Drones are semi-autonomous vehicles launched from ships and designed to augment the launching ship's capabilities. All four races use drones to a greater or lesser degree, so many ships, especially larger ships, will have drone capabilities.
While most drones are used as support, some ships use drones as their primary way of dealing damage. In addition, there are drones for specialized uses: such as mining, electronic warfare, and logistics.
Compared to the other combat weapons systems in EVE, drones provide a great deal of flexibility. On the other hand, drones need to travel to their targets before applying their damage, and they can be destroyed by enemy fire.
- 1 Drone basics
- 2 Drone-centric factions
- 3 Drone type details
- 3.1 Combat drones
- 3.2 Electronic warfare drones
- 3.3 Combat utility drones
- 3.4 Logistics drones
- 3.5 Salvage drones
- 3.6 Mining drones
- 4 Skills
- 5 Equipment
- 6 External links
If you undock with drones in your drone bay, a new window for controlling drones will appear on your screen. Via this window you can launch drones from your drone bay, give commands to them once they are in space, and recover them back into your drone bay.
This window also shows the active status of any drones you currently have in space. These are listed in the last folder. If any of those drones are damaged, the three little bars to the right of the drone will turn red - indicating hull, armor and shield … in that order.
Drones can be grouped through the drone control window. This makes controlling drones easier, as you can give a command to the entire group. To move a drone in or out of a group, right-click on the drone, or drag it in or out of the group.
Create groups of drones which you intend to launch and use together; usually, this means groups of five identical drones, but in some cases you may want to create groups with a mix of drones. Only drones of the same type may be grouped (you cannot, for example, put e-war and combat drones in the same group.)
You can delete unused drone groups by right-clicking in your drone control window and selecting "Delete group".
Drones have built-in weapons that don't need to reload. If damaged, a drone's shields will slowly regenerate on their own, but damage to its armor and hull will need to be repaired (e.g. by using the repair services at a station).
Drones are capable of serving many different roles and exist in many different sizes. There are five general categories:
- Targeting enemy ships, these apply the basic types of damage.
- Targeting enemy ships, these weaken and interfere with the enemy.
- Targeting friendly players, these provide aid to ships in a fleet.
- These target wrecks for salvage.
- These target asteroids or ice and mine them for resources.
A ship must have a drone bay to use drones. You can find out if a ship has a drone bay, and how big it is, by looking at the Attributes tab in its Show Info window. If it has a drone bay, it will tell you the drone bay's capacity in cubic meters (m3). The size of a ship's drone bay determines how many drones you can carry with you, ready to be launched into space; larger and more powerful drones take up more space in your drone bay.
The size of your ship's drone bay is fixed and cannot be enlarged using modules or skills. Only drones can be carried in a drone bay; it cannot be used to carry other cargo. While you can carry drones in your cargo bay, you can only use them if they are in the drone bay. You can only move drones in or out of your drone bay while docked at a station, or by using a ship/structure with fitting service (e.g. a mobile depot or a Capital Ship).
The other important ship attribute is its "bandwidth". This is the ship's ability to control drones in space and is measured in Mbit/sec. You can only deploy as many drones as you have available bandwidth on your ship, and bigger drones require more bandwidth. Your ship's bandwidth is fixed, and is not affected by skills or modules.
Many ships (and especially dedicated drone ships) can carry many more drones in their drone bays than they can deploy at once; this allows them to selectively deploy different types of drones, or to replace drones which are destroyed in combat. With the exception of fighters (which are only used by capital ships) and special limited edition drones, a drone's bandwidth requirements (in Mbit/sec) is always the same number as its volume (in m3).
However, irrespective of your ship's bandwidth, you can only only have as many drones in space at once as you have levels in the Drones skill which allows up to 5 drones at level V. (The only exception to this limit is the very rare Guardian-Vexor cruiser.) This means that with high bandwidth you might be able to deploy five heavy or five light drones, while with lower bandwidth you may only be able to put out five of the light ones.
You can only command a drone to attack/repair/mine a target if that target is within a certain range of your ship; this range is known as the "drone control range". By default, your control range is 20km, which means that you can only order a drone to attack an enemy ship if it's within 20km of your ship. This range can be extended by training:
- Drone Avionics (1x): Increases drone control range by 5km per skill level.
- Advanced Drone Avionics (5x): Increases drone control range by 3km per skill level.
With Drone Avionics and Advanced Drone Avionics at level V, your drone control range is 60km. To increase it further, you can install modules and rigs on your ship:
- Drone Link Augmentor module: A high-slot module, increases drone control range by 20km (24km for the Tech 2 module)
- Drone Control Range Augmentor rig: Increases drone control range by 15km (20km for the Tech 2 rig)
Once you've ordered them to attack a target, your drones will pursue that target even outside your drone control range, whether or not you continue to have that target locked.
