An Introduction to EVE. EVE Online has a reputation for having a steep learning curve, and this reputation is well earned. While newer, more detailed tutorials have made easing into the enormous world of EVE less frightening, the sheer volume of information contained in these tutorials can bewilder even the savviest capsuleer. EVE Online Account Management. Perfect for beginners looking to continue their journey into the full EVE experience. Missed out on gorgeous ship SKINs that were only sold for a limited time? Catch up with the Best SKINs of 2020 Bundle! A comprehensive EVE Online ships list: Amarr, Minmatar, Gallente, Caldari and O.R.E., EVE Online Ships. Normally the ship is a Corvette and I made a version of it along with a battle version as it seems a rather big vessel besides the vanilla ships. Anyways its mostly for the looks. I tried to give it similar buffs and stats from EvE nut haven't yet tired to much if it makes sense for the Astrox environment.
Since the beginning of civilization, innate curiosity has led people into the unknown. This urge for discovery still remains strong in some, but not everyone is able to satisfy it through 'conventional' means. Fortunately, there is another way, and it doesn't even involve leaving the warmth of your home... EVE Online's New Eden star cluster provides you with almost countless opportunities for exploration and discovery. The game features over 5200 unique Star Systems, each of them with its own secrets, and ways of making a good amount of ISK out of discovering them.
At its base level, the exploration in EVE is done via the usage of Scanning Probes. Those probes are able to locate so-called Cosmic Signatures which are basically points of interest located in Space. There are 4 types of Sites that may be discovered through scanning those Cosmic Signatures:
- Gas Sites - These are places where Gas can be harvested from Interstellar Clouds. This Gas has a lot of uses in EVE's industry and can be gathered and sold for profit. These Sites, however, are not worth much for an Exproler but are a nice source of income for dedicated Miners. (Click HERE if you want to know more about widely understood Mining in EVE Online).
- Combat Sites - These are PvE Combat Sites, that mostly involve engagements against Faction and Pirate enemies. Cleating these Sites of hostile NPC ships can award you with valuable loot (like Deadspace and Faction modules). You should avoid these as an Explorer, as Exploration ships are not geared for open Combat.
- Wormhole Space - Unstable rifts in Space which lead to different Star systems, and sometimes to the Wormhole Space. Exploring Wormholes can be really engaging and profitable; if you want to know more about Wormholes in EVE Online, check out our article right here.
- Relic and Data Sites - Sites that contain special containers that could be hacked with a Data Analyzer. There are 5 categories of Relic and Data sites: sleeper sites, sleeper caches, ghost sites, drone data sites, and pirate data and relic sites. These are of the most interest for Explorers and will be the focus of this guide.
Before we take a closer look at possible Relic and Data sites, we have to cover the basics of Exploration, which means diving into corresponding Skills, Modules, and Ships.
Skills are an inherent part of every possible player activity in EVE Online, and as such cannot be overlooked. The appropriate set of Skills will enable you to become an accomplished Space Explorer. Some Skills will improve your ability to locate and hack Data and Relic Sites, while others will largely increase your survivability or flat out enable you to use better Exploration Ships.
