Not sure about Tech Levels

Hi, I’m playing just from a week or so, and I’m not sure to understand Tech levels.

For example, I have a Tristan Frigate, that’s Tech I level, but in the Mastery tab of the info I see I can go through with master level IV. So, this means I can use Tech Level II stuff on a Tech Level I frigate? IE: Mount hybrid turrets Tech Level II instead of the Tech Level I? Or I need a Tech Level II frigate to use Tech Level II stuff?

Sorry for the confusing question :smiley:

Mastery levels on ships are just a guide to skills that compliment that ship.

Reaching Mastery IV on a ship just means you have trained that many of the suggested skills. You might not be able to achieve this as an Alpha, then again you might, depending on what the skills are.

Tech level is something else really. There are Tech level I and Tech level II versions of guns and modules and ships and well … everything.

To be more specific, when you train Small Hybrid Turret to V on your Tristan you then unlock the ability to train Small Railgun Specialization which allows you to fit Tech II guns onto your ship.

The jump from Tech I to Tech II (at least as far as guns is concerned) is all about getting your skill level in your Tech I gun to V and then training at least I in the related specialization skill.

Hope that helps :slight_smile:

Thank you Sindara. So, to better simplify: if I do all the requested training I can mount Tech II or even III stuff on my ship, regardless of whether tech level the ship is, right?

Good information from Sindara, I think she missed the most important question though.

Yes, tech level II fittings and weapons can and often are used on a tech level 1 frigate like your Tristan.
In your search for a better fit do not ignore faction, dead space and officer level mods and weapons, since they are tech level 1 items they are not as skill level intensive to use, however they will be significantly more expensive.

Tech level 3 items can only be used on a tech level 3 ship.

Ok, as an Alpha I will never have access to Tech Level III ships, so I have to content myself with tech level I and II ships and stuff.

Another question: If I upgrade my Tristan to Tech II equipment, will I still be able to do level I missions, ora they will no longer be available to me?

Tech Level 1 is the base stuff all other things are modified from
Tech level 2 is advanced or specialised in role/purpose

All Tech levels have an underlying Meta Level (which has been streamlined recently.

Tech 1 items are generally relatively easy to access/fit with lower skill requirements
Tech 1 Meta Variants generally offer better performance without the need for more specialised skills
Tech 2 things generally have higher skill & fitting requirements

Faction, Officer, Deadspace & Pirate Faction Ships & Modules are all heavily modified Tech 1 items that usually perform better than their Tech 1 & 2 equivalents, to offset this they are typically very, very expensive.

Thank you :slight_smile:

You’re correct in your assumption of the Mastery, meaning the higher lvl you have the more “capable” you are at flying the ship but this only refers to your skills for flying it and its support skills such as Gunnery/Missile, Shield/Armor/Hull Tank and so on, you get the picture (I hope). However when it comes to Tech level; 1, 2 and 3, for ships it means that the higher Tech level equals more specialized. In regards to modules Tech level primarily refers to the skills needed, Tech 2 modules require more skills than the Tech 1 modules does. T2 also have better bonuses than T1. Pirate/Deadspace mods are technically T1 mods but does give equal to or better bonus than T2 does, but only requires skills equivalent to T1. Modules are devided into meta-levels and they are as follows:

  • T1 = Meta 1 - Meta 4
  • T2 = Meta 5
  • Storyline/Pirate/Deadspace = Meta 6+

Benefits of the Meta-level may be reduced CPU or PG (PowerGrid) need or increased Bonus compared to the previous Meta-level, could also be reduced Capacitor need or few other stuff.

Thanks for your explanation :slight_smile:

But there is still something I don’t understand. You say that Mastery levels and skills for use tech levels are separate, but sometimes they overlap, isn’t it? IE: a mastery level II often requires to learn the same skills required for Tech Level II stuff, right? So If I sistematically learn all the skills requested for Mastery II I will also learn the skills requested for Tech Level II stuff

There may be some Tech II stuff unlocked at Mastery II, it all depends if the Skills required for using said T2 module low level. General rules of thump is that T2 requires more skills and/or trained to higher levels, than for example T1 does.

Ok, last question: If I upgrade my Tristan to Tech II equipment, will I still be able to do level I missions, or they will no longer be available to me?

You certainly will, all T2 equipment will do is make it require less effort from your part, take less time to complete, killing rats faster etc.

