Evaluating Ships' Attributes/Fitting

Hey all,

I’m working on shoring up my EVE fundamentals, and I want to make sure I learn how to evaluate ships stats/fittings against each other.

To start, can I get some feedback on how I’m evaluating some Minmatar frigates? (I’m playing Minmatar, so I’m just focusing on their frigates at the moment, for this example.)

Rifter is a tank, right? I’m more familiar with traditional MMO archetypes, so tank is at least how I’d describe it’s role. It has more hitpoints in all categories than any other Minmatar frigate (Breacher has more shields but less hitpoints total–more on Breacher later).

Slasher is DPS, then? (Again with the only sort-of applicable, traditional MMO analogy.) It’s all about speed–slowing your opponent, accelerating yourself, and making sure that your tracking gives you the advantage (you have higher chance to hit, your opponent has less).

Question 1–
How can I discern when to use one role or the other? Are there certain enemy factions (Angels, Guristas, etc.), or certain ship classes (other frigates, cruisers, etc.), or in PvP certain kinds of situations that would require one or the other? Or is it more a matter of playstyle preference?

I guess, I mean that it’s super easy to say I need a combat frigate as opposed to a mining frigate or even an exploration frigate; it’s harder for me to know how when I need a frigate with heavy hitpoints as opposed to a frigate with high speed and quick tracking.

Question 2–
How do the slots complement those ships’ roles? Am I right in thinking that the Rifter’s 4 low slots are intended for armor plating and armor repairers? With the Slasher, what would be the expected use for the additional high and medium slots? I can imagine using the medium slots for afterburners/micro warpdrives. Genuinely not sure about the high slot.

Question 3–
With the Slasher, it only has turret slots, which makes sense with the close-quarters nature of its speed/tracking focus; the Rifter, however has the option to use launchers. How would missiles instead of turrets affect the rest of the fit for that ship? And if I wanted a Minmatar frigate with missiles, why would I choose the Rifter instead of the Breacher? The Breacher has bonuses to missiles and can be fit with three launchers. Are there situations better suited to Rifter+missiles as opposed to just going with the Breacher?

Tangential question 4–
Why does the Breacher, with its missile focus, also emphasize shields (ship bonuses to shields, high capacitor which I think is for shield boosting, high shield hitpoints, etc.)? Do shields specifically complement missile tactics?

Wow youre reading a lot into it. But youre paying attention so thats a leg up on a lot of people. One thing you have missed over all on minmatar is they use it all but lazers. Poor over run race, recently freed slaves etc., they are takin pretty much everything they can get a hold of. Rifter, it can be paint scraping brawler or kitey sniper. Fit to the bonuses. Generally most people fit buffer unless there is a bonus to rep/boost. Most importantly and what nullifies all said before, fit to your style. You like scraping paint, rifter with autocannons. You like kiting and fighting from afar, fit for that. Find what you like and find the ship/fit that falls in your catagory.

“tank” is not a role in eve. The word is used to describe how durable a ship is, either through EHP, or self-rep ability.

Forget all roles from MMOs you played before, they don’t really translate to eve.

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Okay so… I’m going go point by point and see if I can break things down for you.

In general:
Tech 1 ships are more “generalist” ships in the sense that they have a “direction” for how the ship can be used, but don’t truly specialize in any one particular thing. They can be fitted a myriad of ways and, while there are no “right” ways to fit a ship, there are some “wrong” ways to fit them.
Tech 2 ships are more “specialized” in the sense that they have an attribute (or two) and/or “gimmick” that makes them stand out from others. Tech 2 ships are often tougher or faster than the Tech 1 ships they are derived from, depending on the specialty.
Tech 3 ships are a weird “jack-of-all-trades-but-often-just-as-good-as-Tech-2-ships.” They can be just as, or more expensive than Tech 2 ships and have some of the “specialty” bonuses that Tech 2 ships have (albeit slightly weaker).

Navy Ships: More specialized than Tech 1, not as specialized as Tech 2. Price is in the middle too.
Pirate Ships: Just as specialized (or more so) than Tech 2/3 ships and sometimes just as hard to kill. They all have “gimmicks” of some kind that commands a much higher price and threat assessment on the battlefield.

