Capacitor Management 101

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Contents

Class Information

This is a syllabus for a class provided by EVE University. This section contains information about this class and its contents. General Information includes materials to create a proper class listing on the EVE University forum. Additional resources and teaching tips are listed under Notes for the Teacher.

General Information

(Though the official name of this course is "Capacitor Management 101", post it to the calendar as "Cap is Life!")

Illustration link for class description on the Eve University forum: http://wiki.eveuniversity.org/w/images/7/72/Flux_capacitor.gif

In EVE, your capacitor is life! If you run out of cap energy, your turrets don't fire, your active tank fails, your modules stop working and you soon end up stripped of your ship, floating in space in a pod.  This class will explain how ship capacitors work, how you can improve their performance, and how you can become their master - instead of the other way around.

Duration:

Location: Docked up safely in any station

Topics include:

  • What is a capacitor?
  • How is it different from powergrid?
  • What is "cap stable"? Do I want it?
  • How recharge rates work
  • Improving capacitor performance
    • Capacitor management skills
    • Cap-related modules
    • Cap-related rigs
    • Cap improving implants
    • Cap improving boosters
  • Capacitor management techniques
  • Q&A

Student requirements:

  • Mumble registration and access - make sure you have Mumble sorted out and operational well before the class begins. Use this guide for set-up: Mumble
  • Access to the Class.E-UNI in-game chat channel

Additional information: This class is primarily lecture delivered in the Class.E-UNI channel in Mumble, followed by Q&A. This class may be recorded for UNI student purposes.

If you have any additional questions, please post them here and I will respond.

Notes for the Teacher

Required materials:

  • Class.E-UNI chat channel, to receive questions and post relevant links
  • This wiki page
  • The class slideshow: http://gdurl.com/NHak/viewer or http://eveuni.org/capislife. Note the slideshow does not include every single piece of information on this wiki page - it is meant as a complement to listening to the class, not a replacement. Last updated: 24th February 2013. If you notice any errors on the slideshow, or out-to-date information, or have an idea about something that should be added, please forum-PM Kivena.
  • This other wiki page: http://wiki.eveuniversity.org/Capacitor_Recharge_Rate might be useful to link
  • It is helpful to have the following modules in your Items in station, so that you can drag them to the chat window for links:
    • Auxiliary Power Control (aka, Micro Auxiliary Power Cores)
    • Power Diagnostic Units
    • Reactor Control Unit
    • Capacitor battery
    • Capacitor booster
    • Capacitor flux coil
    • Capacitor recharger
    • Energy destabilizer
    • Energy transfer array
    • Nosferatu energy vampire


Class Contents

Introduction

Welcome to this class on Capacitor Management!

This course is designed primarily for pilots who want to understand how to maximize the performance of what is perhaps the most important piece of equipment on your ship: your capacitor, also generally known as a "cap" in EVE jargon. Your capacitor supplies energy to your modules, enabling you to fire weapons, engage EWAR, maneuver your ship, maintain a defensive tank, and warp away, if required. If your capacitor empties, then your ship becomes impotent, immobile and immaterial. A drained capacitor in a fight translates quickly into finding yourself floating in space in a pod. Your capacitor, quite literally, is life.

There is a slide show for this class, which I shall link in Class.E-UNI - http://bit.ly/capislife.

Over the next hour, we shall cover the information you need to manage your capacitor effectively.

(Instructor should then introduce himself or herself - covering relevant experience level and background.)

We have a few ground rules for this class:

  • I recommend that you be docked up safely in a station for this class.
  • Please put your Mumble settings on "Push to Talk" if you have not already done so.
  • Feel free to type any questions in the Class.E-UNI chat channel as we proceed - I will try to answer your questions as they come during the class. At the end of my lecture, we'll open up for any further questions or general discussion.

Everyone ready? OK, then - let's begin....

Your ship's reactor

Every ship includes a reactor, which provides electrical power.

FYI: each race has a different type of reactor - Amarr: Antimatter; Caldari: Graviton; Gallente: Fusion; Minmatar: Nuclear - though they all operate exactly the same way.

Power from your reactor is routed to two uses: your powergrid and your capacitor.


What is a powergrid?

(slideshow page 3)

Many people confuse capacitor and powergrid, but they are two completely different features of any ship.

