Tanking is the act of fitting a ship with modules in order to improve its defensive capabilities to resist, absorb, or mitigate incoming damage, thus preventing or delaying your ship's destruction.
The ammount of hitpoints on your ship is represented by the Ship Status Panel - the three rings on the top of the status panel represent, from outermost to the inner ring: your ship's shield, armor and structure (also called "hull"). As you incur damage, each ring will fill with red coloring, starting with your shields, then your armor, and finally, your structure. When the structure ring is completely red, that means your hull has been breached, and your ship is destroyed - and you'll find yourself floating in space in a pod.
To avoid finding yourself floating in your pod you need to be able to tank the damage. This is generally achieved through three ways:
- Increase ship raw HP. Generally known as buffer tanking.
- Repair damage received. Known as active tanking. Passive shield tanking is a special case.
- Increase damage resists. Used to increase effectiveness of both passive and active tanking.
The buffer tank is based around the principle of having high damage resistance and as many hit points as possible, thus increasing the Effective HitPoints (EHP) of the ship. The concept behind this is simple, add enough EHP to your ship to outlast your opponent through the use of active and/or passive resistance modules, which complement the HP increasing modules that add raw hit points.
This type of fitting uses a minimal amount of capacitor to run hardeners making it easily sustainable, but can be made fully passive by using only passive resistance modules instead. The primary drawback to Buffer Tanking is that you have no way to repair yourself, so when you run out of hit points you are toast.
Most common in fleet PvP, but also group PvE with logistic support (like incursions, wormhole anomalies / signatures and a few others). In PvP a fleet will overwhelm an active tank in fairly short order, whereas a buffer tank will give you more survival time. Although, some ships with faction gear and active tank bonuses can field some extremely resistant active tanks that can take on more than you might think.
The effective hitpoints are product of raw HP and resist. In general if you are expecting to have Logistical support (friends to rep your armor) then you want to buffer tank more towards resistance, because the higher your resistances the more effective logistic reps are. While if you don't expect logistical support you only care about the Effective Hit Points, so whatever combination gives you more effective hit points is the best option.
Active tanking is most commonly used for solo activities such as mission/complex running, ratting, and solo PvP. Active tanking differs from buffer tanking in that it uses armor repair or shield booster modules to actively repair damage done to the ship. You should be careful to include enough resistance and buffer to keep your repair modules from being overwhelmed by incoming damage; frequently this means packing resistance modules (either passive or active) that compensate for the specific types of damage you expect to be receiving.
This type of fitting takes a lot of capacitor to sustain your cap-hungry repair modules so it should ideally include modules such as cap rechargers, capacitor batteries or capcitor rigs to balance out and maintain capacitor stability.
Active Tanking uses energy from the ship's capacitor to run a local repair module. Active tanks are stronger against higher bursts of damage but tend to drain the pilot's capacitor over time resulting in the tank 'breaking' during long engagements and are vulnerable to [[Capacitor Warfare] that drains the ships capacitor dry.
Capacitor stability is important because it allows you to leave your Tank modules turned on without ever worrying about running out of capacitor. So long as incoming damage is less than what your repair modules can handle your ship should be able to sustain that level of damage indefinitely. This is commonly referred to as perma-tanking. If incoming damage exceeds your repair capacity you will gradually run out of Hit Points and die. This is commonly referred to as breaking the tank.
For PvP purposes a cap booster can be used to temporarily supplement capacitor output to allow for short bursts of heavy tanking. The primary drawback to this approach is that unlike the capacitor stable fitting described above, when you run out of charges to run your capacitor booster, you quickly run out of capacitor, your tank will fail and you will die horribly. Cap booster will also offer some safety against neuting allowing you to keep on cycling modules even when your capacitor disappears in few seconds.
Similarly, weapon systems that drain your ship's capacitor will effectively disable your active tanking modules. As above, your tank will fail and you will die horribly. In this case, the capacitor booster can be used on an otherwise capacitor stable fitting to provide emergency power to prevent being drained and destroyed.
Ancillary armor repairers and shield boosters are another way to field strong active tank for a short duration. These modules can be loaded with nanite repair paste and cap boosters. While the module has charges you will be able to tank quite massive damage but once the charges are out your repairing ability quicly disappears.
