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It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with Passive shield tanking  to Tanking . ( Discuss )

In EVE Online, Tanking is the combat science of absorbing and reducing incoming damage. A player upgrades their ship's defense grid, commonly called its tank, to prevent or delay their ship's destruction.

Tanking is a core part of most ship combat in EVE Online. Different tanking approaches exist, split into passive or active tanking and focusing on upgrading one of a ship's defense pools: its shield, armor, or hull. The damage types of EVE Online — energy, thermal, kinetic, and explosive damage — affect shield, armor, and hull differently through resistances, and these resistances can also be upgraded by fitting modules and rigs. Shields regenerate over time, while armor and hull do not, though with the right equipment each defense pool can be repaired by the self or remotely repaired by other ships.

Even a basic understanding of tanking can greatly increase survivability in EVE, while more advanced knowledge and optimization can give competitive pilots and ship planners an edge. EVE University members are encouraged to direct questions to experienced corporation mates or to the #fitting-chat channel on the University Discord.

Note that while evading damage is also commonly called tanking, as in "speed tanking" and "signature tanking," this page focuses on reducing inflicted damage.

Basic concepts

Ship Status Panel

The Ship Status Panel shows the hitpoints(HP) of the player's ship with three rings, from outside to inside:

  1. shield (outer semicircle)
  2. armor (middle semicircle)
  3. and structure (also called "hull"; inner semicircle)

Ship defenses suffer damage in this order, marked by red coloring filling each ring. When the last ring (the structure ring) is completely red, the ship's hull has been breached and the ship is destroyed, ejecting the pilot into space as an escape pod.

Tanking follows one of two general approaches:

  • Buffer tanking – raising the ship's raw HP
  • Active tanking – repairing damage received

Buffer tanking involves raising HP by fitting passive armor, shield, or hull HP modules. These passive modules do not require control or ammunition, but they generally come paired with negative side effects like reduced evasion. In contrast, active tanking employs equipment that requires capacitor energy or specialized ammunition.

Damage-type resistances reduce incoming damage by a percentage and increase a ship's effective hit points, or EHP. Tanking builds generally combine raw HP increases with damage resistance to maximize EHP.

Buffer tanking

Buffer tanking boosts raw HP to increase a ship's survivability between repairs, at the expense of self-repairing capability. In fleet battles, a buffer tank can survive heavier bursts of damage between remote repairs. Note that a ship's hull is far slower to remote repair than armor or shields.

Buffer tanking has low or zero capacitor demands, freeing up the capacitor for other tactical equipment. In the same way, having no active modules to manage liberates a pilot's attention for other challenges. However, a buffer tank without repair support has a set lifespan. Once the HP buffer is compromised, an unsupported buffer tank will soon reach the end of its engagement value.

Any damage threat that can overwhelm a ship before it can actively repair itself calls for buffer tanking. PvP fleet combat is a key example as it subjects players to heavy focus fire. In contrast, solo PvE missions have more sustained damage threats that limit the value of solo buffer tanks, though group PvE fleets may use buffer tanks and logistics support together: this is common in Incursions and in wormhole PvE battles.

When expecting remote repairs, a ship planner may focus their build on more damage resistance, at the expense of EHP, to enhance the value of repairs by decreasing damage suffered.

Buffer tanking comes in three flavors: armor buffer tanking, passive shield tanking, and hull tanking.

Active tanking

An "active tank" uses armor repair or shield booster modules to restore the damage done to the ship. Active tanks use energy from the ship's capacitor to run local armor-repairing or shield-boosting modules. So long as the incoming damage never exceeds your restoration capacity and your capacitor never gives out under the pressure, an active tank can last forever ("perma-tanking"). If either of these two things happens, your tank will collapse ("break") under the pressure.

Active tanks can achieve either high burst restoration or sustained restoration over a long (potentially endless) time period. They require more management from the pilot than buffer tanks and are often vulnerable to Capacitor Warfare that drains the ship's capacitor dry.

Sustained active tanks

In PvE, players usually need a permanent tank that can consistently restore a steady stream of moderate damage, forever.

A PvE active tank uses one or more armor repairers or shield boosters, modules to boost either shield or armor resistances to damage, and modules to support the recharging of the ship's capacitor so that the rest of the tank can keep on running. For most PvE combat, players can look up ahead of time what types of damage they are likely to receive, and will fit modules that harden their resistances against that type of damage in particular.

Sustained active tanks are rare in PvP.

Burst active tanks

Though fleet PvP can deliver incoming damage beyond the capacity of any sub-capital sustained active tank, solo and small gang PvP often involves lower incoming damage, which a short-term active tank can fend off. The modules central to this tactic are Ancillary Armor Repairers (AAR) and Ancillary Shield Boosters (ASB). These modules can be loaded with Nanite Repair Paste (armor) and Cap Boosters (shield). While these modules have charges, ancillary armor repairers repair far more hitpoints than any other repair module, and ancillary shield boosters consume 0 capacitor energy to cycle.

However, once their charges run out (in general after 8 cycles for an armor repairer or 9 cycles for a shield booster), the AAR becomes very weak and inefficient, and the ASB becomes prohibitively capacitor-intensive. Ancillary repair modules have a 60 second reload time to refresh their charges from your cargo hold. Only one ancillary armor repairer, or capital ancillary shield booster, can be fitted to a ship.

