MTU Mechanics for Outlaws

Contrary to popular belief, there is a healthy relationship between MTUs and outlaw activity in New Eden. In EVE, an outlaw is any pilot whose security status has dropped to -5 or lower, which is usually achieved through the art of ganking. Such pilots are subject to a number of liimitations in highsec that make MTU hunting a lot more difficult, but not impossible.

First, let us take a look at what life is like for your typical outlaw living in highsec.

Pilots with -5 or lower Security Status can be freely shot by any player in space, at any time, without CONCORD interference. This isn’t much of an issue when it comes to hunting MTUs though, as you gain Suspect Status for shooting them regardless of your Security level, in which case anyone can shoot you anyway.

Pix Severus Outlaw

A rare glimpse of me as -10 in highsec.

The main issue comes in the form of the Facpo, all outlaws are constantly chased by the Faction Police, and therefore cannot remain in any single spot in space for more than around 20 seconds in a 0.5 system, their response time is even less in systems with higher security. This means you cannot sit at the MTU and shoot it for more than 20 seconds in a 0.5 system before you have to warp off to avoid getting killed by them. The Faction Police are different to CONCORD, rather than punishing you for blowing up someone else’s ship, they exist to chase-out people who aren’t welcome in their space, and they can be avoided indefinitely by warping away from them.

This limitation can restrict you from being able to use larger ships, as the Facpo would stand a better chance at catching and destroying a large, lumbering battleship that takes a long time to align and warp off. It isn’t impossible though.

Pix Severus > Maga, have you ever popped an mtu while -10?
Pix Severus > i notice Aaaarrgg seems to do it quite often
Magalaus Shardani > i did once, it was quite tedious
Pix Severus > i can imagine
Magalaus Shardani > shoot until facpo spawns, warpoff and warp back once they move

So how do you destroy an MTU as a -10 who has the Facpo on his back? It’s quite simple really, you warp to the MTU and begin shooting it, and then when the Facpo lands on you, you warp out to a nearby bookmark or celestial, wait for the Facpo to land on you again, then warp back to the MTU and shoot it a little more. Rinse and repeat until the MTU dies.

This is as tedious as it sounds, and with the relatively large amount of HP a standard MTU has, it can take quite a long time too. It takes around a minute to pop an MTU with around 1000DPS at your disposal, and that’s without the added time of having to warp around, and the fact that the MTU will be constantly repairing it’s shields while you’re warping around.

It is indeed possible then, so if you’re a ganker who hasn’t had much luck finding targets one day, but there’s been an MTU staring at you on D-Scan the entire time, you now know what to do!

There are more mechanics involved between MTUs and Outlaws, and this next one was something I hadn’t considered until I spotted a comment in the Minerbumping chat channel one evening.

Qipchak - Minerbumping chat channel

Thank you for this information, Qipchak. It seems that an MTU could be a handy tool for gankers, for the purpose of retrieving the loot from their own gank ships after they’ve ganked someone. When you get CONCORDed for ganking someone, your wreck becomes blue to everyone, meaning that anyone can loot it freely without going Suspect, such wrecks can also be tractored-in by MTUs. The MTU will not tractor-in the gank victim’s wreck though, as those are always yellow and “belong” to the victim, and taking from those wrecks will give you Suspect Status (a status that an MTU cannot be in, unfortunately).

I guess it makes sense that you can shoot an MTU without going suspect if the MTU’s owner is an outlaw. It follows the same rules as ganker’s shipwrecks, which are blue and accessible to anyone without involving timers. As someone who has popped over 1000 MTUs, I can safely say that this must be a very rare occurrence, as I have never not gone Suspect for shooting an MTU in all this time. I think most gankers would probably use a non-outlaw alt to deploy an MTU for this purpose, and that’s if they even care about retrieving their own gank modules.

That’s it for this little informational piece, if you’re considering life as an outlaw in highsec and wish to pop some MTUs too, I hope this post comes in handy. If you’ve experienced interesting mechanics involving MTUs that you would like to share, feel free to contact me.

Bonus Edit!
Solstice Projekt kindly provided me with some feedback to correct a few errors in this post, which I have now done. He also had some further advice for those looking to pop MTUs as -10.

If you’re having issue popping an MTU quickly as -10, then just use a Tornado! The cycletime is spent warping around. They can even be fitted with a combat probe launcher when done right and you can spend your time probing in warp (or, like a more boring person, while tethered) so the faction police can’t kill you. This works great in bigger systems!

Thanks Sol!

Naming Surprises and Cheeky Disguises

As I travel through highsec, scanners hot and probe fingers itching for some action, occasionally I’m met with a nice surprise on D-Scan. MTUs, like ships, can be renamed by their owner, but it seems that most people either don’t know this, or simply can’t be bothered to do it (probably the latter). So when I spot a named MTU, it is always rare, and always gets my attention.

In this post I’m going to show you some of the weird and wonderful named MTUs I’ve encountered over the years.

Sisters Combat Scanner Probe

Click on image for full size.

Some owners of MTUs attempt to disguise them by naming them after other things you’ll often see on D-Scan, in this case the owner named his MTU after the tool that would be used to probe it down. To avoid being tricked by this, always set your D-Scan to be ordered by Type, and have the Type column visible. This disguise was cheekier than a hamster with a face-full of nuts, and makes me smile every time I remember it.


The owner of this MTU named it after a popular cartoon character, from a cartoon I never really watched (born too early, sorry guys).

0w0 what's this

I think this is the only time I’ve seen an emote used in the name of an MTU. This screencap is accentuated by the named Dominix above the MTU, who ironically GTFO when I dropped my probes on him.


Some pilots use their MTUs for casual racism aside the typical PvE activities.

little beefy

I felt a little bad about popping “little beefy”, but cute name or not, this thing had to go.


This mess of an MTU name looks like a hashtag gone wrong; This is your brain on social media, kids.

Don't You Forget About Me

Whoops! Looks like this isn’t the first MTU this owner has lost.

suc it

Click on image for full size.

This rare ‘Magpie’ MTU did all the ‘suc’ it was ever going to do, before I came along.

I also remember one time, my corpmate and fellow MTU hunter, Alexis Thunderkunt, had an experience with a named MTU.

Alexis Thunderkunt > Lol, a Packrat MTU called “Touch/Steal = Suicide Gank”
Pix Severus > is anyone there with it?
Alexis Thunderkunt > Only one other in system, in a Proteus. He has combat probes out
Pix Severus > totally not bait

Bait or not, Alexis managed to kill that MTU regardless:

Kill: Jeremiah 1 (‘Packrat’ Mobile Tractor Unit)

That’s all for now, there are more of these to come in the near future so keep an eye out for that. Speaking of keeping an eye out, if you spot any MTUs with funny names out there, consider taking a screenshot and mailing it to me (Pix Severus). I’ll consider some kind of recompense for doing so, a small amount of ISK perhaps?