A Fundamental Guide to Scanning

Scanning, aka EWAR (Electronic Warfare) is a very important part of DUST, and while fairly simply to understand, it is not explained in much detail. This guide will seek to explain the different kind of scanning, the important stats and skills to pay attention to, as well as a breakdown of what dropsuits have to best (or worst) scanning attributes.

Most Up to Date EWAR Spreadsheet
Special thanks to The Barbershop for maintaining this sheet

Passive vs Active Scanning

Passive Scanning

Dropsuits constantly passively scan their surroundings. Passive Scans have fairly limited range but can still be quite powerful since they are running constantly and scanning in all directions. Enemies that are detected via Passive Scans will be displayed on the mini-map of everyone in your squad.

Active Scanning

Active Scans are performed by either the Active Scanner infantry equipment, or by Active Scanner vehicle modules. We will go into more detail about these items later.

Primary Attributes

Signature Profile

Scan Profile determines how difficult it is for enemy scans to detect you. If your Scan Profile is lower than the enemy’s Scan Precision, you will not show up on their radar. Scan Profile is always rounded up to the nearest whole number.

Dropsuit Scan Profile is modified by the following skills and modules:
  • Profile Dampener (Dropsuit Low-Slot Module)
  • Electronics / Profile Dampening (Skill)
Dropsuits that receive a bonus to Scan Profile:
  • +3% / lvl Caldari Scouts
  • +3% / lvl Gallente Scouts
Dropsuit Scan Profile is modified by the following equipment:
  • While active, Advanced and Prototype cloaks will reduce Scan Profile by 5%/10% respectfully.
Scan Range

Scan Range determines at which range you can detect enemies. For Passive Dropsuit scans, Scan Range is divided up into 3 concentric circular zones of Long, Medium, and Short.

  • Long Range: 50-100% of Max Scan Range
  • Medium Range: 20-50% of Max Scan Range
  • Short Range: 0%-20% of Max Scan Range

For example, if a dropsuit has a 30m Max Scan Range, it’s Long Range zone is 15-30m, it’s Medium Range zone is 6-15m, and it’s Short Range zone is 0-6m.

Dropsuit Scan Range is modified by the following skills and modules:
  • Range Extender (Dropsuit Low-Slot Module)
  • Electronics / Range Amplification (Skill)
Dropsuits that receive a bonus to Scan range:
  • +10% / lvl of Caldari Scouts
Dropsuit Scan Precision is modified by the following equipment:
  • While active, Cloaking Fields will reduce Scan Range by 85%
Scan Precision

Scan Precision determines how easily you can detect other enemy units. If your Scan Precision is less than or equal to the enemy’s Scan profile, they will show up on your radar. Scan Precision is modified based on what range zone the enemy is in. In short, your precision improves against enemies that are close to you, and gets weaker if they are further away. Scan Precision is always rounded up to the nearest whole number.

  • Long Range: 130% of Scan Precision
  • Medium Range: 100% of Scan Precision
  • Short Range: 50% of Scan Precision

For example, if a dropsuit as a base Scan Precision of 40, it’s effective Scan Precision will by 56 against enemies at long range, 40 against enemies at medium range, and 20 against enemies at short range.

Dropsuit Scan Precision is modified by the following skills and modules:
  • Precision Enhancer (Dropsuit High-Slot Module)
  • Electronics / Precision Enhancement (Skill)
Dropsuits that receive a bonus to Scan Precision:
  • +5% / lvl of Amarr Scouts
  • +2% / lvl of Gallente Scouts

Active Scanners (Infantry Equipment)

Active Scanners take a “snapshot” scan in a wide angle. Active Scanners have a Scan Precision that varies based on tier and variant, and behaves much like passive scan precision. If the enemy has a signature profile that is greater than or equal to the Active Scanner’s scan precision, it will be “tagged” or “painted”. While tagged, that enemy will appear on your team’s mini map for a period of time, which varies based off of the tier/variant of Active Scanner is being used. Active Scanners also have a cooldown after they are used, and cannot be reactivated until the cooldown is complete. The duration of the cooldown can vary between tiers and types of Scanner.