Drones will shut down if they exceed 500km distance from their host ship, or if their host ship activates its warp drive. See Abandoned Drones, below, for your options if you lose touch with your drones.
Almost all drones (except the stationary sentry drones) have a built-in microwarp drive (MWD), which allows them to travel quickly to engage a target. Once they arrive near their target, they shut down their MWD, orbit the target, and fire their weapons. This means that drones have to travel to the target and then stay within range of it in order to apply their damage. In practice, this means that drones will have difficulty against faster, more agile targets, as even though they may be able to catch them thanks to their MWD, they may not be able to stay within weapons range for long at their non-MWD speed. Larger drones in particular are almost useless against fast frigates for this reason.
No skill or module affects the orbit speed of drones.
Direct Drone Commands
You can give commands to each drone individually, or to all of your drones at once. If you issue a command like "attack that target", the drone will fly to the target you have selected and start firing on it once it's within weapons range, but you cannot exercise any finer control than that.
You can give a drone commands either by right-clicking it, selecting it in the overview and using the overview buttons, or by using a radial menu (by long-clicking). You can also give "launch" and "return to drone bay" commands by dragging drones in the drone control window from the "drones in bay" to the "drones in space" folder.
Additionally, you can use keyboard shortcuts for many of these commands. These can be changed in the Game Settings window.
|All Drones: Engage||F|
|All Drones: Return and Orbit||Shift-Alt-R|
|All Drones: Return to Drone Bay||Shift-R|
|Drone Settings: Toggle Aggressive/Passive||(None)|
|Drone Settings: Toggle Focus Fire||(None)|
|Fighter Settings: Toggle Attack and Follow||(None)|
|Reconnect To Lost Drones||(None)|
You can give any drones these generic commands:
- Launch: Launch the selected drone(s) from your drone bay into space.
- Return and Orbit: Order your drone(s) to fly back to your ship and orbit it, awaiting further commands.
- Abandon Drone: Abandons your drones in space. While normally you would want to order your drones to return to your drone bay, in some situations (particularly PvP) this can take too long, and you may want to abandon your current drones in order to launch a different drone type which is better suited to engaging your current enemy.
- Return to Drone Bay: Order your drone(s) in space to fly back to your ship and land in your ship's drone bay.
- Scoop to Drone Bay: If your drone has become disabled in space (i.e. is no longer responding to commands), you can fly your ship to it and, once your are nearby (2500m), scoop the drone into your ship's drone bay. You can also scoop up drones abandoned by other players (if e.g. their ship was destroyed, or they warped off without docking their drones).
- Scoop to Cargo Bay: Similar to the "Scoop to Drone Bay" command, but scoops the drone to your cargo bay instead of your drone bay. This is useful if your drone bay is already full.
You can give the following commands to drones that have the associated abilities.
- Engage: Orders your drones to engage (attack, repair, jam, mine, etc) the target you have currently locked. They will fly to your target, attempt to orbit it and engage it. Note that your drones will engage whatever you order them to, including your other drones or your fleetmates .
- Assist: If you give this command your drones will assist a member of your fleet, and will engage whatever target they are attacking.
- Guard: Similar to the "Assist" command, except that your drones will engage whatever ships attacks the fleet member you order your drones to guard.
- Mine: Orders your mining drone(s) to mine the asteroid you have targeted for one cycle (60 seconds), then return to your ship, drop the mined ore off in your cargo or ore bay. They will immediately return to the asteroid after they have dropped off their ore at your ship and continue mining. You can redirect them to a different asteroid at any time.
- Salvage: Orders your salvage drone(s) to salvage the wreck you have targeted; if you give this command without anything targeted, your salvage drones will automatically salvage every wreck belonging to you within your drone control range. To salvage wrecks belonging to other players (coloured yellow on the overview), you need to manually target them and give the "Salvage" command.
Once you give a command to your drones, they start carrying it out in the next server tick. In practice, this means that your drones may take 1-2 seconds to respond after you give a command.
Flight behavior settings
You can modify your drones' default behavior through the drop down menu at the top left of the drone control window.
Your drones will not automatically attack hostile ships in this mode, but will stay in orbit around your ship until given a specific command. This is the default mode, and it's recommended to keep your drones in this mode for PvE (particularly when running missions, as you want to control which rats you aggro) and for most PvP.
