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EVE Online Guide to Ship Types

Updated Thu, Apr 16, 2009 by Ethec

One of the coolest features of EVE Online is the ability to build and pilot your very own spaceship.  This isn't just a mini-game or minor mode of travel like in other sci-fi games, piloting ships is what EVE Online is all about.  When players of other games are picking out chain mail for their fancy little elves, we are fitting bigger guns to our cruisers.

Because ships are basically a players armor for their avatar, understanding the various types of ships, what they do, and why you might need them is important.  Think of it as learning the difference between cloth, leather, chain, and plate armor in fantasy games.  Different types of gameplay will require different ships and as you spend more and more time in EVE Online, you will gradually build your own personal stash of ships that fit how you play.  This guide will get you started and act as a continuous resource through out your ship building and buying career.  Bookmark and come back before you upgrade so you can pin down what you want and find here what ship will provide it!  If you have any questions that haven't been covered here, please visit our forums and ask it!

Contents:

 

Buying A Ship

It's a major investment, so make sure you're getting the best price possible. Regions with lots of competition (like Verge Vendor in the Gallente federation) typically offer the best prices. Also, try to form a relationship with a shipbuilder; ideally you'll find a corporation whose shipbuilders will sell close to their cost of manufacture.

No matter what ship you buy, be sure to set some money aside for fitting it out. Depending on the type of ship, purchasing quality equipment can easily cost between 25%-50% of the cost of the ship.

Racial Influence

Not only are there an insane amount of ships types, as you will read later on, but each type also has multiple types influenced by race.  Starting out you will automatically be given a race specific rookie ship, and through quests you can earn bigger racial ships but you are not required to use the ships that are designated for your race.  You can train the skills and purchase other races ships to pilot so if you're looking for a little variety don't be afraid to check out what the other races have available.

While there are plenty of exceptions, each race's shipbuilders tend to incorporate certain common characteristics into their designs.

  • Amarr - Lack speed and maneuverability, but have a lot of armor and firepower (especially energy turrets).
  • Gallente - Favor hordes of drones, railguns / hybrid turrets, and strong hulls.
  • Minmatar - Extreme amounts of firepower to the expense of defense, electronics arrays, and just about everything else.
  • Caldari - An emphasis on the use of missile launchers and shields.

 

Tech I Ships

These are your basic ships and likely the ones that you will be spending time in until you gain in wealth and skills.

Ship Type
Description
Loadout Size
A Few Examples...
Approximate Price
Battlecruisers
Designed for fleet actions, battlecruisers pack a lot of punch but are primarily "Gang Assist Module" platforms which significantly boost a gang's offensive & defensive capabilities.
Medium
Prophecy (Amarr), Brutix (Gallente), Ferox (Caladari)
25 M
Battleships
The true juggernauts on the battlefield, these well-armored monsters can outgun anything in their path- that is, if they can lumber close enough to track their target within the considerable range of its massive armament.
Large
Apocalypse (Amarr), Raven (Caldari), Megathron (Gallente)
100 M
Cruisers
Cruisers are jacks-of-all-trades that can be employed as armed transports, electronic warfare platforms, and ferocious close-quarters fighting ships.
Medium
Osprey (Caldari), Maller (Amarr),
2-8 M
Destroyers
While you shouldn't mistake destroyers as line-of-battle ships, these fast, inexpensive gunboats can wreck a frigate gang's day with their rapid multi-targeting abilities.
Small
Catalyst (Gallente), Thrasher (Minmatar), Cormorant (Caldari)
1 M
Frigates
Small, nimble ships which act as the cornerstone of your EVE experience, frigates have the versatility you need especially as a young pilot.
Small
Rifter (Minmatar), Merlin (Caldari), Tristan (Gallente), Inquisitor (Amarr)
<300 K
Freighters
Immense bulk transports whose top speed is around 60 m/s, freighters could easily haul more than a few packaged industrial ships around.
Capital
Providence (Amarr), Charon (Caldari), Obelisk (Gallente), Fenrir (Minmatar)
500 M +
Industrial Ships
These heavy-footed, hulking mid-sized transports can haul well over 8,000 m3 and can work as a poor man's mining barge (with their solitary turret) in high-security space.
Small
Iteron (Gallente), Badger (Caldari), Bestower (Amarr)
400 K - 1 M
Mining Barges
ORE manufactures 3 size-variants of its high-quality mining platforms, which can equip strip miners for rapid ore extraction, and ice harvesters to mine high-quality minerals. The sizable drone bay allows for a full compliment of combat drones which may be employed defensively in medium security space.
N/A (mining lasers only)
Retriever, Procurer, and Covetor
2 M, 8 M, 24 M
Shuttles
Fast, inexpensive transports that cannot be modified, require no skills to fly, and have very limited cargo space. Shuttles are sold at every station.
N/A
Just search for "Shuttle" :)
10 K or slightly less

 

Tech II Ships

These are upgrades from the Tech I ships.  Bigger, badder, and definitely better!

