How to travel around the galaxy
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Essential Travel Information
General Travel Guides
Basic travel around the galaxy is relatively simple, though potentially time-consuming depending on distance. The first rule of travel is very simple: always talk to any allies in the area and get as much intelligence as you can about the route you're travelling. Consult the GSIntel channel if you're planning a trip in the South.
In secure space (you're in secure space when you first start the game) getting from one place to another is as simple as selecting a destination and activating your autopilot. This is fine if you are still in a newbie corp (the default corporation you begin the game in), but if you are in Goonfleet you may be attacked by Wardecs.
Suicide Ganking is also a real threat--so if you are carrying fairly valuable cargo, don't autopilot. A Thorax can kill a poor tanked industrial before it's killed by Concord, and a Brutix will rape blind any T1 industrial. Pirates often have an industrial accomplice/alt to scoop even large volume goods. They also make ridiculous amounts of money due to pubbie stupidity, so they are fairly common. They also tend to camp the many .5-.7 systems that you must pass through to go to a different region.
To set a destination for your autopilot, you can right-click on the name of a place, and choose "Set Destination". This works for places listed in Assets, People and Places, or on your map. You can always type the name of your destination into the map's search tool, and look for your destination that way. The autopilot will warp you from stargate to 15km from the next stargate, approaching and jumping through them until you reach the destination system. Generally, this is slower than manually warping because the autopilot warps you to a gate at 15km, while manually warping to a gate puts you at 0km away and ready to actvate the gate.
In low security space, 0.0 space, and Goonfleet, autopiloting while away from the keyboard is not a good idea. 15km of travel is often plenty of time to kill you if you are reacting, and even easier if you're away from your keyboard. Other complications include enemy interdictor/anchored bubble camps that can drop you out of warp several dozen km further off the gate (Though only in 0.0 space), which is plenty of time for hostile players to kill you. The new T2 cruiser interdictors can also be an issue for low-sec travel.
To avoid wasting lots of time travelling, learn about Podjumping and Jump Clones as an alternate form of tranportation. While moving around in Goon territory, you should make use of the Jump bridges - your squad will be able to give you some money to pay for the ozone these need as fuel.
Traveling Through Empire While At War
Be warned that if Goonswarm is war-dec'd then you can be ganked in secure space just as easily as 0.0 space. So if Goonswarm is at war (assume we always are), autopiloting AFK is definitely not a good option, and you should treat Empire space the same you would 0.0 space.
To find out who is currently at war with Goonswarm, look in the wars tab of the Corporation panel.
Jumping Out & In
You need to be within 2500m to activate a Gate. While activating a gate, you are invulnerable. You cannot activate a gate within 30 seconds of shooting someone.
After the new system loads, you will be spit out around 15km away from the gate. You will be cloaked and invulnerable when you jump through a gate until you move (or Autopilot) or activate a module. Once you jump in, stay cloaked and don't touch anything. Chill and take a breather.
If there are enemy players on the gate:
- Have a look at what you're pointing at and consider warping to something you can align to faster than the next gate, such as a planet or asteroid belt.
- If it looks like you're completely fucked - dozens of ships around you - and you don't want to die, you can always press Ctrl Q to try to leave the game safely. Don't Ctrl-Q if there is a bubble up, as you will stay in space and still die. You can try to quickly get back to your entry gate and run back the way you came. You can also try to burn out of the bubble and warp away, but you need to be flying something FAST.
Stellar Object Shorthand
Once you join Goonfleet, you'll begin hearing people use shorthand references to locations in system. "Hostile at belt 5". These shorthand references are based off the asteroid belt and its position in the right click menu. Right clicking in space and moving the cursor over Asteroid Belts will give you a list of all the asteroid belts in a system. Going down the list, those are Belt 1, Belt 2, et ceteras.
Some systems have way too many belts to use this after a certain point. In these cases, you're more likely to see "IV-3" or "4-3." This means the third belt located around planet four. In the right click menu, this belt would be labeled "SystemName IV - 3."
Knowing what's in your system or your route is the best way to defend yourself.
The local chat channel is a powerful tool. Anyone who is currently in the system will show up in local. If they have a red icon next to their name, they have a negative standing with GoonFleet and you should be cautious, as they may attempt to attack you. If they have a red star icon, they are war targets and can even attack you in empire. By downloading Cube Polygon’s custom portrait cache, you can immediately recognize which corporation and alliance they are in.