The size of charges used and the rate at which they are consumed is based on the size of the module. Larger ancillary armor repairers hold more paste but consume more paste per cycle, and larger ancillary shield boosters require larger cap charges to be loaded. While ancillary shield boosters may have multiple different sizes of charges loaded, larger charges offer no benefit over smaller charges (and with their larger volume, allow fewer charges to be loaded at once), and so only the smallest available charge should be used.

Because Overheating repair modules increase both the cycle speed and the number of hitpoints repaired, ancillary repair modules should always be run overheated to maximize the value of their limited cycles. (The overheat damage sustained can then be repaired while the modules are reloading.)

Another module often important to a burst active tank is the capacitor booster. A cap booster uses charges to fire more energy into your capacitor, allowing a ship to exceed its normal power output for a limited time. Ancillary repairers/boosters and cap boosters offer some protection against capacitor warfare, and a burst active tank can achieve a startlingly-high rate of restoration, especially on a ship with bonuses like those found on the Maelstrom or Hyperion.

The drawbacks of a burst active tank are that it requires considerable attention from the pilot, takes up a lot of cargo space, and (most importantly) will eventually give out.

Avoid mixing tanks

Modules are available to help both your shields and your armor, but it is a good rule of thumb to focus on either shields or armor, not both.

Most of the time a tank takes up a substantial proportion of powergrid, CPU and either midslots (shield tank) or lowslots (armor tank). If you fit a shield tank, you can put useful things (damage modules, speed and agility modules &c) in your lowslots, and if you armor tank you can put useful things (tackling modules, electronic warfare modules, propulsion modules &c) in your midslots. Both types of tank at once leave you with little space for other useful modules.

This rule also applies to mixing buffer tank with active tank. Buffer and active tank modules both require heavy powergrid and CPU, both consume the same limited set of slots, and both fitting theories satisfy different, usually mutually exclusive, goals and conditions.

Double-tanked ships are usually only used as specially-designed bait.


Resistances (or "resists) on a ship reduce the damage taken. A resist figure is a number that tells you by how large a percentage the incoming damage is reduced. For example, 30% thermal resistance on shields means that all incoming thermal damage is reduced by 30%: 100 hit points of shield damage becomes 70.

The T1 ships have almost identical base resists, but many of the T2 ships have so called "T2 Resists" that drastically vary between races. For example, Minmatar ships with T2 resists have massive EM and thermal resists even on shields but have low resists against explosive and kinetic.

The base resists of a ship are almost always modified by modules fitted on the ship. Resistance percentages are calculated in a way that many people find confusing. A module may list itself as having a 30% bonus to resistances, but the only time you'll actually see a 30% increase in resistance when using it is if your current resistance is 0%.

The way the calculations work is that the percentage is applied to the remaining damage after resists. If things didn't work this way, you'd easily get resistances above 100%, and shooting you would cause armor or shields to grow on your ship.

Resistances are easier to figure out if you think in terms of "damage vulnerability" rather than "damage resistance". A ship with 60% EM resist is then going to take 40% EM damage received. Adding a 30% resist module multiplies the damage taken by 0.7, so you now take 0.7*0.4 = 0.28 = 28% of the raw damage.

Because of stacking penalties, and the way resistances multiply together, it is not possible to be 100% resistant to a damage type [Note 1].

For those interested in the math (pilots do not need to know these details if they don't want to), the final resist with multiple modules and stacking penalties can be calculated with the formula

[math] \displaystyle \text{Resist} = 1 - ( 1 - R_0 )( 1 - R_1)( 1-R_2 \times 0.869)( 1 - R_3 \times 0.571)( 1 - R_4 \times 0.283)...[/math]

where R0 is the hull resist and R1, R2, R3,... are module resists in descending order.

Negative resistances

Certain effects will apply negative resists to a ship. These include incursion effects, Abyssal Deadspace effects and phenomena generators. The way these are applied may seem confusing, but they are simpler than they seem. The idea is exactly the same as with normal resists explained above where the percentage change is applied to vulnerability (100% - resist) instead of resist.

A 50% resist penalty means that your ship will take 50% more damage.

Example: You fly your ship with 70% resist into a situation where you receive 50% resist penalty. Your new resist is 55%; how can this make any sense?
Your ship has 70% resistance meaning you will receive 30% of the incoming damage. If 50% resist penalty is applied on your ship you will take 50% more damage. You will be receiving 1.5×30% = 45% damage after your resists. So the new resistance is 100% - 45% = 55%.

The math is:

[math] \displaystyle \text{New resist} = 1 - ( 1 - \text{Original resist} ) \times ( 1 + \text{Penalty} ) [/math]

The resist penalties will never cause the ship to have below 0% resist. If the penalty is big enough that the new resist would be negative, the new resist will simply be 0%.

Negative hitpoints

It is possible that the hitpoints of the shield, armor, and/or hull become a negative value. The game tracks "damaged value" for each layer of hitpoints, changes to max hitpoints will not change the damaged amount of hitpoints, unlike capacitors, which change energy with capacity changes to maintain the same percentage.

