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EVE Online Exploration Guide: Choosing Your Ship

EVE Online Exploration Guide: Choosing Your Ship
House Technique EVE On-line Exploration Information: Selecting Your Ship

Don’t miss out! This is only one chapter of our full EVE On-line Exploration information.

Should you ask the typical bittervet what ship to make use of for exploration, you’ll in all probability get a solution like “T3 is the perfect, utilizing anything is a waste of time” or “T1 frig is sweet sufficient, anything is a waste of ISK.”

What I’ve discovered by way of expertise is that just about each choice has worth; it’s most essential that you simply select the fitting ship in your expertise, finances, and expertise.  It ought to be famous that whereas some ships value much more, they’re additionally more likely to facilitate your protected journey. For those who’re routinely shifting 100 million to 1 billion ISK in your cargo bay, spending an additional 20, 80, or 200 million is definitely investing in your long-term fiscal well being. Plus, you understand… costly ships are attractive.

Now let’s look at the professionals and cons of every choice.

T1 Frigates: Heron, Imicus, Magnate, Probe

EVE Online exploration probe

Every race has a starter-level scanning ship with racial frigate bonuses to probing. For a totally new participant (underneath 1.5 million talent factors), these would be the solely actual choice. However that doesn’t imply they’re a nasty selection. They’re additionally good for older pilots who’re simply stepping into exploration.

Whereas there are some minor variations between every hull, you’re higher off selecting between them based mostly in your long-term objectives. In the event you intend to fly a Manticore or Buzzard afterward, you may as properly begin coaching Caldari frigates now and decide up a Heron. When you assume you’ll be upgrading to Sisters of EVE ships quickly, an Imicus or Magnate will probably be a fantastic begin.

The Execs

T1 frigates have a really low talent flooring, and will probably be considerably succesful with underneath three days’ coaching. They’ve simply sufficient CPU to deal with expanded probe launchers, permitting you to seek out hidden salvage or evade/scare off potential killers. They’ve acquired almost cruiser-sized cargo holds, permitting you to haul again additional loot or carry cellular depots/siphon models if desired. Better of all, these little frigs are low cost as dust, operating lower than half one million ISK every – one thing you’ll make again in beneath three minutes of exploration. You’ll be able to simply fly these puppies with the reassurance that they’re 100% disposable.

The Cons

On the opposite finish of issues, T1 frigates have low talent caps and require longer coaching for top effectivity. Their most scan power bonus is just +37.5%, and that requires coaching your racial frigate talent to V, which is time-consuming for newbies or gamers who don’t sometimes fly frigates. Additionally they grant comparatively weak bonuses to relic/knowledge virus power.

Structurally, these little toasters can’t match covert ops cloaking units, making infiltration and exfiltration (sure, that’s a phrase) troublesome in well-guarded areas of lowsec/nulsec. They’re additionally extraordinarily fragile, making them straightforward targets for pirates and wholly incapable of operating fight websites they scan down.


Finally, T1 frigates are greatest for studying the fundamentals of exploration with minimal ISK and SP crucial. When you’ve gotten the time and cash put in, it is best to improve to an Astero or T2 ship. These choices will give you extra flexibility, quicker scanning, and the all-important covert ops cloak.

T2 Frigates: Anathema, Buzzard, Cheetah, Helios

EVE Online exploration buzzard

As with T1, every race has a T2 ship particularly labeled covert ops that’s designed with superior exploration and scouting in thoughts. These ships are a pure development for gamers who’ve expert up from flying their T1 counterparts, or gamers who’ve beforehand flown stealth bombers (since they share necessities and trait bonuses).

The Execs

Covert ops ships have the very best effectivity ceiling in EVE On-line, with a most scan bonus of +50%, to not point out strong bonuses to probe flight and virus power. They will simply equip expanded probe launchers and covert cynosural area modules, giving the pilot entry to all method of sneaky area bullshit. They’re comparatively reasonably priced, costing simply 15 to 25 million ISK every… what you’ll pull in only one nullsec relic website. And if the identify didn’t give it away, you’ll be able to equip a covert ops cloaking system. Paired with an insanely excessive warp velocity, you’ll have the ability to navigate New Eden with 90% impunity.

