What is the point of tractor beams and tractor beam bonuses?

What is the point of tractor beams and tractor beam bonuses when we have MTUs?

I recently got my Science V on my porpoise alt and was able to put a tractor beam on the ship. It has bonuses for it after all!

Then it turns out some wreck in the ice belt is outside of my bonused 48km range, so I put down my MTU that drags in everything within 125km and let it pull in everything that my bonused tractor beam cannot pull.

I guess I’m taking off that tractor beam again; it’s useless.

(What is the point of this thread? It’s a question to why we have items ingame that invalidate seemingly useful ship bonuses and modules.)

Presumably its vestigial to the Noctis hull. Salvage barges and Marauders can use tractors to supplement MTUs to do the job quicker.

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Even a Noctis with maximum skill 300% tractor beam range bonus doesn’t reach over 100km, while a simple MTU gets 125km, without any skill investment. Or 175km for a higher tier MTU.

Like @Ramona_McCandless suggested, Tractor Beams are more suited for the Noctis Salvage ship and Marauders.

I rarely ever have any wrecks spread out over 100km range so my Noctis has no problem in quickly clearing out wrecks on-grid.

Also Tractor Beams were implemented into the game long before MTU’s. In fact before the Noctis was implemented, a lot of players used Destroyers fit with Tractor Beams and Salvage Modules as a dedicated Salvage ship.

As for Destroyers not having bonus for Tractor Beam range as well as limited cargo space, there was an old ‘Trailer Container’ trick that could be done. Basically jettison some loot, lock the Jet Can with a Tractor Beam and fill it with loot while dragging it behind your ship, especially for wrecks out of Tractor range.


what if you don’t want to wait the time it takes to anchor and wait for an MTU because you only want to salvage a specific wreck (like a certain T3D/C wreck or Faction NPC wreck).

I suppose in those specific cases tractor beams may still be useful.

Nevertheless, the MTU is powercreep.

Ahhh the good ol’ days! Don’t miss that at all

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Nope, it’s 96km but here comes a kicker - the Noctis can move like a battlecruiser.

And my free™ EVE history lesson for today is, the Noctis came first, deploy able stuff came later to the game.

Another key difference to the Noctis is that you can fit up to 8 tractor beams at once. I suggest you fit 5 and 3x salvager II’s.

Oh I almost forgot speed. The Noctis zooms wrecks in at 2400m/s whereas a MTU’s tractor beam speed is 1000m/s.


What is the point of the Primae when we have an Epithal? I guess it’s a relic of a time befor the MTU

You’re right. It would be nice if CCP did something for the Primae as well. It’s a shame this nice ship hull is useless.

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Yeah I was just looking at it, a friend of mine returned to the game last night and still had one of those. It has a special bay for Command Centers and a tiny PI hold

Kinda cool if they could make it better than an Epithal somehow. Maybe just a much larger hold or something for PI

Maybe it can hold up to 6 CC’s and like a POCO amount of P1 stuff.

Don’t rely on me for any sort of expertise though when it comes to the right balances but yaeh would be nice to see a dedicated ORE PI ship

It’s about speed, number of beams, and targetability.

MTU has range and auto-target, auto-pull. It’s also got a very slow pull speed, a slow target lock, pulls some things in closer than they need to be, and targets the next closest item first.

Noctis/tractor bonuses and tractor beams give you faster pulls, target selection, multiple beams, and the ability to stop pulling when it’s at whatever range (5k for salvage, closer for loot).


Dropping MTU in null and low can be dangerous as it can be combat probed.

Tractor beams predate the absurdly cheap, low volume & op mtu & other deployables. They can be used in abysal to date to speed up farming.

Basically tractors belong to a less brain dead era of eve. Tractors were always broken in the sense they could not tractor yellow wrecks.

Not exactly. You can scan the damn things down. I forgot and lost a Noctis a while ago because I didn’t think of that. You can bet I learned my lesson and slapped an MWD on my other Noctis before I salvaged my old one hahaha :laughing:

MTU have slower pull speed than the bonused ships.
And they can only pull one thing at a time.
They also just grab random things, when a targeted Tractor beam only pulls exactly what you want.
MTU are also popular targets for players, either to suspect bait or to pad their killboard with an easy kill.

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MTU’s have a couple of other limitations that haven’t been mentioned.

  • People tend to forget them. If you hand in your mission before picking up your MTU and haven’t bookmarked the site - you need a combat scanner to find it.

  • They can be killed without CONCORD intervention (applies to any personal deployable). Aggressor only gets a suspect flag.

  • If 2 people in the same fleet drop MTUs they will fight over the wrecks - it can be amusing or annoying depending on your mood at the time.

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MTUs should really have more drawbacks. They should not be scoop-able while under attack

My Noctis can currently tractor wrecks up to 82km at 2km sec pull rate, an MTU can tractor 125km and a pull rate of 1km a sec. If you go into a room drop your MTU and start pulling ships that are further away then the MTU pulls the furthest away from you so when you come back into the room with your tech 2 fitted noctis everything is within reach of your tractors. When you start hoovering you get the lot with no burn time for your ship.

Another example of something the dev team ■■■■■■ up.

MTU should have never been added, it also eliminated a player profession.