Resistance percentages are calculated in a way that many people find confusing. A module may list itself as having a 30% bonus to resistances -- but the only time you'll actually see a 30% increase in resistance when using it is if your current resistance is 0%.
The way the calculations work is that the percentage is applied to the remaining vulnerability. If things didn't work this way, you'd easily get resistances above 100%, and shooting you would cause armor to grow on your ship.
Resistances are easier to figure out if you think in damage vulnerability rather than damage resistance. A ship with 60% EM resist is better thought as a 40% damage received. Adding a 30% resist module multiplies the damage taken by 0.7 so you now take 0.7*0.4 = 0.28 = 28% of the raw damage.
Because of stacking penalties, and the way resistances multiply together, it is not possible to be 100% resistant to a damage type. The final resist with multiple modules and stacking penalties can be calculated with formula
where R0 is the hull resist and R1, R2, R3,... are module resists in descending order.
It's often more sensible to increase the resistances of your ship than to increase the total number of HP. The damage reduction of resistance modules is a constant where as the buffer reduces with each attack. The fitting requirements for resistance modules are often less than the fitting requirements for Shield Extenders and armor plates. The one drawback is stacking penalties that will inhibit the effectiveness of additional resistance modules but do not apply to Shield Extenders.
Armor tanking emphasizes the use of the low slot modules increase armor hit points, resistance to damage and repair damage done to it. Regardless of the approach taken to armor tanking, it is wise to understand that armor on T1 hulls has an inherent weakness to explosive damage and plan your resistance modules accordingly. Armor tanking ships most commonly have high number of low slots to spare.
Armor tank generally has much stronger buffer than shield ships. There are more different kid of armor tanking modules than shield tanking modules, most notably energized adaptive memrane and reactive armor hardener do not have counterparts on shield.
Armor tanking modules are quite light on CPU usage but use lots of powergrid instead. Low slot using armor modules also leave all the mid slots free for various propulsion modules, electronic attack modules, capacitor modules or application modules. This freedom on mid slots makes armor tanked fits versatile. But using low slot for armor prevents you from using damage modules resulting in lower damage output.
Armor repairers are more efficient at using capacitor but on the other hand single armor repairer repairs considerably less HP than corresponding shield booster. Armor repairs also apply the repair at the end of the module cycle requiring pilot to anticipate ehwn the repair is needed.
Once your armor is gone your ship has only hull left. This leaves very little safety margin on armor ships. Combined with delayed repair cycles makes it possible for armor ships to easily die in between repair cycles.
Armor plates and armor rigs give penalty to ship mass. This reduces the speed bonus from propulsion moduls and makes the ship less agile.
Unlike shields, armor has no passive regeneration of any kind. Armor repairers are the only way to get armor back.
Armor tanking modules
|Armor plates increase the ships armor HP by a flat number. The drawback is increased mass that results in slower and less agile ship. It is somewhat common to fit oversized plates. For example 1600mm plates on a cruiser.|
|Energized armor layering membranes are passive modules that increase ship's armor by a percentage amount. These are rarely used as a plate and resist module are usually better than this module.|
|Layered platings are passive modules that increase ship's armor by a percentage amount. These are less effective than the energized membrane variant but are much easier to fit. These are rarely used as a plate and resist module are both better than this module.|
|Armor hardeners are active modules that boost one of the four armor resistances: EM, Thermal, Kinetic or Explosive.|
Compared to membranes, they use capacitor (not much though) and slightly more CPU, but offer a large boost in effectiveness.
|Energized membranes are passive resist modules that moderately increase the armor resists. The resist bonus is smaller than on active hardeners but greater than on resistance platings. There are damage type specific modules that increase only one resist type and an adaptive membrane that increases all resist types. The name "adaptive" is misleading and the resist bonus is static. The resist bonus is increased by corresponding Armor Compensation skill.