While the capacitor stores power from the reactor for use on demand by modules, the powergrid is a static, constant flow of energy from the reactor used for fitting modules on your ship. Most modules require a minimum amount of power just to be fitted and maintained "at the ready" on a ship - to be "plugged in" to your ship's systems.

In short, capacitors are used for module operation, while powergrid is used for module fitting and readiness.

Powergrid is measured in megawatts ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Watt#Megawatt ), and can be seen by selecting "Show Info" on your ship, and looking at the Powergrid section. You can also find this information in the fitting window.

There is no direct relationship between your capacitor and powergrid. You can increase your powergrid with certain modules, skills, implants and rigs, but increasing your powergrid has no effect on the capacity or recharge rate of your capacitor. A larger powergrid enables you to fit bigger and more power-hungry modules.

  • FOR REFERENCE: Ways to improve powergrid - (Note to teacher: there is no need to cover these in class - these are provided here only for reference, in case someone asks a question about this.)
    • Powergrid-related skills
      • A ship's total powergrid output is increased 5% per level of Power grid management skill.
      • The Advanced Weapon Upgrades skill decreases the powergrid requirements of all Turrets, Missile Launchers, and Smartbombs by 2% per level.
      • The Shield Upgrades skill decreases the Powergrid requirements of Shield Resistance Amplifiers, Shield Extenders, and Shield Rechargers by 5% per level.
    • Modules for powergrid improvement
      • Auxiliary Power Controls, increase the powergrid of the ship by a small, yet absolute number. It is ideal for frigates, who would benefit less from a percent increase than a static one due to their low starting powergrids.
      • Power Diagnostic Systems give a small percent increase to powergrid, as well as a series of small enhancements to Shields and Capacitor. It is ideal if only a small increase is needed to powergrid, since you can enjoy the other benefits as a side-effect.
      • Reactor Control Units give a percent increase to powergrid. Larger ships benefit more from this module due to their greater Powergrids.
    • Implants for powergrid improvement
      • The Slot 6 Hardwiring Inherent Implants 'Squire' EG series of Implants (601-606) will increase the powergrid of the ship you are currently in by 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, or 6% depending on which you have plugged in.
    • Rigs for powergrid improvement


What is a capacitor?

(slideshow page 4)

The capacitor is a power storage unit that is tapped to activate fitted modules on a ship. While your reactor supplies a flow of power, such energy is difficult to store. Imagine trying to store electricity from the outlets in your home. Your ship's capacitor has the ability to store a certain amount of power, and to draw power from your reactor at a certain rate. Capacitor management is therefore all about maximizing these two factors - capacitor capacity and the recharge rate - while minimizing the consumption of power out of your capacitor.

Capacitor is measured in gigajoules ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joule#Gigajoule ).

When you activate modules, the amount of cap required is deducted from your total cap, which you can see in the middle of your HUD on the overview. Mouseover gives you more information.

Generally, the larger the ship, the larger the amount of capacitor capacity. Capacitor capacity can be increased by certain skills, modules, and rigs, and also by certain booster drugs.

Capacitor recharge rate can likewise be improved by skills, modules and rigs, and also can be affected by some implants.

The capacitor has a natural recharge rate, replenishing its energy (from your ships reactor) over time. If you use this energy – by activating modules – faster than it can replenish the energy, you will eventually run out of cap and not be able to activate any modules (and not be able to enter warp, because entering warp requires an amount of capacitor energy proportional to the distance you are warping).


Capacitor in the fitting window

(slideshow page 5)

So let's have a look at the in game fitting screen and what it shows you.

The first line is simple, it's the total capacitor capacity, followed by how long it takes to recharge it from empty to about 98%. Note that it takes a very long time – much longer than the time stated here – to fully recharge it to 100%.

The second line shows you firstly the excess recharge rate. This is essentially the difference between the usage rate – the rate at which you use energy, assuming all fitted modules are running continuously – and the recharge rate. A negative number implies that you are using more energy than you can recharge. This rate is measured in gigajoules per second.

The second part shows the same thing, except in percentage form. This is your excess or deficit recharge rate, as a percentage of your peak recharge rate. CCP could just add a line actually telling you your peak recharge rate, but for whatever reason, they don't. I'll tell you how to work out your peak recharge rate later.

Finally the top right corner tells you if you are cap stable, or if not, how long it takes for your capacitor to run out of energy (again assuming all fitted modules are running continuously).