When the max hitpoints are reduced and the new max hitpoint minus damaged hitpoints is a negative value, negative hitpoints occur. Common causes are:

  • The pilot is ejected, and the max hitpoints bonus from skills, implants, and boosters are removed.
  • Modules that give extra max hitpoints become offline because either the pilot ejected caused the module to be out of CPW/PWG, burned to overheating, the pilot did not have skills for it, or they were put offline by the pilot or unfitted.
  • Modules that decrease max hitpoints are fitted and brought online.
  • Medical boosters, Command Bursts or system effects (like Pulsar or Wolf Rayet in Wormhole space) caused changes in max hitpoints. Either the effect caused a decrease in max hitpoints, or the ship took too much damage and had the effect that increased max hitpoints wear off.

Negative hitpoints will show 0 hitpoints, but they will absorb some amount of heal from hull repairers, armor repairers and shield boosters, resulting in odds that the ship is repaired but hitpoints are not changed, but with enough fixes eventually bringing hitpoints to a positive value.

If hull hitpoints reach 0 or a negative value via max hull hitpoints decreased instead of damage, the ship won't be destroyed until the next hull damage, allowing the ship to be hull repaired.

Armor tanking

General approach

Armor tanking emphasizes the use of low-slot modules to increase armor hit points, resistance to damage, and gain the ability to repair damage taken by armor. Regardless of the approach taken to armor tanking, understand that armor on T1 hulls has an inherent weakness to Explosive damage, and usually a mild weakness to Kinetic damage, and you should plan your resistance modules accordingly.

Armor-tanked ships generally have much stronger buffers than shield-tanked ships. This is aided by Armor having near-universally higher base damage resistances than shields (albeit with the opposite order of strengths and weaknesses), and several modules which increase armor hitpoints and resistances that have no shield equivalents.

Armor Repairers are more capacitor-efficient than Shield Boosters (in terms of raw HP recovered per GJ of capacitor used), and they repair large amounts of HP on every cycle. However, they also cycle very slowly, meaning that they effectively restore less HP per second than shield boosters; and the HP gained is applied at the end of the module cycle (rather than the beginning as it is for shield boosters), meaning that a pilot must anticipate when the repairs will be needed several seconds in advance.

Armor tanking modules generally do not use nearly as much CPU as shield tanking modules. (Some armor tanking modules even consume no CPU at all!) However, Armor Plates and Armor Repairers use much, much more powergrid than any shield-tanking modules. Because armor tanking modules take up low slots, they leave their ship's mid slots free for capacitor modules, Electronic Warfare modules, and damage application modules, which gives armor-tanked ships much more utility and versatility than shield-tanked ships. However, in exchange, because armor takes up low slots, and damage-increasing modules also take up low slots, armor-tanked ships generally have lower potential damage output than shield-tanked ships.

Once a ship's armor is depleted, only its hull stands between it and death. This means that, in theory, armor-tanked ships have smaller safety margins than shield-tanked ships. However, this is a fact that Gallente ships are designed around: some Gallente ships have bonuses to local armor repair modules, and Gallente ships also have the thickest hulls of any ships.

Armor Plates have a unique penalty to them: increased ship mass. This penalty reduces ship agility (acceleration and alignment time), and reduces the speed bonus gained from Propulsion equipment. Armor Rigs also (usually) reduce ship max speeds. As a result, heavily armored ships tend to be significantly slower than heavily shielded ships.

In short, the advantages of armor tanks are:

  • A wide range of modules available to enhance resistances
  • Armor repairers use less capacitor than shield boosters
  • Relatively limited CPU demand and capacitor burden
  • Mid slots are available for propulsion, tackle, EWAR, and damage-application modules

And the disadvantages of armor tanks are:

  • (active tanks only) armor repairers only repair at the end of their cycle, requiring precise management from pilots
  • Many armor tanking modules and rigs slow the ship down
  • Use of low slots reduces space for damage-boosting modules
  • Relatively greater powergrid demand
  • Armor doesn't repair naturally on its own over time as shields do, so pilots might have to dock up and pay for repairs

Armor tanking is most common in Amarr and Gallente ships, which tend to have lots of low slots and sometimes have bonuses for armor resistance (Amarr) or active armor repairers (Gallente). Minmatar ships and even some Caldari ships are sometimes also given armor tanks: the Hurricane and Blackbird are two examples.

Racial resistances

see also: Natural Resistances#Tech I armor resistances

One major consideration when choosing resistance modules is that different races' Tech 1 ships have slightly different base armor resistances. This is explained in the article on Natural Resistances, however for a discussion of tanking, there are four major takeaways:

  • Amarr ships can generally get sufficient resistances using a combination of Multispectrum Energized Membranes, a Damage Control, and/or a Reactive Armor Hardener.
  • Gallente ships generally need to run one Explosive Membrane, Coating, or Hardener
  • Caldari ships are generally not armor-tanked at all, however on the rare occasion that they are, they generally need an Explosive, and possibly a Kinetic, resist module
  • Minmatar ships generally need to run both an Explosive and a Kinetic resist module, or in extreme cases run full "Rainbow -1"

The reason for these takeaways is that one of the general goals in resistance modules is to have all four of your ship's resistances be at some fairly equal high value; and because different races have different base values, different amounts of effort are required to even the numbers.

