|Ships by size|
|Ships by faction|
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.
- 1 Tech 1 Frigates
- 2 Empire Faction Frigates
- 3 Pirate Faction Frigates
- 4 Tech 2 Frigates
- 5 Rare and Unique Frigates
Tech 1 Frigates
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 as their shield and armor will collapse in a heartbeat. In a small pack, and with some support ships to deal damage, they can be formidable.
- Crucifier: Tracking Disruption, nice EWAR support.
- Griffin: ECM. Nasty, high-priority target.
- Maulus: Damps, decent EWAR support.
- 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. Can alternatively be hilariously effective at surprising opponents by being fit for combat.
- Imicus: The slowest exploration ship, but with an extra combat drone and the best slot layout for both scanning and survival. However, its effectiveness as a scout comes at the price of its questionable visual design.
- Probe: The fastest of the T1 exploration ships.
Fast frigates, sometimes referred to as 'tackle 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.
- Executioner: Very capacitor-efficient, but not the most survivable.
- Condor: High-damage missiles, and with the guaranteed damage of missiles, can actually threaten other small targets while staying beyond their range.
- Atron: Packs a decent punch with blasters, and has a surprisingly thick hull. Can brawl other frigates 1v1.
- Slasher: The fastest, and most fragile, of the tackle frigates. Best for grabbing an opponent, but can have trouble holding them long enough for help.
Damage dealer frigates (or 'combat frigates') are split into two sub-categories, with each race getting one ship of each type: ones with defensive bonuses, and ones with purely offensive bonuses. 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.
Defensively bonused ships
- Punisher: Most durable T1 frigate by far. Pulses give it a nice range variation; but very commonly fit with Autocannons as it has no specific damage bonus. 2 mid slots make it a poor tackler. Highest Powergrid of any frigate.
- 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.
- Breacher: Missile ship with a bonus for active shield tank. Can even be dual-tanked by brave enough pilots.
- Damavik: Long-term ramping disintegrator damage. Bonused for armor resistances & spider tanking. Very expensive compared to the other T1 Frigates.
- Skybreaker: Unique Vortron turret that hits multiple targets per cycle. Bonused for Shield resistances. Also extremely expensive hull to fly.
Purely offensively bonused ships
- Tormentor: Strong DPS with 3.75 effective laser turrets and two drones. Balanced 3/3/4 slot layout.
- Kestrel: Powerful missile ship. Good level 1 mission runner, kites well.
- 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 Remote Shield Boosters
- Navitas: Bonus to Remote Armor Repair Systems
- Burst: Bonus to Remote Shield Boosters
There is a single T1 mining frigate, the Venture. It possess a large ore hold of 5000m3 and strong bonuses to mining and gas yield while staying surprisingly cheap and easy to acquire for new players. The drone bay of 10m3 isn't huge, but can hold 2 mining or defensive combat drones of choice. Its built in warp core stabilizers make it somewhat safe against unprepared attackers, though it won't survive long against concentrated firepower, and it is not allowed to enter complexes in Faction Warfare.
Empire Faction Frigates
Each empire has two faction frigates: a combat faction frigate and an EWAR faction frigate. Empire faction frigates can be obtained through LP stores.
Combat Faction Frigate
The combat faction frigates don't have a T1 counterpart and have large bonuses to the factions main weapon system. All are among the best tech 1 frigates for 1v1 fighting and operate like greatly upgraded (but more expensive) versions of other tech 1 frigates. They are thus very popular in Lowsec.
- Imperial Navy Slicer: Similar to the Tormentor. Very good Pulse Laser damage, or very good Beam Laser range.
- Caldari Navy Hookbill: Similar to the Kestrel. Good at kiting enemies around the field.
- Federation Navy Comet: Similar to the Incursus. Ridiculous point-blank blaster DPS. Vulnerable to Energy Neutralizers.
- Republic Fleet Firetail: Similar to the Rifter. Fast, evasive, and hard-hitting with either autocannons or artillery.
Ewar Faction Frigate
The EWAR faction frigates are based on the empire's T1 EWAR frigate. They have an EWAR bonus corresponding to their empire, a weapon bonus, and improved base stats. These makes them more viable as solo PvP ships compared to the T1 EWAR frigates.