Hovering over the small capacitor icon to the left of these values shows you at what capacity level your capacitor will stabilise (if you are cap stable) – or how long it takes for your cap to run out if not.

You can offline (or unfit) various modules to see how they alter these values. MWDs are a good one to try out in this way, because they use and affect your cap in a big way.


Capacitor in EFT / Pyfa

(slideshow page 6)

Now lets have a look at the same screen in our external fitting tools. This is somewhat more useful, telling us again how long we have until the cap runs out – assuming modules that that we have marked as active are running continuously. If we are cap stable though, it tells us at what capacitor level the capacitor will stabilize. As you can see this value varies depending which program you use!

It also tells us our peak recharge rate, and also our usage rate - assuming modules that that we have marked as active are running continuously.

I've been referring to 'peak recharge' quite a lot now, and you might be wondering what that is. Well, the capacitor does not recharge at a constant rate. On the next page you can see the results of experiments run by an E-UNI teacher/graduate, Kivena.  (All of the maths behind it was deduced by an ex-E-UNI professor, Dust Puppy.)


Graphs!

(slideshow page 7)

The large blue graph shows how quickly the capacitor recharges. On the y-axis you have current capacitor level – in this graph as a percentage of total capacitor. This is plotted against time in seconds on the x-axis – this is time since we drained the capacitor to zero by activating modules.

You can easily see that the capacitor starts off recharging fairly slowly before quickly speeding up its recharge rate. It then slows down, tailing off to very slow indeed as the capacitor becomes almost full.

I've added a best-fit curve to this line, the equation for which is in the top-left corner. C0 is total capacitor capacity, x0 is the recharge time listed on the in-game fitting window, and k is a constant, which Dust Puppy thinks is 5.0, Seamus Donohue thinks is 4.8 and Kivena thinks is 4.9. The x axis is obviously time.

For a source of this, the word Source there on this page is a link to the wiki page detailing the maths behind this equation. Warning, contains lots of maths. It's not necessary to understand this for effective capacitor management, so only for the interested.

The more important graph for our purposes is the smaller orange one. This is a graph of recharge rate (as a percentage of average recharge rate, which is simply total capacitor divided by recharge time) on the y-axis, plotted over current capacitor level on the x axis (again as a % of total capacity like the bigger graph).

These particular graphs are only of one ship (Maelstrom), although I have also tried out other ships and I got exactly the same graphs.

We can see from this small graph that the recharge rate peaks at about 2.5 times the average recharge rate.

The other thing to take away is where the peak occurs in capacitor capacity – i.e. somewhere around 24-25% of total capacity. This orange graph is probably the single most important thing to take away from this class – if your capacitor is slowly running down, remember that peak recharge occurs at about 25% of capacity. If you pass this level, then you will run out of cap pretty swiftly as the recharge rate drops off.

Remember this is with no other factors – if other people are draining your cap with energy neutralizers or energy vampires, it will drop off even faster.


What is "cap stable"? Do I want it?

(slideshow page 8-9)

A "cap stable" ship is one in which the power demands of your modules will not exceed your capacitor's recharge rate, when all of your ship's fitted modules are operating. In other words, the aggregate rate of power drawn from your capacitor by your operating modules will not exceed the capacitor's recharge rate, and your capacitor will never empty.

In general, your ship will remain cap stable if the energy in your capacitor does not fall below 25% of your total capacity. This is because the highest recharge rate occurs when your capacitor is at about 25% of full capacity.

Why is being cap stable good?

A cap stable configuration means that you can engage all fitted modules, and unless disrupted by energy weapons, your capacitor will be able to keep your modules operating indefinitely.

You can be cap stable and still run out of cap though, primarily through external effects such as people activating energy-neutralizers on you.

Overheating modules can also make you no longer cap stable – because some modules gain a duration bonus that makes them cycle faster and thus use up more cap.

Should I be cap stable?

In PvP (player vs. player) engagements, having a cap stable configuration is not required. In fact, a cap stable configuration can limit the damage per second (DPS) potential of your ship, and make your vessel less effective in combat.

To achieve a cap stable configuration, you must limit the size and energy requirements of any active modules: weapons, shield, armor, EWAR, sensors, or any module that consumes power from your capacitor. In addition, you must often fit modules that expand capacitor capacity, recharge rate, or both - such as cap rechargers, power diagnostic systems, capacitor flux coils, and capacitor power relays - which then occupy fitting slots that could be used for offensive and defensive capability enhancements. Also PvP ships very often fit microwarpdrives – it's almost impossible to be marked as 'cap stable' with a MWD, because they reduce your capacitor whilst fitted and use so much cap when active.