Great, thanks

Omg he’s so cute and green, isk flood as soon as I’m home :heart_eyes::heart_eyes::heart_eyes::heart_eyes:

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I left work where I was posting on forums all day working so didn’t get a chance to reply further, sorry.

Correct (apart from the Tech III part, crossed out).

You will, and you will do them easier and faster :slight_smile:

Correct, they do. It is inevitable that many of the skills suggested by the Mastery Levels (remember this is a guide to skills you might want to train in order to improve your ship) will be skills that upgrade the Tech level of the things you can fit onto your ship, as this is one of the main ways of improving your ship.

For equipment, tech level is its quality. Other MMO’s have white, green, blue, purple, orange equipment, we have tech levels:

  • Tech 1 equipment is manufactured by players using just ore that you can mine and blueprints widely available on the market. It has a simple descriptive name, and the Roman numeral I at the end, “Small Shield Extender I.”

  • “Meta” equipment drops from the basic pirate NPCs (we call them rats) that you see in missions or the asteroid belts in low-sec or null space. Has a fancier name “Small Azeotropic Shield Extender I”, and is slightly better (5-20%) than Tech 1, while still having the same skill requirements to unlock and use.

  • Tech 2 equipment is manufactured by players using blueprints that must be “invented” from T1 blueprints, and rare materials / salvage. Simple descriptive name with the Roman numeral II at the end, “Small Shield Extender II.” It offers typically 25% better performance than T1, but requires higher skills to unlock to use. Somewhat expensive due to manufacturing costs, is considered the “standard” equipment for PVP.

  • “Faction” equipment is sold as rewards from the Loyalty Point Store if you do missions for the “Navy” NPC corporations that each empire has. The name includes the faction, for example “Caldari Navy Small Shield Extender”, and the icon for the equipment has a green diamond in the upper left corner. Offers T2 performance at T1 fitting requirements, and is typically expensive due to the effort required to accumulate enough loyalty points (by doing missions repeatedly) to purchase it. The price puts it in the “bling” category, usually fitted by rich veterans, usually because the ship they’re trying to put it on has a very tight fitting that doesn’t allow any “lesser” equipment to fit in.

  • “Officer” equipment is a rare drop from (rare) NPC bosses that may appear during missions or in the belts. Will have a fancy name like “Small ‘Sheriff’ Shield Extender” and a green O in the upper left corner of its icon. The price is exorbitant due to rarity, and it’s usually fitted to extremely expensive ships, like capital ships, where it would be bad to lose the ship because you didn’t have the extra 5% shield that this module provides.

So the equipment loosely corresponds to the white - green - blue - purple - orange progression you see for equipment in other MMO’s.

As far as fitting equipment to ships, the only restrictions are:

  • You need to train the skills that unlock the module you’re trying to use. These are listed in the module’s info page. As soon as you train the skill you can use the module, and the “mastery” rating is an indication of how well you can use it. Because you can train the skill higher, and after unlocking your module, the skill will also provide 5% efficiency / bonus per each level trained. So a Mastery 4 will likely have 20% - 25% bonus from just training the skill, and access to Tech 2 modules (which provide another 25% bonus compared to T1).

  • You need to have a free slot on the ship to put the module in.

  • Your ship needs to have enough remaining power grid and CPU to power up the module. A frigate has around 50 megawatts power grid, and a small shield extender fits into that, but a large shield extender (intended for battlecruisers or battleships) will require 150 MW, and you can put it in your frigate, but it will never turn on because of the power grid restriction.

So yes, we usually use Tech 2 or even Faction equipment on basic Tech 1 ships, so that we get the extra bonuses and performance from the better equipment.

Now, ships also have Tech levels, but they are different. There’s a ships chart app in-game, on the bar on the left side, and you can browse what’s available from each race there.

  • Tech 1 ships are the basic ships, and they are very versatile. You can take a T1 ship and just outfit it differently (extra armor, smaller guns for example), and suddenly you’ve changed the ship’s role from DPS to tanking. Or jamming, or scouting (with speed or cloaking devices), etc. Each race offers a lineup of T1 ships from frigate to destroyer to cruiser to battlecruiser to battleship, and we use them because they are versatile, and usually cheap, while still giving excellent performance if fitted with good modules.

  • “Faction” ships are better than T1 and will have their faction in their name (Caldari Navy Raven battleship for example). They usually offer an extra fitting slot, or extra power grid / cpu, which lets you put in better defenses. But they are very expensive because they must be purchased from the Loyalty stores of the various empires.

