Guide / Tutorial Ziljan's Guide to Evading Gankers in Open (or nefarious alts in PG):

The information below has been tested in harsh conditions on DW2, 1600 LY from the nearest respawn, against some of the most notorious gankers in the galaxy. I used this knowledge to evade 1v8 against two wings of SDC gank squads on Distant Worlds 2 in my "squishy" explorer rated ship for 50 minutes at DW2 waypoint 3 until I was able to catch infamous young wizard alone for 5 minutes of 1v1. See the link: [embed removed due to rather salty language]

(see Anaconda equivalent build here)
The above 5 minute clip was recorded for unedited distribution with the generous permission of the creator. For the full video including (audio and some video of) the preceding 50 minutes of escape tactics and the pursuers' audible frustration see the original full video below:


A) Hotkeys for Speed:

  1. Map a hotkey to "Target Next System in Route" (under Options > Controls > "Targeting"). Then go to the galaxy map and plot a route to a nearby system. This will allow you press only two buttons to escape a hairy situation: "Target Next System in Route" followed immediately by "JUMP."
  2. Always make sure you have a highwake route plotted when you enter a potentially dangerous system. The game saves this route even if you target other objects so you can just press "Target Next System in Route" to regain a target lock in a split second without fiddling with the Nav Panel at all.

B) Sensors:

  1. Do not rely on the contacts list in the Nav Panel. Ships can be in your instance and not seen on the Nav Panel. It all depends on your sensors.
  2. Super cruise sensors are speed specific. The faster you go, the farther you can see other ships. So be aware, that just because you can't see other ships on the HUD it doesn't mean they can't see you.
  3. Press Ctrl+B to show the network traffic in B/s. If the network traffic measure in the kB/s, then you know you are not alone in the instance. You can also check the Comms pannel (top left) and look at the Social tab see a list of CMDRs in the instance. Both of these methods will reveal players before your sensors can detect their exact locations.
  4. Stealth works in Supercruise as well. Players can obscure their hollow square icon by hiding close to planets/stars. You can use this to your advantage to hide as well (more on this later) but so can griefers. Be aware of your surroundings by using the above techniques rather than just relying on passive sensors alone.

C) Escaping Interdictions (the easy way):

Most CMDRs are law abiding nice people that mean you no harm, but in general it's safest to assume that everyone is potentially dangerous and fly accordingly. And you never really know who is lurking nearby. When in doubt, be ready to get the hell out.

  1. The easiest way to escape a system is to high wake as soon as possible, but gankers can be fast. Charging a highwake takes 15 seconds. If you enter a system and see a hollow triangle lining up behind you, you may not have time to charge a highwake before they tether you. When you enter a system, you are going slow so that you can quickly reduce speed to 30km/s and drop to normal space. The gankers will have to get within 1Mm of your low wake signal to be able to drop into your instance, and this will take a lot of time. The cool down for your FSD is 10 seconds, and the charge time is 15 seconds, which means they'll have 25 seconds to drop on your signal. Plenty of time for you to escape. Just make sure you don't accidentally charge a low wake back to Supercruise otherwise you'll be right back where you started, and in immediate danger. If you do accidentally charge a low wake, it's ok, just immediately drop after hitting supercruise and start the clock again.
  2. If they start off REALLY close by and behind you, and you don't have time to throttle down, then it's usually OK to do an emergency drop. However, doing an emergency drop gives you an FSD cooldown of 40 seconds and damages your hull and modules. Still, it's often better than being interdicted, and gives you a total of 55 seconds before you can escape to safety. That may seem like long time, but there are ways to extend it. When you drop to normal space, immediately start boosting in the direction of your destination star. Turn Flight Assist off with your throttle set to zero, this will hide your contrails. If you can't spam boost then just get to full speed, then turn FA off and throttle down. Count to about 25 seconds or so and fire off a heatsink, at this point you should be off the radar of anyone who drops on your instance. You just need to stay hidden for 30 more seconds before you charge a highwake FSD to escape the system.
  3. If they do manage to interdict you, your best bet is often to submit. If you think you can survive for the next 15 seconds (ie the time it takes to charge a highwake), then your best bet is to press "Target Next System" and then "Jump". Put 4 pips to SYS and 2 to engines and then dodge them as best you can.
  4. Only run away if you are in a faster ship. If you are in a slower ship, then you are often better off charging a HIGHWAKE FSD while trying to orbit them using side thrust + reverse while pointing at them, so they never get a clear shot of your engines or FSD.
  5. If you are in a faster ship, do not run away in a straight line. Flying in a straight line allows them to target your modules with fixed weapons and to easily hit you with FSD interrupt missiles. Instead, fly in corkscrew patterns occasionally toggling FA-OFF and slightly changing the direction of your nose to confuse their predictive targeting system.