When deciding whether to be cap stable, take into account how long your encounters will last for. PvP invariably is over swiftly, so cap stability is usually pointless. Incursions only last around 10 minutes maximum – if your cap can last that long, you don't need to be cap stable. Missions are probably the longest combat encounter, with L4s sometimes lasting up to 30-40 minutes (in the worst case). For these being cap stable can be very useful.

Being marked as cap stable assumes you run all your modules constantly. If you don't, then you might be cap stable anyway.


Energy Transfer

(slideshow page 10)

Some text about energy transfer.  Slideshow says it all, to be honest.


Improving Capacitor Performance

(slideshow page 11-12)

Improving capacitor performance is a somewhat arcane science. Modules and skills will affect your ships in different ways than you think they might.

The equation on page 11 shows you how the two basic capacitor stats affect your peak recharge rate.

You will often find bonuses simply listed as “capacitor bonus” – this increases the total size of your capacitor, and because the recharge time does not change it also effectively increases your recharge rate.

The other basic bonus is “capacitor recharge rate bonus”. EVE names this rather badly, because it doesn't actually increase your recharge rate, at least not directly. What it really does is reduce the recharge time by the % listed – and because the capacitor capacity does not change, it also effectively increases recharge rate.

Page 12 shows a worked example. Note how CCP rounds down the values in their fitting window information. I don't know whether this rounded down value is the actual value used in-game, or whether it's just rounded-down for display.

There are six ways to improve the performance of your capacitor:

  • Skills - learning capacitor-related skills will have the most effect on your capacitor performance, and higher-level skills will enable you to fit modules that use capacitor power more effectively.
  • Modules - certain modules modify either your capacitor capacity or your recharge rate.
  • Rigs - some ship modifications can significantly improve the performance of your capacitor - however, rigs are permanent, and therefore should be considered very carefully before fitting them.
  • Implants - a few implants will enable you to manage capacitor performance better.
  • Booster drugs - some drugs can also temporarily improve your capacitor use, albeit with some potential negative side effects.
  • Management techniques - knowing when and how to engage certain modules on your ship can help to improve your capacitor's usefulness, even if you are not cap stable.

Capacitor Enhancing Skills

(slideshow page 13-14)

  • Seventeen skills can help the sub-capital ship pilot to manage their capacitor more effectively. Some cap-related skills apply only to very specific sets of modules (for example, Sensor Linking won't help you if you never use sensor dampeners or remote sensor boosters). Some, however, are essential for every capsuleer.
  • Essential capacitor management skills - every pilot should train these to level 4 or higher:
    • Capacitor Management: 5% bonus to total capacitor capacity per level
    • Capacitor Systems Operation: 5% cap recharge rate reduction per level
    • These first two are amazing cap skills.  In the long term, if you fly combat ships a lot training these to 5 is very worthwhile (although Capacitor Management has a very long training time).
    • Warp Drive Operation: 10% reduction per level in capacitor use when initiating warp
  • Module-related capacitor management skills - depending on the roles you wish to take as a capsuleer, these skills can help greatly in reducing capacitor requirements for certain modules, and should be trained to level 3 at a minimum.
    • Controlled Bursts: 5% per level reduced cap use for hybrid and energy turrets (very important for hybrid/laser users, no use for projectile/missile users)
    • Fuel Conservation: 10% reduced cap per level for afterburners (hefty bonus, together with the duration increase from the Afterburner skill itself, makes it very easy to permarun an AB at level IV or V)
    • High Speed Maneuvering: 5% reduced cap per level for microwarpdrives (very useful in PvP engagements)
    • Propulsion Jamming: 5% reduction per level to warp scrambler/disruptor and stasis web capacitor need (essential for tacklers)
    • Shield Compensation: 2% less capacitor need per level for shield boosters (though in the long run it's good to train for both kinds of tanking, if you only use buffer tanks when you shield tank, this may not be useful for you)
    • Jump Drive Operation: 5% reduction per level of the capacitor need of initiating a jump (not useful for sub-capital ships without jump drives)
  • Logistics-related capacitor management modules - remote repair modules require a great deal of capacitor energy, so if you fit any of these modules, consider training the related skill to level 3 or higher
    • Energy Emission Systems: 5% reduced cap per level for energy emission weapons (energy neutralizers and nosferatus)
    • Remote Armor Repair Systems: 5% reduced capacitor need per level for remote armor repair modules (vital if you ever do armor RR work)
    • Shield Emission Systems: 5% reduced capacitor need per level for shield emission modules (important if you ever find yourself in a shield logistics ship)
    • Remote Hull Repair Systems: 5% reduced capacitor need per level for remote hull repair system modules (not so vital; RR hull tanking isn't very good)
  • EWAR-related capacitor management modules - if you fit EWAR modules, you will want to train the relevant EWAR capacitor improvement skill(s) to level 4 or higher
    • Electronic Warfare: 5% less cap per level for ECM jammers and ECM bursts (required for Caldari EWAR)
    • Sensor Linking: 5% less capacitor need per level for remote sensor boosters and sensor dampeners (useful for Gallente EWAR)
    • Target Painting: 5% less capacitor need per level for target painters (useful for Minmatar EWAR)
    • Weapon Disruption: 5% less capacitor need per level for tracking disruptors (useful for Amarr EWAR)

