Question on npc combat for a beginner

I recently returned to the game. I had played some years ago, and honestly, I don’t remember anything from that time, other than I had found the game more difficult than it probably was.

So, as I got onto one of my former characters, I started doing some of the agent missions (investigate the seekers, or something like that), and I noticed that until I figured out how to actually target and shoot at things, they shot all sorts of charges and missiles at me. But rarely did they do much damage.

So, this brought about a few questions on my part:

  1. When do npcs start to do actual damage that I should be concerned about?
  2. Is there an easier way to target and fire, other than try to find them on the list, right click it, and then fire at that…? Like, is there a tab option or something that just opens fire on something firing at you? Or some easier way to initiate combat, other than hunting through a menu for an enemy? I tried to target the ship in space, but they’re usually moving so fast that I can’t even find them on the screen. I suspect there’s an easier way to do it, but I just haven’t found it yet.
  3. Is there an easier way to loot what you kill? I’ve found myself having to go through the menu again, fly back to whatever I killed and then hoping there’s actual loot. That seems, at least to me, very inefficient, which makes me suspect there’s a better way to do this. Plus, when something’s firing at you, it’s kind of difficult to fly back to a former kill to loot.

Anyway, I’m looking forward to getting used to the game this time around. I find myself a lot more patient than I was back in the day, so hopefully that will help me with long-term sustainability.

When you get past the tutorial, I would advice against trying to do anything in a Corvette (newbie ship), your best bet is to continue with the Career Agents which will get you some ISKs and a few ships.

Yes there are shortcuts for stuff like that, this one is: CTRL + L-Click on the entity on your overview and press F1 through F8 to activate your guns or utilities you have fitted to your ship. Guns can be grouped so you’d only need to hit F1. While in space you can hold down CTRL and then L-Click’n’Drag to target lock everything in the boxed area; this includes not only enemies but also objects in space.

You can tell if a wreck has loot or not by looking at the Icon of it, a wreck with no loot just looks a “v”, while a wreck with loot in it looks like a “v” with a dot in it. To loot a wreck you need to be within 2500m of it; select the wreck > loot (new window will appear) > hit the “Loot All” button. Rinse and repeat! :roll_eyes:

There are modules that can make it less tedious to loot, such as the Small Tractor Beam I it has a base range of 20km and pulls the wreck to you.

Normally I wouldn’t bother with looting unless you get one of the Extravaganza or doing L3+ missions or faction spawns, but it’s up to you to decide if it’s worth your time.


(1) Really depends on whether you have a ship that depends on the shield or its amour. If you are in a shield tank ship and losing shield fast , then you should be very worried. If you are in ship that is armor tanked then if you lose shield fast is not an issue but if you lose armor fast and your armor repairers cannot keep up with the damage you should be very worried.

(2) You can use control and click on overview to quickly target enemies. There is also a setting in option that auto targets enemies for you. You can setup shortcuts for firing your weapons , there are already shortcuts for them depending in which slot your weapons are located. Overall yes you target and fire very fast this is needed skill to have to survive anyway.

(3) Yes there is a item that is called , “mobile tractor unit” , you basically deploy it near the battle areas and collects the wrecks in one place and also collects loot for them. It has an insane range so it wont matter how far the wreck is but it takes a bit of time to collect the wrecks if they are very far. Its a bit pricey for a beginner , around 7 mil isk, and will need some cargo space (100m3) but I never the station without one. It also works great if you want to do some extra salvage in the end. Especially at Serpentis space its easy to make 500k to 1 million per site from salvage alone.

Also if you do combat sites always make sure you check for loot, there are lucky drops , once I had a 200 mil drop from a high sec anomaly combat site. Of course that happened only once but getting a drop of 10-30mil is not rare at all. So always keep an open mind because its those drops and escelations that make combat sites , especially the super easy ones on high sec, so profitable.

The ship also plays a very big role, aim for a cruiser, they can do some serious damage and they have the huge advantage that can access almost any area. They are a lot more pricey than your typical frigate but they well worth it and pay back their worth pretty fast when we consider that can make 30 mil per hour on a 30 mil Cruiser easily.

Forking more money to your Cruiser will allow you to do high sec anomalies combat sites practically AFK. Especially with a drone ship which is basically 3 clicks and watch the fireworks with a glass of wine.

  1. Lvl1 NPCs are not a big threat, but there will come missions and sites you lose ships and learn when to warp out, that’s perfectly normal.
  2. The Overview is your most important tool in EVE when in space. You should spend some time getting used to it and set up different overview tabs, like for travelling, mining, PVE, PVP, and salvaging. Each tab can apply different filters, for you don’t need to see Asteroids or wrecks when in combat.
    Overview settings can be shared, e.g. ask for ZS Overview, and you receive a link in chat/MOTD where you can download prepared overviews.
  3. I was a dedicated looter in my beginnign days, too. In my first missions I just fitted 1-2 salvagers in spare high slots and tidied up after battle. Later, I bought an MTU (as mentioned above), but be sure to have a combat scanner ship at home to scan down the MTU you forgot, this will definitely happen. Another nice tool to salvage is salvage drones, they also can do their work within drone control range and you train some routines in target and drone management.
    In the end you may have fun with a Noctis, where all the tools mentioned above can be used.

Okay, so yesterday, I got seriously owned by an npc that appeared to be standard for the area where I was. I’m not upset that happened, but I’m upset that I seem to have no idea how to figure out how powerful something is that attacks me.

