Importance of ship type in relation to success?

Hi all

New player here (a few days in). I’m gradually getting my head around the vastness of this game.

I haven’t quite pinned down what I want to do in EVE yet (there are apparently no specific or set classes/careers in a conventional MMORPG sense). I like the idea of exploration, mission running, piracy and eventually PvP.

I also like the idea of travelling around in smaller ships, like frigates or maybe destroyers, rather than working my way up to own the larger ships (I like the idea of being a sort of Han Solo type smuggler/rouge type character, zipping around in my little ship, if that’s even a thing in EVE?)

My question is; In order to progress, make money, earn skills, etc, is it important to upgrade your ships when possible, or can you be just as successful in EVE traversing the stars in your little frigate?


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Like most things in Eve - it depends …

  • Exploration can be done in a frigate - Astero or one of the empire faction covert ops frigates. You can move up to the Stratios or strategic cruisers for combat signatures.

  • Most combat PVE can be done using a cruiser or smaller. Pirate faction cruisers like the Gila or strategic cruisers. Battleships may be faster for level 4 missions or high end anomalies because the medium weapons take longer to chew through defenses but cruisers work. Level 3 missions can be run using an assault frigate or tactical destroyer but the bigger guns on a cruiser will usually clear them faster.

  • If you’re hauling stuff, you’ll want a Blockade Runner - fast, cloaky and decent capacity for small, high value cargo. The same skills will let you fly a deep space transport - slower but much larger cargo hold. If you need freight services for larger items, you can contract them.

  • In PVP there will always be a place for interceptors, stealth bombers, tactical and command destroyers - there may even be a role for assault frigates with the recent rebalance. Cruiser size hulls also have numerous roles in both small gang and fleet warfare.

The reason small ships can run higher level sites is speed and signature tanking - as long as they keep moving at high speed, the big guns can’t track them.

Strategic cruisers are the “Swiss army knife” of Eve - you can configure them for practically any role but, they are expensive and need a lot of skill to fit and fly properly.

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T3 Destroyers might be what you are looking for, they are fast enough to warp off gate in low/null because of their nice align times (Hecate (gallente) and jackdaw (caldari) the other 2 align a lot slower, although the confessor (amarr) is better for wormhole’s but technically all race’s can do wormholes (c1-c2 sometimes c3 if your really skilled + wolf rayet and c13 if your really lucky to find them.)

Their DPS is nice so you can clear content fast and they have enough high’s for a probe launcher and some a cloak as well.

They all can do from 2/10 to 4/10 ded’s, its possible to do some 5/10 6/10 and 7/10 but really hard, and needs implants and expensive fits. Web towers are the bane of small ship’s so try avoid those site’s, unless there is only 1 and you can project your damage to 50km’s.

Other options include Astero it’s dps is a bit low so it cant do 4/10’s well but they can do them, but since its a frigate it will be able to get into 1/10 as well. Havn’t tried wormholes in an astero but c1 maybe 2 should be possible although its going to be annoying when your drones get shot, will need a lot of micro-management to keep them alive.

Astero is great for data/relic sites thou, as warping cloaked is really handy for them.

If you want to try out cruisers you have to use T3C’s or the stratios as they are the only one’s that can warp cloaked, you could try covert recon ships but they are not so great solo, maybe the pilgrim only, the neuts on the pilgrim will help you from being tackled by players as well as lowering active tank on ded npc boss’s helping you break their rep as they are usually really strong.

Good luck mate o/ exploration in small ships is definitely a great way to play eve it is my main play-style and loving it :]

P.S. All these ships are great for pvp as well so specializing in any of them will leave you in a good place :]

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The ships are the classes.

Your character can train whatever skills you want, to unlock whatever ships you want (and their weapons and associated defensive modules). Each ship is intended for a role (DPS, Tank, Electronic Warfare jamming (Crowd Control), remote repair Logistics (healing), scouting, mining, transporting materials, etc.).

