A new version of this page is being written at Weapons-New
This is a brief guide to weapon-types to help figure them out. There are four main types, and each race has a preference for a particular type, but this does not limit you to using certain weapons on certain ships. Ships also have drones to consider, and I will touch on these as well. Also, you can only mount so many weapons on a ship, I'll go into this in more detail in the second section. Generally, the bigger the weapon, the more damage and range, but the slower the tracking speed. So, big guns shoot harder and farther, but can't aim as quickly at close range threats.
First, a brief overview of the damage system. There are four damage types: Electromagnetic, Thermal, Kinetic, and Explosive. EM does the most damage to shields, Explosive does the most damage to armor. Thermal does moderate damage to both, but more against shields. Kinetic is the same, but does more damage to armor. A simpler way of putting all that is this crudely assembled 'continuum.'
More Armor Damage - - - - - More Shield Damage
Explosive - - - Kinetic- - - - Thermal - - - Electromagnetic
Now, for an overview of the weapon types. Remember that every turret does two or more kinds of damage, while missiles only do one kind of damage, all depending on what ammo you use.
Laser Turrets Edit
These energy based weapons do EM and Thermal damage, making these weapons great for cutting through shields, and not as good at penetrating armor. They do not use ammunition, and instead rely on the ship's capacitor more heavily than other weapon types, so your capacitor can be heavily drained if you don't monitor your ship carefully.
Even though they have no ammo, they require focusing crystals, which you'll find under the ammunition tab in the market menu. Installing a focusing crystal modifies the beam of the laser; all this means is that it modifies damage type and amount, and weapon range. The weapon retains its damage multiplier and firing rate. So, if a turret has a 3x multiplier and fires every 5 seconds, whatever damage type the focusing crystal uses will be multiplied by 3, and it will still fire every five seconds. There is often a trade off with crystals, so a very powerful damage crystal might have very low range. One advantage to using crystals is that you can swap them in the middle of a fight, just like ammunition, and it takes less time for a crystal to be ready to fire than a new ammo type.
Lasers are generally divided into two types:
- Pulse Lasers: Faster tracking, shorter range, higher rate of fire, less damage per shot.
- Beam Lasers: Slower tracking, longer range, lower rate of fire, more damage per shot.
In general Amarr ships are best suited to use lasers, due to laser capacitor use and damage bonuses.
Hybrid Turrets Edit
In sci-fi terms, these turrets use charged energy and physical ammunition combined. In game terms, they're good all-round turrets. They generally have good range and firing rate, and medium capacitor drain and damage. Hybrid turrets can only do thermal and kinetic damage. This means that most hybrid ammo is good for any situation, but not specialized overmuch for penetrating armor or shields. Obviously, if you want to penetrate shields, try to get ammo with more thermal than kinetic damage, and more kinetic for punching through armor.
Hybrid turrets use ammunition, which works the same as a focusing crystal, except that it is consumed with each shot. Hybrid ammo is available in four sizes and many different kinds; each hybrid turret, regardless of size, can load any kind of hybrid ammo so long as it is the same size class as the turret (large, medium, small). Each ammunition type has its own statistics, so one may do more damage, another may do a certain damage type, another has long range, and so on. They usually have the same trade-offs as a focusing crystal, but ammunition takes longer to load and reload. You can always switch out the ammo for another type in your cargo bay.
Hybrids come in two types:
- Blasters: Faster Tracking, lower range, higher damage per shot, higher rate of fire.
- Railguns: Slower tracking, longer range, lower damage per shot, lower rate of fire.
Hybrid turrets are generally the weapon of choice for Caldari and Gallente ship designs, with Caldari bonuses emphasising range bonuses (Railguns), and Gallente bonuses emphasising damage and tracking (Blasters)
Projectile Turrets Edit
Projectile turrets are an ancient weapon type used for centuries before the EVE gate was discovered. They do not use complicated operations to charge the ammunition in the way a hybrid does, so they use the least amount of capacitor energy of the turret types. There are many kinds of projectile turrets, breaking down into two main classes: rapid-fire short-range autocannons, and long-range but slow artillery.
