Let's talk Mechanics:
For a bubble to work it must:
- Be Online
- Be on the same grid as the object that was warped to
- Be directly in front of or behind the warped to object and on the same "line of warp"
The line of warp extends past the warped to object, thus allowing for drag bubbles that pull you past the gate.
Imagine a line starting from origin, going to destination, then continuing on past the destination. That's the "line of warp."
So how do you avoid bubbles?
Usually the best way is to come in at an angle. Since you're coming from a different direction (planet, belt, etc) you will not get caught unless the gate is completely covered by the bubble(s) so that every direction is covered.
How can you tell if the gate is covered in bubbles or if there is a HIC or Interdictor there bubbling?
Add Mobile Warp Disruptors and Warp Disruption Probes to your overview then use your directional scanner to scan gates before warping to them. Before warping to any gate you should look at it first with your direction scanner if possible (some gates have no warpable objects within directional scan range).
If you see a Warp Disruption Probe or a HIC on scan, it's a safe bet there is a bubble on the gate at zero and you will come out of warp upto 20km from the gate (usually closer to 10km).
Here's the rough process I use for traveling through null sec:
- Jump to system
- Check Local Chat for pilots
- If system is empty Then warp directly to next gate
- If system has other pilots Then Check to see if there is a warpable object near the gate (closer than 14au).
- If there is no warpable object within scan range Then Warp to another warpable object that will significantly change your incoming angle to the next gate and warp to gate from there.
- If there is a warpable object within scan range of the gate Then warp to it and run directional scan at 30 degrees on gate
- If there is a Warp Disruption Probe or HIC Then Wait or go around unless you are in a fast or cloaky ship and think you can burn 10-20km and jump before they kill you.
- If there isn't a Warp Disruption Probe or HIC on scan Then Warp down to gate and jump out
My process would be different for systems where I have "tactical" safe spots that are 200-300km from gate which allow me to avoid bubbles, visually inspect the gate, and then warp down safely.