It is good to note that only T2 energized adaptive nano membrane is generally worth using. Both meta 4 and T2 adaptive nano platings have better stats and lower requirements than any of the meta adaptive energized membranes.
|Resistance platings are passive resistance modules that increase the armor resistances. They require practically nothing to fit, only 1 PG. They offer lower resist bonus than energized membranes or active hardeners. There are both type specific modules that increase only one resist type and an adaptive plating that increases all resist types. The name "adaptive" is misleading and the resist bonus is static. The resist bonus is increased by corresponding Armor Compensation skill.|
|Damage control is a passive module that increases ship's shield, armor and hull resists. This module is not stacking penalized with most other resist modules. Only the reactive armor hardener is stacking penalized with damage control.|
|Reactive armor hardener is a active module that increases armor resists. it gives in total 60% resist bonus split across all four damage types. When you first activate the module the resists are evenly split to 15% per damage type. As you receive armor damage the RAH will adjust its resist at the end of cycle by increasing the resist against two highest received damage types and reducing the resist against rest of the damage types. The resists shift by 6% per cycle. This module is not stacking penalized with other modules except for Damage Control.|
|Armor repairers are modules that consume moderate amount of capacitor and use that to repair the ship's armor.|
The capacitor is consumed at the beginning of the cycle but the repair happens at the end of the cycle.
|Ancillary armor repairers are similar to normal armor repairers. These modules can be loaded with nanite repair paste to drastically increase the repair ammount. With paste the ancillary armor repairers repair considerably (1.25x) more than normal T2 armor repairers. Each cycle consumes nanite paste (1 for small, 4 for medium, 8 for large). Once the paste runs out the module can be used without paste. Without paste the ancillary armor repairers repair considerably (0.75x) less than T2 normal armor repairers. Reloading the paste takes one minute. During this time the module can not be used.
Ancillary Armor Repairers are almost exclusively used in PvP to provide a capacitor-free method of active tanking. Usage in PvE is not recommended due to the high cost of Nanite pastes.
|Remote armor repair systems consume capacitor to remotely repair armor on single target. The repair again happens at the end of the cycle. This can make it hard to repair targets if they die before the repair lands. Long optimal range, short falloff range. As a result the effectiveness drops rapidly if the target is beyond optimal range.|
|Ancillary remote armor repair systems are the remote counterpart of local ancillary armor repairers. These can be loaded with nanite repair paste for capacitor-free repairs but repair less once the repair paste runs out.|
|Exile medical booster greatly increases the ship's active armor repair amount, however they carry a chance to reduce your Armor hitpoints, Repair amount, or capacitor capacity.|
Armor Tanking Skills
- Hull Upgrades
- 5% armor HP per level
- Required for armor plates, hardeners, membranes and resist plates.
- 5% hull HP per level
- Reqruired for armor repairers
- Repair Systems
- 5% reduction in armor repair module cycle duration. It should be noted that a reduction in activation time increase the capacitor need of the module.
- Required for armor repairers
- EM Armor Compensation, Thermal Armor Compensation, Kinetic Armor Compensation, Explosive Armor Compensation
- 5% increase per level in the corresponding resist for membranes and resist plates
- Armor Rigging
- Reduces the drawbacks of armor rigs by 10% per level.
- Armor Layering
- 5% redution in mass penalty of armor plates per level.
- Resistance Phasing
- 10% reduction in cycle time and capacitor usage of reactive armor hardener per level.
Shield Tanking: Focuses on maximizing your shields' ability to withstand and/or repair damage. This is the most common type of defense for ships with larger numbers of mid-slots, where most shield modules are fitted. It should be remembered that shields on T1 hulls are naturally weak to EM damage.
The range of shield modules is somewhat more limited than that of armor modules. Most notable is the lack of good passive shield hardeners. As a result even buffer fit shield ships are often vulnurable to suficiently large number of neuting.
Shield modules generally fit on mid slots. This leaves low slots for damage modules, fitting modules or piloting modules. As a result shield ships generally have higher damage output than their armored cousins. But on the other hand using mid slots for tank limits the ship fitt into more or less pure damage dealing as the tank competes with tackling, EWAR, and propulsion modules.
Shield extenders and shield rigs have penalty to the ship's signature radius. This makes it easier to hit shield ships. Shields generally also have less buffer than armor ships. This is most notable when fighting against ships larger than your own.
Unlike Armor Repairers, Shield Boosters give the boost at the beginning of the cycle time instead of at the end, meaning you can wait until you need the shields to activate the shield booster instead of activating it in anticipation of needing it, as is commonly done with armor repairers. Shield boosters also repair much faster and more than armor repairers. This comes at cost of using more capacitor.
After shields are exhausted there is still some armor and hull remaining, leaving a little more room for error.
