I am flying a Buzzard. Should I get an Astero or Stratios?

Hey guys,

So I’ve played Eve on and off (mostly off) for a while now. I’ve always been too chicken to take real risks. I’ve been mostly doing misisons, and station trading with an alt (just a second character, not even an alt account).

I now want to get into higher risk activities. I’m interested in exploration. I currently have a Buzzard, which I am more or less skilled with. I’m still working to get to Hacking V so that I can fit t2 analysers and get the juicy bonuses. For now, my fit is quite simple: expanded probe launcher, data and relic analyser 1, a covert ops cloacking device (obviously) and a MWD.

Its pretty good, but I have a bit of a hard time solving the minigames in WH space. I’ve never been in WH space before btw, I grew the pair to try it only last week… I guess hacking V with T2 analysers will help tremendously, and an astero/stratios wouldn’t change much thing about that, but the other complain I have about the Buzzard is I can’t fight anything. Literally ANYTHING. I have no weapons, and no defenses other than, I think, a Damage Control… the MWD and the cloak are my biggest defense…

So I am now thinking about going for an astero or a stratios. I do realize a stratios is a lot more expensive, both for the ship and it’s fitting (as it has a lot more slots). but as I understand, an Astero will put up a fight with frigs, and maybe even destroyers, but will have a hard time against anything bigger. The Stratios could put up quite a fight and can also use covert ops cloaking devices, but is slower than the Astero. I could use turrets and bigger drones though.

So what are you guys opinion on this? What would you do if you were me?

I currently have a total of ~205M on my main and ~1.5B on my trader. I could replace a bunch of Asteros… but a stratios would eat up a good portion of my cash once fully fitted. at 200M for the ship, plus probably almost as much for the fit… if not more… I can’t replace that many of 'em, and the more I spend, the less efficient my trader can be (although it has plenty cash right now for the amount of trading I do… I don’t do that much).



You could try a Vexor first.
It’s somewhat similar with drones and maybe neuts / cap boosters to get a “feeling” for how a drone cruiser behaves in a pvp situation.
And one fully fit Vexor may cost about 30 million. Trying that might help you decide if you want to get up into cruisers.

The only two advantages I see in flying a Stratios over an Astero is the option to fly harder combat sites and attack bigger targets in a pvp situation.
Personally I wouldn’t want to miss the agility a frigate offers when doing exploration.

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Thanks for your answer! I’m not looking for PvP myself, but sometimes it’s PvP that is looking for you lol. I will consider the Vexor suggestion. I’ve also posted this on reddit, and the consensus seems to be that an astero would be better than a strat for me, especially since I have only 1.5B isks… The strat would be too expensive to replace over and over again. Plus I guess since the sites won’t give me more in a strat than in an Astero, why risk a more expensive ship to get the same results I would with a cheap ship!

So my goal here is mainly to be able to fight pirates in guarded sites. I hate it when I scan down a relic or data site, warp there… and I end up in front of pirate ships which I can’t fight at all with the buzzard. The idea was that these would be easier to take on with a strat than an Astero, but as I understand, the Astero should already be pretty good with taking them on. It could even do some of the combat sites?


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Depending on your drone set and fitting a Astero might be able to do up to DED 3/10 combat sites. You might not be albe to break the tank of the final NPC though.
But everything below that should be quite possible.

By pirates you mean hostile players? I’m not aware of any hacking sites that contain (fightable) NPCs other than drone data sites which spawn rogue drones when you fail a hack.

If you don’t look for pvp, then go for the Astero. The agility and speed to avoid beeing decloaked in close encounters makes it the better choice.

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mhhhh dunno what to say, but it did happen to me multiple times that I got to a site and there were already a bunch of NPCs. Maybe another player did fail a hack before, the NPCs showed up and then I came in… I guess this would be absolutely possible.

Still, everyime that happens and I’m in a Buzzard… My only option is to leave. With the astero, I could not only take them on, but literally let my drones take care of them while I hack. I am training in hacking and drones exclusively at the moment. My skill queu is over a month, but is also sorted by priority. Within a few days, I should be good to go, especially with the Astero.

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Some exploration sites spawn NPCs after a hidden timer reaches the end. This is usually enough time to get one, maybe two of the cans hacked before they appear. These are Ghost Sites, and when the NPCs appear they blow up all the cans and then attack HARD. If you’re in WH space, you’ll know these by being data/relic sites that do not have a pirate faction in the name of the site. If you find them, hack a can, loot, run away. Maybe hack a second, but don’t stick around to fight them.

I love my Astero, though. I can usually make enough ISK from a few good sites to pay for it if I’m blown up. It’s fast, it’s agile… it’s also a target for other players, but that’s half the fun, right?

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On a cloaked ship, how can players find you? I know they can scan you down, but if they warp to you, how far away will they be? How can they find you?

Similarily, once somebody is locked on to you, can you still cloak? That would at least give you time to align and warp out


A cloaked ship can’t be scanned, locked or anything else unless it gets decloaked. Which happens if something comes within 2km of the ship. So if someone guesses your location on grid and burns there he can decloak you.

You can’t recloak if you are too close to an object or if something has you locked. Most ships have a timespan of 5s until they can even start to lock you, so an agile ship can warp out.