I was wandering into an area to do some mining, and this npc showed up. I had recently tore through some sentinels (think that’s their name) that were part of the tutorial missions for agents, and I figured this was no different. Obviously, I was wrong. But at the same time, I had no way of knowing (that I know of yet) how powerful this guy was who attacked me. It was just battle for some time, and then I was flying back to a station in my little escape pod.

So, first, how do I know how powerful something is (in a way that is viable when something just starts attacking you…I’m not going to be trying to find him on the screen when everything is going nuts but need some kind of default key or keys), and in correlation, what skills and equipment should I be looking for in order to better defend myself? Keep in mind, I’m only talking about low level (I think) stuff that attacks in high security areas.

This is going to sound like an obnoxious answer (I don’t mean it that way), but the only real way to learn how to assess a threat is to get some experience.

For missions, there is EVE Survival:

This will give you detailed information on missions (damage profiles, enemy counts, etc.) and is extremely helpful for learning how to prepare for enemies.

There are many other kinds of NPC encounters in different environments like anomalies, combat sites, etc. and different regions have different kinds of pirates. That is far too detailed to get into here, but sources like E-Uni’s wiki can help there:

Search for a named site, pirate name, (or anything else, really) and this is as close to a “Manual for EVE” as there is out there.

Now, maybe a little more specific to your question, when you are just roaming around in space (and I’m assuming high sec here for simplicity), there are five main categories of rats that you might come across.

  1. Normal rats. These will typically be groups of 1-3 ships. frigates and destroyers. Slow, very easy to deal with (but a step up from the tutorial Seekers). They will be the local pirate type (Serpentis in Gallente space, etc.). These guys will pop in every now and again in mining belts.

  2. FOB rats. Be very careful of these. They will generally come in larger numbers than the standard rats and can hang around gates and stations in addition to dropping in on belts. These can be nasty since they are much more advanced and can call in other ships to help out. They are much harder to kill and are much better at killing you. You can check The Agency to see if there is a pirate FOB in the system you are exploring. If there is, it is a matter of time before these guys show up. Probably better to avoid the system until you get more confident (or at least better at avoiding them).

  3. Incursions. You will know that an incursion is going on in a given system because there is an alert on screen, the visuals change, and you will suddenly have a new channel appear for you next to Local. Incursions are high-end PVE and are run by special fleets. These are very nasty rats and you are at extra risk because incursions also make your weapons and tank less effective. Generally best to avoid these systems.

  4. Drifters. You will sometimes come across clusters of Autothysian Lancers hanging around gates or other celestial objects in certain systems. They will be red, but under most circumstances, will not attack you. Do not engage them. Not only will they put up a bit of a fight, but they can call in reinforcements that are extremely powerful.

  5. NPC mining fleets. These are generally harmless, but if you attack them, they will also call in fairly powerful reinforcement fleets that can be pretty destructive. Also, if you attack the fleets repeatedly and you drop your standing with them, they may call in the reinforcement fleet when they see you instead of waiting for you to attack.

Now, more generally, you will learn how to spot these different NPCs and gain experience on how to deal with them (fight or flight). But, a huge part of the essence of EVE is unpredictability- and this is particularly true in PVP. You will rarely know what you are getting into, so you need to gain experience on how to manage fights and how to position yourself to bail out if needed. That gets into combat and flight tactics and is something you will learn after time. The short answer is learn how to see if you are holding up against the attack and know when it’s time to GTFO if you see things going south.

That said, push things and challenge yourself. Don’t just run away from the first shot (be it NPC or player)- hang in there and see how the fight goes while preparing to bail if you absolutely need to. Every fight you take leaves you better prepared for the next :slight_smile:


Leah ^ has you covered. Beware diamond :diamonds: rats.


Seriously??? I honestly never knew this… mudderfudger.

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Thanks for the info.

I’m slowly learning how to figure out what’s what. I do have a tendency to just jump in and try to learn through osmosis, and sometimes it’s opened up new little doors that I didn’t know were there. Right now, I’ve been exploring some of the agency missions, and I’m kind of liking the story elements of the process. Some of the info is kind of hard to grasp, as I often keep forgetting to do one part of the mission and end up having to repeat parts of it (like last night, I probably ran a route three times just because I kept forgetting a piece of it and had to repeat my trip back and forth). But those sorts of things don’t bother me so much, and I kind of laugh at myself as I try to learn not to make those kinds of mistakes again.

I kind of like mining, and I’m hoping to find some type of market for that stuff eventually cause I’m starting to think that might be my thing in this game. I have two chars right now (one that likes to mine and one that likes to get killed by actually fighting things and not realizing how weak she really is).

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Cool, I’m glad the info was helpful. I’m sure you’ve caught on to this, but one of the main characteristics of EVE is the (sometimes ridiculous) complexity of the game, the relatively slow rate of progress in some areas, and the diversity of things to do and learn about. That drives a lot of people nuts, but I love it because it means that there is always something else to be working towards, study, or try out.

One thing that I DO think it important is to diversify what you do and the activities you participate in. If you don’t mix things up, it’s easy to get burnt out and become bored, so mixing mining and combat is a good way to go about things. There are several other good threads on how to get rolling in Industry if that’s something that you’re into (and are Omega, as Alphas are pretty limited there). You’re also doing the right thing by having dedicated characters do each activity. Some overlap in skills is fine, but a lot of new players make the mistake of spreading their training focus way too thin across different careers and that can become frustrating when you realize that you can do a lot of things but none of them particularly well :wink:

And do keep asking questions- we’re here to help as we are able to, both in the forums and in-game.

Edits: Holy typos, Batman :rofl:

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