EVE Evolved: Three top tips for staying safe from gankers in EVE Online

EVE Online is renowned for its cold, harsh universe and relatively few rules, and we’ve all heard the horror stories over the years of players losing everything they own to one ill-fated encounter with pirates or suicide gankers. There are whole corporations dedicated to ganking miners minding their own business, and the trade hub station in Jita is a hotbed for suicide attacks. If you’re planning to give EVE a try when the new free-to-play upgrades arrive on December 5th, or if you’ve already signed up to get a head-start on the competition, you might be worried about this happening to you.

The fact is that most players will never experience a suicide gank, and it’s relatively easy to avoid becoming the target of one. Bookmarks can be used creatively to give even the most persistent gankers the slip, for example, and the Weapon Safety system can prevent you from accidentally committing a crime and opening yourself up to attack from ordinary players. Remember, though, that managing risk is a core part of EVE, and with that in mind there are some common sense rules that can help you to minimise the risk of attack or the degree of loss should an attack occur.

In this edition of EVE Evolved, I give three top tips for staying safe in EVE Online that should help even if you’re completely new to the game.

Tip #1: Keep your Weapon Safety on green

In years gone by, if you didn’t know the exact aggression mechanics, then you could be tricked or baited into stealing loot or shooting the wrong thing and then you’d be flagged as a criminal or suspect and anyone could gank you. CCP added the Weapon Safety system several years ago to counteract this, and it’s become one of the most important tools for preventing yourself from being ganked. The Safety can be set to one of three settings:

  • Green / Enable Safety: Your ship will automatically prevent you from taking any actions that would give you a Suspect or Criminal aggression timer.
  • Orange / Partial Safety: Your ship will prevent you from taking actions that would give you a Criminal aggression timer but allow actions that would make you a Suspect such as stealing loot.
  • Red / Disable Safety: Completely disables the weapon safety, allowing you to perform any criminal actions you like.

While the weapon safety won’t stop other people from attacking you, it will stop you from accidentally doing something that will get you killed in high-security space. Always keep your safety on Green unless you’re planning to steal loot in highsec or lowsec, and only set it to red if you intend to engage in lowsec piracy or suicide ganking in highsec. Remember that a green safety will only stop you from performing an action if it would be a crime, so you’ll still be able to defend yourself, attack someone with a suspect timer, fight anyone in nullsec and wormhole space, and steal loot in nullsec and wormhole space.

Tip #2: Using bookmarks to stay safe in Jita

When you warp to a station, you might land a few kilometres from the station’s docking range and your ship will then have to fly forward for a few seconds before it can safely dock. That’s more than enough time for an attentive suicide ganker to attack, something that happens frequently in the Jita trade hub station. The same thing can happen when you exit the station and begin warping somewhere because it will take your ship a few seconds to align in the direction you’re heading and get enough speed to enter warp.

The solution to both problems is to prepare some useful bookmarks ahead of time. Open the People & Places window and click the Add Location button to make a bookmark of your ship’s exact location. Add a bookmark several kilometers inside the station’s docking range and warp to that instead of the station, and you’ll always be able to dock right after you land. Since ships are invulnerable for a few seconds after exiting warp as long as they don’t move, you’ll never be attacked before you dock.

To protect yourself while undocking, set up a bookmark several hundred kilometres directly ahead of the undock point so that when you undock you’re already pointing in that direction and at 100% speed. This way you can warp to the bookmark immediately after undocking and you’ll instantly enter warp and be carried outside the range of any gankers waiting at the undock point. As with warping, your ship is untargettable for a few seconds after undocking as long as you don’t move.

Tip #3: The Golden Rule

From as far back as I can remember, the number one golden rule of EVE has always been “never fly anything you can’t afford to lose.” Every time you see a high-profile gank in which someone loses a ship worth tens of billions of ISK or a freighter containing everything of value they own, remember that the victim chose to fly that ship and carry that cargo. As tempting as it may be to keep investing all of your ISK into one ship, always remember that ships and items in EVE are disposable assets and you could lose them at any time.

The only place your ships are truly safe is docked in a station. Before you undock to do something, consider the risks that are involved and how much ISK you’re willing to bet on that risk. A tricked-out battleship with faction modules may be relatively safe running missions in highsec, but take something cheaper if you’re heading into low-security space for some exploration. Don’t let the risks put you off trying dangerous gameplay, just choose to risk cheaper ships that you can afford to replace several times over.

One of the most important things for new players to grasp in EVE is that it’s up to the individual player to determine how much he or she wants to risk at any one time. It’s tempting to try to stay perfectly safe all the time and keep your expensive ships docked up, but some of the game’s richest rewards will always require taking some risk.

When I see someone recommend that new players should stay in high-security space rather than suggest they just take cheaper ships when they go anywhere dangerous, I’m always reminded of the famous John A. Shedd quote: “A ship in harbor is safe, but that is not what ships are built for.”

EVE Online expert Brendan ‘Nyphur’ Drain has been playing EVE for over a decade and writing the regular EVE Evolved column since 2008. The column covers everything from in-depth EVE guides and news breakdowns to game design discussions and opinion pieces. If there’s a topic you’d love to see covered, drop him a comment or send mail to brendan@massivelyop.com!
SHARE THIS ARTICLE
Code of Conduct | Edit Your Profile | Commenting FAQ | Badge Reclamation | Badge Key

LEAVE A COMMENT

27 Comments on "EVE Evolved: Three top tips for staying safe from gankers in EVE Online"

Subscribe to:
Sort by:   newest | oldest | most liked
Reader
Chris Mc

Spot on.

