How targeting works
Targeting ships or structures is required to engage weaponry or drones to that specific target. Without an active target, it is impossible to activate most weapons, with the exception of FoF missiles and drones set to aggressive.
Number of active targets
There are two factors that influence the number of active targets you can have. The first is your skill with targeting, the second is the maximum number of active target your ship can have. The targets you can have targeted is always set to the lowest number of these two.
The following skills affect your maximum number of active targets
- Targeting up to 5 targets (requires Electronics I)
- Advanced Target Management up to 10 targets total (additionally requires Targeting V)
Most ships have less than 10 maximum active targets, often causing the ship's attributes to dictate the maximum number of targets instead of your skill. Using Automated Targetting Systems, this limitation can be reduced.
The time it takes to lock on to a target is set by one's targeting speed. With a low targeting speed, it is difficult, if not impossible to target small and fast ships in time before they warp off.
Each ship has a scan resolution value, which can be seen by right clicking on the ship and selecting "show info". The higher this number, the better, as it enables you to target others faster. Each ship also has a signature radius which can be viewed under "show info" as well. A low signature radius means that it takes longer for others to target you. Some modules can affect your targeting speed, for example, warp core stabilizers will cause you to take longer to target ships, while sensor boosters will allow you to target ships faster.
- T = (40000/X)/(asinh(Y)^2)
- X = scan resolution of your ship
- Y = sig radius of the target
- T = the time to lock.
Just as the number of targets, the range with which you target is affected by skill and ship properties. To check what your targeting range is in a particular ship, open the ship properties you are currently flying.
Your skill level in Long Range Targeting multiplies the targeting range of your ship by 5% per skill level. Additionally, certain modules adjust your ship's targeting range, all of which are percentage based. Skill and modules multipliers are cumulative.
There is currently only one skill that affects your targeting range:
There are a few modules that affect (positively and negatively) your max targetting distance (a warp core stabilizer had strong negative impact for example).
Using ECM, it is possible to break target locks. Each ship has a sensor strength (unique per race), which is compared to the jamming strength to see whether a target lock is broken. For more information on this, check this ECM section.