- Crucifier Navy Issue: Short-ranged but high-efficiency weapons disruptors, and high damage lasers
- Griffin Navy Issue: Short-ranged, efficient ECM. Unfortunately left without a good role after the ECM rework
- Maulus Navy Issue: Rather than using sensor dampers, it gains greatly strengthened Warp Scramblers, allowing it to efficiently pin down highly stabilized targets such as Deep Space Transports
- Vigil Fleet Issue: Long-ranged Webs, and high-damage Nova Rockets allow it to hold away and tear apart other frigates
Pirate Faction Frigates
Pirate faction frigates cover a wide range of specialisations. They all gain bonuses from two empire frigate skills. Their blueprint copies can drop from certain NPCs or be obtained through the factions LP.
- Astero: A Sisters of Eve exploration frigate, and the lowest skill requirement for any ship able to use a Covert Ops Cloaking Device. Also has durable armor and a large drone bay, making it a capable hunter as well.
- Cruor: Long range webs, and can choose between using enhanced energy neutralizers, or using enhanced nosferatus to power its lasers.
- Daredevil: Very high damage, and gains increased Web Strength, allowing it to immobilize any enemy it catches.
- Dramiel: Fantastic speed and agility; 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. Extremely effective, but requires skill to pilot effectively.
- Succubus: Excellent evasion with its high-speed afterburner, and high laser damage.
- Worm: Extremely powerful and durable light drones, supported by high-damage missiles. Also fields the thickest shields of any tech 1 frigate.
Tech 2 Frigates
Tech 2 ships are in general specialised versions of T1 ships. Tech 2 frigates are no exception in this regard. You need the frigate skill of the corresponding faction at five to fly a T2 frigate and of course its specialisation skill. This makes them significantly more skill intensive than T1 ships but if you choose only one hull you can still train into it reasonably fast. So, if you enjoy flying a certain T1 hull very much you might consider to train into the corresponding T2 hull.
Electronic Attack Ships
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: Long-range high-power neutralizers, tracking disruptors, a very solid drone bay, and can be heavily armored. Can be used in solo PVP by shutting out enemies' capacitors.
- Kitsune: Scarily powerful ECM jamming for how small it is. However, still made of paper.
- Keres: Enhanced sensor dampeners, and very long ranged Warp Disruptors and Scramblers make it the bane of small attack gangs.
- Hyena: Enhanced target painters, and extended web range. An effective support ship, but difficult to keep out of harm's way.
- Main article: Interceptors
Interceptors ("'ceptors", "inties") are the fastest of fast tackle frigates. They feature very high warp speeds, flight speeds, and agility, and low signature radii, but somewhat thin defenses. They are commonly used as scouts and initial tackle. However, their straight combat abilities are limited (and often nonexistant).
Fleet interceptors have a bonus to Warp Scrambler and Warp Disruptor range. Furthermore, they can fit the Interdiction Nullification module, allowing them to ignore the effects of warp disruption bubbles.
Their high warp speed, and potential for interdiction nullification, makes fleet interceptors popular for long-distance travel and low-volume safe cargo transport. Fleet interceptors fitted for travel are known as travel ceptors.
Combat interceptors use turret weapons and feature a bonus to prop mod Overheat effects. They don't have the range bonuses of fleet interceptors, but they have significantly more damage potential. Unfortunately, their damage and durability are far below those of an Assault Frigate, and so they are not commonly fielded.
The Covert Ops class is split into two sub classes with significantly different roles, both of which have the ability to warp while cloaked.
Covert Ops frigates can warp while cloaked, and have bonuses to scanning and hacking. 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. Explorers 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.
- Main article: Stealth Bombers
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 (battleship sized missile launchers) and bomb launchers, which fire area-of-effect weapons that can only be used in nullsec or wormhole space. Stealth bombers put out extraordinary alpha strike 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 stealth bomber has a damage bonus for bombs and torpedoes which do its empire's associated damage type.
