Minmatar Basic Ship and Skill Guide
This guide provides general information and recommendations for T1 ships of a single player faction.
For more advanced and in-depth information on specific ships refer to the new ship index. This guide simply gathers the characteristics and overview of racial lineups in an easy to browse format for the very new player.
Minmatar General Information
The Minmatar Empire is one of the four playable factions and, like the others, has a distinct line of ships with specific quirks and abilities. The Minmatar lineup is characterized by the following:
- Minmatar ships usually have the best base speeds for their size and class.
- When fitted for speed & agility this lets Minmatar pilots control range easily:
- This allows them to sit at a range where they can hurt the enemy more than the enemy can hurt them
- This also gives them the option to quickly disengage if the fight is going badly
- Most Minmatar ships can be fitted in a greater variety of ways than other races' ships
- In PvP, especially, this makes Minmatar ships less predictable, and the enemy will have a harder time guessing how your ship will perform
- However, if Minmatar pilots want to have all the different fitting options available they will have to train more in-game skills and learn more about the game than pilots flying other races
- That's not necessarily a bad thing: an experienced Minmatar pilot is proficient with:
- This means Minmatar pilots are well-placed to cross-train into any other race, and probably understand the other races' ships better than pilots of other races understand Minmatar ships
- Ships usually have spare highslots after you've added all the primary weapons -- can use for:
- secondary weapons, usually missiles
- energy emission weapons -- nosferatus or energy neutralizers
- remote repair modules, esp. on battleships
- drone link augmentors for more drone travel range
- Ships have high scan resolution for size and class -- fast to lock onto targets
- Smallest signature radii for size and class -- slightly harder targets to lock, hit and hurt
- Low sensor strength for size and class -- easiest race to jam with ECM
- Smallest capacitors for size and class -- though, as we'll see shortly, also less need for capacitor
- Skill-intensive, both for in-game training and piloting skills. As above, it is a much longer training curve in the short run, but provides great versatility and the ability to cross-train in the future
- Minmatar racial electronic warfare is target painting: increases the target's signature so that everyone can hurt the target more
- Not widely used, too situational, not as dramatically effective as ECM, tracking disruption or sensor dampening
- Can be useful for big missile ships trying to hit small targets
- A tendency to have weaker buffer in EHP terms than other races' ships
Most Minmatar ships use projectile guns as their primary weapon. They're unlike other turrets:
- Unlike other turrets they don't use up capacitor when they fire
- Also you can control the damage type they deal by loading different kinds of ammo (hybrids only do kin/therm; lasers only do em/therm)
Projectile turrets come in two types: autocannon and artillery.
- Short range, high damage-per-second
- Good tracking speed compared to blasters and pulse lasers
- Really short optimal ranges, really long falloff ranges
- Expect to fight somewhere between optimal and first falloff most of the time
- Long range, lower damage-per-second because of a very slow cycle time
- Bad tracking speed compared to railguns and beam lasers
- High 'alpha' -- lots of damage in each shot
- In some situations if you assemble enough alpha damage you don't need damage-per-second
- Meaningful optimal range (unlike autocannon) but still also substantial falloff
- Fight in optimal if you can, but be prepared to move out into falloff if you must
Here are the Minmatar T1 ships. Please follow the links to the specific pages of the ship database for more details and particular fits.
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.
Frigates are the smallest of the ship classes in EVE. 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.
This is a long-range missile boat. It is rarely used, because its effectiveness is overshadowed by the other factions' missile platforms, most notably the Kestrel.
The Burst is the Minmatar logistics frigate and is designed for remote shield repair. It makes an ideal entry point for beginner Minmatar capsuleers who want to train into the Scythe, the Minmatar Tier 1 Cruiser logi ship, before eventually training into the Scimitar, the Minmatar Tier 2 Logistics ship.
The Probe is the Minmatar Tech 1 exploration and scanning frigate. It is a good ship for rookies or veterans who are getting into probing and don't have the skills for the T2 version, the Cheetah. It's bonus to cycle time for hacking, archaeology, and salvaging modules means it can be very effective for looting exploration sites as well. If you have the skills to deal with its small capacitor, it can be a speedy and cheap delivery ship due to its comparatively large cargo bay.