Ship Type
Description
Loadout Size
A Few Examples...
Approximate Price
Assault Ships
Elite-class frigates that have superior firepower over their relatively-cheap cousins, as well as much more resilient armor/shields. Their added defensive capabilities, however, slow them down quite a bit.
Small
Hawk (Caldari), Enyo (Gallente), Wolf (Minmatar)
8 M - 14 M

Covert Ops

Specialized frigates that are designed to interface with the Covert Ops cloaking device, effectively allowing them to move unseen through enemy territory.
Small
Helios (Gallente), Cheetah (Minmatar), Anathema (Amaar)
8 M

Command Ships

The next step up from Heavy Assault Ships, these tanked-out Battlecruisers pack considerable punch on the battlefield with their array of weaponry and extremely resilient armor. The Fleet version of this ship is capable of fitting 3 Warfare links simultaneously, giving a huge advantage to the entire gang.
Medium
Damnation (Ammar), Astarte (Gallente), Nighthawk (Caldari)
125 M
Heavy Assault Ships
Like Assault Ships are big brothers to frigates, Heavy Assault ships are the elite form of cruisers. These ships are very expensive both in terms of ISK and time spent learning to use.
Medium
Sacrilege (Amarr), Deimos (Gallente)
130 M
Interceptors
Superior maneuverability, speed, and a slim signature radius means that interceptors bring a lot of hurt in a hurry, and can effectively evade high caliber turrets. Their defensive capabilities, or lack thereof, means that they cannot handle many hits without falling apart.
Small
Crusader (Amarr), Taranis (Gallente), Claw (Minmatar)
6 M - 12 M
Interdictors
The elite version of Destroyers, these ships are designed with a very specialized role in mind: The deployment of interdiction bubbles, which are effectively big, deployable spheres of warp jamming goodness. They also have more firepower than the standard destroyer, especially in the department of missile bays.
Small
Heretic (Ammar), Flycatcher (Caldari), Sabre (Minmatar)
20M
Logistics
The backbone of any decent fleet, this class of ship is designed to keep the front line fighters in good, working condition by use of remote armor repairs and shield transfer arrays. They are very resilient to attack as well, making them able to absorb some hits for the team.
Medium
Schimitar (Minmatar), Oneiros (Gallente), Basilisk (Caldari)
32 M
Marauders
These are versatile and hardy ships perfect for taking into the fray of battle.  They are low on sensor and scan capabilities but make up for these shortcomings with impressive weapon, utility, and tractor beam abilities.
Medium
Golem (Caldari), Paladin (Amarr), and Kronos (Gallente)
500 M
Recon
Recon ships for recon!  Who would have thunk it? These ships are designed to slip in, undetected, and mess up the enemies workings and keep up mass confusion while the big boys jump in and start whooping butt.  These ships excel at electronic warfare and can take a beating.
Medium
Curse (Amarr), Arazu (Gallente), Falcon (Caldari)
30-35 M
Transport Ships
The souped-up versions of industrial ships, these haulers come in two flavors: Deep space transports, sacrificing speed for the ability to take a beating and still keep trucking; and Blockade runners, ultra-fast transport ships with extremely stable warp cores, allowing them to resist the effects of Warp scramblers to a high degree.
N/A
Occator (Gallente), Crane (Caldari), Impel (Amarr), Prowler (Minmatar)
25 M - 85 M+

 

Capital Ships

These ships are the backbone of the corporation world.  They are big, slow, but the offer support to corporations that the other ships just cannot match.  These ships would be impractical for the solo player and are outrageously expensive.

Ship Type
Description
Loadout Size
A Few Examples...
Approximate Price
Carriers
These behemoths are capable of turning the tide of battle with their hoards of fighter-drones, each packing the power of a souped-up frigate. The larger versions of these ships, Motherships, are also fitted with clone-vats, allowing pilots who have died in battle to respawn at the mothership, grab new equipment, and go back into the fray.
Capital
Nyx (Gallente Mothership), Nidhoggur (Minmatar Carrier), Chimera (Caldari Carrier
80 M to OMGWTFBBQ!
Dreadnoughts
In Star Wars terminology, these capital ships are one small step down from the Deathstar. Though they move at a turtle's pace, their massive weaponry allows dreadnoughts to decimate fortified targets at distances of more than 100km.
Capital
Phoenix (Caldari), Revelation (Amarr), Naglfar (Minmatar), Moros (Gallente)
If you have to ask...
Freighters
Immense bulk transports whose top speed is around 60 m/s, freighters could easily haul more than a few packaged industrial ships around.
Capital
Providence (Amarr), Charon (Caldari), Obelisk (Gallente), Fenrir (Minmatar)
500 M +
Titans
One of the biggest ships currently in existence. Their ability to fit Doomsday devices, which are capable of destroying entire fleets in a single motion, are the stuff of legends. They also have the ability to create jump-bridges, allowing even smaller ships to move to different systems without the need for a stargate.
Really, really big.
Avatar (Ammar), Erebus (Gallente), Leviathan (Caldari)
You have to ask?
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