  • Tech 2 ships are super-specialized, that is their trick. An interceptor, for example, gets extreme speed from MWD / afterburner modules, and gets bonuses to warp disruptors (so it can “tackle” enemies), but also gains huge vulnerabilities to its defenses and a drastic decrease in DPS. Tech 2 ships offer specialized roles (tank, healer, DPS, electronic jamming, etc.) for PVP fleets, they’re usually not solo ships.

  • Tech 3 ships are “gimmick” ships, they usually have some sort of gimmick ability that the ship can bring to a fight, and usually require the fleet to “prep the battle scene” for the gimmick to be used to full effect.

  • “Pirate” ships are difficult to acquire - you must do missions for pirates out in 0.0 space (it ruins your standings with the empires), to acquire a ton of loyalty points. Pirate ships require training in two races of ships; for example the Machariel battleship requires skills in Minmatar Battleship and Gallente Battleship. These ships either have specialized performance (without the huge vulnerabilities), or have a gimmick ability that’s built into the ship.

  • Capital ships are intended for large scale wars in 0.0 space, and for fleet use by large alliances. They are so expensive that the only reasonable way for an individual to use them is if the alliance provides them (like a navy in real life providing the ships, and the captain just commands the ship, doesn’t own it). Capital ships usually move around by cyno-jumping from one system to the next, and they require other players to fly there and provide cyno-beacons in space for the ship to lock onto. To fly one of these solo you’ll need an army of cyno alt accounts to do your own beacons.

So, for ships, the Tech level isn’t an indication of power / quality, but rather just an indication of the options available for accomplishing a goal. A fleet commander could put together a fleet of T1 ships and go on a roam, knowing that he can stop at any station on the way and reconfigure his fleet layout. Versatile, “let’s see what we can find” fleet out roaming for prey. Or, if he already knows (from spies) what fleet his enemy will bring, he can call for specific roles from T2 specialized ships, to specifically counter and disable the ships that the enemy has. The tech level isn’t about firepower, it’s about tactical options.

EVE University’s Ship Chart
How to Fit Ships Well guide.


I’ll add a little more information.

Ships. There are four distinctive tech levels for ships.

Tech 1: The most basic version. The easiest to train for and use, the cheapest/easiest to build and buy, etc. Can be built by players without needing to train a lot of specialised skills.

Faction. An improved version of a tech 1 ship. Only some tech 1 ships have a faction version. Most tech 1 ships do not have a faction version. More expensive than a tech 1 ship. Some can be built by players but building a faction ship requires a special blueprint that is expensive to get hold of. Some tech 1 ships can be converted into the faction version of that ship using ISK and “loyalty points” with an NPC corporation. Faction ships also include ships from the various “pirate” NPC factions in the game.

Alpha players can train to fly any T1 or faction ship from Frigate to Battleship.

Tech 2: Most tech 1 ships have a tech 2 version, but the tech 2 version of a ship tends to be fairly specialised towards performing a specific role. Tech 2 ships can be built by players but the process of getting blueprints for tech 2 ships and building them is more complicated and expensive compared to building tech 1 ships.

Tech 3: There are two types of tech 3 ships. “tactical destroyers” and “strategic cruisers”. They require specialised skills to fly them but they are designed to be very flexible for the variety of roles they can be used for. Even more expensive and difficult to build than tech 2 ships.

Only Omega players can train to fly tech 2 and tech 3 ships.

Modules follow the same general pattern, with some more levels of items, called “meta level”.

The most basic modules that can be built by players are Tech 1 level . There are also meta levels 1, 2, 3 and 4 which are slightly improved versions of the basic tech 1 item but count as tech 1 for the skill requirements needed to use them. Meta 1, 2, 3 and 4 items cannot be built by players, they are salvaged by players from wrecks of NPC pirate ships.

Tech 2 modules are meta level 5.

Faction modules. These also count as tech 1 for the skills needed to use them, but their meta level starts at 6 and goes up to meta level 8. Some faction modules can drop as loot from wrecks of elite level NPC ships. Some basic Tech 1 modules can be converted to a faction version using ISK and loyalty points with certain NPC corporations and some blueprints for faction modules can be bought from NPC corps.