Projectile ammunition always does some amount of kinetic damage, as well as one or more other types depending on the ammo. Projectile ammunition can cover a wide range of damage types and uses, so you can select something to use for general situations, or you can tailor your choice to certain damage types. You can always switch ammo types if you need to, but this takes more time than swapping frequency crystals.
Projectile turrets come in two types:
- Autocannons: Faster tracking, lower range, higher rate of fire, lower damage per shot.
- Artillery: Lower tracking, higher range, lower rate of fire, higher damage per shot.
Minmatar ships are designed to make the most of Projectile turrets, with numerous damage and rate of fire bonuses.
Missile Launchers Edit
There are several launcher types, and some can fire multiple classes of missiles. In all cases, if a launcher can fire a missile class (light for instance) it can also fire its FoF equivalent. Here's a brief overview of launcher types and the missiles they use.
While most races integrate missile launcher hardpoints into their ship designs, the Caldari in particular have a number of ship bonuses in this field, making them superb bombers.
Rocket Launcher Edit
These only fire rockets. They have a fast rate of fire and low system requirements. They can use Defender missiles, and there is no FoF Rocket at the time of this writing.
Standard Launcher and Assault Launcher Edit
These fire Light missiles, as well as Defenders. They have a decent rate of fire and average system requirements. The difference between Standard and Assault launchers is that Assault Launchers have a much faster rate of fire, but much higher system requirements. Standard Launchers are suited for frigates, but Assault launchers have system requirements which usually limit their use to larger vessels.
Heavy Launchers Edit
Heavy Launchers fire heavy missiles. Their rate of fire is slower than Standard or Assault launchers because of their larger payload. They can also fire Defenders. Heavy Launchers have high system requirements, so you probably won't use them on frigates.
Cruise Launchers Edit
Cruise Launchers fire cruise missiles and Defenders. They are slower than Heavy Launchers due to their ammo, and also have big system requirements, so don't expect to mount one on a frigate. These are usually mounted on Battleships like the Raven.
Siege Launchers Edit
Bigger and slower than even Cruise Launchers. Siege Launchers can fire Torpedoes and Defender missiles. Their main design is to fire Torpedoes, and they are the only launcher that can do so. They can be fitted onto Battleships and Dreadnoughts. However, only the Citadel Torpedo Launcher I can only be fitted onto Dreadnoughts.
Missiles are quite different from the turret weapons. When launched, a missile tracks its target and maneuvers to hit it. Every missile has a Velocity, Flight Time, and Agility rating. Velocity is how fast it moves, flight time is how long it can fly, and agility is how well it can adjust its heading to follow a target. Velocity multiplied flight time together make the effective range of the missile. If a missile flies at 1000 meters per second, and has a maximum flight time of 25 seconds, then its maximum range is 25,000 meters (25km). Agility is simply how well it stays on target. If a person can maneuver around the missile for long enough, it runs out of fuel and does nothing to them, so agility helps with faster targets. Pilots can also warp out of the area before a missile reaches them, but there are ways around this as well (see Medium Power Slots below).
All missiles do a single damage type, but usually do a whole lot of it. So, you might have a missile that does huge thermal damage, but it only does thermal damage. You can also swap missiles in a launcher in the same way as swapping ammunition in a turret.
There are many types of missile types. Some have special purposes and not all missiles are for attacking. Detailed information of each type is listed below.
Rockets are like the submachine gun of the missile world. They are short ranged ( 4500m without ship or skill bonuses), but have a very fast flight speed of 2250m/s and above and an explosion velocity of 2000m/s. The damage per rocket is small but this is made up for by the fast rate of fire for Rocket Launchers. Rockets are designed for use against small, fast frigates and are of limited use against larger opponents.
Light Missiles Edit
Light missiles pack less of a punch (75 base damage) and have less range. They can be used in either standard launchers or assault launchers, assault launchers having a much faster rate of fire at the expense of high power grid needs. Light missiles are perfect for taking out fast frigates.
Heavy Missiles Edit
Heavy missiles have a slower velocity compared to light missiles, but it has a longer flight time, resulting in greater range than light missiles. It also does more damage in a single missile (150 base damage), however, it has a slower rate of fire compared to assault missile launchers and heavy assault missile launchers. Heavy missiles also have a lower explosion velocity compared to light missiles, therefore not being as effective against small, fast frigates.
