|Ships by size|
|Ships by race|
Frigates are the smallest and fastest ships in Eve. New pilots begin by flying frigates, and the Tech 1 frigates only cost a few hundred thousand ISK. Don't be fooled by the low cost of frigates and the fact that they're used by novice pilots, though: frigates can play an important role in battle, and in numbers or with skilled pilots even Tech 1 frigates can be deadly.
There are a number of classes of Tech 2 frigates, which have advanced abilities and are also much more focused on a particular role: tackling interceptors, cloaking and scanning covert ops frigates, surprise-attack stealth bombers, electronic attack frigates for electronic warfare, and assault frigates, which are designed purely to deal and survive damage.
Little more than slower, armed shuttles, rookie ships (or "noobships") are the basic frigates that new pilots start with. You can acquire a new noobship (together with a civilian weapon, a civilian mining laser and one unit of Tritanium) for free by docking your pod in a station where you don't already have any ships. On their own these are not much use for anything other than basic errand-running. Eve University has, however, been known to field fleets composed entirely of noobships, more for their comedy value than for their effectiveness in battle.
All four rookie ships can carry at least one light drone in their dronebay. The Gallente Velator can carry two.
Shuttles are a cheap and fast way to travel between systems. They are cheap to construct and buy off the market and they move fast for their price, thus making them an excellent choice for travel. While shuttles have been known to be used as scout or survey ships, their most common use is to travel to pick up other, more expensive ships. They have very limited cargo space and cannot fit any modules. Note that you can fly any race's shuttle.
Besides shuttles and rookie ships, each race has around six frigates which can be sorted by their roles. One is a logistics frigate, which has bonuses to tools that help repair other ships, but is very weak in combat. Then there are two combat frigates, which have a great variety of specializations and differences, though all races have at least one frigate which focuses on turrets. One further frigate uses electronic warfare. Each race's frigate lineup is completed by an unusually fast and nimble scouting/tackle frigate, and an exploration frigate with a scanning bonus which helps it to use probes to locate PvE exploration sites or PvP enemies.
In fleet PvP Tech 1 frigates are generally used for tackling or electronic warfare, two roles in which they can have a significant impact. Tech 1 frigates are also flown for solo PvP: their speed and small size helps solo pilots to pick their targets, and their low cost makes them comfortably expendable.
In PvE the more combat-focused frigates are used to complete Level 1 missions, though once new pilots are a little wealthier and better-trained they often begin to use destroyers instead.
Finally, there is the ORE mining frigate, the Venture, dedicated to collecting minerals and gas.
Electronic warfare frigates all have bonuses to EW modules, such as the Target Painter, ECM modules, Remote Sensor Damper and Tracking Disruptor. These ships operate at much longer ranges than other frigates, and rely on positioning and speed to survive. In a small pack, and with some support ships to deal damage, they can be formidable.
- Crucifier: Tracking Disruption, nice EWAR support. Little to no tank/damage so dies fast.
- Griffin: ECM. Nasty, high-priority target. Little to no tank/damage so dies fast if you can lock and hit it.
- Maulus: Damps, decent EWAR support. Little to no tank/damage so dies fast.
- Vigil: Target Painter. Offensive EWAR. Good support against small targets, but next to useless against BC/BS sized hulls. Due to the offensive nature of target painting and the stacking penalties related to it, generally only one is needed in a fleet.
Geared toward exploration and scanning, the 'Exploration' class of T1 Frigates all have bonuses to aid in scanning and hacking. Fitted with a Core Probe launcher, they can make a good cheap alternative to the Tech 2 Covert Ops variants. All can field a few drones, but are by no means combat worthy.
- Magnate: Having only 3 mids, can't mount everything an explorer might want, but has the most tank and most cargo space of all the exploration frigates.
- Heron: Five mid slots means it can use several scan boosting modules, giving it the highest potential scanning strength.
- Imicus: An extra 5 bandwidth gives this ship the most firepower of the exploration ships. However, it is also the slowest.
- Probe: The fastest of the T1 exploration ships.
Fast frigates, sometimes referred to as 'tackler frigates' (and to CCP as 'Attack Frigates'), are built to align and reach their top speed quickly. Although their base speed, agility, and scan resolution would seem to make them good all-round PvP ships, their lack of slots and low fittings make them worse for that role compared to some other frigates. These ships have received significant buffs in Inferno 1.2, with the stated aim of making them into T1 versions of Interceptors. They are still somewhat fragile compared to the 'standard' tackle frigates, but they are capable of higher speeds and many of the slot issues have been addressed.