Officer and Deadspace modules. These modules drop as loot under fairly specific circumstances and are meta level 11 and higher. To the best of my understanding, Officer and Deadspace modules only come in a “large” size for use on battlecruisers and battleships, although they can potentially be used on cruisers, but it’s not so easy to fit them on a cruiser due to how much powergrid and CPU they need from the ship to work. They can be used with the same skill levels needed for Tech 1 modules, but Officer/Deadspace modules are very expensive.

All tech 1, tech 2, faction and Officer/Deaspace modules can be used on basic tech 1 ships. Alpha players cannot use tech 2 battleship sized (large) weapons, but they can use small (frigate & destroyer) and medium (cruiser & battlecruiser) sized tech 2 weapons as well as most other non-weapon tech 2 modules.

Tech 3 modules, only needed for tech 3 strategic cruisers. The tech 3 tactical destroyers do not use the specialised tech 3 modules. There are actually only a small number of tech 3 modules, and they can only be used on tech 3 cruisers. There are specialised skills which must be trained to use each type of tech 3 module.

There are no faction or alternative meta levels for tech 3 modules. Tech 1, faction/officer/deadspace and tech 2 modules can also be used on tech 3 ships, but there is a minimum set of tech 3 modules that MUST be used on a tech 3 cruiser because tech 3 modules are necessary to connect all the other modules to the tech 3 cruiser. You cannot fit other modules to a tech 3 cruiser if the tech 3 cruiser does not have any tech 3 modules attached to it.

Ammunition. Ammunition has three distinct levels. tech 1, faction and tech 2. There is no officer/deadspace or tech 3 ammo. Tech 1 and faction ammo can be used with any weapon system that is appropriate for that ammo, so you can use tech 1 and faction ammo in a tech 2 weapon. Tech 2 ammo can ONLY be used with tech 2 weapons of the correct type. You cannot use tech 2 ammo in a tech 1 or faction weapon.

Tech 1 ammo can be made by players with some basic skills, some basic materials and the right blueprint. Faction ammo is not made by players, it is converted from tech 1 ammo by players through an NPC corp, using ISK and loyalty points. Tech 2 ammo is made by players but requires more advanced skills, more advanced materials and a more advanced blueprint.

Just like tech 2 ships are more specialised in their intended roles compared to tech 1 ships, tech 2 ammunition is also more specialised, and not every type of tech 1 ammo has a tech 2 version, but there are faction versions of every type of tech 1 ammo.


Think of Mastery levels as guidelines on skills to train to fly a particular ship, or use a module, with more effect.

1 - You can sit in it (or equip it) but it will have the absolute minimum performance levels
2 - You will gain better performance, have more fitting leeway etc., but performance is still poor.
3 - This is really the minimum level for effective performance from a ship or module
4 - This is, for most things, as high as you need to train, performance is good.
5 - When you need to squeeze every last ounce of performance from whatever it is you are fitting or flying

Some extra generalised info
In most cases a Tech 2 fitting (on any ship) is often considered the standard to aim for, (when PG or CPU allow it). The tech level of modules equipped on a ship do not restrict your access to different areas of the game, they merely affect how well your ship will perform whilst doing it.

For PVE missions the old rule of thumb was
L1 - Frigates
L2 - Cruisers
L3 - Battlecruisers
L4 - Battleships

quick example …
L4 missions with a Dominix (Gallente Battleship)
#1 - With Tech 1 modules and drones you would need to warp out of most missions at least once to avoid blowing up. Tank, damage and drone survivability will all be low.
#2 - With Tech 2 modules and drones you may not need to leave the mission site at all until completed. Tank, damage and drone survivability will all be high.

A couple of things I didn’t see browsing the thread:

  • If you open the skills tab in your character sheet, the drop-down selection below the categories has a choice for certificates. Most skill categories have certificates and you advance from level 1 to 5 by training the appropriate skill. Mastery is a collection of generic certificates appropriate to the ship. If you have “Core Spaceship Operation” level 4 certificate - it applies to all ships. The certificate system is old and doesn’t account for Alpha limitations. Aim for Mastery level 3 on ships you fly frequently.
  • Meta modules have a small but frequently very useful improvement compared to T1 that is reflected in their name if they have gone through tiercide. Compact means they use a bit less CPU and Power, Enduring will use less capacitor, etc… Weapons haven’t yet gone through tiercide - it was supposed to happen last summer but priorities change. Since meta modules currently drop as loot they are usually very inexpensive.

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