Part of a series on
Essential Travel Information
General Travel Guides
To stay safe in outer space, sometimes you'll need to get to where the enemy isn't, and then make sure he can't follow you there. There are two parts to this -- making a safespot, and then hiding yourself once you get to it. A safespot by itself is not enough -- the enemy can still find you, even in a "safe"spot.
What is a safespot?
A safespot is a bookmark to a spot in a system that is far away from any celestial object, like planets, asteroid belts or stations. The idea is that you can warp to a safespot, and your enemies will not be able to follow you to the same spot, thus giving you time to repair your tank, recharge your cap, and decide on your next course of action.
How do I make a safespot?
Making your own safespots is easy. First, open your 'People and Places folder' to the 'Places' tab. Warp from one point in a system to another, eg from a jumpgate to a station, but when you are about halfway between press the 'Add Bookmark' button at the bottom. You will be prompted to save a bookmark called 'spot in xxxx system'. Change the name to 'safespot in xxxx', and you're done. Be aware that the safespot is made when you press the second button after it's renamed so it's best to save it as 'spot in xxx system' then go back and renamed it after you have accepted the spot
This will provide you with a basic safespot. An enemy may see you warp off to a station, but you will in fact stop long before you reach it. However, the enemy will most likely realise that you have safespotted, and they will know that you are somewhere along the line to that object. Should they choose to probe the area to find you, that information will reduce the time it takes to locate your ship at the safespot.
Therefore it is a good idea to create a more robust safespot, by warping from your basic spot to another object, and creating a bookmark halfway between. This works best when you use an object that is not on the same plane as the original two objects, for example a jumpgate far to the north or south of a system. Voila! a safespot that appears to warp you to nothing.
An alternative to the above method, you find a level 1 agent in the system of choice and do a kill mission. Deadspace gates are randomly placed and disappear after the mission, so with luck you'll find a spot that is both off plane and often 50au from any celestial object.
If you're still confused, here's a video guide on making safespots: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xtAgtrp4Uj0
As mentioned previously, be careful using safespots created by others. On corp PvP ops also, you may end up warping to a safespot with the gang, and there is the temptation to store that bookmark. Be aware, the more people that know of a safespot, the more likely it is to be compromised. Always keep a set of safespots that you made yourself, and do not copy them to anyone, nor use them on PvP ops and get the gang to warp to you.
Probing Out Safespots
Safespots are not safe at all. You can be found very quickly in a safespot by someone using Scan Probes. To prevent this, have multiple safespots, and constantly warp between them, especially if you see "scan probes" on the scanner. It's a good idea to fire up your scanner, set it to 360 degrees and max range and watch for scan probes. There are three types of probes - deep space, core, and combat. If you see any nearby, you should get the fuck out and move to another safespot (bearing in mind that the further away the probe is, the more inaccurate it is at pinning your location down [but still get the fuck out of dodge before a dictor lands on top of you]).
Staying Safe in a Safespot
The only way to actually stay safe in a safespot is to fit a cloaking device, because cloaked ships are (currently) unprobable. A basic "prototype cloaking device" will do; it costs about 2.5 million (current Empire prices) and the Cloaking skill at I (Cloaking has Electronics V as a prerequisite). Not usually a good idea for a PVP ship, but a great way to keep your ratting or mining ship safe when hostiles are in local.
Do not log out if you have your cloak active and there are hostiles in system; when you auto-warp off at logout, your cloak will shut off, and you will become probable (this is how ASCN lost their Titan). Just sit there, cloaked, and wait. Maybe align yourself to a warpout point.
Hoppin' like Crazy
If you constantly remain in warp between a large number of rotating safespots, it will be harder for the enemy to find you. Don't rely on this method for too long though --- it's more of a "prolong the inevitable" than it is a guaranteed escape. If you are doing this, continually make new safespots to use as you warp between them. You should optimally be constantly in warp and not reuse a safespot as long as you are worried about being probed out. If you must reuse a safespot, warp to it at 100km instead of 0km. I realize this sounds tiresome, but if you've got a hold full of zydrine and bpos, no cloak, and an enemy gang on scan at each gate, this may be the only option (logging off is unreliable, and you may be probed out before you disappear).
Normally hitting Ctrl-Q to exit the game won't help you -- you'll autowarp off, they'll probe you out, boom. One technique that may work, though, in large systems, is to warp to one safespot, begin warping to another on the opposite side of the system (ideally, we're talking 100 AU away or so here), and immediately ctrl-q. With luck, you'll stay in warp till you reach the next spot, then warp off again. That might give you enough time that your two-minute timer will elapse before you come to rest and can be probed out.
Caveat: If you have fired upon another player, been fired upon, or had any wreck, can, mobile warp disruptor, or any other object owned by you fired upon by another player, your enemies will be able to probe you out for fifteen minutes. You must avoid enemies for at least fifteen minutes before logging off in this way.
Alternatives to Safespots
Often we'll have a friendly POS in system. Warping to that to log off may be a better choice than using a safespot, especially if you don't have a cloak.
However, a friendly POS can still fire upon you so ask around before warping to a tower, especially if you are in a ship that doesn't have a strong tank.
If you log out inside the shields of a POS, your ship will still remain in space as normal, but it will remain inside the POS shields instead of e-warping away, so it cannot be attacked by a hostile gang. After the usual timer expires, the ship will disappear. If you log back in before the timer expires, you will already be inside the POS, you will not warp anywhere. If you log back in after your timer expired and your ship disappears, you will appear in space 1m km from the POS and warp back to it like any normal login warp. Note that because login warps always return you to within 2.5km of where you logged off no matter what, both of these scenarios will result in your ship being expelled from the POS forcefield at great speed if you do not belong to the alliance who owns the POS, as you will not be able to enter the password in time to gain access to it before your login warp is initiated. If you are in a large or slow ship, it may be better to wait out your aggression timer (or the enemy's patience) in the shields and then move outside them to log off, especially if the POS is not heavily armed. If you must log inside the shields of another alliance's POS, try to do so as close to the edge of the shield as possible so that you won't bounce as far when you log back in.
An additional consideration is that you may be aggressed through POS shields that do not require passwords. Even worse, there is a possiblity that you may covertly be aggressed through a POS shield without even knowing it, via usage of Passive Targeter modules. It has been hypothesized that LV used covert ops to do this to our pilots in JV1V, so that when we logged off at a POS after fifteen minutes thinking we were safe, we would instead sit in space long enough to be probed out and killed.