Your drones will automatically attack any entity which attacks your ship (using the same targeting logic as auto-targeting missiles). Note that they will only react to hostiles which begin attacking you after the drones were launched.
This mode can be useful if you are being jammed, as it gives you a chance to attack something at least. However, as your drones are fairly dumb in their target selection, in almost every other situation you want to command your drones manually as your drones may inadvertently attack something you would rather not.
- Focus fire
If you tick this box, then all your drones in space will attack a single target (particularly if they are choosing their own targets in "Aggressive" mode). There are almost no situations in which this box should not be checked.
- Attack and follow
This option applies to fighter and fighter-bomber drones (as used by capital ships). As these drones have built-in warp drives, they can follow your targets even if they warp away - if you want to prevent this (and keep your drones with you), uncheck the box. Disabling the "attack and follow" setting is a good idea if you suspect that your target may warp to a POS and if your fighter drones follow, they will likely be destroyed by the POS' defenses.
If you warp away while your drones are in space, if your ship is destroyed, or if you give the "abandon" command, your drones will become inactive and remain stationary in space. At this point, anyone can recover them (by flying to them and using the "scoop to drone bay" or "scoop to cargo bay" command). You can also reconnect with any drones which you have personally abandoned by right-clicking on your ship (or the capacitor on your HUD) and selecting "reconnect to lost drones"; this works as long as the drones are nearby, on the same grid. It's not possible to use a tractor beam on abandoned drones.
If you've warped away without recalling your drones, but cannot directly return to the location (e.g. if you left your drones in a mission deadspace pocket, but you completed the mission, and therefore no longer have the bookmark for the location), you can scan down your lost drones using combat probes.
Your drones can take shield, armor, and structure damage during a fight (just like your ship). Their shields will regenerate slowly, whether the drone is in space or in your drone bay (at the same rate), but armor and hull damage needs to be repaired. When in combat with drones, keep an eye on your drone's health through the drone control window, and when a drone starts taking armor damage, recall it to your drone bay and launch a fresh drone (if you have spares) - it's much cheaper to repair drones than to replace them.
If you dock at a station with repair facilities, you can easily repair all damaged drones at the cost of some ISK. Also, they get repaired automatically at no cost while your ship is tethered to a Citadel.
If you don't have access to a station, you can repair drones in space by using remote armor and hull repair modules, or by using logistics drones. If you plan on being away from stations for a while, it may be a good idea to carry small armor and hull repair modules with you, and fit these modules to your ship (using a mobile depot) in between combat encounters to repair your drones. Light armor and hull logistics drones are also an option if you have space in your drone bay, but keep in mind that they repair very slowly - a single light armor repair drone takes about 3 minutes to fully repair a damaged heavy drone, while a small remote armor repair module can do it in about 30 seconds.
Certain factions offer ships that are focused on drones. These ships are most often used as "Drone Carriers" by players who are using drones as their primary weapons.
Drone type details
Drones are capable of serving many different roles and exist in many different sizes. There are seventeen different groups of drones, which can be divided into five categories:
- Combat drones
- These are the most common drones, and are (as the name suggests) used to damage and destroy enemy ships. There are six different types of combat drone:
- Light, medium, and heavy drones, generally for use on frigate, cruiser, and battleship-sized ships, respectively.
- Sentry drones, which act as stationary, long-range turrets.
- Electronic warfare and combat utility drones
- These drones impair an enemy ship using electronic warfare or similar methods. There are drones for each of the four methods of electronic warfare: tracking disruption (TD), electronic countermeasures (ECM), sensor dampening (SD), and target painting (TP). Additionally, there are drones which drain an enemy's capacitor (energy neutralisers), or reduce a ship's speed (stasis webifiers).
- Logistics drones
- These drones assist friendly ships by repairing their shields, armor, or hull.
- Salvage drones
- These drones are used to salvage nearby wrecks.
- Mining drone
- These drones mine asteroids or ice for resources.
Combat drones come in four types:
- Use 5 m3 space and 5 Mbit/sec bandwidth
- Move and track targets very quickly
- Are the best drones to use against frigates and destroyers
- Use 10 m3 space and 10 Mbit/sec bandwidth
- Move and track moderately quickly
- Are the best drones to use against cruisers, and are also good against battlecruisers
- Use 25 m3 space and 25 Mbit/sec bandwidth
- Move and track slowly, but do lots of damage
- Are good against battleships, and can handle battlecruisers
- Use 25 m3 space and 25 Mbit/sec bandwidth
- Do not move in space
- Can hit targets at long ranges, but have poor tracking, and so will have difficulty against close or fast targets
- Most effective against battleships and battlecruisers, but can also hit smaller targets if they are far enough away
Each race has its own light, medium, heavy, and sentry drones, and they each do one damage type (for instance, all Amarr drones do EM damage, while all Caldari drones do kinetic damage).
