Turrets or missiles? question

Hey all, old miner here, 2010-2013. Didn’t do much else back then, but wanted to play again. So i’m foregoing mining completely. I was always scared to get into combat back then, not sure why. This time I’m going full combat.

To keep it short, my goals are high sec missioning for cash, and small group pvp. With those two things in mind, would projectile turrets or missiles be a better start for a combat newb? Wanting to fly Minmatar or Caldari from a role playing point of view.

Any help is much appreciated.

Great to be back.


Both systems have upsides and downsides.

Missiles always apply some DPS to the target if they can reach it, but the damage application varies a lot depending on signature radius and speed of the target.
Turrets have the problem that they can potentially apply more DPS than missiles but they rely on tracking the target to apply it. If the target moves to fast and/or has a low enough signature radius, turrets can miss completely and don’t apply any damage for a cycle.

With missiles, you technically only need to make sure your target stays in range of the fight time (and does not fly away from you, which shortens the effective range of missiles). With turrets you need to make sure as well that it does not move too much so that your turrets can hit it at all. Therefore, I would go for missiles, but this limits the number of ships available to you.


Nice thanks so much. As I was reading, it seemed to be clear that missiles is what I want atm. Seems like a lot ot keep track of lol. I’ll get the hang of it I’m sure.

Thanks for the help.

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@Dyver_Phycad describes it well.

The general rule is “big slow weapons do badly against small fast targets”. So the weapons typically put on a cruiser will do poorly against frigates, those weapons fitted to battleships will do really badly against frigates.
It plays both ways - sometimes you will want to be the small fast thing.

The joker in the pack are drones. A battleship will normally be able to carry a flight of light drones to deal with small targets.l

In practice a lot of the gunnery skills are useful for all of the turret types, but missile skills only apply to missiles. You’ll end up training both in the long run, but initially specialising in one area. Having recently cross-trained from Amarrian ships (energy turrets) to Minmatar ships (projectile guns) the difference in how you fly with them is very noticeable.

RP’ing and engaging with the wider background of life in New Eden is good. It’s an often overlooked aspect, but hugely engaging.

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Here is a really helpful presentation from E-Uni that covers the details of working with missiles in an easy to digest way:


As mentioned, there are pros and cons to both.


And to answer a question you didn’t ask…since you are diving head first into pvp. One of the most useful things I learned from recently joining RvB was that if you have a shield tank ship, you should try to fit an oversize Ancillary Shield Booster. So your Merlin can fit a Medium Ancillary Shield Booster. You will thank me for this. ( ;

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Awesome, thanks so much all.

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Good grief, maybe I’ll go turrets then. I didn’t think Missiles were that complicated lol. Are Turrets just as bad?

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For PvE, you’ll do fine with turrets, missiles or drones. All of these skills are worth training into.


In a word…yes. But there are a number of different considerations that come into play- things like tracking speed, angular and radial velocity, and optimal range vs. falloff.


Turrets behave much differently than missiles, so the mechanics are mostly different…but equally complex.

I guess two things to mention here:

First, you don’t have to commit all of this stuff to memory. This is complicated, but you don’t have to memorize the math, just understand the mechanics since you will need to use that knowledge to train and fit effectively.

Second, well, this is what EVE is all about- insane complexity. This level of complexity applies to much of the game. Not saying that to be discouraging or anything, just mentioning that there are rarely simple and clear-cut mechanics to anything.

Hang in there, and it will all become second nature soon :slight_smile:

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Rock on, thanks for the encouragement. In all seriousness, I’ll stick with missiles for now I think. Atm I’m liking the “turret” like playstyle where I can just sit and pick things off. It feels methodical. In messing with a turret toon, I feel like i’m chasing everything down and for my level of play, it’s just a lot and feels hectic.


There are pros and cons to each weapon system, and they all feel a bit different.

One thing that’s important to remember about EVE is that it’s one long, complicated journey. At first blush, this complexity can seem overwhelming and unnecessarily over the top. But, over time, that depth really keeps things interesting in my experience.

Experiment with different things, go with what you like and dig into it. Train up those skills to get to T2 mods and ammo, and then think about switching things up.

Good luck and always feel free to ask questions along the way! :slight_smile:


Many people consider turrets harder to use than missiles. At low levels you can just fire and forget missiles, lights/heavies have enough damage and application for lv1-3 missions it doesn’t matter a whole lot. Also they tend to have a lot of range for their size.

Personally I prefer turrets, they apply instantly, so if you don’t group them they will deactivate as soon as the target dies and you can put the ones that didn’t cycle on the next target. Also if you understand the turret mechanics you can use larger turrets on smaller targets and apply a good amount of damage. Most NPCs just try to follow you and get into a set orbit, you can use this to kite them out so they are always approaching you and blap them with turrets.

With your RP restriction I’d probably stick with caldari and missiles. They are easy to use and good all around. There’s also a few minmatar ships that use missiles. That said there are some Angel Cartel ships that use minmatar/gallente skills and are very good with projectile turrets, they are some of my favorite ships in game. Minmatar has some decent ships but the angel ships just take it to another level.


Both weapon systems have their own unique support skills
The missile support skills only affect missiles & rockets
The gunnery support skills affect all 3 flavours of turret

So if you’re looking for the most effective overlap for the least skill training, gunnery is probably a better option
There are also more combat hulls that have turrets than launchers

the major difference between the 2 is damage application lag
turrets fire and hit instantly
launchers can fire 2 to 3 salvo’s before the damage starts to be applied
you don’t need to track salvo’s in flight to target with turrets

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@Angelia_Killforge - it would be worth you checking your in-game mail.

If you are looking to fly Caldari ships, the missiles are a skill well worth having - they have good missile ships at most levels; more so than the other races. And the Raven will always serve well as a battleship for the higher level missions and for supporting some fleet operations.

People often baulk at the cost of ammunition and missiles - something that is less of an issue for Amarrian pilots as the basic frequency crystals are not consumed in use. But, in general, the costs over time more or less balance out (even for Amarrian pilots where the higher performance crystals are expensive and do wear out!)

Another vote for Caldari and Missles here, and I am Gallente!

The reason I say this is that Missles opens up the prospect later of the Guristas Ships which are fantastic PVE ships for level 4 Missions as well as other content. The combo of Missles and drones allows for some nice DPS and they tank like crazy as well.

It does mean having to train up the Gallente side of things which is another long train but having the Missle skills is a good chunk of that train and you will be doing drones as well on pretty much any ship you fly as well.

Minmatar pilot here, Projectile Turrets - Autocannons is what I like to use which means up close brawler type combat. The munitions I use is Tech 2 and Faction projectile ammo with Tech 2 missiles.

Autocannons have quick damage application with fast reload. Since most Minmatar ships also have Missile Launcher hardpoints and drone bays, I use the Missiles and Drones specifically to take out small hull class ships that quickly get in close and also as supplemental DPS working in conjunction with the guns for larger targets.

My personal preference for PvE and small stuff is missles. 2nd drones, 3rd autocannons, in that order. They are most flexible weapon systems, you can do any damage type you want with them, often times you can switch to precision ammo or better tracking drones (+salvaging drones for a little extra ISK) and they do not use cap which is very important in PvE. it makes fitting your ships a lot easier.

To me hybrids are kinda “meh” at best, and lasers are right down “bleh”.

Other peoples opinions will vary, but these are my likes.

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