New player ship fitting guide
You have explored around the Eve universe, met with the various tutorials, and now are off to choose your path. Now it is time to get your first ship and begin making your place. However, choosing the wrong ship or improperly fitting it can result in tasks taking longer, inability to complete tasks, or worst case, the loss of your ship and isk invested into it.
This guide will help you understand the basic concepts of fitting from purchasing the ships to completing your fit. For more detailed information about ship fittings, read the ship fitting guide.
Choosing the Right Ship
A good ship fitting all starts with choosing the right ship for the job. Every ship in Eve online gives some sort of bonus to give it an advantage in a task. This bonus can be seen by reading the ship description in the market list or in the ship information page. The bonus is an excellent general starting point to being able to tell if it will be effective at the job you want it to do. For example, you would not want to use a ship which has bonuses to mining yield for combat, or a ship with bonuses in missile damage to mine.
In general for starting, the order that a person will look at getting ships is as follows:
Frigates and Cruisers
These are the most common ships that are found in Eve. They contain ships for doing every task from exploration to mining to combat. Frigates are the starting size class. Destroyers are pure combat ships that share module size with frigates. These are the smallest and fastest in eve.
Cruisers and Battlecruisers are the next size up from frigates. Like frigates, cruisers contain a diversity of ships for performing various roles. Battlecruisers are heavy combat oriented for the medium size class ships.
This is the top of the tech 1 combat ships that the average pod pilot will fly. Battleships are purely combat oriented and typically the main ship that the new combat pilots should focus their skills on training to fly.
File:Market.JPGIndustrial ships are the main movers in Eve. Their strength lies in the massive cargo holds they possess. These ships are used for moving goods, be it from station to station or picking up goods in space to take to storage. Industrials are invaluable to traders as it allows you to pick up large volumes of purchased goods to take to markets to sell. The lack of high power slots makes them ineffective for tasks such as combat or mining directly and are better as support in such tasks for picking up loot, or hauling ore from the mining ships to stations.
Barges are where the new industrial player can begin to dramatically increase their earning from mining. Mining barges and their tech 2 counterparts are the only ships capable of fitting Strip miners and ice harvesters. Barges also possess drone bays allowing a player to defend themselves from NPC's that begin to show up as you enter the lower security areas.
Tech 2 and Faction Ships
Tech 2 ships are highly specialized and powerful variants of the above tech 1 ships. Due to the amount of skill point investment required to fly them, it is recommended that training for and purchasing is done only after a person is certain of which direction they wish to proceed for a career. Tech 2 variations can be seen by clicking the variations tab on the ship info window.
Faction Ships are powerful ships that do not require intense skill points of tech 2 ships. There are two types of faction ships. One are the navy faction ships that come from the loyalty points stores for the four major empires. The flight requirements are equal to that of the tech 1 variant. The other faction ships are the pirate faction which requires training in two different empire ships of that ship size. For example Dramiel is a pirate faction frigate that requires skill levels in both Gallente and Minmatar faction.
Tech 3 Strategic Cruisers
Strategic cruisers are ships that are made up of 5 subsystems. By changing the subsystems, one changes the fitting and bonuses that the ship offers making them a powerful and diverse cruiser hulled ship. However they also require significant skill and isk investment.
Non Fitting Ships and Capital Class
Shuttles, Freighters and Jump Freighters are the ship classes that do not have any fitting slots. Shuttles are cheap and quick ships good for flying to different parts of eve. Freighters are massive ships used solely for transporting large volumes of goods between stations.
Capital ships consist of carriers, dreadnoughts and titans. These massive combat ships can only be moved around in low security systems and take substantial time, skill and isk investment to fly. Once at this stage, a pilot will have a very good understanding of ships.
Capital industrial ships are mining support ships. The Orca is a sub capital class that is quite versatile and used for everything from mining support to supply hauling for combat fleets. The Rorqual is a capital class ship used for large scale mining and industry. Being a capital class, it is restricted to low security as well.
