Fitting missile launchers

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This article focuses on the knowledge you need to be able to fit missile launchers to your ship. It contains a number of detailed discussions and does not cover all the general concepts in depth. If you are not completely clear as to how missile launcher systems work, or as to how missiles do damage when they hit, you should read Missile Launchers and Missile Damage before continuing on this page.

Contents

Thinking About Fitting Launchers

The essence of ship fitting is picking and choosing among the various possibilities, looking for an equipment balance that maximizes offense and/or defense without overloading the powergrid or cpu. How you do this depends a great deal on your skills, so if you have not done so already, you should read the general Fitting Guidelines. The procedures listed in that article are absolutely essential to good fitting, regardless of the class of ship or type of weapon.

The Launcher fits shown below can be accomplished with various types of the given equipment class. Where a Light Missile Launcher is called for, for example, you might use Light Missile Launcher I, Arbalest Compact Light Missile Launcher, Light Missile Launcher II, or a number of others. The equipment data and example fits shown here should be treated as templates. You will need to mix and match as needed to accommodate the characteristics of your ship and your own skills.

Basic Ship Fitting Skills

As you improve these skills, you need less and less powergrid and cpu capacity to fit various items to your ship. This in turn allows you to fit more powerful equipment.

The first two apply to the entire ship, and are probably the "best" fitting skills available. Train them to Level V as quickly as you can.

These skills should be trained immediately to Level III, and higher as soon as that becomes feasible.

  • Weapon Upgrades: 5% less CPU needed for weapons per level
  • Electronics Upgrades: 5% less CPU needed for sensor upgrades such as signal amplifiers, co-processors, and similar equipment
  • Energy Grid Upgrades: 5% less CPU needed for power upgrades such as power diagnostic units, capacitor batteries, and similar equipment

Because shields are commonly used to tank missile ships, this skill is often trained to a high level.

  • Shield Upgrades: 5% less powergrid need for shield extenders, shield rechargers, and similar equipment

As weapons are often a primary concern, this skill is frequently acquired and trained:

Primary Missile Skills and Specializations

Each class of missile has a skill that must be trained before the missile can be loaded and fired. Some missile classes also have an advanced Specialization skill that gives access to T2 launchers and missiles. You can find a list of these skills at Skills:Missiles.

Most pilots train the primary skills for Rockets and Light Missiles at least to Level III first, and then move on to larger missiles as they move to larger ships. Naturally you will want to advance according to your own needs — just keep in mind that skills interact, and that as you move your missile skills up, you many also want to increase your launcher and/or basic fitting skills to match.

Launcher Support Skills

These skills apply to missile launchers. They increase firing rate and damage, and they improve the accuracy of missiles against smaller, faster targets. Missile Launcher Operation gives a 2% Bonus to missile launcher rate of fire per skill level, essentially a DPS bonus — and it is a prerequisite for most other missile skills — so train it first. Rapid Launch gives a 3% bonus to missile launcher rate of fire per level, another DPS increase that is worth training. You can find the full list of skills here Launcher Support Skills.

Other Skills

Fitting Examples

The best way to get a sense of what a good missile fit looks like is to inspect some examples. You should regard the fits shown here as templates. They do not intend to tell you precisely what items will work best in your particular ship. Instead, they give you a set of items that other pilots have found useful. You will probably have to juggle these to fit your skills, strategy and experience.

There are one or two examples here from each of the frigate, destroyer, cruiser, battlecruiser and battleship class. Click on a ship's name to go to its UniWIKI page and see additional fits. For a full list of missile bonused ships, see Missile Ships.

Frigate Class

With its bonuses and four launchers, the Kestrel is an excellent ship for Level I Missions. The four mid slots allow for a solid shield tank. This configuration can be set up with lower level equipment to match lower level skills and upgraded as skills improve.