Shields heal themselves over time at a natural recharge rate. Armor and Hull damage taken is going to sit there until it is repaired. This passive regeneration is taken to extreme on passive shield fits described below.
Passive Shield Tanking
Unlike Armor hit points, shields will recharge themselves after taking damage. The Passive Shield tank is designed to maximize this natural recharge rate without the use of active Shield Booster modules. The concept behind the Passive Shield Tank is deceptively simple: find a ship with a relatively high natural recharge rate (Shield HP / Recharge time = Average recharge rate), then add as many additional shield hit points to your ship as possible using shield extenders. Because the recharge time for a given ship is a fixed amount no matter how many points of shields you have, adding multiple shield extenders not only adds a lot of buffer, it indirectly increases the recharge rate because more Hit Points are being recharged in the same amount of time. Now add passive modules that increase the recharge rate even further, such as Shield Rechargers, Shield Power Relays and Power Diagnostic Systems; and you have a monster sized Buffer tank that regenerates very quickly without using any capacitor making your defense invulnerable to weapons that drain the capacitor. Shield Flux Coils also increase recharge rate, but should be avoided because they also lower your shield hit points, which is self defeating for the same reason adding Shield Extenders improves your recharge rate.
As the name implies, a fully passive tank does not require any modules that need to be “turned on” to function, and therefore does not require capacitor. The drawback to Passive Shield tanking is the number of modules required to pull it off, which leaves very little room to fit other useful modules such as damage improvement and tackling equipment, which makes this fitting of limited use outside of mission running and bait ships.
While this fitting is more about raw hit points than it is damage resistance adding resit modules will greatly increase the effectiveness of passive recharge. Shield resistance amplifiers can be added to provide a little damage reduction. Some people use Adaptive Invulnerability Fields and Shield Hardeners to improve damage resistance, but these are active modules that require capacitor, thus making your Passive Shield tank not quite passive any more. This can be problematic because the Shield Power Relays you depend on to increase your shield recharge rate also totally gimp your capacitor recharge rate. For this reason careful balancing is necessary to make the Passive Shield Tank effective. When done correctly, however, Passive Shield tanking can be used to handle tough missions with a single ship.
It is generally advised NOT to mix modules that increase shield recharge rate with modules that repair shield damage.
Understand Shield Recharge Rate
It is valuable to understand the mechanics for shield recharge rate. All ships have some shields, and all shields have a recharge rate so this concept applies to every ship shuttle and pod in Eve, and thus to every pilot who undocks, and is similar to the recharge rate of a ship's energy capacitor. In fact it is the same as your capacitor's recharge rate.
In a ship's information screen, on the attributes tab, under the shield heading, is listed the total shield amount of the hull, and the shield recharge time. The recharge time expresses how long it will take to go from 0% shields to roughly 98% shields when the ship is sitting idle in space and no one is repairing the shields or damaging them. That last ~2% of your shields will take much longer.
But shields do not recharge at a constant rate. Imagine a ship with a 440 shield and a shield recharge time of 440 seconds. To find out how many shield points you regain per second you might divide: 440 shields / 440 seconds = 1.0 shields per second.
That is close but not quite correct. The average shield recharge rate is going to be 1.0 shields per second but sometimes it will be higher, and sometimes it will be lower.
The actual behavior is that when the shield is near 0% or 100% it replenishes slower. The peak recharge rate will be 2.5x the average rate and will occur when the shields are damaged to 25% of shield maximum capacity.
Shield recharge rates above ~98% shield is extremely low. For ships with small shield capacity it is essentially non-existant. The shield recharge rate also drops sharply after 25%. Once shields have been damaged beyond 25% the passive tank "breaks" and the ship dies shortly.
As the shield takes damage, its level goes down. In response, the rate at which it rebuilds itself goes up. The increase in shield recharge rate continues until it peaks at 25% of shield capacity. At this threshold, the default ship Health Alert noise will sound, to warn the pilot that the shield is at its recharging limit. If it continues to take more damage than it can hold, the regeneration will drop off quickly. This means if constant damage is applied, the shield will regenerate less as it becomes empty, thus making it easier to shoot the armor below it.
The math for shield regeneration is exactly the same as for the capacitor recharge rate. Two numerical attributes are required: shield capacity, and shield recharge time. These are both displayed in the ship's "show info" attributes panel in-game, below its capacity. Note that modules that refer to "recharge rate" modify the recharge time number, not the raw regeneration in HP/s.