Rainbow -1

"Rainbow" tanking refers to an attempt to maximize damage resistance by running one pure resistance module for each of the four damage types. This is generally only done on Battleships or Capital Ships, because of the large number of slots required to do it. However, because of the distribution of base armor resistances, rainbow tanking is generally not quite the most efficient way to maximize resistances. What is generally more efficient is "Rainbow -1": One Membrane or Hardener for each of Explosive, Kinetic, and Thermal, and then a single Multispectrum Energized Membrane. This strategy takes advantage of armor's naturally high EM resistance, improves the other three resistances to match, then uses a single Multispec to further improve everything. This has the added advantage of only applying 1 layer of Stacking Penalties to most resists and no Stacking Penalties at all to the EM resist, and synergizes very well in a fleet setting with Armored Command Bursts.

Armor tanking modules

Icon armor plate.png Armor plates increase armor HP by a flat amount with the cost of increasing ship mass, decreasing ship speed and agility. Oversized plates, those intended for larger ship sizes, can be fitted onto smaller ships if they have adequate power grid.
Icon adaptive nano plating.png Resistance coatings are passive modules that increase armor resistances. They have very low fitting costs.
  • Resistance Coatings come in 5 types: one for each of the four damage elements and one multispectrum model which moderately resists all damage.
  • The Armor Compensation skills further increases bonus resistances.
Icon energized membrane.png Energized membranes are an upgraded version of Resistance Coatings, passively increasing armor resistances by a larger amount. They have higher CPU fitting costs than resistance coatings and are more expensive to produce.
  • Energized Membranes also come in four elemental types and one multispectrum model which moderately resists all damage.
  • The Armor Compensation skills further increases bonus resistances.
Icon armor thermal hardener.png Armor hardeners are active modules that significantly increase one of the four armor resistances, more than Energized Membranes. They consume small amounts of Capacitor energy to run and require slightly more CPU to fit than Energized Membranes. They can also be Overheated for a further increase in strength.
  • (Active) Armor Hardeners come in 4 types: one for each type of damage.
  • Armor Hardeners do not benefit from the Armor Compensation skills.
Icon module damage control.png Damage control is a passive module that increases a ship's shield, armor, and hull resists. This module is not stacking penalized with most other resist modules. Only a Reactive Armor Hardener is stacking penalized with a damage control. As a result, this module is commonly seen as one of the most efficient defensive modules in the game.
Icon assault damage control.png Assault damage control is a variant of the Damage Control which can only be used by Assault Frigates and Heavy Assault Cruisers. Passively, it gives weaker bonuses to shield, armor, and hull resistances than a normal Damage Control. In exchange, the ADC can be activated once every two minutes to give 12 seconds of massive reduction to all incoming damage. Like the normal Damage Control, the ADC is stacking penalized with the Reactive Armor Hardener but not with any other resist modules.
Icon reactive armor hardener.png Reactive armor hardener is an active module that increases armor resists. it gives in total 60% resist bonus split across all four damage types. When first activated, the module gives 15% resistance to each type of damage. As the ship receives armor damage, every time the RAH cycles its resistances will change to become more resistant to the damage which was last sustained, and less resistant to other damage types which were not sustained. The resists shift by up to 6% per cycle per resist. This module is not stacking penalized with other modules except for Damage Control.
Icon armor repairer i.png Armor repairers are modules that consume moderate amount of capacitor and use that to repair the ship's armor.

The capacitor is consumed at the beginning of the cycle but the repair happens at the end of the cycle.

Icon armor repairer i.png Ancillary armor repairers ("Ancils") can consume Nanite Repair Paste to fix armor quickly in short bursts. A loaded Ancil fixes ~1.7x the armor of a comparable T2 armor repairer for the first eight repair cycles. A depleted Ancil repairs much slower, at ~0.6x repair yield. Reloading the module requires 1 minute, and an Ancil cannot be used while reloading. Auto-reload can be disabled to keep the module available until reload is desired.
  • PvP is the primary setting for Ancillary Armor Repairers where they provide strong bursts of active tanking. (Certain types of PvE, such as Abyssal Deadspace, also popularly feature this module.)
  • Overheating a loaded Ancillary Armor Repairer is especially advisable, due to its limited number of activation cycles.
Icon adaptive nano plating.png Layered Coatings are passive modules that increase a ship's armor by a percentage amount, including bonus armor added by Armor Plates. Also, unlike Armor Plates, they do not increase ship mass.
Icon energized membrane.png Layered Energized Membranes are upgraded Layer Coatings that increase armor percentage by a higher amount. They have higher CPU fitting costs and are more expensive to produce.
Icon remote armor repair i.png Remote armor repair systems consume capacitor to remotely repair armor on another ship. Their short range is extended significantly when fit to Logistics class ships.
  • Remote Armor Repairers heal marginally more than their self-repair counterparts over time, and at faster activation speeds.
Icon remote armor repair i.png Ancillary remote armor repair systems are the remote counterpart of local ancillary armor repairers. Like the local ancillary armor repairers These can be loaded with nanite repair paste for 8 cycles of increased repairs. However, once the paste runs out they will repair less than normal remote repairers.
Module icon armor rig tech1.png Rigs
  • Trimark Armor Pumps increases the raw HP by a percentage, at the cost of reduced maximum speed.
  • Anti-damage type rigs increase damage resist to a single damage type, at the cost of reduced maximum speed.
  • Auxiliary Nano Pumps increase a ship's armor repairer repair amount per cycle. Increases the power grid use for local armor reps.
  • Nanobot Accelerator speeds up armor repair module cycle times at the cost of armor repairers' power grid use. In theory, this is more effective for active armor tanks than the Auxiliary Nano Pump, but note that shorter cycle time also results in higher capacitor use.