Caldari Kestrel PVE Mission Adjust items as needed to accomplish an acceptable fit
# Equipment Notes
4 Light Missile Launcher Prefer T2 for higher rate of fire
1 Afterburner
1 Small Shield Booster Expends energy to provide a quick boost in shield strength
1 EM Ward Amplifier Adjusts for the lack of base EM shield resistance
1 Medium Shield Extender
1 Damage Control T2 is preferred
1 Power Diagnostic +power, +shield and capacitor recharge rate
0 Drones Kestrel has no drone capacity
1 Rig: Small Warhead Calefaction Catalyst +missile damage, +cpu requirements for launchers
1 Rig: Small Bay Loading Accelerator +rate of fire

Caldari Frigate bonuses (per skill level):

  • 5% bonus to Light Missile and Rocket damage
  • 10% bonus to Light Missile and Rocket max velocity

Focus on:


This Breacher fit builds on the bonus for Shield Booster. The two drones provide significant support for close-in PvP action with Rockets. The Ancillary Medium Shield Booster uses Cap Booster charges to power itself, thus reducing the draw on the ship's capacitor. This is an effective approach in PvP fights, which tend to be fairly short. Note that T2 drones require two level V drone skills ... a considerable investment. This fit is good for pilots who are thinking about using drones in larger ships later on.

Minmatar Breacher PVP Solo Adjust items as needed to accomplish an acceptable fit
# Equipment Notes
3 Rocket Launcher Prefer T2 for higher rate of fire
1 Afterburner Prefer T2 for PvP
1 Medium Shield Booster Ancillary version preferred because it uses Cap Booster Charges
1 Stasis Webifier
1 Warp Scrambler
1 Damage Control T2 is preferred
1 Nanofiber Internal Structure T2 preferred, +velocity, +maneuverability, -hull strength
1 Ballistic Control System T2 preferred, +rate of fire, +damage
2 Drones T2 Preferred, Hobgoblins often used for PvP
1 Rig: Small Anti-EM Screen Reinforcer +EM resistance, +signature radius
1 Rig: Small Anti-Thermal Screen Reinforcer +Thermal resistance, +signature radius
1 Rig: Small Core Defense Operational Solidifier Reduces the duration of shield booster cycles, +signature radius

Minmatar Frigate bonuses (per skill level):

  • 5% bonus to Light Missile and Rocket rate of fire
  • 7.5% bonus to Shield Booster amount

Focus on:

Destroyer Class

This Talwar is a fleet build that is designed to deliver heavy damage from range while other ships tackle the targets. This is an inexpensive T1 fit that requires relatively low level skills. This is consistent with fleet combat in a ship that has little defense – if it blows up, you just replace it. Note that two of the rigs focus on ship speed and maneuverability. This ship needs to be fast and nimble as it cannot stand to take much damage.

Minmatar Talwar Fleet Bombardment Adjust items as needed to accomplish an acceptable fit
# Equipment Notes
7 Light Missile Launcher T1 are fine here, look for a type that will improve firing rate
1 1MN Microwarpdrive Ship bonus reduces the signature radius penalty for microwarp
1 Medium Shield Booster
1 Prototype Sensor Booster Use the Targeting Range Script
1 Sensor Dampener Makes a target's sensors less effective
1 Damage Control
1 Nanofiber Internal Structure +velocity, +maneuverability, -hull strength
1 Ballistic Control System +rate of fire, +damage
Missiles Use Nova (explosive) missiles as the ship is bonused for them
1 Rig: Small Hydraulic Bay Thrusters I +missile velocity, increases cpu use by launchers
1 Rig: Small Auxiliary Thrusters +max velocity, -armor amount
1 Rig: Small Low Friction Nozzle Joints +agility, -armor amount

Minmatar Destroyer bonuses (per skill level):

  • 5% bonus to explosive Light Missile and Rocket damage
  • 15% reduction in Microwarpdrive signature radius penalty

Role Bonus:

  • 50% bonus to Light Missile and Rocket max velocity

Focus on:

Cruiser Class

This Caracal is an excellent ship for Level II Missions. It has an active shield tank, and once T2 Heavy Missile Launchers can be equipped, it does good damage without needing many other advanced skills.