Regarding ship classes:

  • Frigates: Light ships that can fill a myriad of roles except for “tanking” in the traditional sense. They have low HP relative to other ship classes, but high speed and range dictation. The motto of a experienced frigate pilot is literally, “move fast or die.”
  • Destroyers: Think (much) slower frigate with sub-cruiser punching power.
  • Cruisers: The “bread and butter” ships of the game. Like Frigates, they can perform a bunch of different roles with the added bonus of being tough enough to actually take a few hits. However, they FAR slower than Frigates (in most cases) and require more skills the get the most out of.
  • Battlecruisers: Comes in two flavors; “tank like a battleship, hit like a cruiser” or “hit like a battleship, tank like a cruiser.”
  • Battleships: The largest sub-capital in the game. Their large base HP, number of fitting slots, and CPU/Powergrid allow for a lot of freedom when fitting… opening up possibilities that are not accessible with smaller ships. However these ships tend to require high-skills, experience, and often support from other players to reach their full potential. Solo ship this is not.

Regarding ship roles (see: traditional MMO classes):

  • While the ship classes and types give you a base to start with (in terms of HP, CPU/PG, etc) a ships role is defined by how it is fit.
    Example: A Rifter can be fitted with guns, a Microwardrive, and weapon enhancement modules… making it a DPS heavy ship for its class.
    Or… it can be fitted with Shield/Armor modules to make it quite beefy and hard to kill.

  • Some ships are better at certain things than others.
    Continuing with the Rifter as an example; while it can tank and/or deal damage the Breecher can also make for a decent tank. It has a bonus toward Shield Boosting (see: cycling the shields to regenerate them). This makes the Breecher a better “Tank” in the sense that it can soak up more damage.
    A Rifter can also be fitted for speed. However, a Slasher has higher base speed compared to the Rifter… meaning that the same “speed” loadout used on a Rifter will be more optimal on a Slasher… provided that the modules used actually fit on the Slasher.
    Which brings me to the next point…

  • Keep in mind that all ships only have so many fitting slots, CPU, and Powergrid. And the modules you want to fit are all competing for those ship resources.
    Example: Shield modules use Medium Power Slots. “Utility” and Electronic warfare modules like Microwarpdrives and Warp Scramblers (respectively) also use Medium Power Slots.

  • A good rule of thumb is to strike a “balance” (or lack of thereof) with the following “attributes”:
    – Tank
    – Gank
    – Speed
    – Utility/E-War
    Generally… you can only fit a ship to accommodate 2.5 of those.

  • No two ships are ever fitted exactly the same. Nor are they always used to their full potential.
    So if you see someone performing the same role you are, but better… the first question you must ask is, “how is that guy fitted?”


To answer your questions more directly:

See my post above.

Roles are based more on how a ship is fitted than the ship class or type.
Though, the latter two things are large factors in what kinds of roles are available to a ship (see: you don’t want to “Tank” like a “Paladin warrior” with a Frigate).

In PVP… ships tend to be a bit more specialized as to survive one must maximize the strongest aspects of a ship and use them against foes.

Ship slots literally define the roles of ships.

You can fit them in a variety of configurations but they can be summed up thusly:


  • Weapons
  • Some forms of Electronic Warfare (Energy Vampires/Neutralizes, cloaking devices)
  • Utility (salvagers, tractor beams, probe launchers)

Medium Slots:

  • Propulsion modules (Afterburners / Microwardrives / Microjumpdrives)
  • Utility (Capacitor Boosters/Batteries/Rechargers)
  • Shields (Shield Boosters, Shield Extenders, Shield Amplifiers)
  • Electronic Warfare (ECM, Target Painters, Sensor Dampeners, Warp Disruptors/Scramblers, Stasis Webifiers)

Low Slots:

  • Armor (Armor plates, Adaptive Nano Plating, Damage Control)
  • Weapon Enhancements (Tracking Computer, Magnetic Field Stabilizers, Heat Sinks, Gyro Stabilizers)
  • Utility (Cap power Relays, Power Diagnostics)
  • Shield (Shield Power Relays)


  • All of the above

So much here falls under “it depends.”

Guns come in two flavors:

  • Short range (in this case, Autocannons)
  • Long range (Artillery)

You can certainly fit either, but you will have to tailor the rest of the ship so that it can use its weapon system to the best that it can.
If fitting Autocannons, you either want to be able to dish as much damage as possible or soak up as much as you can. Or some balance between the two.
If using Artillery, you want to fit for speed and range as long range weapons tend to be quite useless at close quarters.
(PROTIP: you want to be at the “edge” of optimal range)

Regarding the rest of it:
If I recall correctly… the Rifter can only fit one missile launcher. Moreover, the Rifter gets bonuses to Projectile weapons (see: Autocannons and Artillery)… which means that damage coming from missiles will be anemic relative to actual turret damage.
(PROTIP: read the info on all ships… specifically their “traits”)

It is there for “flavor.”
Amarr ships are biased towards armor tanking and quite a few of them use missiles.


Most ships are balanced for a specific role in PVP. Thus the Rifter is a brawler - short range high damage, Breacher is a kiter - long range, Slasher is optimized for tackle, Burst is logistics, Vigil is EWAR, Probe is scout/explorer.

