Until March 2019, the Vexor Navy Issue was the workhorse of money-making in null-security space. It puts out good drone damage, it signature-tanks very well, it’s a
cheap upgrade from the Vexor, and it’s an excellent ship for those wanting to make money while only slightly paying attention to their screen. With average skills, the VNI is cap stable and moderately slippery for hunters to catch.
- Increase drone control range with a Drone Link Augmentor (two is unnecessary because of the VNI’s max targeting range, and the CPU can be better used elsewhere).
- NPC agression is a highly speculative topic, but fitting an Auto Targeting System may decrease the chance that your drones catch aggro.
- A Cloaking Device. Note: this will drastically hurt your lock speed!! Only consider a cloak if you are ratting in very dangerous space with no standing fleet to defend you!
- Nullsec VNI’s are typically shield-tanked, in order to increase drone-damage with the low slots. Fit one or two Large Shield Extenders. VNI’s can also be armor tanked (similar to many ratting Vexors) or hull tanked (for bait), but this guide will focus on the 100MN Shield VNI.
- However, the shield tank is only necessary until you get up to speed (or get caught by a hunter). Fit a 100MN Afterburner. This oversized propulsion module will keep you at a high enough speed (and a low enough signature radius) to dodge most incoming damage. It also decreases the chances of getting caught; a hunter cannot shut off your afterburner with a scram, and you will quickly burn out of their range. Note: Turn off your AB if you need to warp out! Leaving it on slows your time-to-warp!
- Fit a Drone Navigation Computer. This allows your drones to move faster and make you more money as the sites clear out quicker.
- Consider the following modules:
- An Adaptive Invulnerability Field (or a damage-specific hardener if you know what damage profile the rats are shooting) if you only have one LSE or if you are consistently at risk of dying. Get your AB skills up so you can sig-tank better!
- A Cap Recharger can replace the navigation computer if you cannot stay cap stable even with power relays in the lows. Get your capacitor skills up!
- You may find that a Capacitor Battery is superior to a Recharger; it also provides energy neutralizer resistance.
- An Omnidirectional Tracking Link can help your drones hit harder. However this may be unnecessary if you have tracking enhancers in the low slots.
- Drone Damage Amplifiers are vital to a ratting VNI. Increasing your damage per second directly increases your ISK per twenty-minute-payout. Consider fitting at least three, if not four DDAs. The third will greatly increase your income; four will make you a bit more money at the cost of tank or capacitor.
- One or two Omnidirectional Tracking Enhancers are considerably superior to tracking links on shield VNI’s because they don’t use cap and valuable mid slots. Fit these to make your drones hit hard and clear the site fast.
- Consider the following modules:
- A Damage Control will greatly increase your survivability. Never leave home without your briefcase!
- A Capacitor Power Relay gives a better recharge bonus than the mid slot cap recharger. Pick this before considering an enduring AB or fitting a cap recharger.
- You may need a Power Diagnostic System or two to fit the LSEs. Get your fitting skills up!
- If you didn’t fit an adaptive invuln or other hardener in the mids, fit some mix of Screen Reinforcers to match the incoming damage. Note: once your navigation skills are high enough, incoming damage may become negligible enough that resist rigs are unnecessary.
- Capacitor Control Circuits are useful if you have bad cap skills or need to clear up lows.
- Rigs are highly variable. You may need different Engineering rigs to better fit your VNI, or Drone rigs if you skipped tracking enhancers and damage modifiers, or Defense Field Extenders in lieu of LSEs. For example, if your speed-tanking is strong enough, you may find a Polycarbon Engine Housing and capacitor rigs useful to clear up other slots.
- Use Heavy Drones as your primary damage-dealers. The tracking enhancers and navigation computer, as well as the VNI’s natural bonuses, allows heavy drones to blap frigates and chew through battleships.
- Buy the correct drones for what rats you are shooting. Finding NPC damage types is easy with a quick search.
- The Empire drones (Imperial, Caldari, Federation, and Republic) are worth their cost while you train for Tech II heavies.
- Carry a set of Hornet EC-300s. These little ECM drones might save your life if a hunter has you pinned down. Just remember to abandon your heavies instead of recalling them before launching the EC-300s. The VNI is worth more than your drones.
- Extra heavy drones or light drones can fill the rest of your drone bay. Light drones can be useful if you’re pinned down by a frigate, you can’t jam them with the EC-300s, and your heavies are too far away.
- Nanite Repair Paste is always useful to fix overheated modules.
- A Mobile Tractor Unit can increase your income. It pulls all wrecks to itself and loots them. Bookmark your MTU (!!! so you don’t lose it !!!), and come back in a ship fit with Salvagers once the site is clear to make extra money.
- Bring along a Mobile Depot to store loot safely and refit your ship on the fly.
This example is for EM/Thermal rats, like the Sansha or Blood Raiders. Change the rigs and heavy drones depending on what you are shooting.
[Vexor Navy Issue, VNI Ratting EM/Thermal rats] Omnidirectional Tracking Enhancer II Capacitor Power Relay II Damage Control II Drone Damage Amplifier II Drone Damage Amplifier II Drone Damage Amplifier II Large Shield Extender II Large Shield Extender II 100MN Afterburner II Drone Navigation Computer II Drone Link Augmentor I Auto Targeting System I [empty high slot] [empty high slot] Medium Anti-EM Screen Reinforcer I Medium Anti-Thermal Screen Reinforcer I Medium Anti-EM Screen Reinforcer I Warrior II x5 Hornet EC-300 x5 Imperial Navy Praetor x6
The LSEs, Augmentor, and Afterburner can all be meta-d down without losing much utility. In a pinch, everything can be meta-d down; if you must pick a priority, put your skills into getting the Tech 2 DDAs.
How do you fly it? Warp in to the site (ask your corporation or the internet for help on which one to pick), find a structure or wreck near the center, orbit at 30-45km, and turn on your modules. Launch your heavies and start plowing through NPCs.
The VNI can be fit many different ways; this fit is merely a specific example.
Edit July 2018: Formatting fixes; tweaked recommendations via feedback
Edit April 2019: Added note about VNI nerf