Hunting with Combat Probes


What is hunting?

Hunting is the practice of seeking and catching prey, before eliminating it. Now, you might ask: how is this related to the game?

In theory, it is pretty much the same thing as it is in real life. In EVE Online, you have a multitude of tools and abilities you can use. But, in this guide, I shall demonstrate and show how to be a fairly decent Combat Scanner when it comes to Solo Hunting.

What are Combat Probes?

Combat probes have the ability to scan entities in space, and not only Cosmic Anomalies, unlike their counterpart: the Core probes. They can only fit in an Expanded Probe Launcher, as they measure 1 m³, in comparison to the Core probes, which occupy 0.8 m³. Therefore, you can use regular probes in the Expanded Probe Launcher, but there’s no reason to.

They operate the same, and given you already have Scanning experience, it is going to be an easy journey. If you do not already know how to scan, check out our exploration guide. But trust me, it really isn’t difficult. It’s all about having good skills trained and knowing a few tricks.

How do you get started?

First of all, you need a ship with an Extended Probe Launcher fitted. It is difficult to fit one on ships that aren’t for Exploration or bonused, like the Tactical Destroyers. I would really recommend training into a Hecate, as it possesses such bonuses and has a great damage output, in case you plan on killing MTUs.

The Probe Scanner offers six filters:

  • Anomalies (combat sites, ore sites, etc)
  • Cosmic Signatures (outlined in our exploration guide)
  • Deplyables (MTUs, depots)
  • Structures (starbases, etc)
  • Ships (rorquals, other goodies)
  • Drones
  • Charges

These filters will help you scan what you’re looking for.

Anomalies do not need to be scanned, but everything else has to. Combat Probes can scan down everything, whilst Core Probes can only scan Cosmic Signatures. Set up your filters accordingly. I have my Anomalies disabled at all times, but remember that it is useful to toggle the setting to see if a ship is in an active anomaly.

Every other filter is situational. For MTUs, make sure you have Ships and Deployables on, so that you can see if a bad ship is waiting for you. If you want to hunt drones, have Ships and Drones and Charges on. If you want to just hunt ships, have Ships on and make sure to toggle Anomalies and Signatures on sometimes. The signature might be easier to scan than the ship, and vice versa.

You will also need probes alongside the launcher. The Sisters of EVE Combat Scanner Probes aren’t that expensive and you should go for them unless you’re on a budget or you expect a short lifespan.

How to Combat Scan

For the first demonstration, I will go on to scan my own MTU, Bobbyson, and we will start off with the first trick:

If you are in a system with multiple MTUs and you want to find a specific one, it has to be named. Make sure you can find it on your Directional Scanner and find its exact distance from you. Lower the range until it’s just barely still on your scan. In my case, Bobbyson is exactly 12.2 AU from my ship. You can go on and warp to different celestials and lower the distance, which will make it even easier.

Launch your drones, and place them on your ship. You can find yourself easily by pressing the button in the top left corner. Set their size to the closest number to the distance you are from you entity. I am 12.2 AU away, so I will Pinpoint scan at 16 AU distance (there’s no point spreading out first if you know what you are looking for).

After running the scan, I see two structures. NOZ-003 is 9.48 AU from me, and the other one, MDG-340, is 11.12 AU from me. Therefore, any of them could be the correct signature, as they are relatively close. I scan MDG-340 as it is closer to 12.2 AU, but this is not always the case.


The first trick comes into play. The MDG-340 result links up with two signatures on my Map. Always go for the one farther away from your cube’s current position. Before running the second scan, lower the Probe size to be a lot smaller. In the unfortunate event that you lose your lead, just increase it slightly and it should come back up.

The same thing happens: I receive two leads. Again, I go for the one farther away from my cube.

Unfortunately, MDG-340 turns out to be a Mobile Depot, and not my MTU. Thus, I quickly move on to NOZ-003, and it turns out to be Bobbyson indeed.

Once you reach about 30% signal, go on to gradually lower your Probe size. Remember, you can always revert the change and get back on the right way if it turns out to be too small.By topping it off with an 1 AU scan, I manage to find Bobbyson, and he is safe again.


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