How to escape gatecamps
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Gatecamps are a fundamental aspect of EVE Online PVP. They can be found anywhere in game, including high-sec, but the deadliest are found in 0.0. Gatecamps can be very frustrating, and, if not properly dealt with, will result in many, many deaths and poddings. This guide will attempt to help you diagnose your situation and, with a little luck, help you not die.
It is important to realize that there is absolutely no guarantee that you will escape every single gatecamp you encounter. Both new and old players die to gatecamps every day. Many factors enter into gatecamp survival, not the least of which is the competency of the opponents. However, with adequate preparation and understanding of gatecamps, your own pilot error can be removed from the survival equation.
Ships and Modules
The first rule of 0.0 travel survival is to have a MicroWarpDrive equipped. You must have a MWD (or, at high SP, an overheated Afterburner, though this still has a low guarantee of success). Training for MWDs is very important as every useful PVP ship fits one.
Even with a MWD, not every ship can survive gate camps. The ships listed below have a very high chance of surviving gatecamps:
- Interceptors, Covert Ops frigates
- Interdictors (with cloaks)
- Stabbers, Vagabonds
- Blockade Runner Transport Ships
These ships have no or low chance to survive gatecamps, especially bubble camps:
Most other ships have some chance of surviving a modest gatecamp.
If you do have a MWD equipped and ready to go back to the loving arms of Goonspace herself, then the first thing to do is drag your local chat window into a prominent position on your screen. Expand it so that you can see 10-12 persons at a time. Most of your journey back will have completely empty locals. On the other hand, if you see a lot of fucking red in local (in a non-station system) you'll know that it's probably a good idea to turn around and get the fuck out of there.
The Rules of solo travel
RULE #1: Don't Aggress. You are running, you are not fighting. If you aggress you have 0% chance of survival. The only buttons you want to press are "Approach", "Activate MWD", and "Jump".
RULE #2: MAKE SURE YOUR FUCKING AUTO-TARGET BACK IS DISABLED YOU FAGGOTS. You are running, not fighting.
RULE #3: Keep a hawk eye on local at all times. Knowledge is power: know what the fuck is in a system so you are prepared for the Spanish Inquisition before they come for you in their silly suits.
RULE #42: Don't Panic. You're Hitchhiking through the Galaxy, so keep this rule foremost in your mind. Remain calm: You may already be dead, but you must try to run for it.
RULE #5: If you enter a system with hostiles, even if your entry gate is clear, do NOT warp to the next gate. Two options are to get eyes on the next gate (warp to a planet at >0km within scan range of your target gate). Or you can wait your session timer, decloak, and return the way you came.
RULE #6: Assume every hostile has a point, assume there's a cloaked dictor in every gatecamp. A pro dictor pilot can decloak and bubble the second you decloak.
Tips to Encourage Your Survival
Tip #1: If there is a lone interceptor 100km or more off a gate you want to jump through, there is a good possibility that there is a gatecamp waiting for you. Most of the time gatecamps will post a scout on the other side of a gate if they want to stick around for a good long while. Calmly turn around and find a safe spot to log off at for awhile to wait them out. You could try to jump through into the hostile gatecamp, but chances are they have sniper positions set up and will insta-pop you as soon as you jump through. (More on these types of gatecamps later).
Tip #2: Always be wary of enemy station systems. Sometimes the enemy will be bored and have a "gatecamp for fun" set up in their system; most likely on the gate leading back to Goonspace.
And now, situation analyses of gatecamps you may encounter:
Lowsec is still part of Empire, so bubbles cannot be deployed. Most lowsec gatecamps only catch autopiloting ships, industrials and slow-aligning ships like battleships. As such, the rules are a little different:
- If you enter a system with lots of neutrals (and some with red skull icons), do NOT warp immediately to the next gate. There might be smartbombing battleships which can easily bump, kill, and pod you while tanking gate guns. If you suspect a gatecamp on your exit gate, warp to a celestial and get eyes first.
- If you can align fast, you may be able to warp out instantly. Be wary of Electronic Attack Frigates like Hyenas and keep an eye out for remote sensor-boosting ships. If the camp looks too scary, you can easily escape back through the gate.
- If you jump into a camp and your ship sports a covert ops cloaking device, you can immediately align, cloak and warp off.