Light, medium and heavy drones
These are the types of drones people first think when they hear "drones". They are mobile platforms that fly to the target and shoot them once they get close. As long as the target is within the drone control range they can engage. Though travel time may be a problem at long ranges, especially with heavy drones.
The faction variants do not just deal different damage types.
- Minmatar drones are the fastest drones (50% faster than Gallente drones with MWD on), and so excel at chasing fast ships. However, they do the lowest damage.
- Gallente drones do the most damage (23% more than Minmatar drones), but are the slowest.
- Amarr and Caldari drones fall between Gallente and Minmatar drones in terms of damage and speed (Caldari drones do a little less damage than Gallente drones, but are a bit faster; Amarr drones do a little more damage than Minmatar drones, but are a bit slower). Additionally, these drones orbit a little further away from their targets, making them apply their damage more consistently, and are a little tougher (+25% more hit points, compared with Minmatar and Gallente drones).
Therefore, the four race's drones represent a sliding scale between damage and speed (the percentages in the table below are relative to the worst-performing drone family). Note that the table lists two values for speed: the speed with MWD on (when the drones are chasing a target), and the orbital speed with MWD off (when the drones are orbiting and attacking a target).
Please note that you can hover over the titles for an explanation of the terms and units.
|Faction||Drone||DPS||MWD Speed||Orbit||Tracking||Weapon range||EHP|
|Amarr||Acolyte I||7.0||3850 m/s||800 m 830 m/s||2.49||2400+2000 m||500|
|Caldari||Hornet I||7.5||3150 m/s||800 m 745 m/s||2.04||2400+2000 m||500|
|Gallente||Hobgoblin I||8.0||2800 m/s||700 m 660 m/s||1.815||2100+2000 m||400|
|Minmatar||Warrior I||6.5||4200 m/s||700 m 900 m/s||2.70||2100+2000 m||400|
|Amarr||Infiltrator I||11.2||2300 m/s||1600 m 525 m/s||0.80||4800+3000 m||1000|
|Caldari||Vespa I||12.0||1890 m/s||1600 m 470 m/s||0.65||4800+3000 m||1000|
|Gallente||Hammerhead I||12.8||1680 m/s||1400 m 440 m/s||0.58||4200+3000 m||800|
|Minmatar||Valkyrie I||10.4||2500 m/s||1400 m 550 m/s||0.87||4200+3000 m||800|
|Amarr||Praetor I||22.4||1380 m/s||3200 m 320 m/s||0.63||4800+5000 m||2000|
|Caldari||Wasp I||24.0||1125 m/s||3200 m 280 m/s||0.54||4800+5000 m||2000|
|Gallente||Ogre I||25.6||1000 m/s||2800 m 250 m/s||0.45||4200+5000 m||1600|
|Minmatar||Berserker I||20.8||1500 m/s||2800 m 350 m/s||0.71||4200+5000 m||1600|
|Gecko ||65.6||1820 m/s||3200 m 400 m/s||0.85||4800+5000 m||6140|
- ^ The Gecko is a cross between a heavy and a fighter drone, which was given out for free to every pilot before the Kronos expansion. It can be flown by subcapital ships, but requires 50 Mbit/s of bandwidth (twice as much as a heavy drone) and deals omni-damage (ie its damage is split equally between the four damage types). It requires the same skills to fly as a Tech 1 heavy drone, and there are no Tech 2 or other variants of it.
In addition to the basic Tech 1 drones (described above), there are four other variants of drone within each race's light/medium/heavy drone lineup:
- A Faction drone, available from LP stores. They don't require additional skills to use (beyond those required for the Tech 1 drones). They have a very large number of hit points, but slightly lower damage than their Tech 2 counterparts.
- A Tech 2 drone, which is more powerful (better speed, damage, and hit points) than its Tech 1 counterpart, but requires additional skills to use.
- 'Integrated' and 'Augmented' drones, which can be thought of as enhanced Tech 1 drone and Tech 2 drones, respectively. These drones are produced from the components found in NPC rogue drone wrecks. They need the same skills to use as Tech 1 and Tech 2 drones, respectively, but have slightly improved stats. The damage they do is split between the race's primary and secondary damage types (unlike all other types of subcapital combat drones, which deal only the race's primary damage type). However, the 'integrated' drones are fairly rare and therefore very expensive.