More info https://wiki.eveuniversity.org/Category:Standard_Frigates

Also check out the rifter guide. It’s a bit dated but will teach you a lot about the how and why of fitting and flying ships in Eve.

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Thanks, everyone, for the replies!

@Nico_Boru, if I am overthinking it, then that’s also good to know.

@Nikea_Tiber, I kind of figured the traditional MMO analogies aren’t going to go far with EVE. Extremely different gameplay contexts.

@ShahFluffers, thanks very much for the thorough response! Good to have the ship classes and the high/medium/low slots laid out like that, and it sounds like (at a high-level) fitting is way more significant than the base attributes of the ship as far as defining how you use that ship?

@Do_Little, thanks for the links. The more I sit in Help channel and the more I browse the forums, the more I realize that EVE Uni has pages for pretty much everything and that I should probably start there every time I have a question :smile:.

Downside of that guide is it is WAY out of date. Like several years out of date. The Rifter hasnt had 4 highs in a while now.

But the Rifter has gone from being one of the most commonly used T1 frigates to a pretty meh, ship. You can still fit a Rifter to be good, but there are often better options, like the Incursus.

But a general rule of thumb for all frigates is as follows…
Armor tank = Slower smaller target, harder to lock.
Shield tank = Faster, bigger target, easier to lock.

I have seen good brawl shield tank fits, and good kite armor tank fits. Ultimately look at the ships, and ask people who use them regularly what fits work for them and why.

If you are interested in frigates, check this out: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1SV_sWWIinoheBaGZgL2nUVJGYwnsNJqJ/view?usp=sharing

It will tell you about all frigates, which is useful to situate the ones you care about amongst the other ones.

  1. Check the Traits and the slot layouts. Beyond that it comes with experience. For example I have a bunch of mission ships that are fit to run one mission. Guristas sit at long range and lob missiles, so I typically bring a ship that can return fire at range and tank kinetic and some thermal damage. Angels like to get in close, so something that can deal with that is good.

  2. typically slot layouts and bonuses will indicate what to fit. There are also some differences in what to fit depending on what you are going to do. With the rifter you are usually well off going for an armor tank, but you could also go for a shield tank then use the extra lowslots for mobility + damage mods but when it comes to fitting ships there are many tradeoffs. Most of the successful rifter pvpers use an armor fit, as they want the mid slots for afterburner, scram, web. But vs some targets you might be better off with an Microwarp drive, medium shield extender, scram.

    Take pretty much any ship in game, you are going to fit it differently for different kinds of pve, just compare a lv4 fit to an incursion fit, it’s pretty different, and then you are also going to fit differently for solo pvp compared to fleet pvp.

    The Machariel is probably my favorite ship in game, there are many different ways to fit it, These are some example fits I found pretty quickly on zkillboard. I’m not going to say if a specific fit is good or bad but just to show how much they can vary.

    Mission Mach, fits for damage, application, and a bit of tank https://zkillboard.com/kill/69416601/
    Anom Mach Similar to mission but fit for more sustained action and less mobility https://zkillboard.com/kill/69413831/
    Incursion Mach very shiny, max volley and buffer https://zkillboard.com/kill/69380936/
    Small gang/solo Mach, has a bit of everything https://zkillboard.com/kill/69414339/
    Fleet Mach max buffer (some fleets prefer shield buffer) with tracking and sensor boosters https://zkillboard.com/kill/69347715/

  3. For a long time minmatar was the utility race, I’m guessing the missile slots on the rifter are just a legacy thing. I guess you could use missiles on it, but your damage is going to be so low it’s probably not worth it. Fitting for the bonuses is almost always the better choice. Like you say you’re better off with the breacher.

  4. Going along with the minmatar being the utility race, some of their ships are armor some are shield. Breecher just happens to be shield, although some pvpers will shield and armor tank the ship. Basically after shield fitting it you have an extra lowslot and a little extra PG/CPU so an ancillary armor rep fits. And since you are using a medium ancillary shield booster you have the extra cap to run the rep.

    Like someone else said there’s a handful of amarr ships with missiles and armor. And The typhoon is a minmatar battleship with missiles and armor. For a long time Caldari was the only real line of missile ships and they all shield tanked, but there’s not really anything that makes any specific weapon system go with a specific tank, it was just how the ships were designed.


Eve in general translates badly into the tropes of other MMOs. Trying to map one to the other is only going to take you so far. But you are trying to think and learn so you are one step up on the “what’s the best auto-win…?” brigade.