The Cons

If you wish to fly a T2, you will want lots of annoying expertise educated, together with racial frigs and electronics upgrades (an almost ineffective stat outdoors of covops) to V and Cloaking to IV. And if you wish to outclass T1 or faction scan bonuses, additionally, you will want your precise Covert Ops talent to no less than IV. That is weeks of coaching for anybody who hasn’t beforehand began alongside covops/stealth bomber coaching.

T2 frigates have half the cargo area of their T1 counterparts, making them considerably much less suited to prolonged deployment, drone/ninja salvaging, or construction deployment. They did nevertheless inherit their li’l sisters’ paper-thin buildings, excluding them from most PvP or PvE.


Covert ops frigates are nice for established explorers or bomber pilots who need to safely run knowledge/relic websites or carry out fleet scouting/intel, however don’t care about fight or salvaging. And when you haven’t piloted a bomber but, these ships will set you up for a simple cross-train. General, they ship the very best return per ISK spent, a serious plus for EVE’s min/maxers.

Sisters of EVE faction ships: Astero, Stratios

EVE Online exploration stratios

With 2013’s Rubicon enlargement, CCP Video games added three Sisters of EVE “pirate” ships particularly constructed for long-rang exploration. The Astero frigate, the Stratios Cruiser, and the Nestor battleship. These hulls all grant substantial bonuses to scanning and hacking, although I’ve excluded the Nestor as a result of in case you’re wealthy and skilled sufficient to spend 1.5 billion ISK on such a toy, you in all probability don’t want this information.

Shared SOE Execs and Cons

The Astero and the Stratios share extraordinarily low talent necessities and a robust baseline efficacy. So long as you’ll be able to pilot both, you’ll get the complete +37.5% bonus to scanning, which might require racial frigates V for T1 ships or covert ops IV for T2. Every ship can match a covert ops cloak for stealthy shenanigans, to not point out insane agility to align on a dime. They usually’ve each received large drone capability and bandwidth, making them highly effective for class-appropriate PvE or PvP, to not point out salvaging operations.

On the draw back, they’re each costly as fuck. As of this writing, the Astero will run you 70-90 million ISK, the Stratios 275-300 million. You will want an excellent bankroll and excessive confidence in your wits to justify flying them into harmful area. And whereas their talent necessities are comparatively low, coaching is cut up between Gallente and Amarr expertise, probably doubling your mastery time.

SOE Variations

Should you’re making an attempt to decide on between the Astero and the Stratios, virtually all their variations are associated to measurement. Because the Stratios is a cruiser, it has extra cargo room, becoming slots, and drone projection than the Astero. The Stratios can even simply equip an expanded probe launcher whereas such a becoming would stretch the Astero’s capabilities. This implies the Stratios is, general, a extra versatile ship, able to staying out in nullsec longer and interesting a greater variety of content material extra simply. However it’s not a simple selection by any means. The Astero continues to be quicker, cheaper, and simpler to coach than its bulkier sister. It will possibly warp almost immediately with out the necessity for pre-alignment, a welcome blessing whenever you’ve obtained a billion in cargo.


I might advocate SOE faction ships to 3 teams of individuals. The primary is gamers with numerous ISK, however not sufficient SP to fly T2 or T3 ships. The second is gamers who want to embark on prolonged exploration roams (40+ jumps) into unsafe area. Lastly, the Astero/Stratios are robust decisions for gamers who need to interact in some type of salvage or fight whereas exploring.

T3 (Strategic) Cruisers: Legion, Loki, Proteus, Tengu

EVE Online exploration legion cruiser

On the tippy-top of the tech tree lies every race’s strategic cruiser. Since these ships are modular by design, it ought to come as no shock they are often highly effective exploration vessels when constructed with the proper subsystems. In essence, they are often just about something you need them to be… apart from maybe cheap.