The Rifter is the primary damage frigate for Minmatar. For tackling, a Slasher or Merlin is by far better. While the Rifter used to be considered the best T1 frigate in the game (leading to many memes surrounding it), it has been nerfed to be similar in abilities to the others. A balanced 4/3/3 layout gives the Rifter the ability to either shield or armor tank and provides flexibility in fitting.
The Slasher is the Tech 1 Minmatar fast tackle frigate. It receives a bonus to the cap usage of tackle mods, and it has the fastest base speed of the tier one frigates. Four mid slots also allow a great deal of flexibility in fitting.
The Vigil is the Tech 1 EWAR ship of the Minmatar Republic. This ship is the fastest standard T1 frigate, and makes a decent first-strike tackler. The bonus to target painters isn't that useful, as target painters are stacking penalized in effectiveness, and work reasonably well on hulls without bonuses to them.
Destroyers are slightly larger and have more highslots than frigates but fit the same small-sized weapons. In PVP, they're designed to slaughter frigates but be vulnerable to most other ships, which limits them to very niche roles. Their high damage output (for small, cheap ships) makes them popular tools for suicide-ganking weak targets in highsec. They are also sometimes used to hunt frigate pilots or to kill a carrier's fighters. Due to their limitations, flying destroyers is not recommended for PvP Uni fleets. However, there are some exceptions, such as specialized hit and run fleets or doctrines designed to maximize the strengths, such as the Talwar Doctrine.
In PvE, they are most often used for Level 1 missions, and they make superb introductory salvage ships.
The Talwar uses rockets or light missiles to fight smaller craft like Frigates or other Destroyers. Due to its unique bonus amongst Destroyers reducing the signature radius bloom of MicroWarp Drives, it is the fastest Destroyer available and able to reach such speeds without increasing its own signature radius significantly. With its speed, range, and alpha abilities, a fleet of Talwars can be devastating.
The Thrasher can be an effective anti-frigate platform in PvE (L1 missions) or PvP. It is rarely seen in fleet combat, but its cheap cost makes it popular with suicide gankers. Its balanced mid and low slot layout makes it generally the most flexible destroyer, able to fit some tackle and an armor tank or damage and a shield tank.
Cruisers are Eve's medium-sized ships, larger than frigates and destroyers but still much smaller, faster and nimbler than battlecruisers and battleships. Cruisers mount medium-sized weapons and modules. Tech 1 cruiser hulls cost a few million ISK and tend to be the first major financial step up from frigates for new pilots. In PvP, some tech 1 cruisers, such as the Gallente Thorax and the Minmatar Rupture, can bring surprising amounts of DPS to a fight. The electronic warfare cruisers can also be important in PvP, as they are slightly tougher and often more effective EWAR platforms than their frigate equivalents. Cruisers can also fit tackle to provide some secondary, heavier tackling that's harder to scrape off than Tech 1 tackling frigates.
In PVE, Tech 1 cruisers are the ships most commonly used to run Level 2 missions.
The Bellicose is the Minmatar EWar cruiser, with bonuses for the effectiveness of target painters. Although the Vigil's target painters have a longer range than those of the Bellicose, the cruiser provides a far more durable platform from which to project EWar. On top of that, like the Arbitrator, the Bellicose has a secondary bonus for combat, in this case for the rate of fire of Rapid Light, Heavy Assault and Heavy Missile Launchers, meaning that the ship can also double up as DD, and is often used in a fleet support role.
The heavy duty combat cruiser of the Minmatar Republic, this ship looks like a chunk of brick. The Rupture is the favored mission cruiser for the Minmatar. It can mount a good active armor tank or regenerating passive shield tank and use artillery and drones to destroy mission rats from range.
The Rupture is also a strong PvP ship. A number of fittings work well; in E-UNI fleets the most common approach is to fit an armor buffer tank and provide extra DPS and some sticky secondary tackle. Strong fitting skills and access to T2 autocannons (for kiting with Barrage ammo) open up some fast-moving shield-tanked PvP fits.