Three Main Parts of Fitting
While ship fitting can seem quite complex, it is much easier if a person breaks it down into the basic concepts of offence, defence and support. When fitting your ship, it is best to start with which one of these is most important to you then work on the other two. If primary goal is offence, you will want to fit the weapons you want, followed by what is next of importance. If defence is your goal, then you will start with getting that to where you want it followed by the others.
Offence is any sort of ship equipment designed to damage the enemy in some way. These could be, drones, turrets, missiles and energy disruptors to name a few. These modules are normally fitted in high slots. The number of missile launchers or turrets that a ship can fit can be determined by the ship's info window, or the fitting window. In the fitting window, available turret and launcher hard points can be seen as white boxes above the fitting window circle. Only fitting launchers or turrets use these ups. Other high slot modules do not affect the available turrets or launcher points. Be sure to try to maximize fitting the modules your ship gets bonuses to.
There are three different types of turrets available. Projectile, hybrid and energy turrets. Within each turret type, there is an additional two categories with one being close range turrets, the other long range. The close range have excellent tracking and damage, but require a ship to be close to the target. Long range guns tend to have more flexibility with range, but tracking or damage can become an issue. Within each of these categories, you will different variants. For example, small hybrid weapons, if you go to railguns, you will see there is a 75mm, 125mm and a 150 mm. The smaller version takes less fitting, uses less capacitor and tracks better, but will consume more ammo, have less range and do less damage.
Missiles come in two varieties for a size class. A high damage close range, and a lesser damage, but more precise long range. The launcher determines what type of missile you can use. Unlike guns, which damage is affected by optimal range and falloff, the missile damage is always the same regardless of range, so long as it can hit. Missile range is determined by the charge's velocity and flight time which can be seen in the fitting window. Disadvantage is that unlike guns, which damage is affected by tracking, larger missiles will always do less damage on a target that is smaller and faster.
Drones are the most common form of offence one will use as they progress to larger ships in Eve. Larger ship weapons tend to have trouble hitting smaller targets, so instead drones can be used to perform this task. Drones however are regulated by a ships available drone bay and bandwidth. On most ships, drones are used as a support role. There are ships that have bonuses to drones and possess very large drone bays making drone able to be a primary source of damage as well.
The most common mistake players make is to try and have a diverse selection of weapons on their ship. Either different range types, mixes of ammunition types loaded at one time or even having mixed flights of drones. The reason this is a bad thing is that it prevents a player from being able to do 100% damage most of the time. For example, if you fit long and short range weapons, the short range cannot hit when at long range, and the long range could have trouble tracking when in short range. The same is for drones as they have tracking as well.
There are ways of having diversity without sacrifice of damage. First is carry an assortment of ammunition. You can change ammo while in space to any that is in your cargo hold by using the fitting window, or simply right clicking the weapon icon in the hud while the weapon is not active then selecting the ammunition type. Use drones to fill the weaknesses of your weapons as well. If you are using large weapons with long range or slow tracking, use small and fast drones to hit that which your guns cannot. If you are using closer range or smaller guns, use the bigger drones for the additional damage.
Further ways to assist in offence will be talked about in support section.
A ship's defence, or "tank" in Eve is affected by multiple things and there are multiple types. Besides the three kinds of hit points ships possess, there are also factors such as resistance, speed, range and ship size to consider as well. The trick to maximizing defence is to look at what the ship has for fitting and bonuses to start with that. Ships with many mid power slots tend to favour shields while those with low power slots tend to go with armour. There are also three main ways in which to apply defences. They are passive, active and buffer.
Passive defence focuses on usage of modules which do not require cap. This means that even in a situation of full capacitor loss, the defence can stay strong. Passive is most commonly used when expecting a high amount of damage over a short period of time.
Active tanking focuses large supplies of capacitor to rapidly repair any hit point damage and use powerful hardener modules to create strong resistances. An active setup works best when expecting a long and sustained amount of incoming damage.
Buffer tanks are a combination of the two, using active resistance and hp modules in conjunction with less capacitor intense repair modules for a sustainable, and consistent repair. However, buffers cannot absorb as much long duration damage as an active, or resist a heavy, sudden onslaught like an passive. Buffer tanks tend to be used when a ship's defence is set up secondary to offence or support roles.
