Propulsion equipment

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Propulsion modules are a type of active module which increase your ship's speed or otherwise make your ship more mobile, at the cost of capacitor energy. Greater mobility on the battlefield allows you to dictate the range at which combat takes place (optimizing the effectiveness of your ship's weapons and/or reducing the effectiveness of enemy ships' weapons) or even directly evade enemy weapons fire.

Afterburners and microwarpdrives

Afterburners (AB) and Microwarpdrives (MWD) are the most common propulsion modules, and are used on almost all ship fittings. These are active modules, which when activated consume capacitor energy to significantly increase a ship's top speed and acceleration, but also increase its mass making it less maneuverable. Afterburners increase a ship's maximum speed by around 130-200%, while Microwarpdrives increase it by around 500-700%. Compared with Afterburners, Microwarpdrives use more capacitor energy, reduce the ship's total capacitor capacity, increase the ship's signature radius when active, are shut down by warp scramblers, and are generally harder to fit.

Afterburners and microwarpdrives each have 10 second cycle times, and cannot be deactivated prematurely. However, the cycle time of afterburners can be reduced to 7.5 seconds by their skill. Capital ship-sized afterburners and microwarpdrives in stead have 20 second cycle times. These modules do not have cooldowns, and can be left running continuously (provided capacitor energy is available).

The 500% signature radius penalty of a microwarpdrive means that a ship using one will need to fly 500% faster than normal in order to effectively dodge enemy weapons fire. While the microwarpdrive's 500% speed increase may look like it cancels this out, this is deceptive. As a result of acceleration, turning, and orbiting, a ship with a microwarpdrive will very rarely be flying at speeds approaching the 500% bonus the drive gives, while they will be suffering the 500% signature penalty regardless of their speed. Consequently, while microwarpdrives are very good at allowing ships to control their engagement range (and either increase or decrease the distance between themselves and their enemies), they are not very effective at helping evade enemy weapons damage. Meanwhile, while afterburners are less effective at range control, their straight speed increase makes them very effective at helping evade damage.

Faction and Deadspace afterburners have improved speed bonuses. Faction and Deadspace microwarpdrives, however, offer only marginal speed increases over standard variants. In stead, faction microwarpdrives offer reduced capacitor and signature radius penalties, mitigating the module's issues with capacitor stability and evasion.

There are certain Tech 2 ships (Interceptors, Interdictors, Assault Frigates, and Wake Limiter-fit Strategic Cruisers) which suffer less from microwarpdrive signature penalties. These ships are able to take advantage of microwarpdrive speeds, and use them to evade enemy fire. Additionally, ships designed by Sansha's Nation have a unique bonus to Afterburner speed, allowing them to achieve speeds comparable to those of microwarpdrives, but with none of the drive's penalties.

There are different sizes of propulsion modules, intended for use on different sizes of ships.

AB Size MWD Size Mass increase Actual Thrust Intended Use
1MN 5MN 500,000kg 1,500,000 N Frigates and Destroyers
10MN 50MN 5,000,000kg 15,000,000 N Cruisers, Battlecruisers, and Industrials
100MN 500MN 50,000,000kg 150,000,000 N Battleships
10000MN 50000MN 500,000,000kg 1,500,000,000 N Capital ships

The max velocity bonus listed in module info is only one factor in actual velocity increase. The maximum velocity of a ship using a propulsion module is

[math] V_{\rm max} = V_{\rm base} \times ( 1 + V_{\rm bonus} \times \frac{ \text{Thrust} }{ \text{mass} } ) [/math]

In practice, that last thrust/mass term is almost equal to one when using properly sized modules on Frigates, Cruisers, and Battleships; and the ship's new maximum velocity is about equal to its base velocity multiplied by the bonus of the propulsion module. However, certain exceptionally light-weight ships (like many Triglavian ships) can achieve higher speed bonuses; and heavier-weight ships like Destroyers and Battlecruisers will receive lower speed bonuses than their prop modules would state. This formula explains why fitting armor plates reduces the bonus of a prop module (but not the ship's base speed). This formula also dictates that fitting a ship with an undersized afterburner or MWD will provide an ineffectively small boost. (In general, the only time this is ever done is in the act of fitting a battleship-sized 500MN microwarpdrive to a capital ship, as a sort of maneuvering thruster used in single cycles to improve alignment times.)