The Scythe is a T1 logistics cruiser, with bonuses to shield repair. It is designed to support 3 medium shield transporters and a shield tank and be cap stable, but getting the Scythe both cap stable and have a good tank can be tricky for low skilled pilots.
The Stabber's key feature is its hull bonus to speed: It's the fastest T1 cruiser. Unfortunately it also has limited grid and CPU, limited slots and a tiny drone bay. It's best to think of it as a 'heavy frigate' or a 'light cruiser' rather than a cruiser proper. If you plan on moving into ships that utilize speed tanking or avoidance tactics this is a good ship to practice with. It can be fit as a tackle ship or an anti-frigate platform. Unfortunately it lacks the grid and CPU to fit the artillery or the combination of autocannon and tracking enhancers that would make it a viable kiting ship.
When you begin to fly Minmatar Battlecruisers, it is a good idea to be training towards a Shield or Armor T2 Tank. (You will need a full T2 tank to fly battlecruisers in wartime PvP, if you're a uni pilot. Whether or not you're in the uni, a T2 tank is extremely helpful in PVP or PVE.) It is also wise to have basic Gunnery Support skills sorted out, and to be training towards T2 light and medium drones.
In PvP, Tech 1 battlecruisers represent a good balance between DPS, tanking, agility, speed and cost (they cost much less to lose than a battleship). Battlecruisers can be fitted for long or short range PVP combat. In large-scale alliance battles in nullsec they are often part of each side's 'support fleet', defending the main battleship fleet from attack.
In PvE, Tech 1 battlecruisers are the standard tool for completing Level 3 combat missions. Several battlecruisers can mount passive shield tanks ideal for PvE combat, and some battlecruisers are also suitable salvage ships for the large amount of loot produced by Level 4 missions.
The Cyclone is inferior to the Hurricane in most situations, but it has a few niche uses. The Cyclone is bonused towards missiles rather than projectile turrets. Unlike the Drake, which is designed to mount a large buffer tank and deal most of its damage with kinetic missiles, the Cyclone is bonused to take advantage of shield boosters to mount a massive active tank, albeit for a only limited period of time, while its rate of fire bonus allows the Cyclone greater flexibility in terms of the damage types it can use. The Cyclone also has a decent drone bay and bandwidth, allowing it to field a full flight of medium drones for extra DPS, or two flights of small drones instead.
The Hurricane has a long history of positive PvP and PvE performance and is one of the most versatile ships in EVE. It can deal impressive DPS, and can be shield or armor tanked. Most Minmatar pilots choose a Hurricane as their Level 3 mission ship, fitting either a passive shield tank or an active armor tank.
In PvP, the Hurricane can be fitted as a simple, armor-buffered short-range bruiser, or as a fast, kiting, shield-tanked 'Nanocane', or as a shield-tanked, medium-range high-alpha artillery platform. Roaming gangs of shield Hurricanes with Scimitar logistic support are a fearsome sight and a highly effective combat fleet.
The Tornado was made to do one thing and one thing only: blow the every loving crap out of anything that is unfortunately preoccupied with other threats. Like the other Tier 3 Battlecruisers, this ship is all gank and no tank. This naturally leads many to fit it for 200km+ sniper combat, since even a couple of cruisers or small frigate wolfpack can tear it apart rather quickly. The Tornado is thus often fitted with 1400mm Artillery and used to deal massive alpha damage, in similar style to the Maelstrom.
In PvP, Tech 1 Battleships can mount great buffer tanks and can deal very high DPS when fitted for short ranges. When mounting long-range 'sniper' fits, battleships can fight at the very longest ranges possible in Eve's engine, while still dealing effective DPS. Battleships' weaknesses are low speed and agility, combined with slow locking speeds and poor gun tracking speeds. Battleships therefore struggle to force smaller ships to engage, and to kill smaller ships even when they can be pinned down.