The table below lists the stats of these drone variants, using the Tech 1 drones as a baseline.
|Tech 1||(Size) Drone Operation I|
|'Integrated'||+15%||+10%||+10%||+10%||(Size) Drone Operation I|
|Faction||+20%||+20%||+20%||+100%||(Size) Drone Operation I|
|Tech 2||+22% to +30%||+20%||+20%||+20%||(Size) Drone Operation V|
(Race) Drone Specialization I
|'Augmented'||+34% to +42%||+32%||+20%||+80%||(Size) Drone Operation V|
(Race) Drone Specialization I
Sentries are immobile drones that serve as stationary gun platforms. They are carried in a ship's drone bay and launched as needed. However, they cannot move and must be picked up physically at the conclusion of an engagement.
At the same size (25m³) and bandwidth (25Mbit/sec) as heavy drones, sentries are powerful, long range damage dealers. Their immobility and somewhat low tracking speeds makes them most effective against slower, larger targets, and generally they are deployed from battleships or similar combat vessels.
Sentry drones begin with approximately 2800 HP of defense (shields, armor, structure). They are incapacitated after being 75% damaged.
Although each type of sentry drone does the damage typical of its racial affiliation, drone choice often has to do with relative damage, range, and tracking. These are summarized here, with the detailed numerical data shown next.
- The Warden has the longest range. Targets are generally drawn straight towards it from far away, which offsets its slow tracking and smaller damage factor.
- The short-ranged Garde has the fastest tracking and damage factor. This makes it more effective than the others as a close defense.
- The Bouncer and Curator are in the middle and somewhat comparable; the Curator having a higher tracking speed and slightly higher damage factor, while the Bouncer has a longer range.
Like the light-heavy drones, the sentry drones too have faction variants. Though no 'integrated' or 'augmented' sentries exist as only the navy variants are available.
- T2 drones do the same base damage as do T1s. However, they have longer range and better tracking.
- T2 sentry drones gain additional damage bonus from the trained racial drone specialization skill level.
- Faction variants do the same damage as T1 and T2 drones. They have the same range as T2 sentry drones, but higher tracking speeds and are stronger defensively. T2 drones are boosted by the racial drone specialization skill; faction drones are not.
|Tech 1||Sentry Drone Operation I|
|Faction||Same||+20%||+26%||+80%||Sentry Drone Operation I|
|Tech 2||+2% to +10%||+20%||+20%||+20%||Sentry Drone Operation V|
(Race) Drone Specialization I
Electronic warfare drones
- See also: Electronic warfare
Electronic warfare (EW) drones apply electronic warfare (EWAR) to their target. Each race's drones apply their racial type of EWAR:
- Amarr EW drones apply tracking disruption (TD)
- Caldari EW drones apply electronic countermeasures (ECM)
- Gallente EW drones apply sensor dampening (SD)
- Minmatar EW drones apply target painting (TP)
Each race has three EW drones, based on their light, medium and heavy combat drones. The type of EWAR is indicated by a two-letter abbreviation in the drone's name, while the size is indicated by the numbers 300 (small), 600 (medium) and 900 (large). So, for example, the small sensor dampening drone is called a Hobgoblin SD-300 (based on the Hobgoblin light drone), while the medium tracking disruption drone is called a Valkyrie TD-600 (based on the Valkyrie medium drone).
Unlike module-based EWAR, the strength of their EWAR is not affected by ship bonuses, skills, rigs, or modules. Also, since the EWAR effects are stacking penalized with other EWAR drones and module-based EWAR, so, starting from the the third or fourth EWAR source, additional drones will have very little additional effect. ECM drones (like ECM modules) are not stacking-penalized.
EWAR drones have the same bandwidth and drone bay space requirements as their combat drone counterparts, but tend to be more fragile.
In order to use EW drones you need to train Advanced Drone Avionics. Additionally, each class of EW drones needs training in its EWAR skill (e.g. tracking disruption drones need the tracking disruptor skill Weapon Disruption).
Tracking Disruption Drones
Tracking disruption drones cannot be scripted (i.e. they will always reduce both an enemy's tracking speed and their turret range). For comparison, a Tracking Disruptor I module has a -15.3% reduction in enemy tracking and range (and can be scripted to -30.6% in either one or the other). This can be increased to -19.1% with all skills at level V, and -26.3% when flying a dedicated EWAR ship (e.g. an Arbitrator) (-52.6 with scripted EWAR ship).
Tracking disruption drones need Weapon Disruption III.
