Different Missile Launchers

I think I’ve understood turrets so far. You have an optimal range where you can hit stationary targets, a falloff range (someone said it’s impossible to hit something at optimal + 3X falloff, but I think I scored I hit while taking potshots, either that guy was wrong or I was lagging and the hit happened when I was actually closer), tracking, and damage value.

If I want to be able to hit a stationary target 30% of the time, I need to be roughly optimal ± 1.3 falloff, but to do 30% damage, I actually need to be within optimal ± 1.1 falloff. Also this makes railguns rather stupid since falloff isn’t very big so I have to make sure something doesn’t get too far, but I also can’t let it ge too close. To do 30% damage I’d have to keep them at optimal ± 1.1 falloff, but that band is so narrow for some turrets, it’d be diffult to keep yourself from accidentally getting too close even if your base speed is higher than your target.

Tracking makes it easier to hit small fast targets. Damage multiplier is straight forward.

Now comes missiles. So higher damage value is obviously good. Ideally you’d want missile velocity to be at least triple the target ship and if it is equal the target ship, the missile isn’t even going to catch up. A higher flight time is good and flight time times velocity is the effective range. Explosion velocity helps do damage against faster ships. Ok, all makes sense to me.

So I open up the simulator of the Talwar and experiment with different missile launchers. None of them have a damage multiple or velocity multiplier. The only thing that seems to change them is the missiles you put into them! The only thing I notice is that the tech II ones just seem dumb since they just make fitting really hard. The Talwar’s bonuses is in microwarpdrive and if it uses that instead of an afterburner, power grid gets tricky.

I might be wrong, but I believe that missiles are modified by your skills when it comes to damage increase and distance. The launcher you choose is more about fitting and how regularly you can fire missiles.

Edit: Oh, an other equipment can make them perform better too, like with turrets. Thought I better add that.

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okay… breathes in deeply

T2 Missile Launchers

T2 missile launchers have an increased rate of fire and get a damage bonus from the associated missile specialization skill (even if you put T1 or faction ammo in them). And, on top of that, they can use T2 missiles.

Now, T2 ammo typically has some strengths AND drawbacks when compared to T1 ammo (i.e. range penalty or bonus, tracking penalty or bonus, more or less damage). So, T2 ammo is not the best ammo in all situations. However, the bonuses are powerful enough that they will be the best ammo in many situations. Looking at an ammo’s bonuses/penalties will give you some indication of how best to use it, but I like to make damage graphs in Pyfa, and see how different ammo’s stack up against the content I’m going to be throwing the ship at.

Range to fight at

Speaking of which, I’m not sure what’s going on with you wanting to fight at optimal +1.3 falloff or whatever. So, lets just start from the beginning.

You can design and fly fits in two ways.

  • Option 1: Design a fit, figure out at what range it does the most damage, and then try to fight at that range.
  • Option 2: If you know that you want to (or have to) fight at a particular range, design a fit/ammo combination that can project the most damage at that range, and then try to fight at that range.

Here’s a damage graph in Pyfa for a deimos against a frig. He’d want to fight at about 4k against frigs (which is a little outside of his optimal). However, since he can apply damage quite well to cruisers and above, he’ll want to close in to within optimal against them.

And just in case you didn’t know, rats (but not a lot of players) will burn straight for you if you they are outside of their orbit range. So, if you’re kiting, you want to stay far enough away that they keep burning straight towards you (in order to keep their transversal down), but within (or as close as possible) to your optimal so that you hit harder and more often. This task is made easier with the keep at range command.

Missile Range

The client will sometimes lie to you about your missile ranges. For example, if your missiles say that they fly for 3.6 seconds, they won’t actually fly for 3.6s. Instead, they’ll fly for 3s 40% of the time, and 4s 60% of the time. In spite of this, the client will still report your missile range as 3.6s * missile velocity.

Of course, if you actually fight at the edge of this reported range, 40% of your missiles will fizzle out after 3 seconds, and you’ll lose 40% of your DPS. Thus, you’ll actually want to fight within 3’s worth of flight time in order to get 100% of your dps. And do note that there are skills, mods, rigs, and implants which can boost your flight time. Often times, it’s not a bad idea to get your missile flight time up to the nearest whole second. However, it’s usually of dubious benefit to go over (i.e. try to go from 3.6 to 4s, and don’t worry about getting up to 4.6s).

Hopefully that all made sense.

Okay, that’s it for now.
No P2W

The very basics of Missiles are at: Missiles - EVE University Wiki
The details of “what damage a missile actually does” is at Missile mechanics - EVE University Wiki

@Shipwreck_Jones has covered the bit about “range” very well - the practical upshot of which is “fight well within the range of the missile” for example, 75% of the reported range is probably a reasonable rule of thumb.

Missiles are very different to Turrets and as you may appreciate, among the different turret types there are fundamental differences as well (avoid fighting beyond optimal for energy turrets - but for projectile turrets that’s much less of a concern)

The Talwar is an interesting ship - it does have a modest per level bonus to missile damage, and that’s really it. the velocity increase is nice because it pairs well with the MWD signature drop off. It’s a really good sniping destroyer - I can sit at 50km with the MWD running (1,500m/s) and throw light missiles at something all day - the dps can be a bit anaemic though. Niche, but interesting in the way many Minmatar ships are.
Provided the sticky tape doesn’t fall off.

