Wormhole colours

30th September 2014 – 5.30 pm

Telling which class of w-space system you are about to enter appears to be an art, or perhaps some kind of witchcraft. To the untrained capsuleer the indecipherable letter and numbers that float near the wormhole mean little, and coming at it from the wrong side only gives you the standard K162 designation that gives no information about the system beyond. It is possible to interrogate a database of static wormhole designations in order to determine the class of w-space you're about to enter, but it would be much more useful to be able to tell at a glance. Trying to inform the inexperienced pilot about the colours that bleed through somehow only leads to more confusion. As a parting gesture, let's see if I can make visual identification easier.

First, wormholes are not simply holes in space, they are more akin to tunnels. The colours that surround a wormhole reflect not only the system on the other side but also that of the system you're currently in. The outer edge of the wormhole represents local space being funnelled through the portal before it transitions entirely in to the view of the system beyond. This is important to realise, as the different colours around the edge of the wormhole can potentially taint your impression of the whole.

Despite wormhole colours varying from edge to centre, the wormholes themselves appear to be in some kind of cosmic alignment, as any reflection of the current system's nebula shimmering around the edge of the wormhole doesn't seem to interfere with any view of the nebula through any wormhole. Never the less, along with example images of the main nebula colours as seen through a wormhole, I also include a more comprehensive matrix to aid with identification and visualisation.

This guide only provides information about w-space systems. I have written a separate guide for New Eden wormholes that lead to high-, low-, or null-sec space.

Along with the visual cues, the information panel provides most of the information about a wormhole, including the maximum individual ship mass that can transit, the health of the wormhole, and the tier of w-space the wormhole leads to. There are three tiers of w-space, with class 1 to 3 systems being 'unknown' w-space, class 4 and 5 systems 'dangerous' w-space, and class 6 systems 'deadly' w-space. Identifying class 6 w-space systems is therefore pretty straightforward. It is also perhaps the easiest to identify visually, having a vivid red colouring.

Moving down to merely 'dangerous' systems, the class 5 wormhole can be recognised by its mix of orange and pink hues.

Wormholes leading to also-dangerous class 4 w-space are distinctive from the lower-class w-space systems by the tinge of red to the purple-grey nebula.

Wormholes to the classes of 'unknown' space are fairly similar, but there are still distinctive patterns to tell each class apart visually. Class 3 w-space systems have a purple splotch amongst the predominantly grey colouring.

There is a distinctive black gap in the view to a class 2 w-space system, looking like a bear trying to catch a leaping salmon.

Wormholes to class 1 w-space systems are perhaps the least distinctive of all in their colouring, being a rather uniform grey-purple.

Thankfully, theses wormholes have the excellent benefit of being unique in their individual ship transit mass allowance. Look for the teal aurora surrounding a wormhole to be assured that you're travelling to or from a class 1 w-space system. This illustrates the extra information available from the auroras surrounding the wormhole, not just the nebula colours. The auroras that swirl and dance, wax and wane, indicate the maximum individual ship mass that can transit the wormhole.

A royal blue aurora indicates wormholes that only allow frigate-mass ships. This is the most important one to recognise, particularly when approaching the K162 side.

A wormhole with a teal aurora won't allow battleships through, and is the indication of a wormhole connecting to or from class 1 w-space.

A turquoise aurora highlights a wormhole that allows every ship below capital hulls.

A yellow aurora indicates wormholes that freighters can transit.

Note that the auroras indicate the individual ship mass limits for the wormhole and don't change with the total accumulated mass passed through the wormhole.

Now let's look at how the originating system affects the colour of the wormhole. I don't think this is a particularly necessary step, because of the cosmic alignment of wormholes. But as your ship will rarely approach a wormhole from exactly the right direction, I believe there is still use in seeing the nebulae slightly askew, as well as having the current system's colours bouncing off the edges.

I have collected a range of images from many types of wormholes to illustrate the differences. The matrix format should make both the originating and destination system colours clear. The rows show the originating system and the appropriate colours are reflected around the edge of the wormhole. The columns show the destination system and the appropriate colours are reflected in the centre of the wormhole. There are currently gaps in the matrix, although I aim to update the table as I encounter the missing types. As with the above images, a larger version of the image lurks behind each wormhole.

[Direct link to the table below.]

C1 C2 C3 C4 C5 C6

And for those who prefer a black background:

[Not forgetting the corresponding direct link to the table.]

C1 C2 C3 C4 C5 C6


Hopefully with this information you will be able to tell quickly and easily the class of w-space you are about to enter. Being able to do so at a glance removes the need to jump in to the system to find out, particularly if you are looking at the K162 side of the wormhole.

  1. 29 Responses to “Wormhole colours”

  2. Wait a second... "as a parting gesture"?

    By Von Keigai on Sep 30, 2014

  3. You are amazing... after some really negative changes the gods damned Discovery Scanner which totally ignored La Via Anoikis... and after the recent downturn, or at least leveling off of the PCU, which includes a noticeable reduction in W-space residents and activity...

    You are still the most dedicated wormholer I know... Fantastic guide and graphics. Kudos.

    By TurAmarth on Sep 30, 2014

  4. Wait... PARTING GESTURE!?!?!?

    By TurAmarth on Sep 30, 2014

  5. " Parting gesture " Nooooo say it isnt so tigers ears has been a daily read for me for years now if you stop posting your adventures then what shall we read lol. But if you are ending this blog which i (really hope your not)then thx for all your stories and effort you are by far my favourite blogger that i have found.