Electronic Countermeasures (ECM) Drones
ECM drones act like multispectral jammers (i.e. they have the same jam strength against all four sensor types). For comparison, the Multispectral Jammer I module has a jam strength of 2.2, which can be increased to 2.75 with all skills at level V, and over 4.5 when flying a dedicated EWAR ship (e.g. a Blackbird). When a ship is jammed by ECM drones they can only target the ECM drones that jam them allowing the drone owning ship to avoid target locks. Unlike regular ECM modules, successful jams from ECM drones will only last 5 seconds instead of the regular 20, while still having a 20 second cycle on jam attempts.
ECM drones need Electronic Warfare III.
Sensor Dampening Drones
Sensor dampening drones cannot be scripted (i.e. they will always reduce both an enemy's targeting range and their scan resolution). For comparison, a Remote Sensor Dampener I module has a -13.7% reduction in enemy targeting range and scan resolution (and can be scripted to -27.4% in either one or the other). This can be increased to -34.2% with all skills at level V, and -47.1% when flying a dedicated EWAR ship (e.g. a Celestis).
Sensor dampening drones need Sensor Linking III.
|Drone||Targeting range||Scan resolution|
Target Painting Drones
For comparison, a Target Painter I module increases the enemy's signature radius by 20%. This can be increased to 25% with all skills at level V, and 34.3% when flying a dedicated EWAR ship (e.g. a Bellicose).
Target painting drones need Target Painting III.
Combat utility drones
Similar to EWAR drones, these perform auxiliary tasks in combat. Just like EW drones, ship bonuses, skill bonuses, rigs, or modules do not increase the amount of capacitor neutralized or the speed reduction.
Energy Neutralizing Drones
These drones drain a fixed amount of energy from the target ship's capacitor (working in a similar manner to energy neutralizers, also called "neuts"), and are not stacking-penalized. They come in three sizes, are based on Amarr combat drones, and operate on a 6-second cycle (like small neuts). For comparison, the Tech 1 small, medium and large Energy Neutralizer modules neutralize 45 GJ, 75 GJ, and 125 GJ every 6 seconds, respectively.
Energy neutralizing drones are occasionally used to cap out tackle frigates or to keep a neuted target at zero capacitor.
|Acolyte EV-300||5 GJ|
|Infiltrator EV-600||10 GJ|
|Praetor EV-900||25 GJ|
- ^ The medium and large neuts operate on 12 and 24-second cycles, respectively, but this way of presenting the numbers makes comparisons easier.
Stasis webifier drones work much like Stasis Webifier modules ("webs"), slowing the sub-light speed of the target, making them easier to hit and damage. They are stacking-penalized with other SW drones or with normal web modules. For comparison, a Stasis Webifier I module reduces the target's speed by 50%.
- See also: Logistics
These drones repair their targets. Unfortunately, you cannot target your own ship, and therefore you can't use your logistics drones to repair your own ship (you can, however, use them to repair your own drones). There are Tech 1 and Tech 2 drones, in three sizes (light, medium and heavy, each based on the respective combat drone), which repair either shield, armor or hull damage. The Tech 2 drones receive a 20% boost to repair amount, hit points, speed, and orbital velocity, but require Repair Drone Operation V.
The hull repair drones are half as effective as the shield and armor counterparts. All logistics drones need Repair Drone Operation as well as the skills for remote repair modules ( Shield Emission Systems, Remote Armor Repair Systems, and Remote Hull Repair Systems, respectively).
For comparison, the small, medium and large remote shield and armor repair modules repair 80 HP, 160 HP, and 320 HP every 5 seconds, respectively.
|Light Shield Maintenance Bot I||12 HP|
|Medium Shield Maintenance Bot I||24 HP|
|Heavy Shield Maintenance Bot I||60 HP|
|Light Armor Maintenance Bot I||12 HP|
|Medium Armor Maintenance Bot I||24 HP|
|Heavy Armor Maintenance Bot I||60 HP|
|Light Hull Maintenance Bot I||6 HP|
|Medium Hull Maintenance Bot I||12 HP|
|Heavy Hull Maintenance Bot I||30 HP|
- See also: Salvaging
Salvage drones work like Salvager modules, and extract salvage from the wrecks of destroyed ships. The Salvage Drone I and II need 5 m3 of drone bay space and 5 Mbit/s of bandwidth (like a light combat drone). They have a lower chance to salvage wrecks than the salvager modules (3% and 4% base access difficulty, compared with 5% and 7% for the Tech 1 and Tech 2 modules, respectively). This can be increased by training Salvage Drone Operation and Salvage Drone Specialization, allowing them (if trained to level V) to salvage any wreck. Their chance to salvage cannot be improved by other skills, or by modules, rigs or implants. Just like for salvager modules, salvage drones do not loot wrecks; if a wreck containing loot is salvaged, the loot is left in a container in space.
