A common occurrence in New Eden. This catches many new players off guard since they think they’re safe in highsec. But the only guarantee in highsec is that if someone kills you, they will die too. Many player alliances do this for both fun and profit.
The core thing to know is that as with anything in EVE, it’s impossible to be 100% safe, but you can significantly reduce your risk and make it more likely that the gankers will spend their time ganking someone else and not you.
- Don’t Use Autopilot
- Increase your buffer
- OR use an instawarp ship
- Avoid Trade Hubs and Mission Hubs
- Avoid Trade Bottlenecks
- Use lowsec tricks and pretend like it’s not highsec at all (scouts, cloak+MWD, etc.)
When Staying In One Area (Mining/Missions)
- Increase your buffer
- Stay in high truesec status systems (0.8+)
- Set the large ganking alliances to -5 or -10 standings so you can spot them in local
- Watch for large fleets of gank ships on Dscan
- Stick to dead-end systems
Let’s break each of these down:
Don’t Use Autopilot
Self-explanatory. Warping at 15km and slowboating to stargates gives gankers all the time they need to scan your ship’s fittings/cargo and set up for a gank on you a few systems later. Don’t do it in a ship you don’t want to lose.
Increase Your Buffer
By fitting modules that increase your ship’s total HP and resists, you can raise the barrier to entry for ganking fleets killing you. If you’re in a plated Abaddon with 200k eHP, you’ll be tougher (but not impossible!) to gank than if you’re in a Retriever with 30k eHP.
Gank fleets can sometimes be very large, with 30+ pilots. But getting lots of people in fleet takes organization and effort, and it’s common to see smaller ganking fleets of 3-5 members. By fitting for more buffer, you force them to use either more people or more expensive ships to gank you. This can make it either impossible with the people and ships they have, or just cause them to view you as a bad target and then pick someone easier to kill instead.
Use an Instawarp Ship
If you’re warping from gate to gate instantly, gankers will have no opportunity to scan you to tell whether you’re a good target and may struggle even to warp disrupt you. Interceptors are ideal, but Shuttles, Frigates, and AFs can also work here.
Avoid Trade Hubs and Mission Hubs
Trade hubs like Jita, Dodixie and the surrounding systems (1-2 jumps) are popular areas for players to hang out. This makes them target rich environments for gankers, and are more likely to be where the gankers hang out looking for targets.
Mission hubs are also a popular area where people run missions in ships fitted with lots of expensive modules - this also attracts gankers. Avoid these areas if you can.
Avoid Trade Bottlenecks
Systems like Uedama and Sivala are bottlenecks for traders traveling between Jita and the other trade hubs. Additionally, they are very low sec status systems - perfect for ganking haulers. Whenever possible, avoid these systems if you’re missioning, doing industry, or mining.
Use Lowsec Tricks
Have a friend or alt scout the route ahead of you. If you can’t do this, then fly the route once in a cheap, fast ship to look for gate camps before you move your valuables through.
Use undock insta bookmarks on stations to warp instantly as soon as you undock, and use docking instas to ensure you don’t land outside of docking range and get volleyed by a Tornado.
Use the cloak MWD trick to warp without allowing anyone to target you or when you jump in and see a suspicious group of ships around the gate. After you jump through a gate, select the next gate, align to it, activate an Improved Cloak, then right after you cloak, turn on your MWD. As the MWD cycle is just ending, decloak and click warp. This allows you to accelerate from 0m/s to warp speed entirely while being cloaked. With some practice you’ll be able to time it right every time.
Staying in One Area
Increase your Buffer
Same as above. The more ships it takes to gank you, the harder it is for gankers to form a fleet to do it, and the more likely they just kill an easier target instead.
Pick tanky ships like the Procurer over easier-to-kill ships like Ventures, Retrievers, and Covetors.
Stay in High Truesec Systems
The speed at which CONCORD arrives to kill your gankers is influenced heavily by the system security status. According to the EVE Uni Wiki, it ranges from about 19 seconds in 0.5 systems, as low as 6 seconds in 0.9 and 1.0 systems:
- 0.5: ~19 seconds
- 0.6: ~14 seconds
- 0.7: ~10 seconds
- 0.8: ~7 seconds
- 0.9+: ~6 seconds
The goal of gankers is to take you from 100% health to 0 faster than CONCORD can arrive and destroy them. This can be the difference between a gank only requiring 3 Catalysts in a 0.5 system versus the gankers needing to bring 9 Catalysts in a 1.0 system.
Set Large Ganking Alliances -10
By doing this, you can tell by a quick glance at local chat whether there is a large group of gankers in your system. This is your cue to dock up if you’re in a ship that they might like to target.
You do have local chat undocked from your chat window so you can see it at all times, right?
Watch for Large Fleets of Gank Ships on Dscan
Use your directional scanner to see what ships are around you. Its range is 14 AU, which will give you quite a bit of notice that there’s possible gankers in the area. Popular suicide gank ships include:
- Catalyst (the all time favorite)
Stick to Dead End Systems
These systems have less traffic since no one passes through them while traveling elsewhere. This makes it less likely that you will get noticed by gankers traveling around looking for targets.
Hopefully you find this guide helpful. Remember that even following all of these tricks, you’re never 100% safe in EVE. Your cloak MWD trick might get messed up by having a faction police ship too close to you after jumping through a gate. The gankers might just be having a silly night on Discord and decide to gank your heavy plated Abaddon to prove the point that no one is safe.
At the end of the day, EVE is always about balancing risk and reward. These are all just tips for you to mitigate the risk to you. Never undock in a ship you can’t afford to lose!