Assault Frigates are no-nonsense combat frigates that offer either high durability, high damage, or both; and as they are still frigates, they are often very difficult to hit. When used as tackle ships, they do not have the same speed or range as a true Interceptor and so their tackle tends to be more death-or-glory, all-or-nothing; but their durability can shine through and they can hold their target tackled for an irritatingly long time. When used alternatively as defensive anti-support ships, or as mainline damage ships, their durability takes a backseat and their high potential damage shines, and allows them to either quickly destroy small targets or punch up with surprising force.
To aid their evasion, Assault Frigates suffer less from the signature penalties of microwarpdrives. To aid their survival, Assault Frigate benefit from full strength (75%/50%) T2 Resists, and can use the Assault Damage Control module, an alternative to the regular Damage Control which provides lower passive resistances but can be activated once every 2.5 minutes to provide around 12-14 seconds of near-invulnerability.
Assault Frigates are most commonly used in PVP, however in PvE contexts, assault frigates can quickly take on missions and combat sites which would normally be far 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. (Both Caldari assault frigates have defensive bonuses; while neither Gallente assault frigate has one.) Each of the two variants also is built around a different weapons system.
- Vengeance: Uses rockets. Tough ship with three midslots. Bonus resistances
- Harpy: Uses hybrid turrets. Commonly fit with railguns as a mini-sniper. Commonly used in large numbers to volley-snipe enemies. Bonus resistances.
- Hawk: Uses missile launchers. Strong solo and small gang PvP ship, helpful in PvE. Bonus to local repairs.
- Jaguar: Missiles/rockets. Decent DPS, very high speed. Four midslots, usually shield tanked, sometimes successful solo. Bonus to local repairs. Most infamous as the "Ramjag", an unarmed fast tackle fit using two Medium Ancillary Shield Boosters for survival.
- Nergal: Long-term ramping disintegrator damage. Not commonly used, as the time require to reach its full damage is often longer than its life expectancy. Bonus resistances.
Damage Dealer Assault
- Retribution: Uses lasers. High DPS and long range, however (like the Punisher on which it is based) it has only two mid slots, precluding the prop/scram/web trinity.
- Enyo: Uses hybrid turrets. Commonly fit with blasters for face-melting point-blank DPS.
- Ishkur: Drone boat supported by hybrid turrets. Weak damage bonuses but 50m3 drone bay allowing for a full backup flight.
- Wolf: Uses projectile turrets for high DPS. Fastest assault frigate. Only two mid slots, so commonly armor tanked.
Logistics Frigates have substantial bonuses to logistics module use, and are designed to support small ship fleets where a cruiser's slower warp speed would slow down the roam.
- Deacon: Bonuses to remote armor rep and armor tank.
- Kirin: Bonuses to remote shield rep and shield tank.
- Thalia: Bonuses to remote armor rep and reduced signature radius.
- Scalpel: Bonuses to remote shield rep and reduced signature radius.
Expedition frigates are resource gathering ships designed to operate in more hostile environments than larger mining ships. They have bonuses to fitting cloaking devices, and generally are specialized towards one type of resource gathering.
- Endurance: The Endurance specializes in ice mining on a frigate scale. It has a 15,000 m³ ore bay, 15 MBit/Sec drone bandwidth, and bonuses to cloaking device fitting and usage, although it cannot fit a covert ops cloaking device.
- Prospect: The Prospect is a more or less straight upgrade from the Venture, and can fit a covert ops cloaking device, although it loses the small drone bay that the Venture had. It matches the Venture's gas harvesting yield, but has a 10,000 m³ ore bay, making it the best ship in the game for gas harvesting.
Rare and Unique Frigates
- Cambion: A reward for the winners of the 10th alliance tournament.
- Chremoas: The second place prize of the 11th alliance tournament.
- Freki: The second place prize of the 7th alliance tournament.
- Gold Magnate: Awarded to the victors of the Amarr tournament. The fastest, most powerful, and rarest frigate in the entire game.
- Imp: Prize for the top four teams of the 8th alliance tournament.
- Malice: Awarded to the winners of the 9th alliance tournament.
- Silver Magnate: Awarded to the runners up of the Amarr tournament.
- Utu: A reward for the winners of the 8th alliance tournament.
- Whiptail: Prize for the top four teams of the 7th alliance tournament.