Salvage drones can automatically salvage any nearby (up to edge of the player's drone control range) wrecks, as long as they belong to the player or their fleet/corporation. Additionally, they can be specifically ordered to salvage wrecks belonging to other players (marked in yellow on the overview), although this must be done manually for each wreck. When a drone successfully salvages a wreck, it will return to your ship to drop off the salvage (into your ship's cargo bay) before immediately heading back out into space. Salvage drones have an MWD that is always running, but are still very slow (about 10% slower than the slowest heavy drone), so salvaging more distant wrecks may take some time.
Making salvage drones salvage wrecks automatically can be tricky. If you target a wreck and command your drones to salvage it they will not move to a new wreck after they are done. Instead you need to select the drones (such as through the drone window) and command them to salvage (either in right click menu or in the selected item window). After this the salvage drones will keep on salvaging all wrecks that are in range.
|Variant||Max Velocity||Salvage Chance||Skills|
|Tech 1||900 m/s||3%||Salvage Drone Operation I|
|Faction||900 m/s||4.5%||Salvage Drone Operation I|
|Tech 2||1000 m/s||4.0%||Salvage Drone Specialization I|
Mining drones will mine the targeted asteroid for one cycle (60 seconds), then return to your ship, drop off the mined ore (into your cargo bay or ore hold), and fly back to the asteroid to continue mining. Despite these drones having a MWD that is always running, they are very slow (about half as fast as heavy combat drones), and therefore it's important to keep your ship as close as possible to the asteroid they are mining, to avoid losing too much time in transit. Training Mining Drone Operation and Drone Interfacing improves their mining yield, and training Drone Navigation increases their speed.
For comparison, a Miner I mining module can mine 40 m3/min of ore. There are no mining drones for gas harvesting.
|Civilian Mining Drone||5||13||300 m/s|
|Mining Drone I||5||25||400 m/s|
|Mining Drone II||5||33||500 m/s|
|'Augmented' Mining Drone||5||37||550 m/s|
|Harvester Mining Drone||10||42||350 m/s|
|'Excavator' Mining Drone||1,100/25||80||175 m/s|
Ice harvesting drones gather ice from ice asteroids. These drones operate identically to mining drones, except their cycles are longer and they only harvest one unit of ice at a time.
For comparison, an Ice Harvester I module has a cycle time of 220 seconds.
|Ice Harvesting Drone I||50||330 s||200 m/s|
|Ice Harvesting Drone II||50||300 s||250 m/s|
|'Augmented' Ice Harvesting Drone||50||280 s||275 m/s|
|'Excavator' Ice Harvesting Drone||1,100/25||310 s||90 m/s|
- See also: Skills:Drones
- Drones (1x, 30k ISK): Allows you to operate 1 drone per level (up to 5 at level V). This is the foundation skill of any drone pilot, should be trained to at least level III as a top priority, and to level V soon after (at latest when you start flying ships with 25m3 drone bays or larger).
Combat drone skills:
These skills allow you to use light, medium, heavy, and sentry combat drones, respectively. Level V is needed for Tech 2 and 'Augmented' drones; all others only need level I. Additionally, these skills increase the damage of their respective drone group by 5% per level. Note that you don't need any skills to load drones into your drone bay; you only need the skills to launch and control them.
- Light Drone Operation (1x, 75k ISK). Requires Drones I.
- Medium Drone Operation (2x, 125k ISK). Requires Drones III.
- Heavy Drone Operation (5x, 500k ISK). Requires Drones V.
- Sentry Drone Interfacing (5x, 650k ISK). Requires Drones V, Drone Sharpshooting IV, and Drone Interfacing IV.
Improved drone performance skills:
These are the "drone support skills", which improve the performance of your drones. Nearly every skill requires Drones to level IV or V.
- Drone Interfacing (5x, 750k ISK): Increases your drones' damage (and mining yield for mining drones) by 10% per level. Train this to level IV quickly to make your drones much more effective (level IV is the equivalent of having two extra drones in space); the long train to level V is worth it if you're specializing in drones, or as a prerequisite for capital ship drones.
- Drone Durability (5x, 100k ISK): Increases the shield, armor, and structure hit points (HP) of your drones by 5% per level. Useful to make (particularly your more expensive) drones live longer, but is not a high-priority skill.
- Drone Avionics (1x, 60k ISK): Increases your drone control range by 5km per skill level, and allows you to use Drone Link Augmentor modules (which increase your drone control range even further). Training this skill is vital for sentry drone users, and moderately useful for other combat drones.