In PvE, battleships are also the standard class of ship used to run Level 4 missions solo, since they can fit active tanks good enough to survive lots of DPS over a sustained period of time, while still dealing out enough damage to complete missions reasonably quickly. Battleships are also used very effectively in Incursion fleets.
On the same skill path as the Cyclone, the Maelstrom has a powerful active shield tank. Unlike the Cyclone it can also deal lots of damage. The Maelstrom is the usual choice for running Level 4 missions, which it does quite well (Ships like the Vargur and Machariel outperform it, but cost much more, both in ISK and in skill training time). PvE Maelstroms usually fit an X-large shield booster for a powerful pulsed shield tank, and artillery for long-range DPS -- though against the Angel Cartel, whose battleships like to engage at close range, some pilots like to fit large autocannon instead. It is also a great introductory ship to get into Incursions.
In PvP, the Maelstrom is the backbone of the "alpha fleet" - fleets designed to one-shot ships to negate the power of logistics.
The Tempest is one of two Minmatar Attack Battleships. It's bonuses favor Large Projectile Turrets, unlike the Typhoon which focuses on Battleship-size missles/torpedos. With 5 mid slots and 6 low slots, the Tempest can be shield or armor tanked, both are equally common. With the recent rise in the use of the Tornado as a cheaper sniper, the primary role of the Tempest has been somewhat overshadowed. None the less, the Tempest is still widely used in skirmish warfare. The Tempest is relatively quick and agile, for a battleship.
The Typhoon's position as the cheapest of the Minmatar battleships is a little misleading, as it's not a very good ship for new pilots. With seven low slots, a useful rate of fire bonus and the bandwidth to field a full flight of heavy or sentry drones, it has a lot of potential. But it takes a considerable skillpoint investment to bring that potential out, and the rate of fire bonus is split between two different weapon systems.
The Typhoon is consequently not a common sight, but when it is used it's usually fitted with missiles, often with torpedoes and either neuts or armor RR for close combat. There are also viable L4 mission-running fits which use cruise missile launchers and sentry drones. However, new Minmatar battleship pilots will probably be more effective in one of the other two options.
Industrial ships are a class of ships with a very large cargo bay, generally weak shields and armor, with few turret hardpoints. Industrial Ships are designed to carry large volumes of cargo within their large holds. However, they are slow and fragile ships, leaving them vulnerable to attack. Some Industrials have better capacity to deal with threats than others, leaving some ships better at running the gauntlet than others with a chance of success.
The Hoarder is the mid-level ship for the Minmatar industrials, although it does have a greater amount of cargo space than what you'd expect from the mid-level ship. Some starter industrialists find the Hoarder more valuable than the Wreathe as their first Minmatar industrial.
After the Iteron Mark V, the Mammoth is often considered the next best industrial in existence. It has more cargo capacity than the other two races' industrials, and the highest number of low slots for cargohold expanders.
The Wreathe is the entry level Industrial provided to Minmatar capsuleers during the tutorial missions. Its cargo hold leaves much to be desired but when just starting out it is capable enough to handle small hauling jobs. Level 1 distribution Missions and light station trading are situations that this ship accommodates. As young pilots have less starting capital the cargo size of the Wreathe will be suited fine.
- Drones and Using Drones
- Basic Skills and Support Skills Training support skills is the first step in flying a ship well. Read up on support skills here.
- Fitting Guidelines Some general guidelines for fitting ships.
- Fitting Modules and Rigs Guide A list of rigs and module types with short descriptions.
- Full T2 Tank Having a full T2 tank is a requirement for many ships during wartime in the Uni. If you fly anything other than a T1 frigate, destroyer, or cruiser, make sure you have the required skills and recommended support skills for the type of tank you use.
- NPC Damage Types and NPC Ship Attributes To see which resists to use and damage type to deal against NPC rats.
- Creating an Alt Hauler Having an alt hauler can be essential to be able to make shopping trips during wartime.
- Failheap Challenge The new incarnation of Scrapheap Challenge. A good place for experienced pilots to find fittings, and many threads also had tactic discussions on how to use them.