Caldari Caracal PVE Mission Adjust items as needed to accomplish an acceptable fit
# Equipment Notes
5 Heavy Missile Launcher Prefer T2 for higher rate of fire
1 Afterburner
1 Adaptive Invulnerability Field T2 preferred
1 EM Ward Field Adjusts for the lack of base EM shield resistance, T2 preferred
2 Large Shield Extender
2 Compact Shield Power Relay +shield recharge, -capacitor recharge
2 Ballistic Control System T2 preferred, +rate of fire, +damage
2 Drones T2 drones not required, but will help during missions
3 Rig: Medium Core Defense Field Purger +shield recharge rate, +signature radius

Caldari Cruiser bonuses (per skill level):

  • 5% bonus to Rapid Light Missile, Heavy Missile and Heavy Assault Missile Launcher rate of fire
  • 10% bonus to Light Missile, Heavy Missile and Heavy Assault Missile max velocity

Focus on:

Battlecruiser Class

This Drake fit builds on the bonus for Heavy Assault Missiles (HAMs) and Shield Resistance to create a fast, powerful tackler for fleet combat. It is an advanced ship, requiring a number of T2 components. HAMs are short range, high damage missiles. Combined with this ship's large passive shield tank, they make for a strong, fast tackler that can also do considerable close in damage.

Caldari Drake PVP Fleet Tackle Adjust items as needed to accomplish an acceptable fit
# Equipment Notes
6 Heavy Assault Missile Launcher Prefer T2 for higher rate of fire
1 Small Energy Neutralizer Prefer T2, Drains part of the target ship's capacitor
1 10 MN Microwarp Drive
2 Adaptive Invulnerability Field Prefer T2
1 Large Shield Extender Prefer T2
1 Stasis Webifier Prefer T2
1 Warp Scrambler Prefer T2
1 Damage Control T2 is preferred
1 Nanofiber Internal Structure T2 preferred, +velocity, +maneuverability, -hull strength
2 Ballistic Control System T2 preferred, +rate of fire, +damage
1 Damage Control T2 is preferred
1 Power Diagnostic +power, +shield and capacitor recharge rate, T2 Preferred
5 Drones T2 Preferred, Hobgoblins often used for PvP
Missiles Use kinetic damage for ship bonus, Faction or Advanced preferred
3 Rig: Medium Core Defense Field Extender +shield capacity, +signature radius

Caldari Battlecruiser bonuses (per skill level):

  • 4% bonus to all shield resistances
  • 10% bonus to kinetic Heavy Missile and Heavy Assault Missile damage

Role Bonus:

  • 25% bonus to Missile velocity

Focus on: this is an advanced fit that requires numerous skills. See the Drake ship page for a detailed list.


This somewhat unusual fit builds on the Prohecy's capacity and bonuses for drones, and on the fact that the ship has no particularly bonused weapons system. While you would expect an Amarr ship to use energy weapons, the Rapid Light Missile Launchers do not draw on the ship's capacitor, and they provide plenty of defense against smaller, faster PvE ships. With medium combat drones, this fit works well for Level III Missions.

Amarr Prophecy PVE Mission Adjust items as needed to accomplish an acceptable fit
# Equipment Notes
4 Rapid Light Missile Launcher Prefer T2 for higher rate of fire
1 Salvager I Can be swapped for non-launcher weapon or other equipment
1 10MN Afterburner Prefer T2
1 Target Painter Easier to hit smaller, faster ships
1 Medium Ohm Capacitor Reserve Increase capacitor storage
1 Drone Navigation Computer Extends drone range
1 Damage Control T2 is preferred
1 1600mm Reinforced Steel Plates II Armor
1 Medium I-a Polarized Armor Regenerator Armor
1 Energized Adaptive Nano Membrane II Armor
3 Drone Damage Amplifier Increases drone damage, stacking penalty
20 Combat Drones Medium drones preferred
2 Salvage Drones May be swapped for combat drones
2 Rig: Medium Drone Durability Enhancer +drone defenses, -ship cpu
1 Rig: Medium Trimark Armor Pump +armor hitpoints; -max velocity

Amarr Battlecruiser bonuses (per skill level):

  • 10% bonus to Drone hitpoints and damage
  • 4% bonus to all armor resistances

Role Bonus: • Can fit Warfare Link modules

  • 12.5% bonus to Drone microwarp velocity

Focus on:

Battleship Class

With its bonuses and six launchers, the Raven is a popular ship for Level IV Missions. The mid slots allow for a solid passive shield tank. This configuration can be set up with lower level equipment to match lower level skills and upgraded as skills improve.