But if someone is hunting explorers they will bring ships that don’t have this problem. By flying an Astero you can discourage one of these (bombers) to aggress you

Thanks! Very informative! I was under the impression you could cloak while being locked on, but I had a hunch telling me you couldn’t. I prefered asking here rather than finding out the hard way lol

Buffer shield astero with warp core stabilizers and ECM drones is your best bet. Do not try fighting with an exploration fit, focus on breaking engagement instead. I wouldn’t use the stratios for exploration, no matter how you fit it, no matter how you fly it, it will die and that’s not worth the investment.

Yeah that’s what I’m realizing. Actually, many people suggest I stay in the buzzard. Still, more people suggest the Astero. It’s probably what I’m going to go with, although I may change my training queue a bit tonight to get Hacking V ASAP. That way I can use the Buzzard with T2 analyzers in the meantime… Although I could probably be effective in an astero right now…

Also with its large drone bay, the astero could carry salvage drones and double up as my salvage ship after a mission. The cargo bay is not the biggest, but it’s fast, can cloak (which IMO makes it a lot safer than my Cormorant equipped with tractor beams and salvagers and no weaponry nor real defenses). In the drone bay, there is space for 3x the bandwith. This means I could have 3 sets of drones… maybe a set of ECMs… a set of combat drones and a set of salvage drones and switch between them depending on the situation.

Ahhh, this would be for a long discussion, but let me to put here some short thoughts on that.

Each of the ships is very good. But each of them is suited for a different role. Question is what you want. Ships are usually designed to perform certain roles better than other roles. Each of the 3 is better in something than the 2 remaining, but it is also worse in some areas than the other 2 remaining. Life offer us choices.

Buzzard will be strong for fast scanning and speed-hacking. But survivability is not the best one.

Astero is life. Slightly less efficient in scanning but it will compensate it more than enough with insane survivability if you fly it gut. Overall I would prefer Astero.

Stratios is way different chapter and opens different options. Sleeper caches, DED sites, and many more… It is a superb ship. I dared to fly it only after more than one year in EVE because I did not know how to fly it before. Well, don’t blame me, I am logistics pilot primarily.

I would suggest to try Astero and see how you like it.


Thanks man! Thats pretty much my take on this too after quite some reading and discussions here and on reddit. The Astero looks like such a cool little ship! I don’t care much about the extra scanning time, I can do this while cloaked, so this doesn’t make me nervous too too much. I would prefer it’s survivability over the scan speed!

This still has relevant information in it:


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Stratios is the way to go imo. I dont do much of the data or relics but I have used the t2 frig, astero, and strat for them and love the strat. Its just ideal for solo roaming and putting up with what ever is out there. Fit it mainly for pvp, and leave a slot for the pve module and you can get you some easy kills.

If you wanted to go full out pve fit, there was a nice cap stable heavy neuting platform with dual cap batteries. was wingspan IIRC… you can youtube it for the fit.

Shield, or armor, pve or pvp, warps cloaked, scan probe bonus, and all that exploration you want. pack a mobile depot with you and some faction drones. its worth the isk but you should have a second one already fit ready to go before you undock and use it. cause it will happen. eventually.

Honestly I prefer the covert ops over the astero. The way I look at it is that you are out there to hack sites and make isk as fast as you can. A level 4 covert ops has better bonuses than the astero and a buzzard has more mids making it better at pure exploration. I think the best way of doing things is to avoid all fights and run sites faster.

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Thanks for your input!

However, I am now a proud owner of an Astero! I’m not done fitting it (I know what to put on it though). I just transfered it from my trader to my main this morning, the order completed during the night :stuck_out_tongue: (why pay the big price when I have a toon who’s single purpose is to buy cheap and sell high!)

So I went to my trading hub this morning to check it out! I’ll have to put in orders for the fit when I get back from work! Should be a pretty sweet build, very hard to catch thanks to an inertia stabilizer, and a warp stab. I’ll also have ECM drones to help. For rigs I might be using the hyperthingy thingy which gives you bonus warp speed. Should help get around quicker and should also help with getting out of sketchy situations (good luck running after me if I can align super fast and then warp at insane speeds aswell… while cloaked…)

The build is simple:

core probe launcher
covert ops cloaking device

relic analyzer
data analyzer
warp scrambler

damage control
inertia stabilizer

everything T2 of course.

For the rigs, like I said, 3 of the Hyperthingy thingy, but only T1s as they are super expensive, and I don’t need these ones that badly!

So if it were me…and I have run an astero for the content you seek. I would focus on a sub 2s align. Hacking sites in a stratios is a good way to get ganked, and most gankers are ready for a fight were you are not…so its pointless to try to fight. Keep at 3000m from the can so you can cloak as soon as you see anyone pop up. Always keep a random poco or the likes selected while hacking so warping out is near instant, and with sub 2s align you will only risk being caught by a very fast stealth bomber or someone who got a lucky bump on you.

Adversely you can use the astero for not only ded 1-3/10…and I’ve even run a few 4/10 but it takes forever…not worth it to me. Also can run some of the unrated sites too. For this I run a cap stable single a-type rep the rest can be fit to taste mostly. That’s all the tank you need…and anything around 100-120dps should be fine.

Lastly you can also try your hand ganking folks running data and relic sites yourself. I usually go for dual a-type rep in this scenario with cap boosters to keep em running…never know when the target has friends…or you’re not the only ganker…

Hope that helped.

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I’d go with the Astero, esp. if you’re thinking of fighting other explorers. However, interceptors make a great alternative. You can even use a Venture. The advantage of a Venture is that you can mine any valuable gas sites that you find.

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