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The Rifter is a very powerful combat frigate and can easily tackle the best frigates out there. It has gone through many radical design phases since its inauguration during the Minmatar Rebellion. The Rifter has a wide variety of offensive capabilities, making it an unpredictable and deadly adversary.
Minmatar Frigate bonuses (per skill level):
The Rifter is the primary damage frigate for Minmatar. For tackling a Slasher or Merlin is by far better. While the Rifter used to be considered the best T1 frigate (leading to many memes surrounding it), it has been nerfed to be similar in abilities to the others. In January, 2016, it is now widely considered one of the weakest solo frigates, along with the punisher.
Further information about additional or recommended skills to pilot Rifter for a specific or it's common role(s) can be written here.
For more info on fittings, please click here
For tackling in a Rifter, spiralling is key. The ship is agile and fast enough that you can use a standard spiral with a MicroWarp Drive (MWD). Your only concern will be on final approach (30 km or so) to pulse the MWD so that the increased signature radius doesn't come in to play as much, as the MWD's signature bloom only applies while the MWD is activated. If the ship is Afterburner (AB) fit, the pilot may consider tightening the spiral slightly. Afterburners do not have a signature radius penalty, so you can risking a little more (but still tankable) damage in order to decrease closing time.
The Rifter is an excellent ship for rookie pilots to learn their trade in due to the ship's endurance and it's low cost.
The Rookie Rifter guide nothing more needs to be said aside from reference to this excellent piece of work.
In Uni blobs
Mainly used in a tackling role. Focus is therefore on EITHER a MWD or an AB - MWD for sheer speed but at increased sig radius, AB provides a speed boost without the penalty to the increase sig radius, It is much a matter of personal preference but bear in mind that a MWD makes you a whole world easier to target!
For more on tackling please see: Tackling Guide
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