C is your current shield HP.
Cmax is your maximum shield HP.
dC/dt is your current shield regeneration in HP/s.
T is shield recharge time.
The fact these attributes are both set has some interesting consequences. Notably for this calculation, recharge time is not dependent on anything else, including maximum shield capacity – as you might have intuitively expected. This has the effect that if two ships have the same "recharge time" attribute, and one has more capacity, then the one with the larger capacity will get more raw HP/s regeneration, and appear to 'repair faster', despite reaching its maximum level in the same time. In simple terms, recharge is calculated by percentage first; which is then translated into HP/s of regeneration. So maximum capacity indirectly affects the amount of HP/sec regenerated, having the effect that Extender modules increase regeneration, and flux coils become much less useful compared to Rechargers or Power Relays.
- Calculating Average rate
The average shield regeneration per second can be computed by dividing the shield capacity by its recharge time.
Average HP/s = Shield maximum / Recharge time
The peak recharge Rate is 250% of average shield recharge. It occurs when the capacity of the shield is at 25% of its maximum value. Shield recharge rate drops rapidly below 25% shield capacity.
Shield tanking modules
|Shield extenders increase ships shield HP by a flat number. The drawback is increased signature radius that makes the ship easier to hit. Oversized modules are often used (Medium size on a Frigate class ship, for example).|
|Shield hardeners are active modules that increase ship's shield resists. Adaptive invulnerability field increases resist to all damage types but less than type specific modules. The name is misleading and the module does not adapt to damage like the reactive armor hardener. Active shield hardeners are considerably more effective than the passive shield resistance amplifiers.|
|Shield resistance amplifiers are passive modules that increase ship's shield resists. Easier to fit than active hardeners and do not need any capacitor. Considerably lower resist bonus compared to active hardeners. The resist bonus increases with appropriate shield compensation skill. There is no resistance amplifier that increases all resist types like there is for armor.|
|Damage control is a passive module that increases ship's shield, armor and hull resists. This module is not stacking penalized with any other shield resist module.|
|Shield power relays are passive modules that increase ship's shield recharge rate at the cost of reduced capacitor recharge rate. This module defines a passive shield tank. Since the relay modules fit in low slots, this means more Extenders may be fitted alongside them. On the other hand, this also means no low slot weapon upgrade modules for high damage. This will limit the situations where a passive tank may be used. One of the few low slot shield modules.|
|Shield flux coils are passive modules that increase ship's shield recharge rate at the cost of reduced shield capacity. The reduced shield capacity reduces the shield recharge rate but the recharge rate bonus on flux coils is larger than on power relays resulting in higher recharge rate.|
|Shield rechargers are passive mid slot modules which provide a modest increase to the shield recharge rate. If there is fitting room for shield extender then that may be a better choice.|
|Shield boosters consume ship's capacitor to repair (or boost, as the name says) the shields in exchange. Note that the repair happens at the beginning of the module cycle. Shield boosters generally have short cycle time and mediocre capacitor:hitpoint rate compared to Armor Repairers.|
|Ancillary shield booster provides a capacitor-free method of active shield tanking for limited time. They can be loaded with Capacitor Booster Charges, and will consume the loaded charges upon activation. When no charges are loaded, it will consume quite a large amount of capacitor instead. They will reload in 1 minute (60 seconds). Capacitor Booster Charges of different sizes can be fitted, however it is recommended to use the Navy variant of the smallest charge available (the accepted charge size is displayed on the Show Info tab). Using larger charges offers no benefits. Ancillary shield boosters are almost exclusively used in PvP situations to provide repairs without consuming the precious capacitor. Usage in PvE is not recommended due to the long reload time, the cost of Capacitor Booster Charges and burst tanking nature.|
|Shield boost amplifiers are passive mid slot modules that increase shield booster repair amount without increasing the capacitor usage. They are completely passive and use only 1 powergrid, however they require quite a bit of CPU. This makes these impractical for smaller hulls due to the limited med slots and fitting resources. However, Boost Amplifiers double the heat damage from overheating.|
|Remote shield boosters use capacitor to repair shields of a single target. Moderately short Optimal range and long Falloff range. Note that the repair is delivered at the start of the cycle.|
|Ancillary remote shield boosters are remote shield boosters that can be loaded with cap boosters. They behave exactly the same with local Ancillary Shield Boosters except they repair other ships instead. Usage without Cap Booster Charges are highly discouraged due to the large Capacitor usage.|
|Power diagnostics systems are low slot engineering modules. Small percentage increase to shield capacity, capacitor capacity, powergrid output, shield recharge rate and capacitor recharge rate.|
|Capacitor power relaysare not exactly a shield modules, but an engineering module. They are a passive low slot module that increase capacitor recharge rate at the expense of reduced shield booster repair amount. These are generally avoided on active shield tanked ships. The penalty does not apply to remote shield boosters.|
|Blue Pill medical booster greatly increases the ship's active shield boosting amount, however they have a chance to penalize your ship's Capacitor and Shield capacity, your turret's optimal range, or your missile's explosion velocity.|
The following skills are required to field a full Tech 2 Shield tank:
- Shield Management
- 5% increase in shield capacity per level.
