Ship Guide

This EVE Online Ship Guide outlines the main things that you need to know about how to use a ship in EVE Online. You will learn how to increase your ship's power and cpu and other attributes, what to do if your ship is destroyed, and more.

Introduction to EVE Ships

You will spend most of your game time in a ship, so it is critical to understand what your ship can do. This page explains some of the most important features of ships in EVE Online.

Ship Structure

A ship's structure is compsed of the hull, armor, and shields. The shields are the outermost layer of defense, the armor is beneath the shields, and the hull is beneath the armor. Inside of the hull is the capsule, also known as a pod, that your character sits in.

Your ship's shields and armor protect the hull. If the hull is breached, your ship is destroyed. Your pod will then be floating in space, highly vulnerable to attack. Fortunately, your pod has warp drive capabilities, so if you are quick, you can warp away to safety before anyone can podkill you.

Improving Ship Attributes

CPU and Power Grid are two very important attributes of a ship. For this reason, I have a separate section near the beginning of this ship guide with information on how to boost cpu and power grid.

How to increase CPU

Here is a list of ways to improve CPU on your ship.

  • Train the Electronics skill
  • Fit a co-processor to your ship.
  • Use an implant that has CPU-boosting effects, like the Zainou 'Gnome' and the Inherent Implants 'Highwall', for example.
  • Use Rigs on your ship that reduce CPU usage, like Liquid Cooled Electronics, for example.
  • Train the following skills to reduce CPU needs of different modules:
    • Weapon Upgrades
    • Electronics Upgrades
    • Energy Grid Upgrades
    • Mining Upgrades

For details on these methods for improving CPU, read the how to increase cpu guide.

How to increase Power Grid

While your CPU determines how many fitted modules can be online at a time, your Power Grid determines how many modules you can fit to your ship (but not necessarily have online) at a time.

Your power grid is the engine that powers the modules fitted to your ship. If you try to fit a module to your ship that exceeds your power grid capacity, you will not be able to fit that module to your ship.
The Engineering skill increases your power grid output, and the Advanced Weapon Upgrades skill reduces the power grid needs of weapons you fit to your ship. The Shield Upgrades skill reduces the power grid needs of modules that increase shield power.

How to repair a damaged ship

One way to repair a damaged ship is to fit repair units to it, like a Shield Booster, Hull Repairer, and so on. When you activate such units, they repair the ship by using capacitor power. Be careful not to run out of capacitor power if you are in the middle of a fight.

Another way is to take your ship to a space station. The station MIGHT have a repairshop inside. Some stations do not have repairshops, however. You can instantly repair any damage to your ship, but sometimes it costs a lot of money.

What if my ship is destroyed?

If your ship is destroyed, you will be in a pod floating in space. You are very vulnerable to getting podkilled. However, you can warp your pod to a station, where you will automatically be given a rookie ship (called a Velator) unless you happen to have a ship docked in that station. Then you can focus on buying a new ship on the market.

You can return to your shipwreck in a different ship. Any items that were not destroyed will be in the wreckage. If you buy a module called a Salvager, and train up the Salvaging skill, you can use the salvager to try to get some of the broken-but-usable parts from your shipwreck.


Your ship's shield is your first line of defense against attack. The number of shield hit points depends on the type of ship you have. You can train the Shield Management skill to get 5% more shield capacity per level for any ship you pilot. You can also increase shield hit points with implants and shield extenders.

You can repair your shield on-the-fly with shield boosters. There are also remote shield repair units that other ships can use to repair your shield.

Your shield will gradually recharge if damaged. The recharge rate of your shield depends on the type of ship you have. You can reduce the amount of time it takes for the shield to recharge on any ship you pilot by training up the Shield Operation skill. If your shield hit points go below about a third of your shield capacity, your shield will recharge more slowly than usual.