Your character can train multiple ships, but at any point in time you can only fly one, so you’re basically respeccing your “class” every time you undock, by the choice of ship you choose to undock with. Thus, compared to other MMO’s, when you build a character here, it’s the equivalent of an account full of warriors, mages, rogues, etc. in other games. Because you get access to all ships / all classes, if you want to. It just takes equally as long to do them all at once.

As far as frigates, destroyers, cruisers, battlecruisers, battleships, and capital ships, the basic roles (tank, DPS, ewar, logi, scout, etc.) are represented with each tonnage class, but, of course, heavier ships offer heavier tank and DPS values, at the expense of mobility. Frigates, for example, actually get damage reduction from various big weapons by virtue of just being fast and small, but you’ll need a wolf-pack fleet to attack a battleship because a single frigate will survive the return fire from the battleship (by being small and fast) but won’t be able to scratch battleship-grade shields or armor.

So the parallels with other MMO’s only apply up to a point.

In general:

Tech 1 ships are designed to be versatile. There are quite a few frigates, cruisers, and even battleships that you just dock, re-fit with different modules, and voila the ship now has a different role. No need to change the ship itself.

Faction ships (Navy Issue) are extremely expensive, improved versions of Tech 1 ships. Ship balance is done very tightly, and so the fact that a Navy Issue ship may have 1 extra mid slot compared to the regular ship, makes a big big difference. You pay for the extra slot with hundreds of millions of ISK, so it may not be worth it until you simply have no other options (skills are maxed, you’re already using top grade shields, etc.).

Tech 2 ships are super-specialized. This is where the fleet commander (FC) decides “I want a tank, 3 DPS, 2 scouts, 2 logi, and 2 ewar”, and puts together a fleet with ships that are super-specialized to those tasks. Tech 2 ships perform better at their specific task, but otherwise gain huge vulnerabilities to all other tasks, that require a fleet for support and protection (healer without a tank = toast, basically).

Tech 3 ships are gimmick ships; they have some sort of ability of power that comes with the ship itself, rather than the modules that you put in it, and usually the gimmick requires a fleet to “prepare” the battle scene for full effect.

Capital ships are NOT intended to be flown solo, even though people try. They move by “jumping” to cyno beacons that must be activated at the intended destination by someone else (or by an alt), and in general they are intended for heavy firepower to destroy the millions of hit points that citadels and other player structures have. Their weapon tracking is so bad that pretty much they can’t hit anything else; they even have trouble hitting battleships. The ships are generally too expensive to be funded solo, and are typically used like in the Navy, where the captain doesn’t own the ship; the alliance does.


And, to continue the parallels to other MMO’s, when you buy a ship, unfitted (no modules in it), you just get a device, basically, with minimal shields and armor, that has the ability to undock from the station and fly around, warp around, and use gates to move around.

The modules are what fill up your “ability bar” with “abilities”, actions that you can do, buttons you can press. Weapons give you the ability to do damage in some way, various jamming and remote-repair modules affect the target in some way, your armor or shields have self-repairers and damage resistance that must be activated, and so on.

So the complexity comes not just from picking the right ship for the role that you want, but also from fitting it with the correct set of “abilities” (modules) to be effective. I usually link this fitting guide for newbies to give you an idea and get you started on the basic principles of fitting ships.

For learning what the modules do, don’t be afraid to use the market as an encyclopedia. Search for anything, and instead of buying just right-click and Show Info, to see stats, intended use, skills required, etc.


success = having fun. Any ship in EvE can be fun for different people. Ships are tools for different jobs, there is no direct progression line in EvE.

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Don’t get stuck in a single ship mentality. Most players have dozens (or hundreds) of ships they fly, each for a different purpose.


Thanks to all for your replies :slight_smile:

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This was hugely helpful in orienting me to EVE. Thanks for drawing the parallels.

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