Electronic Warfare (EWAR) decreases the enemy's effectiveness in battle using electronics-based modules. It is often categorized as a "force multiplier" because, without actually doing any damage itself, electronic warfare can make a fleet several times more dangerous.
There are 5 basic electronic-warfare modules:
- Electronic Counter Measures (ECM)
- Tracking Disruption (TD)
- Remote Sensor Dampening (Damps, RSD)
- Target Painting (TP)
- Capacitor Warfare (Neuting)
The use of tackling modules to hold the enemy in place is sometimes casually referred to as EWAR; however in Eve University, EWAR usually refers to the 4 varieties above.
A variety of visual effects for the various kinds of EWAR are shown on the Identifying Visual Effects page.
Electronic Counter Measures (ECM)
ECM is used to make the target (the 'jammed ship') lose all its current target locks. The jammed ship cannot target anyone for the duration of the ECM module's cycle (20 seconds), and will have to re-acquire its targets afterwards.
ECM success is chance-based and all-or-nothing. For example: if your module has an adjusted strength of 4 and the ship you are trying to jam has a sensor strength of 20, then your chance of success (20%) is lower than if you target a ship with a sensor strength of 12 (33%). If the module succeeds in jamming, the full effect will always be produced. If it fails, you have to wait 20 seconds before you can try again with that module. Note that you always have some chance of success.
The Caldari race has ships that get bonuses for using ECM modules. The Tech 1 ships that have bonuses for ECM are the Griffin (frigate), the Blackbird (cruiser), and the Scorpion (battleship). The tech 2 ships are the Kitsune (Electronic Attack Ship), the Rook (Combat Recon Ship), the Falcon (Force Recon Ship), and the Widow (Black Ops). The Tech 3 Tengu can use subsystems which give it bonuses to ECM, but these subsystems are rarely used.
Note that, due to the low base strength of even the most powerful ECM modules, the bonuses from these Caldari ships are, in practice, necessary to get any useful effect from ECM. In other words, if you're fitting ECM on a ship without ECM bonuses, you're probably making a horrible mistake.
There are 5 types of ECM modules: 4 racial jammers and a multispectral module. The racial jammers each have an increased jamming strength against their specific race listed below. The multispectral jammer has an equal (but lower than the racial) strength against all races.
The 5 types are:
- Gravimetric (Caldari, Blue). Basic Tech 1 module: ECM - Spatial Destabilizer I
- Magnetometric (Gallente, Green). Basic Tech 1 module: ECM - Ion Field Projector I
- Radar (Amarr, Yellow). Basic Tech 1 module: ECM - White Noise Generator I
- Ladar (Minmatar, Red). Basic Tech 1 module: ECM - Phase Inverter I
- Multispectrum (Non-racial). Basic Tech 1 module: ECM - Multispectral Jammer I
|Item||Optimal Range||Falloff||Racial jam strength||Non-racial jam strength||Activation Cost|
|Tech 1 Racial||24.057km||26.73km||3||1||48|
|Meta 4 Racial||28.868km||32.076km||3.6||1.2||38|
|Tech 2 Racial||28.868km||32.076km||3.6||1.2||57|
|Tech 1 Multispectrum||16.038km||17.82km||2||2||72|
|Meta 4 Multispectrum||19.246km||21.384km||2.4||2.4||57|
|Tech 2 Multispectrum||19.246km||21.384km||2.4||2.4||79|
Note that using multispectral jammers over racial jammers is usually (though not always) unwise. They have way less range, use more capacitor and have less jam strength in general. If you have time and you know the race you are going to go up against, refit to jam that race specifically. If you're not sure, fit a mix of all racial types (a so-called 'rainbow' fit that includes all four colours of jammer).
This wiki's longer ECM guide covers ECM mechanics in more detail.
The ECM burst module will try to jam everything in a certain radius. Just as the multispectrum jammer, it has the same jamming strength for each race. The biggest downside of this module is that you hit everything. Enemies, friendlies, neutrals. If you hit a neutral using this module while in high security space (0.5 - 1.0) you will lose your ship to CONCORD. This includes gates, stations, gate guns, billboards, etc. The other disadvantage of the ECM burst is that it only breaks the lock. People will be able to directly start locking you again afterwards.
|Item||Optimal Range||Falloff||Jam Strength|
General rule 1: DO NOT USE IT ... unless you know how to work with it.
