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EVE Guides - Using the Scanner (Long) : EVE Online Guides | Free EVE Guides

Posted: March 25th, 2006, 1:50 pm
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Using the Scanner Effectively


The scanner tool is a huge time savor and it could save your life. With the exception of fitting one could make an argument the scanner is the most useful single tool available in the game. This is not an exaggeration or a sales pitch. Learn it. Love it. Time is ISK and information is priceless. We will begin with a foundation and handle some of the big concepts right up front, then we’ll work back to how to use the features and conclude with application.


Generally speaking one or two of these three things triggers an “aha” moment when people are getting a hands on lesson. The scanner is not a two dimensional tool, it is a three dimensional tool and can help you to narrow down target location on both the X and Y planes with great accuracy. “Angle” in the tool is the angle of the beam and the beam goes out in the shape of a cone from your ship, out in three dimensional space. Essentially, the tool lets you “see” farther than you can see but it makes you squint if you want to see the details. A player can use the tool to narrow down an object’s location with great accuracy and in a few moments we’ll talk about how to do just that, step by step, from an initial “bubble” scan that has informed the player there is something of note within scanning range. You can not warp to something in a scanner result which is why you must learn to use it to narrow down warpable reference points.


Again, when you launch the scanner tool you are seeing a representation of the current system’s X plane in the top left corner. In the X plane display you can see a representation of the current scan area represented in green. To narrow things down on the Y plane (up and down) you need to use the three dimensional space of the game field. There is no feature functionality available for this but once you get comfortable with the tool you really don’t need anything else. The Y plane used in game is relatively narrow and you get an idea of what five or 15 degrees feels like on the X plane after very little usage. You can take this “feel” and project it on to the Y plane with relative ease. Also, oftentimes object of interest have reference points in the 3d filed of view regardless of your distance to those objects which you can use to aim your scan. The scanner tool defaults to a very short distance. If you type “9” a whole bunch of times, “999999999999999…”, set the angle to 360 on the slider and then click scan the range will pop back to maximum actual capability. We’re going to skip the probe piece for this intro. The bottom right dark space will fill with things that have appeared on scanner after a scan is complete. The wider the angle of a scan, the longer it will take to complete the scan. The more narrow the angle, the greater the distance of the scan (focusing scan power). “Use Overview Settings” can be used to filter the results of a scan.

Aiming the scan beam is made easier with the box, or “reticule”, that pops up when you click your ship once in the 3D view. Think of this as your gun sight. The author also finds it easier to scan when zoomed out from the ship 10km or so. It does not matter what direction your ship is facing for scanning purposes. There is no correlation between the direction your ship is facing and the direction you are facing, as the player, in your monitor. The scanner is scanning the direction you as a player are facing and doesn’t care about what direction the ship model is facing. Also, the longer you play the game the more likely you are to be zoomed away from your ship more of the time. It helps get a bigger picture of your surroundings. If you set angle to 360 and scan you scan in every direction from your ship. If you set to 180 and look at the port side of your ship (I recommend scanning from “level” on the X plane, “broadside view” of your ship/space for starters) you are scanning everything on your starboard side to a width of 180 degrees, or half the X plane as far as scan range will allow, almost like peripheral vision. Then, without moving your ship, if you spin to where you’re looking at the starboard side of your ship you’ll be scanning the other half of space, off the port side, within scan range.


Vantage points are everything for a scanner. Let us imagine a long “corridor” two planet, two gate system where each planet has 10 belts and everything lines up. It is a short warp from the gates to the nearest planet/belt system and a long way between the two planets.

G1 -- P1 ----------- P2 -- G2
^Looks just like that from atop, aside, below, etc… where the gates are represented by G and the planets are P.

If we come in through G1 and narrow a scan beam across the system we will see everything out as far as our scanner can see. There is no way to pinpoint anything. However, if we warp to P1 we have a whole new set of options available to us. Half the systems belts are now around us like numbers would be around us if we were in the middle of a clock and at least one gate is now isolated. From here we could go rat hunting or we could warp to P2, or a belt around P2 to try and isolate G2 so we could scan it for gate campers. Or we could sit here between the P1 and one of its belts or between a belt and G1 with our beam focused on G1. We might do this if we’re watching the flank of a group in transit and want to know what ships just came in without making ourselves as vulnerable as we would be sitting on the gate. You can see the ship types in the overview and right click/show info for more detail.

Incidentally, you can use this to check NPC bounties without flying out there if you’re out ratting. This will save you the time of jumping belt to belt, instead you can jump planet to planet and only check the “one off” belts (1 belt/1planet systems) of empty systems by warping to them or “by hand”. If it is an occupied system and there are questionables around but you want to rat anyway then you can still warp to the planet to check the belt for rats and bad guys to make sure it is safe to attack without warping in there. This method also works well in rookie rat packs because you wan warp gang to a planet, scan and then attack from planet. If the rookie rat pack has people that need to come in at different ranges the scanner can call out a belt number and the tank can go in first knowing everyone else is a very short warp away.


The author suggests starting your learning and practice the long way, with “Use Overview Settings” ticked on and setting your overview to display asteroid belts, enemies and NPC rats only… and cargo containers, if you start thinking “Is this thing even working?!”… because cargo containers are the cigarette butts of the Eve universe and you’re sure to find those things anywhere! (end soap box) You can do this a few times or stick with it forever if you like. The advantage is that it teaches you to narrow things down which is a nice skill to have if you know the bad guys stopped between two objects out there. You can scan the range between the objects and then narrow it until you’ve pinpointed them this way.