Caldari Raven PVE Mission Adjust items as needed to accomplish an acceptable fit
# Equipment Notes
6 Cruise Launcher Prefer T2 for higher rate of fire
1 Drone Link Augmentor Increases drone control range
1 100MN Afterburner
1 X-Large Clarity Ward Booster Expends energy to quickly boost shield strength
2 Adaptive Invulnerability Field Increases shield resistance
1 Shield Boost Amplifier T2 preferred, Improves the efficiency of shield boost modules, stacking penalties apply
1 EM Ward Amplifier T2 preferred, boosts EM resistance - change damage type as needed
1 Phased Weapon Navigation Array Generation Extron Makes targets easier to hit, stacking penalties apply
1 Damage Control T2 is preferred
1 Power Diagnostic System +power, +shield and capacitor recharge rate, T2 preferred
1 Ballistic Control System +rate of fire, +damage, T2 preferred, stacking penalties apply
10 Drones 5 Light, 5 Medium, T2 preferred
1 Rig: Large Capacitor Control Circuit +capacitor recharge rate
1 Rig: Large Warhead Rigor Catalyst Gives a bonus to missile explosion radius, increases cpu requirements for launchers

Caldari Battleship bonuses (per skill level):

  • 5% bonus to Rapid Heavy Missile, Cruise Missile and Torpedo Launcher rate of fire
  • 10% bonus to Cruise Missile and Torpedo max velocity

Focus on:

Specific Missile Weapons Systems

Because the numbers differ for each class of missile or launcher, the values listed in these charts are shown as approximate percentage departures from the Tech I Standard item. These will give you a clear picture of the differences between items. For the exact data needed in fitting, you should use the in-game Compare Tool. (By the time you go to the Tool, you will usually be down to two or three items, and the comparison will be easy to set up.)

Item prices can vary dramatically from system to system, but typically, higher meta level gear is more expensive, and the most widely used gear is less expensive (because industrialists manufacture more of it). Meta levels vary from 1 to 10 and give a very rough estimate of the item's value in combat.

Note on missile flight time: Missiles only travel for whole seconds.[1] If a missile's flight time is a fraction, the missile will travel the shorter maximum distance all the time and then will travel the additional distance part of time to account for the fraction.

For example, if a missile has a 10k m/s speed and a flight time of 6.3 seconds: it will first travel 60,000 meters ... and then, 30% of the time, it will go an additional 10,000 meters.

From the game's point of view, this makes the math work out, but from a pilot's point of view, missiles can have a variable maximum range. Most of the time, this will not matter. But if you are fitting a ship for combat at extreme range, you will want to factor this into your analysis.

Missile Types

Within each class of missile different types vary a missile's Flight Time, Explosion Radius, Explosion Velocity and Base Damage. Specific type values are different for each class of missile - this chart shows the approximate percentage variation from the standard missile in each class.

Comparison of Missile Types
Name Meta Flight Time % Velocity % Explosion Radius % Explosion Velocity % Base Damage %
Standard 1 0 0 0 0 0
Guristas 1 0 0 0 0 +
Caldari Navy 2 0 0 0 0 ++
Dread Guristas 3 0 0 0 0 +++
Precision 5 --- 0 --- +++ 0
Fury 5 -- 0 +++ -- +++
Javelin 5 0 +++ 0 0 --
Rage 5 0 --- +++ -- +++
"+" = up to 10%, "++" = 10 to 19%, "+++" = more than 19% / "-" = down to -10%, "--" = -10 to -19%, "---" = less than -19%

Generally, Caldari Navy are widely used as a good cost/benefit trade-off. Advanced missiles (Fury, Precision, Javelin, Rage) are also used frequently as conditions dictate.