General Rule 2: DO NOT USE IT IN HIGHSEC. Scratch a neutral object and you will die.
Signal Distortion Amplifier
The signal distortion amplifier provides a percentage increase to the jam strength and ECM range bonus of your ECM modules. Using these will give you a greater chance to jam the target ship. These are passive modules, so you don't have to click them to activate them.
|Item||Scan Strength Increase||Range Increase|
Tracking Disruption (TD)
Tracking disruption is used to decrease the optimal range and falloff and/or the tracking speed of turrets. Decreasing the optimal range of a weapon makes it less effective at longer range: it won't be able to hit targets at great range that it could hit perfectly before. Decreasing tracking speed (the weapons' turning speed) makes it harder for the weapons to follow a moving target and hit it properly. Additionally, you can use scripts for tracking disruptors to focus on either decreasing targeting range and falloff or decreasing the tracking speed.
The Amarr race has ships that get bonuses for using tracking disruptors. The tech 1 ships that get bonuses for tracking disruption are Crucifier and Arbitrator. The ship pages have example fits for Tracking Disruption.
|Item||Optimal Range||Falloff||Optimal Range Modifier||Falloff Modifier||Tracking Speed Modifier|
|Tech 1 (No script)||40km||20km||-17.0%||-17.0%||-17.0%|
|Tech 1 (Optimal range script)||40km||20km||-34.0%||-34.0%||-0%|
|Tech 1 (Tracking script)||40km||20km||-0%||-0%||-34.0%|
|Tech 2 (No script)||48km||24km||-19.1%||-19.1%||-19.1%|
|Tech 2 (Optimal range script)||48km||24km||-38.2%||-38.2%||-0%|
|Tech 2 TD (Tracking script)||48km||24km||-0%||-0%||-38.2%|
The Tech 1 (meta4) "Balmer Series Tracking Disruptor" has the same range, falloff and bonuses as the Tech 2 TD with 30% less CPU usage and a lower activation cost.
- CPU Management III
- Tech 1: Weapon disruption I
- Tech 2: Weapon disruption IV
Note: Because tracking disruption modules don't work against missiles, drones, EWAR or logistics ships, tracking disruption is considered by some to be weaker than sensor dampening or ECM.
Remote Sensor Dampening (damps, RSD)
Sensor dampening is the counterpart of sensor boosting. The remote sensor dampener can be used to decrease the targeting range and/or the targeting speed (measured in scan resolution) of your targets ship. With this decrease the target can either lock at a smaller range and/or lock slower due to the locking time decrease. Additional you can use scripts for remote sensor dampeners to focus on either increasing the targeting range penalty or the targeting speed penalty. With the specific script loaded the other penalty is taken away.
The Gallente race has ships that get bonuses for using remote sensor dampeners. The tech 1 ships that get bonuses for remote sensor dampening are: Maulus and Celestis. RSD is very useful against enemy logistics and EWAR by cutting their locking range so that their targets will become unlocked. Since Retribution, the Celestis can now outrange the Blackbird.
|Item||Optimal Range||Falloff||Targeting Range Modifier||Scan Resolution Modifier|
|Tech 1 No script||30km||50km||-15.2%||-15.2%|
|Tech 1 Scan resolution script||30km||50km||-0%||30.4%|
|Tech 1 Targeting range script||30km||50km||-30.4%||-0%|
|Tech 2 No script||36km||60km||-17%||-17%|
|Tech 2 Scan resolution script||36km||60km||-0%||-34%|
|Tech 2 Targeting range script||36km||60km||-34%||-0%|
It is important to note that the Tech 1 "Phased Muon Sensor Dampener I" has the identical range and falloff as the Tech 2 variant while using 30% less CPU.
