PvP in EVE Online is a convoluted affair. There are a thousand variables: everything from position and speed to the nature of your enemies' ships must be considered. It's axiomatic that you can never know enough about how to fight.
Here are five small tricks to give you a little more oomph when fighting.
5. Offline Your Nanos
Believe it or not, offlining the your own modules can sometimes give you an advantage.
At times like these, set your overview to show passive modules, right-click on each of your nanofibers, and offline them. Voile! Your structure hit points are magically returned. Though you'll no longer be as fast or maneuverable, you have hit points to spare in battle, which could make the difference in outlasting your opponent.
4. Slip in a Tracking Disruptor
Don't forget tracking disruptors. Though often regarded as the the red-headed stepchild of electronic warfare, tracking disruptors actually have a lot going for them. Unlike ECM modules, which were re-balanced to only be useful on ships that specialize in their use, tracking disruptors can make a significant difference even on non-specialized ships. Next time you fly an assault frigate or interceptor and have a spare mid-slot, consider plugging in a tracking disruptor with a tracking speed disruption script. This will reduce your target's ability to return fire with turrets, causing them to deal less damage, if they hit you at all. (Note that they will still not help you against missile launchers, drones, or energy neutralizers.)
3. Jump Cloak Immunities
The automatic cloak that one experiences when jumping into a new solar system is different from that imparted by cloaking modules. Jump cloaks were created to allow your computer to load the new system and give you 30 seconds to acclimate yourself to your surroundings. However, you are functionally invulnerable while in this state, something that often escapes new players' notice. You can neither be de-cloaked by other ships getting too close nor harmed by area of effect weapons. In times past, you were even immune to the grid-wide titan doomsdays (RIP), but nowadays jump cloaks make you invulnerable to smartbombs, remote ECM bursts, and most importantly, stealth bomber bombs.
This last is of critical importance to people who participate in fleet warfare. Any time a fleet jumps into a solar system where another fleet has had time to set up defenses, there's a good chance that a wave of bombs is going to get dropped. Because the bombs don't care how many people are within their radius, your fleet loses nothing if you delay breaking your cloak until after the rest of your fleet. If you time it right, the bombs will go off on some other poor suckers, leaving you to de-cloak unharmed and start an assault. It is important to note that this does not apply to jump bridges, which leave you vulnerable almost instantly upon use.
2. Offline Your Microwarpdrive
Most PvP battleships will have a microwarpdrive fitted so that they can escape a sticky situation or quickly reposition themselves. However, once the battleship is fully committed to a fight, the microwarpdrive is often ignored. That's all well and good for a maelstrom, since its weapons don't require capacitor to fire, but apocalypses and rokhs desperately need as much energy for weapons as they can manage. Ships like the raven need the capacitor for their shields, as well.
Offlining the microwarpdrive (by the same process described for nanofibers above) turns off the capacitor penalty, freeing as much as 25% more energy for your weapons. Even for tech II microwarpdrives, the capacitor penalty stands at 17%, which can make all the difference to a laser-using ship or one that needs to use shield boosters and armor repairers. This can prevent you from "capping out" and, ultimately, going down in flames.
1. POS Tracking
If you need to fight next to a POS, do your best to minimize incoming damage.
Despite the dangers, it can sometimes be desirable to fight near one - either to destroy it or to attack ships trying to use its jump bridges. Harassing jump bridge traffic is one of the best ways to annoy a group that is much larger and more powerful than you.
Don't make the mistake of orbiting a cluster of POS guns, thinking that it will increase your transversal velocity and make you take less damage as a result. Your transversal velocity is calculated only in reference to the control tower, so orbit that instead. The higher your transversal velocity is in reference to the tower, the less damage any turret structures will inflict on you.