The four main factions of Eve Online comprise the lion’s share of the ships any player will fly. Each faction follows a different philosophy in their ship design that makes them better suited for various roles. There are always exceptions and outliers of course, but by and large, each faction adheres to some core fundamentals.
While a player can learn to fly anything, it pays to know the pros and cons of each faction to determine which are the best ships to strive for. Here is an extremely simplified version of what each faction has going for it and what they’ll struggle with.
Gallente are all about drones. Most of the ships in their faction are designed to launch a swarm of drones before rushing into battle with blasters or sitting back and fighting with railguns. The combination of Drones and Hybrid Turrets gives Gallente some of the best DPS in the game. They focus on sensor dampening which forces opponents to get closer to do battle.
The damage is largely Kinetic and Thermal, making them skilled at fighting Guristas Pirates, Serpentis, Mordu’s Legion, Caldari, and, interestingly, other Gallente. Gallente ships tend to be very beginner-friendly and drones are great for PVE jobs and playstyles that favor partial automation.
Relying mostly on drones presents a few problems — namely, that the player is limited by how many drones they have in the air, how far their control range is, and how many they have on hand. If the player’s drones are all dead, then DPS is severely hindered. It’s also very common for players to either forget or abandon drones when leaving or fleeing an area. Replacing those drones can make these among the most expensive ships to maintain.
Hybrid turrets also present an issue in that they need ammo to function, which takes up cargo space. There’s also the matter of having enough ammo on hand to get the job done without the turrets running dry in the middle of a fight. Gallente ships tend to be vulnerable to Explosive damage which means Angel Cartel, Triglavian Collective, Minmatar, and Caldari ships can be a problem.
Amarr ships are some of the most technologically advanced of the four factions. Their weapons are energy turrets that utilize crystals to function. This means they don’t need to stockpile ammo for their weapons to fire, leaving more cargo space open for loot. Damage is primarily EM and Thermal which makes them suited to hunt Blood Raiders, Rogue Drones, Sansha’s Nation, Khanid Kingdom, and other Amarr.
They also use missiles and drones to fill in the gaps of lasers, giving them flexibility when dealing damage. These golden ships are among the best armor tanks in the game. They also neutralize and leech enemy capacitors to leave them dead in the water and disrupt tracking to prevent foes from getting a lock.
Lasers have the problem of restricting Amarr to dealing only two types of damage, which can pose problems when facing Guristas or Serpentis. Lasers also tend to be very demanding on the Capacitor, so players will need to train a number of skills to offset this.
Amarr ships lean on bulking up with armor, so they are among the slowest ships in the galaxy. This makes it hard to keep up with other ships or outrun them. They also struggle with tracking, meaning a lot of shots are going to miss or do minimal damage when facing faster ships. They are also very vulnerable to Thermal damage, which is used to some degree by just about every race in the galaxy.
Caldari rely heavily on missiles to do damage in combat. Missiles have the unique advantage that, as long as they’re fired upon something in range, it will hit the target. They backup their missiles with hybrid turrets and use shields to resist damage. This ability to fight at range with missiles makes Caldari great PVP ships.
They tend to favor Kinetic damage, making them great against Angel Cartel, Guristas Pirates, Mordu’s Legion, Serpentis, EOM, Khanid Kingdom, Caldari, Gallente, and Minmatar. But, in reality, they can deal any kind of damage with the right missiles and ammo. They also favor ECM jamming technology which hinders the enemy’s ability to target friend or foe.
While Caldari can deal any kind of damage, it requires having the right missile. Caldari players are then forced to carry a variety of missiles, which chews up cargo space. Alternatively, they can opt for one missile type and be limited against certain opponents.
While their missiles are guaranteed to hit, they do take a while to strike. Enemies can get the upper hand by simply damaging Caldari faster than their missiles can strike. Caldari ships tend to be weaker to EM and Thermal damage which makes them vulnerable to Blood Raiders, Sansha’s Nation, Triglavian Collective, and Amarr ships.
Minmatar ships favor projectile turrets that offer tremendous damage per shot. Their artillery weapons also give them incredible range and complement well with missiles. Their damage output is mostly EM, Explosive, and Thermal, which gives them options against just about every race and pirate in the game.
On top of their highly adaptable and flexible offense is the fact that these are the fastest ships in the game. Minmatar are excellent kiters and can use their target painting abilities to snipe enemies from afar. There’s a reason these ships are so popular in PVP and Faction Warfare.
That excellent range and high damage per shot both come at the cost of a slow rate of fire. Minmatar ships often run into trouble if enemies have a ton of hit points and high repair potential. A Minmatar wants to end the fight quickly as their ship is very vulnerable and among the most fragile in the galaxy.
Tremendous speed also has a cost: it comes at the cost of durability. Minmatar ships are suited to either shield or armor tanking but are terrible at both. Shield tank ships make them vulnerable to EM and Thermal while armor tanking makes them weak to Explosive. If a Minmatar ship ever falls victim to a successful tackle, they’re pretty much dead in the water, as mobility is the key to survival.
Next: 10 MMORPGs To Play If You Like EVE Online
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Starting with a secret copy of Warcraft II on his parent’s Windows 95, Ben has developed a lifelong obsession with video games. Drawn to darker and more horrifying games, he enjoys diving into the lore, secrets, philosophies, and complex characters found in those grim worlds. His only hope is there are other odd balls out there who are also attracted to the writhing things found in the digital void.
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