Tech II Armor Rigs tend to all be very expensive because of the rarity of one component (Intact Armor Plates) which they all use.

Icon implant hardwiring.png Implants
  • Repair Systems RS-6xx series - Slot 6 - reduces armor and hull repair systems duration by 1% to 6%, depending on model number
  • Remote Repair Sustems RA-7xx series - Slot 7 - reduces capacitor need for remote armor repair modules by 1% to 6%, depending on model number
  • Repair Proficiency RP-9xx series - Slot 9 - increases armor repair system amount by 1% to 6%, depending on model number
  • Hull Upgrades HP-10xx series - Slot 10 increases armor hit points by 1% to 6%, depending on model number
  • There are two implant sets that benefit armor tanking. Like most sets, they use implant slots 1-6, are available in three grades (low, medium, and high), and each additional implant amplifies the bonus of the entire set. For both, the bonus from a full set can range from 20.03% with low-grades, to 53.63% with high-grades.
    • The Amulet implant set gives a multiplicative increase to armor hit points.
    • The Asklepian implant set gives a multiplicative increase to armor repair amounts.
    • You can mix & match HG, MG, and LG implants, for a final bonus partway in between.
Icon exile.png Exile medical booster greatly increases the ship's active armor repair amount, however, they carry a chance to reduce your Armor hitpoints, capacitor capacity, turret tracking, or missile damage application.

Armor tanking skills

Shield tanking

Shield tanking employs buffer tanking with passive shield regeneration (aka. passive shield tanking) or active shield boosting to withstand damage. Shields are innately resistant to explosive damage and weak to EM damage.

Note that, like a ship's capacitor, shield regeneration is strongest when shields are at 25% of their capacity, regenerating slower as shield levels rise above or sink below this value. (For more information on shield regeneration, see shield recharge rate.) Note also that damage can bypass shields, and that the amount bypassed increases as shield levels fall.

Shield modules generally fit in mid slots. This leaves low slots for damage modules, fitting modules or piloting modules. As a result, shield ships generally have higher damage output than their armored cousins. But using mid slots for tank can sometimes limit the ship fit into more or less pure damage dealing as the tank competes with tackling, EWAR, and propulsion modules.

Shield extenders and shield rigs apply a penalty to the ship's signature radius: they make it larger, making the ship easier to hit with turrets and easier to damage with missiles. Shields generally also have less buffer than armor ships. This is most notable when fighting against ships larger than your own.

Unlike Armor Repairers, Shield Boosters give the boost at the beginning of the cycle time instead of at the end, meaning you can wait until you need the shields to activate the shield booster instead of activating it in anticipation of needing it, as is commonly done with armor repairers. Shield boosters also repair much faster and more than armor repairers. This comes at cost of using more capacitor.

After shields are exhausted there is still some armor and hull remaining, leaving a little more room for error.

Shields naturally recharge themselves over time, while armor and hull damage remains until it is repaired. This passive regeneration is taken to extreme in "passive shield tanking", described below.

In short, the advantages of shield tanking are:

  • Does not reduce speed or maneuverability.
  • As a first line of defense, leaves you with armor and hull as a fallback if shields go down.
  • Shields recharge on their own - no need to dock and pay for repairs.
  • Shield boosting modules work more quickly than armor repair modules and apply effects immediately.
  • Low slots are available for weapon enhancing modules.

And the disadvantages of shield tanking are:

  • Increases signature radius – ship becomes easier to hit.
  • Fewer kinds of enhancement modules – less choice than with armor.
  • Shield recharge modules use more capacitor than armor repair modules.
  • Mid slots are not available for EWAR, tackle or propulsion modules.

Shield tanks are most common on Caldari ships, followed by Minmatar ships. Both races' ships tend to have adequate numbers of mid slots; some Caldari ships have bonuses to shield resistances, and some Minmatar ships have bonuses to shield boosters. Shield tanks also synergize well with Minmatar ships' emphasis on speed. Some Gallente and Amarr ships are sometimes shield-tanked: one example is the Curse.

Active shield tanking

Active shield tanking is most commonly used in higher-level PvE but also has a place in solo or small-gang PvP. Active shield tanking is based on using a shield booster to recover shield HP faster than incoming damage can deplete it, while also fitting modules to harden the shields' resistances.

Passive shield tanking

See also: Passive shield tanking

Unlike Armor hit points, shields will recharge themselves after taking damage. A passive Shield tank maximizes this natural recharge rate without the use of active booster modules. The shields of a ship have two stats that are relevant to passive recharge: shield capacity and shield recharge time. The shield capacity is simply the maximum HP for the shields while the recharge time tells how long it takes for the shields to recharge.

The concept behind the Passive Shield Tank is deceptively simple: find a ship with a relatively high natural recharge rate (Shield HP / Recharge time = Average recharge rate), then add as many additional shield hit points to your ship as possible using shield extenders. Because the recharge time for a given ship is a fixed amount no matter how many points of shields you have, adding more shield HP indirectly increases the recharge rate, because more HP are being recharged in the same amount of time. Now add passive modules that increase the recharge rate even further, such as Shield Rechargers, Shield Power Relays and Power Diagnostic Systems, and you have a monster sized buffer tank that also regenerates very quickly, without using any capacitor. Shield Flux Coils also increase recharge rate, but should be avoided because they also lower your shield hit points, which is self-defeating.