Damage dealer frigates (or 'combat frigates') are typically split into two sub categories, launcher and turret, as they have slightly different focuses. In general, they tend to have the ability to take a little more damage than their counterparts and deal out a little more damage in return, but they are not much of a match for a larger ship when alone.
- Punisher: Heavily tanked, good dps (for a frigate). Pulses give it a nice range variation. Slower. 2 mid slots make it a poor tackler.
- Tormentor: 10% bonus to Small Energy Turret capacitor use and 5% Small Energy Turret damage per skill level.
- Merlin: Four midslots. Can mount big tank, or full tackle plus a sensor booster for fast lock-ons.
- Incursus: Nice DPS when close up with blasters but short range. Can mount a strong active armor tank.
- Tristan: The only T1 frigate that can field a full flight of five light drones. An excellent PvP ship with a wide variety of possible fits.
- Rifter: High DPS, fast and effective frigate. Primary role as tackle or frigate DPS. Buffer tanked usually.
The logistics frigates have bonuses to small logistics modules, and can support small ship fleets. These hulls were originally meant for mining, but were repurposed with the release of the Venture.
- Inquisitor: Bonus to Remote Armor Repair Systems
- Bantam: Bonus to Shield Transporter boosters
- Navitas: Bonus to Remote Armor Repair Systems
- Burst: Bonus to Shield Transporter boosters
- Venture A dedicated mining frigate with a large ore hold and bonuses to mining and gas yield. Its built in warp stabilizers make it somewhat safe against unprepared attackers, though it won't survive long against concentrated firepower.
Tech 2 Frigates
Electronic Attack Frigates
These are basically frigate-sized version of the combat recon ships, but their proportion of usefulness to cost varies from ship to ship. Each race's electronic attack frigate is based on the hull of that race's Tech 1 electronic warfare frigate.
- Sentinel: Bonuses for energy neutralizers and tracking disruptors, and a good dronebay (for a frigate). Can be used for solo pvp.
- Kitsune: Long range, powerful ECM jamming.
- Keres: Bonuses for sensor dampening and for the range of warp scramblers and warp disruptors.
- Hyena: Bonuses for target painting and for the range of stasis webifiers.
Interceptors ("'ceptors", "inties") are the primary tacklers everywhere but nullsec (where interdictors and HICs take over). They have the highest base scan resolution of any ship class. While their main purpose is tackling, many interceptors can also be fitted to be effective combat ships. Their firepower and tank will be low compared to other ships, but they have the advantage of very high speed (even when combat fitted) and awesome agility. All interceptors ignore the effects of warp disruption bubbles (but will still be affected by targeted warp disruption such as Warp Disruptor modules).
Each race has two interceptors, one designed purely for tackling, with a bonus to the range of tackling modules, and the other designed more for damage-dealing. Both interceptors are based on the hull of the race's Tech 1 fast courier/scouting frigate. For more information about using interceptors see the Interceptors Guide.
- Malediction: Amarr tackle interceptor.
- Crow: Caldari tackle interceptor.
- Ares: Gallente tackle interceptor.
- Stiletto: Minmatar Tackle Interceptor.
Damage Dealer Interceptor
- Crusader: Damage-dealing interceptor. Commonly kites enemies from beyond web range, firing Tech 2 small pulse lasers loaded with Scorch crystals.
- Raptor: Hybrid turret damage dealer.
- Taranis: Slowest interceptor, great DPS, one of the best dogfighting frigates.
- Claw: Fastest interceptor, decent dogfighter.
The Covert Ops class is split into two sub classes, which have significantly different roles, both of which have the ability to warp while cloaked.
Covert Ops Frigate
Cov-ops frigates can warp while cloaked, and have several uses. As scouts they can stealthily gather intelligence and use their scanning bonus to probe out enemy targets. They can watch enemy targets while in cloak and provide a warp coordinate for a much larger gang of heavy hitting ships in an organized surprise attack. In exploration they can use the same scanning bonus to probe down PvE exploration sites. Due to their extreme fragility, cov-ops frigates should not generally be used in a tackling role, and are typically invisible at all times. In E-Uni Covert Ops are mainly used as a forward scout or rear scout. For more information for using a Covert Ops and Scouting: Scouting.