There are two different ways to fit resistance to a ship as well; omni and specific resistances. When the damage that will be dealt by an enemy is known, it is possible to fit resistance modules specific to that damage type. Omni resistance is when a ship is fitted to have a diverse and even resistance to the different damage types.
Shields are a ships first line of defence. In the case of Caldari ships, and many Minmatar, it is the only effective one available. With the lower power slots being less used in a shield defence, it allows plenty of room for passive weapon upgrades and other support modules.
There are two unique properties when it comes to a shield defence. The first is that shields will regenerate themselves over time. Like capacitor, optimal recharge rate is around 30%. The second is when a shield booster module is activated, the regeneration is immediate.
There are two main disadvantages of shields as well. First is that they take up much of a ship's available CPU from fitting. Second is that because shields are a mid power slot item primarily, it leaves less room to fit combat support modules. Active: Main modules for an active defence shield setup are the shield boosters and hardeners. This will promote very strong resistance. On ships like destroyers and battlecruisers, it is possible to fit the much stronger booster from the next size up. For example, a medium shield booster on a Comorant.
Passive: There are a few modules used with passive shield tanking. Shield resistance amplifiers, shield extenders, shield rechargers, shield flux coils and shield power relays. The key to remember with passive shield defence is that when you increase your hit points in shield, the rate it takes to recharge to 100% remains the same. Therefore your hit points per second increases. It is quite possible to make passive defences that rivals or even exceeds recharge of an active counterpart, but not without penalty. Extenders increase a ship's signature size, while relays reduce capacitor regeneration.
Buffer: This type of shield defence tends to use hardeners only to boost extremely weak points in a shield's resistance and uses resistance amplifiers otherwise. Booster size also tends to favour that of the same ship size. Small on destroyers, medium on battlecruisers, and large booster on battleships. On a buffer it is more common to run the booster full time to support shield recharge and hit points instead of devoting all of the capacitor to recharge, or having the penalties of a pure defensive. A main module used in buffer defence is the power diagnostic unit. This offers a mild mix of capacitor, power grid and shield hit point boost without penalties.
Armour is the primary defence for Amarr ships and most Gallente. With armour taking up the low power slots, it leaves the mid power slots available for active support and electronic warfare modules.
Armour tanking advantage lies with it's versatility of passive modules. Strong resistances can be formed without the need for active hardeners preventing resistance loss from cap neutralization. This ability to create high resistance at low capacitor expenditure allows armour tankers to focus the capacitor to support and offensive modules.
The main disadvantage for an armour tanker is mass penalties for extremely strong active/passive defences. Using low slots makes it harder to combine defence with strong, passive booster modules. Armour repair and armour plate modules can use up lots of available power grid.
Active: This type of armour defence focuses on using Hardeners along with energized plating to increase resistances. Unlike shields, where a ship can be fitted with a larger booster, active armour defence commonly will rely on two armour repairers. Most active tanking ships will favour a very high repair rate over maximizing resistances.
Passive: Armour plates to boost hit points and high resists are the key to an active defence. A proper passive tank will not be effected even if capacitor is drained away to nothing. High available hit points means that even if a high amount of damage is received in a very short time, it will still take a period of time to fully destroy the armour. Hit points are usually boosted with armour plating, but if available power grid is low, regenerative resistance plating can be used to supplement as well.
Buffer: Armoured ships set up for a buffer repair will tend to combine a single repair module with moderate resistance and hitpoints. It allows a ship to absorb damage long enough to get range or destroy other targets to reduce incoming damage before running out of hitpoints. While it cannot survive as much damage over a short time period like the active or passive defences, the lower usage of capacitor means more fitting can be devoted to other acts, and unlike a passive, a buffer can repair damage it has received.
The hull is your last line of survival. Some ships, like the Orca have a very high structure hit point total. Typically this is for non combatant ships and used solely to provide short term protection. Damage control is a mainstay of any ship which could see damage heading into your structure. The damage control module gives structural resists essentially doubling your overall structure hit points or more. It also offers some shield and armour resistances so can be of benefit to a purely support/defensive roll ship. Bulkhead modules are how a person can increase overall structure hit points.
