Recon Ships are cruiser-sized electronic warfare and (true to their name) reconnaissance platforms. Recon Ships are divided into two types, with similar sets of core EWAR abilities but different secondary roles:
- "Force Recon" ships can fit Covert Ops Cloaking Devices, and thus warp while cloaked. Furthermore, Force Recon ships are also capable of fitting both standard and covert Cynsural Field Generators, allowing them to bring in either a covert ops hit squad, or a fleet of capital ships to reinforce a battle. This makes them a high-priority target in many battles.
- Combat Recon ships have superior weapons, electronics, and defenses. While they cannot fit a covert ops cloak, they cannot be detected by Directional scan, a unique ability in the game that makes them an unpleasant surprise for opponents. A number of these ships, such as the Curse, are famous hull names that can quickly cripple most ships.
While Recon ships have declined in popularity somewhat due to the flexibility of Tech 3 Strategic Cruisers, which can fit a cloaking subsystem and sometimes an EWAR system too, they are used in capital warfare, where their cyno capabilities become essential, and in large fleet fights, where they are easier to replace than T3 cruisers.
Amarrian recon ships are bonused for combat drones, energy neutralizers, and tracking disruptors. The neutralizers are the primary reason that these ships are deployed in battle. While both ships have powerful neutralizer bonuses, the combat-focused Curse has larger bonuses to range and is thus a much safer platform. Also, somewhat confusingly, Amarrian Recons have more mid slots than low slots and so are commonly found Shield-tanked rather than armor-tanked.
Caldari recon ships have the strongest bonuses to ECM jammers in the game, and can thus be extremely disruptive force multipliers. While the Rook can field a full compliment of launchers and drones, neither of these ships is considered a serious damage-dealing threat. To maximize ECM applications, these ships sometimes have no defenses at all, and survive only by staying outside the enemies' effective range. Game changes which made jammed ships able to target the ECM ship which has jammed them (but nothing else) have made the Rook and Falcon less popular as battlefield tools, but the Falcon works well as a cyno ship.
Gallente recons have bonuses to remote sensor dampeners, and the range of warp disruptors and scramblers. Their capacity for very long-ranged tackling makes them extremely dangerous ships in small gang situations, as they can pin a primary target to the grid from long range. The Arazu also has particular potential as a covert ops cyno ship, since it can tackle a target easily and safely and then cyno in stealth bombers and black ops battleships. These ships may be found shield or armor-tanked.
Minmatar recons bring two offensive support tools to the table: extremely long-ranged webs, and amplified target painters. The long-ranged webs make the Huginn an excellent force-multiplier for gangs fighting small, fast opponents. The Huginn fits projectile turrets and has bonuses which permit reasonable DPS, while the force recon Rapier fits missiles. Both are usually shield-tanked. The target-painting bonuses are rarely used, as the T1 Vigil and Bellicose can provide near-equivalent target painting at a fraction of the cost.
The CONCORD Enforcer comes with CovOps cloaking, bonuses to both web and warp disruptor range, and the ability to choose any form of weapons to fight with. It also gains the CONCORD bonus of amplified local shield and armor repair modules, based on the pilot's Security Status.
- Force Recon - Enforcer