Ship Security Scans Suck – (for newer players) How to beat a security ship scan

Security scans suck. You stack 20 passenger/cargo/whatever missions, fly the sortie perfectly only to be failed at the last second because a security ship scanned your ship entering the station and found that illegal passenger on your ship. Rats!

It’s like a mini-game. If security scans anything illegal on your ship before you enter the space station, they get to (fine you or) destroy your ship. If you get through the mail slot before a scan completes, you become the station’s problem.

To beat a scan, you need to know how security scans work, how to avoid them whenever possible and how to escape them when you get hit with one.

How Security scans work:

First, security ships depend on your ship’s IR signature to detect you and second, a security scan takes a full seven (7) seconds to complete. If a security scan does not complete for any reason, then it never happened. If you can get your ship through the mail-slot at a station or onto the landing pad at a settlement before a scan completes, then you did not get scanned.

The first advice I can offer is: GET FAST! I almost never get scanned because through repetition I have become casually fast enough to get into the station (or landed) before security can get to me to scan me.

Second advice: You have 7 seconds from when you hear “Scan Detected” to get through that mail-slot so, if approaching the slot and you hear the warning, DON’T PANIC! If you see you will be through the slot before the scan completes, you can ignore the scan but get through that slot!

If you see you will not make it before the scan completes, deploy a heat-sink to temporarily stop the scan. Deploying a heat-sink will temporarily break the security ship’s lock on you, stalling the scan until they reacquire.

Alternatively, you could use silent running to get into the station. Silent running stops all IR radiation from your ship. It does this by shutting down some systems, closing the radiator covers, storing all that heat and not releasing it from the ship until you disable SR. This means your ship heats up VERY quickly in SR and judicious use of heat-sinks will be needed to keep from overheating.

How to do it: First, it helps if you come out of SC right in front of and pointed toward the mail slot so, practice that. On exit from SC, immediately engage SR and head for the slot, fast, keeping an eye on your ship’s heat buildup and deploying a heat-sink whenever your ship gets near 100% heat.

Request docking clearance at the last moment as you approach the mail slot so security is not alerted to your presence. Don’t worry about ATC warnings they cannot see you. The moment you are through the slot you are safe from security ships so immediately disable SR so your ship can cool off and your shields can come back up (SR disables shields). Unless you are a very skilled pilot, you need shields to land without damaging your ship.


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