Both use the same skill to operate. Heavy missile launchers usually take more advanced systems to operate, so you'll be using light most of the time to begin with.
Cruise Missiles Edit
Cruise Missiles are a step up from heavy missiles. Cruise missiles have an even slower velocity than light or heavy missiles, but have a very long flight time as well, resulting in the greatest range of all missles. Cruise missile launchers have a slower rate of fire compared to standard and heavy launchers, but put out very high damage per missile (300 base damage). They use their own skill, and are even more advanced than heavy missiles, so you will be seeing cruise launchers mounted only on battleships or bigger.
Cruise missiles are most effective against battleships. Since it has a very low explosion velocity, it won't be as effective against frigates or cruisers.
Torpedos aren't like other missiles. They do huge damage and have long flight times, but also have slower flight speeds. These have their own skill to use and have high system requirements.
FoF Missiles Edit
FoF stands for Friend or Foe. These missiles come in light, heavy, and cruise varieties, and use the equivalent missile launcher. The difference is that they do not need to be targeted. If a ship damages you, or uses some form of electronic warfare on your ship, then you can launch these and they will automatically attack the culprit. You do not need to target the vessel, but you do need to manually select the fire button to start launching them. FoF missiles have similar attributes to their normal counterparts, aside from their targeting. May 2005: There is a bug that FoF missiles will shoot deadspace objects instead of NPC ships. This can be quite annoying if you are in a mission with many bunkers and walls and your missiles will target them instead of the frigates and cruisers targeting you.
Defender Missiles Edit
As their name implies, these missiles are not used as a weapon. Instead, you launch these when an enemy missile is homing in on you. A launcher with defenders can only be activated when a missile is already incoming. They do not need to be targeted, but will instead automatically aim for the closest missile which is incoming. The Defender has a high maximum velocity and a long flight-time compared to standard light missiles, giving them a good range. They do however have slightly lower agility than a normal missile. Not to worry, though, because Defenders have an explosion radius, so they don't actually need to hit the enemy missile directly. Defender missiles can be fitted into most launchers except for Rocket launcher and the largest launchers.
Currently defender missiles are considered broken. They need to be manually activated when there is an incoming missile and can't be activated when there are no missiles. When they do activate the act like a normal launcher firing an infinite amount of missiles (taking the launchers reload time into account) until the target missile is destroyed. When multiple missiles are homing for you the defenders will always target the missile nearest to you until it is destroyed. Meaning sometimes multiple defenders will target the same missiles, even when there are multiple missiles inbound.
- Max Velocity: 7500m/s
- Mass: 10Kg
- Volume: 0.03m3
- Damage: Explosive - 76HP
- Max Flight Time: 10s
- Base Price: 500 ISK
Drones are robotic mini-ships, you can think of them like fighter craft for your big vessel. There are drones that can do all kinds of damage, but each individual drone only does one kind of damage. Some are fast and lightly armored, some are slow and heavily armored.
Combat Drones Edit
Combat Drones are miniature fighters that are carried in a ship's drone bay. Scout Drones are much smaller than frigates, and are difficult to hit due to their amazingly fast orbit speeds. Heavy Drones do more damage, but require more skill points.
Mining Drones Edit
There are also mining drones. A wide array of these are about to be released at the time of this writing, and these can help speed up mining. Just remember that a drone has to go to the asteroid, mine its fill, then return to your ship to deposit it, so if a mining laser and a drone have the same rate of mining, the laser will always be slightly ahead since it doesn't waste time bringing things to you. If mining in dangerous areas, you might want to use combat drones to guard your ship while you use turrets for mining lasers.
Although many ships have drone bays, the Gallente generally have far superior drone capacities, and increased control bonuses in several of their ships.
Fighters are like combat drones, only bigger and nastier. These drones are unique in that they can follow ally pilots throughout a system using their own warp drives. They do a high amount of damage and are well armored, but are expensive compared to combat drones. Fighters can only be used by Carriers and Motherships. They are the main weapon for a Carrier and Motherships. The Carriers can launch 10-15 and a Motherships 20-25.