Oh I did not notice the T2 fired every 12 seconds instead of every 13. Which seems very underwhelming considering the boosts T2 turrets get compared to their counterparts, but I didn’t know you get bonuses from missile specialization. This is probably because the fitting room is using my skills to evaluate.

I’d rather do full damage, but since there is damage falloff if I fight farther or closer than the optimum and it will be hard to stay at an exact range against a moving target, I was thinking I wanted to make sure I don’t suffer too much from falloff. So while I’d rather stay at optimal, being at optimal +1.1 falloff and doing 30% damage or optimal -1.1 falloff and doing 30% damage are the limits of what I want to do. I’m ignroing velocity here even though that is important.

That would be the average range in a sense.

I read that, then went into the simulator, and was like “wait… these launchers don’t modify damage or velocity?”

And if the enemy player is weak to Thermal, I’m guessing the Talwar just cries, even against something it outranges.

While on the subject, what is the difference in using “auto-targeting” missiles vs regular missiles?

What do they use (or not use) differently in terms of fits and skills?

OK there’s a mis-understanding here.
If both ships are stationary, then fighting inside optimum, for example at half-optimum, doesn’t reduce the chance to hit (we are talking “chance to hit” here). If you are a in fall-off, then yes the chance to hit does go down - to 50% at the first falloff, 6% at two falloff distances, 0.2% at three…
If you are using Energy Turrets (and you are an Amarrian pilot so that’s what you will have first been exposed to) then you will have very short falloffs, so will avoid going there at all (generalisation). But Projectile Weapons have very short optimals and long falloffs. Fighting in the early part of falloff range is very common because of reality.

In the reality of a fight you don’t just sit still pot-shotting each other - so the impact of traversal and tracking comes into it - and this does reduce the chance to hit as the angular velocity increases. For any given traversal speed angular velocity increase when the target is closer. Target Signature also comes into the mix here. So, yes, if the weapon struggles to track the target then there will be occasions where coming appreciably within Optimal range will cause problems. This does lead to edge cases where the “best damage in that case” is actually in fall-off.

Summary: it’s complicated.
Really useful reference: Turret mechanics - EVE University Wiki 'cos it has the maths in it!
Really useful tool: PYFA - EVE University Wiki - this is an “out of game” fitting simulator where you can use your skills and saved fittings, change the simulated skills, fly one ship against another to see the damage profiles and so forth.


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Auto-targeting missiles do a lot less damage than regular missiles, but will fire on targets even if you don’t have them locked.

Target selection
they go after the closest target, but will often switch targets if you have multiple things orbiting you at the same range.

Friend or Foe Recognition
Not sure exactly how they work against other players (they might need to be red boxing you), but they won’t fire on rats until you have first have taken agro, or attacked the rats with drones or something. Then as long as you don’t jump to another system, your autotarget missiles will fire on rats when activated. Naturally, this means that they work well for incursion multiboxers, as they can post up in one system for hours at a time.


  • Technically you can use them as a counter to ECCM, but…
  • They mostly seem to be used multiboxers. They only do a fraction of the damage of normal missiles, but having to lock, select, and fire upon targets adds up quick once you start trying to do it for 10+ accounts at a time (even when using hotkeys). Thus, even though AT missiles do less damage per missile, this is made up for by not losing a bunch of DPS to your ships waiting for you to give them new commands. Just hit F1, and they’ll run until they run out of ammo.
  • Wormholers used to use them to run some sites outside of NPC lockrange. However, this also meant that they were so far away that they were outside of what player ships could lock as well. So, they used AT missiles to get around that. Unfortunately (or fortunately), Exookiz told CCP what Wormholers were doing, so CCP changed it so that this no longer worked. That being said, there might still be content where they will allow you fight outside of the effective range of certain rats when you otherwise couldn’t. Dunno.

They mostly use the same skills as regular missiles. However, there is an additional skill that gives 5% damage per level only to autotarget missiles. And do note that since AT missiles do less damage, having high skills that modify missile damage, application, and velocity* is a must in order to make AT missiles viable.

*This is hard to explain, but missiles have travel time, and AT missiles aren’t going to try to determine if there are already enough missiles in route to kill a target. They’ll just keep firing on it until it dies. And if it dies while a volley is in route, the volley just disappears instead of looking for a new target.

Fits are mostly the same. Missile velocity is certainly more important if you’re multiboxing though. And, you definitely want to beef up your damage as much as you can through mods, implants, and drugs (and having good skills).

Should AT Missiles Be Done Away With?
Well, I don’t know what all people use them for, but I do know that there are other counters to ECM (i.e. training sensor compensation skills and fitting a scripted sebo), and it appears that their biggest use case is to allow multiboxers to make more money for less effort than if they used a “hard work comp” (i.e. a fleet comp that requires manually locking and firing on targets). It would be one thing if they had a “legitimate” use, but right now they mostly seem to be a gift to multiboxing.
No P2W

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I think unlike most MMOs, the devs are perfectly fine with multboxxing so long as it’s a human behind the mouse and not a bot and the subscriptions is being paid. So unless I’m wrong, it’s totally legit. Although if I was rich enough to hire 7 mercs in game, I’d rather have them be 7 people sitting in the same room than 1 person scrambling between 7 windows of EVE’s client.


Great, complete response. Thanks. :+1:

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