Capacitor-related Modules

(slideshow page 15-17)

While all modules use some powergrid to fit, and all active modules draw from the capacitor to operate, some modules also serve to modify and improve your capacitor's recharge rate or available energy amount. Fortunately, modules that affect powergrid, CPU, or capacitor are spared from the usual stacking penalties. For example, you can fit as many Capacitor Recharger I modules as you want, and each will improve cap recharge time by a full 15%.

  • Capacitor booster module
    • Cap Boosters - these mid-slot modules use cap booster charges to inject a temporary amount of power into the capacitor. The boosters must be loaded with charges much in the same way that weapons are loaded with ammunition, and activated when required. Booster charges come in several sizes from 25 GJ to 800 GJ, measured in gigajoules (GJ). Cap boosters are most often employed in PvP ship configurations, which are generally not cap stable, to provide a safety margin in combat.
  • Capacitor recharge rate-enhancing modules
    • Cap Rechargers - these mid-slot modules increase recharge rate by 15% with the Tech I standard version, up to 20% for the Tech II version (requires Energy Grid Upgrades skill at Level III). Cap Rechargers are commonly found in many PvE cap stable ship configurations. Note that because of the way these things are calculated as I mentioned earlier, this 15% bonus to recharge rate actually means a 15% reduction to recharge time, which in turn equates to roughly an 18% increase in peak recharge rate.
    • Cap Power Relays - these low-slot modules increase your cap recharge rate, more than Cap Rechargers in general. For example, the basic Capacitor Power Relay I increases recharge rate (i.e. reduces recharge time) by 20%. However, power relays also reduce your shield boosting rate - in this example, by 10%.
    • Capacitor Flux Coils provide a bonus to the capacitor recharge rate, but also reduce the size of the capacitor. The basic Capacitor Flux Coil I, for example, increases the capacitor recharge rate by 21%, but at the cost of reducing capacitor capacity by 10%. Taken together this adds up to about 14% peak recharge bonus. Flux Coils take up a low slot.  You can see that Cap Power Relays are clearly better, unless you are active shield tanking.
  • Modules that enhance both capacitor capacity and recharge rate
    • Power Diagnostics Systems - these low-slot modules are the "general purpose" power-enhancement module; they increase cap size and the recharge rate, and also provides bonuses to shield recharge rate and powergrid. For example, the basic Power Diagnostic System I module increases capacitor capacity by 4%, improves recharge rate by 7.5%, raises powergrid by 5%, improves shield recharge rate by 7.5%, and increases shield hit points by 4%. The Tech II version of this module, which requires Energy Grid Upgrades IV, adds another 1% bonus to all the benefits of the comparable Tech I version.  The total peak recharge bonus is about 13%, fairly similar to the Flux Coils - although with the PDS you get a ton of other useful bonuses too.
    • Capacitor Batteries - these mid-slot modules increase cap storage, and because the amount of time to recharge the battery-enhanced capacitor doesn’t change, adding a battery effectively improves the recharge rate as well. Note that the skill Capacitor Management (increases cap capacity by 5%) and other percentage effects apply after these batteries, so training this higher makes batteries more effective. Also, cap batteries provide a degree of defense against energy weapons ("nosses" and "neuts") - they will reflect back a portion of the energy neutralizer or vampire effect back on the attacker.

