Some basics of Eve.
In the bottom centre of your screen when you are inside the game is your HUD (“Heads Up Display”) The HUD displays some basic information about your ship.
1: The big circle in the middle of the HUD is your “capacitor”. This represents how much energy your ship has stored up, kind of like a battery. If you want to fly around at high speed, use some weapons or some other types of equipment, you will use some of the energy stored in your capacitor. As you use the energy in your capacitor, the big circle will start to shrink, representing that you have less spare energy left in your capacitor. The capacitor will slowly recharge itself back to full, and there are some types of equipment you can add to a ship to make the capacitor recharge faster. Having your capacitor go empty is normally not a good. thing, but most of the time your capacitor will never get close to empty.
2: Just above the capacitor display are three curved white lines which represent the main defences of your ship. The top line of the three is your “shield”, a wall of energy that surrounds your ship and protects it. When something or someone shoots at you, your shield will absorb the damage, but there is a limit to how much damage a shield can absorb before it stops working. When your shield line starts turning from white to red, you are being shot at. Just like capacitors, shields will regenerate by themselves. The regeneration is not fast but there are some types of equipment you can add to a ship to speed that up.
The second line is your armor. Think of a real world army tank, completely covered in thick steel plates to protect it. That’s what your ship has, armor. Just like the shield, the armor has a limit on how much damage it can absorb. When the middle white line on the top of the HUD starts turning from white to red, your armour is taking damage. Unlike the shield and capacitor, armor NEVER repairs itself. You can fit various modules to make the armour stronger and repair it yourself.
The third white line on the HUD is the “hull”, sometimes called the “structure” of the ship. If the hull line on the HUD starts turning red and you do not have any friends nearby to help you, you have a serious problem. When the hull line on your HUD turns completely red, your ship explodes.
The shield ALWAYS absorbs the damage first. The armour ALWAYS absorbs the damage second. The hull ALWAYS absorbs the damage last. Players CANNOT change this order.
Just to the right of the HUD are a set of buttons which represent the types of equipment you added to your ship. The buttons are in three rows.
The top row is where the buttons to turn your weapons on/off will be. There are a few other tyoes of equipment that can be shown on the same row, but weapons are the most common type of equipment shown on the this row. Your F keys (F1, F2, F3…) are mapped to these buttons, starting from F1 on the left end on the row.
The middle row is where several different types of equipment can show up, mostly equipment that improves your ship’s speed (afterburners, micro-warp-drives, etc), equipment that improves your ship’s shield (shield extenders, shield hardeners and shield boosters) and equipment that improves your sensors. There are a few other types of equipment that can be shown in the middle row, but these are the types most commonly displayed there. The default key mappings for these buttons is Alt-F1, Alt-F2, Alt-F3, etc.
The bottoms row of buttons is where you will see controls for equipment that improves your armor, as well as some other types of equipment that improve your weapon damage and a few other miscellaneous functions. These buttons are mapped to the Shift-F1, Shift-F2, Shift-F3… keys,
To shoot at another ship (NPC or player controlled), FIRST, you must “lock” that ship as a target. One of the windows on your screen should be the “overview”, a window full of text separated into columns. Any ship that is hostile to you will be shown in red text in this window. You can Ctrl-click the red text ships with your mouse in this window and your ship will start 'locking" them as targets. Locking something as a target takes a few seconds, bigger ships can be locked faster, smaller ships take more time to lock.
It is possible to accidentally lock something you did not intend to lock. Any object shown in your overview that you can Ctrl-click on can be locked, and when an item has been locked you can shoot it, even if you don’t intend to do that. Be careful about pulling the trigger on something you have locked. You could accidentally shoot a friend or an innocent bystander by mistake if you are careless and lock/shoot the wrong target.
When your ship has locked another ship as a target, an icon for that target will appear near the top right corner of your screen. Click on one of these target icons with your mouse, press an F-key to activate a weapon, and if the target is close enough for the weapon to hit it, you will start damaging the locked target. The target icon will have the three lines for the target’s shield, armor and hull. As you do more damage to the target, those lines will change from white to red, shield first, then armor, then hull.