    By smokey on Sep 30, 2014

  6. That was quick.

    By Mick Straih on Sep 30, 2014

  7. I sincerely hope you aren't throwing in the Fedo, Penelope.

    By Mortlake on Sep 30, 2014

  8. After 6 years of pretty much daily blogging, reaching a tidy 2,001 posts about EVE Online—2,002 now—seemed like a good place to, well, at least take a break.

    My circumstances may be changing to the point where I can't commit to writing on the same schedule, and I thought a clean break at a milestone would be better than fizzling out. It seems that my final post wasn't quite as unambiguously final as I expected.

    I may get bored and start writing again, you never know, but I am taking a break for now.

    By pjharvey on Oct 1, 2014

  9. Sorry to see you go. Hope you find what you are looking for on the other side.

    By Gwydion Voleur on Oct 1, 2014

  10. You must do what you feel is right, of course.

    Are you taking a break from the game too?

    By Mortlake on Oct 1, 2014

  11. Thank you so much for everything, Penny. You are a role model and an inspiration.

    You talk about quitting/vacationing writing, but how about the game itself? Should you hung that up too I'll be sad. And should you do that and come back, give me a shout.

    Hugs, and continue being excellent.

    By Akely on Oct 2, 2014

  12. Thanks, guys.

    I'll still be logging in and scanning my way through w-space, just a bit less frequently than before for the time being because of other commitments.

    By pjharvey on Oct 3, 2014

  13. Thanks for all the posts Penny. I'll miss having them there so regularly.
    Hopefully we'll cross paths again in W Space. If not I'll see you in the WHEN channel.

    By BayneNothos on Oct 4, 2014

  14. If we cross paths in w-space, I'm dead. You fit all my ships for me!

    By pjharvey on Oct 4, 2014

  15. A wonderful parting gift. Thank you for wonderfully engaging posts and valuable insights. Your blog was a frequent stop for a (relative) newcomer to Eve and even more so to WHs living. Thank you!

    By Jeedmo Dorn on Oct 5, 2014

  16. Be happy!
    Thank you for all these inspiring posts.
    You are one of the few events that make EvE unique.
    A break from the game is always good stuff!
    I've been away two times before, for 4-6 months intervals.
    Have a blast at real life, when you come back (if space is still around) I wish you the best adventures.

    By Generaloberst Kluntz on Oct 7, 2014

  17. Thanks for all the great stories and adventures over the years! You're the best Penny!

    By Jack Dancer on Oct 7, 2014

  18. Nicely done on the 2,002nd post. I feel dumb for not making the connection in your 2,001st post. I blame being tired..

    Best of luck with your new commitments, and thanks for your efforts with this blog. I've enjoyed reading it immensely. I hope you still keep enjoying EVE, and I'll send a quiet salute your way every time I go day tripping in WH space, then later as I leave mumble under my breath about how do you make it seem so easy...

    By EveHermit on Oct 8, 2014

  19. Well, I waited but it seems you've definitely gone. No Tiger Ears 31 then?

    Thanks for the stories and teaching me to scan!

    I will now refer to all Wormholes as "Penny Lane" and play the appropriate Beatles song whenever I go through them (which is admittedly not that often).

    By Space Noob on Oct 8, 2014

  20. Sometimes the writing can be a bit of a chore. Much better to do it when the mood strikes and leave any self imposed targets aside.

    Or at least thats what I keep telling myself :P

    There has been a ton of information gathering and work put into these guides. I wanted to mention that particularly and for being gracious enough to share.

    Thank you. Take care.

    By Helena Khan on Oct 8, 2014

  21. Thank you for all of the stories (I've been reading them for a long time ;)) and w-space knowledge you sprinkle about or write full articles (such as this one) on. As a fellow w-spacer, I appreciate it, especially when I cannot log in as often as I'd like, I could live vicariously through your stories.

    Looking forward to sporadic stories continuing from you and good luck with your new time sink(s).

    By Lolmer on Oct 9, 2014

  22. o' Tiger!

    Thanks for all the good stories & info in the past!

    By Fearchar on Oct 9, 2014

  23. Thanks, everyone. I'm glad my posts have entertained you all.

    By pjharvey on Oct 9, 2014

  24. Regardless of what happens, coming back or not, this website needs to be kept alive for all eternity. I've gotten so much knowledge here over the years.

    Not really specifically anything, because there is tons of information. (I could name many things) The hours and hours of research that you've done is amazing and the way you write it makes me experience it.

    If you ever need another host due to whatever, please let me know. My unpublished email address is in that database somewhere.

    By Rage Rifter on Oct 22, 2014

  25. Thanks, Mr Rifter. This site should still be good for two years or so, at least.

    By pjharvey on Oct 23, 2014

  26. Your blog kept me in WH-Space and was a constant inspiration. Thank you for all the phantastic stories.
    When it gets a burden it is a good time for a break.
    I hope you get bored at some point and start writing again ;)

    By Tommy SecondSpace on Oct 24, 2014

  27. Thanks for all the great posts, Penny. Hopefully see you out there in space. o7

    By NotBob on Nov 1, 2014

  28. that's a shame you are done blogging! I was always hoping to find your wormhole and prepare a gank or vice versa and end up in your story. I wish you didn't stop writing, but instead published posts once in awhile when you felt like it.

    By Zosius on Nov 12, 2014

  29. Now if you want to be famous you'll have to write about it yourself. :)

    By Mick Straih on Nov 13, 2014

  30. Thanks for all good stories and info.
    Really enjoyed reading your reports.
    Looking forward to the occaisional infrequent post.

    Fly safe and take care out there

    By Shinya Shazih on Dec 11, 2014

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