Don't talk in local, especially with hostiles in the system, for two reasons: It denies them intel on our actions that could lead to easy ganks. Stuff like, "Hay goons, I'm mining in belt 8-2, come join me" or "I'm undocking my freighter now lawl". And for the same reasons we don't post on EVE-O. Our silence keeps the pubbies ignorant and keeps HILARIOUS goons from being unfunny faggots.
This channel is for information regarding enemy fleet movements and locations of hostiles. Keep an eye here to be aware of any potential enemies in further systems. Post in this channel if you see any hostiles around. If you plan on running the pipe, it is a good idea to ask if it is safe before you make your trip. If you get killed by hostile pirates or an enemy corp’s gate camp simply because you failed to read GSIntel, you will receive no sympathy. Important: this channel is NOT for idle chatter, comedy posts, etc. It is for security purposes and it is important that it is not cluttered with a dozen stupid goon comedy posts. If you have something funny to say, say it in GFBullshit or squad chat. Note that as well as GoonSwarm members, our allies have access to the channel, along with a multitude of other friendly corps.
When things go bad on your trip, you're going to want to get the hell out.
Sometimes while travelling (or even while not travelling), you will encounter enemy players that you cannot or do not want to engage. One option you have is to warp to a planet, moon or star at 100km. This is safer than sitting outside a station, gate, or asteroid belt, because there is no good reason why someone would go to a planet. (Note: Moons are a different story; the can hold an neutral, enemy, or improperly set up friendly POS that can tear apart most ships instantly.) However you could still be found out if the enemy warps from planet to planet, which they often do. A much better option is to warp to a safespot. A safespot is a bookmark out in the middle of nowhere, created by placing a bookmark while you are in warp from one object to another. You can create bookmarks by goingto your People and Places window and hitting "Place Bookmark", which will create a bookmark at the spot you are at when you press OK. (Note: NOT the place you're at when you press create bookmark.) As long as your safespot is decently placed, it will be nearly impossible for your enemy to find you.
Keep in mind that a determined hostile can probe you out, so if you plan to regularly visit a system it may be a good idea to have multiple safespots. If you constantly change safespots it will be much more difficult for the enemy to probe you out.
Commonly Traveled Routes
If you expect to be traveling a route multiple times, make in-line safespots along your route the first time you take it. Keep your People & Places window open and just hit Place Bookmark between gates. This way you'll always have at least one safe spot to warp to and cloak at, if a system turns out to be hostile.
Don't get podded
Add stargates to your overview. When your ship is about to die, click on a stargate and spam the warp command in the overview toolbar area. Even if your ship is being warp scrambled by enemies, there will a moment just after your ship is destroyed when your pod will not be. Once in warp, you have a few seconds to set yourself up for another warp to a planet, safespot, or some other safe place.
Other celestial objects work too, but they are less useful on your overview than stargates. Having stargates on your overview is an essential part of gang navigation, making stargates a reasonably justifiable source of additional overview clutter. Do not assume that you can find a celestial object in space without the aid of your overview while you are dying in combat. Do not assume that you can add any class of celestial object to your overview, or switch overview presets. Pod safety necessitates dealing with a certain level of overview clutter at all times. Leave it be and you will get used to it soon enough.
You do not know, and can never know when your pod will be in danger. Making assumptions about your state of mind, the level of graphical or server lag, or the state of your client or machine soundly defeats the entire point of this exercise. If you are satisfied with a mere probability of escaping in your pod, all of this is pointless. Your preferred, or any other method of navigating through space may or may not work. Use it instead.
Another good way of getting your pod out of trouble quickly is to always keep a destination set for autopilot (doesn't matter where, just someplace outside your current system), and turning on autopilot right before your ship gets blown up. Sometimes it will get you into warp before your screen finishes updating, so you'll be in warp (hopefully) before the enemy even gets a chance to click on your pod. Autopilot only warps to 15km from the gate, so you have to turn off autopilot and pick another location to warp to quickly in order to avoid whatever might be waiting for you before you come out of warp. This obviously won't work if you're sitting on top of the gate your autopilot wants to go through next, so be ready to madly mash the warp button as described above in the event you find yourself in this situation.
