How important are skills for pvp?

Okay so I understand there’s a lot of details when it comes to pvp but this is my main worry.

I love the idea of pvp in this game and I love the little of it that I have experienced. My main problem is that I’m scared to go out and get into fight because I feel that the vets with millions sp, being able to fly better ships and put on better modules and weapons will blow me up without a sweat.

My question is, how true are my assumptions? Other than knowing the mechanics and having experience how important are the skills alone?

Also I don’t wanna be stuck in FW trying to find people to fight, I had tried it could barely find anyone and it just felt quite dull…

there is only so much SP that can be put into character to fly any individual ship efficiently, ability to fly many ships - as you called it “vets with millions SP” does not impact that in any way. 3-5mil SP character that is specialized in frigates will be able to fly them just as good as 100mil character.

Learning how to select your targets/battles, knowledge of fits that any particular ship can have and whether you’ll be able to beat them or not comes with experience only. And that experience can only come from actually flying ships, losing them, analyzing the reasons behind the losses (“they had better ship” is not really a reason) and improving oneself.

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Thank you for the info.

I have been playing for about a month or so, the thing is I haven’t really specialized into anything as I haven’t decided what I enjoy flying yet. That’s why I’m confused on how I should approach this, the only kills I have gotten so far are new players like myself.

I have gotten most of my magic 14 skills to 4 and 2-3 of them are at level 5 but apart from that I still haven’t set any goals. Yet I’m still unsure if I will do anything useful in pvp or if I should focus on small group pvp.

Okay… so…

There is a bit of nuance when it come to “player skills” and “character skills.”

The former is entirely within your ability to control and is based heavily on knowledge, experience, and the capacity to micromanage a bit.
The latter is dependant on how long you have played the game (or how much money you have dumped into it) and what skills you train within a given period of time.

Severely lacking in either will result in you being stomped on by a veteran.

So right now… yeah, you will be kicked around quite a bit.
But I will argue that as long as you “play right” this won’t be much of an issue in the long run. :slight_smile:

So what do I mean when I say “play right?”

Simple: Take a step back and understand your limits… what you realistically can and cannot do.

  • You CAN strap yourself into a Tech 1 Frigate, load it up with Tech 1 modules, and take a stroll through low-sec.

  • You CAN go into a Faction Warfare complex or an asteroid belt and see if you can fight something around your size… or run if things get too hot.

  • You CAN take on certain ships regardless of how skilled the pilot is player and character-wise. This is because some ships and/or tactics have an inherent weakness to other ship classes and/or tactics. However, only player experience will tell you what these ships/tactics are.

  • You CAN talk with others and see if you can join a group. Not only is there safety in numbers, but they may also teach you some things (directly or indirectly) that you did not know before.

  • You CAN be a part of a group and make a difference by acting as “hero tackle” (see: applying a warp disruptor on a target to prevent immediate escape even though you will most certainly die) or as “support” (see: Electronic Warfare, Remote Reps, scout, etc).

  • You CANNOT compensate for your relative weakness either in character or player skills by using “high-end” equipment.
    (NOTE: Technically you can, but you won’t be using it to its full potential which makes the money spent kinda pointless).

  • You CANNOT use “high-end” equipment right away and instead have to make do with the equipment you have until you gain enough character skills.
    (NOTE: This is a blessing in disguise… if you have ever taken a motorcycle class they will talk about how the risk of crashing is highest when you start, decreases as you gain experience, and then briefly increases again before dropping further… same idea when it comes to ship and equipment mastery in EVE. You don’t want to use that sexy stuff until after you have gotten past that second “hump”).

  • You CANNOT fly big honkin ship against multi-year veterans and expect the results to be… satisfying. Understand that as ship size increases, the needs of character skill and teamwork with others become much, MUCH higher. With smaller ships, there is more “wiggle room” in terms of how effective you can be with lacking skills and experience.

