You’ve just scanned down a wormhole for the first time, and you’re sitting next to it in space, wondering… “should I jump in?” You may have heard that wormholes are dangerous places, but perhaps you’ve also heard that they contain lucrative exploration sites.
Both of these are true - wormholes definitely hold to the maxim of “nothing risked, nothing gained.” So this guide is going to walk you through the basics of going on the adventure that is entering wormhole space. This is not a complete guide to everything wormholes - for that, you’ll probably want to look at the UniWiki ‘Wormholes’ article. This is just enough that you can hopefully have an interesting trip without making avoidable rookie mistakes.
You’re going to want to be in an exploration frigate for your first trip into a wormhole. Chances are you’re already in one (that’s probably what you scanned it in), but if you’re not, we recommend switching to one. Wormholes involve a bunch of scanning once you’re inside them as well, so you want to be in the right ship for the job.
Not sure what your race’s exploration frigate is? Check the Upgrade to a New Ship chapter. The recommended exploration frigate fits there are suitable for wormhole exploration.
Whatever fit you’re using, you want to make sure you have at least 3 things fit and loaded:
Core Probe Launcher Ior another probe launcher.
Core Scanner Probe Ior some other core probe variety.
Relic Analyzer I(Relic sites are what you’re looking for to make ISK.)`
Bringing spare probes is not a bad idea, but also by no means required.
You can determine some information about a wormhole without ever jumping through it. After you’ve warped to the wormhole, right-click on it and choose Show Info. The description window that pops up will tell you four important things to know.
The first is the kind of space on the other side of the wormhole. You can tell this from the line of the description that begins with This wormhole seems to lead into…
If it says it leads to “high”, “low”, or “null” security space, the other side is a regular highsec, lowsec, or nullsec system somewhere else in the known galaxy. This is not what you are looking for (though you could certainly try peeking through it to see where it leads).
If it says it leads “into dangerous unknown parts of space” or “into deadly unknown parts of space”, the other side is a Class 4 or higher wormhole. These are also not what you are looking for because any relic sites in them will have sleeper enemies defending them.
If it says only that it leads “into unknown parts of space” you’ve found what you’re looking for - this wormhole leads into a Class 1, 2, or 3 wormhole which is where the relic sites you’re looking for can spawn.
Wormholes, unlike stargates, come and go. A wormhole generally doesn’t last for more than 24 hours from when it initially spawned. The thing you want to look for here is whether or not the wormhole description mentions that it is “nearing the end of its natural lifetime.”
If you see that in the description, the wormhole could disappear at any moment. If you don’t see that in the description (even if the description talks about decay), the wormhole has at least a couple of hours remaining before it goes end-of-life (“EOL”) and times out.
Only enter wormholes that are not end-of-life.
In addition to their time limit, wormholes also have a limit on how much total ship mass can pass through them before they destabilize and disappear. The description on the wormhole will have one of three phrases which indicate how close they are to destabilizing.
If the description states that the wormhole is “on the verge of collapse”, the wormhole has less than 10% of its mass limit remaining and may disappear at any time. This is generally referred to as a “crit hole”. You want to avoid entering these holes.
If it states that the wormhole “has had its stability reduced, but not to a critical degree” then the wormhole has somewhere between 10-50% of its mass limit remaining. Be wary of entering these wormholes because the reduced state indicates that there’s been a fair amount of other traffic through the hole.
The thing you want to find is a wormhole that “has not yet had its stability disrupted”. Wormholes with this in the description have 50% or more of their mass limit remaining and so are unlikely to destabilize of natural causes any time soon.
Only enter wormholes that have plenty of mass remaining.
Some wormholes have limits on the size of ships that can pass through them. Since you’re in a frigate, you can go through any wormhole, but it can sometimes be useful to know what kinds of other ships could also go through. This is a little less important though.
If the wormhole says that “only the smallest ships” can pass through, then only ships with the mass of a destroyer or frigate can go through.
“Up to medium size ships” means anything battlecruiser-sized or smaller. “Larger ships” means anything battleship-sized or smaller, and “Very large ships” means nearly every kind of ship can go through it.
Small wormholes are good for you, since fewer other players’ ships can go through them.
Now that you’ve checked that this is a good wormhole to enter, it’s time to begin the expedition.
First things first: right-click the wormhole and select Save Location… to make a bookmark for the entrance. Name it whatever you’d like. It’ll show up in People & Places (Alt-E) in the Places tab, and also when you right-click in empty space.
Open your Directional Scanner window (Alt-D) and make sure that both the Range and Angle sliders are set full right (the Angle should read 360). In Wormholes your d-scan will be your best friend for staying safe. Inside wormholes, players don’t show up in the Local channel member list unless they say something (and they won’t). So d-scan will be your only warning of players in the system before they appear next to you.
