Scanners give pilots information about the ships and forces (mines, combat drones, and scouts) in surrounding sectors of space. The information is rather general, but it can often mean the difference between survival and a pod ride home to HQ. Scanners can be purchased and installed at any racial HQ or Advanced Communications shop. Once purchased, they are always ON.
A scanner works on your Local Map view by showing you if ships or forces are in surrounding sectors. The scanner is only effective for adjacent sectors that you can move into directly. Ships are indicated by the "Trader Face" icon and forces are indicated by the "Mine" icon. These are the same icons you see on Local Map when ships and forces are in your current sector. The local scan doesn't tell you whether the ships and forces you see are friendly or enemy ones.
Local scanning is useful anytime you want advance warning about what is around you. This is especially helpful When trading because a local scan used while moving between ports can show ships around you before you come in sector with them.
With a scanner installed on your ship, you will see the word "scan" below the sector number in the navigation box of the current sector view. When you click that sector scan link, it will give you a basic display with information about that sector. This scanning is also available as you move on a plotted course. The scanner readout shows how many Enemy and Friendly vessels there are and the number of Enemy and Friendly Forces. It also tells if there is a planet, port, or location in that sector.
Reading Vessel And Force Scans
The numbers shown for vessels and forces can seem cryptic at first, but here is how to decipher the numbers.
Enemy vessels = combined ship defense rating / 10 Friendly vessels = combined ship attack rating x 10
The ship scans don't tell the number of ships, only their combined ratings. Thus, it takes some knowledge of ship configurations to accurately determine what ships your scanner is seeing. For example an enemy vessel (EV) scan of 60 indicates that the ships have a defense rating of 6, and is probably a single trading ship. But an EV scan of 200 could be two or three traders or a single warship. Basically, the higher the number you scan, the more ships there are likely to be.
Friendly vessels 0 Enemy vessels 410 Friendly forces 0 Enemy forces 0 Planet No Port No Location Yes
This scan is of 4 ships, a /15 Planetary Super Freighter, a /12 Advanced Carrier, a /8 Leviathan, and a /6 Vengance.
Forces follow this formula. It is the same formula for Friendly and Enemy Forces.
Mine = 3 Combat Drone = 2 Scout = 1
Again, the scan doesn't tell how many of each type of force there are, only the combined value. So an enemy force (EF) scan of 1 would be without question a single scout. A scan of 2 could be two scouts or a single CD. A scan of 3 could be a single mine, a CD and a scout, or three scouts. Higher scans are difficult to accurately read what the nature of the forces are, but knowing the basic formula will help. Basically, the higher the scan the more forces there are and the more damage you are likely to suffer by entering the sector.
Friendly vessels 0 Enemy vessels 0 Friendly forces 0 Enemy forces 102 Planet No Port Yes Location No
This scan is of 50 combat drones (50 x 2 = 100) and 2 scout drones (2 x 1 = 2), thus 102 scan.
Knowing how to use a scanner and using it often will save your ship time and time again.
The Cloaking device hides the pilots ships from other ships in sector with them. Being Cloaked doesn't mean that you are truly invisible, just that anyone who has less experience points cannot examine or attack you. This can be used to great effect but it has several limitations. If you forget to enable your cloak you can be seen. If you hit mines you will decloak. If you attack anything you will decloak. You will be decloaked if an alliance mate in your sector fires upon something or is fired upon. Your ship shows up on scans while cloaked. Also, being in sector with a cloaked ship you cannot see will generate a warning if there are no other ships around.
The Illusion Generator allows players to camoflague their ships as another ship. Any other pilot doing a quick flyby will see just the Illusion Generator's settings.
Although this equipment allows players to pretend to be in a different ship than what they're really in, any seasoned hunter or pilot can tell what the illusioned ship really is by doing an examine and checking the ships weapon count and shield and armor ratings. You can falsify your overall rating IE: (Eater of Souls, 31/20) but not the shield/armor count. If you're a Salvene Ravager illusioned as an Salvene Eater of Souls it will show the lower amount of shields/armor. It will looks like 31/20 and below it will say Shields 600 Armor 600. That gives it away to an experience player.
The jump drive allows you to jump across several sectors without the need to go through each one. It does cost 10+ turns to use however, so it is best to use when you need to reach a location that is over 10+ sectors away. If the location is exactly 10 sectors away, you will land exactly where you were aiming. If your location is over 10 sectors away, there is a chance of a misjump, larger the misjump the further distance the jump is...leaving you one to eight sectors away from where you were heading. You can use the jump drive to jump from one galaxy to another, however you have a greater chance of misjump.
Even with misjumps a jump drive is a turn efficient way to travel long distances. You will save up to 20% of your turns by using it to travel more than 10 sectors. Keep this in mind when you encounter long trade routes.
Mines present a great hazard to jump drive use. If you jump in to a sector containing hostile mines you will hit them. Further, you cannot jump out of a sector that contains hostile mines. Once you have jumped in to a mined sector you will either have to move to an adjacent sector, which requires hitting them again, or destroy them in order to jump back out. Be very caution of mines when using a jump drive.
The jump drive is good for reaching a location that is surrounded by enemy forces, such as a Combat Accessories store.
Also, now with recent changes you can jump more than one galaxy away. This is very useful to bypass an enemy minefield. This is risky though because it costs more turns to jump and an even higher misjump chance than just one galaxy being jumped!
The Drone Communications Scrambler or DCS is a device used to disrupt coordination of enemy drone attacks. The DCS, when used against ports and planets is able to prevent 25% of the enemy drones from attacking your ship. Against other ships, the DCS reduces drone damage by 33%. It will also prevent 25% of all mine damage to your ship. The DCS is not manually enabled/disabled like other hardware. It is automatically used at all times. It also does not require any turns to use. The Drone Scrambler is available only at the Nijarin Hardware shop, which is usually located at the Nijarin Government HQ, or at a Crone Dronfusion. The price of the DCS is 500,000 credits.
It is important to note that a DCS will not give your teammates any protection against combat drones, even if they are in the sector with you. The effect is only active for the ship with the DCS.