PvP Gating governs whom you can attack. The gating system is completely based on the (absolute) difference between your level and the target's level. If the difference is not within a certain range, you cannot directly attack it (and vice versa), unless the attacked target has stolen cargo (in which case they can be attacked regardless of PvP Gating).
PvP Gating also governs escort mechanics. Read the page for more info.
- Most PvP targets (both fleets and outposts) can only be attacked by others within +/- 5 of their level. This also applies to the outposts in Alliance War.
- PvP targets containing a dreadnought can be attacked by others within +/- 15 of their level.
- It's always symmetrical: any fleet you can attack can also attack you, and vice-versa. Revenge against the fleet that attacked you is always possible!
- Originally, level bands were +/- 5, up to a certain level. At or above that level (called the free-for-all level), anyone else at or above the free-for-all level can attack you.
- The free-for-all level was originally 35, but that has been changed to 45, and later, 65.
- Many players "turtled" by having fleets and/or bases just 1 or 2 levels below the free-for-all level.
- The late October 2017 downtime removed the free-for-all threshold and caused level bands to be variable. See the gallery (above) for a full breakdown.
- The late June 2020 downtime made level bands a fixed +/- 5 once again (+/- 15 for dreadnought fleets).