The Docking Game
It's generally safe to undock. When you undock, there's a 20 second timer before you're allowed to redock. During this time, you are invulnerable for those 20 seconds if you do not do anything. Don't click to fly anywhere, warp anywhere, or activate any modules. Just click on the station square and spam the dock button. Once the timer is up, you can redock before anyone can hurt you.
If you want to have a way to undock from a station even when it's camped, make an Insta Undock. This will help against anything but bubble camps.
This is GENERALLY safe, but if there are a very large number of ships outside the station, loading the grid may take longer than 20 seconds. This will result in a "black screen" death. This can and should be petitioned. Also, several Minmatar "shitbrick" stations cannot be safely undocked from, especially the main station at Rens. Also called "Toilet Bowls", these stations will spit you out at the bottom and cause youto corkscrew around, unable to align or warp. Finally, keep in mind that you CAN be killed while redocking. A MWD bump from a Comedy Battleship can throw you out of undocking range, resulting in horrible death rape. This is not petitionable - it's a risk you should keep in mind.
If you're in something totally badass and can take everyone that's sitting at the undock point, and all their friends that can warp to the station, you can undock, shoot shit and blow it up, and then stop shooting and wait for your 60 second agression timer to go down so you can redock. These situations are pretty rare, and baiting undockers with a larger force just offscreen is common. Don't do this unless you're absolutely sure.
Crashing Bubble Camps
Say warp into or jump into enemy gatecamp with a warp bubble. Don't panic. If it is a small camp with a dictor bubble, align toward whatever celestial object you are already most closely aimed toward, and immediately activate your Microwarpdrive. Select the planet on your overview and spam the Warp To button. As soon as you're out of the bubble, you'll instantly warp out. With 4 Warp Core Stabilizers you have a very, very good chance of surviving, especially now that people carry far fewer warp disruption points, post-Kali. If you see some flashing red boxes and find yourself slowing down a whole lot, you are being webbed. Again, do not panic. This is what the ECM burst is for. Fire it off, and with luck you should regain enough speed to get out before you get locked again.
With large bubbles or multiple bubbles, you are going to want to try and get back to the gate you came through as fast as possible. In this scenario it is very important that you DO NOT use your ECM burst or do anything else to aggress yourself (ie, activate any module that affects people other than yourself), because you will not be allowed back through the gate if you do.
Warp Core Stabs
A Warp Core Stabilizer is a low-slot item that can be added to any ship. You don't need to activate it; it passively provides a bonus against warp scramblers. Every ship (except for Blockade Runners) has a base warp strength of zero, meaning that any warp scramblers or disruptors activated against it will prevent it from warping. In short, a warp scrambler will prevent your ship from warping away - leaving you essentially stuck on the battlefield with no escape possible. Each WCS adds 1 to your warp strength. Calculating whether you can warp or not is easy to figure out: each Warp Disruptor on you counts as 1 "point" and each Warp Scrambler counts as 2 "points." If you have a warp strength greater than or equal to the number of "points" on you you can warp away.
It's important to note that while warp scramblers can be countered by Warp Core Stabilizers, deployable warp bubbles and interdictor spheres prevent anyone from warping out of them.
Nanofibers and Inertial Stabilizers
Nanofibers Internal Structures are low-slot modules that increase your ship speed and agility at the expense of structure hit points. They're very useful for travelling setups, as increasing your ships' agility means you align for warp much more quickly. They do not require powergrid or CPU to fit.
Moving Battleships In 0.0 Space
Running "pipes" (standard routes) in a battleship or battlecruiser isn't as dangerous as you think. Say you rat with a Dominix. Strip all your fittings and put them in your cargo hold, along with whatever else you'll need to start out from your new base of operations. Extra drones, armor hardeners, ammo BPOs, etc. Fit your ship like this:
Telefishopolis' Generic Gaterunner
- 1x Prototype Cloak (optional)
- 1x 100mn Microwarpdrive I (Quad Lif Boosters are inexpensive and worth it)
- 2x Large Shield Extender
- 1x Invulnerability Field
- 1x ECM Burst
- 4x Warp Core Stabilizers
- 3x Inertial Stabilisers (best named you can afford)
This is just an example setup, you can adapt this to pretty much anything you want to transport safely. The idea is to get the hell out of sticky situations quickly and arrive where you're going in one piece. The key element here is aligning as quickly as possible and carrying multiple Warp Core Stabilizers. It's worth noting that if you are going to fit weapons in your highslots, you had better use smartbombs because target locking with multiple Warp Core Stabilizers fitted takes forever and caps your max range.
