5 Tips For New Explorers In EVE

So you've heard that you can make money (ISK) by running exploration sites?  Even as an Alpha?  Well you can! I will go ahead and assume you've trained the necessary skills and have a T1 Exploration ship ready to go.  Here are 5 Tips to help you get started:

1) Plan your route before you undock.

The only time you are truly safe in New Eden is when you are docked inside a station.  For this reason, you should use the map tool (F10) and plan a route which takes you through systems that have low pilot activity or haven't had too many ships destroyed in the last hour.
ProTip: Some good out-of-game resources are EVE Gatecamp and DOLTAN
Situations change in real time, but  planning will greatly increase your odds of survival and let you run data/relic sites in relative peace.  It also helps to check the number of signatures in each system you jump through,as some of my greatest finds have been en route to a destination.  And speaking of destinations...

2) Create and use safe spots.

As you begin exploring you'll find yourself returning to the same "home system" to drop off your loot and eventually sell it.   Learn how to create safe spots (ctrl-B) for systems you frequently visit while creating new ones for systems you run exploration sites in. 
ProTip: Wormholes can make excellent safe spots after they collapse.
 Align yourself to a safe spot or celestial while running the minigame and be ready to press the "S" key to safely warp out. It can be slow going at first, but safe spots will save your ship at some point and likely often.   Here is an excellent guide on how to create safe spots. and a more in-depth article on safe spots here.

3) Data sites shouldn't be ignored!

If your ship can fit both a data and relic analyzer you should run data sites (use a Heron).  Yes relic sites tend to have better loot, and yes you can get more ISK per hour, but EVERYONE is trying to run relic sites. Some explorers even refer to data sites as "free money"
ProTip: Check out this guide to see if a site is safe to approach.
You will tend to find that data sites are less contested and can still yield decent loot...Which leads us to:

4) D-Scan often.
 As you probe sites and especially while you are playing the hacking mini-game you should be constantly monitoring Directional-Scan (D-Scan).  You'll need to know what types of ships are currently in system, which ones have just arrived or *crap!* if combat scanner probes are active in the system.  Everyone has their own preference, but I like to keep my dscan  (default shortcut "v" key) at maximum while probing and between 4 and 8 AU while playing the hacking mini-game.
ProTip: Keep your D-Scan window near your mini game window so you can see at a glance what is happening in system.
 If you see something you don't like warp out, dock or jump...and that means:

5) Leave Loot Behind.

It sounds counter intuitive at first....leaving some of your loot behind as you explore, but consider this: you will lose your ship eventually.  Anytime you are going into a potentially more dangerous system (high to low sec, low to null sec, K space to W space) leave some loot behind in a station in the "safer system" you're already in.  The reason being if you lose your ship you can always fly back and pickup the loot you deposited.  New Eden is a hoarder's dream: you can have infinite amounts of  items in NPC stations...forever.  By leaving some of your loot behind you'll be creating an insurance policy of sorts for your ship.
ProTip: Leave the net worth of your ship+fitting behind.
If you mange to go on to the dangerous space, grab some loot, and return in one piece you'll have many times your ships worth anyway.  Besides, it's nice to have "nest eggs" scattered throughout New Eden...you'll never know when you'll need it.

There you go, with these 5 tips and a little situational awareness you'll be on your way to making your living as an explorer.  And if you are interested in an exploration-themed corp check out Signal Cartel we'd love to have you as a member!

I'd like to thank the following Signal Cartel pilots for contributing to this article:  Mynxee, Lucas Ballard, Thrice Hapus, Sophia Sydney, Sky Diamond, Igaze, and Tarl Kabott.

Thanks for reading and fly safe!




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