I’ll start by saying this: “the phrase in general will be heavily used” there are so many exceptions and clever ideas for specific scenarios. Also, the examples I give are Amarrian - but that’s because of my familiarity with them.
So, in general:
Minmatar and Caldari ships are shield fitted, using the low slots to increase their weapon performance. Their bonuses and basic stats favour that concept. Minmatar ships are fast so can also limit damage that way (“speed tanking”)
Amarr and Gallente ships armour tank, using mid-slot to help with capacitor issues - and if you fly Amarrian energy turret ships with active tanks, capacitor will be fondly remembered by its absence after a short but merry life.
In general because there are exceptions that may be effective with a different configuration.

In general each race has a frigate focused for a particular role: an exploration ship, an interceptor, a logistics ship (remote repair/healer), an attack/combat ship, an electronic warfare support ship and an oddity (such as the Tormentor).
The Amarrian Magnate is an exploration ship, with scanning and hacking bonuses. But the “Battle Magnate” is a thing - and a nasty surprise when you are ambushed.
There are basic (T1) versions and advanced, more specialised versions (T2). The Amarrian T2 explorer is the Anathema. The “Battle Anathema” is not a thing.
In general.

Destroyers are more than just “big frigates” - they are designed to kill Frigates, so have punch, range and limited defences. There are normally two disparate hulls, and often fitted in unusual ways, such as the Amarrian Shield Coercer.

Cruisers. In general one each of: Logistics, brawling combat, ranged combat and e-war. T1 being again the generalists compared to the specialist T2 ships.

Navy Hulls: In general more capable than the basic hulls. So, the Navy Slicer is an Amarrian fast kiting ship that rewards a good pilot. The Navy version isn’t always just a straight upgrade of the T1 version. An Amarrian Navy Augoror is good fighting ship, while the basic Augoror is a logisics ship.

The various Pirate factions have their own hulls - generally more capable (and expensive) than the Empire hulls. They are a mix of shield, speed and armour tanking and there’s too much difference for me to generalise here.

Anyway, if there is a rule it’s “look at the bonuses and play to the hull’s strengths” - if it is bonused for Energy Weapons then don’t fit Hybrids. If it’s bonused for Falloff, then it’s probably an autocannon brawler at heart. But it’s not hard and fast (hence the Projectile Punisher - not needing cap for the guns is better than a cap-reduction on energy turrets!).

Half the joy of Eve is in exploring not only the universe, but the options for fittings and the effectiveness of new ideas. I’ve seen situations where a good fit changes the view of a ship from “it’s a bit blergh” to everyone flying it. Every now and then CCP tweak the hulls to balance them a little better - to avoid everyone flying the same thing. At the end of it all, it’s what do you enjoy flying.
As I said, Amarrian ships are tough on capacitor, but there’s nothing like the sun glinting on the gold armour as the lasers tear through an opponent. You don’t get that with the rust and peashooter Minmatar hulls.

So, you have started to think about ships and how to fit them for various roles. Good, but don’t forget to get out there and fly them - you’ll learn a lot more from that too.

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As the others have mentioned, you’re trying to arrange the ships (and the modules) in a nice logical tank / DPS / healing / control grid, and they were not designed that way. MMO’s that have classes (tanks, healers, etc.) have this grid, but EVE is a “train anything you want” game that’s also 10+ years old, and CCP pretty much had to adapt (balance) the ships to respond to how WE used them.

A pretty good example of this situation is the Electronic Warfare sub-game. There are several kinds of electronic warfare (crowd control if you want to think of it that way), but they are not equal, and there’s no effort from CCP to make them equal OR spread them equally among the races. Other MMO’s have “distributed fairly”, EVE simply has a system that is what it is: lots of nuance, a few hidden benefits, you just have to take it as it is and use it, or not.

Another example is gun (damage) types vs. resistances. It’s not an even spread between EM, Kinetic, Thermal, Explosive, there’s no 1:1 match of gun:defense, it’s just a system that is, accept it, or not.

Anyway, as a result, the most efficient way to become an EVE expert is to start with the basic guidelines that Shah and the others posted above, and then read up and also practice with various ships. Frigates will teach you about mobility and electronic warfare, and the skills train fast enough that you CAN train and play with all the nuances of ewar to gain experience. Cruisers are about focus - not enough slots to “do everything” with the ship, but enough slots to be able to play and find a balance between DPS, defenses, jamming, etc. that is effective for you. Battleships can teach you about maximizing survivability and what lack of mobility means.

Basically, don’t try to draw parallels between the major cities of Europe; you’re in London, so learn the layout of London so you can navigate the place and function.

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Here you go this might help :slight_smile: It’s not so much about different kinds of Frigate but it should help you gain a better general understanding of the options available.

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