Adapting this to a raven would involve something like 3x Warp Core Stabilizers and 2x istabs. For other ships, try and fit at least three or four Warp Core Stabilizers, and the rest istabs.
Learn this, and you're well on your way to moving like a pro. Once you have this technique down, provided you have an Improved cloak and MWD fit, you're invulnerable to anything but a bubble—and even then, the trick can carry you out of the bubble if you get lucky with how your celestials align.
So here it is:
- You've just jumped blind into a camp. Brilliant. No bubble up yet, so if they have one they're planning to delay bubble you. Wait, no dictor on the overview, so unless he's cloaked you're going to get your officer fit Vexor carrying the titan BPOs out of here alive.
- Use up all the time on your cloak timer. It slows you down enough to think, and gives you the option, no matter how dumb it may be, of changing your mind and trying to burn back to the gate.
- Cloak timer is about to end. Pick your destination, click it. You'll need stuff in a predictable place, so don't screw around with the right-click menu. Trick starts now:
- First off, have your cloak and MWD on hotkeys. This is necessary.
- Click align to your destination. Immediately:
- Turn on your cloak, and within 0.5s or so,
- Turn on your MWD. The order might seem odd, but the game lets you do it, and if you do it the other way you light up your sig radius and might end up locked in the brief time between hitting the buttons. Just make sure you do it quick.
- You should now be accelerating toward your destination. Watch that green circle around the MWD. Hover your mouse over "warp to". When it is just about to run out
- Decloak, spam warp. If you pulled it off right,
- Congratulations, you've arrived at your destination. Your enemy never had more than 1/4 second or so where it was even possible to target you.
The reason this works is probably obvious, but in case it's not here's an explanation: A cloak reduces your max speed to 25% of its original. I'm using the 25% of an Improved cloak here because the 10% that a protocloak gives you makes this not work instantly anymore. Say your base speed when decloaked is 100m/s. With the cloak on, you get 25m/s. Your warp velocity is 3/4 of your base speed, or 75m/s. An MWD gives you a 500% velocity bonus, making your max speed 25m/s + (25 * 5)m/s, or 150m/s. Essentially, the MWD negates the cloak. If you decloak while the MWD is still running, you won't slow down, and will already be aligned to your destination.
It is very important to wait for the end of your MWD cycle: your max speed once you decloak shoots up, so you're under warp speed again. Then, your MWD cycles off, max speed goes to normal and off you go. You can cut this about as close as you like. If your MWD cycles before your cloak ends, you'll decelerate some while cloaked, but you should have your finger over the hotkey anyway and still have enough speed to instantly warp on decloak.
Don't try this in laggy situations. Well, try, because if you need the trick you're generally fucked otherwise anyway, but it won't work. Also if it's laggy, chances are there's 10 bubbles on the gate you just blindly jumped into anyway.
This is a very simplified explanation, and doesn't take into account individual skills, ship masses, module differences, etc, and so should be tested with every fitting you intend to use it with before you count on it. I personally have never found a setup it doesn't work with, even when using protocloaks, but I still test it every time. I'm pretty sure a plated BS is fucked with a protocloak, maybe even an improved. I don't know. Test it.
Using the In-Game Map
Before you leave, it's a good idea to check the Map ingame and look at the following statistics: Ships destroyed in the last hour and Active Pilots in the last hour. Plot your route along the least glowy parts, you are trying not to run into company here. Watch Local and your defense channels like a hawk, and if you catch wind of a camp that you can't get around, log out for an hour and do something else.
- If you're carrying something you can't afford to lose, then in addition to following the above steps, use a scout! Also, remember that smaller ships have a smaller signature radius and generally move much quicker, meaning its harder for them to get locked.
- If you have a ship set up for travel, putting on some RSDs or ECM can sometimes disrupt tacklers long enough for you to escape.
- Having a proper Overview Setting is highly recommended.