|Racial (Caldari, Amarr, Minmatar, Gallente) Frigate Skills|
These skills will enable you to fly Tech I Race-specific Exploration Frigates (Caldari - Heron, Amarr - Magnate, Minmatar - Probe, Gallente - Imicus). These are entry-level skills, and you should learn one of them to gain access to a basic Exploration Ship (all four of these skills require Spaceship Command I)
Important note: Amarr Frigate III and Gallante Frigate III are needed for the Astero Class Pirate Frigate
|Covert Ops||This skill will enable you to fly Tech II versions of Racial Exploration Frigates (Caldari - Buzzard, Amarr - Anathema, Minmatar - Cheetah, Gallente - Helios). This is an advanced Exploration skill that requires Spaceship Command III and Electronic Upgrades V|
|Astrometrics||This skill will allow you to operate Scan Probes which are required for Cosmic Signature identification. Astrometrics is a base-level Exploration Skill that requires Science III and is necessary for even the most basic Explorations|
|Astrometric Acquisition||This skill increases your knowledge about operating Long Range Scanners and decreases the probe's scan time. It is an intermediate Exploration skill, that will increase your scanning efficiency; it requires Astrometrics III|
|Astrometric Pinpointing||This skill will enable you to locate scanned targets with increased precision. It is an intermediate Exploration skill, that will increase the accuracy of your scanners; it requires Astrometrics IV|
|Astrometric Rangefinding||This skill will increase the strength of your scan probes. It is an intermediate Exploration skill, that requires Science III|
|Archeology||This skill will improve your knowledge about ancient artifacts, enabling you to analyze and identify them. It is a base-level Exploration skill that is required for the operation of Relic Analyzer modules. It requires Survey III and Science III|
|Hacking||This skill will enable you to access items in Data and Relic Sites by breaking into guarded computer systems. It is a base-level Exploration skill that is required for the operation of Data Analyzer modules. It requires Electronics Upgrades III and Science III|
|Cloaking||This skill will enable you to use Ship Cloaking Devices, which in turn will allow you to stay under the radar of most hostile players. It is an advanced Exploration skill that requires CPU Management IV|
Fitting your ship with appropriate Modules will greatly increase your Exploration Efficiency and Survivability, and as such ship setup cannot be overlooked. Your ship setup will largely depend on the number of High, Medium, Low, and Rig slots available in it, but there are some Modules that are flat out necessary for Exploration Vessels. You can use the following module list to determine the best ship setup for Exploration:
|High Power Modules:|
|Core Probe Launcher (necessary)|
This Module will enable you to launch Core Scanner Probes, used for scanning Cosmic Signatures. The basic version of this module requires Astrometrics I, and the Tech II version requires Astrometrics V.
Alternatively, you could install the Expanded Probe Launcher which will also allow you to launch Combat Scanner Probes, but it has much higher fitting requirements
|Cloaking Device (highly advised)||This module will allow you to Cloak your ship in order to avoid being detected by enemies. It is every Exploration Ship's best form of defense. The basic version of this module requires Cloaking I, and the Tech II version requires Cloaking IV.|
|Salvager Module (optional)||This specialized scanner will allow you to detect and scavenge valuable items present in shipwrecks. It might serve as an alternative source of income during your Exploration runs. The basic version of this module requires Salvaging I, and the Tech II version requires Salvaging V.|
|Capacitor Neutralizers, Launchers, Turrets etc. (highly optional)||There is a lot of Weapon modules available, and you could choose ones that suit your PvP/PvE playstyles. These are highly optional, and most likely will not be enough to save your life. You can also use them to Clear Combat Sites, but this is not the thing that Exploration Ships are built for.|
|Medium Power Modules:|
|Relic Analyzer (necessary)|
This is an Archeology Module used for analyzing and searching ancient ruins. It is necessary for looting Relic Sites. The basic version of this module requires Archaeology I, and the Tech II version requires Archaeology V.
|Data Analyzer (advised)||This is a Hacking Module used for breaking into secured computer systems. It is necessary for looting Data Sites. This Module will provide you with less profit than Relic Analyzer, and is somewhat optional because of that. The basic version of this module requires Hacking I and Management II, and the Tech II version requires Hacking V and Management II.|
|Micro Jump Drive (necessary)||Also known as the Microwarp Drive (MWD), it enables your ship to jump 100km forward in the direction it is facing. This module will increase both your Exploration efficiency (Containers in Data and Relic sites are often far apart from each other) and Survivability (you can combine Micro Jump Drive with your Cloaking device (activate one immediately after the other) in order to perform the MWD Cloak Trick which will allow you to jump away from danger and hide from it simultaneously.|
|Cargo Scanner (highly advised)||Enables you to scan Cargo Holds of other Ships. This can also be used to scan Data and Relic sites in order to determine their value. It is a great Efficiency increasing tool, as it lets you skip Sites that are not worthy of your time (those with invaluable loot). The basic version of this module requires CPU Management I, and the Tech II version requires CPU Management II.|
|Scan Rangefinding Array (optional)||This module increases the Scan Strenght of your Probes. This will make your Scans more reliable. The basic version of this module requires Astrometric Rangefinding II, and the Tech II version requires Astrometric Rangefinding V.|