Because of the low resists, the slow rate of active repair, and difficulty in increasing hit points, using a hull defence on any combat ship is very inefficient and the fitting slots are better off being used for improving shields and armour in terms of defence.
Speed and Range
The ability to repair and absorb damage is the most viable way to provide defence for a ship, but some ships do not have the fittings available to fit a strong armour or shield defence. For these ships, it is better to avoid receiving damage in the first place.
Speed tanking, as it is commonly called is popular on frigate and cruiser sized hulls. It is also most effective when combined with short range guns. The high speed prevents large guns from being able to accurately track at the close ranges, and missiles with low explosion velocity simply will not do much damage when they hit. Care must be taken to prevent being targeted by a stasis webifier however. Range tanks are popular for large and long range sniper ships. Large guns and range boosting equipment leaves less room for fitting powerful tanks. A ship using long range will be able to hit the enemy before the enemy can hit back. This can remove enough damage before it closes for a buffer tank to be effective or can be combined with speed to maintain the range. However, low tracking leaves it vulnerable to more high speed ships and close combat with extremely strong shield or armour defences.
Common MistakesDoing so means that there are no slots available to support fittings. This results in more difficulty destroying enemy ships and two weak tanks instead of one strong one. Without being able to take out the enemy ships quickly, one will receive high levels of damage for a longer period of time. Without the support modules for defence, the weaker shields and armour will fail right after each other whereas a strong shield or armour would have been able to consistently take the damage.
Try to avoid focusing solely on resistance or hit points. Resistance modules get stacking penalties. Using a fitting slot to increase a resistance 3% more is less effective than if that same slot was used for an additional 15% hit points or more repair. Increasing hit points by a small percentage or a slight increase to repair rate is not viable if using one resistance module can reduce damage taken by 25%.
Support and Utility
Support and utility modules are anything that boosts your own abilities or that of an ally. This is either by improving your ability to take damage, or ability to deal damage. Support exists in forms of both that which buffs you and your allies, and utility is that which disrupts your enemies. There are passive and active modules as well.
Most personal offensive support modules can be found in the weapon upgrade category of turrets and bays. Most will boost your weapon offensive capabilities by increasing damage and rate of fire, or can help your weapons hit more accurately by increasing optimal range and tracking. When fitting a module to boost your rate of fire and damage, be sure to check what weapon type it gives bonuses to.
Other forms of offensive utility modules come as electronic warfare or neutralizing modules. Most electronic warfare are designed to reduce an attribute such as target range or tracking speed. Against most NPCs, many of the electronic warfare modules will not be effective, but are extremely valuable in PVP combat.
Neutralizing modules are more direct affecting. There are modules found in the engineering category that can drain or neutralize a target's capacitor and others that can disrupt a target's speed.
Defence support modules are used to make your ship more resistance to attacks or able to absorb more damage. This most commonly exists by using spare fitting slots to increase capacitor allowing active modules to be run longer or more resistant to energy disruption. In the case of a passive fit, your spare slots can be used to increase a passive defence even further by more hit points, recharge or resistance. Afterburners and speed modules can be used to help close on targets. Often remote modules can be used defensively to support others in a fleet. Remote modules can offer an ally ship capacitor, hit point repairs or boosting of attributes much like personal modules can. Remote tracking computers and remote sensor booster for examples.
Some modules that are used offensively, can be more defensive as well. Sensor boosters and tracking boosting modules can be fit to counter known electronic warfare that will be used.
Rigs use separate hard point and fitting attribute. Non tech 2 ships can have 3 rigs while tech 2 can only have two. Rigs use up calibration to fit and most have a penalty associated with them that can be reduced with the rigging skill associated to that rig.
It is best to choose a rig to maximize that which you already use. On a heavy active setup, something to increase the amount of hit points you receive or capacitor to allow longer running times. Rigs can also be used to increase weapon attributes. When it comes to rigs, there is one for most any task. Once comfortable with a ship, just find the rig that will increase that which it already has. With such a wide assortment of rigs available, there is almost certain to be one for what you need.