Reader
Nascent Visions

I’d suggest adding #4 – Have a logi alt. Most, but by no means all, gankers chase the low hanging fruit and the ones that don’t tend to go whaling. So your well tanked Mackinaw orbited by a Scythe/Scimitar with reps on is generally more trouble that it’s worth. Also this : http://jestertrek.blogspot.com/2013/03/i-dont-have-to-outrun-bear.html

Reader
Paul

Also – train for and learn how to fit ships for maximum hit points – shield extenders, armour plates, damage controls etc can make the difference between a successful gank and laughing loudly as the would be ganker gets popped by concord

plasmajohn
Reader
Patreon Donor
Loyal Patron
plasmajohn

There’s not enough tank in the world to make the Iteron V anything other than a big “gank me” sign.

Reader
Paul

So don’t carry valuable cargo in a ship worth a tiny fraction of its load :P – for valuables use a well tanked blockade runner / transport

Aelzen
Reader
Aelzen

As the above seems to be geared towards highsec safety, here’s some lowsec safety tips:
1) keep weapon safety red, but remember not to shoot neutrals on gates or stations (because they have guns). You need to always be prepared to shoot everyone in low, because chances are they want to shoot you, and if you let them get the drop on you, you’ve already lost.
2) bookmarks again! This time set up tactical bookmarks off every gate you use regularly. 200+ km off, not in line with anything. When warping around, warp to the tactical BM on the gate you want so you can eyeball it first for activity. Also make a “safe” in each system. I’ve lost track of the number of times a safe has saved my ass. It’s a bookmark just “out in space” so no one can drop in on you without probing you down.
3) as per the article. You will die, so don’t put all your isk into one ship.

possum440 .
Reader
possum440 .

I remember having a huge laundry list of marks I used to harass jump point gankers. Wouldn’t be able to kill because the torpedoes would take forever to travel those distances. Still it was fun until the devs changed radar because the gankers were whining they couldn’t zero in on stealthed ships well enough.

But taking the time to bookmark and make your own verse using someone else’s is time consuming.

Better to simply not log in to what EVE is today and save yourself interaction with corrupt devs and a toxic community. Of course there is something to be said for having EVE still operate, the dregs of gaming gravitate to these types of games and keeping them in that game is better for for the rest of us.

Reader
starbuck1771

I also recommend if you’re a miner to use anchored secure cans and to ask permission before looting someone else’s kills as you can salvage the kills but if you try to loot the cargo you will be flagged as hostile to the owner.

styopa
Reader
styopa

I’d say: just play the game.
The whole gankbox thing is WAY overrated.
Yes, I wouldn’t go to lowsec if you’re truly afraid of it, but if you’re following the Golden Rule and you lose a ship or get podded – so what? Really? It’s a game. All the stuff’s imaginary.
Don’t get in a rage, don’t be a dink, be lighthearted about it and be cool.

All freaking out over chat does is invite people to mess with you because you clearly are bothered by what happened.

cryinglightning39
Reader
cryinglightning39

Easiest way is just never leave high sec space.

plasmajohn
Reader
Patreon Donor
Loyal Patron
plasmajohn

Easiest way is not to play at all.

Reader
Jon Wax

If only most of you would do that with every game, the scene would be much better

Reader
Alexander Smith

This isn’t really true. Between war mechanics and suciders it’s easy to die in high sec. If anything ratting and mining are probably safer in null for the larger corps just because you have so many eyes and back-up on call.

cryinglightning39
Reader
cryinglightning39

It’s true for people who don’t live in null and belong to a larger Corp. The simplest solution is to not go to low or null.

Reader
Reselect Name

Its actually really easy. I think I got ganked once when I played EVE.

Reader
CMDR Crow

Always align to station/escape bookmark. When in doubt, jump out.

Reader
Arktouros

I’d post some tips for high sec mining and avoiding griefers (cause oh boy are there a lot) but seems like CCP doesn’t really give a shit about miners with their free2play system.

Reader
Denice J. Cook

I bet they’ll loosen up those Alpha mining restrictions once they realize they’ve still got retention problems after December 5th. :)

Reader
Arktouros

I’m not sure if retention will be an issue for them as I’m sure a chunk of the combat populace will feel better about letting their Omega subscription slide in the new Alpha State benefits. I believe their mentality behind this decision is that they were going to lose that customer anyways, at least with a better F2P combat system they might stick around thus adding to the over all EVE population (and since EVE is primarily a player driven game that’s a huge benefit).

However they’ve shown basically zero fucks for any kind of industrial/mining style character or play style. I want to say this is based on internal data that shows Miners have a low quitting rate and so they’re focusing on combat but knowing CCP it’s just as likely they’re being short sighted idiots as well.

Reader
Schmidt.Capela

IMHO their retention issues aren’t due to F2P, but to the game attracting too many people that expect to play unmolested by gankers. If someone can’t stand being ganked (or, worse, the possibility of being ganked) and losing the ship and everything in it, that person will quickly leave the game.

“Never fly anything you can’t afford to lose” is fine and dandy for a certain kind of player, who sees managing the balance between how powerful they are and how much they will lose if they die as interesting. For many other players, though, it makes the game unbearably frustrating; every such player that starts playing EVE is a player that EVE will lose, usually quickly so, which will be added to the statistics on EVE’s player retention issues.

Reader
Castagere Shaikura

Yeah reading this made me laugh so hard.

wpDiscuz