|Scan Pinpointing Array (optional)||This module improves your Scan Probes by decreasing their scan deviation. This will make your Scans more reliable. The basic version of this module requires Astrometric Pinpointing II, and the Tech II version requires Astrometric Pinpointing V.|
|Scan Acquisition Array (optional)||This module reduces the scanning time of your Scan Probes. This will enable you to perform scans more often. The basic version of this module requires Astrometric Acquisition II, and the Tech II version requires Astrometric Acquisition V.|
|Low Power Modules:|
|Inertial Stabilizers (highly optional)||This module improves your Ship's maneuverability and handling at the expense of its Signature (it makes you more agile, but at the same time easier to lock on to). Mounting Inertial Stabilizers is like asking for trouble, so it should be avoided. The basic version of this module requires Hull Upgrades I, and the Tech II version requires Hull Upgrades II.|
|Warp Core Stabilizer (advised)||This module compensates for disruptions and fluctuations of your ship's warp core. This is a very strong defensive tool, as it cancels out a long-range warp disruption caused by the attacker; it is useful mostly in Hisec and Lowsec Systems, however. The basic version of this module requires Warp Drive Operation I, and the Tech II version requires Warp Drive Operation IV.|
|Nanofiber Internal Structure (advised)||This replaces your ship's structure components with their lighter but at the same time more fragile versions. It increases your ship's maneuverability and velocity but lowers hull strength. The best strategy for survival as an Explorer is running away before something bad happens, so this module practically has no downsides. The basic version of this module requires Hull Upgrades I, and the Tech II version requires Hull Upgrades II.|
|Damage Control (optional)||This module prevents critical system damage by utilizing a combination of redundancy systems and containment field emitters. In simpler terms - it increases resistances of your Hull, Armor, and Shield. This will increase your survivability when fighting other Players, but if you are getting shot at, you are probably already dead, so this module is by no means necessary.|
|Small Gravity Capacitor Upgrade (highly advised)||This Rig increases your ship's Scan Probe strength. It provides a substantial upgrade to your Probes which is beneficial in almost all situations. The basic version of this module requires Jury Rigging I, and the Tech II version requires Jury Rigging IV.|
|Small Memetic Algorithm Bank (highly optional)||This Rig increases the efficiency of Data Modules mounted on your ship - It will improve your Data Analyzer's strength. The basic version of this module requires Jury Rigging I, and the Tech II version requires Jury Rigging IV.|
|Small Emission Scope Sharpener (highly optional)||This Rig increases the efficiency of Relic Modules mounted on your ship - it will improve your Relic Analyzer's strength. The basic version of this module requires Jury Rigging I, and the Tech II version requires Jury Rigging IV.|
|Cargohold Optimization (optional)||This rig improves the Cargo Capacity of your Ship but lowers its armor. It enables you to conduct longer Exploration runs, and therefore to make more profit, but makes you more vulnerable to enemy fire. The basic version of this module requires Astronautics Rigging I, and the Tech II version requires Astronautics Rigging IV.|
|Polycarbon Engine Housing (advised)||This Rig increases your ship's maneuverability and velocity but lowers its armor - it makes you quicker, more agile and a bit easier to shoot down (these upsides are generally worth the tradeoff). The basic version of this module requires Astronautics Rigging I, and the Tech II version requires Astronautics Rigging IV.|
|Low Friction Nozzle Joints (advised)||This Rig increases your ship's agility, but lowers its armor - it allows you to align for Warp jumps faster, which increases your survivability by allowing you to escape from danger more quickly. The basic version of this module requires Astronautics Rigging I, and the Tech II version requires Astronautics Rigging IV.|
|Hyperspatial Velocity Optimizer (advised)||This Rig improves the Warp speed of your ship, but it also increases its Signature Radius - it greatly increases the pace of your Exploration runs, but at the same time makes you easier to lock on to (the benefit is generally worth the somewhat high tradeoff, as it allows you to save A LOT of time). The basic version of this module requires Astronautics Rigging I, and the Tech II version requires Astronautics Rigging IV.|
|Salvage Drones (optional)|
These are used for salvaging wrecked starships. They might come in handy as an additional source of income from exploring
|Caldari Electronic Warfare Drones; ECM Drones (highly advised)||These Drones are specialized in jamming Enemy sensors and targetting systems. ECM Drones are a great defensive option, as they can buy you those few precious seconds needed for Warping away from the incoming danger. Caldari Electronic Warfare Drones are best used as a proactive (aggressive mode) perimeter defense. These Drones require Electronic Warfare III|
|Combat Drones (optional)||These Drones are specialized in damaging and destroying enemy ships. Exploration vessels employ them mainly for defensive purposes, in order to compensate for the lackluster firepower, they are less effective as a defensive tool than ECM Drones, however. Combat Drones come in three variants: Light, Medium, and Heavy|
Now, that you have the information about all important Exploration-related skills and modules, it is time to take a closer look at ship types most commonly used for Space Exploration.