TLDR: Keep flying different small ships. Experiment with the fits and test them out against people “out in the wild.”
(NOTE: Try to not use duels as a “benchmark” or “testing grounds.” Duels in general are kinda static and require different types of ship fits that don’t always work out in “the wild”).

You WILL die… but if you treat each death with the mantra “how could I have done better?” your player skill will slowly increase… meanwhile your character skill will be ticking away regardless.

Initiate conversations with those who kill you… be polite… pick their brains… make a joke.

They may even invite you to join them down the road if you show improvement.


Thanks so much for the reply Shah, this has cleared a few things for me. Also you shouldn’t have wasted your time on the TLDR, any detailed information is much appreciated in this case haha.

I think I should start being more active in pvp to the point where I get the confidence to engage vets as well. Because in most cases, I look at somebody’s profile I see that the pilot has been around for several years and I automatically think that he will most likely outplay me.

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Don’t be afraid. There are many characters that been around for years and never engaged in PvP, some returning players that haven’t played for years etc. Just dont let learning curve (ship loses) discourage you.

Dont be like this guy - character created in 2013, lost his 1st battleship in PvE a couple of days ago, blamed the game and left (ISD redacted out his account details that he posted).

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Welcome to EVE.

This is a link to a very useful forum thread on the old EVE forums.

Zappity spent a lot of time on this thread, and while some of the links are no longer functional, many are.

But, more importantly, Zappity writes about what she is experiencing, how she evaluates her performance, her frustrations, in essence, all the things you’re interested in learning about now.

And she gets responses, some good, some bad, some really useful.

It’s a long thread, so take your time reading it.

It will be worth it. :grinning:

I want to draw your attention to post #28, and the graph link. Take a look at that. It will give you some perspective.



FW the most important. Especially in the 1v1 or solo category. I’d recommend finding a corporation that has some sort of nightly or weekly roam and when you feel comfortable, try out scouting for the fleet. You get really good at so many things at once that you’ll take with you for whatever you decide later in game is most fun.

FW was intended to be low barrier for PvP but I’m not sure it really actually is. They are the toughest to compete with imo

Good judgement comes from experience. Experience comes from bad judgement. Or so I’ve been told. :slight_smile:


Experience comes from learning from your mistakes, bad judgement would be to blame someone/something else for them.

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You miss the point. Which is not to blame someone else. Bad judgement is how you get into situations where you gain experience.

getting into situations where you “gain experience” is thrilling and/or fun - how can it be bad judgement? :smiling_imp:

Experience just means aversion to risk kekek

I miss those Zappity tales… :sadparrot:

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Shah’s advice is all accurate AFAIK, but …

… after one month’s playing, your small T1 ship against a vet in a similar-looking ship will almost certainly lose almost every time because they can fit more/better stuff into the ship.

A “Rule of Thumb” I use for combat in games (not just EVE): if everything else is equal, a 5-10% edge in damage delivered + a 5-10% edge in damage received converts to 90-95% chance of winning.

Knowledge matters too of course, and you have less than a real PvP vets (not compared to “100% gankers” though /lol). But that’s in the “everything else in equal” category.

Later on small-ship combat can become more nearly equal.

My experience: Good modules are nice, but you only can win if you know how and especially WHEN to use them. A fight is a matter of seconds, and there is no time to think about tactics. If you do nothing, you just die. If you have wrong ammo, wrong assumptions, wrong overview, wrong distance, bad luck, you just die.
So experienced players have better chances even in inferior ships. And experienced players can have problems if they are not used to their setup, so better (and more complicated) modules do not mean they are absolutely deadly.
So it’s actually a matter of training. And it’s good advice not to train in the most expensive ships :wink:


Two of the earliest bits of advice I was given were this:

  • If you master using “crappy” ships/equipment and become reasonably effective and/or deadly… imagine what will happen when you “trade up” and use Faction and Pirate ships with similar traits?

  • “It’s just PIXELS!! You don’t actually die! Everything you have can be replaced! So strap yourself into a frigate you piece of amphibian **** and let me see your WAR FACE!!”

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