Capacitor-related Rigs

(slideshow page 18)

There are several important starship modification components, otherwise known as "rigs", that are designed specifically to enhance your capacitor management abilities. Rigs come in small, medium, large and capital sizes; for fitting on frigates/destroyers, cruisers/battlecruisers, battleships, and capitals ships respectively.

Pilots need to train Jury Rigging to level III as a prerequisite for other rigging skills. You will then also have to train additional speciality rigging skills to at least level I to mount various types of rigs on your ship.

Training speciality rigging skills to high levels produces relatively little benefit -- they reduce the impact of drawbacks for using rigs, but those drawbacks are generally not onerous to begin with. To fit Tech 2 rigs, you must train relevant rigging skills to level IV, but T2 rigs are extremely expensive and not recommended for any but the most wealthy of capsuleers.

The most commonly used rig for capacitor management is the Capacitor Control Circuit, which increases a ship's capacitor recharge rate by 15%. Many pilots fit one or more CCCs to achieve cap stability for PvE missioning.  You can see why this one is more popular (and thus more expensive) - it provides a greater benefit to peak recharge rate than the other primary rig, the Semiconductor Memory Cell - which increases capacitor capacity by 15%. 

In some situations you might find having more initial cap preferable than a faster recharge rate - certain PvP ships possibly, in which the encounters are generally very short.

Much like skills, there are many other rigs that decrease the capacitor need for specific modules.  Take a look in the market in the different rig sections for them.  The only one that's used a lot is probably the Egress Port Maximizer, which is really the only rig to increase your energy neut/vampire effectiveness.

Cap-improving Implants

(slideshow page 19)

Implants are items that you can plug into your character's brain to boost skills and attributes. You have ten slots available in your head for implants. Not all implants can fit an any slot, however. Slots 1-5 are for Attribute Enhancers, and slots 6-10 are for Skill Hardwirings, and certain implants only work in specific individual slot locations.

Implants are similar to rigs such that they are semi-permanent enhancements. They cannot be removed without destroying them. For this reason, pilots should consider the mix of implants in their ten available slots very carefully before plugging them in to their heads.

The main advantage to implants is that their bonuses apply to any ship that you fly, and these bonuses generally do not have stacking penalties! In other words, if you have a capacitor enhancing implant, and your ship has capacitor enhancing rigs and modules fitted, your implant bonus applies completely, without any stacking penalties. (Note: there are a few exceptions to this - for example, the Snake series of implants does have stacking penalties, to prevent absurdly high speeds from being obtained.)

To use any implant, you need at least Cybernetics trained to Level 1, which itself requires Level 3 in Science. The more powerful and expensive implants require higher levels of training in Cybernetics, and often cost large amounts of ISK, but they can give you very useful improvements in your abilities.

Note that you can keep separate sets of implants in various jump clones, and then jump to whatever clone you need for different purposes. Many pilots maintain separate clones for combat, with PvP and ship-enhancing implants, for learning, with high attribute improvement implants, and/or for industry, with special implants for mining or hauling, for example.

If you want to use implants to improve your capacitor management, the most useful to install are:

  • Inherent Implants 'Squire' Energy Systems Operation EO-60x series - these reduce capacitor recharge time by 1% to 6% depending on the model number. This is an Engineering implant which fits into Slot 6.
  • Inherent Implants 'Squire' Energy Management EM-80x series - these increase capacitor capacity by 1% to 6%, depending on the model. This is also an Engineering implant, fitting in Slot 8.

Other capacitor performance enhancing implants include:

  • Eifyr and Co. 'Rogue' Warp Drive Operation WD-60x - reduce warp drive operation capacitor usage (-2% to -12%) - Navigation / Slot 6
  • Inherent Implants 'Noble' Repair Systems RS-60x - reduce capacitor need for remote repair (-1% to -6%) - Armor / Slot 6
  • Inherent Implants 'Squire' Energy Emission Systems ES-70x - reduce capacitor need for energy emission systems (-1% to -6%) - Engineering / Slot 7
  • Inherent Implants 'Lancer' Controlled Bursts CB-70x - reduce turret capacitor usage (-1% to -6%) - Gunnery / Slot 7
  • Inherent Implants 'Sergeant' XE4 - reduce energy emission systems capacitor usage (-3%) - Special / Slot 7
  • Eifyr and Co. 'Rogue' Fuel Conservation FC-80x - reduce afterburner capacitor usage (-1% to -6%) - Navigation / Slot 8
  • Zainou 'Gypsy' Propulsion Jamming PJ-80x - reduce warp disruptor, scrambler or webifier capacitor usage (-1% to -6%) - Electronics / Slot 8
  • Zainou 'Gnome' Shield Emission Systems SE-80x - reduce cap usage by shield emission system modules, such as shield transfer array (-1% to -6%) - Shield / Slot 8
  • Zainou 'Gypsy' EW-90x - reduce cap usage by electronic warfare modules (-1% to -6%) - Electronics / Slot 9
  • Zainou 'Gypsy' Sensor Linking SL-90x - reduce cap usage by remote sensor dampeners (-1% to -6%) - Electronics / Slot 9
  • Zainou 'Gypsy' Weapon Disruption WD-90x - reduce cap usage by weapon disruption modules (-1% to -6%) - Electronics / Slot 9
  • Zainou 'Gypsy' Target Painting TG-90x - reduce cap usage by target painters (-1% to -6%) - Electronics / Slot 9
  • Eifyr and Co. 'Rogue' High Speed Maneuvering HS-90x - reduce microwarpdrive capacitor usage (-1% to -6%)) - Navigation / Slot 9
  • For advanced pilots only:
    • Zainou 'Sprite' KXX(500/1000/2000) - reduces capacitor need for capital shield emission system modules (-1%/-3%/-5%) - Special / Slot 6
    • Inherent Implants 'Gentry' ZEX(20/200/2000) - reduced capacitor need for capital remote armor repair system modules (-1%/-3%/-5%) - Special / Slot 7

Cap-affecting Ship Bonuses

(slideshow page 20)

Some ships provide capacitor reduction bonuses for starship command skill levels for that ship type. For example, most Amarr combat ships give 10% cap reduction per Amarr Frig/Cruiser/etc. level for lasers, which is probably the most important skill for managing cap on those ships.

Cap-affecting Booster Drugs

Booster drugs are designed to produce a temporary effect which lasts between 36 minutes and 1 hour, depending on the pilot's Biology skill level. The Mindflood Booster will temporarily increase the pilot's ability to manage ship energy, resulting in an effective capacitor capacity increase of between 3% and 20%, depending on the strength of the Mindflood booster taken. They act like a temporary implant.

Boosters have several disadvantages, however:

  • Only the Synth version of Mindflood is legal in Empire space - and it only produces a 3% improvement in capacitor capacity. The stronger versions, with higher bonuses - Standard (10%), Improved (15%), and Strong (20%) - are illegal in Empire, difficult to find, and expensive.
  • Except for the legal Synth version, stronger boosters also have the potential for up to four negative side effects. A Mindflood taker could also see one or more penalties for armor repair rate, reductions in missile damage, lower shield boosting, and shorter turret optimal range. The chance for these penalties are determined by the strength of the drug, and the pilot's level of some advanced skills - Nanite Control and Neurotoxin Recovery.
  • Note: Some other booster drugs, such as Blue Pill and Exile, have a potential side effect of capacitor capacity reduction.

Boosters are commonly used by advanced pilots in null security space, where they are easier to acquire. These pilots typically train the specialized skills and fit certain implants to minimize negative effects of boosters. Most UNI pilots would be well advised to avoid booster drugs.

Capacitor Management Techniques

(slideshow page 21)

Here is some general advice and a few tips about actions you can take to manage your capacitor more effectively - and to help ruin your opponents' day, too.