Choosing the right ship for the job might be quite complicated for aspiring Explorers. In fact, the choice largely depends on the Player's playstyle, experience, and skill levels. This is why we have decided to describe all three main Exploration Ship types and a total of 9 available Exploration Ships; this should help you pick a vessel that suits you and your playstyle the best.
For those who want more straight forward guidance - Heron is a great place to start, thanks to its 5 Medium Slots, its advanced version - The Buzzard is a great upgrade over it, which features a similar playstyle; if you are absolutely new to exploring, these two should become your starting point. The Probe and the Cheetah support a dynamic playstyle and will suit more experienced players. Magnate is quite tough as far as Exploration Frigates go, but it gets hampered by the low number of Medium Slots, however, its bigger brother, the Anathema doesn't share this downside. The Helios can be a surprisingly versatile Exploration ship, but you'll have to work your way through the mediocre Imicus in order to get it. If you see yourself as an aggressor, the Astero is the way to go, as it provides you with a strong Drone platform paired with the advanced Cloaking Technology. It is also suited for Wormhole and Nullsec Exploration.
1. Exploration Frigates
|Description - These are the basic vessels created for the purpose of Space Exploration. They provide good bonuses to Hacking and Scanning, which makes them a good starting point for any Explorer. Their Combat potential is laughable, however, and any open engagements should be avoided at all costs, to avoid them being blown to pieces. Exploration Frigates are able to field Drones and the right choice of them can increase their survivability rate considerably.|
Ships of this type:
The most noteworthy feature of this ship is its high Medium Slot count (5) which makes it the most flexible Tech I Exploration Frigate. Choosing the Heron as your first Exploration ship will save you the trouble of deciding which Medium Power Modules to mount and which to skip. It requires Caldari Frigate I and provides the following bonuses:
This is the toughest of all Tech I Exploration Frigates, but it has only 3 Medium Module Slots which cripples its Exploration potential a bit. On the plus side, high amount of Low Slots (4) gives the possibility to further increase Magnates already solid tank which makes it more likely to survive ganking attempts. It requires Amarr Frigate I and provides the following bonuses:
|The fastest and the most agile of all Tech I Exploration Frigates. The Probe excels at avoiding trouble and its 4 Medium Slots are enough to make a competitive Exploration Ship out of it. Three Low Slots of this vessel are best utilized for modules that increase its ability to escape pursuers. It requires Minmatar Frigate I and provides the following bonuses: |
|The slowest of all Tech I Exploration Frigates, but also the best at fielding Drones with its 20Mbit/sec Drone Bandwitch. Proper choice of Combat Drones is necessary to compensate for Imicuse's rather subpar ability to escape out of trouble. Its 4 Medium Slots are enough to make it work as a solid Exploration vessel. It requires Gallente Frigate I and provides the following bonuses: |
2. Covert Ops Frigates
|Description - These are Tech II versions of Exploration Frigates. Their most noteworthy feature is their ability to Warp with Cloaking Device active (thanks to the Covert Ops Cloaking Devices), which makes them one of the sneakiest ships in the game. This ability to stay under the Enemy radar is often utilized in PvP warfare, where Covert Ops Frigates provide Corporations with a lot of valuable intelligence. They also feature good Exploration related bonuses, which combined with their advanced Cloaking technology makes them a very strong choice for conducting Exploration in Nullsec and Wormhole spaces.|
