Skill points allocation for noob

Started a month ago with alpha, got hooked, will stay. I’m doing exploration and a bit of mining now, I maxed or close to required skills. I want to slowly move on to PVE, then to PVP over the next few months.
I vastly prefer Caldari and Minmatar ships, but unsure what skills I should start developing. Should I go turrets, railguns or rockets? Shields or armor? I prefer to max a skill rather than get 2 at half.
Hope it makes sense.

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Max skills or 2 at half?

While it’s understandable that you want to max one skill rather than getting 2 at half, the way skill progression works in EVE is that every skill level takes considerably more skill points. Level 4 skill is less than 18% on the way to level 5.

This means you can get 5 skills to 80% effectiveness in less time than it takes one skill to 100% effectiveness!

My advice: not to try max skills at the start, but spread out your skill points a bit more across the lower levels of multiple skills that you think are useful to you. If you want to fly a certain ship, first get level 3 in skills that seem useful for it. And then level 4s. Skip the level 5s for now, only train level 5 if it unlocks something new, like T2 ships.

Shield or armor?

You will eventually want both trained and will train both. But if you prefer Caldari and Minmatar ships it’s not a bad idea to focus on shield first, as both those factions mainly defend their ships with shields. Minmatar ships can also sometimes use an armor tank, but shield will do fine, while Caldari ships will pretty much always be shield tanked.

Turrets, railguns or rockets?

Railguns are a form of turrets.

EVE has two main weapon system types, turrets and missiles. (And some other stuff as well, like drones.)
The biggest difference is that turrets will instantly hit the target, while missiles need to travel a bit.

While most factions use missiles, each of the factions has bonuses to one type of turret system.
Caldari use hybrid turrets, Minmatar use projectile turrets. Gallente also use hybrids, and Amarr Energy weapons.

Each turret or missile has a long range option and a short range higher damage option.
Railguns for example are the long-range option of hybrid turrets, while rockets are the short-range high damage option of small missiles, the size which is used on smaller ships like frigates and destroyers.

Now if you know you want to specialise in either Caldari or Minmatar ships your choice is a bit easier: train for hybrid weapons in case of Caldari, like railguns. Or train projectile turrets for Minmatar.

Caldari often uses railguns with their ships, but the short range hybrid blasters also work I guess, but that’s more of a specialty for the Gallente.
Minmatar also have a short and long range turret: autocannons for high damage per second up close, and artillery for high damage long-range shots, but those take a long time in between shots.

Now which option should you pick?

Few options to decide. I’m not going to decide for you, but if I wanted to know which one to train you could:

  • pick a ship. If you like flying a Kestrel or Breacher it makes sense to train missile skills like light missiles or rockets. But if you like for example the Merlin you want hybrid skills like blasters or railguns. Look at the ship’s bonuses, train that! Simple.
  • join a group. Ask what the group often uses as their doctrine ships, train those skills so you can fly with them.
  • or take a read in a nice document: the EVE online frigates yearbook. If you want to get into frigate PvP I think this is a really nice resource. To be honest I haven’t done much with it myself yet, but I’ve got it bookmarked and if I ever wanted to get into small scale frigate PvP that would be my first stop.

I realise I’ve written a lot but haven’t given a simple clear answer like ‘train rockets and shields’, but I hope it’s of some use to you!


This is definitely something to get me started, I’ll definitely follow this line of development.
Many thanks for taking the time to put it all together.

I personally recommend picking a T2 frigate from Ship Tree that looks fun and skilling towards that!

  • Assault Frigate - high damage, high tank. remains my favorite ship class many years after skilling into them
  • Covert Ops - unlocks empire safe travel with Cloaking 5, great fleet scout
  • Electronic Attack Frigates - ewar, huge force multipliers in a fleet
  • Logistics Frigates - Heals only one of armor / shield of other friendly ships. Pick the right ship for bonuses to that type and make sure the whole fleet is that type. Huge force multipliers in a fleet
  • Stealth Bombers - one of the very few ships that can decloak next to someone and volley them without any locking delay. Only ship that can launch Bombs (not in empire though)
  • Interceptor - Great fleet scout, best bookmarker, top tier tackle. Gets on top of the target, locks it fast, and warp scrambles it. I’ve never tried one for PVE but they are the go-to for the pirate epic arcs

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