As the name implies, a fully passive tank does not require any modules that need to be “turned on” to function, and therefore does not require capacitor. The drawback to Passive Shield tanking is the number of modules required to pull it off, which leaves very little room to fit other useful modules such as damage improvement and tackling equipment, which makes this fitting of limited use outside of PvE combat.

Adding resistance modules will greatly increase the effectiveness of passive recharge. Some passive shield tanks also use Multispectrum Shield Hardeners and Shield Hardeners to improve damage resistance. Note that these do put a (gentle) load on the capacitor, and the capacitor's own recharge rate is reduced by the Shield Power Relays that increase shield recharge rates. Careful balancing is therefore necessary to make a passive shield tank work. When done correctly, however, this approach can be used to handle tough missions with a single ship.

It is generally advised NOT to mix modules that increase shield recharge rate (a passive shield tank) rate with modules that repair shield damage (an active shield tank).

Shield recharge rate

All ships have shields, and all shields have a recharge rate.

A ship's information screen, on the attributes tab, under the shield heading, lists the total shield amount of the hull and the shield recharge time. The recharge time expresses how long it will take to go from 0% shields to roughly 98% shields when the ship is sitting idle in space and no one is repairing the shields or damaging them. That last ~2% of your shields will take much longer.

To get a crude measure of recharge rate, you can simply divide the shield HP by the time listed for recharging. But shields do not recharge at a constant rate: this only calculates an average rate. The actual behavior is that when the shield is near 0% or 100% it replenishes slower. The peak recharge rate will be 2.5x the average rate and will occur when the shields are damaged to 25% of shield maximum capacity.

Shield recharge rates above ~98% shield arr extremely low. For ships with small shield capacity it is essentially non-existent. The shield recharge rate also drops sharply below 25% capacity. Once shields have been damaged beyond 25% the passive tank "breaks" and the ship dies rapidly.

Measured shield HP during passive recharge from zero and theoretical shield HP from formula plotted. Click to enlarge.
Shield recharge rate as function of shield HP according to the formula. Click to enlarge.

As the shield takes damage, its level goes down. In response, the rate at which it rebuilds itself goes up. The increase in shield recharge rate continues until it peaks at 25% of shield capacity. At this threshold, the default ship Health Alert noise will sound to warn the pilot that the shield is at its recharging limit. If it continues to take more damage than it can hold, the regeneration will drop off quickly. This means if constant damage is applied, the shield will regenerate less as it becomes empty, thus making it easier to shoot the armor below it.

THE MAIN POINT: In combat the shield will recharge at an increasing rate until 25% of its capacity remains; then the rate will fall off quickly towards zero.

The math for shield regeneration is exactly the same as that of the capacitor recharge rate. Two numerical attributes are required: shield capacity, and shield recharge time. These are both displayed in the ship's "show info" attributes panel in-game, below its capacity. Note that modules that refer to "recharge rate" modify the recharge time number, not the raw regeneration in HP/s.

[math] \displaystyle \frac{\text{d}C}{\text{d}t} = \frac{ 10C_{\rm{max}}}{T} \left( \sqrt{ \frac{C}{C_{\rm{max}}} } - \frac{C}{C_{\rm{max}}} \right) [/math]

C is your current shield HP.
Cmax is your maximum shield HP.
dC/dt is your current shield regeneration in HP/s.
T is shield recharge time.


The fact that these attributes are both set has some interesting consequences. Notably, for this calculation, recharge time is not dependent on anything else, including maximum shield capacity, as you might have intuitively expected. This has the effect that if two ships have the same "recharge time" attribute, and one has more capacity, then the one with the larger capacity will get more raw HP/s regeneration, and appear to "repair faster" in a passive tank despite reaching its maximum level in the same time.

Calculating Average rate

Fitting a shield tank

In many cases the technical construction of the ship dictates the use of shields (or armor) as its primary defense. Any ship receiving a bonus to shield capabilities would likely use shields. And because most shield modules use medium power slots, a ship with more mid than low slots will tend to use shields. As a shield ships use mainly mid slots for defense, they can fit much higher damage output and are often faster.

Every ship has a shield. Whether or not a pilot decides to expand and improve the shield is his or her choice.
That said, here are the factors that you look for when you are thinking about shields:

