Solo PVP advice: what's your basic engagement sequence?

Hey there,

As the title goes, what’s your usual/basic engagement sequence?

I know this is an extremely basic aspect of PVP, but I have to admit it’s one where I still make mistakes as I’m learning to fight solo. In the rush to lock/set orbit/approach, etc, I often find myself messing up and/or missing some commands.

For now, the sequence I try to use is this:

0 - Activate prop module (single hotkey press)
1 - Set range (usually with hotkeys, W for orbit, Q for approach, etc)
2 - Lock (usually ctrl + click target on the overview)
3 - Activate modules (usually with hotkeys, as quickly as possible after lock begins)
4… - Manage range, overheat, reps, etc (from this point on, initial engagement is actually done)

To give some better context, I’ll list a couple of examples, some mistakes that I make during the initial engagement of a solo PVP fight:

  • Set Range vs Lock: This is probably where I make more mistakes: either I feel that while I was trying to set range I wasted time to lock/activate modules/tackle, etc, and the other guy pulled range, or got closer; or that while I was trying to lock and activate modules, I wasted time to start moving, so the other guy got a better positioning and/or hit me harder because I was still stationary.

  • Lock: I pre-activate modules but click the target too soon as it is warping in, before it can be locked; that messes the sequence and makes me lose valuable seconds (What’s the cue to start engaging a target that’s warping in, btw?)

I know that a lot of answers will probably fall in the “it depends” category, but I thought it was worth a shot asking. Also, I’m 100% aware that with practice I’ll probably make less and less of those mistakes, and I’m out to lose ships and all. But that’s a question that has been bugging me since I started trying to learn solo PVP and that, after quite a few fights, I still can’t answer by myself.

Any insights are very appreciated, thanks you all. o7

You have the right order, for classic solo FW frig 1v1s i do:

0 - activate the initial modules and pre-heat guns when the target comes on dscan, decide what range you want him at
1 - while he exits out of warp and decelerates you can already select him and apply your range, after he lands he’ll be invulnerable until he does something
2 - at this time I am spamming lock while my ship should already be in the right position, as soon as he does anything to break invul my lock starts
3 - while locking I activate my aggressive modules and let them blink, so they will activate immediately when the target is locked

when you enter a plex:
0 - think what range you want to fight at before going in, pre-heat modules
1 - while landing and holding invul see what he does, behaviors give you information about his fit, maybe use his momentum from setting range to your advantage, as a kite you want to burn away from him as soon as possible (warp invul is 10s btw, enough to even look at his guns)
2 - locking or moving breaks your invul, so:
happy with your position: lock, let the modules blink, apply range
unhappy with your position: react fast before he finished positioning, apply range with heated prop, lock, let the modules blink


Got it.

Great. So at this point, even before target exits warp:

  • I know you can select it, via overview for example;


  • …Can you also already issue commands via hotkeys/selected item window, like Approach (Q) or Orbit (W)? Or by “apply your range” you mean doing it manually?

This is very interesting for me, because if that’s the case, it really doesn’t make sense to first try to lock/activate modules and only then get moving.

Good to know. Sometimes I try to pre-activate agressive modules first, but then if I miss the lock (like trying to lock too soon, before target exits warp) it breaks the pre-activation, and messes everything up.

Thanks a lot! Any extra thoughts on optimizing your engagement sequence are appreciated!

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For me I’m afraid things all too often go something like this:

So just do the opposite and you should be fine.


LOL! Thanks for that too man, the ECM guy made me laugh hard.

Plus that’s so precise when you check someone’s killboard and find out that he’s as noob as you or more:

Lmao, know this feeling too well

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Seems like maybe we have a similar play style… :sweat_smile: lol

My general order is this:

0: while in warp overheat what I need to, make sure inventory is scrolled up to my drugs, etc.
1: prop mod and direction. If I land close, I’ll often times try and burn at him for a bump, which helps in locking, but mostly that’s with cruisers and up
2: Start lock on primary only
3: launch drones with hotkey
4: start lock on secondaries
5: preactivate all tackle, ewar, weapons, etc. No need to worry about drones, because they’ll usually go after the first thing you shoot.
6: adjust my engagement range and speed
7: see if I need drugs once he’s tackled, and I get a feel for damage and tank on both sides.

Did I mention DRUGS? They’re great. Standard Exile gives armor tanks a 20% bonus. In perspective, that’s about 3 levels of bonus for active tanked hulls, and it costs 2m a dose. 2 million isk to upgrade your Myrmidon to Gallente Battlecruiser VIII. Anyhow, if youd like practice, advice, or to set up a fight, hit me up, my mailbox is always open!