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Wormholes are space anomalies that are like rifts in space, connecting two separate locations. Like stargates, they allow the travel of ships from one system to another. Unlike stargates, wormholes are not permanent. They connect two systems for only a short time, and collapse when too much time has passed (16 - 48 hours), or too much mass has passed through them: wormholes come in different 'sizes'. In simple terms this means that your ship may not always fit into the wormhole you find. Wormholes have a maximum ship mass that can transit through them.

A wormhole can connect two systems quite far from each other, and can provide temporary shortcuts to areas that would otherwise take many jumps to get to. It will most likely to take you somewhere within the same security class as you started (hisec, lowsec or nullsec) but there is always enough of a random chance that it could land you anywhere.

Wormholes can also connect to uncharted space, or wormhole space (W-space). These systems are uncharted, and do not operate like normal systems do. Take all precautions when exploring wormholes and the space beyond, as what might wait on the other side is a mystery. Wormholes are the gateways to a new type of space item introduced with the Apocrypha expansion.

Systems traveled through by wormholes are permanent, but sovereignty cannot be claimed there. Starbases (or POSes) can be deployed in wormhole space, but the logistics involved in refueling them as well as even getting back to them should the wormhole collapse behind you can make it a difficult task. Some explorers may find it lucrative to set up a temporary POS in uncharted space to use as a base of operations and a defensive structure to retreat to. It is not possible to deploy outposts.

  • Wormholes have a set mass limit and will collapse after a certain amount of ships have passed through;
  • They will also collapse after a random amount of time;
  • They may lead to either known space or uncharted space, or wormhole space;
  • You can deploy Starbases but not Outposts in wormhole space.

It's advised to take a set of Warp Core Stabilizers while traveling through a wormhole.

How to find wormholes

You need to scan for wormholes (see exploration). Wormholes can be found through the exploration system by probing for them with scan probes. Much like exploration sites, wormholes can be found by probing for Cosmic Signatures. Specialized probing ships still have their niche, though; the astrometric frigates have a bonus to the strength of their probes, which makes it easier to find signatures.
Once you've got some probes, set the filter to pick up signatures, and start scanning around the system. There should be a EVE Wormholes in most systems, but this can vary wildly due to their random nature. These first show up as "unknown" signatures on a scan, but once you have narrowed down the position it should show up as an unstable wormhole (certain complexes also show up as "unknown" signatures, but these aren't as common). Warp to that and you should be confronted with an ominous looking vortex.

What to find in Wormhole space

Probes are essential for wormhole exploration, and it is worth having one fitted to most of the ships in your exploration fleet. If you are looking to score some of the new materials for tech three ships, then you'll need to break the probes out and start looking for signatures again. Unknown signatures are other wormholes (and there can be multiple wormholes in a system at any one time); gravimetric are asteroid belts for mining; Ladar are gas clouds, Magnetometric are archeology sites, and Radar are hacking sites. It's always worth bringing along the odd analyzer or codebreaker module to make the most of the last two types. Of course, this is assuming you can take care of the Sleeper guardians.

The Sleeper drones that watch over the ancient ruins of these sites are much more of a threat than your average NPC. As well as being able to deal out, and take, fierce amounts of damage they can intelligently switch targets, adjust their movement to make themselves more difficult to hit, scramble and web targets from long range, and repair each other. Anyone looking to fight them will need to be very careful, unless they are in a decent gang that can support each other. The ability to repair yourself, and other members of you're a gang, in these fights is important, as there are no stations for players to dock and repair in unknown space.

  • Wormhole NPCs, the Sleepers drop and salvage T2 and T3 components when defeated. They are rumored to have better anti-player AI strategies, in addition to being more tough and powerful in general.
  • There are planets and moons in wormhole space. No moons in wormhole space, however, contain moon minerals to be harvested.

Getting out of wormholes

If the wormhole takes you to unknown space, or wormhole space, then the primary concern for most pilots will be how to get back to known space. In some instances, the wormhole you came through will still remain, and you can return back to where you came from using the same wormhole. As stated before, any wormhole may collapse and no longer allow you passage through. Now you have to find a new way out. There will always be a minimum of one wormhole in an uncharted system at a time, but there can also be multiple wormholes in any given system at any given time. These wormholes can connect back to known space, but they might also take you deeper into uncharted wormhole space, often into more dangerous territory. To find new wormholes, you'll have to use scan probes again, and look for cosmic signatures. Bookmarks are very important, especially once you enter unknown space, as there are very few celestial objects to warp to, and wormholes cannot be warped to without a bookmark (or a friendly ship nearby).

In the event that your ship runs out of probes and the wormhole you came through has collapsed, there is not much that can be done. You could wait around for rescue from others, but this is unlikely. Sometimes pilots will sell exit wormhole locations, but most times they are just as happy to shoot you and loot your wreck. Many pilots choose to abandon their ships and self destruct their capsules to wake up in a new clone in their medical bay. As such, make sure to verify the following before jumping into uncharted space:

  • Ensure that you have the skills and modules necessary to use scan probes.
  • Bring enough probes to be able to scan your way out.
  • Verify that your clone is up-to-date and located within a friendly outpost or station.
  • Do not use a clone with implants if you cannot afford to replace them.

Note that in desperate situations, one can eject and self-destruct one's pod, jumping back to one's clone.

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