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Destroyers are larger ships than frigates, but they still mount the same small-sized modules that frigates use. The Tech 1 destroyers have a large number of high slots, giving them a lot of firepower for their size and cost and making them good at salvaging. The Tech 2 destroyers have unique abilities; Interdictors can launch warp disruption probes in nullsec and wormholes to prevent groups of enemy ships from warping away, and Command Destroyers can provide link boosts and utilize Micro Jump Field Generators to move nearby ships 100 km away. Tactical destroyers, the Tech 3 destroyers, have exceptional flexibility and firepower.
Tech 1 Destroyers
With numerous turrets and high slots, Tech 1 destroyers are designed specifically to destroy frigates. However, destroyers are considerably slower than frigates and have a larger signature radius, making them nearly as easy to hit as cruisers. They also have few mid and low slots, and when combined with their weak powergrid and CPU, means that they cannot mount cruiser-sized tanks. As a consequence, they can do a lot of damage, but are fragile for their size.
These characteristics limit destroyers uses in PvP, but they have niche roles. Their high damage output (for small, cheap ships) makes them popular tools for suicide-ganking weak targets in highsec. They are sometimes used to hunt frigate pilots or to kill a carrier's fighters. In PvE, they are ideal ships for completing Level 1 combat missions very quickly, and with forethought and good piloting some can complete many Level 2 missions (though for newer players a properly-fitted cruiser is probably a more suitable tool).
Finally, destroyers are also superb salvaging ships because of their many high slots (second only to the Noctis). Salvaging destroyers commonly fit a full high slot rack split between equal numbers of Salvagers and Tractor Beams, with a propulsion module and some Cap Rechargers in the mid slots, and as many Expanded Cargoholds as possible in the lowslots. Fitted like this, a Tech 1 destroyer is a suitable salvager for missions up to and including Level 3s, or even some Level 4s if the pilot is willing to make multiple trips to and from the nearest station.
Each race has two Tech 1 destroyers, one of which uses turret weapons, while the other uses that race's alternate weapon system (missiles for Caldari and Minmatar, drones for Amarr and Gallente).
- Coercer: Bonuses to tracking and turret cap usage.
- Dragoon: Bonuses to drone speed, damage and durability. Also has a 20% bonus to energy vampire and energy neutralizer range per level.
- Cormorant: Bonuses to tracking and turret optimal range; can 'snipe' at surprisingly long ranges with Tech 2 ammo.
- Corax: Seven launchers and significant missile bonuses, also an excellent sniper.
- Catalyst: Bonuses to tracking and turret falloff range; possibly the best salvaging destroyer, and certainly the one with the highest potential cargo hold after accounting for rigs and expanders. When fitted with blasters, has one of the best DPS to cost ratios in the game, and is very popular for suicide ganking.
- Algos: Drone destroyer, bonuses to drone range and damage, as well as small hybrids. An good PvE ship thanks to the range afforded by drones.
- Thrasher: Bonuses to tracking and turret damage; amazing alpha strike when fitted with artillery.
- Talwar: Fast missile destroyer, smaller MWD signature penalty and bonuses to missiles for those 7 launcher slots.
Tech 2 Destroyers
- Main article: Interdictor
Interdictors are highly specialized ships used for deploying warp disruption probes (also known as "bubbles", which prevent ships inside them from warping away). They are based on the four turret destroyer hulls, and are used almost exclusively in nullsec and wormholes.
The defining feature of Command Destroyers is their ability to fit a Micro Jump Field Generator (MJFG). This module acts like an micro jump drive except that it also pulls ships (enemy and friendly) along into the the 100km warp, as long as they are within 6km when the MJFG is activated.
Command Destroyers were introduced in the Frostline expansion (Dec 2015), are more durable than their Tech I counterparts and can fit a Command Burst module, but have less firepower. They are therefore best used in a supporting role, for instance, to provide fleet boosts for frigate and destroyer fleets. Their Micro Jump Field Generator can be used in many creative ways, including catching enemy sniper ships, or disrupting enemy logistics ships by microjumping them away from their fleetmates.
Tactical Destroyers the Tech III destroyer variant, are very versatile ships which can switch between three modes while in space:
- Defense Mode, which increases damage resistances and reduces signature radius (or rep cycle time, in the case of the Hecate).
- Propulsion Mode, which increases velocity and the inertia modifier.
- Sharpshooter Mode, which increases weapon range, weapon damage, targeting range, and sensor strength.
Tech 3 destroyers were introduced in the Rhea expansion (Dec 2014), starting with the Confessor. Unlike strategic cruisers, tech 3 destroyers are not composed of subsystems, and pilots do not lose skill points when their ship is destroyed.