- CPU Management III
- Tech 1: Sensor Linking I
- Tech 2: sensor Linking IV
Target Painting (TP)
Target painting is used to increase the target's signature radius, increasing the effectiveness of weapons against the target. This module mainly comes in handy if you need a large ship to hit a smaller ship. Normally, for example, a battleship has a hard time hitting a frigate, or only does minimal damage to it. Using the target painter on the frigate will make it much easier for the battleship to hit it. Note that the target painter will help everyone shooting at that target, not just the painting ship. The painter is also useful for bombers against smaller targets. See Does a Target Painter help Turrets?
|Item||Optimal Range||Falloff||Target Signature Increase|
- CPU Management III
- Tech 1: Target Painting I
- Tech 2: Target Painting IV
You have probably heard the phrase 'cap is life' during your time in EVE. There are many good reasons why this is true, and each one is also a reason why Capacitor Warfare can be extremely effective. Capacitor keeps many tanks working, directly feeds laser and hybrid turrets, and fully powers the fighting mid slot modules including all EWAR modules and propulsion systems. An enemy without capacitor is an enemy without options, allowing you to dictate the flow of the battle - kill them your way or if something goes wrong you can always be confident of escape since warp jamming requires cap.
Capacitor Warfare, defined as direct action taken to reduce or eliminate the capacitor of a target, can be accomplished by using two types of Engineering Equipment modules, the Energy Destabilizers (also called neutralizers or neuts) and the Energy Vampires (also called nosferatu or nos). There are also neuting drones (light, medium and heavy): Acolyte EV-300, Infiltrator EV-600, and Praetor EV-900. However these are significantly less powerful than equivalently sized modules.
Please see the Capacitor Warfare Guide for details.
Sensor Booster (sebo)
The sensor booster can increase the targeting range and/or the targeting speed (measured in scan resolution) of your ship when activated. With this increase you can either lock the target at a greater range and/or lock him faster due to the locking time decrease. Additionally you can use scripts for the sensor booster to focus on either increasing the targeting range bonus or the targeting speed bonus. With the specific script loaded the other bonus is taken away.
|Item||Targeting Range||Scan Resolution|
|Tech 1 No script||+25%||+25%|
|Tech 1 Scan resolution script||+0%||+50%|
|Tech 1 Targeting range script||+50%||+0%|
|Tech 2 No script||+30%||+30%|
|Tech 2 Scan resolution script||+0%||+60%|
|Tech 2 Targeting range script||+60%||+0%|
- CPU Management II
- Tech 1: Long Range Targeting I
- Tech 2: Long Range Targeting IV
Remote Sensor Booster (ReSeBo)
The remote sensor booster can be used on a target ship to increases its targeting range and/or the targeting speed (measured in scan resolution) when activated - thereby allowing it to lock a target at a greater range and/or lock it faster due to the locking time decrease. They have a much greater effect than local sensor booster. This can be used to counteract remote sensor dampening. Additionally like their local version, you can use scripts for the remote sensor booster to focus on either increasing the targeting range bonus or the targeting speed bonus. With the specific script loaded the other bonus is taken away.
|Item||Targeting Range||Scan Resolution|
|Tech 1 No script||+33.8%||+33.8%|
|Tech 1 Scan resolution script||+0%||+67%|
|Tech 1 Targeting range script||+67%||+0%|
|Tech 2 No script||+40%||+40%|
|Tech 2 Scan resolution script||+0%||+80%|
|Tech 2 Targeting range script||+80%||+0%|
- CPU Management III
- Tech 1: Sensor Linking I
- Tech 2: Sensor Linking IV
How to use EWAR
There are two techniques commonly used for EWAR. One is to sit at range with minimal tank and attack your enemies while hopefully being out of range of their damage. The other, is to fit (often a very heavy) tank and remain with the DPS. The advantage of this is being able to get reps from any logi ships you have with you and not being in trouble if you jump into a fleet. The disadvantage is that you give up rig slots (and, if in an ECM ship, low slots) for tank which could be used to make your EWAR more effective. The ranged technique is outlined below.
If the target is in range:
- 1. Turn Sensor Booster on. (If you have one. If are camping a gatecamp, this should be on already.)
- 2. Lock target.
- This step depends on the FC's orders and your location. Generally speaking ECM, TD and damps should be spread out on the opponents, ignoring primary. TP's should all be on the primary. (The designated targets should match the EW modules you have equipped: so don't put a TD on a missile boat. And it might be a good thing to open up a separate chat channel for all the EW people, so you can keep everything well spread.)