Ships of this type:
Buzzard, as the Tech II version of the Heron, shares its strengths and weaknesses. Just like its predecessor, it has 5 Medium Slots, which provides a lot of room for customization when gearing towards dangerous space Exploration. Buzzard doesn't feature a Drone Bay. This ship is able to mount the Covert Ops Cloaking Devices and Covert Cynosural Field Generators, and its Cloak reactivation delay is reduced to 5 seconds. It requires Caldari Frigate V and Covert Ops I, and provides the following bonuses:
Being the advanced version of the Magnate, Anathema features a good Tank for a Covert Ops Frigate. Unlike its predecessor, it has 4 Medium Module Slots which makes it much more flexible in Exploration Ship's role. Anathema doesn't feature a Drone Bay. This ship is able to mount the Covert Ops Cloaking Devices and Covert Cynosural Field Generators, and its Cloak reactivation delay is reduced to 5 seconds. It requires Amarr Frigate V and Covert Ops I, and provides the following bonuses:
|Cheetah is the fastest and the most agile of the Covert Ops Frigates, but its low CPU strength and subpar Capacitor lowers its versatility a bit. However, just like the Probe, it is great at avoiding trouble. Thanks to its speed and maneuverability, Cheetah cells in scouting and espionage roles. It doesn't feature a Drone Bay. This ship is able to mount the Covert Ops Cloaking Devices and Covert Cynosural Field Generators, and its Cloak reactivation delay is reduced to 5 seconds. It requires Minmatar Frigate V and Covert Ops I, and provides the following bonuses: |
|Helios is the only Covert Ops Frigate to feature a Drone Bay, but its low Drone Capacity and terrible Drone Bandwitch make it almost useless. It has only 2 High Slots, which is theoretically enough for Exploration purposes but feels lackluster nevertheless; this is somewhat compensated by its 5 Medium Slots. This ship is able to mount the Covert Ops Cloaking Devices and Covert Cynosural Field Generators, and its Cloak reactivation delay is reduced to 5 seconds. It requires Gallente Frigate V and Covert Ops I, and provides the following bonuses: |
1. Pirate Frigates
|Description - Unlike other Exploration Ships, Pirate Frigates are able to defend themselves, and become aggressors themselves. These ships are designed for prolonged missions and do not have to visit Stations too often.|
Ships of this type:
As far as Exploration Ships are concerned, the Astero is the one of a kind. It excels not only in sneaky Exploration but in attacking other Explorers as well. It has the largest Drone Capacity and Bandwitch of all Exploration Frigates (75m³ and 25 Mbit/sec respectively), and despite being the Tech I ship, is able to mount the Covert Ops Cloaking Devices, and has its Cloak reactivation delay reduced to 15 seconds. These features make Astero one of the most popular Exploration Ships available, despite its high price tag. It requires Gallente Frigate III and Amarr Frigate III, and provides the following bonuses:
Now, that you have information about Ships, their Modules, and Skills required for operating them, it is time to take a closer look Data and Relic sites, and the places where you can find them,
Possible Exploration Destinations
There are four main kinds of Systems in EVE Online, divided by their corresponding Security Level: High-Security Space (Hisec), Low-Security Space (Lowsec), Null Security Space (Nullsec), and the Wormhole Space. As you can imagine, potential ISK gains increase with decreasing System Security levels.