  • Shield specific hull bonus.
  • Surplus of mid slots or shortage of low slots.
  • More need to favor modules that improve weapons (which tend to need low slots).
  • Less need for EWAR modules (which tend to need mid slots).
Icon shield extender.png Shield extenders increase ships shield HP by a flat number. The drawback is increased signature radius that makes the ship easier to hit. Oversized modules are often used (Medium size on a Frigate class ship, for example).
Icon resists.png Shield hardeners are active modules that increase ship's shield resists. Multispectrum Shield Hardener increases resist to all damage types but less than type specific modules. The name is misleading and the module does not adapt to damage like the reactive armor hardener. Active shield hardeners are considerably more effective than the passive shield resistance amplifiers.
Icon thermal amplifier.png Shield resistance amplifiers are passive modules that increase ship's shield resists. Easier to fit than active hardeners and do not need any capacitor. Considerably lower resist bonus compared to active hardeners. The resist bonus increases with appropriate shield compensation skill. There is no resistance amplifier that increases all resist types like there is for armor.
Icon module damage control.png Damage control is a passive module that increases the ship's shield, armor and hull resists. This module is not stacking penalized with any other shield resist module.
Icon shield recharger.png Shield power relays are passive modules that increase the ship's shield recharge rate at the cost of reduced capacitor recharge rate. This module defines a passive shield tank. Since the relay modules fit in low slots, this means more Extenders may be fitted alongside them. On the other hand, this also means no low slot weapon upgrade modules for high damage. This will limit the situations where a passive tank may be used. One of the few low slot shield modules.
Icon shield recharger.png Shield flux coils are passive modules that increase ship's shield recharge rate at the cost of reduced shield capacity. The reduced shield capacity reduces the shield recharge rate but the recharge rate bonus on flux coils is larger than on power relays resulting in higher recharge rate.
Icon shield recharger.png Shield rechargers are passive mid slot modules that provide a modest increase to the shield recharge rate. If there is fitting room for shield extender then that may be a better choice.
Icon shield glow.png Shield boosters consume ship's capacitor to repair (or boost, as the name says) the shields in exchange. Note that the repair happens at the beginning of the module cycle. Shield boosters generally have short cycle time and mediocre capacitor:hitpoint rate compared to Armor Repairers.
Icon ancillary shield booster.png Ancillary shield booster provides a capacitor-free method of active shield tanking for limited time. They can be loaded with Capacitor Booster Charges, and will consume the loaded charges upon activation. When no charges are loaded, it will consume quite a large amount of capacitor instead. They will reload in 1 minute (60 seconds). Capacitor Booster Charges of different sizes can be fitted, however it is recommended to use the Navy variant of the smallest charge available (the accepted charge size is displayed on the Show Info tab). Using larger charges offers no benefits. Ancillary shield boosters are almost exclusively used in PvP situations to provide repairs without consuming the precious capacitor. Usage in PvE is not recommended due to the long reload time, the cost of Capacitor Booster Charges and burst tanking nature.
Icon shield boost amplifier.png Shield boost amplifiers are passive mid slot modules that increase shield booster repair amount without increasing the capacitor usage. They are completely passive and use only 1 powergrid, however they require quite a bit of CPU. This makes these impractical for smaller hulls due to the limited med slots and fitting resources. However, Boost Amplifiers double the heat damage from overheating.
Icon shield transporter i.png Remote shield boosters use capacitor to repair shields of a single target. Moderately short Optimal range and long Falloff range. Note that the repair is delivered at the start of the cycle.
Icon shield transporter i.png Ancillary remote shield boosters are remote shield boosters that can be loaded with cap boosters. They behave exactly the same with local Ancillary Shield Boosters except they repair other ships instead. Usage without Cap Booster Charges are highly discouraged due to the large Capacitor usage.
Icon powergrid.png Power diagnostics systems are low slot engineering modules. Small percentage increase to shield capacity, capacitor capacity, powergrid output, shield recharge rate and capacitor recharge rate.
Icon capacitor recharger.png Capacitor power relays are not exactly a shield modules, but an engineering module. They are a passive low slot module that increase capacitor recharge rate at the expense of reduced shield booster repair amount. These are generally avoided on active shield tanked ships. The penalty does not apply to remote shield boosters.
Module icon shield rig tech1.png Rigs
  • Core defense field extenders increase shield capacity by a percentage amount. They are popular on PvP fits, and thus are a bit more expensive due to the high demand.
  • Core defense field purgers increase the shield recharge rate. It is however, a lot more effective than a Shield Recharger, and is a staple on almost all passively-tanked ships.
  • Screen reinforcers increases a ship resistance to single type of damage. The most commonly used is the anti-EM and anti-thermal reinforcers as the shields are naturally vulnerable to these damage types.
  • Core defense capacitor safeguards make a shield booster run more efficiently reducing the cap requirement.
  • Core defense operational solidifiers make the shield boosters run faster, increasing tank but also capacitor use. Unlike its armor equivalent, usually ignored in favour of a boost amplifier module.
  • Core defense charge economizers reduce the powergrid need of shield extenders. Rarely used except in some very large buffers to pvp fits. They are much cheaper than the general PG upgrade rig
Icon implant hardwiring.png Implants
  • Slot 6: Zainou 'Gnome' Shield Upgrades SU-6XX series reduces shield extender powergrid needs by a few %. Rarely used.
  • Slot 7: Zainou 'Gnome' Shield Management SM-7XX series bonus to shield capacity. Useful for buffer and passive tanks.
  • Slot 8: Zainou 'Gnome' Shield Emission Systems SE-8XX series reduced capacitor need for remote shield repair equipment. Useful for logistics fits.
  • Slot 9: Zainou 'Gnome' Shield Operation SP-9XX series increases shield recharge rate. useful for passive tanks.
  • Like with armor tanking, there are two implant sets that benefit shield tanking. Like most sets, they use implant slots 1-6, are available in three grades (low, medium, and high), and each additional implant amplifies the bonus of the entire set. For both, the bonus from a full set can range from 20.03% with low-grades, to 53.63% with high-grades.
    • The Crystal implant set gives a multiplicative increase to shield boost amounts.
    • The Nirvana implant set gives a multiplicative increase to shield hit points.
    • You can mix & match HG, MG, and LG implants, for a final bonus partway in between.
Icon blue pill.png Blue Pill medical booster greatly increases the ship's active shield boosting amount, however they have a chance to penalize your ship's Capacitor and Shield capacity, your turret's optimal range, or your missile's explosion velocity.