- 3a. If your orders are to orbit a gate, keep orbiting. If you get targeted you can jump through. (Unless you activated an aggressive module so cannot.)
- 3b. If you are at your optimal range, align to a planet. If you are targeted you can warp away and warp back in.
- 4. Activate the electronic warfare module on your designated target. You may want to overheat your ECM module for the (often critical) first cycle and gain a 20% higher strength. TD/RSD/TP modules can't be overheated.
- 5. If the hit on the designated target is successful, put a second electronic warfare module (if you have it) on another target in the opposing fleet.
- 6. There is no 6, let's jam it.
- 7. ECM: If you 'miss' a cycle be ready to warp away if you get targeted.
If the target is outside range there are two possibilities:
- You messed up. You are in the wrong place.
- The target warped to a bookmark where only the longest-range electronic warfare can reach.
Remember, always be either aligned to a celestial (preferably a planet) to warp to or be in range of a gate to jump through.
Electronic warfare skills
As explained above, each kind of electronic warfare requires that you have an associated skill (along with CPU Management III) before you can use it. Each skill reduces the capacitor need of the associated EWAR module by 5% per level. The four skills are:
- For ECM: Electronic Warfare (although this skill is called 'Electronic Warfare' it only applies to ECM, not to the other three varieties of EWAR)
- For TD: Weapon Disruption
- For damps: Sensor Linking
- For TP: Target Painting
One of these skills to level 1 together with the skill required to fly an appropriate EWAR frigate -- at the most, a few hours' training time in total -- are all you need to fly in an EWAR role in a uni fleet and potentially make a big battlefield impact. This is why the EWAR role is one of the roles recommended for new pilots in Eve University.
There are further skills which can increase your EWAR effectiveness: these aren't a concern for new players, but may be worth training if you are planning on regularly flying in the electronic warfare role. Each kind of electronic warfare also has a second associated skill which actually makes it more effective. These skills require CPU Management V and four levels in one of the skills listed above. The four skills are:
- For ECM: Signal Dispersion - 5% bonus to strength of ECM jammers per level, requires CPU Management V and Electronic Warfare IV
- For TD: Turret Destabilization - 5% bonus per level to the problems your TD modules cause the enemy, requires CPU Management V and Weapon Disruption IV
- For damps: Signal Suppression - 5% bonus per level to the problems your dampeners cause the enemy, requires CPU Management V and Sensor Linking IV
- For TP: Signature Focusing - 5% bonus per level to the effect of your painters on the target's signature radius, requires CPU Management V and Target Painting IV
There are also two skills which increase the range of all four kinds of electronic warfare:
- Long Distance Jamming - 10% bonus to optimal range per skill level
- Frequency Modulation - 10% bonus to falloff per skill level
Although it has 'jamming' in its name, Long Distance Jamming definitely affects target painting, tracking disruption and remote sensor dampening as well as ECM. Despite this, both these skills have Electronic Warfare (yes, the ECM skill) as a prerequisite: EW II for Frequency Modulation, EW III for Long Distance Jamming. Drone users might as well train EW to IV, since it is also a prerequisite for Electronic Warfare Drone Interfacing, which increases your drone control range (for all drones) and unlocks EW drones.
Other significant skills for electronic warfare are your spaceship command skills for your EWAR platform of choice (ship bonuses mean that the Crucifier's TD gets better as your Amarr Frigate skill levels up, the Blackbird produces better ECM as your Caldari Cruiser skill levels up, and so on) and skills that help you target more things, faster and further away: Targeting, Signature Analysis and Long Range Targeting.
It should be noted that while these modules don't have to worry about tracking, they do have a chance to 'miss.' If the target is outside your optimal range your chance to miss will depend on the target's range and your module's falloff. See Optimal and Falloff.
For example, say your target painter has an optimal of 25km and a falloff of 50km. Your target painter will always work within 25km. If your target is at 75km (25+50), you have a 50% chance of missing. This means either the 25% signature radius bonus will apply or not. It doesn't mean that the bonus is reduced by 50%.