So assuming you’re practicing the long way and you’re practicing on rats on an empty system you’d do the following. Warp to planet. Scan 360. Now you have a list of all the rats and asteroid belts in the system. You can check bounties and see if anything is worthwhile. You find one belt worthwhile. So you set angle to 180 and scan the “top half” or everything north of the 3 o’ clock to 9 o’ clock line (you can scan any 180 and spin around, it just helps sometimes to have it neat/reference-able on the X overlay, especially for training and it might come in handy for group ops). Nothing there, so you scan the south 180. Bingo. Narrow to 90. Scan 3 o clock to 6 o clock or the SE corner. Nothing. Scan 6-9, bingo. Now you should have the target rats and less asteroid belts on the scanner overview than before as the only belts showing up are within scan range. Then you know those rats are in one of those belts. As you get more narrow the range on the Y plane narrows as well, so check to make sure your horizon is still catching the belts in your cone. Continue to narrow until you have targets acquired in a 5 degree cone that only covers one belt.

The author strongly encourages you to do it that way for at least a half dozen or maybe 12 runs before you try the short way. The short way is best used for increasing ratting efficiency but has limitations which if taught without the long way would hinder the student’s ability to fully understand the scanner.

The short way is made easier by the Bloodlines patch. Pre Bloodlines you had to hold down the Alt key to get belts to pop up as triangles in 3D space. Now they’re always there and the following is possible. With out altering overview settings we can simply warp to planet. Set scan angle to 5. Pick a belt that we can remember a reference point for, maybe the one near the sun. And work clockwise or counter-clock around the belts surrounding a planet. So, warp to IX. Position reticule over IX-1. Scan IX1 at 5 degrees. Clear. Position box over next belt clockwise. Rats. Worth? Mental note. Complete scan of planetary routes. Call to team or go in solo, “Following rats at IX – whatever. Warping in to tank. Will say ready when drawing agro”. In this way you can tear through systems plucking the low hanging fruit with, relative to the belt hopping way, ruthless efficiency. You can also avoid getting in over your head or warping in on top of enemy players.

Closing Remarks

The short way also works best for checking belts for gate campers. Figure out which system is nearest the gate and pick a random spot there. Warp to that spot but at a distance enough to where if there are enemies there too or big rats you still have time to pick another vantage point. Narrow your scan range. Target gate and scan. You can’t always rely on this in big systems because sometimes the closest planet or belt is too far away to scan from… but this doesn’t happen often in the author’s experience. The author has been playing for a month and liked to go out in low sec in his Merlin solo, lower in the Caracal to rat. Using this tool in this way kept him out of a lot of trouble. He expects this technique is very useful in fleet ops as well and furthermore, he expects there is far more to learn than has been explained here. But this is meant to be an introduction and lesson in fundamentals, so we’ll stop here.

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Posted: June 2nd, 2006, 5:18 pm
gerbilgenocide's Reps:
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Excellent summary of the overview. Just thought i'd add how to locate somethings possition in a solarsystem as people might find it useful.

[b]Scanning For Hostiles/NPCers/Other Players In A System[/b]

1) Warp to the centre of the system, or a central object near an area which you wish to scan. Usually this will be the Sun, or a group of planets near asteroid belts.

2) Set your scanner to 360 degrees, and to use overview settings. Add asteroid belts or your desired "target locations" to the overview. Remove all the other crap off of it.

3) Perform a scan at FULL range. Now reduce your scan by 1 digit. Rinse and repeat until the object you want to locate dissapears from the scanner.

4) Take a not of what object are on scanner. Eg the number of asteroid belts.
Add a digit until the "target" appears on scanner again. Take a note of the new possible locations that the target may be at. ie. The locations that reappear.

5) Alter the numbers in the scanner so that only 1 location dissapears with the target.

6) Take note. And warp to the location. If you target isnt in a SS, he/she will be at that location.

This method means you can find ratters in a system or people within up to 30 seconds depending how much practice you put into this method. Its quick and simple.

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Posted: March 26th, 2007, 10:30 pm

Total Posts: 94
Joined: October 2nd, 2006, 12:00 pm
tault712's Reps: 2
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Active User > 50 Posts
Anyone got an updated version of this, need to find some nice hidden belts and quick.

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Posted: March 27th, 2007, 6:14 pm
tault_buckw1's Reps:
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Th Exploration Guide on Eve Forums is the best out there that I have seen.

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Posted: March 28th, 2007, 5:00 am

Total Posts: 94
Joined: October 2nd, 2006, 12:00 pm
tault712's Reps: 2
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Tault_buckw1 (!empty($user->lang['WROTE'])) ? $user->lang['WROTE'] : ucwords(strtolower(str_replace('_', ' ', 'WROTE'))):
Th Exploration Guide on Eve Forums is the best out there that I have seen.

It’s a great guide all right, but I can’t print the bloody thing off as it has a boat load of post after it.

I can’t do with reading and switching screen every second so I was hoping to get a shortened version or at least a printable version. I have tried copy and pasting but it copies the full post and it’s too big to do a screen capture.

Help Please :cry:

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