- Be wary of Heavy Interdictors. They can use focus points in lowsec, pinning down anything they can lock up in time within up to 30km.
- Fit a cloak and MWD so you can use the Cloak+MWD Trick.
IN-SYSTEM GATECAMP WITH DICTOR BUBBLE
Local has a few hostiles in it and you come in on a clean gate with no hostiles on grid. DO NOT WARP TO YOUR DESTINATION GATE (see Rule #6). You have two options: 1) get off the gate grid and get eyes on the hostiles, or 2) leave system the way you came.
1) Get off the gate as fast as you can: decloak immediately and warp to a safe celestial near your destination gate. If the gate is clear, you can likely leave system without problems. If not, logging in a safe spot for some time is probably the best option.
2) Wait your session timer, then decloak and MWD back to the gate through which you entered; jump on contact. If it's still clear on the other side, immediately get off the gate grid to a celestial. If hostiles follow you into the previous system, consider logging in a safe spot. If not, look for an alternate route or log off and try again later.
If you did not follow Rule #6 like an idiot, you will likely get stopped about 30km from the gate. You have one option: get out. Immediately hit approach on the exit gate and activate your MWD. You will likely get shot at, disrupted, scrambled and maybe die a horrible death. If you make it back to the gate, jump on contact and warp off the gate the second the next system loads. If the next system is empty, you may try to keep going. Otherwise, you will need to cycle safe spots if the hostiles follow you until your timer burns off. Do not log if you've been aggressed (note: aggression timers are supposedly system-specific. I would still be careful and burn off 15 minutes before logging even if this is the case).
If you happen to have a cloak, you may try to cloak+MWD out of the bubble towards the gate or celestial of your choice. If you anticipate dying, but want to save your pod, once you're out of the bubble you may log. Your ship will die but your pod will warp off. Log in a couple hours later and try again.
Again, if you follow Rule #6 you will not land yourself in a pile of shit. Survivability is guaranteed if you can call the gatecamp when you enter a system on a clear grid, unless your ship aligns very slowly. If you get caught in a drag bubble, even an interceptor or covert ops frigate will have difficulty surviving.
IN SYSTEM GATECAMP WITH ANCHORED BUBBLE
If you fail to follow Rule #6 and warp into an anchored drag bubble, you will be pulled into the bubble 50+km off the gate. RULE #42 especially applies here. Obviously the greater the distance and amount of hostiles, the greater the chance of being fucked, so remaining calm and focused is of the utmost importance. Again, activate your MWD and approach the gate. Do not try to get your transversals up, that simply wastes time you could be using to get to the fucking gate. You will most likely die, unless you have a covert ops cloak.
JUMP-IN GATECAMP, AKA: (OHGOD)
Local was clear when you hit the jump button, but now local has shot up to 20 hostiles and they're all sitting there, waiting for an unsuspecting faggot like you to jump through. It's true, you very well may be a faggot (and a spy), but you do not have permission to die to faggots like them. Again, RULE #42 and this time RULE #1 are very important. Aggress anything and it will mean your instant death. YOU WILL NOT SURVIVE if you attempt to burn away from the gate and warp to the next one. ALWAYS ASSUME all ships have warp scramblers and they are scrambling you right fucking now. MWD TO THE GATE YOU JUST JUMPED THROUGH. It's a mere 15km away. A fucking stone's throw in this situation. Your job is to get there as soon as fucking possible and jump. Need for Luck rating: MAGENTA
IF YOU ARE FOLLOWED AFTER JUMPING TO SAFETY IN ANY SITUATION
You may or may not be fucked depending on your ship type. If you are in a frigate with almost no align time then you can probably warp off to the next gate without trouble. If you are in a slow-aligning Battlecruiser or Battleship and are tackled you may have to revert to another tactic. ALWAYS TRY TO WARP AWAY NO MATTER WHAT. If you are tackled, simply play "I'm going to jump back and forth until I am dead or you fuck up and I win." Jump between the two systems giving your hostile attackers enough blueballs to fill a blueballmachine.gif - The really dedicated gatecampers will even follow you into neighboring systems. Laugh at them in local as you evade them again and again.
Losing ships sucks. The rush of evading a gatecamp rocks. Remember the two golden rules, remember to bring a MWD, and even you may be able to escape faggotry with some regularity.