If you’ve spent any sort of time talking to Eve Online players, the chances that “sig radius” which stands for “signature radius” has come up. So what is signature radius and why is it important? It affects the following…
- How fast ships are targeted by combat probes
- How fast ships will be targeted in general
- How much damage a ship will take from different weapons
Signature Radius is Like Size in Table Top Gaming
Have you ever played Dungeons and Dragons, or another game that uses a gaming matt or board? A NPC is given a size from small to huge. Small creatures take up a 5x5ft space which is represented by a 1 inch square while huge creatures are 15×15 which takes up 9 squares. Look at the picture below. Which do you think you could hit easily with a rock?
The same goes for ships within Eve Online. If I put an Avatar (titan) down on the grid, it would be a 3×3 square spot. It’s sig radius is a whopping 22,760m. Meanwhile, a Raptor (T2 frigate) has the sig radius of 34m.
The Bigger They are, the Easier They are to Lock
Big ships take less time to target and lock. It doesn’t take a whole lot of skill to aim something at a giant spider, but it would take tons of skill to try to aim at a fast moving tiny spider. The same concept goes for ships in Eve. If you fly a titan, pretty much everything smaller will lock you up easily. If you’re in an interceptor (T2 frigate), bigger things will have a pretty rough time getting you locked up if you fly the ship well.
The Bigger They are, the Easier it is to Hit Them
And of course, if the giant spider in front of you, you’re not going to have a hard time hitting it (not that you’d really want to stick around!). Meanwhile, the smaller faster spider will be harder to hit.
An interceptor will be able to lock up a dread and hit it pretty well because it’s huge. At the same time the dread is going to have one hell of a time trying to hit the interceptors. Especially if there are good pilots flying them!
What Can Affect Signature Radius?
Size isn’t the only thing that can affect sig radius. The following can also affect it:
- Microwarpdrives: yes, your MWD can bloom (increase) your signature by 500% when its on. Turrets can track (hit) you much better when you have this on if flying directly at a target. Missiles have no greater chance of hitting you.
- Shield extenders: these can ad 1, 2, 7 and 25m to a ship’s sig radius depending on the size of the extender.
- Shield rigs: each rig increases the ship sig by 10% (but can be reduced with the shield rigging skill).
- Target painters: hitting a ship with a target painter, which is an EWAR module, will make the sig radius bigger. There are things that can make the target painter less effective, but that’s another article.
- Inertial stabilizers (stabs): hitting this mod will bloom your signature by about 11%.
- Halo implants: these implants reduce your sig radius by 2.5% to 15% depending on the grade of implant.
- Skirmish command burst (evasive maneuvers charge): this command burst will lower sig radius from 6 to 16.88%
- Drugs (X-instinct): this drug reduces your sig radius.
- Signature radius suppressor: module that can be fit on battleships, marauders and black ops to reduce your sig by 10% passive and 70% active for 12 seconds.