Avoiding cargo scans

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The most common users of cargo scanners are suicide gankers, who will not usually attack a ship unless they know that it contains valuable cargo. Depending on what you are moving, there are several means of rendering cargo scanners ineffective, reducing your chances of being ganked.

How cargo scanners work

Cargo scanners reveal the following items:

  • Items in the target's cargo hold, except containers
  • Items inside containers inside the target's cargo hold, including containers

There is no indication on cargo scan results as to whether an item is inside a container. If a container is visible, this implies that it is being transported inside a courier contract package.

Immunity from cargo scanning

Cargo scanners do not reveal any of the following:

  • Items inside two or more layers of containers within the target's cargo hold
  • Items in a ship's corp hangar array (e.g. that of the Orca)

The MWD + cloak trick

  • When: while you're cloaked and about to warp somewhere in a slow ship, usually just after jumping into a system.
  • What to do:
    1. Select your destination and start aligning to it in the usual way.
    2. Activate your MWD for a single cycle.
    3. Cloak immediately afterwards.
    4. Keep an eye on the MWD cycle timer.
    5. When the MWD cycle is about to run out, de-cloak.
    6. Hit the 'warp to' button.
    7. If you did everything correctly, you'll be nearly up to speed and will warp almost instantly.

When done correctly, this gives people trying to scan you only two very brief opportunities to do so. They probably won't even have time to lock your ship. The ships that benefit the most from the the MWD + cloak trick are industrials, battleships and deep space transports.

Other mitigating tactics

If the above methods are not suitable for the cargo you need to move, or the ship you are piloting, there are other means of reducing your risk of being scanned.

  • Disable autopilot and use warp to 0km instead:
    1. When near trade hubs
    2. When in high-traffic 0.5-0.6 systems on routes between hubs
    3. Especially in Niarja / Uedama
  • Get a friend / alt in your corp to web your ship after you start each warp, reducing your align time dramatically. Very useful for freighters.
  • Carry lots of decoy items. A mix of cheap salvage is recommended.
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