Tech and Meta Levels

Afterburners and Microwarpdrives have very different attributes at different tech levels. These attribute trends are consistent across all sizes of modules.

For Afterburners, the pattern is fairly straightforward. Higher-tech afterburners grant larger speed bonuses. Faction and Deadspace afterburners have lower capacitor costs, and come in two types: one consuming extra CPU (Gallente/Serpentis), one consuming extra Powergrid (Minmatar/Angel Cartel).

(Note: Capacitor and Fitting cost adjustments are approximate, and will be slightly different at different sizes. X-Type Modules only exist in 100MN and 500MN sizes.)

For Microwarpdrives, the story is not as simple. Higher-tech MWDs grant only minimal speed improvements over lower-tech modules. In stead, higher-tech MWDs carry significantly reduced Signature and Capacitor penalties than lower-tech MWDs. However, there is an odd exception: the Tech II Microwarpdrive carries a reduced Capacitor penalty, but not a reduced Signature penalty, and suffers from increased Fitting and Activation costs, in exchange for only providing about 1% greater top speed than a Meta module. As a result, Tech II Microwarpdrives are largely disrespected and should almost never be used, in favor of the Quad LiF Restrained models.

Like with Afterburners, Faction and Deadspace microwarpdrives come in two types: one consuming extra CPU but with reduced Activation Cost (Gallente/Serpentis), and one consuming extra Powergrid but with reduced Signature penalty (Minmatar/Angel Cartel).

Oversized afterburners

It is possible to fit ships with oversized afterburners: 10MN on frigate/destroyer or 100MN on cruiser/battlecruiser. The high fitting requirement and capacitor consumption of the larger afterburner usually makes this difficult to do. If this is being done, the full maximum velocity formula needs to be used to determine the ship's actual max speed.

Generally the resulting maximum velocity is close to normal sized microwarpdrive velocity, but without the signature penalty or the ability to be stopped by a warp scrambler. This makes oversized-afterburner ships extremely difficult to hit, if they can achieve and maintain speed. The drawback is greatly increased ship mass which makes maneuvering harder, in many cases making ships with oversized afterburners take up to 30 seconds of flying straight to reach 3/4 of their listed full speed.

It is theoretically possible to also fit oversized microwarpdrives onto certain ships, however this is extremely difficult and an extremely rare practice.

Dualprop Fitting

A ship may only have one afterburner and/or microwarpdrive running at a time. However, it is possible, and commonly done on certain ships, to fit both an afterburner and a microwarpdrive onto one ship, to exploit both the evasive abilities of an AB and the range control of an MWD. This fitting decision does mean sacrificing a Mid slot for the second module, but can be deemed worth it if, based on the ship's intended combat style and targets, the afterburner evasion is desirable enough. Such fits are sometimes described as "6MN", "60MN", or "600MN" (referring to the size of the two propulsion modules added together).

Related skills

The following skills directly effect afterburners and/or microwarpdrives.

  • Acceleration Control 5% Bonus to Afterburner and Microwarpdrive speed boost per skill level.
  • Afterburner 5% reduction to Afterburner duration and 10% reduction in Afterburner capacitor use per skill level.
  • Fuel Conservation 10% reduction in afterburner capacitor needs per skill level.
  • High Speed Maneuvering 5% reduction in MicroWarpdrive capacitor usage per skill level.

Micro Jump Drives

The Micro Jump Drive (MJD) is a propulsion module which, rather than making the ship move faster, teleports the ship forward 100km in the direction it is facing. Upon arrival, the ship maintains its direction and velocity. Warp scramblers can be used to disrupt this module.

Micro jump drives can be used only on T1 and T2 Battleships, Battlecruisers, Command Ships, and Deep space transports. Marauders have a significantly reduced cooldown for this module.

Micro jump drives can be used offensively to close on a target or defensively to jump out.

Micro jump drives are often used in combination with an afterburner or microwarpdrive, offering a secondary engagement or disengagement tool. (Their long cooldown precludes their use as a primary mobility module, except when used by Marauders.)