Launcher Types

In general, different types of launchers vary the firing rate, shots per load, and the powergrid and cpu requirements of the launcher. Specific values are different for each class of launcher - this chart shows the approximate percentage variation from the standard launcher in each class.

Comparison of Launcher Types Note that some faction and storyline launchers are hard to find and extremely expensive.
Name Meta Firing Rate % Shots per Load % Power % CPU %
Standard T I 0 0 0 0 0
Malkuth 1 + ++ 0 ++
Limos 2 + + 0 +
TE-2100 3 + + 0 +
Arbalest 4 ++ ++ 0 ++
Tech II 5 ++ +++ -- --
Gallows 6 + 0 ++ ++
Domination 7 ++ 0 0 ++
Republic Fleet 7 ++ +++ 0 ++
True Sansha 7 ++ +++ 0 ++
Caldari Navy 8 +++ + ++ --
Dread Gurista 8 +++ + ++ --
"+" = up to 10%, "++" = 10 to 19%, "+++" = more than 19% / "-" = down to -10%, "--" = -10 to -19%, "---" = less than -19%

As always in fitting, utility trades off against cost. There is little sense in fitting expensive equipment if you have a reasonable chance of losing the ship in combat. That said, it is fair to note that Arbalest are widely used as T1 launchers for pilots whose skills do not accommodate T2s.

Support Equipment

Which of the equipment that enhances missiles and missile launchers you choose to use is highly dependent not only on your skills and ship characteristics, but also on your combat goals. If you are fitting a ship to attack large targets as a fleet sniper, you want entirely different equipment than if you are fitting a ship to kill small, fast PVE targets while flying a drone boat. That said, Ballistic Control Systems, which improve general damage, are probably the most widely used supporting modules. Warhead Calefaction Catalyst and Bay Loading Accelerator are arguably the most widely used rigs.

Modules

Launcher modules generally benefit damage, flight time, velocity and explosion effectiveness.

  • Ballistic Control Systems: these are passive, low slot modules which increase missile damage and rate of fire. Stacking penalties apply. It is not unusual to see two or three of these in a larger missile ship.
  • Missile Guidance Enhancers: these are active, mid slot modules that give bonuses to missile velocity, missile flight time, and explosion velocity; while shrinking the explosion radius. Stacking penalties apply.
  • Missile Guidance Computers: these are active, scriptable, mid slot modules that give bonuses to missile velocity, missile flight time, and explosion velocity; while shrinking the explosion radius. Stacking penalties apply. (Using ‘Missile Precision Script’ or ‘Missile Range Script’ you can double either missile range and velocity OR explosion velocity and radius; while reducing the other by half.)
  • Signal Amplifiers increase a ship's maximum target acquisition range. Stacking penalties apply.
  • Target Painters increase the signature radius of a target and make it easier to hit. Stacking penalties apply.

Rigs

Missile Launcher Rigs come in four sizes, one for each launcher type. All have the penalty effect of increasing the amount of cpu that the ship's launchers require.

  • Bay Loading Accelerator: +rate of fire, stacking penalties apply
  • Hydraulic Bay Thrusters: +velocity, stacking penalties apply
  • Rocket Fuel Cache Partition: +flight time
  • Warhead Calefaction Catalyst: +damage, stacking penalties apply
  • Warhead Flare Catalyst: effectively increases the explosion velocity
  • Warhead Rigor Catalyst: reduces explosion radius

Targeting Rigs improve targeting range and targeting speed. All have the penalty effect of reducing shield capacity.

  • Ionic Field Projector: +targeting range
  • Targeting System Subcontroller: +targeting speed

Various Shield Rigs and/or Astronautic Rigs may be useful depending on your ship's vulnerabilities and your skills.

Footnotes and References

  1. ^ See this EUNI Forum post.
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