- Required for shield boost amplifiers.
- Energy Grid Upgrades
- 5% PG per level. Required for shield power relays and power diagnostic units.
- Shield Upgrades
- 5% reduction in shield extener PG usage.
- Required for resistance amplifier, shield recharger modules.
- Shield Operation
- 5% reduction in shield recharge time per level.
- Required for shield boosters and maximize shield recharge.
- Tactical Shield Manipulation
- Reduces damage bleeding to armor through shields-.
- Required for shield hardeners. No good reason for training beyond IV unless you want to use certain capital modules.
- EM Shield Compensation, Thermal Shield Compensation, Kinetic Shield Compensation, Explosive Shield Compensation
- Increases the specific resist of the passive shield resistance amplifiers.
- Training the four damage type-specific shield compensation skills is less important. The passive Shield Amplifier modules benefit most from them, but are not widely used, but active resistance modules (like Adaptive Invulnerability Fields) get no benefit at all.
- Shield Compensation
- 2% reduced capacitor usage for shield boosters.
- Shield Emission Systems
- 5% reduced capacitor usage for remote shield boosters.
- Shield Rigging
- Reduces the drawbacks of shield rigs.
- Hull Upgrades
- 5% hull HP per level. Required for damage control.
Hull tanking is known as the manliest form of tanking. With hull tanking there is no safety buffer. Once your hull tank is gone your ship goes out in gloriour explosion. Additionally the incoming damage slowly bleeds into the ship's modules making it unwise to hull tank for long period of time. Not that you could maintain hull tank anyways since all active hull repair methods are laughably slow. Even the T2 hull repairers have staggering 24 second cycle time.
Regardless of these disatvantages hull tank is sometimes used uninorically. A bait ship with hull tank can lull the gankers into false feel of victory as they see the shields and armor waning away, only to spend ages grinding down the hull. Gallente ships like Brutix have notablu high ammount of hull HP on the hull making them viable at hull tanking.
As all the practically useful hull tanking modules are passive there is nothing that neuting can do to this type of tank.
|Reinforced bulkheads give a percentage bonus to hull HP. These are the only modules that increase hull HP.|
|Damage control increases ship's hull resist to all damage.|
|Hull repairers use capacitor to repair hull. These modules are extremely slow and can not be practically used in combat.|
|Remote hull repairers allow you to remotely repair hull on another ship. These modules are extremely slow and can not be practically used in combat. No ship is bonused for using these modules.|
|Transverse bulkheads give a large percentage bonus to hull HP. No other rig gives any bonuses to hull.|
Hull tanking is improved by only a single skill:
- Hull Upgrades
- 5% hull HP per level. Required for damage control.
- Main article: Logistics
Remote repairing means that the main fleet outsources the repair duty to dedicated logistic wing. This allows the main fleet to fit large buffer tank that makes them able to survive the alpha of enemy fleet. This also allows the logi wing to focus the repping power of whole fleet on single ship.
While normal logistic fleet configuration outsources repairing to logistic wing spider tanking shares the repairing and combat duty between the whole fleet.
In simple terms, Spider tanking involves the use of a Buffer and/or highly resistant tank that is repaired remotely by other ships in your squad who are in turn repaired by remote repair modules on your ship. This is an advanced technique that requires a good deal of coordination to function effectively.