Smartbombs are point-blank area-of-effect weapons. When fired, they do damage to everything in a short distance (~10km) around the activating ship, friend or foe. They fill a very niche role within EVE, since they have very specific characteristics that limit their usefulness as a general weapon system.
There are very few ways to improve their performance outside of good piloting.
A smartbomb is a ship module that is fitted in a high slot. They come in micro, small, medium, and large sizes, with each size using more power grid and CPU, with increased range and damage output. Smartbombs use considerably more CPU than most turret weapons for the same sized ship, but do not take up a turret or missile hardpoint. This means that they fall under the 'utility' category for high slot modules, meaning that they are most sometimes used in an extra high slot available on a ship when all of its turret and missile hardpoints are used.
Smartbombs are different than most damage-dealing ship modules for three reasons. As already mentioned, smartbombs do not use hardpoints, like turrets or missile launchers. Secondly, they are not targeted, much like bombs. However, unlike bombs, the explosion they create originates from the ship, rather than a launched warhead. They damage all ships within the explosion radius apart from the ship which used the smartbomb, however they will not damage wrecks of destroyed ships. Finally, the damage that smartbombs inflict is not affected by the damaged ships signature radius or speed. Smartbomb damage is only mitigated by resistances and simply not being in the blast radius.
Both friends and foes are damaged by smartbombs. Care must be taken in high and low security space not to unintentionally damage structures or ships protected by CONCORD, since this will affect the user's security status, and in high security will result in CONCORD intervention (ie. the destruction of the offending ship). Your own drones, if they are within range, will also be damaged by a smartbomb. In order to activate smartbombs in high security space, you need to set your safety settings to red.
The main use of smartbombs is by larger ships, such as battleships, to destroy small, weak targets, like capsules or drones. These small targets are very difficult to hit with large turrets or missiles due to explosion radius and tracking problems, and take a very long time to lock up in the first place. See Tracking and Missile Characteristics if you are unfamiliar with these problems. Pilots will fit one or more smartbombs, which will be able to hit with perfect accuracy and damage so long as the targets are within range. For smaller ships, like frigates, destroyers, and to a lesser degree cruisers and battlecruisers, their turrets and missiles can track and hit these small, fast-moving targets better, so pilots will save the steep CPU costs of smartbombs to fit other or better modules.
Some organizations like Rooks and Kings have used smartbombs to great effect by pipe bombing, which consists of using a titan to jump bridge a fleet of smartbomb equipped battleships while an enemy fleet is in warp. The enemy fleet lands in the newly bridged battleships, which activate all their smart bombs, dealing massive damage to the whole fleet at once with no lock on time.
There is also a rarely used and even more rarely respected strategy known as 'Firewalling', in which multiple smartbombs are used to block out and destroy incoming Missiles. While missiles in-flight cannot be targeted, they can in fact be hit and destroyed by smartbombs. While this strategy is difficult to plan and execute appropriately, it can greatly reduce a fleet's incoming (and outgoing) missile damage.
Smartbombs are categorized by size (Micro, Small, Medium, and Large), and damage type (EM, Thermal, Kinetic, and Explosive). The means to acquire new micro smartbombs were removed long ago, and they exist today only as collector's items, and so will not be listed here.
Tech 1 and Tech 2 smartbombs have identical stats across their size class, regardless of damage type; a Large EMP Smartbomb has the same stats as a Large Concussive Smartbomb, except for the damage type. Additionally, all Faction smartbombs are identical within their size and damage type; Medium Amarr Navy EMP Smartbombs are identical to Medium Dark Blood EMP Smartbombs.
Smartbombs follow a naming convention of (size) (damage-descriptor) Smartbomb, with an optional (faction) preceding the name.
|T1 & 2||Meta 1||Factions|
|EM||EMP||'Vehemance' Shockwave Charge||Amarr Navy,|
|Thermal||Plasma||YF-12a Smartbomb||Gallente Navy,|
|Kinetic||Graviton||Rudimentary Concussion Bomb||Caldari Navy,|
|Explosive||Proton||'Notos' Explosive Charge||Republic Fleet,|
|All small T1 smartbombs||I||0||30||8||30||3||50|
|Small 'Vehemence' Shockwave Charge||I||1||24||8||30||3||60|
|Small YF-12a Smartbomb||I||25||60|
|Small Rudimentary Concussion Bomb||I||27||60|
|Small 'Notos' Explosive Charge||I||28||60|
|All small T2 smartbombs||II||5||30||8||30||3||70|
|'Pike' Small EMP Smartbomb||◯||6||24||7||30||3||60|
|Small Degenerative Concussion Bomb||◯||6||17||5||15||2.4||25|
|Faction small EM smartbombs||◇||9||30||8||20||4.5||75|
|Faction small thermal smartbombs||◇||21||4.05||68|
|Faction small kinetic smartbombs||◇||24||3.75||63|
|Faction small explosive smartbombs||◇||23||3.9||65|
|All medium T1 smartbombs||I||0||50||200||200||4||100|
|Medium 'Vehemence' Shockwave Charge||I||1||40||200||200||4||120|
|Medium YF-12a Smartbomb||I||42||120|
|Medium Rudimentary Concussion Bomb||I||45||120|
|Medium 'Notos' Explosive Charge||I||47||120|
|All medium T2 smartbombs||II||5||50||200||200||4||140|
|'Lancer' Medium EMP Smartbomb||◯||6||40||180||75||4.8||140|
|Medium Degenerative Concussion Bomb||◯||6||43||180||75||4.8||100|
|Faction medium EM smartbombs||◇||9||50||200||49||6||150|
|Faction medium thermal smartbombs||◇||53||5.4||135|
|Faction medium kinetic smartbombs||◇||60||5||125|
|Faction medium explosive smartbombs||◇||56||5.2||130|
|All large T1 smartbombs||I||0||80||1000||200||5||250|
|Large 'Vehemence' Shockwave Charge||I||1||64||1000||200||5||300|
|Large YF-12a Smartbomb||I||68||300|
|Large Rudimentary Concussion Bomb||I||72||300|
|Large 'Notos' Explosive Charge||I||76||300|
|All large T2 smartbombs||II||5||80||1100||220||6||300|
|'Warhammer' Large EMP Smartbomb||◯||6||64||900||200||6||350|
|Large Degenerative Concussion Bomb||◯||6||68||900||200||6||250|
|Faction large EM smartbombs||◇||9||80||1000||130||7.5||375|
|Faction large thermal smartbombs||◇||140||6.75||338|
|Faction large kinetic smartbombs||◇||160||6.25||313|
|Faction large explosive smartbombs||◇||150||6.5||325|
Additionally, large smartbombs have various officer modules which have increased performance at the cost of increased fitting stats.
- Energy Pulse Weapons (2x, 130k ISK): Allows you to equip smartbombs, and reduces their cycle time by 5% per level, which increases both DPS and cap usage.
- Weapon Upgrades (2x, 80k ISK): Decreases the CPU needs of smartbomb modules by 5% per level. A fairly important skill, as smartbombs are very cpu intensive. Note that Advanced Weapon Upgrades does not affect smartbombs, only turrets and launchers.
- Basic fitting skills are important when working with smartbombs, due to their high fitting requirements. Make sure you train CPU Management, and less importantly for smartbombs, Power Grid Management to V.
The Inherent Implants 'Squire' Energy Pulse Weapons implant range is the only way to improve the performance of smartbombs. These plug in to slot 7, and decrease the cycle time of smartbombs by 1-6%. They are available from various military LP stores.