Shield skills

The following skills are required to field a full Tech 2 Shield tank:

  • Shield Management
    • 5% increase in shield capacity per level.
    • Required for shield boost amplifiers.
  • Shield Upgrades
    • 5% reduction in shield extener PG usage.
    • Required for resistance amplifier, shield recharger modules.
  • Shield Operation
    • 5% reduction in shield recharge time per level.
    • Required for shield boosters and maximize shield recharge.
  • Tactical Shield Manipulation
    • Reduces damage bleeding to armor through shields-.
    • Required for shield hardeners. No good reason for training beyond IV unless you want to use certain capital modules.

Hull tanking

Hull Tanking is a rare and dangerous art employed only by the pilots with either the most bravery or the thickest of skulls. With hull tanking there is no safety buffer. Once your hull tank is gone your ship goes out in glorious explosion. Additionally, incoming hull damage slowly bleeds into the ship's modules, causing them to artificially burn out and making it unwise to hull tank for long period of time. Hull tanking is also very much an 'all or nothing' affair: it is nearly impossible to repair hull damage without docking in a starbase.

Regardless of these disadvantages, hull tanking is sometimes done unironically, as with certain ships their base hull HPs are so high that a hull tank is actually the best way to maximize their HP buffer. A bait ship with hull tank can lull attackers into a false sense of victory as they see the shields and armor vanish, only to spend ages grinding down the hull. Gallente ships like Hecate, Brutix, and Megathron have notably thick hulls (and very high damage Blaster turrets), making them viable at hull tanking.

One advantage that hull tanking has, however is access to Damage Control modules, which gives significant bonus to hull resistances, usually bringing it to the most damage resisting layer of ship hitpoints.

As all the practically useful hull tanking modules are passive, a hull tank is resistant to neuting and other forms of capacitor warfare.

The only scenario that hull logistics are required, are repair unmanned hull damaged ships, as hull damaged ships cannot be board.

Icon reinforced bulkhead.png Reinforced bulkheads give a percentage bonus to hull HP. These are the only modules that increase hull HP.
Icon module damage control.png Damage control increases ship's hull resist to all damage.
Icon hull repairer i.png Hull repairers use capacitor to repair hull. These modules are extremely slow and can not be practically used in combat.
Icon remote hull repair i.png Remote hull repairers allow you to remotely repair another ship's hull. These modules are extremely slow and can not be practically used in combat. No ship is bonused for using these modules.
Module icon armor rig tech1.png Transverse bulkheads give a large percentage bonus to hull HP. No other rig gives any bonuses to hull.
Icon implant hardwiring.png Implants
  • Repair Systems RS-6xx series - Slot 6 - reduces armor and hull repair systems duration by 1% to 6%, depending on model number
  • Mechanic MC-8xx series - Slot 8 - increases hull hit points by 1% to 6%, depending on model number
Hobgoblin.png Hull Repair Bots allow a logistics ship to remotely repair another ship's hull. These are the only form of hull logistics that are commonly used, as they count as Logistics Drones and thus receive bonuses from certain Logistics Cruisers. They are commonly used as an emergency backup, to patch up the hull of an allied ship that recently took a little too much heat.

Hull tanking is improved by only a single skill:

  • Mechanics
    • 5% hull HP per level. Required for damage control.

Remote repair

Main article: Logistics

Remote repairing refers to the use of modules to restore the shields or armor of another ship. Typically this involves a wing of dedicated logistics ships, which have bonuses for the range and effectiveness of remote shield boosters and remote armor repairers.

A remote repair tactic allows the main fleet to fit large buffer tanks that makes them able to survive the alpha of enemy fleet, secure in the knowledge that their logistics wing will repair damage. This also allows the logi wing to focus the repping power of whole fleet on single ship.

Spider tanking

While normal logistic fleet configuration outsources repairing to specialized logistics ships, "spider tanking" shares the repairing and combat duty between the whole fleet. Most or all of the ships in the fleet fit one or more remote restoration modules, and the fleet as a whole repairs whichever member comes under attack.

This is an advanced tactic hat requires a good deal of coordination to function effectively. It is most commonly used with battleships, particularly the Dominix, which has no weapon bonuses (only drone bonuses), and so can mount remote restoration modules in its free high slots if pilots do not want to use those slots for weapons.

Burst resistance modules

See also: Capital Ship Modules#Capital Emergency Hull Energizer

There are also a couple of modules that can be activated to give a short burst of high resistances. Assault Frigates and Heavy Assault Cruisers can equip an Assault Damage Control (or ADC), which gives lower passive resists compared to a regular Damage Control, but can be activated to give a burst of 95% omni resistance to shield, armor, and hull for up to 14.4 seconds with a 150 second reactivation delay. Capital Ships can equip a Capital Hull Emergency Energizer (or CEHE), which only gives a 95% omni resistance bonus to structure, has no passive benefit, and burns out after a single use. Both modules take the place of a regular Damage Control.


  1. ^ It is possible to have over 100% resist by overheating either an x-type or one of the best or second best officer hardeners on a Deep Space Transport in a class 6 red giant wormhole system. This will result in immediate destruction of the ship if any damage is taken—so don't do it.