exploration journey, you should begin with the Heron, Magnate, Probe, or Imicus.

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
  • Amarr, Caldari, Gallente or Minmatar 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.

Additional Tutorials

If you're hungry for more then these videos and other resources should fill in any gaps.

Prosper in the Air Career Program

Take your first steps with purpose in the Air Career Program. With the support of both other players and tailored training content, you’ll get the best start possible in New Eden. The ACP will offer you missions and goals based on your chosen profession with generous rewards available for your efforts. You’ll find goals from the ACP below as well as other objectives to pursue in New Eden. When you’re ready, jump into EVE, open the ACP from your Neocom, and try out the Air Career Program today!

Low Risk

  • Scan a Cosmic Signature to 100%
  • Hack a Container
  • Enter a Combat Site
  • Make 25 Stargate Jumps

Medium Risk

  • Scan 5 Wormholes
  • Find and follow a combat site Escalation
  • Scan down and hack a Lowsec Relic Site
  • Scan 10 Wormholes

High Risk

  • Hack 20 Containers in Low-Sec
  • Hack 20 Containers in Null Sec
  • Hack 20 Containers in Wormholes
  • Visit Low-sec system in 5 different regions

Featured videos

  • Explorer

    Scanning Basics

    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.