Your shield has resistances to different types of weapons. The resistances depend on the type of ship, but generally, shields are very weak against EM damage, fairly weak against Thermal damage, fairly strong against Kinetic damage, and very strong against Explosive damage.

You can improve your shield's resistances with the EM Shield Compensation, Explosive Shield Compensation, Kinetic Shield Compensation, and Thermic Shield Compensation skills. You can also fit various types of Shield Hardeners to your ship, which can increase all resistances, or specific types of resistances, depending on the type of Shield Hardener in use.

Rigs are also available for improving shield performance.

When your shield goes below 25%, your armor might start to take damage. Train the Tactical Shield Manipulation skill to reduce this by 5% per level. When this skill is trained to level V, your armor will not take any damage as long as your shield is intact.


Beneath your shield lies your armor. The hitpoints of your armor depend on the type of ship you are using. You can also fit armor plates to your ship to increase your armor hitpoints.

As with the shield, armor has different resistances to different types of attack. Armor is naturally highly resistant to EM damage, and not very resistant at all to Explosive damage. Armor hardeners increase resistance to a specific type of damage. There are also skills that increase armor resistances.

You can fit armor repair units to your ship to repair armor damage on-the-fly, and there are remove armor repair units that other ships can use to repair damage to your armor.

Rigs are available to improve your armor's performance.


Underneath shield and armor is the structural layer of your ship. It is pretty low on hit points in many cases, so you would do well to keep your shields and armor intact. Once your structure starts to take damage, you should consider warping away to safety. Your ship will be destroyed if your structure hit points drop to 0, even if your shield and armor is still intact (although they are unlikely to be intact by the time your hull drops to 0).

Bulkheads and nanofiber internal structures can increase your structural hit points.

You can use hull repair systems and remote hull repair systems to repair structural damage on the fly.

The hull has no natural resistances to different damage types, but you can fit damage controls to your ship to give it resistances.


The capacitor outputs power for your modules. It is needed to activate and use active modules. (Capacitor is not the same as Power Grid.) Capacitor is not needed for moving your ship around, so if you deplete your capacitor, you'll still be able to move at sub-warp speed. If your capacitor is completely depleted, however, you will not be able to initiate warp. If you do not have enough capacitor to warp all the way to your destination, you might still be able to initiate warp. Your ship will take you as far as it can with the amount of capacitor power you have. The Warp Drive Operation skill lowers your capacitor need for initiating warp.

Capacitor capacity depends on the type of ship you have. You can train the Energy Management skill to increase your capacitor's capacity. You can also fit a capacitor battery to your ship, which passively increases your capacitor capacity. There are also capacitor boosters, which use capacitor booster charges to instantly recharge some of your capacitor capacity. Capacitor booster charges are one-use items that are used in a similar way to weapon ammunition.

Your capacitor gradually recharges itself if it is not full. The Energy Systems Operation skill increases the rate at which your capacitor recharges itself. There are numerous Engineering skills that reduce the capacitor needs of specific types of modules. Capacitor flux coils increase your recharge rate.

There are a number of rigs available for improving your capacitor performance.

Upgrade Slots

To use upgrade slots, you must have the jury rigging skill. Like implants, rigs provide permanent modifications to your ship, often at the expense of some other attribute of the ship. Removing a rig from your ship destroys that rig.

Equip Your Ship

Chances are you will want to equip your ship with things like weapons, mining lasers, propulsion enhancements, and other things. Modules for your ship have skill prerequisites. If you do not have the required skills for a module, you will not be able to fit it to your ship.

Your ship has hardpoints that limit the number of weapon modules you can fit to your ship. Your ship also has upgrade hardpoints that allow you to fit rigs to your ship, which provide various upgrades to your ship, usually at the expense of another attribute. You cannot increase the number of hardpoints on a ship. The number of hardpoints on a ship is important to consider when deciding on a ship to buy.

Before you buy a module, make sure your ship has enough powergrid and CPU to fit it, and make sure that it will not use up too much of your capacitor upon activation (if it is not a passive module).

