Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Eve Master Class - Tracking Speed

Suffer Knot of 500 kills (dude, post moar!) asked in a comment of the last post:
I was wondering if you could explain the formula on how to figure tracking speed?
Well I sure can!

Tracking speed is measured in Radians / second instead of meters per second because the number of meters depends on the size of radius. ... I'm going to need a picture, aren't I? Ok, give me a sec.

The angle of that triangle can be measured in degrees, but the math to figure out tracking speed in meters per second is more involved than if you measure it using the length of the arc it describes as portion of the radius. Why? Because, and this is the important part, the actual length of the arc is a fixed ratio to the size of the radius. In other words, regardless of the size of the circle the ratio of radius to arc length will always be the same for the same angle.

Fine, but what does it all mean?

If your tracking speed is X radians / second and your target is Y meters / radian away, then multiplying the two factors gives you the speed your gun can move on the arc of the circle , which is XY meters/second.

In layman terms, multiplying the tracking speed times the distance to the target will give you the speed your gun can keep up with. For example, a tracking speed of 0.05 shooting at something 5000 meters away can hit it as long as the transversal is 250 meters/second or less.

The upshot of this is that as the target gets closer the size of the maximum transversal you can hit decreases proportionately, and vice versa. This is why optimal range is named thus: its considered optimal because the farther something is away from your ship, the easier guns can track it, but any farther and the accuracy of guns starts to come into play.


  1. Anonymous3:19 pm

    oo oo teacher Kirith teacher kirith ...would you like an Apple? ;)

    All kidding aside great post on this...something I knew but am learning better thanks to you!

  2. cleanest explanation I've ever seen - you da masta

  3. Awesome. Linking this to everyone in my corp :)

  4. Speaking about it, is not there an option to see a traversal speed of ships on the overview in rad/s? I am so far missile user so I do not switch it on, but I guess I seen it there in the overview settings.

  5. @X1376: there probably is, good idea. I'll have to check that out.

  6. Thanks for the response Kirith, that really helped, I am now working up a sheet to figure tracking speeds of various turrets at set distances so I can better understand my safe zones.

  7. Ah, this makes sense to me now.

  8. Very near explanation you did there in 2009, the funny thing is there are so many people who still do not understand this concept in 2011! :)