D) Using Celestial Bodies to Your Advantage:

  1. As I mentioned above, you can hide your supercruise signal a little in the gravity well of planets. This can give you the time needed to escape. Gas giants with lots of moons are great places to hide.
  2. If you are going really fast and near a planet you can even try to crash into it. This may seem suicidal, but really it's no worse than an emergency drop, and if you are near a planet it will take them an extra long time to get within 1Mm of your signal (the minimum distance to drop into your instance) because the planet will slow down their SC speed often to a crawl. Use the same techniques described above for the emergency drop to escape.
  3. You can also hide in Orbital Cruise because when you are this close the planet, an interdiction tether cannot be established. This is the distance between the outer edge of the orbital cruise gravity well and minimum drop distance to Orbital Glide. If they attempt to interdict at this range, they will get an error message "Target is too close to Planet".
  4. If you are pointing at an object like a planet, star, or ring and someone tries to interdict you, you will both crash into the object but in different instances. This usually acts like an emergency drop with associated cooldown. The attacker will also get the same cool down, so unless his wingmates are nearby, you are totally safe to just highwake as soon as the cooldown expires. You can use this to your advantage when scanning a system in the FSS. As long as you are OK with the body potentially obscuring your targets.
  5. If you have a large object like a big planet, ring, or sun extremely close and directly behind you this also makes it very tricky to interdict you because they will just crash into the object as soon as they establish a tether, and you will be fine. However, engineers can allow people to intedict you from a 100 deg angle. So they position themselves at roughly 90 degs and still grab you. The solution to this tactic is to simply turn you nose a little bit more towards them so that your tail is at an angle greater than 100 degs. If they have a wing mate though, they can trap you by surrounding you, so it's best not to linger here longer than the time it takes to issue one taunt in chat ;) Jump as soon as you can. Use a heatsink to avoid damage from charging if you are in the corona of a star.


  1. NEVER ever log off at a planetary surface while landed. Even a hardcore expertly built PVP ship can be destroyed 7 seconds after logging in when surrounded by a professional gank squad. That's not even enough time to charge your engines and lift off.
  2. If you log off near a planetary waypoint where other CMDRs might be, always log off at least 2km above the surface and 7 to 10km away from the main waypoint. This will allow you to charge FSD within 5 seconds to get to orbital cruise, where you will be untouchable. It also means that gankers lurking at the planetary surface will have only 5 seconds to locate you and destroy you, which is highly unlikely if you are 10km away and out of most sensor ranges. Using a heat sink will further mask your signal and make you impossible to detect except visually.
  3. You can charge low wake FSD to reach the safety of orbital cruise while facing any direction on a planet surface as long as you are 2km above the surface, however you need to be pointing upward at an angle of at least 40 degs and facing roughly in the direction you are moving. Keep this in mind if you flying evasively. Also flying evasively, and boosting near a planet surface while charging FSD can overheat some ships, so you may want to pop a heat sink just to be sure you can escape without burning your internal modules.
F) Escaping Interdictions the HARD way:

  1. Know your ships. Certain ships like the T7 and the Imperial Clipper have a very high agility in interdictions and can yaw as easily as they pitch. These are great survival ships if you are good at beating interdictions. But remember, their buddies are usually travelling right behind you guys and ready to chain interdict you as soon as your beat their friend. They can take breaks but you can't. If you can't outrun them in normal space, the only way to escape chain interdictions is to throttle down and drop to normal space between interdictions and then highwake. Emergency dropping in this case is very dangerous because they will be close by and might reach you before your cool down expires. But it might be your only option once you start fighting interdictions from a wing of gankers.
  2. Once an interdiction is established the supercruise speed of both players will be changed. The speed of the slower ship will be increased and the speed of the faster ship will be slowed down. Why is this important? Well, the final speed relative to your blue zone throttle at the beginning of the interdicted will determine how agile you are in the final interdiction. So if a really fast ship grabs you at full throttle while you're going slow then you won't be anywhere near your blue zone speed and they will be. So you will likely lose that interdiction even if you are better than them.
  3. Bear in mind that most gankers are going to be MUCH better at interdictions than you, so you'll want to practice to get better. How do you practice? Aiming with fixed hit scan weapons is a good tool especially beam/pulse lasers. Just pick out a star pattern on the sky and randomly move as quickly as you can and "shoot" the stars in sequence. The faster you can shoot all of the stars and the more dead center accurate you are, the better you will be at interdiction. If you have a friend, to practice with, this helps as well as you will hone yourselves off each other. If you are feeling brave, you can also go to a CG with pirates with a fast ship cheap ship like an imperial eagle and practice interdicting them and running away.

G) Surviving Combat/Failed Interdictions:

  1. Most ships in the galaxy are very squishy and can be killed in two shots by high DPS ganker ships. This is especially true of most exploration ships, yet it doesn't need to be. Hardening your ship for survival is very cheap and easy and doesn't take all of your modules. The Krait in the above build is using E rated shields boosters! So other ships can be much MUCH harder to kill. I recommend that you take a look at the following thread for advice on how to build a ship that is both lightweight and tough to kill. I should stress that on a slower ship with a bigger hitbox, the shields on this build while much stronger are NOT combat rated, but merely "get out of jail free" shields as long as you follow all of the above advice in a prudent and timely manner.
  2. The general wisdom when escaping is that you should put your pips to 4-SYS, 2-ENG, 0-WEP. This is generally true of heavy tanks. But for small fast ships that use speed to survive, you want have 4PIPs to shields only when you are being fired upon, and the rest of the time, you want enough pips to ENG so that you can boost while flying evasively to either get out of weapons range or stick close but stay out of their firing arc (you need to be an exceptionally good pilot to attempt the latter).
  3. ALWAYS make note of whether the interdictor is in a wing, and if possible how far away his fellow gankers are and whether they are stuck in gravity wells, or nearby and ready for a fast auto drop. If they Nav Locked and in a wing, then they can drop anywhere from several seconds after the interdictions fails/submits, or almost IMMEDIATELY after. If you have time to gain distance, and you are in a faster ship, it's always worthwhile to boost away from your initial attacker because his wing mates will drop on his location with Nav Lock engaged, not yours. This could drop them 7km away and effectively leave them out of the fight even if they can keep pace with you.
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Great guide, thank you.

Your vid just confirmed than beside only fighting at 3 vs 1 at mininum, our national HP is also expert in low waking and c-logging next to CG station... Just hype.
I look at Ziljan's guide and compare it to the usual advice the gankers give to explorers about how to survive a PvP attack - and it's very clear to me that the latter have absolutely no idea of what they're talking about.

Kudos for this OP, these are practical advice that explorers can actually use in Open.
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I look at Ziljan's guide and compare it to the usual advice the gankers give to explorers about how to survive a PvP attack - and it's very clear to me that the latter have absolutely no idea of what they're talking about.

Kudos for this OP, these are practical advice that explorers can actually use in Open.
Erm actually we offer the same advice. Aside from the target next system bind. That one is solid. You suffering from cognitive dissonance there pal?
I look at Ziljan's guide and compare it to the usual advice the gankers give to explorers about how to survive a PvP attack - and it's very clear to me that the latter have absolutely no idea of what they're talking about.

Kudos for this OP, these are practical advice that explorers can actually use in Open.
I agree it's a bit more fleshed out then "git gud" :)D) but it basically is a version of something gankers often link too, the git gud guide to open. So why do you try to turn it into another "them versus us" thing?

edited: ninja'd by size doesn't matter :D
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