When you’re travelling in nullsec (0.0 space) you’re going to find warp bubbles here and there, set up by individuals, gangs, corporations or alliances, to catch unwary travellers.
They’re usually called ‘catch bubbles’, because they’re set up in a way that catches you as you travel from a start gate to a destination gate. If they’re positioned along your trajectory either ~90km before your destination gate or ~90km after your destination gate, then it’ll ‘catch’ you, so that you land in the bubble instead of at the gate.
Fortunately, there are very simple and easy ways of avoiding these bubbles when you’re travelling and you want to get somewhere fast.
You don’t need to know if there’s a bubble at your destination for this tip to be a good rule of thumb for you to follow as you travel around.
When you arrive in a 0.0 system and you want to go to the next gate, click on it in your overview. That will also highlight the gate on your main display, but you might have to move the display around until you have the highlighted gate in the centre of your display. You’ll be aided by the highlighted icon around the edge of your display, allowing you to find it easily.
Move your mouse over the highlighted icon, and what will usually happen is that a number of other icons pop up above it. One or more of these icons will be a planet that’s near your destination gate.
Warp to the planet at 70km (just in case someone is sitting at 0km or 50km or 100km from the planet) and then warp to the destination gate.
Because you’re not approaching the gate from the gate you started, you’re outside the area of effect based on the trajectory between the two points (start gate and end gate). Your new trajectory is between the planet and the gate, so you’ll land on the gate and be able to jump through while the bubble campers are sadly watching you disappear.
If you follow this strategy, I can guarantee you that your travels through nullsec will be a lot faster and a lot safer for you.
What if all warp in points are covered?
It won’t always work, of course. Sometimes catch bubbles will be set up to take advantage of system formations that mean all warp-in points are covered by a bubble. There’s still a strategy that can overcome it though.
Imagine you’re at your arrival point, gate 1. For some reason, you know that this system is usually well ambushed. Over to your left you have ‘group 1’, a bunch of planets grouped together. Over to your right you have ‘group 2’, a bunch of other planets and the system’s star, also grouped together. In the middle you have gate 2, your destination.
You know that the ambushers have 3 bubbles – one catering to ‘group 1’, one catering to your gate, and one catering to ‘group 2’. No matter which way you go, your approach to gate 2 will be met by a catch bubble.
What to do?
Warp from gate 1 (arrival point) to group 1. Drop a bookmark halfway through the trip. Warp back to the bookmark after arriving at group 1. When you arrive, open your map and look at the solar system map. Check your position in relation to the trajectory paths between gate 1 and gate 2, and group 1 and gate 2. Do you think you’re too close to either of those groups so that if you arrive at gate 2 you’ll still intersect the catch bubble?
If you do, warp around and make new bookmarks. When you think that your approach to gate 2 will be outside the ‘catch path’, then go for it.
Imagine the surprise of the bubble campers when you land at the gate and exit the system. They’ll probably yell at you for cheating. Smile to yourself, and thank Alexia Morgan for keeping you safe.