Micro Jump Drive operation

When the module is activated the module spools up for 12 seconds (reduced to a minimum of 9 seconds by Micro Jump Drive Operation). During this time the ship can not voluntarily change its direction (however it may unpredictably change course if it bumps into an immovable object). The signature radius of the ship is also increased by 150% during the spool up time. A ship attempting to activate an MJD gains a visible orange-white rippling cone in front of it.

The jump is interrupted if the jumping ship is warp scrambled, cloaked, or has an active Bastion Module, at the moment when spool up time ends. Warp Core Stabilizers will not prevent the jump from being interrupted. Interdiction bubbles and warp disruptors have no effect on micro jump drives. Like other prop modules, the MJD cannot be deactivated before its cycle ends.

After spool up period the ship jumps 100 km to the direction it is facing. The ship retains its velocity and locked targets through the jump. Other ships will also retain locks on the ship that jumped.

After the jump has been completed or aborted by scrambler the MJD module enters 180 seconds long cooldown period that must pass before the module can be used again. Even if the jump fails the module will enter cooldown period. This cooldown period is reduced to 54 seconds on Marauders, allowing them to activate an MJD to move, then activate one cycle of their Bastion Module on landing, and then jump again when the Bastion ends.

Micro Jump Field Generator

Micro Jump Field Generators (MJFGs or booshes) are similar to Micro Jump Drives but they have several important differences.

  • Only Command Destroyers can fit Micro Jump Field Generators.
  • A Micro Jump Field Generator does not only move the ship itself, but also moves most objects which are within 6km of the boosher. Up to twenty-five ships will be carried along.
  • Warp scramblers prevent the boosher or its targets from being jumped. (Any target that is scrammed will not be jumped, or if the boosher themself is scrammed nobody will be jumped.) This can be used defensively by fleet members scramming each other to prevent being separated.
  • Ships which are invulnerable can't be booshed away (undock timer, gate cloak, tether, the short invuln time after you drop out of warp as examples).
  • MJFGs cannot be used in Highsec. Activating one gives the user a Icon timer weapons.png weapon timer for 60 seconds (meaning you cannot take a gate or dock after using one). In lowsec your Safety settings need to be red as you can potentially gain a Icon timer criminal.png criminal timer. (Compare to ECM burst and smartbombs. However, it is not known what circumstances would give a criminal timer.) For this reason logistics pilots should also set their safeties to red if a boosher is in a lowsec fleet.
  • The spool time is a bit shorter (9s before skills) and is reduced by the skills Micro Jump Drive Operation and Command Destroyers down to a minimum of 6s (5.06s, rounded up). While spooling, the Command Destroyer cannot change direction or speed, and a blue ring of light with a glowing spark in the middle appears in front of it. (However, if the Command Destroyer bumps into a large enough object to change its course, that will affect the direction the jump fires in.)
  • Objects can only be affected by one boosh in a single server tick (second). However, multiple booshes over consecutive ticks will still take effect.

Micro Jump Field Generators open up many interesting tactics:

  • You can split up hostile fleets and isolate targets.
  • You can use it as an escape tool for fleets.
  • With many command destroyers you can chain booshers and make slow sniper fleets move around the grid quickly, allowing them to "kite" enemies that would otherwise catch up with them.
  • You can suddenly get on top of a target to tackle it. Remember that you can boosh a warp disrupt probe.

Mobile Micro Jump Unit

Mobile Micro Jump Units may be deployed in space, with modest restrictions on proximity to stargates, stations, starbases or Upwell structures. They allow all nearby ships (within 2.5km) to jump themselves 100km away in whatever direction they are facing, by right-clicking the Unit and selecting Jump. Jumping using a Mobile Micro unit has a 12-second spool-up, not reduced by skills, and produces the same orange-white rippling cone visual as using a Micro Jump Drive.

The unit occupies 50m3 cargo space, takes one minute to deploy, cannot be picked up once deployed, and lasts for two days if not destroyed. For ships up to 1 million tonnes (including the Rorqual), it can provide a brief window of escape to jump 100km and then try to warp away if under attack.

The Mobile Micro Jump Unit is the only source of micro-jumping available to Alpha clones.

Related skills

Micro Jump Drive Operation I is required to use any micro jump drives and reduces the spool up time duration by 5% per skill level.

Anchoring I is required to use the Mobile Micro Jump Unit.