- Advanced Drone Avionics (5x, 600k ISK): In addition to unlocking EW drones (see below), this skill also increases your drone control range by 3km per skill level.
- Drone Sharpshooting (1x, 150k ISK): Increases your drones' optimal range (but not their falloff) by 5% per level, and allows you to use Omnidirectional Tracking Link and Omnidirectional Tracking Enhancer modules (which boost drone optimal range and tracking). This skill is vital for sentry drones, but less important for other drones.
- Drone Navigation (1x, 100k ISK): Increases your drone's microwarpdrive speed by 5% per level, and allows you to use Drone Navigation Computer modules (which increase it even further). This skill is very important for users of heavy drones (and of no small benefit to light and medium drones).
Racial drone specialization:
These skills are requires to use each faction's Tech 2 and 'Augmented' drones. Additionally, they increase the damage of these drones (but not other drone types) by 2% per level. These skillbooks come from LP stores and therefore vary in price; they require Drones V.
- Amarr Drone Specialization (5x, 2-4M ISK)
- Caldari Drone Specialization (5x, 3-9M ISK)
- Gallente Drone Specialization (5x, 3-9M ISK)
- Minmatar Drone Specialization (5x, 3-9M ISK)
Support drone skills:
These skills unlock the electronic warfare (EW), combat utility, logistics, and mining drones.
- Mining Drone Operation (2x, 50k ISK): Unlocks mining drones and increases their yield by 5% per level.
- Repair Drone Operation (3x, 200k ISK): Unlocks logistics drones and increases their repair amount by 5% per level. Requires Drones V.
- Salvage Drone Operation (4x, 500k ISK): Unlocks the salvage drone and increases its chance to salvage by 2% per level. Requires Drones IV.
- Salvage Drone Specialization (5x, 13M ISK): Unlocks T2 salvage drone and increases salvage chance and maximum velocity by 2% per level. Requires Salvage Drone Operation V and Salvaging IV.
- Advanced Drone Avionics (5x, 600k ISK): Unlocks EW and energy neutralisation drones. Also increases your drone control range (see above), and requires Drones V.
Lastly, if you're flying a drone boat, training its spaceship command skill will often improve the performance of your drones considerably. For instance, if you're flying a Gallente Vexor cruiser, training Gallente Cruiser gives a 10% bonus per skill level to your drones' damage and hit points. Unfortunately, these bonuses don't transfer to other ship classes or factions - your Gallente Cruiser skill won't help you to fly an Amarr Prophecy battlecruiser, or improve the performance of its drones - but if you're planning to flying a particular ship for a longer period of time, then investing skill training time here can be very beneficial.
Most drone modules fit into mid and low-slots, leaving the high-slots free for weapon or utility modules. Most modules in this list are subject to Stacking penalties.
|High slot modules|
|Drone Link Augmentor increases your drone control range by 20km (24km for the Tech 2 variant). This module is particularly useful for sentry drones (allowing them to snipe distant targets), but less useful for other drones, as the travel time usually precludes using drones at long ranges. Unlike the rest of the list, this module is not subject to stacking penalties.|
|Medium slot modules|
|Drone Navigation Computer increases your drones' microwarpdrive (MWD) speed by 25% (30% for the Tech 2 variant). Note that this doesn't affect their non-MWD speed (i.e. it will help them reach a target faster, but won't help them while orbiting the target). This module is particularly useful for heavy and fighter drones, allowing them to better catch up to faster ships.|
|Omnidirectional Tracking Link increases your drones' tracking speed and weapon range (optimal and falloff). Great for sentry drones, less used for other drones although it can still improve their damage application, especially if you use your drones against smaller ships than intended (e.g. medium combat drones versus frigates). Just like turret tracking computer modules, these can be loaded with scripts to double either the tracking or the range bonus, at the cost of eliminating the other bonus. Unlike low-slot Omnidirectional Tracking Enhancer modules, they need to be activated to provide a benefit, and they need a little capacitor energy to run.|
|Low slot modules|
|Drone Damage Amplifier increases the damage your drones deal by 15% (20.5% for the Tech 2 variant).|
|Omnidirectional Tracking Enhancer increases your drones' tracking speed and weapon range (optimal and falloff). It's similar to the mid-slot Omnidirectional Tracking Link module, but provides slightly higher bonuses to range, and slightly lower bonuses to tracking. Also, it cannot be scripted, and is a passive module (i.e. it does not need to be activated and uses no capacitor energy).|
Various rigs improve drones at the expense of the CPU of the ship.
|There are no "normal" implants for improving drones. Though four limited time implants exist that were obtainable from past events.