Auto pilot is a button that you press and your ship or pod will whizz off.
Whenever a vet hears about a rookie player using it, they end up screaming, “NO! STOP! Don’t use auto pilot!” Even when I watch streams of new Eve Players, I’ll tell them to knock that off. So the question arises, why is autopilot so bad?
What is Auto Pilot in the First Place?
First, there’s 2 parts of auto pilot that people can be talking about. The part I’m talking about in this article is about this big A button. When you click it, you’ll head off towards your destination automatically. You never have to jump your ship yourself, the autopilot does it for you.
When experienced players freak out, they’re saying “DO NOT PUSH THAT BUTTON!”
Of course, just to be true to the complicity of the game, there’s a 2nd part to the auto pilot. When you set a destination, “auto pilot” will set the route. Sometimes if there’s 2 or 3 different ways to get there, this functionality will give one person one route and another an entirely different route. So if you’re ever in a group and someone is talking about “auto pilot” not giving the same route this is what they’re talking about. Not that button that sends you from point A to Z without any pilot intervention.
Why is Auto Pilot Bad?
Here’s a homework assignment. Go jump into a rookie ship (it’s 100% free at any station) and set a destination to Jita. It doesn’t matter where you are (unless you’re already in Jita, then set your desto to Amarr).
Now, undock your ship and hit the A button. What happens?
This is where I landed, when I came out of warp. That’s right, autopilot will drop you 10km from the gate and then you have to burn the rest of the way. While burning, completely unattended, this will give someone plenty of time to lock you up and blow your ship up. Just because you’re in high sec, it doesn’t make it safe.
That’s exactly why people freak out when you auto pilot, that 10km could be the difference of life and death.
Is There Ever a Reason to Use It?
Confession time. I go places on autopilot all the time. However, I never use a ship that I care about losing and I never have anything I care about losing in the cargo hold. In fact, a lot of times I will travel from Jita to Dodixie (where I do level 4 security missions) in a pod since there’s sometimes a gate camp at the one .5 security system in between.
I figure if someone REALLY wants to gank my pod, go for it. They’re going to spend more isk suiciding on my pod than I am going to have to spend resetting my destination and flying out again.
Also, sometimes if I’m trying to get some cheap pvp kills on gankers I’ll put together a super tanky fit and auto pilot as bait. So there are cases to autopilot but you need to be ok with the potential outcome… getting ganked and blown up.