The Execs

As a number of the most superior tech in EVE, T3 cruisers have an terrible lot of execs. With emergent locus analyzers, they tie covops ships in scan energy and virus power. Covert reconfiguration subsystems will allow – you guessed it – covert ops cloaking units and a paltry 5-second cloak deactivation timer. On the propulsion aspect, you’ll be able to select a gravitational capacitor for quicker warping, or the ridiculously highly effective capability to easily shrug off warp bubbles with the interdiction nullifier system. If all these plusses weren’t sufficient, contemplate the truth that you may commerce any of those capacities for improved fight or salvage.

The Cons

So, is there any cause to not decide a strategic cruiser in your exploration adventures? Properly, the obvious can be the large talent necessities each for minimal operation and maximal effectivity. From scratch, you’d want eight to 10 weeks simply to fly a T3 ship, and when you’re within the cockpit you’ll want to coach your subsystem expertise to IV or V to realize bonuses equal to or larger than these out there to T1, T2, or SOE hulls. That’s loads of coaching, coaching that may come on the expense of different very important exploration expertise should you haven’t already gotten them to the place they have to be.

Strategic cruisers are additionally fairly hefty within the ISK division, operating 100+ million for the hull alone, then a number of tens of tens of millions for all of the subsystems. After which it’s a must to match the goddamn factor. The top outcome will in all probability rival a Stratios in value, although a Stratios doesn’t require 20 weeks of coaching for max exploration effectivity. Oh yeah, and when you occur to die in a T3 cruiser, you gained’t simply lose your ship. You’ll additionally lose talent factors: one degree of a randomly chosen subsystem practice. Thoughts you, one thing like a Tengu is just not straightforward to catch and kill, however you need to be ready for enormous losses in case you occur to slide up.


Strategic cruisers are extremely highly effective, but in addition characterize an enormous monetary and temporal funding. They need to solely be utilized by gamers who’re very skilled in each exploration and common gameplay. Gamers who’re new to both T3 ships or deep area scanning are more likely to find yourself lifeless.

Different ship issues

EVE Online exploration zephyrr

Outdoors of the obvious picks listed above, there exist a number of area of interest hulls you might think about in your exploration profession. It will be means too time-consuming to cowl every one individually, so I’ll simply cowl two essential faculties of thought.

One purpose you could go together with one other ship for exploration is that you simply’d like exploration to be secondary to a different exercise. Maybe you’re a miner in search of fuel websites to ninja-vacuum. Otherwise you’re a ganker who needs to seek out wardec alliance targets. For functions like these, you’ll usually be becoming a probe launcher (most like a core probe launcher) and probably not even a cloak. That’s completely superb, simply keep in mind that your probe scanning will probably be painful in case you don’t have scan rigs, faction modules, high-level expertise, implants, or any mixture thereof.

One more reason you may decide a distinct segment ship is just since you need to be a friggin’ weirdo. You’d wish to fly round in an entirely impractical or needlessly costly, restricted vessel as a result of why not? I definitely can’t cease you from such a pursuit, so listed here are some methods to throw ISK away:

  • Nestor: This lovely battleship is worse at exploring than its frigate counterpart
  • Gnosis: A Jovian ship that’s good at scanning and preventing, and attracting gankers
  • Echelon: Actually good at hacking knowledge websites, however not discovering or navigating to them!
  • Zephyr: It’s resistant to Wormhole sleepers, although to not Wormhole capsuleers


Finally, the ship you select won’t be the first think about exploration success. Your expertise (each in-game and actual life expertise) are far more necessary to the precise nuts and bolts of creating ISK. With that stated and the rules offered right here, it ought to be straightforward to decide on your first adventuring vessel.

(Simply admit you picked a Nestor, you grasping bastard).


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