- Main article: Stealth Bomber
Stealth bombers are very specialized ships which can warp cloaked and don't have a sensor recalibration delay preventing them from locking targets after decloaking. They can fit torpedo launchers and bomb launchers (although bombs -- devastating area-effect weapons -- can only be used in nullsec). Stealth bombers put out extraordinary alpha damage and die very fast if anyone manages to put some damage on them, so bomber pilots will typically fire a few salvos and/or a single bomb then recloak. They are the bane of large ships, especially in nullsec. In groups and flown well, stealth bombers can take down a capital ship.
Each race's stealth bomber is based on the hull of that race's missile frigate (the Gallente Nemesis is based on the Tristan hull) and has a damage bonus for bombs and torpedoes which do its race's associated damage type.
Assault frigates have good tanks and usually high DPS. If you get tackled by an assault frigate, you're generally not going anywhere: they're a pain to get rid of when properly fitted. Their disadvantage compared to interceptors is that they're slower, and often sacrifice their MWD and fit an afterburner instead to survive longer after tackling a target. Some assault frigates make decent tacklers, and they can provide decent damage in a fleet of small ships. If the fleet has larger damage-dealing ships assault frigates can lack a role, though they may still be a good defense against other small targets.
In PvE assault frigates can take on missions and combat sites which would normally be too difficult for a frigate-sized ship.
Both assault frigates of each race are based on the hull of that race's primary Tech 1 combat frigate (the Punisher, Merlin, Incursus or Rifter), and again are split into two sub classes, those with damage dealing bonuses, and those with tanking bonuses.
- Vengeance: Uses rockets. Tough ship with three midslots.
- Hawk: Uses missile launchers. Strong solo and small gang PvP ship, helpful in PvE.
- Ishkur: Drone boat. Superb. Potentially 50m3 drone bay.
- Jaguar: Projectile turrets. Decent DPS, fastest assault frigate. Four midslots, usually shield tanked, sometimes successful solo.
Damage Dealer Assault
- Retribution: Uses lasers. High DPS, however (like the Punisher on which it is based) it has only two mid slots, precluding the prop/scram/web trinity.
- Harpy: Uses hybrid turrets. Commonly fit with railguns as a mini-sniper.
- Enyo: Uses hybrid turrets. Commonly fit with blasters for face-melting point-blank DPS.
- Wolf: Uses projectile turrets. Very high DPS.
The expedition frigate class has a single hull, the Prospect. It is designed for resource gathering in hostile environments, and can fit a covert ops cloaking device, although it loses the small drone bay that the Venture had.
Faction, Rare and Unique
Certain NPC factions sell special frigates through their LP stores. These ships can be very powerful and have lower skill requirements than T2 ships, but can be very expensive.
Empire Faction Frigates
- Imperial Navy Slicer: Commonly used to kill other frigates with MWD-kiting and extremely long-ranged small lasers.
- Caldari Navy Hookbill: A strong counter to many turret based frigates in solo PvP, using webs to dictate range.
- Federation Navy Comet
- Republic Fleet Firetail
Other Faction Frigates
- Astero: A Sisters of Eve exploration frigate and the lowest skill requirement for any ship able to use a Covert Ops Cloaking Device.
- Cruor: Long range webs and powerful energy neuts
- Daredevil: Potentially very high DPS.
- Dramiel: High DPS and fantastic speed and agility help the Dramiel kill things and then get out of trouble; good solo or as a (very expensive) small-gang tackler.
- Garmur: Very long range and high damage missiles while holding targets in place with long range warp disruptors
- Worm: Very like an Ishkur (see above) with an extra midslot and a potentially very large shield buffer tank.
Rare and Unique Frigates
Rare and Unique Shuttles
- Apotheosis: Awarded to every character on the 5th anniversary of Eve.
- Goru's Shuttle
- Guristas Shuttle
- Interbus Shuttle: A rare shuttle awarded with every new account created via the retail release of Eve.
- Zephyr: One presented to every active account, Christmas 2009. Can fit a specialized probe launcher. Sleeper drones will not attack the Zephyr.
- Echelon: One presented to every active account, Christmas 2010.
- Leopard: One presented to every active account, Christmas 2013. Has the fastest warp speeds of any ship in the game.
- Council Diplomatic Shuttle: 10 run BPC presented to every active account, February 2015, in honor of the 10th CSM. Slightly better tank than a normal shuttle.