Additionally, if an enemy is successfully scanned, they will receive a message on their screen that says “You Have Been Scanned”. However, if the enemy’s signature profile is lower than the scan precision of the Active Scanner, they will receive a message that says “Scan Attempt Prevented” and not appear on your radar.

If you successfully scan everyone in your scanner’s range, you will receive a message that reads “Scan Error Rating: No Margin of Error”. However, if an enemy manages to dodge your scans, you will receive a messages that reads “Scan Error Rating: Some Margin of Error”.

Dropsuits that receive a bonus to Active Scanners:
  • +10% to Scan Visibility Duration / lvl of Gallente Logistics
  • +5% to Scan Precision / lvl of Gallente Logistics

Vehicle Scanners (Vehicle High Slot Module)

Like most vehicle modules, Active Scanners, once activated, have a duration and then a cooldown before they can be activated again. While active, these Scanners provide constant scanning in all directions over a fairly large range. While the precision is typically not as good as an infantry Active Scanner, the Vehicle Scanner allows for scanning over a large area at once. Typically these scans are good enough to pick up the majority of dropsuits in the area, and can be invaluable in helping your team.

Enemies that are detected by the scanner will only remain on the radar as long as the scanner is active.

Line of Sight Scans

While not a “true” scan, highlighting an enemy by aiming at them with your weapon will “spot” them and cause that enemy to appear on your mini map, even if they are outside your natural scan range or below your scan precision. This effect is not shared with anyone else on your squad or team.

Relative Ranking

Here are the relative position of the best and worst dropsuits for each category of scanning. Note that this assumes all associated skills and racial bonuses are maxed out, but the suit has not fit any Scanning modules. If you are interested in the more complex side of Scanning, check out the spreadsheet linked at the top of the page as it has complete breakdown on what stats each suit and fit will have with the associated modules fit to the suit.

Scan Precision Scan Range Signature Profile
Best Amarr Scout 27dB Caldari Scout 45m Gallente Scout 27dB
| Gallente Scout 32dB Logistics Suit 38m Caldari Scout 27dB
| Caldari Scout 36dB Gallente Scout 30m Amarr Scout 32dB
| Minmatar Scout 36dB Amarr Scout 30m Minmatar Scout 32dB
| Assault Suits 41dB Minmatar Scout 30m Assault Suits 41dB
| Logistics Suits 41dB Assault Suit 30m Logistics Suits 45dB
| Sentinel Suits 45dB Commando Suit 30m Commando Suits 50dB
Worst Commando Suits 50dB Sentinel Suits 23m Sentinel Suits 54dB


Important Notes

  • When it comes to Profile vs Precision, the lower number wins.
  • Signature Profile and Scan Precision values are always rounded to the nearest whole number.
  • In the case of a tie between Signature Profile and Scan Precision, the scanner will win.
  • Passive Scans remain active while you are incapacitated.
  • Passive Scans are shared only with members of your squad. Active Scans are shared with the entire team.
  • Scan results not only appear on your mini-map, but on the overhead deployment/orbital strike map. This can be very useful for squad leaders, as a scanning unit can pick up and display scan results on the overhead map so a Squad Leader knows where to launch an Orbital Strike.
  • Passive Scans will not show what direction the enemy is facing, Active Scans will.
  • If you are painted/tagged by an Active Scanner, you will remain painted, even if you use a cloak to lower your Signature Profile below the Scanner’s precision or change suits at a supply depot.
  • The Duvolle Focused Scanner is the only active scanner which shares results squad-wide rather than team-wide.
About Pokey Dravon 98 Articles
Pokey Dravon has played DUST 514 since early closed beta and is a founding co-host of the Biomassed podcast and blog. Follow on twitter @PokeyDravon
  • Shotty GoBang

    Looks sharp, Pokey. Good work. o7


    Very useful tips, good guide.

    Dammit Soraya, where is the podcast xD