Let us take a closer look at all four types of Systems present in the New Eden Star Cluster
|These systems are popular not only among inexperienced explorers but also among those afraid to venture into more dangerous parts of Space. This means that the already rather limited resources present in Hisec Data and Relic Sites are further diluted by the sheer amount of Explorers competing for them. If you plan to make decent ISK out of Exploration, you should leave the High-Security Space as soon as you gain some experience.|
|These systems provide a bit more valuable Relic and Data sites, and there are fewer Players around, however, the danger of being attacked is high, as Lowsec Systems are popular among Gankers.|
|These systems feature very valuable Data and Relic Sites, and because of a very large number of them (3294), the danger of being attacked is surprisingly low. This combined with the fact that many Explorers are too afraid to venture into Null-Security Systems makes them great places for Exploration. However, aggressive NPC factions pose a real Danger, and Gankers who roam the Nullsec Space are usually well kitted, very experienced at killing Explorers, and know their way around these systems (which means that the possibility of being attacked rises considerably around more profitable SItes).|
|Wormhole Space Systems|
|These systems feature Sites of value very comparable to those present in the Null Security Systems. Player Population in Wormhole Space is very, very low, which makes them great for Explorers. The danger of being attacked is very low, but you never know who is present in a System with you (unless they type something in the local chat), so you should stay alert at all times. Overall, these systems are surprisingly secure and can become a solid source of ISK for explorers Experienced enough to venture into them.|
Types of Data and Relic Sites
Eve Online Starter Ships
Data and Relic sites encountered during your Explorations will vary greatly, both in terms of difficulty level and the possible value. There are a total of Five different difficulty levels possible for each of the main five Data and Relic Site categories present in the game.
|These sites are found in the Wormhole Space. They are heavily defended by Sleepers, and hacking them is not possible without previously defeating the Site defenders. Hostile NPCs present in Sleeper Sites drop valuable loot, which makes these sites worthy of clearing even in a Ship unable to hack the Site itself.|
|These are very difficult Data Sites with various dangers and triggers (failed hack may lead to Container explosion, sentry guns present may attack you, and there is a danger of proximity explosions). They do not spawn in the Wormhole Space and can be encountered in Normal Systems. Sleeper Cashes come in three different types: Superior (level V scanning difficulty), Standard (level IV scanning difficulty), and Limited (level IV scanning difficulty), and may contain blueprints of polarized weapons, skill books, manufacturing materials, or sleeper components.|
|These are Data Facilities run by Pirates, and Pirates are not very fond of intruders... Hacking these Sites triggers the Pirate response timer, and if you are not fast enough, you might get caught redhanded by overwhelming numbers of Pirate Ships. Failed Hack attempts cause Ghost Site Containers to explode, and deal Damage to every Ship in the 10km radius. These sites may contain various grades of Ascendency Blueprints, 'Yurt' and 'Wetu' Mobile Depot Blueprints, and 'Magpie' Mobile Tractor Unit Blueprints.|
|Drone Data Sites|
|These are available in just a few regions: The Spire, Ethernium Reach, Outer Passage, Kalevala Expanse, Oasa, Malpais, Perrigen Falls, and Cobalt Edge. They contain three Containers: 1x Research and Development Laboratories, and 2x High-Security Containment Facility. Second Hacking attempt failure will cause Hostile Frigates to spawn, and further Hacking attempts will not be possible until those Frigates are destroyed. These Data sites contain racial Drone Components and Blueprints (race-specific drop corresponds with the region in which the site is located).|
|Pirate Relic and Data Sites|
|These can be found in C2-C3 Wormhole Systems and all Normal Space Systems. They are the safest Sites by far, as there aren't any Hostile NPC's or other defenses present. Each of these sites contains several Hackable Containers, wrecked stations, abandoned machines etc. Pirate Relic sites contain Skill books, Blueprints, T I and T II Salvage Materials, and Pirate Data sites contain Skill books, Decryptors, Data Cores, Blueprints, and Manufacturing Materials.|
The Hacking Process
Hacking is an inherent part of Exploration. Its main goal is to Locate and Disable Container's System Core. To successfully Break Into a Container you'll have to complete a Mini Game. This Game consists of maneuvering a Computer Virus through the container's circuit board. At its core, the hacking process resembles the Minesweeper and is not that complicated, so if you have mastered the Windows's Classic, you will have no problems Hacking Containers in Eve either.
Tips and Tricks
Now that we have covered all of the Exploration's basics it is time to provide the one person who is still reading this with some helpful Exploration Tips and Tricks.
Eve Online Starter Exploration Ship
We hope that you have found this Guide useful and informative. If we have missed a piece of information that is important to you, please let us know!
Please do note that this is an early version of our guide, and we will be happy to receive constructive criticism, that will help us improve it, so leave your suggestions in the comments section below.
Eve Online Starter Ships
Pictures used in this article are the intellectual property of CCP Games