  • Fit your ship intelligently
    • Eve Fitting Tool, or EFT, is your friend. Test various configurations of modules, rigs, and implants using EFT, and you'll be able to better improve your capacitor performance.
    • For PvE: focus on capacitor recharge rate. You want to maintain an active defensive shield or armor tank for a relatively long time in missions, so investing in improving your cap recharge rate will pay off more than maximizing the size of your cap. If you are flying a battlecruiser or battleship, consider fitting Capacitor Control Circuit rigs. Train Energy Grid Upgrades to level III, so that you can fit Cap Recharger IIs in your midslots, to increase your recharge rate by 20% for each one that you fit. Adjust the size and types of your weapons to maintain cap stability.
    • For PvP: focus on capacitor capacity. Player versus player engagements rarely last more than a minute or two, so you want to maximize your cap size, so that you can fit the most lethal weapons and maximize your damage dealing capability. Your tank will be designed to buffer you from the enemy, with the intention of killing your enemy quickly, before they can penetrate your defenses - and as a result, your defenses will not be heavily reliant on capacitor energy.
  • Different flavors of modules can improve your cap usage
    • Note that many "named" modules for all kinds of ship functions operate with lower cap power needs, compared to standard modules for the same functions - and often at an affordable cost
    • Tech II fittings for capacitor enhancing modules provide some of the best bonuses, but also at higher prices.
    • Faction versions of cap-related modules can provide even higher benefits, but usually at extraordinarily high prices - their cost for performance ratio is not as good, in general, as Tech II items. Further, flying with expensive faction modules makes you a prime target for pirates and gankers -- beware!
  • Consider how your weapons affect your cap
    • Lasers: huge cap-drainers, especially beam lasers
    • Blasters: also huge cap-drainers
    • Railguns: more cap efficient, but also lower DPS, on average
    • Missiles and projectile weapons: the capacitor's friends - they use no cap at all!
    • Experiment with different weapon types to manage your cap better. For example, some pirates fly the Punisher frigate, an Amarr ship that is usually fitted with lasers, but with autocannons fitted instead, giving them longer-lasting capacitor with no significant affect on damage output. How could you adjust your weapons to improve your cap stability or longevity, and still be effective?
  • Turn off modules that you don't need right away
    • Post-combat modules should be switched off before you undock: salvagers, tractor beams, remote repper modules (unless you are providing combat support)
    • Remember that turning modules on in space requires a very high percentage of available capacitor (usually 90% or more), so don't turn any critical systems off!
    • By pulsing microwarpdrives (MWDs), turning it on and then off so it only operates for one cycle, you minimize their effect on your cap. Remember that the fitting window calculates your cap stability assuming that all of your modules are turned on and engaged, including your MWD. If you only plan to use your MWD or your afterburner for very short intervals - and most pilots do - turn off your MWD or AB in the fitting window to see a more accurate picture of your real cap stability.
    • In fact, pulsing can also be used for just about any active module on your ship. It is commonly used on active shield tanked ships to keep cap around 25-30%, to take advantage of the greater recharge rate at those values, by pulsing shield boosters.
  • In combat, warp out BEFORE you fall below 25% of capacitor capacity - remember that the recharge rate falls off dramatically below this level
  • Do NOT depend on energy warfare modules to sustain your cap - they are there to make the other person's day miserable, not to make yours easier!
    • Energy destabilizers, also known as neutralizers or "neuts", can be very effective weapons, as they effectively reduce the capacity of your enemy's capacitor.
    • Nosferatu energy vampire weapons (also known as "Nos") indeed look cool - and who doesn't want to suck the capacitor life out of your prey? However, they only work if your current capacitor is less than theirs - if you have more absolute cap than them, your Nos will do nothing! Therefore, consider Nos weapons as defensive weapons against energy destabilizers ("neuts"), not typically as offensive weapons, when fighting against ships in your weight class (frigate vs frigate, cruiser vs cruiser, etc). Against larger ships, your Nos will be a valuable tool. Cap boosters can also be used for anti-neut and anti-Nos protection, although their charges are very bulky and take up a lot of cargo space.
    • Neut and Nos weapons generally have short ranges. If you can't get close to your enemy, they are worthless.
    • Don't forget neutralizer drones! If you have drone skills, messing with your target's capacitor with a flight of energy neut drones can certainly ruin their day.
    • For more information about using energy weapons and engaging in capacitor warfare, see this wiki link: Capacitor Warfare Guide
  • Always, always, ALWAYS remember that "cap is life"!

Q&A

  • This brings us to the formal end of the class content.
  • Feel free to step forward now if you have a question, or if you have any additional contributions that might be useful.

Class Wrap-up

  • Thanks for attending this class!
    • I would appreciate any feedback from people on how to improve the class.
    • If you liked the class, send me 1 ISK, and include any suggestions for improvement.
    • If you have any constructive criticisms, those are welcome also - please send me an EVE mail with your suggestions.
  • Good luck, and fly safe!


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