You’re about to enter the wormhole. Read through the next few steps first so you’re ready to do them together without having to look back at this guide.
Right-click the wormhole and select Enter Wormhole. Your ship will jump through the wormhole to the other side.
When you load into the system on the other side of the wormhole, don’t move yet. Like jumping through a stargate, going through a wormhole gives you 60 seconds of automatic cloaking so that you can get your bearings. (The timer appears in the upper left corner as a circled blue ship.)
While you’re still cloaked, right-click on this side of the wormhole and bookmark it as well. If you don’t bookmark it you’ll have to scan it down again later to find your way back out, with no way of knowing for sure if it’s the same wormhole.
Now, still not breaking your cloak, press the Scan button on your d-scan window to refresh the results. Hopefully you won’t see much aside from celestials like planets and customs offices. If you see any ships or probes on d-scan, go back through the wormhole. You’re in a scanning frigate, and you’re not looking for a fight.
At this point your 60 seconds of jump cloak is probably about to expire. It’s time to make a safe spot. Right-click in space and go to the Planets menu, then pick a random planet from the list and warp to it. As you’re starting to warp, press Ctrl-B to bring up the bookmark creation screen, and type in a name like “mid safe”. While in the middle of your warp, press the Save button. This will create a bookmark in a spot in empty space somewhere between the wormhole and the planet you warped to.
Bookmarks created via Ctrl-B are located where you were when you pressed Save, not where you were when you opened the window.
Once you’ve landed at the planet, right-click in empty space and warp back to you mid safe bookmark. When you land there, press the Scan button on your d-scan again to make sure there still aren’t any ships or probes on scan. If anything has appeared, warp back to the wormhole exit you bookmarked earlier and leave.
(If you were reading ahead before, this is probably where you can go ahead and do the things mentioned above.)
Since as an alpha clone you can’t use a cloaking device, this mid safe (and others you create like it) is your best defense against hostiles in a wormhole. Players that want to locate you will have to use combat probes to scan you down. By frequently refreshing d-scan, you can spot these probes and leave before they get a chance to attack you.
Try to keep refreshing d-scan every 10-15 seconds. Experienced players can probe a ship down in 15 seconds or less and will recall their probes once they’ve finished. You can bind refreshing d-scan to a key in the Esc menu to make it easier to refresh.
If you’re jumping into a wormhole directly from highsec, there’s another option: instead of creating a safespot, you can do your scanning from directly on the wormhole exit itself. If another ship shows up, you just jump back to highsec.
Now it’s time to launch your own probes to start scanning the signatures in the system. Note that your own probes will appear on your d-scan listing, so don’t be spooked by probes that belong to yourself - but make sure to watch for any additional sets of probes that might appear.
Since you already had to scan down the entrance wormhole, this guide won’t cover how to scan down a signature. Instead, let’s talk about what you’re looking for. Amongst all of the signatures in the system, you’re looking for the relic sites. In particular, you’re looking for a very specific kind of relic site, the ones with a pirate faction in the name.
There are two kinds of relic sites in Class 1-3 wormholes: faction and sleeper. Sleeper relic sites have sleeper enemies in them; you don’t want those because you can’t fight sleepers. Faction relic sites have no NPC enemies - they’re just like relic sites in normal space.
Faction relic sites have a faction in the site name: Sansha, Guristas, Serpentis, Angels, Blood. Sleeper relic sites have words like “Unsecured”, “Perimeter”, or “Sleeper” in the name.
Assuming d-scan is still clear, warp to it and start hacking! Continue to keep an eye on (and refresh) d-scan as you’re hacking, and if you see anything new show up make sure to warp out back to either your mid safe or the wormhole exit. If everything goes well you should loot some salvage from each of the cans you successfully hack.
Once you’ve finished the site you can warp back to your mid safe and keep scanning, or exit the wormhole with your newly acquired loot.
For your first wormhole expedition I recommend leaving once you’ve either finished all of the relic sites or have at least 20M worth of loot, but it’s up to you how long you want to stay. Do note that scanner probes will expire if you leave them in space for longer than an hour, so if they’ve been out for a while you’ll want to recall them and re-launch to refresh their expiry timer.
Congratulations on completing your first wormhole expedition! The salvage you’ve acquired is generally fairly easy to sell in a market hub - the buy orders are usually pretty good there. If you happen to have an extrodinarily large amount of valuable salvage in your cargohold (40M or more) make sure to be extra careful on your way to the trade hub to avoid getting suicide ganked - don’t autopilot and don’t go AFK or sit still on gates. Once you reach the market hub, sell your loot and enjoy the ISK!