Improving your Offense

It is important to understand how guns work in EVE Online. It is a rather complex system, and understanding it will help you maximize damage to your enemies.

First of all, turret weapons have an optimal range, as well as an accuracy falloff. The optimal range is how far away you want your ship to be from the enemy ship if you want the best chance of damaging it. You are very likely to hit an enemy who is in your weapon's optimal range.

If your enemy is farther away than your optimal range, your weapon's accuracy begins to get worse. If the enemy is at the optimal range + accuracy falloff your weapon's accuracy drops to 50%. If the enemy is twice the accuracy falloff distance from optimal range, you are probably not going to hit it at all. NOTE that anything closer than your optimal range is not going to suffer falloff penalties, although tracking speed becomes very important to determining whether you will hit the enemy.

The tracking speed of a turret is how fast it can turn. Your enemy's angular velocity (which you can view in the overview if you turn it on) is how fast it is turning. A turret with high tracking speed will have an easier time of hitting enemies with high angular velocity.

It is also important to consider your weapon's signature resolution. Enemies have signature radiuses, which is simply a measure of how big the enemy is. Your signature resolution defines how big an enemy must be in order for that weapon to hit it accurately, although the signature resolution becomes irrelevant when hitting something that is stationary. Signature resolution only applies to hitting a moving target.

To reduce the accuracy loss that occurs when trying to fire on a fast-moving ship, you must move your ship in a way that reduces the ship's angular velocity. You must try to keep your enemy in the same general spot, relative to your ship. In other words, try not to let your enemy circle you.

Another element of good offense is the type of turret and ammunition you choose. Pick turrets that cause as much damage as possible while not using up too much power in your ship.

Missiles have an explosion velocity, which needs to be equal to or greater than the velocity of the enemy in order to avoid penalties to damage, and explosion radius needs to be less than or equal to the enemy ship's signature radius to avoid damage penalties. Missile velocity and flight time also affect missile effectiveness. If a missile doesn't have a high enough velocity to catch up with the enemy ship, it will never hit it. Similarly, if a missile does not reach its target before the flight time is up, it will explode before reaching the target.

Improving your Defense

Your ship has shields, armor, and hull. The shield is like the outer layer of protection on your ship. Your skills and ship type determine how many shield hit points your ship has. If your enemies destroy your shields, your armor will start to take damage. Once the armor is destroyed, your hull becomes vulnerable. If your hull is destroyed, that means that your ship is destroyed, and you'll be ejected into space inside a pod that you can warp to a station for safety. It is best to avoid this turn of events, because if your enemy is a player character, he or she might target your pod and shoot it, which means you're dead, and you'll be reborn in a clone. Be sure to invest in a good clone early on so you can transfer all of your skills to it. Your clone will be just like the destroyed self, except it will be missing any implants your old self might have had.

To protect your ship, there are a number of shield-improving accessories that you can add to your ship. Shield boosters, when activated, give your shield a boost of hit points.

Ship Speed

Certain types of ships tend to be fast, and some tend to be slow, and some are in the middle. For example, covert ops ships are very fast, but industrials are very slow.

Ship Acceleration and Turning

The mass of your ship, along with its inertial modifier, determine your ship's agility, which is a measure of how long it takes to accelerate and turn. Even if two ships have different top speeds, if their mass and inertial modifiers are the same, then they will both reach their respective top speeds in the same amount of time.

Your acceleration is determined with this formula:

Velocity after t seconds =
(top speed) * (1 - (e to the (-t * (10 to the 6th power) / ((inertia modifier) * (mass)))))

Improving Ship Speed

Some skills are specifically meant for improving ship performance. Skills like Navigation and Evasive Maneuvering improve acceleration and ship speed. There are also Inertia Stabilizer modules and Hull Nanofiber Structures that reduce your inertial modifier.